Beginner needs advice

Joined Jun 20, 2019
Hi guys,
i am from Canada, and i just started cooking from, trying tom practice home made recipe, feed back is always appreciated.
i put my videos on youtube and here is the link :
Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hi Mezinet!

Welcome to CT! You are off to a good start here! Nice video.

Not sure what you want advice about.

My favorite part of your video is measuring into your hand. Shows me that you can do more than just blindly follow a recipe.

If you want specific advice on something, just post in the appropriate forum.

Again, Welcome!
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I think you did a good job on the video. This says it's Spaghetti and meatballs. It doesn't say Italian Spaghetti and meatballs so you're fine. Italians don't put onions in the meatballs. They would put garlic and white bread softened with milk instead of bread crumbs. They may also use Parmesan cheese. They would also use a combination of ground pork, and ground Beef or even ground Italian sausage and ground Beef. Nothing wrong with what you did, I'm just talking about the difference. Back in the day they used 1/3 Ground veal, pork and beef for just about everything.

At the end of the video I would take a spoonful of what you're making and taste it. Nothing wrong with giving your own critique of your food.

Your video shows the spaghetti in the colander. It doesn't say if you rinsed it or now. In my case I take the meatballs out of the sauce and take the spaghetti with some pasta water and place into the sauce. This helps coat the sauce better. You can then put as many meatballs on as you would like.....Like I said you did a great job with the video. Your voice comes across great. You didn't stumble or stutter. You sounded like a caring Mom making a great meal for her family......I hope this helps....ChefBillyB
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Hi and welcome to CT! :)

Your video is very good.

I like to start by identifying the strong points first.

- Your narrative is very descriptive and clearly stated.
- The camera work was good, clear and showed everything you were doing and were talking about.
- Your knife skills are good and efficient.
- You have a good sense of heat usage which shows patience and an in depth understanding of your recipe and the ingredients.
- You take a creative approach to the recipe. IMO, that is the essence of cooking.

I like your approach to the meatballs. However, you are absolutely spot on that when the garlic burns, it becomes bitter. To avoid that problem, there are two things you can try:
1. crush the garlic with a garlic press and add it to the meat mixture; or
2. Crush the garlic with a knife blade and warm it in the pan with a bit of oil taking care not to let it sizzle. Remove the garlic after a few minutes, increase the heat and add your meatballs.

As for the meatball mixture itself, you will get a much better end result if you use fresh herbs instead of dried. Also, if you add 1 egg for every 1 - 2 lbs of ground beef, the egg will help hold the mixture together and your end result will be a bit more moist and less crumbly. I'm with chefbillyb chefbillyb on using a combination of ground pork or sausage with the ground beef. Experiment with different combos. Have fun with it.

Finishing the meatballs in the tomato sauce is a good thing. However, you should remove the meatballs from the pan and any blackened bits before you add the crushed tomatoes.

Add the meatballs towards the end just before the sauce is done. Why? Because as the sauce cooks, it will draw out the moisture in the meatballs and dry them out.

When it comes to the sauce, using fresh herbs will give you a much better result, especially when it comes to parsley and/or basil. In the winter, use what's available. But, this time of year, you shouldn't have a problem finding fresh herbs. If you make sauce regularly and all year round, you may want to consider growing your own herbs. :)

Pro tip: To reduce the acidity content, remove the seeds. Adding sugar will only mask the acidity, not reduce it. The only way to reduce the acidity would be to add a base to the sauce such as baking soda, which some people do in small amounts. However, a good sauce begins and ends with good tomatoes. Experiment with different types of tomatoes and decide for yourself which you like the best.

Last, but, not least, cook your pasta in salty water to just short of al dente. Finish the pasta with a few ladles of the sauce in another pan over medium heat. That will help the pasta absorb the sauce. Some chefs like to add a splash or two of the pasta water to the pan as the pasta finishes to add some extra starch and a bit of salt. The water will boil off and the starch left behind will help the sauce stick to the pasta. But, that's up to you. Im not a fan of salty sauce either. ;-)

I enjoyed watching your video. Thank you for sharing. :)

Good luck.
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Great video. Nice editing, good sound, clear camera work, etc.
Cooking wise, just learn to keep your fingers curled when chopping. There are videos to show what I mean. Watching you chopping the onion made me nervous.
Looking forward to the next video.
Joined Apr 29, 2019
Its pretty mediocre

id suggest upgrading yourself with a chopping board 3x the size, and placing a dampened paper towel or jay cloth beneath it
arranging a multi-camera setup so that in editing you can switch between shots for various things happening off-camera or out of focus
upgrading to a fresh herb situation, and hurling that table salt immediately in the closest bin and getting some maldon, diamond crystal, or any local favourite/equivalent that is simply salt without any other garbage in it

also you fondle your cooking a little much, sometimes you just need to leave it be.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
arranging a multi-camera setup so that in editing you can switch between shots for various things happening off-camera or out of focus
upgrading to a fresh herb situation
because that's how you and your paid crew should all your videos right?
Joined Apr 29, 2019
because that's how you and your paid crew should all your videos right?
you just have some cameras (even just one other) affixed to what you determine through experimentation to be perspectives of interest.

you can get extremely versatile tripods out there, even wall and ceiling mounts. you do a few dry runs, see how they capture you, and adjust

or co-opt a friend. but i respect wanting to do it independently
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Not for nuthin, but, I think her video perspective is good. You can wander through countless videos on YouTube and see videos where the content creator uses one camera. A perfect example is Chef John from Food Wishes. He may have two cameras at most: One focused in on his cutting board and perhaps another focused in on his oven or stove. Nothing fancy. Just clear camera work from the best angle and a clear and concise voice-over, just like what the OP did in her video. Is there room for improvement? Sure. No one is perfect. After all, she is a home cook and not a professional producer or director.

Take her video for what it is, not for what it isn't. Objectively, I think she did a good job with her video.
Joined Sep 21, 2010
I'm not a chef, but I am a video professional.

I've done video production all my life, from full live sports productions to news, studio work, single cam, editing, directing, producing and shooting. That's been the last 30 years of my life. I also produced over 150 episodes of a multi-camera cooking series shot in studio.

So, with that said, I think you did a great job. I liked the title animation, but I would preferred it to dissolve to you presenting your introduction, rather than to a bowl of sauce. This introduction could have been shot in another location, outside on a patio or garden, not necessarily in the kitchen. Keep it short, and dissolve from your 'face' to the sauce after 10 - 15 seconds of your intro. Your audio will continue over the 'sauce' shot, as a 'voiceover'.

My only technical comments are to replace jump cuts with a 15-frame dissolve and to include some background audio of the sizzle. The video does exactly what it's supposed to do, and it's perfectly good for what it is.

As for what Innocuous Lemon Innocuous Lemon said about using multiple cameras - that is where things go sideways fast unless you're a pro with pro crew and equipment. You run into issues with colour-matching and sync. Lighting becomes a consideration. Set and set-dressing comes into play. You also need an editing system and editor that can handle multi-cam edits.

All that takes time and money but it's completely unnecessary for a straightforward, instructional video. I think you did just fine.

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