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Old 02-23-2011, 07:10 AM   #21
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You can' t go wrong with Pot roast type meals
Ill list the basics but you can always add different veggies or choice
baby carrots or whole carrots cut into chunks, brussels sprouts, parsnips, aspargus,
mushrooms etc
onions sliced but if you have someone that doesn't like onions chopp them up thaey won't notice them, but got to have onion for flavor

Ole blue always had good recipes with pictures - you could browse her posts
heres a link
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/search.php?searchid=1551630

here's afew ideas to get you started.

#1 - Whole chicken or peices of chicken
baby carrots, one onion sliced or chopped up, potatoes cut into chunks
salt and pepper, a garlic clove minced, thyme,
lemon slices -> optional but tasty with
put all in a roasting pan and
if you have chicken broth add enough to cover bottom
bake 350 approx 1 hr or till chicken done.

#2 - Chunk roast, baby carrots, potatoes cut into chunks,
onion chopped or sliced , brussels sprouts (optional) garlic clove minced,
pinch or 2 of rosemary, salt and pepper beef broth to cover bottom
bake in roasting pan 350 1-2 hr depending on size of chuck roast

#3 - Pork roast or pork steaks or pork chops
can do the same like the chicken or or chunk roast
or you can do with sauerkraut, carrots, onion, potatoes

#4- Meat loaf and scallop potatoes.


#5- skillet lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

Salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound meatloaf mix

10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Pepper

1 cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Pour tomatoes with their juices into a 1-quart measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add onion and ? teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir. Pour diced tomatoes with juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in ? cup Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons ricotta cheese. Cover and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and remaining Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 AM   #22
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I know there have been a lot of options tossed out for you to try and I know you may feel overwhelmed but remember we are all here to help.

If you have ANY question on any of the recipes, any of the steps, or anything anyone as posted, please ask. There are always members online available, able and eager to help.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:34 AM   #23
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Welcome to DC!

Go to the library and check out cookbooks that are "5 Ingredients or Less" (there are several with that in the title--I gave mine to my dad as he is having to take over cooking and only makes omelettes and bacon). FWIW, gentlemen (and ladies) if you rely on your partner to cook, I'd recommend learning to cook as well--you may have to take over cooking at some point.

If you can afford it, check and see if there are any cooking classes through your community education programs. This could be something fun for you and your daughter to do together. It might help boost your confidence as well.

The recipe below is fairly inexpensive to make and has "jobs" that each can do to make the recipe together. I used to make this a lot when we were on a limited budget. I would buy chops on special and debone them. You can make this with any cut of pork chops. I guess you could use boneless chicken breasts in place of the pork chops.

Tomato and Sage Pork Chops (this was in Chatelaine Magazine ~1987/88--I don't have the magazine, but do remember this was an issue that had about 10 pork chop recipes. This one was our favorite). I would also trim the fat, but not all of it.

4 pork chops
1 T olive oil (vegetable oil would work as well--olive oil has a lower "burn" point)
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2-1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp sugar

1. Heat oil in large skillet (if using olive oil, keep a close eye on it. Add chops (I turn down the heat to medium) and brown on all sides (about 4 minutes each side).
2. While chops are browning, coarsely chop fresh tomatoes (your daughter could do this while you "supervise" the browning of the chops or vice versa)
3. When chops are browned, drain fat from pan. Return chops to the pan. Add 1/2 of the chopped tomatoes and the crushed garlic clove. Add pepper, dried sage, and sugar. Cover and cook partially covered for 10 minutes (may have to cook longer or less because of thickness of chops and if the chops are boned/boneless) over medium-low heat. Turn chops after about 5 minutes. When tender, remove from pan.
4. Add remaining tomatoes to sauce and heat through. Serve sauce on top of chops with a side of rice/noodles, steamed veggies or tossed salad.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spork View Post
I think every 18-yr old should learn how to cook instant ramen noodles. Not exactly kosher, but a good place to start. Welcome to DC, Blee.
I second this! Although I started cooking much younger, when I was in college and broke as could be, we turned Ramen into high cuisine. There are so many easy ways to dress it up and experiment. Funny thing about that is that now that I am living in Southeast Asia, what we call Ramen they call Nooden or Nuden.....is VERY popular here! So popular that there are entire restaurants in some countries that serve ONLY Nuden.

Start with some Ramen, drop an egg in the water while it's boiling, add some pepper (doesn't need any extra salt) and toss in a few veggies like chopped up carrots and celery.....instant yummy soup. Something else we used to do in college (my roommate and I) was buy one of those roasted chickens for $5, then whatever we didn't eat the first night for dinner would go into our Ramen the next day.

Pasta dishes are a great place to begin because they are so easy and generally very tasty. Start with a big crowd pleaser like spaghetti, but don't buy the sauce in the jar. Here's what I do:

1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 medium can of diced tomatoes
-- or -- what I do now instead of using canned is stew fresh tomatoes

Fill up the can for the crushed tomatoes with water and add that to the sauce

The essential ingredients for an outstanding standard spaghetti sauce (for my money) are:

- Fresh garlic (LOTS of it)
- Fresh onion
- Fresh mushrooms
- Fresh basil
- Ground beef (if you want meat in your sauce)

You can always use ordinary Italian seasoning in place of the fresh basil and your family will probably love it all the same.

I like a really hearty sauce so I also add diced carrots and celery.

Add the carrots and celery and seasoning (either fresh or dried) to the tomato sauce and let it simmer for a bit. Meanwhile, brown the meat with the fresh garlic and onion. Most recipes tell you to drain the meat after it cooks but I always buy lean ground beef and there's very little grease from the meat. I leave it and dump it all into the tomato sauce because I think it adds an extra "oomph". Let it all simmer for at least 30 minutes.

To really take your simple spaghetti dinner to the next level, get fresh Parmesan cheese and grate it. You'll never want that powdery garbage from the plastic bottle again, I promise!

Best thing about homemade spaghetti is that it always tastes better the next day, so don't be afraid to beef up your sauce and make a big batch. The leftovers are the best part.

Welcome to DC, I hope you find some inspiration here.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #25
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Easy, simple, inexpensive meals can be found in DC, Here Meals in Minutes - Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums and here Budget Friendly Dishes - Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums

Welcome to DC.

My cookbook choice would be the Betty Crocker cookbook. I was newly wed at 18 y/o and learned to make a perfect turkey dinner for my first Thanksgiving from this cookbook. Also tarts and bread, but the bread had to stop. We were eating a loaf a day and I was spending more on ingredients than regular bread.

There are some newsletters I like too: Bisquick, Kraft, Mr. Food, McCormick Kitchens, etc. Just find the site and sign up. I rarely make new recipes any more, but get great ideas.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:50 PM   #26
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I would suggest first learning how to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes or whatnot. Also, a lot of people wanting to learn to make quick simple meals might not want to have to go to the store for a special ingredient each time they go to cook a simple meal.

I would think about going out and buying jars of spices for future use. These can be the smaller sized McCormick spice jars. Next, get some basic implements like maybe a electric hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, meat thermometer. As time goes on, you can acquire more tools as they are needed which help in preparation.

I'm no great cook, but I started out making simple yet delicious meals that don't rely on a trip to the produce department every meal. You can buy crushed or minced garlic instead of using fresh cloves. Frozen vegetable are easier than having to cut up fresh vegetable (remember keeping it simple and quick, ppl?).

I mean, there are basic meatloaf recipes that use only ground beef, seasoning salt, minced garlic, onion, salt and pepper, dried mustard, bread and milk, Worcestershire sauce, and chili sauce. Mash up some potatoes, boil some frozen green peas, a salad and rolls and you have a really easy delicious meal. A roast beef dinner too complex? No.
Buy an eye round roast, baste with oil and vinegar, follow the cooking time and then mash up some potatoes, beef gravy jar, canned or frozen peas or green beans, bagged salad and roll. You can't get much more home type cooking than that, and it's simple!

One learning curve will be having all the parts of the meal come together, such as timing when to start the potatoes and beans boiling as the roast is close to ready. That comes with practice.

Lastly, get 6 or 8 of these simple type meals under your belt (no pun intended) as tried and true, then add more recipes.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhizara View Post

My cookbook choice would be the Betty Crocker cookbook. I was newly wed at 18 y/o and learned to make a perfect turkey dinner for my first Thanksgiving from this cookbook.
I second that cookbook. It was my first cookbook also. It's also been the first cookbook that I bought for each of my kids and grandkids.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:35 PM   #28
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learned a lot from that cookbook. would really help you a lot.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #29
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learned a lot from that cookbook. would really help you a lot.
I totally concur. I still have a Betty Crocker cookbook from the early 60's.
What I like about their cookbook is that they go into just about everything from how to boil an egg to measuring to substitutions. It's like "cooking for dummies." That cookbook doesn't "talk" down to me as if I should already know basic cooking.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:29 AM   #30
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[QUOTE=Caslon;972328]I would suggest first learning how to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes or whatnot. Also, a lot of people wanting to learn to make quick simple meals might not want to have to go to the store for a special ingredient each time they go to cook a simple meal.

I would think about going out and buying jars of spices for future use. These can be the smaller sized McCormick spice jars. Next, get some basic implements like maybe a electric hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, meat thermometer. As time goes on, you can acquire more tools as they are needed which help in preparation.

I'm no great cook, but I started out making simple yet delicious meals that don't rely on a trip to the produce department every meal. You can buy crushed or minced garlic instead of using fresh cloves. Frozen vegetable are easier than having to cut up fresh vegetable (remember keeping it simple and quick, ppl?).

I mean, there are basic meatloaf recipes that use only ground beef, seasoning salt, minced garlic, onion, salt and pepper, dried mustard, bread and milk, Worcestershire sauce, and chili sauce. Mash up some potatoes, boil some frozen green peas, a salad and rolls and you have a really easy delicious meal. A roast beef dinner too complex? No.
Buy an eye round roast, baste with oil and vinegar, follow the cooking time and then mash up some potatoes, beef gravy jar, canned or frozen peas or green beans, bagged salad and roll. You can't get much more home type cooking than that, and it's simple!

One learning curve will be having all the parts of the meal come together, such as timing when to start the potatoes and beans boiling as the roast is close to ready. That comes with practice.

Lastly, get 6 or 8 of these simple type meals under your belt (no pun intended) as tried and true, then add more recipes.[/QUOTE

I make a schedule of what I'm going to be cooking and how long each step takes. Match up the times and follow it. Make notes about changes and how they turn out. Use the method again. If you make the schedules out on a steno book, you can keep them together, for future reference.
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