There's a lot of noise when it comes to cooking. Everyone has an opinion. One person will tell you that you should never flip your burger more than once, another will promise you that it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. Someone will insist that using room-temperature eggs will make or break you when baking, and another baker will scoff at the detail. In the end, you have to find your own cooking rules to live by. That's the only way you'll make your way in the kitchen and through a recipe.
But there are some *truths* that we've found to ring true in just about everyone's kitchen. They're simple, but they're impactful. These food truths can significantly change the way you cook -- for the better.
Make everything from scratch at least once.
Flickr: Robert S. Donovan
Knowing how things are made gives you a better understanding of the ingredients you're working with. Make butter from scratch, give pie crust a whirl and try homemade stock. You might not want to do it ever again, but you've learned a lot for seeing how it's done.
The mortar and pestle is your best friend.
Flickr: Swami Stream
Sure, the thought of having to grind your spices every time you want to cook sounds like a chore. But after you do it once, and you smell (and taste) the difference, you'll gladly do it again. Promise.
When you bake, lick the spoon.
Cavan Images via Getty Images
It's the best way to know what your end product will taste like. Also, it's delicious. (But if you're using raw eggs be aware of the risks associated with consuming uncooked eggs.)
Fresh herbs > dried herbs.
It's not rocket science people.
Intimidating recipes are meant to be confronted.
Preferably with a cocktail in hand. You might fail the first time. Or the first 50 times. But eventually, they will turn you into stronger cooks.
When it comes to chocolate, splurge.
Flickr: Chocolate Reviews
The taste of your brownies will instantly make you feel better about having spent the extra dough.
Always cook your eggs in butter.
Trust us. This is amazing. And it will make everyone around you think you're a genius when it comes to eggs.
Imitation = not as good.
There's no way around it, when it comes to food you can't fake it.
Know that fat is where all the flavor comes from. If you skimp on the fat, you're skimping on flavor. It's that simple.
Whole wheat isn't always an appropriate substitute.
There is something very wrong with whole wheat pizza and pasta. There's no way around it.
Whenever physically possible, make your own whipped cream.
Flickr: Dinner Series
Homemade whipped cream should be a requirement any time dessert is happening. It takes everything up about 1,234,543 notches.