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Old 07-12-2011, 01:51 AM   #1
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What should I start with?

Hello Everyone,

I'm getting ready to start cooking daily but I'm not should how I should start. Right now whenever I feel like cooking I would come online and look up a recipe or if I see something I like on TV I look up the recipe and make it. What I am wondering is should I make a menu for the week? Or should I go by what I have in my pantry and fridge?

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Old 07-12-2011, 02:05 AM   #2
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I would suggest making a menu from what you have in your fridge/pantry. If you have three things--eggplant, tomatoes, ground beef, for example, do a search and see what kinds of recipes you can make using those things. I always cook based on what I have on hand. When I grocery shop, I buy specials and then figure out what to do with them. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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That's a good idea.

You could also just make what you feel like eating. I go through cycles of cravings and make meals that suit me at the time. That ensures I will enjoy what I'm eating.

You could make a menu for the week if that's how often you shop. Otherwise you'll be running to the store every night or so.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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I shop whenever I get the chance. I buy stuff like dry, frozen or canned goods that I have no intention of using anytime in the near future. This way, I decide what I am going to eat by looking in my pantry, or freezer. I may have to pick up a fresh thing or two, to compliment or finish the dish, but the majority is usually here to begin with.

So, I advise you to get shopping and try and keep a good variety of non perishable items on hand. It will help you decide. Leave some cookbooks laying around on your coffee table, for example. You can browse them while relaxing and possibley get your creative juices flowing.

I also like to cook classics. Every nationality and region has them. I may not stick to the recipe, but I make up my version with what I have around. I have been known to work my way across Europe via my kitchen.
We used to have a fish night, where we ate some kind of fish dish once a week. It was never the same and was fun to decide and plan for. Then Friday nights are still pizza nights around here. I always try and cook some different kind of pizza, weather it be deep dish, authentic thin crust, calzone, frozen, bisquick crust, whatever. As long as it isn't the same thing every week and I get to try different recipes and techniques.
We eat lots of steak, here. It is one of our favorites. So, to change it up a bit, I try to make different side dishes everytime. I make a point of trying something I have never made before.
Lots of different ways to cook and enjoy your favorite foods.

So many recipes, so little time...
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #5
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I plan my meals a day a head, I tried to do it on a weekly basis but would change it everyday because of leftovers or cravings.
I think just to experiment a little to what works is best for you.
I am way to impulsive to buy for a week ahead but don´t mind to go the the store every other day.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #6
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I do one large grocery shop a month and buy fresh goods as I need them. I find that buying meats in bulk and freezing them works best for me and I usually just buy equal quantities of red meat, chicken, fish and pork so that I can alternate meals. Plan ahead even if it's just weekly to make life easier and improvise with what you have at home if you don't have what recipes call for.
Sure you'll get the hang of it soon, I felt lost in kitchen when I just got married but before you know it you'll be buying foods without even needing a list!
Good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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I don't do a weekly menu. It's just me, so I pretty much eat on impulse, but I do keep a well stocked freezer with different meats and seafood. And like you are planning, if I see something online or on TV that catches my eye, I go out and get what I need to make it. It makes a nice changeup to the usual meals I make.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:18 AM   #8
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When the hubby and I had more time we would make menus based off of a combination of what we had on hand, what was listed as on sale in the flyers and what we were in the mood for. We'd create our grocery lists based on that and non-perishables that were on sale that we knew we commonly used. Then we'd just make quick runs to the store to get any fresh ingredients we needed. Saved us a lot of money and helped keep our meals balanced and healthy. I'm looking forward to when we have time to do that again. Just make sure to see your menu as a guide and not set in stone. That way if something happens that throws it off you can move plans around as needed.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:24 AM   #9
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Definitely. The sales fliers are our friend.
I can't remember the last time I bought a box of pasta, lol.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I don't do a weekly menu. It's just me, so I pretty much eat on impulse, but I do keep a well stocked freezer with different meats and seafood. And like you are planning, if I see something online or on TV that catches my eye, I go out and get what I need to make it. It makes a nice changeup to the usual meals I make.
I wouldn't say I make a menu either, just plan what meats etc. and I make sure my pantry is welled stocked. I think if you've been doing it long enough it becomes second nature :) For beginners it's good idea to plan a rough menu just to get you started
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