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Old 06-22-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
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Deciding on accompaniments and sides

Hi I'm new to this forum.

I haven't cooked from recipes for over 10 years. Now the children are older I want to start using recipe books to prepare dinner. I bought a ton of cook books.

I love the betty crocker recipes (esp the 30 minute ones) and particularly the ones that suggest what you should serv it with. e.g. barbecue pork with pototo salad. i.e. you get the whole meal and don't have to figure out what your going to serve with it

So........my question is does anybody know a book/website of betty crocker complete meals so that for each recipe I am also given the name of appropriate sides and accompaniments. It's too time consuming to plough through the sides to see what might work - I'm amazed that the book isn't organized like this.

I just want all the 'thinking' done for me - tell me what to cook and I'll cook it!

Any pointers greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-22-2006, 02:33 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site. I do not know of any books like that although I am sure some do exist. What I can suggest though is use this website. Tell us what you are planning on making for dinner and we will give you tons of suggestions of things that will go with it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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Hi!

Shame about the lack of complete planned meals but thanks for the offer of help!
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:11 PM   #4
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Iclavdis - you really need to figure out your own accompaniments. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Cooking isn't an exact science - there isn't a particular "side" that works for every main dish. You can't have all "the thinking done" for you. Good grief - cooking is supposed to be enjoyable - not a robotic experience!
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:10 PM   #5
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Hi BreezyCooking,

I do find cooking enjoyable when the menu is planned for me - I don't love the process nor do I hate it - it's a necessary chore like cleaning the bathroom - it's a chore but I like the result! I'd much rather stand on the shoulders of giants who have toiled over designing recipes and complete meal combinations and I'm prepared to pay for the privilege.

People hire interior designers for the same reason others just love doing all their own decorating and remodelling.

My passions are reading and gardening. Sure a landscape architect might do a better job than me but I'd much rather design my own landscape and flowerbeds - it's a pleasure and a creative outlet.....so I understand what you're saying about cooking - but there's just so many other things I'd rather do instead - cooking is not my thing.

peace.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:31 PM   #6
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You sound like my mother. She was a school teacher, and during the summer, she wanted to spend her time gardening, not cooking. But Dad worked second shift, and needed a good meal at noon, before he went to work. That's how I learned to cook. I did the meal planning, shopping, cooking and clean-up, and got the use of the convertible plus gas and spending money in exchange.

Check out this website...I think it has exactly what you need. For example, type beef into the search, and it will come up with all sorts of menus including beef.

http://www.mealsforyou.com/cgi-bin/c...eals_main.html

They even have already prepared meals that you can order from their store.
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:59 AM   #7
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Ciao and welcome to DC!!

I hope you will hang with us for a while, then we will make you realise cooking can also be a fun and rewarding hobby!!

Anyway, like Breezy said, everyone's tastebud is different, so there is no absolute way to tell what kind of matches are good for certain food.
Why don't you use a search engine here, entering the name of the item you are interested in using, then you may find many variety of interesting/tasty ways to enjoy that item, also you will find many ideas for quick, simple cooking, so you will be able to have more time for other activities.

I hope you will find this forum useful to you, and meet some of our helpful and friendly folks, maybe you will end up adding yet another favourite activity in your hobby list one day soon!!
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:15 AM   #8
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ooooh, Thanks for the MealsForYou link - put it straight in my favorite places.

I just wanted to say that I've always cooked for the past 10 years - just not from recipes (just plain food from my own head)

Last night I cooked betty crocker's mexican beef with black beans - very quick to make - tasted spicy lemony and tangy very different combination of flavors to what we're used to - Also we've never had black beans before - delicious!

I served it with tortilla chips, grated cheese and sour cream (stuff I had hanging around)

I think this forum is going to be a great resource in my new cooking venture.

Peace.
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Check out cooking magazines too for some hints on 'what to serve with'; two I can think of right off the bat are Cooking Light and FIne Cooking. They also both have websites.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:18 AM   #10
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Great suggestion Marm. Another one is Cuisine At Home. All (or most) of their recipes come with side dish recipes that go with the main dish.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iclavdivs
does anybody know a book/website of betty crocker complete meals so that for each recipe I am also given the name of appropriate sides and accompaniments.
Do you have "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman in your cookbook collection? I mention it because, in addition to being one of my favorites, it has a section called "Menus" that sounds exactly like what you're looking for. It's formatted as follows:
  • Breakfasts
    • Weekday Breakfasts
    • Weekend Breakfasts
  • Brunches
    • Sit-Down Brunches
    • Buffet Brunches
  • Lunches
    • Light Lunches
    • Lunches to Pack
    • Picnic Lunches
    • Buffet Lunches
  • Dinners
    • Indoor Dinners
    • Outdoor Dinners
    • Special Occasion Dinners
  • In-Between Meals
    • Afternoon Teas
    • Cocktail Parties
  • Miscellaneous
Each heading has many menus and, of course each item has an indexed recipe. The section is 18 pages long and includes 135 menus. The book has been out since '98 and received The Julia Child Cookbook Award and the James Beard Foundation Cookbook award.

Note to publisher: Please verify the spelling of my name before mailing my check.
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:51 PM   #12
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I just remembered this one but I don't know if it's still in print. I have seen it on used bookstore shelves occasionally.

"60-Minute Gourmet" by Pierre Franey 1979.

The whole book consists of main dish recipes with one corresponding side dish. I didn't think of it because I haven't used in quite a while but, as I thumb through it, it won't go back on the shelf right away.
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:47 PM   #13
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Another website you may want to check out is savingdinner.com. You can sign up for either 3, 6 or 12 months at a time and each week you will receive 6 main dish recipes, suggestions for side dishes (no recipes) and a grocery list (which includes ingredients for the suggested sides).

I’ve purchased these menus sporadically the past couple of years and they’ve helped me a lot. I’m like you in that I don’t mind cooking, starting to actually enjoy it, but I have trouble coming up a complete menu.
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:17 PM   #14
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Amen to skilletlicker's suggestion about Mark Bittman's book.

It's easy to read and he has a nice relaxed way of imparting information that I particularly like.

Also has great ideas of what goes with what.

p.s. Please come fix my yard - I'm about gardening the way you are about cooking. I want it to look great, but have little know-how. (Connie, don't smack me - I know you are the go-to person for plants!)
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:13 AM   #15
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My mom trained me to go for color. It's actually nutritionally sound. You want red and green. Starches are usually white. Protein is brown or white. In your imagination, think of what your main dish is going to look like, then add some color. Need red? Make sure you add carrots or tomatoes. Need green? Well, I'm a firm believer in salad for every meal. Nothing adds cool like a cucumber. Think of your plate as a palate, and make sure that there's plenty of color.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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My mom didn't enjoy cooking much, except for baking, but she was ahead of her time on nutritious food and a balanced diet. I learned that a meal consisted of a protein, a starch, and a green vegetable. She was also big on carrots. We got fruit at breakfast, in desserts, and for snacks.
We've learned a lot about nutrition since then, but at least I did get a good start.
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:25 PM   #17
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Thanks a million for all the book suggestions.

I'm going to hunt them down on amazon.com.

Wow this place is a great resource!
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