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  1. #1
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Default Learning to Cook

    Lately I have had a desire to domesticate myself a little more. I'll hopefully be on my own in graduate school and I think it might be important for me to learn how to cook. It comes with a few perks I wouldn't mind having either.

    To be honest, the only kinds of food I feel comfortable making are desserts and Italian. But I don't really know where else to start. I recently moved back home since I graduated and I think I might be able to pull my weight more if I took over cooking dinner for everyone. It's a chore I wouldn't mind doing since it would be something productive to me on a personal level.

    Anyone care to share how they taught themselves to cook?
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  2. #2
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    Trial and error. Cooking came quite naturally to me. I never had to nor had I any interest for cooking when living with my parents. So, when I moved out, I had to start whipping up something to feed myself. I advocate healthy and balanced meals that taste good, so no junk food. Eating out is not really my thing either. No problem, I have a head on my shoulders, I can read and follow instructions, I can use my imagination. I didn't have any hesitations with starting to try things out.

    Nobody is a natural with cooking, it just takes some experience, time and practice. Start with simple things. If something works, stick with it. If not, time to perfect it. Keep on trying, you can always start over. Getting comfortable with making simple things makes you more confident to start trying new, more difficult dishes.

    Maybe get some regular cookbooks for starters, nothing ultra fancy. Start browsing the web, there's lots of websites and cooking forums that share good recipes with instructions and tips. The sky is the limit! But be careful, it can be highly addictive once you get yourself into it. There's so many new things to discover all the time. It's fascinating beyond belief.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    My mother taught me to read and follow a recipe. Just a matter of learning some new vocabulary, and then following instructions. What kind of things do you like to eat?

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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I would recommend a some cookbooks that will walk you through the basics, get you familiar with terminology and ingredients and you can progress from there. Unlike online resources, these are the hands on reference guides you can use for any level and any type of cooking.

    The Joy of Cooking
    The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
    The Betty Crocker Cookbook
    The King Arthur Flour Baking Cookbook
    Baking With Julia
    America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Those are great recommendations. Also Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything."

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    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Basically, follow recipes. Unlike baking, though, you can be random and replace stuff with similar stuff. I love my Betty Crocker book, it really does help to have something to look up words you don't know and information.

    I think to learn to cook well you have to taste your recipes and learn to adjust them. I suck at that.

    All recipes complete resource for recipes and cooking tips is awesome

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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    A tip for following recipes: Read the recipe through once and double check to make sure you have the ingredients and the equipment before you get started. (I learned this the hard way.)

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I still use the Betty Crocker cookbook I bought shortly after I married. It covers the basics pretty well.

    You can follow the recipes that look like they only contain stuff you like until you get a feel for cooking. Then you can adjust other recipes by substituting ingredients according to your taste and/or the tastes of the people you are cooking for. Or that's what I try to do anyway.

    Also like Pillsbury One-Dish Meals because one dish meals are a lazy cook's friend.
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  9. #9
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    My college roommates and I learned to cook together. We used to take turns cooking for each other, which was lots of fun. I like to have a recipe on the first go, and after that, I'll cook the same dish from memory, improvising to taste as I go along. I really like the Food Network's website because they have what seems like a million ways to make one thing. I'll get a taste for a specific dish, but desire a new way to make it, so it's good like that. The ratings make it good for me too. I'll cook things that other people have rated highly. I also like the Publix cookbook.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Lol, I own "The Joy of Cooking" and it usually confuses me with ingredients I have never even heard of. It was a wedding present for my mom. Needless to say it is mint condition; my mom is a terrible cook. She has been cooking the same 4 or 5 things since I was born. We finally switched to frozen dinners that just need to be thrown in the oven. I personally thinks it's sad.

    When I was in college I was friends with one of those girls that are destined to be a mom and housewife. She loved children, she loved cooking, and she loved being a hostess. After rehearsals some of us would go back to her apartment and she would always have ingredients to make something appetizing for everyone. One time she was looking through what she had in her fridge and ended up making the best pico de gallo I have ever had in my life.

    Anyways, my point is I can't do that. I look in my pantry and I only see packages of instant everything and it makes me nauseous. I'd rather learn how to make my own food so I can feel like I'm actually getting some kind of nutrition.

    I can make simple things... last night I made a lasagna for everyone. It was actually really good. I can make eggplant parmesan, though there was definitely some trial and error with that... I guess I just don't know where exactly to go from here. I honestly don't really know what constitutes a dinner meal.
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