Gourmet cooking is an art form, and some people just have a natural knack at making food fabulous. Anyone can become a decent cook, however, with just a few simple cooking tips:
Don't Rush Through With The Cooking Process
Most cooking errors come when people get in too big of a hurry. Give yourself plenty time to cook, especially when you are cooking a dish for the first time. Making sure you have ample time will help ensure that each dish can be tended to properly and will all be at the perfect temperature when the meal is served. Often food isn't at its very best because it is slightly undercooked. Allow yourself enough time so that everything is browned properly and cooked through. Nothing will turn guests away from your food like a cold spot!
One Thing At A Time
While you may have no choice but to multi-task a bit when preparing an entire meal, try not to get too many complicated things going on at the same time. This is a sure fire way to get food stuck to the pan or dry it out. Paying too much attention to one dish while ignoring another is a definite recipe for disaster. Plan ahead and consider which items will take the longest to cook and which items need the most attention while cooking. This will help you determine what order to prepare each dish so that each gets the time it requires.
Always use a timer! Rarely does an item take exactly the amount of time the recipe says it will, but that is usually at least a good place to start! Try setting your timer 5 or 10 minutes before the recipe says the dish should be done and check it. If it still isn't finished, you will have a good visual way to estimate how much more time is required. If it is done, you just saved yourself from burning it!