The creative cook can often cook her way out of a kitchen error, but the smart cook aims to prevent such creativity from being necessary.

Here are some of my favorite cooking guides that are included with my recipes as well as those that I’ve picked up from cookbooks and magazines. You can find a lot more in my blog posting here.

1. Don’t use to much oil in sauteing  Oil is better than solid fat. Among the vegetable oils, corn oil is one of the best.

2. Don’t overheat oil when sauteing or frying. Fire should be moderately regulated. When oil smokes a certain substance is produced that causes irritation to the mucous membrane of the gastro-intestinal tract. Avoid to much frying as much as possible.

3. In cooking dried beans or legumes: wash beans very well; then add enough water, bring to a boil, remove from fire and let stand overnight or at least 3-4 hours. Continue boiling until beans are done. (This methods lessen the strength of cooking time.) Beans cook faster also in soft or rain water.

4. Condiments and spices should be used very sparingly.

5.Never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink! You can substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves with 1 teaspoon. of dried, but fresh is better. Try using a spray olive oil to coat your roasting pan.

6. Try using carrots instead of sugar to sweeten your sauces.

7. When buying cabbage, look for heads that appear heavier than their size with crisp leaves.

8. Cracked pepper corns: I opt for putting the peppercorns in a zip lock bag and cracking them on my cutting board with a hammer. Noisy, but it worked. Otherwise, set your pepper mill to course grain instead.