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New to cook or been doing it for years, it’s inevitable that there will be a fair share of mistakes in the kitchen. Here are some mistakes that happen and some tips to correct them!

Not sharpening knives regularly:

Do not sharpen your knives once every five years. A sharp knife makes all the difference in the world. A casual cook making two to three meals a week, should sharpen knives at least two to four times a year. By the way that metal rod that comes in most knife kits isn’t a knife sharpener, it’s actually called a honing steel that’s used to straighten, not sharpen, the blade.

Leaving knife blades uncovered:

Never leave knife blades uncovered, especially if sharp knives are stored with utensils in a jumbled-up drawer. Besides accidentally slicing off a finger, knife blades are extremely thin and brittle and easily dent and chip if unprotected. With a knife block, put the right sized knives in the right sized slot. The knife will last a lot longer if the blade is protected.

Allowing ready-to-eat foods and raw foods to touch:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has termed foods that need no further preparation to achieve food safety as ready-to-eat or RTE (think fruits and veggies). To avoid cross-contamination, never put RTE foods and raw foods on the same plate or cutting board. Therefore never put a cucumber on the same cutting board that was used to slice raw chicken without washing first.

A recipe has steps to follow for a reason: flavor development. If ingredients are added out of order, there is a risk ruining the dish and/or creating a meal that tastes off from the original recipe. For example, a lot of herbs, like parsley and chives, are added towards the end of the cooking process in recipe because they tend to lose their flavor the longer they cook. Herbs are an easy way to spice a bland dish, but can also be pretty costly.

A blender, mixer, and food processor all serve different purposes and are designed to do different things. A blender is used to mix and puree food, giving it a creamy or velvety texture, like a smoothie. A mixer, stirs, whisks, or beats foods, like dough. A food processor or Cuisinart is kind of a hybrid of both a blender and a mixer. While some tasks are interchangeable, the machine as a whole is not.

When is the last time the fridge got a good deep cleaning? Most don’t think of the fridge as part of the daily cleaning ritual. Technically, cleaning the fridge weekly is recommended, but if this daunting, try giving it a deep clean at least once a month, and, of course, wipe up spills immediately as they happen. This will prevent bacteria from spreading, which can lead to cross-contamination.

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