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Ten Tips for Successful Cooking


  1. Whenever possible, always use fresh ingredients.

  2. Remember, less is more. Don’t overload recipes (or your plate) with too much of anything. Well maybe garlic.

  3. When butter is called for in recipes, always use a high quality “real” butter, never margarine or (heavens no!) anything called “I can’t believe it’s not butter.” (Do they even still make that?! What is it anyway?! Read the label!)

  4. Always have a good extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil on hand. It can be from Italy, Greece, Spain or many places. In fact, it’s fun to experiment with oils from different countries and in different price ranges. Expensive olive oils can be delicious but it is not necessary to buy the most expensive to find quality. In fact, there are many inexpensive delicious olive oils on the market. But remember the extra virgin part.

  5. Likewise, have several good vinegars on hand including a quality balsamic. Other handy vinegars to have on hand include Bragg’s organic unfiltered apple cider, rice vinegar, as well as just plain old vinegar. All have their uses including adding zing to salads, zest to stir fry, treating sore throats, and cleaning. (More on this later!).

  6. A mixture of butter and a small amount of lard make the flakiest pie crusts.

  7. Acquire a nice selection of nice, basic cookware including heavy duty stainless steel, enamel covered cast iron, and cast iron. (Details and suggestions later!). Spend what you can afford to have nice kitchen equipment and it will pay off in the quality of your cooking and will last a life time.

  8. Grow a few fresh herbs and definitely keep your spice selection updated. Keep a variety on hand and buy new periodically for more flavor. Most of us need to get rid of the habit of having spices that are years old in our cupboards.

  9. Read good cookbooks, cooking magazines, and good web sites and blogs for inspiration and ideas that will enhance your menus.

  10. Don’t over salt. Put salt on the table. And, here is the biggest thing I have learned in recent years: salt eggs AFTER you have scrambled, not before. Makes them much fluffier. AND, keep red pepper flakes as a staple in your spice cupboard. Will make your dishes very flavorful even if you don’t like too much eat. Trust me on this.




Lagniappe is a Southern term meaning a little something extra. This section will contain miscellaneous tips.

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