This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!--Julia Child

Just wanted to say that I don't usually follow recipes to a T. I might try a recipe, and then add to it to create my own version. Hence, any recipes I share below should become yours -- please add your own splash. I don't usually measure anything (hence the constant mess), so when I list measurements in any of my posts, I'm really just guessing -- which means you may need to tweak, if you follow me word for word. Don't forget to taste while you cook (clean spoon each time, of course) -- that's how you can make the recipe work the best. It's not always the same every time....

That's why I love cookery. It's like a blank canvas that you can add as little or as much to as you want!

A few tips I've learned from friends and such over the years:

- If your hands smell like onion or garlic, take some Kosher salt and rub between your fingers. Smell is gone!
- If you have a half-full bottle of champagne (who would ever not drink the whole thing?) put a spoon in the bottle, stem side down, and it will stay fizzy for at least another day.
- They make Tomato Paste in a toothpaste-type tube. Buy it. You'll never have the problem of what to do with a half-full can of tomato paste ever again.
- If you end up not using peppers or mushrooms or broccoli in your crisper and they look a bit sad -- chop them and put in freezer bags, and stick in the freezer, You'll be able to use them in a pinch for omelets, pizza, salads, pastas, etc.
- You can revive wilty salad by putting it in a bowl of ice water and then draining between paper towels.
- Those Clorox wipes can do wonders.
- Sour cream can sub for yogurt in a pinch.
- Butter makes everything taste richer.
- A splash of cream goes a long way.

So fun!