- Read the whole recipe through before starting. That way, you'll know how long it will take, what ingredients you will need and what equipment is necessary to make the recipe.
- Wash your hands before you start, and wash often as you cook. It is important to wash hands with soap after handling raw meat and poultry, because they may contain germs that could make you sick. It is also important to keep utensils and cutting boards that touch raw meat and poultry separate from other foods for the same reason.
- Tie your hair back and wear an apron. You want to keep hair out of the food, and keep your clothes from getting dirty.
- Gather all of your ingredients before you start. Chop, shred or grate ingredients, and measure them into small bowls.
The French call this "mise en place." It means to have everything measured and in its place before you cook. It makes cooking a lot easier!
- Follow the steps exactly.
If a recipe calls for butter to be chilled, it should be chilled. If it calls for eggs to be at room temperature, leave them out on the counter for 15 minutes. These directions are important to making sure the finished product comes out as desired.
- Get help! Even children who have cooked before should always have an adult nearby to help.