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Old 02-25-2008, 12:28 AM   #11
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Well, Rob - we've got a lot of forums that cover a lot of different foods - and they have a lot of recipes that are generally newbie friendly. You might want to look around in one that is dedicated to something you might be interested in and get some ideas. We try to keep recipes sorted by catagories ... beef, pork chicken, vegetables, pasta, rice. beans, breads, etc. - not just dumping a bunch of mixed topics into one thread. This makes it easier for people to find recipes by topic.

I, too suggest getting a copy of Joy of Cooking (although I prefer the older version before the New Joy) - I think it's a great beginner's book that will teach you a lot of the terms and techniques - and has more recipes than you will probably ever try.

It sounds like you have all of the basics you need to do some cooking ... now you just need to find a recipe for something you want to make ... make a trip to the store to pick up the ingredients ... and take a deep breath, get up off the chair in front of the computer, and spend some time in your kitchen!

If you can narrow down your questions to a specific dish or technique we can probably help you more.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:55 AM   #12
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Welcome to DC!! Start with pasta dishes they are so simple and one dish can do a couple of meals without going to any extreme. There are some very simple sauces that are one pot cooking. One of my quick and easy standbys is smoked salmon and broccoli (or asparagus) pasta. Cook your choice of pasta (I prefer strands with this dish) by the packet instructions with the cut up pieces of broccoli or asparagus in (adding at the same time as the dry pasta) and drain, leaving a tiny bit of water in the pan. Then add ripped up pieces of smoked salmon (or use cooked fresh salmon or cooked prawns), a good blob of cream cheese, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, a good splash of cream, some parsley and ground pepper and stir. Serve with some grated parmesan on top. Super quick and tasty. And very variable. Look into your fridge and choose something different - cooked and shredded chicken instead of fish, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, eggplant, olives, etc. Pasta allows you to think about the ingredients that go together and fling in. And there are lots of basic classic recipes too.

Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:15 AM   #13
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I've been cooking since I could sit on my Dad's countertop without falling off....

But I would say just look around in some cookbooks or online and find something you think sounds great. Not too many steps or ingredients to start if you are REALLY worried about it. Read the recipe 3 times to yourself first. Work it out step by step, if you still need help this place is great!
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:06 AM   #14
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Agree with Katie that you should start with the food you like. I also suggest watching cooking shows on TV. Food network was what got me into serious cooking.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #15
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Hi rcald:

I have a wonderful, simple dish for you if you like roast chicken and vegetables. It's super simple and really no clean up. Great for a newbie. I taught my college age son this and he loves it.

Line your Corningware 9x13 pan with tin foil (then you won't have any clean up. Especially if you use Heavy Duty foil.)

Place one whole chicken in the pan. (I stick a cut up lemon in the chicken for flavor). Surround with cut up potato wedges, celery, onions and carrots. Drizzle everything with some olive oil. Season the chicken and the vegetables with what you like (could be just salt and pepper or you could also add some fresh or dried rosemary and thyme. I love these.)

Place foil tightly over the whole thing. Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Take off the foil. Roast for another 15 or 20 minutes, until the chicken is nice and golden brown. That's it! If you are watching your cholesterol, just take off the skin. Cooking the chicken with the skin on keeps it moist and juicy.

You'll love it when you peel off the tin foil from the casserole dish and there's nothing to clean up! Good luck.

Elaine - theitaliandish.blogspot.com
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:10 PM   #16
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Great idea, Elaine :) - even down to the lack of clean up!
Sounds similar to one of my favorites (a Martha recipe) that also adds some cut up root veggies as well.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
I, too suggest getting a copy of Joy of Cooking (although I prefer the older version before the New Joy) - I think it's a great beginner's book that will teach you a lot of the terms and techniques - and has more recipes than you will probably ever try.
Thank you Michael. Question: Is it worth getting the latest Joy of Cooking despite the errata covering that text? According to several amazon.com reviews, there are many mistakes in the 75th anniversary edition. Thanks.

Rob
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rcald2000 View Post
Thank you Michael. Question: Is it worth getting the latest Joy of Cooking despite the errata covering that text? According to several amazon.com reviews, there are many mistakes in the 75th anniversary edition. Thanks.

Rob
Rob, this is IMHO a perfect example of what happens when you don't follow the sage old advice, "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" I was excited when the NEW JOY was first published - but then as I flipped through it I felt as betrayed as I did as a child when I found out that the jolly old elf's lap that I sat on, and whispered my most intimate wishes into his ear at the department store, wasn't really Santa - he was just a pretend "helper" in disguise!

Personally, I would suggest picking up a copy of the 1975 Fifth Revision hardcover edition (published between 1975-1996) the last edition that had Irma's original style. On this amazon page just click on the "x number used and new for $x.xx" link and look at the list - there is one on there at this time that is new for $8.95 + $3.99 S&H. Just read the comments on the condition of the books ... I've never been dissapointed in the condition of the used books I've gotten thru the book sellers on amazon.

Now, I'm going to quickly run and take cover under my bed because there are those who actually like the post 1997 editions of Joy amd I'm sure there will be plenty of arrows headed my way.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:45 PM   #19
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I'm tired of spending money every single day eating out; I live in New York City. I want to learn to cook my own meals to save money and also feel more like the independent man that I am. How do I start?
Nice job. Unless you eat at a 5 star restaurant each day, you eat crap. I HATE to eat out. I always come home thinking that I could have made whatever it was I ate better. Don't even get me started on fast food.

You are doing the right thing by cooking for yourself, and soon you won't want to eat anything else, at lest that's how I am lol.
I am the best cook I know on earth.

If you want a nice easy start, pasta is the way to go. I would share some Rc with you, but I cook by feel and eye shots.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:49 PM   #20
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Personally, I would suggest picking up a copy of the 1975 Fifth Revision hardcover edition (published between 1975-1996) the last edition that had Irma's original style...
Done, I ordered the very copy that you mentioned, quoted for $8.95 on Amazon's used site. Thanks for the recommendation, I'm super-excited!
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