Time To Get Cooking

August 26, 2011

For the first several weeks of maternity leave we had a network of wonderful people bringing us dinner. I can’t recommend this enough. Delicious food would just magically appear! And then, all of a sudden, it stopped. Another couple weeks later and we ran out of leftovers and frozen meals. After a few days of really pathetic meals I realized that there is nothing stopping me from cooking.

I’ve never been “into” cooking and haven’t done all that much of it. The preparation overwhelms me, I’ve never had anyone teach me anything,  and my husband is kind of a picky eater. BUT, we can’t afford to eat out much and convenience foods are unhealthy, so I know that cooking is the way to go.

So this week I broke out my cookbooks and analyzed every recipe. I picked ones that looked good to me and that I thought I could make, then ran them by my husband and he vetoed several. The rest I wrote down ingredients for and I chose a few meals to make in the next week. My husband grocery shopped on the way home from work and last night I actually made a meal! And it was good! And pretty easy!

Maybe it’s because I have more time on my hands at the moment, or because I have a child now and I want her to grow up eating homemade meals and be able to teach her to cook, but I think I’m finally ready to master cooking. I’m also ready to enjoy it.

One thing I think will help is to get organized and inspired. My next project is going to be making a recipe binder like this one. I also want to start watching the Food Network more. What are your favorite shows? Also, do you have any cooking magazines or websites you recommend?

I’m determined to conquer cooking!

Posted in: personal, domestication, personal

Comments on Time To Get Cooking

  1. 1

    From Holly:

    I love that binder – I’ve been looking for a way to organize my recipes for AGES, and that looks so … simple! I don’t know if you get it where you live, but I watch a show called “What’s Cooking”, done by Kraft – if you can’t watch it, they post their recipes on kraft.ca. Some of them even have videos! They say to use “Kraft” ingredients but I substitute those for whatever is the cheapest at the grocery store :) I also swear by Allrecipes.com – Anything that starts with “Easy” or “Simple” is probably something I’ve tried. I only do the ones that have 4 or 5 stars though, since the other ones can be kind of disgusting.

  2. 2

    From Callina:

    The Food Network definitely taught me so much about cooking. I started out by watching Rachael Ray, she has some good tips. I used to love cooking and experimenting with new recipes and techniques for fun when I was in college, but now I just go for what’s easy and quick. A lot of our meals are just basic no-brainers like tacos and pasta (we buy jarred sauce). When I need inspiration to get out of that rut, I look at Allrecipes.com or just browse cookbooks at the library. Blogs are a good resource too, so I follow The Kitchn and usually get some good ideas there.

  3. 3

    From Sarah:

    I’ve had good luck with tastykitchen.com and — surprisingly — Pinterest. People pin some really yummy looking things.

  4. 4

    From Tabaitha:

    I recently went to the kroger website and the have a huge recipe selection. You can see how long it should take to prepare meals, which is great. I also have a couple of healthy living food blogs on my blog and love getting recipes off of their sites.

  5. 5

    From Leilani Gellert:

    Besides my recommendations on facebook I wanted to add how I organize my recipes. I keep them all in my email. I just copy and paste recipes I find online and then email them to myself. I have labels for everything. All recipes are labeled Recipes, and then divided up into more categories after that. (chicken, beef, chinese, italian, bread, breakfast, dessert, cookies, fruit, veggie, etc) Some recipes fit in several categories. I love having it organized this way because I can search my email using the ingredients I have and recipes that I have already saved to make (or have made) will show up. LOVE it!! Once I have tried something, I reply to the email and critique the recipe; what we liked, didn’t, what I did or would change. I love that it’s paper free. Then when I’m in the kitchen cooking, I just pull up the recipe in my email on my phone. (Just set your display for something like 10 minutes, so it doesn’t time out every 30 seconds. That makes me crazy.)

  6. 6

    From Laura T.:

    thepioneerwoman.com – she has step by step instructions AND pictures for each for each recipe, and they are super yummy! She has a new food network show starting tomorrow, too. :)

  7. 7

    From Marlena:

    I have cooked since I was roughly in 4th grade with no instruction. It was all basic stuff then so all during my teens I knew nothing of technique or anything. Rachael Ray taught me SO MUCH around 18/19-21 on 30 Minute Meals. I already knew how to do everything by the time I found Pioneer Woman but her website shows you literally step by step. One key thing I would tell you is to embrace your spice cabinet. In time you will learn what would taste good on xyz. For instance, I don’t buy pasta sauce of any kind. I get tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes and season w sauteed onion & garlic (great base for basically everything) and various si

  8. 8

    From Marlena:

    That should say various spices. I don’t even buy taco seasoning. Once you start learning what is in things you buy, you begin to realize how simple it really is to make yourself.

  9. 9

    From Jen:

    The binder is a must! I have one and anytime I am looking for a specific recipe, I know exactly where to go! It’s the best thing ever.

  10. 10

    From Sarah:

    I did a binder just like that and I love it!
    We have a cookbook, it’s called “How To Cook Everything” and it’s a little pricey but it really does tell you how to cook everything. It has simple recipes and How To’s on cooking prep. Great buy!

  11. 11

    From Mindy:

    Clean Eating is an awesome magazine–lots of super easy recipes with flavorful, but healthy, ingredients. Would highly recommend. :) It will be fun to hear what your daughter’s favorite home-cooked meals are when she’s older! That’ll make you feel good. ;)

  12. 12

    From Megan:

    “and my husband is kind of a picky eater.”


    David is certainly not the only “kind of” picky eater living under that roof of yours, missy. :)

    And so that this comment by actually be helpful: I just learned to keep a core set of ingredients in stock that can be versatile and easy to use. I’ll vary that core with local seasonal fruits and vegetables. We also have tried to find fruits and veggies that we like to eat raw or with very little preparation, like some simple sautéing and/or seasoning. I think the key to staying motivated about learning to cook is to keep it simple on yourself. Find what foods you and David (and eventually Meredith) like and build meals from that.

  13. 13

    From LG:

    I’ve subscribed (free!) to Kraft’s What’s Cooking magazine and it’s sent out quarterly. The recipes use ingredients that we often have on-hand and they are really quite good. (And it’s just fun to read a magazine vs searching online.) Note: I am saying this even though I have taken a culinary arts post-secondary program. It’s good food and easy to prepare. :0)

    I heart allrecipes.com too.

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