Post # 32
I LOVE to cook. A good way to start is to make it enjoyable. Come home from work, pour yourself a glass of good wine (or whatever you like), turn on some good music, and pick a recipe you like. If you really like Italian food, start there. You already know what it tastes like. You know what goes well with it.
Another thing that has been really helpful is blogs. I follow a lot of cooking blogs. My favorite is http://www.preventionrd.com. She has some GREAT recipes. Also, pinterest is a good place to look for recipes.
And last, DON’T GIVE UP!! It takes practice. My Fiance has (graciously) eaten A LOT of messes. I’ve been cooking as a hobby for years now and I still bomb every once in a while. So keep trying. And have a delivery number or a box of cereal handy. 😉
Post # 33
I am making a meatloaf tonight and it made me think of two more things that might come in handy.
1) Onions- once you slice them use them, or freeze them right away. They actually pull any germs or viruses that are in the air and soak them up into their flesh. This is something I read about recently, and used to keep 1/2 onion in the fridge for later use. The article said this can (don’t mean it will) make you sick. On the other hand, If you are sick, slice one open and leave it next to your bed. Just throw it away in the morning. Will have to try this if I ever get sick again, fingers crossed, knock on some wood. (hey, going on two years and not even the common cold).
2) a trick my aunt taught me. When dealing with ground beef touch it as little as possible. This will help keep the meat tender and juicy. Try mixing all your other ingredients first, then adding the meat very last, tossing it with spoon if possible. Then shape into meatballs with spoon or loaf, or whatever it is your making. I can’t make balls with spoons, so I use my hands. She can. She swears by this. I don’t know if this applies to other meats, like deer or pig, but I still try to avoid using my hands for this reason.
Post # 34
I first started with baking because I love sweets! 🙂 It was easier for me to transition to cooking food with things that go in the oven, like meatloaf. I only cooked a few things at first and then when I mastered them, I kept expanding what I could make. Stir frys are easy, and I was able to experiment with spices and flavors. I also watch the food network to get ideas. DH says that I’m a good cook, even though I still have some flops.
Post # 35
Well, I learned more like baking stuff from my mom and aunts and a few cooking things, but I was taught untraditional cooking stuff growing up because I was a girl scout so we learned to make different kinds of stoves and stuff to cook on them. That being said, most meats and casseroles and all sorts of stuff I followed directions and now I just experiment. I mean, I always used to experiment growing up and just taught myself through mistakes. There are a bunch of websites though and youtube videos that can help you! Good luck! 😀
Post # 36
Both of my parents are good cooks, but when I was growing up I never really helped out in the kitchen. I didn’t start cooking for myself until I moved away to go to college. That was 8 years ago, and now I consider myself to be a very good cook (confirmed by my fiancé, parents and Mother-In-Law, so it’s not just hubris ). Even with all of that experience, I still do 90% of my cooking based off of recipes. I only go “freestyle” for a few dishes that I’ve either made a million times or ones I made up myself and didn’t write down.
So – my advice is to start off with some simple recipes for classic meals. A lot of previous posters recommended getting cookbooks from Cooks Illustrated or Betty Crocker or whatever, and that’s a great idea. Those recipes have been tried, tested, and true for decades. Once you build a little knowledge and confidence, you can branch out and look for more recipes that appeal to you. My favorite recipe source is http://www.tastespotting.com; it’s like Pinterest for recipes. You get to see the finished product, which I really like. Watching Food Network is also great like others have said.
Before you attempt any recipe, make sure you read it through all the way so you don’t realize halfway through at 6 p.m. that you were supposed to marinate the meat overnight. Don’t be afraid to buy a random ingredient that you’ve never used before, because then you’ll have it in your stockpile and can use it again.
Don’t let failures discourage you – even with my mad skillz, I still have some bloopers here and there 🙂
Post # 36
That’s inspring, what do you think was the #1 thing that helped you learn to cook on your own? I’m trying to learn too!