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Simple Tips to Get You Cooking!

Updated on March 23, 2013

Cheap And Easy Cooking Makes Your Life More Flavorful

Making your own bacon and eggs can save you $10 or more over going to a restaurant, and home made tastes a lot better!
Making your own bacon and eggs can save you $10 or more over going to a restaurant, and home made tastes a lot better! | Source

Do You Know How to Cook?

Lots of folks today just don’t know a thing about cooking. When I say cooking, I don’t just mean heating up a TV dinner or nuking a can of soup (although, there are quite a few folks who can’t even do that!)

What I mean is really cooking things from scratch! It’s just a crying shame that almost nobody today really knows how to bake a cake or fry a chicken or do any of the things that used to make Sunday dinner around the table a real experience that the whole family could look forward to!

Even simple, everyday cooking like making bacon and eggs seems to be a real challenge to a lot of folks. Learn how to save money and eat better with these simple tips for cooking.

Save Money and Eat Better!

But cooking from scratch isn’t just something to enjoy and bring pleasure to your family!  When you can cook from scratch, you can save a ton of money! Raw ingredients like flour, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and such just cost a whole lot less when you buy them fresh instead of buying them all mixed up with chemicals, and other garbage in processed foods.

That’s another thing! When you cook from scratch, you know just what you’re getting because you put all the ingredients in yourself. You don’t have to scratch your head over some ingredient that sounds like it might just as well be in floor polish as cake icing if you made the icing yourself with butter and sugar. Those may not be the healthiest things in the world, but at least you know what they are!

Avoid French Cooking Ambitions for Now!

Anybody Can Cook and Should!

Still lots of young ladies, and fellas too, think that cooking is just too hard. Well, I’ve been cooking all my life, and I can tell you, it’s not rocket science! Here are a few tips to get you started!

Don’t start out cooking everything in Mastering The Art of French Cooking!

That may make a great movie, but it’s a terrible way to learn to cook! Keep it simple! You don’t need lots of fancy ingredients or lots of money to be a good cook. If you choose high quality, fresh, natural foods, you won’t have to do much to them to make them tasty.

Remember, overcooking and over processing just makes food bad! If you want healthy, tasty food, just be sure you follow safe cooking guidelines and cook your meats and vegetables enough to cook them thoroughly but not so much that you take all the taste and nutrition right out of them.

Take a little time to talk with your Granny or your Great Aunt Mildred!

Ask around! Spend time with good cooks. Ask if you can help them in the kitchen. You’ll pick up lots of great tips that way.

If you don’t have any family members who are good cooks (and I know I sure didn’t! I had to teach myself!) you can always watch some cooking shows and study a few cookbooks! That’s how I learned!

Again, don’t start out with something too fancy!

Get a good, solid, all-purpose cookbook, like the latest Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens all-inclusive cookbook that will give you a good overview of all kinds of cooking. These books have really handy charts for measurement conversions, substitutions, cooking times, and lots more.

Once you get your feet wet and decide what kind of cooking you like, you can always add more cookbooks later, but a good, solid overall cookbook will be your good friend for life!

Do Learn by Tasting!

Be sure to study spices. As you cook, taste your creations a little bit at a time to be sure you are headed in the right direction. When you do this, you will get a good feel for what spices add what sort of flavor and how that flavor may change with the addition of another spice. Once you get used to cooking, you may forget to taste altogether because you will know what each ingredient will do.

A high quality measuring cup will last a lifetime!

Don’t Just Toss Ingredients in Willy-Nilly!

Pay close attention to your recipe! Follow the instructions exactly, measure carefully and don’t make any substitutions when you are just starting out!

Once you have learned the basics of cooking, how spices work together, what foods complement each other, and so on, you can get creative. You may estimate amounts and measure in pinches and palmfuls, but until you have been cooking for quite a while, this is just not a good idea!

Be Kind to Your Food and Your Cookware!

Don’t cook over a blazing fire! Pay close attention to your recipe for temperatures. If in doubt, start out with a low-to-moderate flame (or oven temperature) and adjust up if things aren’t cooking properly. You can’t un-burn something once it’s burnt!

Also, even if you don’t burn it, when you boil the heck out of your vegetables and dry out your meats with an oven temperature that’s too high, you’re cooking all the flavor and nutrition right out of the food!

Be Safe!

Always follow your cookbook instructions when cooking meat and, be sure to cook meats all the way through. Poultry should not be red at the bone and beef should just be barely pink or not pink at all. Pork should never be pink at all. Fish should be flaky.

It’s better to cook meats for longer at a lower temperature (say 350) than for a short time at a high temperature. That way you keep the moisture and flavor in and kill off any germs that might be in the meat.

If you are cooking stews, sauces, beans, rice, etc., be sure to bring them to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, then lower the temperature to medium or low to simmer until done.

Heirloom Quality Cookware Performs Well and Lasts a Lifetime!

Get Good Quality Cookware!

Always get the best quality cookware you can find and afford! It’s better to have a few carefully selected, high-quality mismatched pots and pans from yard sales or thrift stores than a whole set of junk! If you search carefully, you can put together a nice collection of cookware this way.

Get heavy skillets and pots with copper bottoms to conduct heat evenly. Be sure to clean them thoroughly and right away after cooking. Don’t bang them around or scrape them with knives or other sharp kitchen gadgets (especially if they have non-stick coating).

If you get good cookware, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and have much better results. A good item of cookware can last a lifetime and more.

With time, practice, and patience, anyone can cook!

I hope that once you start cooking and have a little success, you’ll want to learn more about cooking. When you see how much better and cheaper food can be when you aren’t paying for packaging and processing, you’re sure to be proud of taking control of your health and your family’s health by bringing cooking home!

I'm PRO Home Economics!

Home economics in school helps prepare kids for practical matters like shopping, budgeting, preparing and storing food and managing a home!
Home economics in school helps prepare kids for practical matters like shopping, budgeting, preparing and storing food and managing a home! | Source

Cooking is FUNdamental!

Do you think home economics should be taught is schools?

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    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Many thanks, Sweetie! ;D

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 4 years ago from India

      We indians are not known to eat out much and usually have 3 meals a day at home, usually made fresh. Not many use canned veggies. Very good hub. voting it up and awesome.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 7 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Thanks, Frugal Gal! You're absolutely right about that! Processed food really isn't food at all!

    • FrugalGal profile image

      FrugalGal 7 years ago

      Nice hub. I asked for the "Joy of Cooking" when I was 15. Cooked out of it for years. There's nothing like good, nutritious food. I hate looking at those piles of regurgitation that pass for frozen dinners. Unfortunately, they're so cheap people think they're saving money. But, you'd have to eat about 40 of them to get the same amount of nutrients you get in a pile of spinach or kale.