I was going to make this something like "Things I learned Cooking with no formal training". But everything on that list would be pretty obvious to the more experienced Chefs on this forum. So I though that since everyone has their own experiences and skill sets, I could turn this into a discussion Thread. The Topic? What are some Tips, tricks and other such things you wish you'd known when you first started to Cook. Personally, my biggest would be; 1). If you have to asked yourself "Did I added to much?" then the answer is probably "Yes". 2). When making Soups, Sauces and other such things, separate a small amount before adding any spices or such to it, and add them to THAT before the big pot to taste. Nothing ruins a Soup faster than added a spice and realizing that it doesn't taste quite like what you wanted it to. 3). Don't be afraid of Fruits! We all know that Lemon and Chicken go well together. But so does Chicken and Pineapple or Mango! Or Blackberry and Lamb! And a Splash of Apple or Pineapple juice can really add another layer of Flavor to your Roast. 4). Prep before you cook! This one should be obvious to anyone who's spent much time in the Kitchen, but get all of your spices, Ingredients and Utensils ready and waiting before you even start cooking. I can't count how many times I burned something just starting out, because I was running back and forth trying to get the next thing, or forgot to preheat something, spent to long doing something else like chopping. 5): Lastly, Don't be afraid to experiment(at Home)! Recipes are all well and good, and are an important part of any skill set, but don't be afraid to deviate and experiment with them either (at home!). In the end, what separates you from the cook next door, is the twists you put on old classics.