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Old 02-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
I think people over estimate how difficult it is to be a decent cook.

I'm self-taught, have learnt so much watching shows on Food Network or just finding recipes on All Recipes.

It is quite easy to cook tasty food without having a dozen different ingredients, and there really does not have to be a need to use complicated techniques.
I've taught several friends/lovers how to cook; you do have to start out with basics and very simple techniques. Then you can slowly add ideas.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #22
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I get overwhelmed when I try to look online or at cookbooks. And when I first started I had a tendency to try to duplicate a particular restaurant dish rather than just feed myself.

The epiphany was my BiL (who apprenticed under a French chef) serving me wonderful food, my asking what it was because it was so fabulous, and it was "chicken with salt and pepper" or "noodles with butter, salt and pepper", and I swore he must've had some secret ingredient for mashed potatoes, but only if white pepper is secret.

So since then I try to learn how to cook simple things well rather than try for a fancy dish. Technique is usually more important than particular ingredients, meaning I no longer fret about which of 10 different recipes is the "right" one for what new dish I'm trying for.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #23
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Since you have more time, did any of you try to learn to cook, bake or make something nutritionally?
When I ER'd we were able to have plenty of time for nutritious home-cooked meals that set a great parenting example for our daughter.

Since she's left for college, though, she's probably eating healthier than we are... we empty-nesters have been partying it up with frozen dinners and pizza, along with occasional party leftovers and BBQ, for nearly 18 months. Did you know that Costco will sell anyone a 72-ounce bag of chocolate chips without a license?!?

Tonight's dinner was especially yummy because we rarely eat it: spicy fish cakes, char siu bao, roast-beef sandwiches, curry-beef maunapua, and fresh fruit. It was left over from Thursday's catered social affair. Believe it or not, we actually passed on pizza this week. I think that means we get to have two pizzas next week...
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #24
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I would prefer to never cook another meal, except grilling with friends. But both my budget, my tastes in food, and my health push me to cook every day.

I marvel at people who cook for fun. To me it is just the pain I have to go through to get to the meal.
I somewhat understand where you are coming from. I actually love the idea of cooking, but then 1/4 of the way through I get overwhelmed with the effort, and something isn't going right, or I forgot this ingredient, and then there is all the clean up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim View Post
I get overwhelmed when I try to look online or at cookbooks. And when I first started I had a tendency to try to duplicate a particular restaurant dish rather than just feed myself.

The epiphany was my BiL (who apprenticed under a French chef) serving me wonderful food, my asking what it was because it was so fabulous, and it was "chicken with salt and pepper" or "noodles with butter, salt and pepper", and I swore he must've had some secret ingredient for mashed potatoes, but only if white pepper is secret.

So since then I try to learn how to cook simple things well rather than try for a fancy dish. Technique is usually more important than particular ingredients, meaning I no longer fret about which of 10 different recipes is the "right" one for what new dish I'm trying for.
Sounds good. I need to spend more time at the site below - it isn't the recipes so much that caught my eye, but the way he lays out the recipe as a time-line. I'm terrible with serial instructions - do this, do that, then do this, and while that is soaking, do this other thing. He lays it all out in a grid, visually with operations in parallel, and you can see where the time blocks are, or if you are going to need 5 burners and you only have 4!

I end up doing this to some degree on paper, or I get lost!

Beef Stroganoff - Recipe File - Cooking For Engineers
Cooking For Engineers

-ERD50
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File Type: png cooking_process.png (38.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #25
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I think that means we get to have two pizzas next week...
If Costco made a thin-crust pizza, I'd never have to cook again...
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