Here’s Why it’s Important for Teens to Learn how to Cook

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Here’s Why it’s Important for Teens to Learn how to Cook

Image credit to  Kjokkenutstyr.net at Flickr.

Image credit to Kjokkenutstyr.net at Flickr.

Image credit to Kjokkenutstyr.net at Flickr.

Image credit to Kjokkenutstyr.net at Flickr.

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Most high-schoolers have never cooked a meal other than ramen or toast, and many high schoolers can’t even mince vegetables. Few of them know what to do with a whisk, as most of them have someone at home who does all the cooking. Sure, we’ve helped mom with the dishes or stirred the soup for dad, but most of us don’t know the first thing about cooking.

Cooking is a vital skill to have in life; after all, one can’t live off of ramen and toast forever. While the average college kid can find a way to survive on that for a little while, it’s cheaper and healthier to learn how to cook. Eating out, even just getting take out, can get costly after a while. Frozen meals and ramen packages are full of things that aren’t good for our bodies.

Cooking also has more benefits than simply building life skills.

“The number one thing is that it is more healthy and cheaper,” said Laura Armstrong, who teaches catering and hospitality, living on your own and international foods at AAHS.

People can buy good, fresh ingredients for a pretty fair price nowadays. One can always make a larger dish, even if they’re just cooking for themselves, and have some leftovers for lazier days.

There’s also a certain sense of independence and confidence that comes with learning to cook. Teenagers are always looking to show everyone that they’re independent and ready to be adults, and having a skill that allows them to feed themselves does exactly that.

A lot of kids find the idea of learning how to cook daunting. It can be a fairly scary task; there are many tools and complicated steps to cook something right. Just like anything else, cooking takes practice. Some may not be good at it right away, but with a little persistence and maybe some help, they can get the hang of it. It’s a process of trial and error. They’ll make mistakes, it won’t always come out delicious. It’s important for beginner chefs to learn from that and try again.

Simple recipes are all over the internet, and they are the perfect way to get your feet wet. Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest are generally helpful resources.

Here are a couple recipes to get you started on your cooking journey:

Guacamole is a great thing to make to complement dinner, or as a snack.

For an easy full meal, here’s an Olive Garden Style alfredo sauce.

You’ll need:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated  Romano cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. Fettuccine
  • Parsley to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Boil the fettuccine according to package instructions. As the water preheats, begin the sauce.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Whisk in the flour. Gradually add the milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the cheeses, continuing to whisk, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
  5. Reduce the heat once the sauce begins to bubble. It will continue to thicken as it simmers.
  6. Drain the pasta and carefully mix it into the sauce until well incorporated. The pasta will absorb the sauce and it will get thicker still.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve!
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