A lot of really good advice so far. i will add a few things
This is like math that you learn in school. You need to ‘study’ and ‘practice’ (read/watch magazines/books/shows
If you have a friend that can cook better than you, ask them over for dinner and have them teach you one of their favorite dishes will drinking some wine. Youll learn a lot and have a ton of fun.
Start small and try one new recipe a week from scratch. Doing it all at once can be discouraging
Learn processes insteady of recipes.What I mean is if you learn how to make breaded chicken, then that same process can be used on pork chops and you can swap out the ingredients to change the flavor, but the process remains the same. Rachel Ray has a book that teaches like this. Its a great place to start
Its OK to fail! You will have some things not turn out right, some will burn etc. That is OK. Its how you learn.
@soontobemrsm11 Ohhh! I have 3 words for you: Good Housekeeping Cookbook. Seriously. Check it out. If you are very inexperienced, this will give you an excellent footing for basic and more elaborate meals, It has helpful hints about a lot of the ingredients, and it has detailed instrucitons on certain techniques.
For any ingredients that are confusing to you, google it! 🙂 It seriously helps! Also, just take some time out of your weekend to wander around your grocery store. Look over things that interest or confuse you, and take a not of where certain things are. You will slowly build up your cooking vocabulary this way!
Also, if you’re feeling down and want to watch a cooking show without learning anything at all, check out My Drunk Kitchen on youtube. 😀 It will make you feel like you have your own cooking show by comparrison. XD
Best all around spice mix that I add to everything– veggies, eggs, chicken (either alone, or DH fave- place a few TBsps of Mayo on top of a bonless breast, then sprinkle the Fox Point on top, then bake in 350 oven 20 mins or until done), fish. It’s called Fox Point from Penzey’s. It has salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns. The 1/2 cup jar is $9.35, but it is sooo worth it!
Seeing what my Mother-In-Law made and ordering a cooking magazine subscription helped me learn to cook, as it gave me inspiration to try to make new things. Then I would just practice making it, because the recipe never turns out quite at well the first time as the second.
wow thank you all so much! I can’t believe all the great advice, you bees are wonderful! I will be looking for a make and take dinner place for sure. I always thought the food network and rachel ray and good housekeeping, etc was for experienced cooks so I’ve never tried those. I do have a crockpot already so maybe I’ll be able to find some easy recipies for it to start. I think I’m just intimidated by recipies and ingredients I’ve never heard of lol and I’m such a perfectionist that ruining dinner would make me so mad but I guess I just need to get over that and try! There are so many wonderful tips here! I’m hoping to try a new dish tomorrow so we’ll see how it goes, *fingers crossed*
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@Asia I love my drunk kitchen! Seriously, some of her attempts have turned out better than my sober attempts lol! she’s great.
I know how you feel…I get so nervous in the kitchen – before I met DH I didn’t even know how to properly use a knife! He’s a great cook, which was intimidating at first, but I got over my fears and asked him to include me more in his cooking so I can learn. And I’m learning – he actually called me a really good cook this week! I still get nervous but it takes a while to become truly comfortable.
One thing I’ll say is I had a hard time learning by just watching him – I needed to jump and do it with him…is there an interactive class you could sign up for where you live? I think that could really help and boost your confidence in the kitchen. And the more you read recipes, the fewer ingredients you’ll need to look up!
Google and youtube should be your best friend. I’ve become a pretty good cook simply by googling things I didnt understand and trying new,more difficult recipes. If a recipe says to do something I dont understand, I pull up a youtube video of it and watch someone else do it. I went from not knowing how to bake chicken breast 6 months ago, to loving cooking and producing delicious food.
I taught myself how to cook over the years using blogs/food network, etc. Great show to watch is Good Eats, Alton Brown’s great at explaining the reasoning and theory behind things so you can use it over and over in different dishes.
There are some great blogs out there when you search specific dishes you want to cook.
@soontobemrsm11 What are some ingredients you’ve never heard of? If there are many that you’re unsure of, you might want to also eat out more, and experiment with different cuisines. That will help you know what tastes you like.
I like the website eatingwell.com for recipes, and I have a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. I like the latter for its small tips as well as how thorough they are with their recipes. They test different methods, discuss them in the articles, and then present the “best” recipe for whatever the item is.
Also, what are your local grocery store options? If there is one that is considered better than the other, you could go there for “weird” ingredients. Despite what other people in this thread have said, I’ve found that there is always someone at a grocery store who can answer my questions. I was looking for spirulina extract the other day at Wegman’s, and while the one boy I asked had never heard of it, he asked another employee who had, and knew where it should be (they didn’t have it — curses). It helps if you have a general idea what the ingredient is, and what it’s used for.
Start watching Alton Brown on the food network and look up his recipes online. He is really good at keeping things basic and explaining the science and whys behind everything he does. Anytime I’m daring and doing a new technique I’ve never done before, I go to Alton.
First of all, good for you learning to cook! Cooking is easy but takes a lot of practice.
1. Cooking shows are brilliant because I find it much easier to understand a technique or recipe when I can see someone else doing it. Watch food network everyday!
2. Take a cooking class – they’re all over and super popular with everybody from beginners to experienced cooks. Everybody can always learn more.
3. Start with the basics. Classic recipe books like Julia Childs books have everything you need to know about making sauces, roasting, braising, baking etc. I would say two sauce bases to learn are your classic white sauce, and basic gravy. With those two techniques, you can do so much. Then try doing a roast chicken, that’s another basic technique. Other celebrity chefs that are great for beginners are Jamie Oliver and Nigella. Both have really simple recipes that anybody can do.
4. Don’t be afraid to try something new and make mistakes! I’ve been teaching myself to cook since I was old enough to stand on a chair at the kitchen counter and I still screw things up and have disasters! And there are always new things to learn and things to improve. The only way you’ll learn to cook is by actually cooking, so cook something everyday.
5. If you don’t recognise an ingredient, google it before you go to the store. I bet you you’ll find pictures and can then recognise it at the store. If you don’t, don’t feel bad asking. Everybody does it.
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