the only thing my mother taught me to make is jam (jelly). Everything else I taught myself, though I did do a few cookery classes at school, not that they were hugely useful.
Here's my advice:
1. start with something simple like a stew. 2. cook things you really like to keep yourself encouraged 3. buy a good basic cookery book. 4. don't worry if things go wrong. I've been cooking 30 years now and still foul things up sometimes 5. watch every cookery programme you can on telly. I never make the recipes but I learned countless techniques and tips from them 6. look for video of how to do things on YouTube. It's all on there!
Fitness Minutes: (2,836)
3,147 7/8/12 3:27 A
I wasn't a good cook until I started eating healthy. Food Network chefs and other TV cooking shows taught me a lot. I also learned a lot from Sparks Videos. Now I cook and talk like a Foodie!
Google was my best friend when first learning how to cook.
I didn't have the understanding of basic cooking terms. I couldn't figure out what roast, chop, dice, sauté, steam etc. meant. I didn't know how to tell when things were done. People would suggest easy recipes like, "Just steam some veggies". Well, what does steam mean? What do I need to do it? Do I need to cut or peel the vegetables first? What vegetables go well together?What do I do if it doesn't work? If I don't have a certain ingredient, will it mess everything up?
As I started, I googled every single one of those questions as I started. Just pick a recipe you would like to make, then look online for details about how to make it.
Look thru the recipes here on the site & choose something that looks good to you. Start with the ones that say *Easy* on them...it will be an easy way to get started. Print some recipes from here & start your own cookbook in a loose leaf binder. Get some food storage containers & make your own * frozen meals* if the recipe makes 4 servings and you don't want to eat it 4 days in a row...it also makes it easier to have portion control. You CAN do it...
Start with something very simple, and then branch out. I bet you can wash a potato, prick holes in it, and put it in the oven until it is cooked. There, you've baked a potato. Now open it up, mash it up a little bit and add some salsa or sour cream. While you have the oven on, you can take a chicken breast and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. There should be no pinkish meat at the center when you cut it open. While the potato and chicken is in the oven, put about 1/2" of water in a sauce pan, wash some broccoli and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Put the burner on medium, put the broccoli in the sauce pan and cover it with a lid. Once you see steam escaping, lower the heat a little bit, and let it steam for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli looks bright green. Now take it out and drizzle it with a little olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. This is a very basic formula, but you can do the same thing with a different steamed veggie, different kind of meat, and instead of a white potato, try a sweet potato or half of an acorn or butternut squash. Or learn to cook rice on the stovetop or purchase a rice cooker. Once you start feeling confident, you'll be branching out and trying new things in no time!
My Mom taught me to cook over the phone. Now I did have some basic skills and knew a couple of dishes. But when I was 18 she told me this. "cook everything over medium heat, season it until it tastes good to you". That has been excellent advice for me as I have learned to cook. I will add one more bit of advice. Except for poultry and pork....everything is better undercooked than overocoked.
I learned to cook by watching cooks on tv, learning to read recipies, and a LOT of trial and error. Just remember...it does not have to look like the picture, and if it tastes good to you....it's good. Cook to please yourself first.
I hope some of this helps! Feel free to message me for a couple of VERY simple recipies if you like.
Edited by: KCDELENN at: 6/28/2012 (21:20)
Fitness Minutes: (91,566)
745 6/28/12 10:47 A
Start with simple things that can't really be screwed up. Oven roasted veggies are easy and you can customize the seasonings to find what you like or to change up the "feel" of what you are eating.
Try portobella mushrooms, & sweet onion marinated with a splash of balsamic vinegar & a tiny bit of olive oil (just enough to prevent sticking) and seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast on a sheet pan (low sides) at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Sweet potatoes, white potatoes & butternut squash are all delicious with just salt & pepper and a little olive oil. Just cut any of them into 1 inch chunks and roast until they brown a little at the edges.
You can do the same thing on the grill for certain veggies. Try marinating zucchini and yellow squash, mushrooms, and onions in this: 3 tbs balsamic vinegar, 3 tbs olive oil, 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, salt, pepper & fresh or dried thyme (1 tsp if dried, 1 tbs if fresh). Slice the onions and squash before marinating. You can also slice eggplant and brush the marinade on that as well (just don't let the eggplant sit in the marinade--it will absorb everything and the other veggies will go dry) Grill over medium heat, until the veggies are cooked through. It's your choice how far to cook them--you can leave them semi-firm, or cook them to the point that they barely hold together.
Any of this would be a good accompaniment to chicken breast (get the thin sliced, boneless cuts) that you marinate in light caesar dressing and cook on the grill--it will take 10 minutes to cook.
Just start easy, and then you can add to your skills by getting a basic cookbook and trying out what appeals to you.
Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Do you have a community center or community college that offers cooking classes? You could get a basic cookbook like Better Homes and Gardens (the red and white checkered book) and try some things in there. They have certain recipes marked as "easy" or "fast."
The more you do it, the better you'll get at it. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (1,240)
29 6/27/12 10:13 A
Can't do it. Where do I start?
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