Do’s & Don’ts of Cooking

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fabulous cook. I have never claimed to be. I try though and somehow the boys all seem to be very healthy. Once upon a blue moon, my favorite hang out place was the kitchen. I stayed in there practically all day. If I wasn’t cooking, I was cleaning, or sitting at the table reading or paying bills.

Over the years, I have had some serious fiascos in the kitchen.  In the past, I would deny my bloopers, but the more I think about them – I think hey why not share? After all, I may not be the only under-achieving cook out there.

Do: Make sure you have all the ingredients before you begin cooking.

Don’t: neglect this small yet very important 1st step, you may be running out to a close by local small store to buy important items like (cheese, milk, bread, the main ingredient)

Do: Announce to everyone in the house that you need the kitchen all to yourself if you have a small space.

Don’t: Attempt to do the tango with a blazing hot cast iron skillet, a cat underfoot, and kids ducking & weaving in and out of the kitchen. Someone, probably you, will get burnt.

Do: Mix all dry ingredients first

Don’t: Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix on high-speed. (Egg is difficult to remove from the ceiling and dries quickly.)

Do: Clean as you go. Wash your cookware and utensils as you dirty them up.

Don’t: Hope the kids will appreciate the meal so much that they will help with the dishes afterwards. Instead they will have a cut on their hand and therefore be disabled for the evening, have a belly too full to help, start their nap early at the kitchen table, have a game that has been on “pause” too long and just have to go, need an hour-long shower, or some other random excuse.

Do: Only make portions small enough to fit into your left-over storage containers.

Don’t: Cook a 25lb turkey or ham without enough storage space for left overs!! You’ll end up with the left over meat in every type of container in the refrigerator – Ex: Tupperware, Ziploc bags, Rubbermaid containers, left over butter bowls, Jelly containers, cheese cellophane, Drinking cups with lids, plastic shoe boxes (cleaned of course), sour cream containers, and anything else that has a lid!!  The day after said feast will result in frustration as you cannot find the REAL butter, jelly, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.

Do: Wear an apron or keep a hand towel handy.

Don’t: Forget you are cooking and wipe your hands on your pants.  If you do, you may stick to your chair when you attempt to stand at the end of the meal.

Do: Ensure that any frozen ingredient is not freezer burnt before using.

Don’t: Attempt to convince the kids that it’s suppose to taste that way!

Do: Check all dates on canned or dry goods that you bought on sale and found in the very back of  your cabinet before using.

Don’t: Try to convince the kids it’s suppose to taste that way.  (If they’ve fallen for this once, they will be wise to you the 2nd time around!)

Do: Dispose of food packaging in a safe way.

Don’t: Leave a can lid standing erect on a can after opening. Gently push the lid down inside the can. Those things will cut you as you take out the trash.

Do: Remove all decorative stove burner (eye) covers before turning the stove on.

Don’t: Turn on the wrong stove burner element before you remove decorative covers. Those things are totally flammable!

Do: Keep tongs in the kitchen at all times. They prove to be most handy to remove burning element (eye) covers if you should forget to remove them.

Don’t: Make microwavable macaroni and cheese without adding water. It is flammable without water.

Do: Watch boiling noodles on stove top and stir regularly.

Don’t: Walk away from boiling noodles on stove top. Again, those noodles are totally flammable!

Do:  Stay in the kitchen when you cook.

Don’t:  Lay on the couch to take a nap when cooking.

These are just a few helpful do’s and don’ts that may help someone new to cooking. You’d think all these things are common sense, but they aren’t. Some of these were my mistakes when I was very young and others have been made by my kids.

We have a great deal more of these I could share. Let me know if you want to read more 🙂


  1. You made me laugh today! And I was having a little bit of a hard time, so thank you so much! Especially about the freezer burn (yep, I have a few items that need thrown out) and the doing the tango in the kitchen with all that stuff! Thank you and take care, don’t get burned and kick those extras out of the kitchen, they slow you down or make you miss your counting how many spoons of sugar you need to add….

  2. I bought a new bread maker and was excited to try a gluten free recipe. Distracted by the unfamiliar ingredients, I managed to forget one minor detail, the yeast. When the bread was done, it was hard and solid like a brick! Oh yes, those Ha, Ha, and Aha moments! Enjoyed your dos and don’ts of cooking!

  3. I have a book called The Common Sense Cookbook. It has tips like this but I have to laugh at the instructions on how to do things like;

    How To Make Toast

    1. Put bread in toaster
    2. Make sure toaster is plugged in and switched on at the wall
    3. Pull down lever to toast the bread
    4. Once the toast has finished the toaster will pop up
    5. Remove toast being careful not to burn yourself
    6. Spread toast with butter or margerine and too with honey, peanut butter, jam, Vegemite, or various other spreads available.

    Seriously? Instructions for making jam (or jelly as you Americans call it) on toast? Random.

  4. Wow, so many important lessons in one awesome post! This entry is hilarious, I love it. And I never knew “Egg is difficult to remove from the ceiling and dries quickly.” or that microwavable macaroni and cheese was flammable! Important tips!!! 😀

  5. It’s late here, everyone is sound asleep and I am in hysterics reading this.

    Just this evening; I get home from the gym, later than anticipated so I’m in a hurry to get dinner ready. As I’m shredding chicken breast on the stove with a very hot cast iron pan my cat screams as I step on her because she was laying down right behind me. Not to mention, my eleven year old is rambling a million miles a minute about her field trip and my ten year old is attempting to cut ripe tomatoes with a dull knife.

    And here I thought I was all alone in the universe. ;O)~

  6. Even professional chefs have their disasters – but fortunately not too often. The worst disaster I had was NOT noticing a customer had ordered a birthday cake (our restaurant was known for its gorgeous desserts). When our head waiter came looking for the cake to serve not only did I NOT have a cake – I discovered I didn’t have any sponge cakes to make into a birthday cake. Around the corner to the convenience store to pick up a couple of packages of Twinkies and a brick of ice cream. Thirty minutes later we dimmed the lights, and a magnificent flaming Burnt Alaska was carried into the dining room followed by all our staff singing the birthday song. We all were particularly fond this particular senior birthday girl. (No one recognized the Twinkies – I had soaked them in Grand Marnier – my worst none baking disaster narrowly adverted.) By and way – we did not charge for the dessert. V.

Leave a Reply