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Thread started 12/12/19 1:06pm

alphastreet

Cooking-are you a late bloomer?

I’m 36 and don’t know how to cook. I can only do simple things like eggs, salad and I know how to make quiche. I’m willing to learn to get better at making more meals Anyone else also a late bloomer with this? What helps you cook well?
[Edited 12/12/19 13:09pm]
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Reply #1 posted 12/12/19 4:19pm

onlyforaminute

I can't make quiche, or rather I've never made quiche, but I can cook. I don't particularly like doing it but I do it because there are simply flavors and textures I desire from time to time I can't buy. I'm still learning and I'm old but I aren't dead.
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.

-Ralph Ellison
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Reply #2 posted 12/12/19 4:28pm

EmmaMcG

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I'm 29 and I've been cooking for myself and my little brother and sister since I was 10. I like to think that I've gotten pretty good at it over the past almost 20 years.

It's really not a difficult thing to do. I know you say you can only make certain dishes but that's not true. You can make anything. Literally anything you want. All you need is the right ingredients. There's thousands of videos online that will teach you how to cook any meal you can think of. All you need to do is follow along. When you've made it a bunch of times you won't need the video. Plus, you'll probably have added or subtracted certain ingredients to make it more palatable to yourself.

Cooking doesn't need to be a big production every time. Get yourself a big steak, smother it in salt and pepper (and some hot sauce if that's your thing), stick it on the George Foreman grill for about 8 - 12 minutes (depending on how rare or well done you want it). That will take care of itself and while that's doing, cut some potatoes into thin slices, fry them on the pan with some olive oil, and you've got yourself the Emma Special. Takes about 15 minutes. Easy.
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Reply #3 posted 12/12/19 5:23pm

LadyLayla

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Someone had referred me to Home Chef. I wish I could have been aware of something like this 10 or so years ago. To me it was the perfect vehicle to "gather round the kitchen" and have my son be able to see what it really takes to cook a decent meal. All of the ingredients are in the box along with the recipe. Ingredients are pre-measured.

I usually ordered 3 meals a week for 2 people and that came to 59.00 (about $10 per person). To me, it was great for spending time together and would highly recommend to working mothers. Get children involved early in the process of family meals. Once you feel confident enough, you've still got the recipes of stuff you made before and can use this for your grocery shopping if you want to stop ordering.

Meal planning is a perfect PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Getting groceries for that planning is another PAIN IN THE ASS!!!

Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #4 posted 12/13/19 7:50am

CherryMoon57

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EmmaMcG said:

I'm 29 and I've been cooking for myself and my little brother and sister since I was 10. I like to think that I've gotten pretty good at it over the past almost 20 years. It's really not a difficult thing to do. I know you say you can only make certain dishes but that's not true. You can make anything. Literally anything you want. All you need is the right ingredients. There's thousands of videos online that will teach you how to cook any meal you can think of. All you need to do is follow along. When you've made it a bunch of times you won't need the video. Plus, you'll probably have added or subtracted certain ingredients to make it more palatable to yourself. Cooking doesn't need to be a big production every time. Get yourself a big steak, smother it in salt and pepper (and some hot sauce if that's your thing), stick it on the George Foreman grill for about 8 - 12 minutes (depending on how rare or well done you want it). That will take care of itself and while that's doing, cut some potatoes into thin slices, fry them on the pan with some olive oil, and you've got yourself the Emma Special. Takes about 15 minutes. Easy.


yeahthat I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and the rest of your post. It is very important for people to understand that cooking is not a difficult discipline. All it takes is WANTING to do it. And er, well, getting the right ingredients of course. But other than that, anyone can do it.

I was myself a very late starter who had mostly survived on takeways and junk food after leaving home, but arriving in Britain during the era of televised cooking programmes, such as Ready Steady Cook, totally changed my life.

And I recently extended my passion for cooking to... baking. For the past few months I have perfected my sourdough craft (and starter) to a point of no return. This step has moved me towards other baking spheres I thought were only reserved to the life-long experienced bakers, only to find out, it's actually fairly easy... and oh so rewarding!

But I wouldn't know all I know now in terms of baking without this little guy and his youtube channel... who does wonders in keeping it simple with guaranteed results. I highly recommend his (yeasty) Christmas wreath, it's super easy and tastes amazing, especially with the chopped rosemary and dried cranberries. Goes perfectly with Brie or Wensleydale.

The recipe: https://www.bakewithjack.co.uk/blog-1/christmas-wreath-bread

How to plait the dough: https://www.youtube.com/w...=emb_title

Result! cool

IMG_2668.JPG?format=750w
Photo: Bake With Jack ©

[Edited 12/13/19 7:55am]

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Reply #5 posted 12/13/19 10:57am

S2DG

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alphastreet said:

I’m 36 and don’t know how to cook. I can only do simple things like eggs, salad and I know how to make quiche. I’m willing to learn to get better at making more meals Anyone else also a late bloomer with this? What helps you cook well? [Edited 12/12/19 13:09pm]



Late bloomer, schmate bloomer. I'm constantly amazed at how much I don't know. Life and growth is ongoing process and everybody needs to eat.

I've fixed things (I was not qualified to) on my car, I've learned how to do so many things on YouTube, it's crazy. Food is my favorite thing to learn about on youtube. If they're speaking too fast, change it to half speed and take notes.

My mom used to have a 4 inch thick, Betty Crocker cook book with recipes falling out of it and here I am with a laptop in the kitchen. lol



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Reply #6 posted 12/13/19 11:04am

lool

alphastreet said:

What helps you cook well?
[Edited 12/12/19 13:09pm]


Cooking well requires patience and care. The people I know (or have known) who cannot cook or claim they cannot cook have no patience and do not care about the process of preparing food. I learned how to cook as a child by following recipes. Watching cooking shows also helped in acquiring information and learning basic cooking techniques. Owning and knowing how to properly use measuring spoons and wet and dry measuring cups are essential. Once you get the basics down you'll be able to prepare anything successfully.
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Reply #7 posted 12/13/19 11:33am

alphastreet

Thanks for sharing, I guess I am kind of impatient at times lol
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Reply #8 posted 12/15/19 6:57pm

TrivialPursuit

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I love to cook, but never delved that deep into it until the last decade or so. I've learned a lot on Youtube and Food Network. I even did my own cooking show for 2 years on the YouTubes. Cooking isn't hard, but baking is science.

Ina Garten said if you can cook 10 things 3 different ways, you have 30 recipes under your belt. I'd recommend the following to learn some great cooking stuff:

Barefoot Contessa (Food Network)

America's Test Kitchen (PBS, CreateTV)

Cook's Country (PBS, CreateTV)

Everyday Food (YouTube - look for Sarah Carey's videos, but Kitchen Conundrums is good too)

I just made America's Test Kitchen's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo tonight. Great recipe.

Here are some of my favorite recipes from the folks above:

New Beef Stew: Everyday Food

Roast Vegetable Soup: Barefoot Contessa

Pork Grillades: America's Test Kitchen

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: America's Test Kitchen

Brownie Pudding: Barefoot Contessta (quick & easy dessert, goes with ice cream)

French Apple Tart: Barefoot Contessa (same as above)

Roasted Tomato Soup: Barefoot Contessa (where she uses 3lbs fresh roma tomatoes)

Orzo Feta Salad: Barefoot Contessa (we eat that stuff all summer)

Greek Lasagna: Barefoot Contessa (a bit involved, but SO worth it)

Pasta e ceci: America's Test Kitchen

15 Bean Pasta Fagoli: Barefoot Contessa (this and the previous recipe are the only two ways I'll eat chickpeas, cuz they're that good)

Skillet Lasagna: America's Test Kitchen (just made this again last Friday)

Coq au vin (or coq au vin blanc): Barefoot Contessa makes the regular one, Williams Sonoma has a cooking video for the blanc version or search their site

Green Panzanella: Barefoot Contessa

Potato & Leek Soup: Barefoot Contessa

Drip Beef Sandwiches: Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman)

Mustard Roasted Potatoes: Barefoot Contessa (one of the easiest side dishes to toss together)

Easy Risotto: Barefoot Contessa (she does a couple, but do the one where she does it in the oven for 45 minutes)

Muffuletta: America's Test Kitchen

Strawberry Jam: Barefoot Contessa

Caesar dressing: Barefoot Contessa

1000 Island Dressing: my recipe, ask and I'll send

Milk Can Dinner: America's Test Kitchen (or possibly Cook's Country)

Peach Dumplings: Ree Drummond

White Chicken Chili: Barefoot Contessa (I think)

Le Creuset's site has a dutch oven bread recipe that is super easy and delicious. Try it.

Also, one vaulable thing I've learned is to roast instead of boil. Like chicken breasts, Instead of boiling or steaming them, salt & pepper them with some olive oil, 425ºF oven for 25 minutes or just until the center reaches 160ºF. Let sit 10 minutes, then use for whatever. Chicken salad (shred with fingers), cut into chunks to add to a regular salad, etc.


Cut root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, potatoes, butternut or acorn squash into 2" chunks (plus brussel sprouts cut in half by the root end, and a quartered onion), toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, plus some rosemary and/or thyme. Roast at 425ºF just until tender to a knife's tip. It's a great side dish, and also the basis of the aforementioned roasted vegetable soup.

You can roast most things. The rule is you can either boil out (yuck) or roast in (yum) flavor.


Learn how to make your own chicken stock. Learn how to carve a chicken either roasted or raw (save the carcass in either situation in a freezer bag; and when you get 2 or 3 then make stock to freeze for risotto, rice, gravy, etc.)


I also make my own ketchup, vanilla extract, lemon extract, countertop cleaner, mayo, ricotta cheese, apple sauce, pesto, and laundry detergent.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #9 posted 12/15/19 7:37pm

JoeyC

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I kind of trip out on people who can't cook. Minus a health issue, cooking is not hard. I'm not really talking about elaborate dishes, but basic everyday cooking. Just work on timing and heat. Don't have the heat too hot(or too low), and don't over cook things. Seasoning is important too. I started cooking in my teens and i enjoyed it. I used to be better at it. Now that I'm older, basically i just make sure that whatever i cook is done(temperature wise). Sometimes i do over do it. I caught food poisoning once(seafood-and not because of me), so I'm hella paranoid about my food being well done. I'm gonna get back into it again though.


Oh, and the right pots and pans are important too.

Rest in Peace Bettie Boo. See u soon.
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Reply #10 posted 12/15/19 7:54pm

TrivialPursuit

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JoeyC said:

I kind of trip out on people who can't cook. Minus a health issue, cooking is not hard. I'm not really talking about elaborate dishes, but basic everyday cooking. Just work on timing and heat. Don't have the heat too hot(or too low), and don't over cook things. Seasoning is important too. I started cooking in my teens and i enjoyed it. I used to be better at it. Now that I'm older, basically i just make sure that whatever i cook is done(temperature wise). Sometimes i do over do it. I caught food poisoning once(seafood-and not because of me), so I'm hella paranoid about my food being well done. I'm gonna get back into it again though.


Oh, and the right pots and pans are important too.


So true. Everyone needs some variation of the following:

A good 5qt or 6qt cast iron pot (Dutch oven), either enamel or seasoned. If you get the seasoned black, learn to season it, don't put it in soapy water or the dishwasher. It'll build up to non-stick over time. I guarantee you that your grandma never washed her cast iron skillet. I have both, but prefer my enamal coated. Target and Walmart carries Lodge cast iron. 5qt pot is usually around $40.*

Cast iron skillet (see above about cleaning). Get at least a 12", but a 10" is good for some scrambled eggs, etc; I also have an 8" for quickie stuff. *

A good stainless steel 12" skillet, preferrably one that is oven safe and possibly tri-clad.

A set of baking dishes. You get a set of 3 at Target for under $25 usually. It includes a 9x13 plus one above and one below in size.

A good set of glass mixing bowls. Again, Target, set of 4 for about $20 (Walmart has the same set too with colored lids for all)

A good griddle and grill for your stove top

A big stock pot (just a stainless steel one for stock, boiling pasta, etc)

Three or four sauce pans of varying sizes from 2 cups up to 2 or 3 quarts

Lots of big wooden spoons, slotted and regular, good spatulas (silicone or metal is best, but plastic or wood will do in a pinch)

good set of measuring cups, measuring spoons

meat thermometer (Amazon, under $20 for a digital, F/C)

whisks

half sheet pants for baking and roasting vegetables

Good cutting boards, one wood for general stuff, one plastic or non-absorbant for raw meats



Say what you want, but air fryers are great. If I'm using the oven for something, I can put a couple of potatoes in the air fryer at 400º for 40 minutes and they're perfect.

Get a good food processor and a good blender. You can find good versions of both for under $150. I found a Cuisinart food processor (like every chef or cook oN TV uses) at Macy's on sale for $110, normally $200. Use the Honey plug in to track prices and it'll let you know when a price drops on something.

*There are care instructions for both types of cast iron. What to use and not use (like abrasive cleaners or steel wool, etc) on them to keep them in top shape. Also, if you happen to buy a Lodge cast iron skillet but it doesn't have a lid, a lid from another Lodge pot will fit it perfectly. If you're worried about not soaping up your black cast iron (you can use soap on the enamal of course), remember that water boils at 212ºF, and that's the temp when germs die. So once you preheat your skillet or pot, you've killed any germs in it anyway.

Also, let your cast iron warm over medium heat for a good 5 minutes before adding oil. If you add oil to a cold pot, it'll be more prone to stick to food. Hot pot, cold oil.


Tip: to prevent eggs sticking to your stainless steel skillet, chop about 1/4 cup of the green ends of some green onions. Saute them in the skillet with a little oil, for about 5 minutes. Make sure you move them around and let the onions and oil get all over. Carefully scoop out the onions and use the oil (plus any extra if you need it) to make your fried eggs etc. There is a protein or enzyme or something in the green onion that coats the pan and makes it temporarily non-stick. I do this when I use my All-Clad and I've never had an egg stick.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #11 posted 12/15/19 7:54pm

JoeyC

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America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country ! thumbs up!

Among others, I also like Lidia Bastianich (Lidia's kitchen).


TrivialPursuit said:

I love to cook, but never delved that deep into it until the last decade or so. I've learned a lot on Youtube and Food Network. I even did my own cooking show for 2 years on the YouTubes. Cooking isn't hard, but baking is science.

Ina Garten said if you can cook 10 things 3 different ways, you have 30 recipes under your belt. I'd recommend the following to learn some great cooking stuff:

Barefoot Contessa (Food Network)

America's Test Kitchen (PBS, CreateTV)

Cook's Country (PBS, CreateTV)

Everyday Food (YouTube - look for Sarah Carey's videos, but Kitchen Conundrums is good too)

I just made America's Test Kitchen's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo tonight. Great recipe.

Rest in Peace Bettie Boo. See u soon.
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Reply #12 posted 12/15/19 7:59pm

TrivialPursuit

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JoeyC said:

America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country ! thumbs up!

Among others, I also like Lidia Bastianich (Lidia's kitchen).


I LOVE LIDIA!!!

Also forgot, check Bon Appetit's YouTube page. I love when Andy or Carla makes something. Carla made greens and polenta once that was great. She does some pressure cooker stuff, too. But I love both their recipes.

Also, just the other day, America's Test Kitchen did a video about fetuccini alfredo. I sorta made it this way, but their way is more exacting and perfection. Alfredo isn't some gooey white glopy sauce. It's basically butter, cheese, pasta, and salt. We made it a couple of nights ago. It's the only way I'll eat alfredo now, because it's so much faster, and purer to the original.

[Edited 12/15/19 20:13pm]

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #13 posted 12/16/19 1:23am

phunkdaddy

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Any Instapot, Air Fryer, or NuWave convection oven users here.

I have an Air Fryer and a convection oven. I actually bought the

Air Fryer for my wife last christmas albeit a small one. I really think

they are useless if you have a convection oven unless you're doing

something quick like fries.

Don't laugh at my funk
This funk is a serious joint
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Reply #14 posted 12/16/19 3:19am

DaveT

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We weren't a particularly well off family growing up so my Mum had to do a lot of batch cooking from scratch to feed us all. Fortunately she passed those skills on to me and my siblings. We'd often stand in the kitchen watching her cook and helping out, and she made sure we knew how to cook quite a bit.

I think its a very important life skill so I'm surprised it isn't taught more. I don't think its too tricky though. I work with an ex-Army guy and he couldn't cook a lick. He took to it really easy though once he got recipes as he just saw it as following orders ... get the right ingredients, do what it says in the recipe, and you can't really go wrong.

www.filmsfilmsfilms.co.uk - The internet's best movie site!
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Reply #15 posted 12/16/19 8:33am

TrivialPursuit

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phunkdaddy said:

Any Instapot, Air Fryer, or NuWave convection oven users here.

I have an Air Fryer and a convection oven. I actually bought the

Air Fryer for my wife last christmas albeit a small one. I really think

they are useless if you have a convection oven unless you're doing

something quick like fries.


An air fryer is a convection oven, for those that don't know. It's an important point to make. Convection uses heat and forced air flow, which is what an air fryer is. The difference comes in the size of it. The egg shaped units are good, but sorta limited in what you can put in them. We had one of those. We now have the PowerXL, which is the one with the 3 shelves in it and the rotisserie. There are also models that resemble a large toaster oven. Those are also more desirable than the egg shaped ones.

Even with the egg design, we were doing everything in it we could. Steaks, chicken, shrimp, mini personal corn breads in ramekins, etc. It's certainly easier to do fries or onion rings on racks than in a basket. If you have a smaller air fryer, you really are limited on what you can put in it if you're cooking for more than one person at a time. But people aren't selling these units for $100 just to make fries.

Our PowerXL air fryer has been great for us. In the summer, they put out so much less heat than the oven. If we want a baked potato, it's perfect. I can use my induction cooker to make a steak or some chicken and the air fryer for a baked potato, never turning on the oven, and rarely using the stove top. My kitchen faces west, so the less heat in there between May and Sept., the better.

Oster makes a great convection air fryer that also acts as a regular toaster oven or oven in general. I think it'll fit a 9x13 baking dish and has French doors on the front for easier access. It's on QVC for under $200. Target also has nice big models, different brands, of the same thing. Some are deep enough to fit a 12 or 14" pizza.

I had a bad spell with an Instapot way back. It broke down and I lost a chicken in it. It was 2 years ago and we're still pissed about it. My cousin swears by hers, but had bad luck with an air fryer (the same one I have). So she's still trying to talk me into getting a pressure cooker, and I'm trying to get her to get a different air fryer. I'm probably just going to get a regular pressure cooker for the stove top. They're pretty advanced these days, and as long as you don't have the heat all the way up, you're safe not to have it explode on you.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #16 posted 12/16/19 8:41am

kpowers

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Very late bloomer

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Reply #17 posted 12/16/19 10:55am

S2DG

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Forgot about the instapot, that thing is amazing! Made speghetti in it that actually turned out good.

I need to keep experimenting with it.

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Reply #18 posted 12/17/19 11:51am

PeggyO

TrivialPursuit said:

I love to cook, but never delved that deep into it until the last decade or so. I've learned a lot on Youtube and Food Network. I even did my own cooking show for 2 years on the YouTubes. Cooking isn't hard, but baking is science.

Ina Garten said if you can cook 10 things 3 different ways, you have 30 recipes under your belt. I'd recommend the following to learn some great cooking stuff:

Barefoot Contessa (Food Network)

America's Test Kitchen (PBS, CreateTV)

Cook's Country (PBS, CreateTV)

Everyday Food (YouTube - look for Sarah Carey's videos, but Kitchen Conundrums is good too)

I just made America's Test Kitchen's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo tonight. Great recipe.

Here are some of my favorite recipes from the folks above:

New Beef Stew: Everyday Food

Roast Vegetable Soup: Barefoot Contessa

Pork Grillades: America's Test Kitchen

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: America's Test Kitchen

Brownie Pudding: Barefoot Contessta (quick & easy dessert, goes with ice cream)

French Apple Tart: Barefoot Contessa (same as above)

Roasted Tomato Soup: Barefoot Contessa (where she uses 3lbs fresh roma tomatoes)

Orzo Feta Salad: Barefoot Contessa (we eat that stuff all summer)

Greek Lasagna: Barefoot Contessa (a bit involved, but SO worth it)

Pasta e ceci: America's Test Kitchen

15 Bean Pasta Fagoli: Barefoot Contessa (this and the previous recipe are the only two ways I'll eat chickpeas, cuz they're that good)

Skillet Lasagna: America's Test Kitchen (just made this again last Friday)

Coq au vin (or coq au vin blanc): Barefoot Contessa makes the regular one, Williams Sonoma has a cooking video for the blanc version or search their site

Green Panzanella: Barefoot Contessa

Potato & Leek Soup: Barefoot Contessa

Drip Beef Sandwiches: Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman)

Mustard Roasted Potatoes: Barefoot Contessa (one of the easiest side dishes to toss together)

Easy Risotto: Barefoot Contessa (she does a couple, but do the one where she does it in the oven for 45 minutes)

Muffuletta: America's Test Kitchen

Strawberry Jam: Barefoot Contessa

Caesar dressing: Barefoot Contessa

1000 Island Dressing: my recipe, ask and I'll send

Milk Can Dinner: America's Test Kitchen (or possibly Cook's Country)

Peach Dumplings: Ree Drummond

White Chicken Chili: Barefoot Contessa (I think)

Le Creuset's site has a dutch oven bread recipe that is super easy and delicious. Try it.

Also, one vaulable thing I've learned is to roast instead of boil. Like chicken breasts, Instead of boiling or steaming them, salt & pepper them with some olive oil, 425ºF oven for 25 minutes or just until the center reaches 160ºF. Let sit 10 minutes, then use for whatever. Chicken salad (shred with fingers), cut into chunks to add to a regular salad, etc.


Cut root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, potatoes, butternut or acorn squash into 2" chunks (plus brussel sprouts cut in half by the root end, and a quartered onion), toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, plus some rosemary and/or thyme. Roast at 425ºF just until tender to a knife's tip. It's a great side dish, and also the basis of the aforementioned roasted vegetable soup.

You can roast most things. The rule is you can either boil out (yuck) or roast in (yum) flavor.


Learn how to make your own chicken stock. Learn how to carve a chicken either roasted or raw (save the carcass in either situation in a freezer bag; and when you get 2 or 3 then make stock to freeze for risotto, rice, gravy, etc.)


I also make my own ketchup, vanilla extract, lemon extract, countertop cleaner, mayo, ricotta cheese, apple sauce, pesto, and laundry detergent.

Wow, thanks for the thought you put into this post!

I love Ina Garten, wish I could live in her kitchen.

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Reply #19 posted 12/17/19 3:19pm

TrivialPursuit

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PeggyO said:

Wow, thanks for the thought you put into this post!

I love Ina Garten, wish I could live in her kitchen.


I could talk about kitchen stuff all day. (And those posts were made while I was sick over the weekend. lol)

Ina's just a goddess. I have plans to build a shipping container home, and I fully plan to copy her kitchen footprint, albeit in a smaller form. That "barn" of hers that she films in now - God, the kitchen is magical. The kitchen in her home early in the series wasn't such a bad deal of course. But The Barn - it's everything.

I just want her to be my rich aunt in the Hamptons that I visit 2 or 3 times a year. haha

By the way, if you watch the movie Something's Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, about 8 minutes in, they're in a store. That's the Barefoot Contessa store in the Hamptons. It was filmed in 2003. The store closed in 2004. You can see some jarred food item on the shelf in a few early shots in the sequence, and it says "Barefoot Contessa" on the label.

[Edited 12/17/19 15:20pm]

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #20 posted 12/17/19 4:54pm

PeggyO

TrivialPursuit said:

PeggyO said:

Wow, thanks for the thought you put into this post!

I love Ina Garten, wish I could live in her kitchen.


I could talk about kitchen stuff all day. (And those posts were made while I was sick over the weekend. lol)

Ina's just a goddess. I have plans to build a shipping container home, and I fully plan to copy her kitchen footprint, albeit in a smaller form. That "barn" of hers that she films in now - God, the kitchen is magical. The kitchen in her home early in the series wasn't such a bad deal of course. But The Barn - it's everything.

I just want her to be my rich aunt in the Hamptons that I visit 2 or 3 times a year. haha

By the way, if you watch the movie Something's Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, about 8 minutes in, they're in a store. That's the Barefoot Contessa store in the Hamptons. It was filmed in 2003. The store closed in 2004. You can see some jarred food item on the shelf in a few early shots in the sequence, and it says "Barefoot Contessa" on the label.

[Edited 12/17/19 15:20pm]

Very interesting. Her kitchen is something else

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Reply #21 posted 12/18/19 4:13am

ThatWhiteDude

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JoeyC said:

I kind of trip out on people who can't cook. Minus a health issue, cooking is not hard. I'm not really talking about elaborate dishes, but basic everyday cooking. Just work on timing and heat. Don't have the heat too hot(or too low), and don't over cook things. Seasoning is important too. I started cooking in my teens and i enjoyed it. I used to be better at it. Now that I'm older, basically i just make sure that whatever i cook is done(temperature wise). Sometimes i do over do it. I caught food poisoning once(seafood-and not because of me), so I'm hella paranoid about my food being well done. I'm gonna get back into it again though.



Oh, and the right pots and pans are important too.


I'm paranoid about food being well done too. Especially when I cook for the whole family. Never had a food poisoning before, but still paranoid. Maybe I watched too much kitchen nightmares tho lol
[Edited 12/18/19 4:15am]
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Reply #22 posted 12/18/19 11:57am

purplethunder3
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Then there's the single empty nesters who become lazy cooks and need to "bloom again" so to speak... razz lol

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Reply #23 posted 12/19/19 4:13pm

XxAxX

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i am! lol

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Reply #24 posted 12/19/19 7:24pm

alphastreet

I’m also really paranoid about food poisoning if I don’t make anything properly
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Reply #25 posted 12/20/19 11:24pm

S2DG

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Only help for my own paranoia about under cooking food was a meat thermometer.

Actually have more than one; better safe than sorry. The fork version is seems to be less dependable.

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Reply #26 posted 12/26/19 3:17pm

onlyforaminute

My bare bone basic staples, salt (always sea salt or kosher salt) black pepper, celery, carrots, onions. Personally I don't like garlic coming out of my porez so I use it very sparingly but its one of the basics too. I have a thing for smoked paprika I use it like I'm losing my mind. I think someone already mentioned roasted veggies. Tha greatest thing ever, brings out the flavors of everything. You can roast almost anything. I did jicama, cashews and beets once, they got inhaled immediately. Brining or marinading, the greatest thing ever. I'll never use pineapple juice again though, that texture was horrific.
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Reply #27 posted 12/26/19 4:21pm

mELdOURADOsELV
AGEM

S2DG said:

Forgot about the instapot, that thing is amazing! Made speghetti in it that actually turned out good.

I need to keep experimenting with it.



I bought one of those, never got to use it.
Right now it's packed because in August/ September
I was supposed to move so I just threw everything
in boxes. But the deal/plans fell apart and
I never got to unpack so it's lost somewhere.
But I can't wait til I can finally use it. I've heard how wonderful it is.
mushy
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Reply #28 posted 12/26/19 6:04pm

poppys

TrivialPursuit said:

JoeyC said:

I kind of trip out on people who can't cook. Minus a health issue, cooking is not hard. I'm not really talking about elaborate dishes, but basic everyday cooking. Just work on timing and heat. Don't have the heat too hot(or too low), and don't over cook things. Seasoning is important too. I started cooking in my teens and i enjoyed it. I used to be better at it. Now that I'm older, basically i just make sure that whatever i cook is done(temperature wise). Sometimes i do over do it. I caught food poisoning once(seafood-and not because of me), so I'm hella paranoid about my food being well done. I'm gonna get back into it again though.


Oh, and the right pots and pans are important too.


So true. Everyone needs some variation of the following:

A good 5qt or 6qt cast iron pot (Dutch oven), either enamel or seasoned. If you get the seasoned black, learn to season it, don't put it in soapy water or the dishwasher. It'll build up to non-stick over time. I guarantee you that your grandma never washed her cast iron skillet. I have both, but prefer my enamal coated. Target and Walmart carries Lodge cast iron. 5qt pot is usually around $40.*

Cast iron skillet (see above about cleaning). Get at least a 12", but a 10" is good for some scrambled eggs, etc; I also have an 8" for quickie stuff. *

A good stainless steel 12" skillet, preferrably one that is oven safe and possibly tri-clad.

A set of baking dishes. You get a set of 3 at Target for under $25 usually. It includes a 9x13 plus one above and one below in size.

A good set of glass mixing bowls. Again, Target, set of 4 for about $20 (Walmart has the same set too with colored lids for all)

A good griddle and grill for your stove top

A big stock pot (just a stainless steel one for stock, boiling pasta, etc)

Three or four sauce pans of varying sizes from 2 cups up to 2 or 3 quarts

Lots of big wooden spoons, slotted and regular, good spatulas (silicone or metal is best, but plastic or wood will do in a pinch)

good set of measuring cups, measuring spoons

meat thermometer (Amazon, under $20 for a digital, F/C)

whisks

half sheet pants for baking and roasting vegetables

Good cutting boards, one wood for general stuff, one plastic or non-absorbant for raw meats



Say what you want, but air fryers are great. If I'm using the oven for something, I can put a couple of potatoes in the air fryer at 400º for 40 minutes and they're perfect.

Get a good food processor and a good blender. You can find good versions of both for under $150. I found a Cuisinart food processor (like every chef or cook oN TV uses) at Macy's on sale for $110, normally $200. Use the Honey plug in to track prices and it'll let you know when a price drops on something.

*There are care instructions for both types of cast iron. What to use and not use (like abrasive cleaners or steel wool, etc) on them to keep them in top shape. Also, if you happen to buy a Lodge cast iron skillet but it doesn't have a lid, a lid from another Lodge pot will fit it perfectly. If you're worried about not soaping up your black cast iron (you can use soap on the enamal of course), remember that water boils at 212ºF, and that's the temp when germs die. So once you preheat your skillet or pot, you've killed any germs in it anyway.

Also, let your cast iron warm over medium heat for a good 5 minutes before adding oil. If you add oil to a cold pot, it'll be more prone to stick to food. Hot pot, cold oil.


Tip: to prevent eggs sticking to your stainless steel skillet, chop about 1/4 cup of the green ends of some green onions. Saute them in the skillet with a little oil, for about 5 minutes. Make sure you move them around and let the onions and oil get all over. Carefully scoop out the onions and use the oil (plus any extra if you need it) to make your fried eggs etc. There is a protein or enzyme or something in the green onion that coats the pan and makes it temporarily non-stick. I do this when I use my All-Clad and I've never had an egg stick.


I also make my own ketchup, vanilla extract, lemon extract, countertop cleaner, mayo, ricotta cheese, apple sauce, pesto, and laundry detergent.


Ok Suzie Homemaker, you got me to google the laundry detergent... Would rather have one of those Disaronno Sours you posted about once.

Thanks for the green onion tip. Always keep those around and have a nice stainless steel skillet eggs stick to, so gonna try that.

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Reply #29 posted 12/26/19 10:18pm

TrivialPursuit

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poppys said:

I also make my own ketchup, vanilla extract, lemon extract, countertop cleaner, mayo, ricotta cheese, apple sauce, pesto, and laundry detergent.


Ok Suzie Homemaker, you got me to google the laundry detergent... Would rather have one of those Disaronno Sours you posted about once.

Thanks for the green onion tip. Always keep those around and have a nice stainless steel skillet eggs stick to, so gonna try that.


LOL!


2 bars Fels-Naptha soap

2 cups Borax Detergent Booster

3 cups Arm & Hammer Laundry Booster

1/4 cup baking soda (optional)
1 1/2 cups Oxyclean (optional)

Cut the soap into small chunks. Process in a food processor until very fine. Put a 1/4 cup of either other powder in there to keep it from sticking.
Mix all ingredients. For a regular load of laundry, use about 2 tablespoons. Use 3 for heavier loads like linen or towels.

I like the extra kick it has with the Oxyclean type cleaner. it's just enough to give it an extra oomph. BUT, the basic recipe does the job. My cousin grinds up those scent crystals (about a cup) and adds it to hers because she wants scented stuff.

You can cut the recipe in half, but we do larger batches so we have it for longer periods. There are versions that use the whole boxes of Borax & A&M so there aren't any left overs. It works for front loaders, too.

I do the green onion thing in my All-Clad skillets. Works like a charm. I cook them about 5 minutes, making sure it hits all the sides.

Disaronno sours: I don't have a specific recipe. I just use my own simple syrup, and fresh lemon or lime juice, and a shot of seltzer at the end. Top w/ a cherry, but it's nice to drizzle a tiny bit of the cherry juice over the top and just let it work its way into the drink. I make mine really tart & sweet.

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