Early Cooking Lessons with Mom and Sis

A few weeks ago, I got a care package from our eldest sister who sent over some of our favorite dishes that she used to prepare for us when we were in college.  It was a simple fare of Spaghetti in Puttanesca Sauce, Homemade Garlic Bread, Grilled Chicken, and Freshly Baked Mango Squares.  

As I take each bite of these flavorful and lovingly prepared dishes, I get transported back in time when my mom and my sisters would bond in the kitchen as we prepare meals for family gatherings.  It was then when I learned my first cooking lessons.  We have used a wide variety range cookers that grew and improved along with our cooking skills.  Here are some of the early cooking tips that I learned from my mom and our eldest sister.

On Cooking Pasta:  Pasta is best enjoyed when cooked Al dente, this means that the pasta is cooked with a soft yet firm consistency.  This means that you have to keep a close watch to your pasta as it gets close to the cooking time specified in the pasta label.  Once the pasta has expanded, take a piece of it from the pot and cool it for a few seconds before taking a bite.  It should be soft enough to bite through but firm enough to remain a bit chewy. Remove pasta from heat and drain water immediately once this consistency is achieved.  Leaving the pasta in the water even when the heat is turned off will lead to over cooking.

On Sautéing:  Heat pan first before putting the oil or butter in.  Add a little oil before placing the butter in so that it won’t get burned easily. Start with medium fire when heating the pan and turn it down to low when sautéing finely chopped vegetables. 

On Grilling:  Lightly brush the grill with oil before cooking to prevent of minimize sticking. Watch over the cooking temperature especially when using charcoal grills.  Temperatures can be adjusted by a sprinkle of water or moving the charcoal around to lower heat of fanning the flames to get more heat.  Marinating helps in tenderizing the meat you can marinate tough meat cuts longer to get the tenderness that you desire.

These are some of the first things I learned about cooking when I was young and it came handy when I had my own family and started preparing meals for them.  Until now, I still consult my mom and my sister whenever I am faced with difficult or tricky dishes to cook. 


  1. these are helpful cooking tips, tandaan ko ito

  2. wow! these are very helpful tips… thanks for sharing!

  3. thanks for the tips.. 🙂

  4. agree, very helpful tips…i always cook pasta my kids favorite

  5. Great cooking tips. I might include them out at my compilation. Thanks!

  6. These are helpful tips. My mom did taught me the same. 🙂

  7. Nice tips. So nice of your sister to send those yummy dishes.

  8. very very helpful tips. How I wish I know how to cook 🙂

  9. I am also thinking about trying to enrol in a cooking class. Maybe I should save money first, because I think it would be expensive. 🙂

  10. Well I think most of us learn our first with our Moms and cooking is one of them. My mom is the one who taught me how to cook as well.

  11. Cooking can be fun if you know the tricks to use which knife when cutting a pork, bread or vegetable for instance. It is even more fun when the household appreciates the food you prepared for them!

  12. I agree. Those are great tips. I just got interested in cooking when my kids had grown up to be teen agers. It’s because this has become our bonding moments.

  13. thanks for these basic cooking tips. These are just basic but sometimes forgot by others. hehehe

  14. Hi OIga! As a mom, I think i’m pasang awa when it comes to cooking in a sense that I hardly cook at home because I have somebody to rely to. But I’ve always wanted to cook for the family and when I have time on weekends I do take over the kitchen. I do those tips above you gave din. So far even if I don’t cook that often, when I cook naman, I’m confident that it’s something worth the 2nd serving of rice. or over confident lang ako? hahaha! 🙂 Nice post! 🙂

  15. I am with Louie. Buti siya, pasang awa! Me, clueless. Buti na lang, my kids are nice to me and tell me my cooking is yummy (“but it could be a little better, mommy!!!” sinira pa ang chef peg ko)

    I would surely keep your tips in mind!

  16. It is always gd to bond in the kitchen over cooking. I hope it will be the same with my kids too

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