Anyone scrambling to learn how to cook b/c they're getting married?

posted 2 years ago in Cooking
Post # 2
8388 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

kr1031:  Honestly, the hardest part about learning how to cook for me was timing.  It really just takes practice.  I would recommend you start off with easy recipes first and get to know some of the basics.  I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen because I’ve been cooking for over 20 years (started really young), but I highly recommend cooking daily when you first start; it’ll give you the practice you need.

Post # 3
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

How did you feed yourself before? Did you always eat out or was someone else cooking for you? It’s hard for me to understand how one gets to adulthood without knowing how to cook. Do you really not cook anything, or are you just looking to cook more from scratch and need ideas?

If I were you I’d start with super easy things, like look at recipes on the back of pasta packages, stuff like that, then look for simple recipes online where you things more from scratch. Start simple, like with grilled cheese or tacos, and then learn modifications. Also, just observe other people. I learned to cook as a child by watching my mom. That’s how my husband learned as well.

Post # 4
3360 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

As you’re starting, I’d recommend getting a good cookbook with simple, easy-to-follow recipes.  This one I think is a staple for any kitchen (this is what I learned with and grew up with it in my mom’s kitchen):

Keep it simple until you feel more comfortable with the basics.  At this point, I love going to Pinterest to find new recipes to try, but I feel very comfortable in the kitchen and am fine trying new ingredients and techniques.  Recipes with too many steps or ingredients when you’re just starting out open up lots of room for making mistakes.

When you DO have a kitchen mishap (and it will happen – I still have kitchen fails, like last week when I turned some lovely pork-chops into blackened hockey pucks), just laugh it off.  It happens to the best of us, but you just have to try to learn from it – what went wrong, and what can you do differently next time?

Post # 5
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

kr1031:  Nope.  I’m lucky to have a FI who does all the cooking.    I do occasionally bake.

Post # 6
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


kr1031:  I think you should just try one new recipe a week and not stress yourself out.  I like to use an app called pepperplate to store all my recipes and I can make notations about if my husband and I liked it and also what sides I served with it.

Slow cooker meals are also super easy and very difficult to screw up.

If you want a crowd pleaser search for a recipe called “Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders”.  Every time I make them they are a hit!

Post # 7
2818 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Actually, yes. I’m an excellent cook and have been cooking all 3 meals for my family since the 4th grade. However, when I was engaged, I was extremely pressed to learn a bunch of new recipes (although the ones I know have been working for me just fine). I even had a pinterest board called “newlywed ish” where I kept all these cute recipes. M’eh. I’ve not made one single dish from the list for two reasons (1) I already know what I like to make and make it fine and (2) my husband does 85% of the cooking anyway.

Don’t worry, OP, why don’t you try to get 5-7 dishes in your repertoire (start with some popular faves, that way, someone you know can actually stand over you and teach you). Good luck!

Post # 8
2895 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i really didn’t cook before i got married. i could do easy stuff like pasta, but that was about it. i wasn’t really worried about it because my mom always says, “if you can read, then you can cook.” obviously, it’s not *quite* as simple as that, but yeah, it’s really not that hard. it just takes practice and a little trial and error.

i don’t like cooking (love baking tho), so i stick to recipes that are quick and easy. at first i was unsure about a lot of stuff- how do i season this? how much seasoning do i use? is it undercooked? is it overcooked? oh crap, it’s burning! but i’m getting the hang of it. i haven’t had any major cooking disasters or given anyone food poisoning yet, so that’s a good sign, lol.

a few tips for you-

before you do anything, read the entire recipe first.

have all your ingredients ready before you start. it’s really sucks to be struggling to open a can of chicken broth while your meat is burning on the stove.

get a crock pot, if you don’t have one already. it’s great for days when you won’t be home to prepare a meal (or just don’t feel like standing over a hot stove). crock pot recipes are pretty much fool proof and i love being able to just toss in few things and forget about it.

one of the good things about cooking is that you don’t have to use exact measurments, so if you accidentally put a little too much of this or you don’t have quite enough of that, it doesn’t mean your meal is doomed.

Post # 9
1716 posts
Bumble bee

No, I’ll have to eat whether I get married or not, so it’s a skill that I should know anyway.

I mean, I’m with me all the time; I should learn skills like cooking, cleaning, sewing, playing instruments, etc. for that reason alone. Life is much more pleasant that way.  

Post # 10
3677 posts
Sugar bee

I recommend Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (and/or How to Cook Everything Vegetarian if that’s relevant to you) to get you started! He does a nice job of laying out a basic recipe and then offering tips and suggestions for ways to vary it. That’s a great skill to learn: how to make one basic dish that you can then morph into half-a-dozen different things by tweaking a few ingredients.

Post # 11
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

This may sound crazy, but I’ve actually learned a lot by watching cooking shows!  Some of the Food Network shows are good, and I also really like Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen on PBS.  

I swear all of Alton Brown’s recipes are foolproof.  If you want to know the absolute best way to bake a potato, cook a strip steak, whatever – you can’t go wrong with his instructions.  Ina Garten is always spot-on as well.

Post # 12
3097 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - A court...

Meeee! Lol although I’m already married, but the beginning was tougher, DH & I still remember our first meal was home made pizza lol. Looking at easy but yummy recipes has helped tremendously and I’m slowly building up my confidence to experiment and try different things in the kitchen. I would love to learn how to bake! But the first thing I screwed up was trying to make bread so maybe one day  

Post # 13
561 posts
Busy bee

figure out the best way you learn something new – do you like to watch someone do it, or read instructions? then choose either maybe some youtube videos or cooking shows, or a cookbook. like a lot of the bees have posted, try to pick one or two things to practice with and start building up your own “menu” of dishes you’ve mastered. it takes practice!

also – a total cheat that saves a LOT of time and prep – invest in a good crockpot! i make dinner in there at least once a week and we have so many leftovers and its so easy because barely any prep goes into the cooking, you just add the ingredients, set the crock and devour the food in 8 hours. for ex, in the morning: cut up some potatoes, carrots and put them in a pot. grab a tenderloin, or even a whole chicken and put it on top with a marinade or sauce of your choosing. its like dinner and sides in one and it takes ligit 5 minutes to prepare.


good luck!

Post # 14
4762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

SarahCF:  Haha my thoughts exactly. What does getting married have to do with cooking? How did you eat before getting married? Also, you don’t have to really know how to cook well to be able to prepare meals. For example, you can make a salad and black bean quesadilla without doing much in the way of cooking. You can also follow easy recipes (usually they will rate them by difficulty) without having to know how to do much other than follow directions. Sure, you have to learn a lot to be a really good cook, but most people aren’t! I think that just comes with practice too- try a recipe, see how it turns out. 

Post # 15
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I could cook some things before getting married, but I have improved since then too.  Not because I got married, but just because I’ve had more practice.  I used to worry about screwing things up, but it’s hard to make standard stuff horrible.  I don’t pick the stuff where things has to be done just right.

Stirfries are easy.  I like some of the recipes on skinny taste.  My biggest concern is cooking meat well enough in the oven.  I still often google cooking times & temps – it doesn’t need to be the same recipe.  It also doesn’t hurt to take something out of the oven, cut it open to double check and stick it back in if it needs more time.

Luckily DH also helps.  I’m not doing it myself!

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