Tricky Tuesday #5: Common Cooking Mistakes

There are times that we encounter mistakes when we cook or bake. Have we changed that? Or did we learn from our mistakes? Me? Not all the time. I kept on repeating the same mistakes over and over again, especially when more patience is needed. πŸ˜€ So what did I get with not following the β€˜rules’ or not trying to correct my mistakes? Not so good results and a sad face all day!

From this day onwards, I will try to correct those mistakes. Take note – I will try; I will not promise to try… but I will try. πŸ˜€

SOME COOKING MISTAKES:

1) You don’t read the entire recipe before you start cooking.

Of course, it is advisable to read the recipe before proceeding to cook or bake. This happened to me before. The next thing I know, my ingredients are not all available. Good thing is, I was not lazy to go out to buy the missing ones. It is better to check the ingredients first and prepare them before you start cooking or baking.

2) You overcrowd the pan.

I know that patience is virtue, but it is really not one of mine. When searing a beef of chicken, I used to overcrowd my pan because I am so impatient to do them in batches. The meat may look good on the outside or when you just look at them, but in fact, they are mostly soggy. It is always best to leave a breathing room in the pan to get good results.

3) You turn the food too often.

Hmm, I am so guilty. Not only I turn the food too often, I also open the cover more than often to check the soup or stew I am cooking. πŸ˜› In case you are frying a chicken and you keep turning them too often, you will lose the breading. Or you will not develop a nice crust.

4) You put all the salt in the marinade or breading.

Ahh! This has been another problem of mine. I always notice that when I fry chicken, the chicken it self is tasteless (especially when using chicken breasts). I thought I was just afraid to put too much salt in the marinade or breading, but I guess I was not. In case of using marinade, you put all the salt in the marinade and when you throw the marinade, you throw the salt. According to my BFF, Google, it is best not to put all the required salt in the breading or marinade – let’s say use a little salt in the marinade, and then directly sprinkle the rest of slat required [or the majority of the salt] to the meat itself. As to breading, you can sprinkle the salt directly on the meat and coat with your breading.

5) Sunken chocolate chips.

Now, this trick has never been an issue to me. πŸ˜€ There are cases that when you bake a loaf or muffins with chocolate chips, blueberries [or other dried fruits], they go all the way down to the bottom. The solution is a dash of flour. (This is the first trick I have learned.) What to do? Just toss the chocolate chips or blueberries with about a tablespoon of flour before folding them in. Say, you put your chips (not Lays or Doritos – chocolate chips, for example) in a separate container, toss them with a tablespoon of flour and set them aside. You continue with the mixing the dry and wet ingredients; you now fold in the chips-flour mixture. When mixed well, then you are good to go. I promise you a loaf or muffin with chips or blueberries beautifully spread. Just look these Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins I made.

Have you encountered these things? I would love to hear your story. Do you have something that you would like to add? Please tell me. πŸ™‚

xx Jhuls

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26 thoughts on “Tricky Tuesday #5: Common Cooking Mistakes

  1. I sometimes skim through the instructions too quickly and miss out a step and then have to add ingredients at the wrong time – mostly it’s worked out okay but it is quite annoying!! If you have to brown off quite a lot of meat, use two pans. I know that it is an extra pan to wash but it saves soooo much time xxx

    1. Really annoying, Selma. From that Yema cake experience where I did not notice that I need eight eggs instead of four, I read recipes carefully. I don’t want to panic again because I am running out of eggs. πŸ˜€ And thanks for the tip, Selma. I will do that next time. πŸ˜‰

  2. I think it’s also important to use lids, and to adjust the fire, which of course is easier with gas stoves. Some people use one setting only. Great post!

    1. I have learned my lesson regarding point 1. πŸ™‚ Point 2 & 3, not yet. And maybe not at all. πŸ˜€ Thank you for stopping by.

  3. When working with glace cherries/sweet fruits, wash them first and then dry or flour coat.

    Cakes browning – 3/4 way through, check and if necessary cover with greaseproof paper with a small hole about 1″

    Oven anxiety – try and not peek until 3/4 of way through cooking time. (I know, I know, it is so tempting !)

    Oven temps – get a thermometer and check your temps against your settings. The older ovens get, the more they vary. And allow the 20 degree rule for fan ovens.

    Mise on place (everything ready beforehand) is great until the kids help out and the chocolate / cream / mix mysteriously evaporates πŸ™‚ Make allowances by having some small bowls for them to test/ sample.

      1. No problems. I am very guilty of “Oven anxiety” as Rachel will testify. Usually followed by a hurricane level sigh and a refusal to eat my “Volcano cakes!” πŸ™‚

        You are my current “bete noir”. We have just finished baking and I was making her packed lunch before she went to see her friends at DayCare. Another hurricane sigh as I had not included pork pies / cheese & onion mini quiches / baguette. I reminded her of my epic fails over bread / pastry. She got Oliver the iPad, pointed to your icon link and said “Ask Cook Lady / Horace Lady”. (She hasn’t quite managed your name yet so you are Cook Lady / Horace Lady because you take nice photos and should have Horace the camera!)

  4. Ugh! Hash browns! Am I the only one who doesn’t get them crispy enough because I move them too much???? I can’t be the only one…. Tell me I’m not the only one… I have learned a couple great tips… use plenty of oil, season well and LEAVE THEM ALONE once on the griddle so they can get crisp!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hahaha! I have tried making hash browns, too, and they were so soggy. So don’t worry because you are not the only one, Joanna. πŸ˜€ Now, we learned our lessons. πŸ˜›

      PS: I will follow you on Instagram. πŸ˜‰

  5. I’m in a hurry -sorry but i posted a broken comment! – the meat it’s just soggy and i don’t like it… and me too (always because I’m not patient at all) I turn too often the food… I must say that point 5 is really interesting … what a great trick, i’ll try next time I’ll do cupcakes πŸ˜‰

    1. 1, 2 & 3 for me. πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing your story, Cristina. So glad that I am not the only one.

      Let me know how you like point 5. πŸ™‚ I hope you have a lovely day!

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