Once you’ve read the recipe, it’s time to begin the cooking action. Check to make sure you have on hand all the ingredients you’ll need and all the necessary cooking equipment. Make a shopping list of ingredients to pick up at the store. Decide whether you can improvise with what cooking equipment you have if you seem to be missing something. A metal colander placed in a saucepan is a perfectly acceptable steamer basket if you don’t have the collapsible variety.
Gather and assemble all of the ingredients. Organize them on the counter. Once you start cooking, you don’t want to be hunting around for a spice or a bag of flour. It also helps to arrange them in order of use, remembering that ingredients are listed in that order in the recipe. Measure and prepare ingredients as indicated in the ingredient list before moving on to the directions. If you need to preheat the oven, allow 15 minutes for the oven to get up to the required temperature. (It’s not a bad idea to keep an oven thermometer in the oven to check your oven’s accuracy.) And now you’re on the way—to high adventure!