My general rules:
1. No matter what you are cooking or baking make a list of what you need. Actually go through your pantry and look to see how much flour, sugar, salt, spices, ect you have. There have been so many times that I have assumed that I have something and I only had a pinch of it. I know this may sound funny but I have been caught one too many times not doing this that I make myself do it now.
2. Check the recipe a couple weeks before your event. There may be a hidden ingredient that you might have to go on a man hunt for and we all know how extremely frustrating that is when you spend most of your day trying to find one ingredient. My ultimate place for rare ingredients is at Cost Plus World Market. They carry their spices all year round and they are really inexpensive.
3. If it is a recipe you haven't tried maybe test it out a week before. Make a "test" batch. Cut the recipe in half so you are not using all the ingredients you bought. Then you can make changes of any sort. I taught myself how to cook and I learned that cooking isn't just about the ingredients it's about technique.
4. Make sure you have enough or the right kind of cookware. Some I will share some of my favorites with you in pictures below. Things that make your process smoother.
I am sure that there are more tricks to this but you get the idea.... (I hope). Cooking can be stressful and messy. I think that's what I hate the most is the mess. Take your time and enjoy the part of learning how it all goes together. Cooking has been shown to reduce stress. Have fun.
|My Dutch Oven.|
|My Kitchen Aid mixer.|
|My chocolate melter. No more double boiler!|
|My bin for my cookie cutters. All in one place.|