We can't emphasize enough some simple rules for successful cooking: #1Read the recipebefore you start cooking. Then, read it again. #2. Pay attention to Terminology.Words matter (especially when baking!). Don't fry something that should be steam fried. Don't bake something that should be roasted. Confused? Read this page. #3. Lay your ingredients out before starting. That way you'll know you have everything and it'll be right at your fingertips as you work. #4. Taste your food. Some recipes need fine-tuning for your tastes. Do a "taste test" with different salts. The difference between quality sea salt and old school table salt will amaze you. #5. Don't be afraid to try new things. Practice makes perfect. Start simple and work your way up. #6.Use quality ingredients. Better quality ingredients make better quality end products. #7. Don't crowd your pan when you are frying, roasting or sauteing. Be sure you can see the bottom of the pan between the pieces of food. Too much food will lower the temperature of the pan, creating a lot of steam, meaning you won’t get good browning. It’s also important to dry food before sautéing it and to make sure the pan is good and hot. #8. Let roasted meats rest before carving. Without a rest (at least three minutes) to let the meat’s juices redistribute, your roast will be dry. #9. Remember the "Golden Ratio": 2-2-1 Two tablespoons fat, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup milk. This is a basic white sauce recipe. Remember this and you can make oh so many wonderful things. This same technique is used for gravy, cream soups, and of course cheese sauce. #10.Know your Stove/Oven. Not every range adjusts at the same speed, and there can be a big difference between gas flame and electric heating coils on stoves. The same is true for ovens. Once you've used it for awhile you'll know if you can indeed trust that the setting for 350 degrees is indeed 350 degrees heat-wise.