Helpful tips for home cooks, Deborah Mintcheff, cookbook editor, writer, and Les Dames d'Escoffier Board Member
Always taste dishes during cooking, so you can adjust the seasonings as needed.
Read recipes through at least one or two times to become familiar with them and to ensure that you have all the utensils and ingredients you need.
Personal note, tip #2, as simple as it sounds is critical. Just the other day when making the cake portion of my Bûche de Noël I had the batter in the mold and in the oven only to spy a bowl of six egg yolks off to the side which I had forgotten. Luckily, the cake had only been in the oven for a few seconds. There was a mad scramble as I frantically pulled out the pan, dumped the batter back in the mixing bowl and added in the yolks. Luckily, the cake turned out perfectly but I had to chide myself for not remembering to carefully reread the recipe making sure each ingredient was had been included.