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Old 06-18-2019, 01:17 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Saskatchewan
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Hey there! Your help could save my hair!

Hey everyone, awesome to find a community forum in the cooking category. I came here in seek of some advice so let me first introduce myself!

I am from Canada, I'm 28 years old, married with two healthy children and gearing up to go back to university. On top of this my wife and I recently started a business to start growing so this keeps us (primarily her occupied).

So myself, I grew up barely having to cook! In my early adult and teen years, living alone I loved sticking to the basics (baking and bbqing flavourless chicken, beans, whole wheats and steaming bagged vegetables) as it saved me time and was a lot healthier than anything else I could make. As a very focused and responsible young man, I did not prioritize learning new cooking skills and even lost the few that school taught me. Being married to my wife, she is Filipino and loves cooking so I gained a bunch of weight and it worked out up until now. I am now regretting not taking more time to learn good cooking skills. As I am in summer awaiting university, I am full time taking care of the kids... let me first give a shout out to the single moms out there. I am really starting to have trouble trying to learn this new skill, and also manage a half year old and a 5 year old. So I commonly resort to the basics I once counted on, but I want to do better, yet I'm struggling to find motivation as to a beginner like me, big meal preps and mess seems almost terrifying to commit to.

So finally... I am on a mission to find the holy grail of starter cook books and also any tips and tricks (without just saying be patient)... something short and sweet as time is hard to come by. Also since I've been looking at a healthier diet for my kids, anything in the healthy area is good. Finally the tricks to increase the efficiency and minimize the mess in the kitchen not limited to handy tools, the right stuff for cleaning hard messes quickly... etc.

Basically I am looking for as much of your hard earned experience in combination with your sympathy as quickly as I can... I am willing to do the work, but need some serious direction...

Thank from my kids, wife and myself in advance for your time and any little tid-bits you may be able to share that you remember from trying to learn!

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Old 06-18-2019, 08:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:02 AM   #4
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:56 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum RoBot.

Maybe we can give you ways to making your "flavourless" grilling and steamed vegis taste more interesting to start with. Also, what about some simple recipes to start working on other cooking skills.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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Hi !!
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
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Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

For general cooking, "Ruhlman's Twenty," by Michael Ruhlman, is a great resource for beginning cooks. He describes the basic cooking techniques and how they work, including the all-important mise en place - everything in its place. This means getting all your ingredients and tools out and ready before you start cooking, to make sure you have everything you need.

From a review at http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/09/c...ns-twenty.html
The first technique that Michael Ruhlman introduces in his latest cookbook, Ruhlman's Twenty is simply titled Think because in his words, "Thinking in the kitchen is underrated." Ruhlman wants us to stop blindly following recipes, in an A plus B equals C, kitchen robot kind of way, and start thinking about the hows and whys that make recipe work.

In order to better understand these hows and whys, Ruhlman has introduced 20 fundamental techniques for today's kitchen in his latest volume—Think, Salt, Water, Onion, Acid, Egg, Butter, Dough, Batter, Sugar, Sauce, Vinaigrette, Soup, Sauté, Roast, Braise, Poach, Grill, Fry, Chill—all of which are not only tackled in typical Ruhlman straight-talk, everyman science but illustrated with a set of recipes that puts each technique into action.
Next, think about ways to re-purpose leftovers. For example, on Sundays, make a roast chicken or beef or pork, then use the leftover meat the next day to make a stir-fry or casserole. Use the chicken carcass to make stock for soup or rice later in the week. It doesn't have to simmer for hours and hours - an hour or two after dinner and before bedtime is plenty for a flavorful stock.

Here are a few recipes from the book:




My other suggestion would be to serve your children small portions of the same foods you and your wife eat (once the baby is old enough). Giving children so-called kids' food like chicken fingers and nuggets seems to be a trend, but feeding them the family's food reduces the stress of making separate food and helps them become accustomed to trying new foods. Hope this helps.
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:09 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Saskatchewan
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Thank you very much for the response! I am going to try the oven roasted chicken tomorrow and then make it a stirfry as you suggested, I will be buying the book as well.

For the rest of you thank you very much for the welcome
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:29 AM   #9
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I agree with GG, Ruhlman's Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman is a great resource. But, don't expect it to be your normal "cookbook." It is not a book full of recipes, although there are many good recipes in there.

It is really more of a book about the essentials of cooking good food. There is a whole chapter about salt. He explains all the kinds of salt, and how to use them properly. There is another chapter about butter.

There are recipes scattered around the book, but they all support the subject of the chapter. It is a cooking book you get the most from by actually reading it. Not all at once -- that would be brain overload. Read a chapter, cook one of the recipes from that chapter -- using the techniques you learned from reading.

Welcome, and bon appetit.

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Winnie-the-Pooh
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