Moving out from parent's - preparing own food

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    So here is the deal. I am moving out from my parent's next week and I will be living on my own. At home, my mother makes all the meals.
    I have already lived with roommates for one year but didn't really get to cook or prepare my own food at all. (I would eat out most of the time)

    This time I would like it to be different. I'd like to prepare my own food, learn how to cook and keep improving my skills little by little.

    Any helps / suggestions on how should I start, what's easier for me to start learning how to prepare my own food? What kind of vegetables, meat should I get, how to prepare them in an easy way, etc?

    As I keep getting the hang of it I will try to prepare more sophisticated stuff.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    If you have an iPhone, buy Jamie Oliver's app. There are video instructions for almost everything there.

    If you don't, try his book, "Cook with Jamie" as it quite beginner oriented.

    And on top of that, get your mom to show you a couple of recipes so if you haven't got any other skills, you'll be able to make at least that. And it'll be a nice bonding experience icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 1:06 PM GMT
    Getting one of those foreman grills would probably help a lot. At least until you learn how to prepare chicken in other ways. Veggies are really easy to cook. Most of them you can just steam for a few minutes and voila! Also, ask your mom if she can show you some quick recipes before you go (your favorites, so you can make them yourself).

    Good luck with the new place! icon_smile.gif

    edit: oops, just realized bryanc already recommended the mom lessons icon_smile.gif
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Dec 27, 2010 1:09 PM GMT
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 1:20 PM GMT
    I would suggest that you consider buying the following items ASAP:
    -Crockpot
    -Steamer basket
    -Good frying/saute pan
    -A pot for boiling water
    -Some decent knives
    -Olive or avocado oil for sauteing

    Check out www.eatingwell.com for healthy recipes too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    Invest in a good chef's knife and a good pan. They make the world of difference.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 1:26 PM GMT
    continue eating out until you find a wife. men don't cook
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 1:44 PM GMT
    TMNT saidcontinue eating out until you find a wife. men don't cook


    lol that is so wrong a stereotype.. the worlds top chefs are mostly men.. restaurant kitchens are totally male-dominated
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 2:32 PM GMT
    TMNT saidcontinue eating out until you find a wife. men don't cook


    It's a good thing I'm gay then! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 2:51 PM GMT
    I give this book out to all my friends with kids graduating from school. It is the Everything Cookbook.

    http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Cookbook-Faith-Jaycox/dp/1580624006
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    I can't cook, and I never will cook. I simply open cans, heat microwave meals, and go out to eat.

    I've also partnered myself twice with guys who were great cooks (much to my waistline's undoing). My first, late partner wanted no one in his kitchen with him, and I was delighted to oblige him.

    I extend the same courtesy to my current partner, who is likewise appreciative. The adage "too many cooks spoil the soup" still holds true, and good cooks never want a second person mucking with their creations.

    So take some of the suggestions here, and avoid starving. But if it turns out you don't have the talent beyond mere subsistence, don't be discouraged. Just find a guy who does. You'll both be the happier for it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 3:20 PM GMT
    Foodnetwork.com. They rate the recipes for you from easy to difficult. They're also tested and good. I've used hundreds of recipes from their site. Start out with easy ones and you'll gradually want to move to others. You can also search for recipes that include specific items (either that you like or have in your fridge/cupboard).

    Here's a beginning monthly magazine that is very good - Simple & Delicious. I started with this one and moved up to their companion, Taste of Home. From there I went to Bon Appetite and others. The site also has recipes:

    http://www.tasteofhome.com/Simple---Delicious-Magazine

    Companion site, Taste of Home: http://www.tasteofhome.com/

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    Dec 27, 2010 3:25 PM GMT
    collegestudd saidGetting one of those foreman grills would probably help a lot.


    Definitely this. Buy some chicken because there are many ways to cook that. Spaghetti is extremely easy to cook and you can buy different sauces for that. Once you start cooking some basics, you will almost naturally start learning new ways to do things and start experimenting more with what you make.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 3:30 PM GMT
    Go here to see online gifs demonstrating many very basic food preparation and cooking techniques.

    http://whfoods.com/cookdemo.php
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    Dec 27, 2010 3:35 PM GMT
    I'm moving out next week too. Just learn the basics, i'm lucky i have a bbq so I just throw hunks of meat on there, steam some veggies and have rice or potatos. Once you get the basics down, start experimenting, try new recipies, etc.

    Find recipies for beginners online that hold your hand throughout the process, ask your mom or dad or friends to help you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 3:37 PM GMT
    KSUOWL said
    collegestudd saidGetting one of those foreman grills would probably help a lot.

    Definitely this. Buy some chicken because there are many ways to cook that.

    I got us a Foreman grill, and it works well with steak & chicken. I bought one with removable grilling plates I can put in the dishwasher, for very easy clean-up. I can even use it myself.

    But as for chicken, consider the rotisserie chickens that many US supermarkets sell. You buy a whole chicken hot, ready to eat. We sometimes do it ourselves when we're having guests over. We just have to make the salad & veggies, and voila! A very easy meal.

    Afterwards you wrap & refrigerate the leftovers, giving meals & sandwiches for a couple of days. Either cold or warmed in the microwave, it's great stuff, low-fat protein. And for about $6 USD for several meals it's an incredible bargain, that you don't have to cook yourself. You can buy it done BBQ, or lemon, or plain in many supermarkets.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 27, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    It sounds like you have some good ideas for food items... I thought I'd add this...

    I'd approach it the way many of us approach our fitness routines. Think about what your going to prepare in advance.. plan and make it a priority.
    Too many just sort of arrive at dinnertime and think "well what do I want to eat" and end up making bad choices. Take action in advance to make it a success. Go to the grocery store (which I used to hate, but not isn't so bad), know what you need to buy (budgetize) to support a healthy plan and
    diet.

    Good luck.. good questions.... I wish you success.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 3:53 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidIt sounds like you have some good ideas for food items... I thought I'd add this...

    I'd approach it the way many of us approach our fitness routines. Think about what your going to prepare in advance.. plan and make it a priority. Too many just sort of arrive at dinnertime and think "well what do I want to eat" and end up making bad choices. Take action in advance to make it a success. Go to the grocery store (which I used to hate, but not isn't so bad), know what you need to buy (budgetize) to support a healthy plan and
    diet.

    Good luck.. good questions.... I wish you success.


    The part about 'budgetizing' is spot-on. To make things easier, check out some of the recipes on any of the websites mentioned, print-off or write down the recipes (I recommend using about 5 recipes and making enough for dinner and lunch the next day), create your shopping list of things you need for those recipes as well as any extras i.e. milk and yogurt, see how much you spend and create a weekly budget.

    In my case, I spend about $40/week at the store plus I tend to set aside about an extra $40/month to stock up on low sodium, fat free chicken stock, almonds, low fat string cheese, organic peanut butter, spices, and anything else that will come in handy for cooking and snacks.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Dec 27, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
    I am an Alton Brown freak, so I can heartily recommend watching Good Eats. Watch it for the hows and whys and the techniques. It will help you to be less mystified.

    Learn to make basic, easy meals with bagged frozen veggies, salad, and meat. It is a good idea to get a steamer basket for a saucepan or a steamer pan. Great for doing frozen or fresh veggies. You can also do veggies on a Foreman grill...yum!

    Get your mom to take you to the grocery store and show you how to buy simple meats, veggies, canned goods. Try to stay away from a lot of frozen meals because they are often fatty and salty and also expensive.

    Ask your mom to show you how to prep veggies and store properly in the fridge. Makes life easy. Also ask her to store things in general. Taking care of supplies is a major way to save bucks.

    Read up on kitchen gear. Good stuff is not cheap, but will last a lifetime. Get a little at a time.

    The whole thing is like a hobby for lots of folks. Have a great time.
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    Dec 27, 2010 4:46 PM GMT
    Get a meat thermometer and use it on larger pieces of meat like roasts and steaks and learn to cook a rare steak, medium rare beef roast, and medium pork roast. Buy larger cuts of meat that you see on sale and cook them just long enough to be safe to eat then pull them out and store them in the fridge/freezer.

    Buy and use salt and pepper.

    Eat lots of eggs. They're cheap and versatile and any leftovers you have will go well inside an omelet or quiche.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 6:40 PM GMT
    How I started is I picked out things I knew tasted good to me and thought they might taste good together... Sometimes it was trial and error but the majority of the time it worked out well. I also watch other people when they cook and get ideas. Or like most people have suggested get a cook book or two and learn from their. I just like to fly by the seat of my pants and explore different ideas. Be safe!
  • misternick

    Posts: 234

    Dec 27, 2010 6:50 PM GMT
    Eggs are definitely key.

    A mistake that I've made is 'saving' ingredients for something and then letting them go bad. Buying something and then finding a way to use it has led me to make/ look up/ try lots of new stuff!
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Dec 27, 2010 6:50 PM GMT
    TMNT saidcontinue eating out until you find a wife. men don't cook


    I suppose you better start kissing girls then.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 7:49 PM GMT
    Oh, learn to make meat stocks and soup. Make your own chicken or beef stock by simmering onion skins, corn cobs(or carrots and celery), and leftover chicken/beef bones for 3-4 hours. Freeze it and have it on hand for whenever you need a quick minestrone, cream of vegetable, french onion, or chicken noodle soup. Add them to a pan with a roux of butter and flour to make gravy to go with a meat roast.

    Adding soup and salad to your diet can make you feel like a million bucks and won't cost much, if anything at all, if you're making it from frozen leftovers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2010 7:58 PM GMT
    Although it may seem difficult to cook for yourself, it is actually quite easy.
    My biggest advice is to not be scared of the ingredients.

    Cooking fails happen and you should just learn from them what works and what doesnt.