COOKING: Needed Input.. Recognizing the Importance

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 03, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    So we all know how important it is to work out, control calories...and "feed your face" appropriately.
    Consuming not only the right amount, but the right "quality" of food.
    Cooking has always been an issue for me.. I tell people I don't really cook.. the reality is I could do very well, provided I take the initiative and learn to do so diligently.

    I think it important to consider cooking classes or the like. Ideas on this? I really would like to make this a focus over the next year or two.

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Feb 03, 2008 5:34 PM GMT
    I do not know about cooking classes (the only ones I took were two years in elementary and middle school), but I am in the process of strengthening my own cooking skills.

    I recommend Better Homes and Gardens: New Cook Book (pub: Meredith Books). It includes a significant amount of basic useful information (such as cooking procedures for individual vegetables and overviews of cooking tools, spices, and produce), in addition to its vast number of recipes (basic to difficult).

    The most important piece to honing your skills is to practice (I recommend practicing any given recipe several times).

    As for the extra calories you'll be making (in case you decide to practice calorically decadent recipes), just share the "wealth" by giving the results as gifts. You'll be saving yourself from having to burn even more calories and you'll bring cheer to the people around you.
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    Feb 03, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    This site has gif animations that demonstrate various cooking techniques:

    In-Home Cooking Demo
    This is the In Home Healthy Cooking School where we demonstrate quick and easy techniques of the healthy cooking methods. Regardless of how much cooking experience you have, you will be able to prepare healthy foods that taste good.

    http://whfoods.org/cookdemo.php

    The World's Healthiest Foods Kitchen

    Cooking should be fun and easy as well as producing nutritious health promoting meals. Here are some of the questions we have considered to help in the preparation and the cooking of the World's Healthiest Foods.

    http://whfoods.org/whfoodskitchen.php

    One of my favorite recipes from this site:

    15 Minute Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Mustard, Tarragon

    This easy recipe we created for you is a delicious way to receive the health benefits of chicken in just 15 minutes. The mustard and tarragon are a perfect complement that will make this dish a favorite of yours. Because we use our Healthy Sauté method with skinless chicken breasts it makes this delicious sauce even healthier and lower in fat.

    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=140
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    Feb 03, 2008 5:43 PM GMT
    Cooking classes can be awesome. Look into a local community college, they usually have cooking classes aimed at people who want to work in a professional kitchen. Cooking has a lot to do with technique and picking those up in a kitchen rather than from a book can be immensely helpful. Even if you go to a class and everything you learn to cook is disgustingly unhealthy you will at least learn the technique and gain confidence as a cook.

    Some good books
    How to Cook Everything by Mark Bitmann is fantastic for learning basics. The recipes are easy to follow and definitions are throughout.

    If you are feeling more adventurous
    Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook has some advanced recipes but written in a really easy to understand way. He is also an entertaining writer.

    Have fun.

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    Feb 03, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    I think your already on your way to be a good cook !!! REASON !!! You have an interest in learning it !! I've never met a good cook that didn't like cooking !!!!! But I've sure had some bland "offerings" at the hands of someone who really didn't like to cook !!! LOL !!! As Nickofthe north said, the Better Homes and Gardens cook book is a great one, and easy to find. I came across a great set of cook books at an estate auction. My favorite though for breads, pastries, pies and other deserts is The Great American Home Baking, its almost 3 inches thick of great recipes and is detailed so anyone can follow it. Another great source is SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE. Some of those dishes "melt in your mouth" !!! admittedly the southerners historically cook with a lot of fat, but I think in this Magazine they have gotten away from that. With their recipe's are plenty of how to hints !!! Make a Chicken Casserol or a Cherry pie for me please !!!! LOL !!!
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    Feb 03, 2008 5:51 PM GMT
    Personally...i learned to cook the old fashoned way...grabbed a friend, made him my guinea pig and just tried things out on him (make sure u find one of those ppl that would eat absolutely n e thing and isnt afraid to be honest). A few good cookbooks or online recipe sites help ALOT

    www.allrecipes.com
    www.bbcfood.com
    www.foodtv.com

    Over time u get a feel for what thing go together and what don't and next thing u know...you'll have a random stranger hunting u down to get brownie recipes off u
  • fitone

    Posts: 276

    Feb 03, 2008 5:56 PM GMT
    I think you can learn cook some good dishes watching PBS and the Food Network.

    The Barefoot Contessa has good easy recipes, a bit high on the fat content, but simple and easy to prepare. Does she have any straight friends?

    America's Test Kitchen has great recipes as well. They are a bit more complicated, but recipes are very detailed about preparation.

    I enjoy watching Giada on Everyday Italian, though I've had mixed results from her recipes. Her brother is adorable.

    Rick Bayless has some incredible recipes, but they're fairly complex. He's got a great bod!

    If you're serious about cooking, make the investment in some good cookware-makes a big difference!
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    Feb 03, 2008 6:17 PM GMT
    i'll post some more later, but look into the book


    "The Joy Of Cooking"

    it's not fancy, it's just a basic book, but it's like, 1000 pages. it teacdhes you everything you need to know. so for example if you buy a chicken, how to prep it, different ways of cutting it, different parts of the chicken and how each of those can be prepared. and it also has good recipes ranigng from basic to advanced.

    also PBS has a new digital broadcast channel called Create. they have a bunch of good cooking shows on every day.
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    Feb 03, 2008 7:42 PM GMT

    Don't you know your mom's phone number?
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    Feb 03, 2008 7:51 PM GMT
    GG: icon_lol.gif
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Feb 03, 2008 7:53 PM GMT
    If you have a Nintendo DS or a Nintendo Wii, you may want to take some theory lessons with this mama:

    cookingmama_270x306.jpg

    Cooking Mama

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    Feb 03, 2008 7:58 PM GMT
    There you go, HK. Problems solved. ... icon_lol.gif
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Feb 03, 2008 8:17 PM GMT
    An example of Cooking Mama for the Nintendo Wii:

    YouTube: Wii: Cooking Mama Cook Off - "Beef in Wine Sauce"
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    Feb 03, 2008 8:23 PM GMT
    Suddenly, I have lost my appetite! ... icon_eek.gif
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Feb 03, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    Are you dissin' Mama, Caslon? icon_wink.gif On the DS version, there is no voice (thankfully).

    It's still better than learning cooking the World of Warcraft way. I can only make so many stews that include murloc eyes (a sentient species, no less) before I need to reverse my eating process.

    /and with that I end my distraction from the topic du jour
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2008 8:59 PM GMT
    I love to cook....just sort of picked it up on my own. Did a lot of watching the foodnetwork and their website (mentioned earlier) foodnetwork.com is a great source for recipes that are consistently good. Nothing worse than a recipe that tastes like sh#$ after spending a hour putting it together.

    As for cooking classes...I've taken some locally and I do enjoy them. I think the secret there is to find someone who also has an interest. It seems like more fun if you're with someone. I've always done them alone but wished I had a friend with me....many others do.

    Cooking is great, have a friend I've cooked for that can hardly preheat the oven and he loves keeping me around.. just have to work on making him believe we're more than "friends" then I know I will have scored! LOL

    Bon Appetite HK!!
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 03, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    I suggest getting a crockpot. I use mine a couple of times a week. The meat comes out of the freezer the night before, I spend 5-10 minutes tossing ingredients into the crockpot and turning it on in the morning, and I have a hot dinner waiting for me when I get home, with enough for leftovers for a couple of lunches.
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    Feb 03, 2008 9:52 PM GMT
    Crockpots are great!
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    Feb 03, 2008 9:55 PM GMT
    Love my crockpot....definitely need one of those.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 03, 2008 11:35 PM GMT
    You guys are great.. and I really appreciate the valuable input.. and the time you took in offering suggestions.

    This kind of thing (asking advice) is always helpful and I really appreciate iticon_biggrin.gif
  • metta

    Posts: 39149

    Oct 03, 2015 5:00 AM GMT
    Find a cooking school like this one...


    https://www.facebook.com/100009160429537/videos/1488131618168838/
  • Rower1950

    Posts: 72

    Oct 03, 2015 3:08 PM GMT
    One of the best cookbooks for learning to cook well is Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer, published in 1972. This deceptively simple little book produces great results.

    1. The recipes require a minimum of equipment.
    2. The book explains how to select basic equipment.
    3. The book explains basic preparation techniques in detail
    4. The recipes have all been tested. (Martha Stewart could learn something from this book)
    5. The book explains how to select fresh food used in the recipes.

    You will develop a basic understanding of how to prepare fresh food. The result of making a modest effort is truly delicious fresh food that you have prepared yourself. The book has been out of print for some time, but you can find used copies at ABE Books or Amazon.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Oct 03, 2015 5:25 PM GMT
    fitone saidI think you can learn cook some good dishes watching PBS and the Food Network.

    The Barefoot Contessa has good easy recipes, a bit high on the fat content, but simple and easy to prepare. Does she have any straight friends?

    America's Test Kitchen has great recipes as well. They are a bit more complicated, but recipes are very detailed about preparation.

    I enjoy watching Giada on Everyday Italian, though I've had mixed results from her recipes. Her brother is adorable.

    Rick Bayless has some incredible recipes, but they're fairly complex. He's got a great bod!

    If you're serious about cooking, make the investment in some good cookware-makes a big difference!

    All-Clad pots and pans and Le Cruiset dutch ovens and grill pans.^^^^ Perfect, except I'd add the recipies on the William-Sonoma web page. Cooking is easy. Just follow directions, take your time and allocate time. Some stuff I do takes days. And don't experiment on company except very close friends and frequent eaters of your food. After a while, give yourself permission to modify recipies you like to accentuate your preferences. And don't get discouraged if something fails. It isn't the end of the world and you learn. Most of all, have fun with it. Oh, and read comments of recipies that sound interesting. Fresh, small quantities of 15-20 spices helps and can be combined to make everything from Chinese to Moroccan. Think spice trade routes. Helps to lightly toast spices before use. Fresh herbs.
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    Oct 03, 2015 5:28 PM GMT
    blah_blah_blah_by_summerdaze13-d4qzr8r.j
  • Guido4real69

    Posts: 87

    Oct 04, 2015 11:00 PM GMT
    I can't cook at all . I try at least