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i want to cook from scratch

(12 Posts)
likesnowflakesinanocean Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:35

i do make from scratch but mostly bakes, alot of our meals are sauces from jars. dp does most of the cooking because he panders to the kids but i want to start taking over and providing better meals. family of five . me and ds are the only ones who eat red meat. where do i start, the things i make now are bolognese but 3/5 wont eat it due to red meat, roasts, wraps ect.

chezchaos Fri 29-Mar-13 14:23:17

What kind of food do you and your family like to eat?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 29-Mar-13 14:38:21

I think where you start is to have a reasonable store-cupboard of things like herbs, spices, condiments, flour, breadcrumbs, oil and other basics to go at plus a fridge with some dairy products like milk and cheese. This means you can turn any raw ingredient into a meal very quickly.

The contents of a jar of ready-made bolognese sauce are mostly passata (or chopped toms), italian-type herbs, some garlic and onion. A white sauce is just butter, flour and milk.... to which you can add cheese, mushrooms, whatever. Once you've mastered those two standards the jar becomes redundant.

Tonight I'm making Breaded Chicken Strips (Goujons if you're posh smile ). Raw chicken breast slices dipped in seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then shallow-fried in a little oil. Served up with jacket spuds and peas.... dollop of ketchup... lovely.

dreamingofsun Fri 29-Mar-13 16:22:32

the meal planning threads on here are useful. i'd also get a couple of simple cookery books - student ones are pretty easy - maybe ordering from the library first and trying them out.

then i'd meal plan for the week. stock up the freezer. get a slow cooker as you just chuck stuff in during the morning and its ready at dinner time.

sounds sensible as the jars have loads of salt in and the bolognese ones are tiny and really horrid compared to doing your own.

the first time you do a recipe it takes a little longer....so don't panic - you will gradually build up your range of things

TotemPole Fri 29-Mar-13 16:26:05

The ones who don't eat red meat, will they eat chicken & fish?

When you made the bolognese, what did the other 3 eat then?

dashoflime Fri 29-Mar-13 16:30:13

Get a recipe book. Choose one with relatively simple recipes. I have 500 20 minute meals, it's like a bible for me!

Also good are Weightwatchers recipe books.
They cater to people who may never have cooked before starting to diet and have widely varying incomes so all the recipes tend to be simple and cheap. Plus healthy obviously, although you can always add more fat than the recipe suggests if you want to!

Then just give it a go! Pick one recipe you like the look of, do it a couple of times to get the hang then try something new the next week. Your store cupboard will gradually expand with your repetoir

Have fun with it!

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 29-Mar-13 16:37:11

Get the silver spoon. It's an Italian cook book. The size will scare u witless, however each recipe is just a paragraph long. I got mine at our wedding. I use it lots as I find it just does what it says.

Wallison Fri 29-Mar-13 16:48:08

I would also second the suggestion of a recipe book. There are a couple I use that I always come back to. One in particular that is very useful as it explains techniques with diagrams and really clear instructions is this one:

www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Housekeeping-Cookery-Book-Companion/dp/1843401150/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

I like it because it doesn't just cover cookery but also what you need in a kitchen equipment-wise, how to store food and how long for etc as well as explaining cuts of meat and all sorts of useful stuff. Plus all of the recipes (that I have tried; there are hundreds!) do actually work, from simple family meals to dishes you could serve friends who come round for dinner, from basic sponges to special occasion cakes. I got it when my son was small and I was a novice nervous cook. I'm still not the world's greatest but I have a lot more confidence now largely thanks to this book and I turn to it again and again not just for recipes but also for, well, I suppose, a reference on how to run my kitchen.

But whichever book(s) you choose, sit down and meal plan and then shop accordingly - as dashoflime says, you will build up your storecupboard that way. Also, while you are building up your supplies, try to get fresh growing herbs as much as you can especially for things like basil, mint, thyme, rosemary (rosemary is indestructible in my experience and I am a terrible gardener) - I keep mine in pots on the window-sill, and it's really handy to just snip off as much as you need ... and then they grow again!

likesnowflakesinanocean Fri 29-Mar-13 17:15:54

we all eat pretty different things at the minute but im trying to curb that.
we have a slow cooker but we cook the same 3 or 4 things, chicken roast, pork casserole, sausage and chorizo type thing.

This is what i am bad at, turning the raw ingredients into a meal i always end up using a jar. we are pretty short of money at the minute due to various things but i figured if i built up a store cupboard it would only be the odd expense.
We like growing our own veg and things so the herbs sound a good idea.

they do eat chicken, turkey , pork , sausage. not so much fish as eldest sd now wont eat it. i tend to do bolognese or red meats for me and ds when dp is on nights which is a few nights a week.

dreamingofsun Fri 29-Mar-13 17:23:16

hamlyn student cookbook and hairy bikers diet book (even if you aren't dieting) are good.

slow cooker - you can adapt a lot of recipes by not adding the liquid stock, just the stock pot - looks very dry but fine. eg bolognese. i don't bother browning, just bash up the mince a bit.

you will learn a lot reading on here too

likesnowflakesinanocean Fri 29-Mar-13 17:25:06

i tend to lose things i find on here haha i might have to start copying and pasting into a document for future reference. i love the slow cooker meats but its just so boring have the same few meals. dp is a creature of habit and could eat the same thing everyday if he knew he liked it

DXBMermaid Fri 29-Mar-13 17:37:04

You don't need a lot of ingredients (or jars) to make a tasty meal. Onions and garlic are fab. A dash of vinegar or sqeeze of lemon, salt&pepper, some herbs. stock cubes are also very useful. You really don't need much more.

Just try things and don't be afraid to make mistakes and keep tasting while you are cooking.

There are also millions of recipes on the internet that are really good and quite easy!

Good luck and if it doesn't work you can always have a sandwich.

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