First time cooking

Brit-chan
Bento-ing from: Lafayette › Louisiana › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 15 weeks ago.

Ok, so here is where you can post about how you survived cooking on your own for the first time. I didn't start cooking on my own until last year around this time. I moved into my first apartment on my own (with a room mate of course). Before I moved, I had found this book called "College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends" (http://www.amazon.com/College-Cooking-Feed-Yourself-Friends/dp/158008826...)

It's been a great way to teach me how to cook basic recipes (plus my mom told me how to cook her recipes too...) and it's really helped! That's how I started to get into cooking more and now I love to cook (even though my current apartment has a really tiny stupid kitchen).

Now I can cook simple things up real quick. XD But I still get lazy and make mac and cheese out of the box.

Probably my favorite thing to make (this is not fancy or anythig) is mac and cheese out the box. It's usually when i don't have any food or i'm lazy. Add some hot dogs and yum. XD

Anyway, share your recipes. And if you are new to cooking (and a poor college student like me) go pick up that book!

____________________________________

Yum yum bento yum yum!

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UnicornChow
Bento-ing from: St. Louis › Missouri › USA
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 43 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I've never been much at cooking. I tend to burn things more, but one new year's resolution of mine was to try and cook more. I actually got that new DS game, Personal Trainer: Cooking and I have made a few recipes from it already. Every single step is broken down and it has pictures and videos which is exactly what I need. My fiancee is a much better chef than I am, so he's been helping me too. I am hoping that this challenge will also help me and motivate me to cook more.

Kelly

Glenda
Bento-ing from: New York › New York › USA
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 32 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I was a terrible cook when I first moved out of the house - my mother even bought me a cookbook where the main ingredient for every recipe is instant ramen noodles! :) Now (several years later) I really like to cook, especially when I'm cooking for someone other than just myself (one of the benefits of being married - lol!)

Spend some time looking in different cookbooks and online recipe sites. Try to find recipes that a) you actually think you'd make and eat, and b) include instructions of how to know when things are done... like, "bake for 20 minutes, or until it looks golden brown and is springy to the touch". I now have a notebook that I fill up with yummy recipes that I've collected from borrowed cookbooks (both from friends and the public library) and websites - that way, even if I have zero inspiration to cook something, I can look in there for something I know I'll like!

But of course Mac & Cheese is always a good fall-back - I add frozen peas (boil them along with the noodles) and a can of tuna. The extra protein stops me from wanting to eat the whole box at once, meaning there's enough left over for the next day's lunch!

Also, if you make a lot of meat or poultry dishes, a good meat thermometer is really useful - I always think my cooked chicken breasts look way too pink inside, and would overcook them if not for the thermometer's confirmation that they're at the right temperature inside! :)

bentokitty
Joined: 11 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I'm an engineering student so for a long time I thought it was fashionable for me to eat ramen and not to be able to cook anything except mac and cheese... That was until I lived in Rome for a year where my italian roommates hammered the cooking into me - so I can now make any kind of pasta and almost everyhing else! I've also discovered that I rather like cooking and baking, it's quite a shame that my lifestyle hardly has room for it!

Actually, making bento has been a kind of ersatz-cooking for me ever since I've started :)

____________________________________

My bento-blog in German!

BrambleRose
Bento-ing from: Memphis › Tennessee › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

hmmmm..... the first time I cooked... (I've been cooking for so long it's hard to remember when I started) But I think the first thing I can really remember cooking is a cheeseburger macaroni with my dad, which ended up odd tasting. That was before I learned the "Everything DOESN'T need to be on high to cook" rule. I'm still having to work on my dad with that one. lol. But other then that nothing else is really odd tasting.

____________________________________

Cooking is nothing more than controlled madness.

SojoMojo
Joined: 11 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 16 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

When I was a sophomore in college, I moved off-campus to my own apartment so I had to learn to cook quickly . I didn't know anything about cooking, but "The Campus Survival Cookbook" http://www.amazon.com/Campus-Survival-Cookbook/dp/0688050301/ref=sr_1_3?... was (and still is) my cooking bible. I still have the original one that I bought in 1974. Its binding is all gone and it's basically a bunch of loose pages, but I treasure it and still use it as reference.

The cookbook plans out everything from getting the right cookware, how to shop, how to select meat, what to do with leftovers, how to cut / carve meat, etc. It plans out a variety of easy to make daily multi-course meals (Monday - Sunday) for four weeks. It also has menus for parties, exam-week (a lifesaver for me), and basic survival cooking when you run out of money. If you've got a son, daughter, nephew, niece, cousin, etc. who's moving out to live on their own, I can't think of a better cookbook to get them. Eventually, they are going to get tired of McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell, etc. and want to cook something more healthful. If they have no cooking skills (how to cook a hard-boil egg is included), I wholeheartedly recommend this cookbook since it's a step-by-step guide that just about anyone can follow without getting confused, frustrated, or bankrupt buying ingredients.

Brit-chan
Bento-ing from: Lafayette › Louisiana › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 15 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I'm going to have to get that book! It sounds awesome! Thanks for the tip. :)

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 40 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

My mother didn't let me use the kitchen except for dish-washing and potato peeling duties, but when I was a kid girls all learned to cook and sew at school, so I had at least some idea of what I was doing when I left home. My bible was my school cooking textbook. It was a softcover we had to buy, and it told you all the things you really need to know, like how long it takes to boil a potato, and how long to cook peas, so you could have everything ready at the same time. It also told you how to make sandwiches and things like that. I wish I still had it actually, it'd be great to hand down to the grandkids.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

drea
Re: First time cooking

My first time cooking was my first semester at community college. I lived at home, but I'd signed up for a class in the evening and so my family had already eaten dinner by the time I was done with classes. I remember feeling left out of the little ritual--and my dad said that there was a pre-made pizza crust in the fridge. So, I raided the kitchen for meat and veggies and made it my way..my whole family wanted a second dinner that night.

Then my dad got me an Italian cookbook...which has been misplaced or still remains at their house...and I made almost every recipe until I started cooking mostly by intuition. Pasta, ramen with egg, or quesadillas are my "easy meals" for when I don't really feel like cooking
(ahem--exams, papers, etc). Unfortunately, my boyfriend grew up on mac and cheese and can't stand the stuff, so I haven't made that in a few years...

When I first transferred to a University, it was in another city, with roommates, and I barely cooked because I was too uncomfortable in the space. But while attending another university in my home town, I've returned to cooking, and am aiming to broaden my repertoire as well as make it healthier. :D

annika456
Joined: 24 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

Hi,
This is annika. My first time cooking is best Biriyani. I am participate the Cooking competition I will got the first prize in twenty members. so I am a best cook this is my feeling. and I am train up my mother. my mother is a best cook.

===============================

annika

Cooking

Courtney
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 42 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

Hi annika. Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first prize win! :)

Aleria
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I'm 16 and have been cooking every now and then for a few years, but since fall of 2008 I've been cooking for a picky stepdad and an anti-spice mom... it's hard 0.o Kinda fun though. I cook a combination of recipes from recipe books, ones from online, ones from my foods class, and my mom's recipes. I'm looking forward to moving out so I can be more adventurous.

arkonitebabe
Joined: 14 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 50 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

Another good book for first timer is http://www.beyondbakedbeans.com/
It's not just for students either! I have a few of the books and they are really easy to follow.

HTH

____________________________________

www.arkonite.net
www.arkonitebento.net

Gin.net
Bento-ing from: Lausanne area › Switzerland
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 47 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I've never been a very good cook. Almost never cooked anything at home, except when my mother was away, and it was ok for me to eat pasta and pre-made frozen pizza... When I was 18 or 19, my mother gave me a cookbook for xmas, it was the cookbook used in cooking classes at school. But as theses classes weren't compulsory, and took place in a distant school in our free afternoon, I never even tried to attend to them.

So I was 19 and unable to cook anything except pasta and pre-made dishes :) At that time I left home to attend a school in Australia during 3 months, and I took that book with me. I didn't really have to cook on my own, as I was staying with a homestay family. As I missed european crusty bread, I began to try to make some myself. Then I had to leave that homestay family and stay on my own and began to cook a little bit more. I was happy to have a good basic cookbook, there were no elaborate recipes in it, but all basic fundamentals. It has almost no picture or anything, but all necessary instructions. It's the kind of book someone who has never cooked a lot should have when living home :D

I then used it a lot and still have it. I like to cook for someone else, but don't have real fun to cook for myself. And it's probably what I enjoy the most with bentos : I don't directly eat after having prepared the meal, so when I arrange it in the morning, it's in a way as if I was cooking for someone else, and it's always a pleasure to unpack my meal at lunch and check if it's tasty, as I cannot bring any correction at that time anymore :)

bluefrogj
Bento-ing from: › Louisiana › USA
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I've been living on my own for over 7 years, since college graduation. I only started cooking for my own (lots of take out beforehand) for health reasons.

The book that has helped me the most was one I found after a bit of research. It is out of print but I was able to find it fairly cheaply through online sources: The Absolute Beginner's Cookbook. Wait. I just looked at amazon. It is back in print: http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-Beginners-Cookbook-Long-3-Minute/dp/05172...

And I also really like another one I found by Peg Bracken: The I Hate to Cook Book. These two have helped me greatly.

I feel more comfortable saying I can actually cook now (as long as I have a recipe).

____________________________________

Jenn of Not Exactly Bento

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 4 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I've been living on my own since 2005 so I'm kind of used to cook, for myself first, then for my husband too. He cooks fine so most of the times he is the one in charge, lol.
I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian before i got married (he is from the north of spain where being vegetarian is some kind of sin xD).

When i lived with my parents I randomly cooked for me & my brother when my parents went on a trip or something like that; mostly pasta, or salads.
Then I went all alone so I had to learn some recipes. But the usual thing is calling my mum and "mum how do I cook green beans?" lol. I do not own any cooking book except for a traditional japanese recipes which is both in english and japanese (i studied japanese for a few years and it helped me to know some vocabulary), but most of my recipes are hand-written in a cute notebook i own since i was a child.
If i feel like doing something 'special' I just look for something on the internet :)

I love baking, though.

____________________________________

My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

I think baking is my only real vice anymore, my family and I bake rooms full of cookies and other treats around the holidays for gifts. Gladly I have not been much for sweets as I have gotten older, so I do not eat them much. But everyone else around me gets to :)

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 4 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

yeah i usually baked (mostly at my parent's home) brownie or chocolate truffles (which now that i come to think about it would be great for bento... hmmm) but i rarely ate them. I don't know why. I've never been much for sweets :)

Eleven Clovers
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

First actually having to cook for myself would be... right now. I have occasionally made some simple stuff for my bento if there are no leftovers, but right now is the first time I actually have to cook proper meals. It'd be better if it was just me, because I can eat all my culinary failures, but my friend who is staying at mine and whom I have to look after at the moment... let's say she's not so open-minded about bad cooking :P She didn't like maki's carrot kinpira! Gasp! *I* thought it was great. Well, all the more for me to eat :D

I don't have a cookbook, so I just dig around for recipes online and pretty much wing it. Guess the best way to learn is through making mistakes, right?

____________________________________

"A common way to tell if it is well cooked is to throw the sausage onto a hard surface; if it bounces, the sausage is good."

My bento photos w/ detail and my blog.

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 4 weeks ago.
Re: First time cooking

for spanish people or spanish speaking people there is a great cook book called "1080 recetas de cocina" (lit. "1080 recipes" or "1080 cooking recipes" or something like that) by Simone Ortega. Every single home has one.

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