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Old 02-13-2009, 12:38 PM   #31
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There is no trick to cooking. All you have to do is follow the recipe. Its just that some of us (like me) are patience challenged. I recommend you find some recipes you think you will like and make sure they are not using a ton of ingredients. Start making some here and there and I think you will find it is not as hard as you think it is. One way to fool the ladies is to get really good at crop pot cooking. Its the easiest way and almost impossible to screw up! Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:37 PM   #32
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There is no trick to cooking. All you have to do is follow the recipe. Its just that some of us (like me) are patience challenged. I recommend you find some recipes you think you will like and make sure they are not using a ton of ingredients. Start making some here and there and I think you will find it is not as hard as you think it is. One way to fool the ladies is to get really good at crop pot cooking. Its the easiest way and almost impossible to screw up! Good luck!

This is GREAT advice... cooking in a crock pot can be one of the easiest and it can make a simple meal seem like you spent hours on it (even when all you did was throw everything in and leave it all afternoon!)

I know it's always said, but the best advice is to JUST START COOKING. Trial and error is the only way to really develop your skills... after a while you will get to a point where recipes will give you ideas, but your experience will allow you to give your dishes a personalized flavor/ touch.
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:18 PM   #33
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There are a few cookbooks out there with recipes that have no more than four ingredients. It would be pretty hard to mess up a dish like that. Check Amazon.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #34
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I learned most of my basics from spending time in the kitchen with my grandmothers, mom and her two sisters, and in Boy Scouts. Other things I have learned over the years have come from a cousin who was a chef, uncles who knew how to butcher and smoke meats, watching cooking shows, reading, and a lot more time in the kitchen "experimenting".

Cooking is better learned by demonstration than just from reading descriptions from books. However, you can learn a lot of the essentials from books, too! Beg, borrow or buy (get the hardcover edition) a copy of Joy of Cooking - the 1975 revision that only lists Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker as authors on the cover. This has a lot of information on what you need to set up your kitchen, what different ingredients are, how to use them, explains different cuts of meats and how to cook them, etc.

If you want to get more into the "science" then you might want to check out a copy of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (Hardcover - Revised Edition) by Harold McGee.

There are some other good books, look in our cookbook forum for some other suggestions, but these two will get you started.

For some cheap cooking classes check out your local community college (usually a continuing education course during the evening) or community center (usually sponsored by the parks and recreation department). Some grocery stores also have coking demonstrations/classes - you'll just have to check around .... I know that around me Central Market and Whole Foods have them every couple of weeks or so.

Yes, like anything else, cooking has a learning curve. But, like the other challenges you have overcome in your life (potty training, drinking out of a glass, walking, dressing yourself) you can learn to cook, too! There are really only about 7-11 ways to cook food ... everything else is technique or ingredients.

Now, as for impressing the ladies because you can cook a meal ... yep, you can ... I've got two ex-wives that can attest to that. But trust me - cooking with her before you get too serious is a not an option, it is mandatory! The morning after the honeymoon is over is not the time to find out that she is reading the egg carton to find instructions to make scrambled eggs, or looking for the instruction manual for the toaster to make toast ...
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #35
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Where do you start? Cooking is so confusing.... I look at some recipes online and there's a whole bunch of ingredients I never heard of.

Seriously...this whole thing is so unnatural...where do you begin to learn to start cooking?
I'd suggest starting with basic meals, that are "learnable" by watching somebody else make.

Then try recipes.

Then, get creative with changing things up.

The trick is, don't be afraid to ruin a dish. You have to learn somehow.



Just when I got comfortable cooking, I moved into an apartment without a stove. I've been electric skilleting my meals, and have managed to pick up a thing or two.

Watch people, and don't be embarrassed to ask questions. "how much of this do you use", "what is that", "why do you use this and not that".

Good luck.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #36
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First, Welcome to DC. I can tell from the stores you listed you're in California. Most likely someone north of Bakersfield because Lucky is only in Cali.
Yea, we lost our Lucky back when I was in High School (1993) and I haven't seen one since. I'm in L.A. We don't have Safeways, never have down here. Our Vons carries Safeways brand however.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:43 PM   #37
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something else I love is the Food Network. I watch it everyday and have learned soooooo much!
Yea and you can select your recipes based on their difficulty, easy, intermediate, or Barefoot Contessa.


I stumbled onto a website that actually had the "grocery list" for you also. That was nice. I don't remember what site it was though.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #38
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Yea, we lost our Lucky back when I was in High School (1993) and I haven't seen one since. I'm in L.A. We don't have Safeways, never have down here. Our Vons carries Safeways brand however.
Vons is only in Sothern California, Safeway is north of Santa Barbara (IIR SB has both). Funny thing in Virginia I was able to use my Vons card at Safeway when I went on a visit in 2000. Before I left So Cal Lucky's were becoming Albertsons, during the strike of 2003-04, but in Nor Cal it stayed Lucky. I always prefered Lucky over Albertsons. But that's another thread.

I believe both stores have a great selection albeit different one to another. Vons/Safeway had a great meat section and great specials on a weekly basis (Oh I miss those specials). Look for specials and stock up on staples. You won't regret it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:31 PM   #39
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Thumbs up A cookbook that only needs 5 ingredients

We used to eat out a lot during the week. But now we're trying to save that money so I found a book for beginning cooks. Well, I just love it. It has hundreds of recipes in it and every one just uses like 5 things. And it's stuff I usually already have in my cabinet.
The best part is that my picky DDs will actually eat the stuff I cook! LOL (That is something new).

It's called:
500 Fast & Fabulous Five Star 5 Ingredient Recipes by Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley, and I think it cost about $16. I have already saved probably $200 in a month since we quit driving through for dinner. So I'm happy with it.

Oh, I got it at Amazon.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:28 AM   #40
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If you want to get more into the "science" then you might want to check out a copy of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (Hardcover - Revised Edition) by Harold McGee.

I have learned so much from this book and I highly recommend it, even if you aren't really into science it's still an interesting read.
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