Atmosphere of Success · meal table · Recipe Repertoire Eating Patterns · Recipes · Resources · Simple Ingredients

19 Have a few good dishes to start.

You should have a few really good dishes that you can practically make with your eyes closed. Dishes
that others look forward to and appreciate coming only from you. Something no one would want to miss
out on when they’re invited over. Your name is on it—no one does it better than you. Invite and enjoy.

Presentation counts; it says ‘I know what I’m doing and you’re going to enjoy this.’

Work them. Once you’ve got some down pat you can easily change it up; instead of lasagna, try
another pasta. Baked chicken can easily be broiled or grilled, with similar herbs or spices.

Your skills and repertoire will grow from there. Your dishes will begin to branch out in all
directions. It will all start from a few good meals that you feel comfortable preparing. You might
see something online or in a magazine that is similar in preparation as something you cook well
and with that inspiration you are off and running.

Developing a comfort zone with skill level and ingredients will keep you from feeling discouraged and chucking cooking altogether. Don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning with long ingredient lists and steps of directions. By having a few dishes you do well, your confidence will grow and you will feel more capable of expanding.

Cooking will be enjoyable and you will want to learn. Cooking is, also, a craft; a lifelong craft to
learn. With a craft your material is what you’ve got on hand; it is always different and you have to
be flexible with your ingredients. It should not be monotonous so if it becomes that way, change
your direction. You should be able to be impressed by your own cooking.

Build from your simple recipes to more complicated ones. Then go exploring!

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