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Course Description

Cooking and baking are the kinds of activities that most people assume are second nature. After all, we're humans, and our most basic need is to supply ourselves with nutrition. Logically, we should just be able to get in the kitchen and make something to eat.

Many people grow up watching their mothers or fathers cook; they may see them read recipes, combine ingredients, and use sauté pans. These same people often take for granted the ability to get into the kitchen and know what to do.

Having an inborn ability to cook isn't guaranteed. Studies show that having a good role model in the kitchen is one of the best ways to learn how to cook and bake. However, maybe you never had the opportunity to watch someone cook. Perhaps you never had enough time to really apply yourself to the task. Maybe you're just scared of not knowing what to do.

The good news is, it's never too late to start, no matter what your background may be. The most important thing to take with you into the kitchen is a basic understanding of what to do and how to do it.

This course is designed to give you just that. You will learn everything from what supplies you need for getting started to reading recipes and planning meals. You will be provided with a basic understanding of what it means to be in the kitchen and sources for additional information to foster a lifetime of culinary growth!

Course Requirements

No previous experience is required but you should know how to work around hot stove tops, and know how to use an oven. In addition, you'll need kitchen supplies--most you probably already own.

Course Topics


I.              Cooking vs. Baking: A Brief Overview

a.    What is Cooking?

b.    What is Baking?

II.            Kitchen Equipment

a.    Common Cooking and Baking Appliances

b.    Less Common Cooking and Baking Appliances

c.    Cooking and Baking Utensils

III.           Cooking Terms

a.    Understanding Recipe Vocabulary

b.    Basic Kitchen Terms

                                          i.    Ingredient Terms

                                        ii.    Action Terms

IV.          Baking Terms

a.    Understanding Baking Recipe Vocabulary

b.    Basic Baking Terms

                                          i.    Food Terms

                                        ii.    Action Terms

V.           Fresh Ingredients

a.    Seasonal Produce

                                          i.    Spring Fruit

                                        ii.    Summer Fruit

                                       iii.    Fall Fruit

                                       iv.    Winter Fruit

                                        v.    Spring Vegetables

                                       vi.    Summer Vegetables

                                      vii.    Fall Vegetables

                                    viii.    Winter Vegetables

b.    Fresh Herbs and Spices

VI.          Pantry Essentials

a.    Baking Essentials

b.    Cooking Essentials

                                          i.    Canned Goods

                                        ii.    Fresh Items

                                       iii.    Dried Herbs and Spices

                                       iv.    Miscellaneous Items

c.    Building a Pantry

d.    Rotating Pantry Items

VII.         Using Cooking Recipes

a.    Reading a Cooking Recipe

b.    Measuring for a Recipe

VIII.       Using Baking Recipes

a.    Reading a Baking Recipe

b.    Baking-Specific Directions

IX.          Expanding Recipes

a.    Measuring Tools

b.    Measurement Conversions

                                          i.    Dry Ingredient Conversions

                                        ii.    Wet Ingredient Conversions

c.    Multiplying Recipes

d.    Finding and Storing Recipes

X.           Meal Planning

a.    Cooking Small

b.    Cooking Big

c.    Using Leftovers

XI.          Safety in the Kitchen

a.    Dangerous Foods

b.    Storing Food

c.    Tips for Safe Food Handling

d.    For More Information

e.    Keeping Kids Safe

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a written and practice assignment that will directly apply what you have learned.
A brief 25 pt. quiz will follow each lesson. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.


It is always dangerous working with hot ovens, stoves, knives, and kitchen equipment. You must know how to cook safely before attempting to do the lessons in this course.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe kitchen equipment needed.
  • Define cooking terms.
  • Define baking terms.
  • Know the use of fresh ingredients.
  • Describe the essential stockings of a pantry.
  • Demonstrate usage of cooking recipes.
  • Demonstrate usage of baking recipes.
  • Know techniques used to expand recipes.
  • Know safety techniques in the kitchen, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction5
Lesson 1 Assignment25
Lesson One: Cooking vs. Baking: A Brief Overview13
Lesson 2 Assignment25
Lesson Two: Kitchen Equipment14
Lesson 3 Assignment25
Lesson Three: Cooking Terms13
Lesson 4 Assignment25
Lesson Four: Baking Terms15
Lesson 5 Assignment25
Lesson Five: Fresh Ingredients15
Lesson 6 Assignment25
Lesson Six: Pantry Essentials13
Zagat Survey100
Lesson 7 Assignment25
Lesson Seven: Using Cooking Recipes15
Lesson 8 Assignment25
Lesson Eight: Using Baking Recipes13
Lesson 9 Assignment25
Lesson Nine: Expanding Recipes15
Gluten Free Meals100
James Beard Award100
Lesson 10 Assignment25
Lesson Ten: Meal Planning14
Lesson 11 Assignment25
Lesson Eleven: Safety in the Kitchen14
The Final Exam52
Total Points:886

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