flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate

As professional individuals, time comes at a premium. For this reason, learning new recipes from scratch isn’t always a possibility in line with all the other responsibilities you have to attend to. This can feel somewhat tiresome after a while, and it may lead to certain areas of our lives feeling a little stagnant. However, it can be worthwhile to look at the incremental steps we can take towards improving our approach in certain areas, be that focusing on our hobbies in our free time, or opting for the next best thing.

If you’ve been having a tough time switching up your cooking techniques or exploring as a home cook of late, it can feel somewhat frustrating to know that you’ll be cycling the same dozen meals continuously. However, switching this up can be a great benefit to you and others who wish to make a real difference. In this post, we hope to discuss the simple techniques for elevating any and every meal; so that no matter what, time-considerate variance is your ally:

Amazing Sauces & Dips

Those who can create fantastic side sauces and dips have all of a sudden added much in the way of visual flair and different tastes to a meal in order to mix things up. These sauces can be placed in little pots next to your main plate or drizzled over certain ingredients to add some color and life to the dish. A homemade cocktail sauce, for instance, can go perfectly with prawns; while a glazed vinaigrette can work wonders for meals that require that mildly acidic base in order to elevate in taste. 

If you really wish to impress someone when cooking for them, perfect a sauce that goes with the meal you’re making. You’ll be stunned at just how much this can help your meal, and moreover, just how impressed and appreciative your guest is. If you’re feeling generous, share your secret online so others can enjoy the same results.

Simple Spice Arrangements

Just like sauces and dips, spice arrangements and having a command over their use can thoroughly improve your cooking game. A great way to get started is to start a small herb garden on your windowsill, perhaps for things like watercress, parsley, and more. Then, purchasing spices from a market we can place them in jars, placed on a shelf in our kitchen.


No matter what you’re cooking, be that simply seasoning a beef wellington with salt and pepper during cooking and before applying the pastry, or when you hope to add some sweet spices like star anise to a reduction, you’ll be certain to add your own touch to a range of beautiful foods, and truly embody the spirit of cooking as fun and alchemy.

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Garnishes Work Wonders

Again, elevating any dish is much easier when you know how to finish it. Often, garnishes can make a tremendous difference. Remember our herb garden? Well, placing some pea shoots on top of your avocado and eggs can help it take on a new life, or placing seeds atop a meal can help it take on a beautifully textured aesthetic.

Sometimes, small plastic bottles you can use to squeeze our previously created sauces in a line on the plate can emulate the best of restaurant-quality food. For further tips for the home cook, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain has an exhaustive list of how to embody garnishes and why they add so much to a dish; even if we don’t actually taste the difference thanks to how subdued and purposeful their placement is.

Preparation Methods Count

Finally, it’s good to think about the preparation methods of certain foods and if you can opt for a better route forward. Perhaps you’ve been oven-cooking your broccoli in oil up until now, but wish for a healthier option. Well, integrating a steamer into your set of kitchen utilities may be the best way forward, improving the healthy properties of the food while also unlocking its taste through and through.

Simple things, like leaving a piece of meat on the side to properly thaw out before you cook it can help you enjoy that edge-to-edge cook-through. Helpful purchases such as kitchen thermometers can also do most of the work here, and that in itself will be thoroughly helpful.

With this advice, you’re certain to elevate any and every meal in the best possible light. It takes a little effort to go the extra distance, but the results are so worth it in the end and can set apart your cooking from those you know.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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