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    dancerintherain's Avatar
    dancerintherain Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 22, 2013, 09:33 AM
    I want to learn to cook
    I have the basics (chopping vegetables, boiling etc.). I've cooked a lot of easy dishes like soups, potatoes, pasta, rice, meat but I feel that I need to work more on emphasising the taste. I want to learn how to combine foods and flavours and cook something more elaborate and tasty to break the routine. I can't afford and I don't have the time to join courses, so I decided to try this on my own. Could you give me some advice on how to get started? Do you know some helpful sites? (And please don't suggest watching TV shows for I've already tried and still cannot cook any better, plus the recipes are generally unappropriate for begginners or ordinary people).
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Mar 22, 2013, 09:37 AM
    You have to REALLY be a beginner because most of the ones I've seen online only require the most basic of cooking skills.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 38,800, Reputation: 5431
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Mar 22, 2013, 09:37 AM
    Are you near a public library? If so, or if you want to buy books to have, start with cookbooks for kids. It's amazing what you can learn that way. Or pick up/buy Betty Crocker cookbooks, such as Cooking for Two or her basic cookbook. Meanwhile, you will get other responses to help, and I will scout around for more ideas.
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 4,005, Reputation: 468
    Education Expert

    Mar 22, 2013, 09:44 AM
    Are you in an area that has cooking classes? Some large retailers offer cooking classes. Also, look for junior colleges if you are in the U.S. Our local ones offer community no credit classes from gardening to cooking, etc.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
    Entomology Expert

    Mar 22, 2013, 10:02 AM
    I was a novice cook... I could boil hotdogs and make microwave food...

    One day I was watching a rib cook-off show and I got so hungry for ribs. I spent hours researching websites with suggestions on how to make ribs. I learned so much about BBQ ribs that I consider myself an "expert" in the subject. Anyway, I started to experiment with different recipes. When I found one that I kind of liked, I altered it until I got it to where I like it. Guess what? I have had cookouts where people could smell them cooking from down the road and come to the house to see what was going on. No lie. I haven't found a single person that hasn't gone crazy over my BBQ ribs. In fact, some day I hope to make enough money in my car business to open a BBQ rib place.

    So anyway, I discovered that I was able to start with a recipe and make it my own. I have now done this with many other things and all of them seem to be real popular with anyone that eats them. I went from boiling hot dogs to being able to cook real dishes... and good ones.

    All I really did was read... watch cooking shows... and experiment. It's not that hard.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Mar 22, 2013, 10:07 AM
    You WANT to learn... and have a desire to... thats half the battle right there.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 38,800, Reputation: 5431
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Mar 22, 2013, 11:59 AM
    One of our long-time members mentioned this cooking site on a different thread, so you might want to give it a try --

    Free Sara's Cooking Class
    Tc123's Avatar
    Tc123 Posts: 64, Reputation: 7
    Junior Member

    Jun 22, 2013, 10:54 PM
    If you can, try and watch at least some shows. You can also experiment with seasoning and flavors. I say watch because way back when I didn't even know that certain spices went with certain foods. To this day, I still mix and match. I don't always necessarily add a certain spice to chicken that is supposed to ONLY go with chicken. To my surprise, I have found that lots of different spices and seasonings go very well in and with many different dishes. I had a love for cooking and started with mainly Italian. I make a great sauce like most people do but I don't just make one specific type. I have several different kinds of " Sunday Sauces". I also have come to love all of the recipes of Julia Child. I never really followed her back in the day but I was young and just not interested. Well now I am. Check her out. But also check out Lidia, Martha Stewart, aaallll of the famous cooks whether on food network or your local staions. As others have suggested also simply take out books and ask around. The internet alone is a world of knowledge.

    Now, for some reason, I am in the mood for RIBS! Who mentioned that? (Smiles at ya'... ) You will be a GREAT cook soon if not already since you have the desire! Remember, cook with lots of love. It'll always come out good.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
    Uber Member

    Jun 28, 2013, 02:22 PM
    Youtube has a lot of good recipe videos type in what you want to make. I love the spanish torte recipe.
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,831, Reputation: 1212
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Jun 30, 2013, 04:33 PM
    Allrecipes - Recipes and cooking confidence for home cooks everywhere is another great site in addition to YouTube videos.

    Allrecipes has videos breaking down every detail... my favorite contributor is Chef John (you'll stumble on him if you check out the videos onsite).

    Hope that helps some...

    _ben_'s Avatar
    _ben_ Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 17, 2013, 03:13 AM
    I have been a chef for 4 years now, and I studied catering for 2 years at college before that... the best advice I can give you is to
    1. seek a job in a kitchen (obviously if you can't do this ignore it, but this is the easiest way to learn to cook - and although stressfull you can really easily impress people with the most basic recipes)
    2. buy some cooking books that are meant for cooking/culinary students e.g.
    Mastering the art and craft of Baking and Pastry - from the culinary institute of america -
    Any books like these (depends where your from obviously but they look really confusing, but most of the recipes are easy (for beginners aswell) its mainly ingredients you need to buy but if there are any you don't understand or can't get just Google the ingredient for example "substitute for semolina flour" or "what is a good substitute for semolina flour"
    3. cook with different ingredients you wouldn't normally use, spices are expensive but you don't use that much of them so they go a long way, I recommend cooking indian food and Thai food, these 2 cuisines introduce new flavours for your palette
    4. try EVERYTHING once, even if you think you will hate it (I hate oysters... but I had to try them)
    5. Try and find your niche (if you love making soup make soup, if you love baking, learn to make bread)
    6. make yourself a list of foods you will try to cook, that you will try (foods you haven't eaten before) set yourself targets...

    That's all I got, hope it was helpful.
    KabeSweet's Avatar
    KabeSweet Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 19, 2013, 07:25 PM
    Add toppings to your dishes. Make it flavoury.
    Watch live cooking shows, and take notes. My kids
    Just love my cooking they enjoy it.
    karenfiscus's Avatar
    karenfiscus Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 14, 2013, 10:28 PM
    Yeah.. all it takese to be a good cook is to experiment. It's like art where the food you make is your own masterpiece. But educate yourself first, especially on types of food and their uses. It will take patience and a lot of passion. Work hard!

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