Originally Posted by Drk2
Thanks for all the replies guys, is there a thread somewhere that has some basic recipes? And as far as hardware goes, what would should I invest the most money into [Knives, Pots, Cutting Boards etc.]
I got the cookbook "How To Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. It's not very expensive for the softcover, and the latest edition has 2000 recipes. He also has great explanations on cooking techniques, how ingredients interact, equipment, etc.
Quality knives make your life so much easier. Most knife makers sell a Chef's knife, utility knife, and paring knife as a set. You can do virtually everything with those three knives. Get a steel too, and learn how to use it. Using the steel is super easy, and takes less than a minute even if you are moving slow.
I made good food with a mishmash of cookware, but it's not easy to make great food with poor cookware. You don't have to break the bank with All-Clad or some other high end brand. Do you have a Costco nearby? This set was the highest rated non-stick on Consumer Reports, and it's 14 pieces for $180.00 USD: Kirkland Cookware
. Take care of those (no dishwasher, no metal utensils, etc.), and you will get a ton of mileage from them, and learn to be a great cook at the same time! I'm not saying that you have to buy this set, but I just wanted to let you know that you can cook really good food with moderately priced cookware. Check product reviews in forums like this, or on Amazon.com to get an idea of what people are saying about different products.
You should have at least one good cutting board. Fortunately they are not that expensive. I just ordered this one: Totally Bamboo Cutting Board
. It's not super fancy, but I'm lazy and this board is dishwasher safe as long as I oil it after it's washed. There's nothing wrong with starting out with cheapie cutting boards, but if you are doing a lot of cutting/chopping every day then you will want a board that doesn't warp, doesn't slide around, and doesn't flex when you're holding that potato down.
Hope this helps!