If you make a huge batch of waffles and pancakes but don't know how to keep them fresh, use the age old tradition of keeping them in the still-warm-oven. A 300 degree oven is an appropriate temperature. As the pancakes and waffles finish cooking, transfer them to a heat-resistant plate, and place the plate inside the oven, so the food stays warm.
If you're cooking for an important guest, don't use that as an opportunity to try out a new recipe. Whether you are looking to impress a boss, the in-laws or a potential mate, it's not the time to be daring. Make sure you please them by cooking something you know you can cook well.
Be sure that the butter you use, when creaming for cookies and sugar, is softened, not melted. If your butter is melted, put it in your freezer for a couple of minutes so that it starts to harden just a bit, or you can finish making the dough, and then put it in the refrigerator for a while. Dough that has been chilled first, will help your cookies retain their shape better, instead of spreading out.
Preparation is key, when cooking for family or friends. You need to have the ingredients readily available. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before, so there will be no rushing. This will allow you to cook without having to worry.
If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. You can make this in large batches, and freeze some for later use in resealable freezer bags. This ensures that tasty, homemade stock is always available when the time comes to prepare soups and other recipes. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.
Fishing and then preparing what you catch is a great way to try something new in the kitchen. Catching your own fish not only ensures that it is as fresh as possible; it gives you a sense of satisfaction.
Many of the vegetables and herbs give off a strong odour which tends to leave your cutting board smelly no matter how hard you try to scrub it off. Mark one end, or side, of each cutting board so that you know which is which.
Prepping for the following night's dinner before you head to bed can save you a ton of time when life is busier enough to make cooking more difficult. Save time by doing things ahead of time, whenever possible. Chopping onions or putting together a casserole ahead of time is a great idea.