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  • Cooking 101 (aka Cooking for Dummies)

    So, how many of you consider yourselves to be "beginner cooks?" Can you follow a simple recipe (mac and cheese or brownies from a box) maybe? Or are you a disaster in the kitchen, like my hubby who *killed* stove top stuffing? I am still trying to figure that one out unless it was a ploy to make me banish him from the kitchen for evermore....

    If this describes you, than this is the thread for you.

    This is where you will find tips on basic cooking, links to beginner cooking website and easy recipes.

    Anyone may post here, so all of you more experienced cooks, let us know what you have learned through trial and error in your own kitchens.


    My Blog: The Musings of Faery-Wings

  • #2
    My biggest suggestion for Cooking 101 is to plan ahead!!
    Read over the recipe, get all of the ingredients, tools, pans etc. Read the recipe again. I cannot tell you how many times I have screwed up a recipe thinking it said one thing and it really meant another.So make sure that you understand the steps, the ingredients and the terminology.
    Just recently I botched up what should have been a really good Apple Crisp. Instead of using softened butter, I melted it, and the crisp ended up very "uncrisp."

    Also check the timing. I have also skimmed through a recipe, thought I had enough time to cook it. I missed one part, threw the whole recipe off, and while the potatoes were done at 6pm, the meat wasn't done until 7.


    My Blog: The Musings of Faery-Wings

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    • #3
      Thanks so much for starting this thread! The Gods KNOW I need it LMAO


      Yes, I am definitly a beginner. I dont really have my own kitchen... I am hoping to move to my own place in the Summer, so I am beginning to learn, observe and attempt at cooking and Kitchen Witchery so that I have some basics ready when I finally am at my own place with more Kitchen freedom!

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      • #4
        foodnetwork.com has all the recipes from all the shows, rated by skill level and sorted by episode, classification and ingredient.


        by classification i mean style, dietary standard and course.

        recipe.com is pretty great too.



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        • #5
          Meal Planning, Grocery List????

          these items do help :toofless:

          Great Thread !!! :cheers:
          11 Year Member
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          Astrology and the UFO & Extraterrestrial forums.

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          • #6
            Don't Forget about Mccalls and Good Housekeeping!

            they both have good cookbook sets...
            "Encyclopedias" you can find tons of recipies...

            I have my grandmother's cookbooks....... there were alot of them...
            11 Year Member
            Forum Guide for
            Astrology and the UFO & Extraterrestrial forums.

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            • #7
              umm lets see... what advice can i give.... don't let your hubby cook anything if he doesn't know how to put out a grease fire....

              other than that... stick to basic foods to start and try spicing them up... my favorite is frozen boneless chicken breasts or any type of frozen boneless fish. then add anything that sounds good on top, you almost can never go wrong...
              for an extremly good fish place thawed fish in a pan and cover with raspberry vingerette bake for about 20 minutes and poof. put on a bed of rice and professional looking meals easy...
              it doesn't have to be hard to look or taste good
              Wonderful all around

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              • #8
                My advice to beginners is to not get too over eager on your first tries. Get your pantry stocked with condiments and sauces. Make use of alot of the richer flavors for basic foods. If you start with a base as CalisticSunrise stated, like chicken with vegetables, use high flavor additions to make them tasty as well as healthy. Get high flavor condiments like soy sauce, teriyaki, hoisin sauce, pesto (they sell those in small jars that are ready to go), chili sauce, marinara in jars, and things of that sort. Have dried herbs on hand and always... always have fresh garlic on hand, but keep dried for emergencies. I can't list everything in my pantry but some of the staples are:

                olive and canola oil
                red and white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar
                powdered garlic, onion, Creole seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning
                dried oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage and bay leaves
                marinara sauce in jars when I don't have time to make my own
                many, many bags/boxes of pasta
                Tabasco, chili pastes
                jarred roasted peppers
                capers and green olives
                soy sauce, teriyaki, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil
                canned beans
                canned tomatoes, sauce and paste
                rice
                canned anchovies
                sundried tomatoes (I prefer dried in packages, not packed in oil)
                dried chile peppers
                dried bread crumbs

                This is just a small list of what I've got - believe me, you can make loads of different meals with just these things. I'll add more as I think of them.
                Last edited by WitchJezebel; November 14th, 2005, 10:31 AM.
                "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                R.I.P. MiLo
                Run free and catch the rabbits
                4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CalisticSunrise
                  umm lets see... what advice can i give.... don't let your hubby cook anything if he doesn't know how to put out a grease fire....

                  other than that... stick to basic foods to start and try spicing them up... my favorite is frozen boneless chicken breasts or any type of frozen boneless fish. then add anything that sounds good on top, you almost can never go wrong...
                  for an extremly good fish place thawed fish in a pan and cover with raspberry vingerette bake for about 20 minutes and poof. put on a bed of rice and professional looking meals easy...
                  it doesn't have to be hard to look or taste good
                  I had a bf that made some great grease fires!!

                  You can cook the thawed fish and even boneless chicken in foil on a baking sheet - cut vegetables thinly, place on foil, top with fish or chicken, add lemon juice or any kind of seasonings you like, close up the foil like a pouch, by folding and roast; there's no loss of nutrients and you'll have plenty of juices to top off your rice or noodles.
                  "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                  "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                  "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                  R.I.P. MiLo
                  Run free and catch the rabbits
                  4/7/96 - 11/30/10

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Faery-Wings
                    Just recently I botched up what should have been a really good Apple Crisp. Instead of using softened butter, I melted it, and the crisp ended up very "uncrisp."
                    I didn't know that... I just melt it out of convenience when making whatever I'm making.

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                    • #11
                      Pasta doubles in size. One pound of pasta is technically 8- 1/2 cup servings. Depending on the sauce you are using or any other additions (like chicken, veggies, sausage etc) one pound of pasta shpuld feed 4 good size eaters as a main course.

                      Once the pasta boils after adding it to the water, lower it. It doesn't need to stay at a full boil. And if you leave it at a full boil, good chance it will boil over onto your stove.


                      My Blog: The Musings of Faery-Wings

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                      • #12
                        To put out a grease fire *do not* throw water on it.
                        Smother it with a pot lid or baking soda.

                        Here we go for further reading:
                        http://www.ehow.com/how_114403_kitchen-fire.html


                        My Blog: The Musings of Faery-Wings

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Xander67
                          Meal Planning, Grocery List????

                          these items do help :toofless:

                          Great Thread !!! :cheers:
                          Definitely a grocery list. Go thru your recipe and make a detailed list; if I'm making a cheesecake and I need 3, 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese I put exactly that - it makes shopping so much easier. If you're very familiar with your market and know the order of the aisles, set it up according to aisle so you don't have to keep running back and forth (I almost always forget something in aisle 5 or something so I have to go back). Also take advantage of sales and coupons. If there's a special on pasta, buy it, it won't go to waste in your pantry and you can keep it stocked for that day when you just gotta have spaghetti and meatballs.
                          "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                          "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                          "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                          R.I.P. MiLo
                          Run free and catch the rabbits
                          4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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                          • #14
                            Just a few more tips:

                            1) When using canned tomatoes, taste them before you put them into the pot. If they taste acidic or 'tinny' you can put a bit of sugar into them while they are cooking or do like my dad does - put a whole carrot into the pot with the tomatoes and pull it out when the meal is finished. Carrots have a lot of sugar and it'll help tame the acidity of the tomatoes.

                            2) Always start with cold water when boiling potatoes, if you use hot water they may cook unevenly. Salt the water quite liberally, potatoes have virtually no flavor and can take alot of salt.

                            3) If you're cooking with a marinade for fish or chicken, things like lemon juice and wine are high acid, so don't leave it in the marinade too long (15 minutes for fish, half hour for chicken thereabouts), the acidity will change the structure of the fish/chicken and it could turn 'mushy' after it's cooked.

                            4) If you oversalt a pot of soup or stew, throw a whole, peeled potato into it and cook until the potato is tender, then remove it. Potatoes soak up salt and it'll help remove some of the saltiness (not all of it, but some). Also, salting your food closer to the end of cooking time prevents oversalting.

                            5) When baking, always have your eggs at room temperature, they'll blend in easier and more thoroughly. I will usually take my eggs out of the fridge about an hour before I'm ready to start and that's plenty of time.

                            I'll add more as I remember them.
                            Last edited by WitchJezebel; November 14th, 2005, 11:19 AM.
                            "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                            "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                            "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                            R.I.P. MiLo
                            Run free and catch the rabbits
                            4/7/96 - 11/30/10

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sorry guys, I have a feeling I've taken over this thread!!! I'm a plethora of food information and I love to share... I'm such a dork!

                              Now if I could find a job teaching about food I'd be set.
                              "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                              "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                              "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                              R.I.P. MiLo
                              Run free and catch the rabbits
                              4/7/96 - 11/30/10

                              Comment

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