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I can't cook, can you help please?

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Comments

  • newster
    newster Posts: 89 Forumite
    Enjoy the bread maker Miss Scarlett. I had two up until recently, then one died :-( Haven't really felt I need to replace it and I'm managing with the one ok. When I first got one though, I was disappointed, expecting the bread to come out like oven baked bread. The first few loaves were a bit of a flop as well, and I began to think I'd made a mistake. I persevered though, and now I wouldn't be without one. I love mine and use it loads :-) So if your first loaves turn out a bit yuk. Don't worry, keep tring and you will start getting good results :-)
  • HappyIdiotTalk
    HappyIdiotTalk Posts: 1,443 Forumite
    Perhaps try cooking the same thing every other day for practice and correcting anything you think didn't work out last time. In a fairly short period of time you'll have mastered a dish, and this will encourage you to try something else.
    SIMPLE SIMON - Met a pie man going to the fair. Said Simple Simon to the pie man, "What have you got there?" Said the pie man unto Simon, "Pies, you simpleton!"
  • sammy_kaye18
    sammy_kaye18 Posts: 3,656 Forumite
    Homepage Hero Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Hi hun

    I was like you - I once made rice in a rice cooker with no water. - doh!!!

    My mother rarely cooks unless she had too and my dad can cook but was always away with the forces to stay home adn teach me.

    My little sister (almost 3 years younger than me!) took caterign classes though and is a good cook (although did have to ring me the other day for times on how to make a runny boiled egg! :rolleyes: ) but cant make a pudding to save her life - i on the other hand can live on puddings for the amount i can make but struggle ot make a meal

    Anyway she taught me adn vice versa - my first ever roast dinner was made at the age of 18 for me, my sister, my bf , my mum adn her bf - it was xmas dinenr and my mum and her bf left at 8am and crawled back in at 9.30pm so it was either i cooked it or noone had a christmas dinner - it turned out ok - roasties were a bit back but good none the less.

    Now i can do shepherds pie, roast dinners, pasta dishes, basic meals, salads and am learnign new things every day - i just learnt how to make homemade bread thanks to kethry in the 'help me make perfect bread' thread - worht a read

    I also agree with rikki - read Mr Bad Examples cooking threads - funny as hell but well worth while - he inspired me to try new things.
    Making Changes To Save My Life
    April step goal ~ 25,021 of 130,000 steps complete so far
  • Miss_Scarlett
    Miss_Scarlett Posts: 123 Forumite
    I've got to tell you all, I've just had the most delicious bread that came out of my brand new bread maker. We had it with cheese, pate and ham for a late lunch. I'm over the moon, I know I didn't technically make it, the bread maker did all of the work, but I'm so happy that I had a hand in creating something lovely. Thanks to you all, without your encouragement I would never have tried.

    The potatoes are cooking at the moment for the cottage pie. I think it's going to be ok, but, when ever I cook meat in my slow cooker it goes too soft, the mince is a bit mushy if that makes sense? Am I cooking it too long?
  • changkra
    changkra Posts: 635 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    stefejb wrote: »
    What I have learned is that the picture should only be a guide to things like how small to chop stuff and should in no way be regarded as an expectation of what the finished result will look like. food photograpy is a highly specialised skill and if you think yours is going to look the same you will be dissapointed :)

    I watched programme on this years ago. They were photographing a blackcurrant pie for a magazine. They made the pastry separate even the lid and baked them then they filled the pie with cotton wool inside to bulk it out, put the pasty lid on top and put just a few of the blackcurrant's at the front as if it they had run out of the pie when it had been cut and used the blackcurrant juice in a syringe and squirted it all over the front and the fruit and also to make sure the cotton wool looked like fruit. It was really interesting watching it and i learnt that was the reason nothing i ever made looked like the picture.
  • nabowla
    nabowla Posts: 567 Forumite
    There's not much to add to the fantastic advice on this thread. However, I'd say "try one new thing at a time". So, week one you try cooking beef 'properly' and cheat by buying ready-made Yorkshire puds and doing simple boiled potatoes. Once you've got the hang of cooking beef properly, add home-made Yorkshire puds to the menu but stick with the boiled potatoes. Once you've got the beef *and* the Yorkshire puds down to a fine art, have a go at roasting your own potatoes. It's much less stressful than trying to learn to do six new things at the same time and you're much more likely to get your new recipes right if you can concentrate on one thing at a time. Do the same with the other meals - e.g. try the cous cous on a night when you're cooking something else that you already know you can make. Good luck, and have fun!
  • lynzpower
    lynzpower Posts: 25,311 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I've got to tell you all, I've just had the most delicious bread that came out of my brand new bread maker. We had it with cheese, pate and ham for a late lunch. I'm over the moon, I know I didn't technically make it, the bread maker did all of the work, but I'm so happy that I had a hand in creating something lovely. Thanks to you all, without your encouragement I would never have tried.

    The potatoes are cooking at the moment for the cottage pie. I think it's going to be ok, but, when ever I cook meat in my slow cooker it goes too soft, the mince is a bit mushy if that makes sense? Am I cooking it too long?

    its possible you are cooking it too long or on a high heat.

    this is how I do my "ragu" sauce

    Take the mince & stirfry in a wok for a bit, and then tip into a colander & drain any fat off - set aside

    In a large pan fry ( in a tiny bit of oil) chopped onion, some sliced mushrooms minced garlic, and I chuck in a teaspoon of dry mixed herbs.

    then I add the drained mince

    On this I then put in 1 carton of passata and one tin chopped toms.

    stir round

    Simmer for about 15-20 mins till its become less "watery"

    I do this on my elect hob setting 7 at first for the frying then setting 5 for the simmering :)
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • Fivenations
    Fivenations Posts: 382 Forumite
    Hi Scarlett

    Good luck with your roast dinner. I cooked my first roast age 12 so you shouldn't fret too much! Just make sure those eating are around when the roast is ready! And dont forget to ask them to help!

    May I be cheeky and suggest that your next "project" be a stew? Once you know how to cook a simple beef stew you will also know how to make lamb, chicken, turkey or anything else stew,as well as curries and dishes from other countries with just minor adjustments to timings and flavourings.

    I've taken the liberty of postin a basic recipe - I hope it helps. I' sure others have similar they can share - this is just one version. That's how flexible stew is.

    BASIC STEW

    INGREDIENTS
    • ½ teaspoon of thyme or oregano ( leave out for curries)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 2 large onions, sliced
    • 4 stalks of celery, thickly sliced
    • 4 large carrots, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
    • 900g / 2lb cubed stewing or braising steak
    • stock
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons flour mixed into a paste with some water

    METHOD
    Heat the fat in a frying pan and brown the meat then transfer it to a casserole dish.

    Add garlic, onion and celery to the frying pan and gently sauté until wilted then add this to the casserole. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and enough stock to cover. Add the flour paste.

    Stir well and cover and either simmer on top of the stove or place in the oven, gas mark 2/150C/300F for 2 –3 hours, until the meat is tender.

    VARIATIONS
    Mediterranean
    Add tomato puree, a glass of red wine and increase the herbs to 1 teaspoon each.

    Goulash
    Add 1 small can chopped tomatoes or 2 tablespoon tomato puree, a tablespoon of paprika, ½ teaspoon of cumin and a small piece of lemon peel.

    Poor man’s stroganoff
    Add red wine or stout instead of stock and then some button mushrooms 30 minutes before serving.

    Mexican
    Add a teaspoon of cumin and cayenne or chilli to taste.

    Indian
    Turn it into a simple curry by adding some ready-made curry paste of your choice.

    Middle eastern
    Add cumin, coriander, cayenne, ground ginger, some lemon peel and Mediterranean vegetables for a stew served with couscous.

    Make it a one-pot meal by adding some peeled potatoes 30 minutes before the end.
    NSD 0/15
  • Ellie
    Ellie Posts: 526 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hey, why worry? Can always get a takeaway if all else fails!

    Im gonna confess something.....I moved in this house 14 years ago, been married 13 years and I cant cut up a whole chicken not even if u paid me millions!! Chicken pieces are the way for me!!!

    Lets face it alot of men cant cook a bean, so just do your best!

    Good luck :)
  • Miss_Scarlett
    Miss_Scarlett Posts: 123 Forumite
    Thanks so much for the Mr BE thread, I've been reading it for hours and I'm going to try the chocolate yoghurt cake tomorrow. I went through the same tin dilemma today, I got 2 20cm tins... are they any good? I also got some of that silicone sheeting stuff.

    Mr BE is right, this OS thing is costing me a fortune, but I'm really having fun.

    The cottage pie wasn't great to be honest. I might skip that for a few weeks, the gravy was too runny but had floury lumps in, the mince was mushy and the carrots a bit underdone. So, not a great success but I do have the lunchtime bread triumph to focus on.
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