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Old 03-17-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,702,308 times
Reputation: 667

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For my very first meal with my husband (I was 22 and had never really cooked) I made spaghetti and bread. Burned the bread - how silly is that!!

25 years later and I think of myself as a pretty good cook. At least once a week I cook for at least 8 people and last night I cooked a St Patricks day dinner for 14. I learned over time and I rarely ever make anything 'gourmet'.

I started collecting cookbooks years ago. One of my FAVORITE sure fire winners is the magazine Taste of Home. All the recipes are pretty simple and are made with basic ingredients. Reiman Publications also has several other mags that are great too - find them at your grocery store, Walmart etc. Also, almost every Paula Deen recipe I make is a winner. I also tend to gravitate towards recipes with pics - that is why I like the cooking magazines.
Another great mag is one from Kraft foods. It is free - just sign up on their website and you get one every 2 months.

However, I will say that I am not crazy about everything I make - they are good, just not my favs. Many many recipes I make, I make one time and that is it. If the recipe is absolutely wonderful and pleases the family, I write it down on a recipe card and it goes in my recipe box.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:37 AM
 
Location: In a house
21,902 posts, read 20,891,721 times
Reputation: 14812
I hear you loud and clear!! I am not a "born" cook and although as kshe said no one is a born cook---I do believe it does come easier for some. I'm not to big on tasting things while putting them together and even if I do I can't tell if I like it! Crazy, I know. I am totally amazed at how so many people can put things together off the top of their heads and have it turn out so great. Right here on the food forum there are so many excellent recipes I have tried and so far they've all been good. This is the first time I have really ventured out with my cooking and am really enjoying it all. Course, I've also enjoyed getting to know the cooks too. If I can finally be doing better with cooking I know you can too!!
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,329 posts, read 6,133,787 times
Reputation: 1579
To me there is no difference between electric versus gas stoves. It is all about the ingredients. The difference between electric and gas is how long you cook as one cooks faster then the other so you have to watch it closer..

I cook on both of them. Electric and gas.. and my food comes out to die for. I have been told many times my food tastes wonderful.. Its all about the ingredients.. and of course like I like to tell everyone.. cooking from the "heart"
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:29 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,525 posts, read 42,694,765 times
Reputation: 57174
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwldkat View Post
I hear you loud and clear!! I am not a "born" cook and although as kshe said no one is a born cook---I do believe it does come easier for some. I'm not to big on tasting things while putting them together and even if I do I can't tell if I like it! Crazy, I know. I am totally amazed at how so many people can put things together off the top of their heads and have it turn out so great. Right here on the food forum there are so many excellent recipes I have tried and so far they've all been good. This is the first time I have really ventured out with my cooking and am really enjoying it all. Course, I've also enjoyed getting to know the cooks too. If I can finally be doing better with cooking I know you can too!!
I have a theory that maybe right-brained people are better cooks...that is more artistic than mathmatical.
Cooking for me is like artistic expression. Maybe folks who say they are bad cooks are just not into the process as much....But then, they probably have actual, marketable skills.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:48 PM
 
170 posts, read 825,302 times
Reputation: 150
Both cooking and baking (and they are different! I went to culinary school as a pastry chef and had to explain why I wanted to be a pastry chef instead of a savory chef in the interview process) require the understanding of basic techniques. Some people say that cooking is an art and baking is a science and I fully agree.

Start cooking plain simple food. Understand what a chicken is supposed to taste like. Understand that some herbs enhance but too much quickly becomes overpowering. Don't do a riff on a recipe that you've never tried and try to substitute ingredients or proportions. Make it a couple of times and then add your own touch.

And read, read, read and watch cooking programs. Often though they are all about restaurant techniques and use equipment that you may not have. Remember even the simplest things like cutting something to the wrong size or not having a uniform size in your vegetables or meats for example will affect the final outcome.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:16 PM
 
Location: In a house
21,902 posts, read 20,891,721 times
Reputation: 14812
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I have a theory that maybe right-brained people are better cooks...that is more artistic than mathmatical.
Cooking for me is like artistic expression. Maybe folks who say they are bad cooks are just not into the process as much....But then, they probably have actual, marketable skills.
I am artistic and can write stories but I just don't "taste" much. Does that make sense? My taster doesn't work like some peoples. I basically eat to live and always have. Now my hubbie enjoys good food. I could live on just about anything! ALthough I am learning more about good foods and enjoying cooking it for him but tasting food is not a big deal for me. I really wonder if that is uncommon? I basically want dinner over and done with where as he truely enjoys eating it. I do enjoy a wonderful dinner but usually when someone else makes it--wonder why that is? Ever since I was a child eating was kind of a job to me. Maybe some people just don't have the good taste buds others do?
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Texas
690 posts, read 2,353,894 times
Reputation: 451
Agree with what everyone has said so far. No one's really a born cook. When I got married, I knew how to make meatloaf, spaghetti, and Hamburger Helper, and that was IT. My husband, thank God, is an AWESOME cook. Good thing.

I watched The Food Network religiously and read every Betty Crocker and Paula Deen cookbook I could get my hands on and learned a TON. Now I'm a pretty good cook, if I may say so myself.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:36 PM
 
1,263 posts, read 3,653,389 times
Reputation: 771
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
For my very first meal with my husband (I was 22 and had never really cooked) I made spaghetti and bread. Burned the bread - how silly is that!!
At least the spaghetti was edible. The first meal I made for my future husband was London broil (don't remember the sides, probably potatoes & salad). I didn't marinate it, just stuck it in the broiler. It came out like a piece of shoe leather. Thankfully, I've become a much better cook since then!
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
1,229 posts, read 2,767,065 times
Reputation: 1550
I learned to cook by watching Food Network and reading recipes. I now feel comfortable enough to rarely use a recipe, I just go with what looks and sounds good.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Penna
723 posts, read 962,487 times
Reputation: 1232
Cooking is the only "Art" that engages all the senses during it's creation.
So use them! Smell everything you put into a dish. Buy and use herbs, if they are dried use less then if using fresh. But use them!
Whatever you do don't be affraid to make mistakes, if you don't you aren't trying hard enough!
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