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So You Can't Cook

So You Can't Cook

The other day I received a very interesting personal message from sandra in which she politely reminded me that not everyone is like YumSugar and myself. There are some people, my mom and geeksugar included, who do not cook and there is nothing wrong with that. It's simply that they have no interest in getting down and dirty in the kitchen. geeksugar even confessed that when she follows the recipe exactly as stated on the back of the tollhouse chocolate chip bag, her cookies come out flat and inedible. Well what happens when the geeksugars, sandras, and souschefs (my mom) of the world want to host a party? They order in. Virtually every major supermarket has a pre-cooked, readymade section of gourmet dishes and appetizers, cheese plates and pasta salads. And if you are one of those people who despises grocery shopping as much as you do cooking, check out the appetizer store an online market where you pick the hors d'oeurves and they are delivered to your door. You bake them in your oven, and you'll be able to tell your guests that you spent hours slaving over the stove.

Got any good tips for those-who-can't-cook?
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marijke marijke 9 years
Just start simple, that's my advice. Don't aim high and attempt big impressive 3 course meals before your can boil an egg. Let's crawl before we can walk! Another bit of advice is don't be afraid to stray from the recipe- that's how good meals can turn into great meals!! Just be sure to write down what you did for when people come begging you for the secret to your cooking!! :D
ALSW ALSW 10 years
kscincotta - I sympathize! I always seem to have too many things going at once and I'm easily distracted from dinner. I love the idea of marrying a man/woman who can cook! My loves to bake (desserts and such) but not cook. So I'm spoiled for desserts and he's spoiled for dinner!
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
My problem is not just that I am a terrible cook, but that I don't actually like to cook. I am way to impatient to take the time to cook something, so I try to cheat or get distracted and things burn. I don't even think about food until I'm hungry and at that point, I don't want to have to wait for my food to be ready. I also have no concept of basic techniques and terminology, so I feel totally overwhelmed whenever I look at a recipe. I will check out those books that haze1nut recommended, they sound right up my alley, since I'm a scientist in real life. And my best tips for people like me are this: 1, marry a wonderful cook, and 2, learn to love washing their dishes. The Hubs and I have a great system going - he's not afraid to make really involved meals since he doesn't have to clean up after and I get great food without having to set foot in the kitchen. It's win-win for us!
Food Food 10 years
hey su3, what's wrong with the cookies? do you not like that they're cakey and fluffy? when i make mine, i never freeze it first, i do however, use an ice cream scoop for portioning out, it makes everything even and i find that they spread best this way. best of luck!
SU3 SU3 10 years
Hey Yum - yes, I do use room temperature butter and eggs. A friend of mine suggested that I put the batch in the freezer for a little bit before I scoop it out to make the cookies and then place them into the oven. Is that right? I really didn't believe that it would change the outcome. :? When I do make them, the cookies are a bit cakey and fluffy. Any other suggestions?
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
Get a crock pot. It's practically impossible to screw up and there's nothing better than walking in and having dinner made.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
I was never allowed in the kitchen as a child because my mom thought I was too clutzy and I would break something. I never had to do dishes though! I was terrified to cook when I got older and even more scared of knives. :) But, I loved food and the idea of cooking so I started watching the Food Network. Rachael Ray was my inspiration. At first I couldn't stand her, but I kept watching. She really taught me that it was okay not be perfect in the kitchen, to make what I like, and take help when you can get it. Now, I make dinner every night, bake all the time, and I love every minute of it. My suggestion would be to start with just a couple of ingredients that have just a few steps. I started with baked boneless, skinless chicken. At first I only used salt and pepper to season and then tossed it in the oven at 350 degrees. I didn't have to do anything but watch it. And you know what, they turned out great! I just added simple sides like canned green beans and Lipton rice that only required heating or boiling. Oh, and I followed every recipe to a tee until I started to really understand things.
quietriott quietriott 10 years
awww don't hate on rachael ray, she does have some good quick and easy recipes out there, despite being somewhat annoying/
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
okay i'm just going to say this right now and don't forget it. LEARN COOKING FUNDAMENTALS then learn to cook. Like, did you know that certain pastries, breads, cakes and etc all need different types of flours depending on their protein and gluten content? like if you try to make a high protein flour for cakes your cakes will be very tough, hence cake flour. or if you're using a wheat flour for something that calls for all purpose white bleached flour, you'll find that your wet ingredients aren't making it wet enough and it'll come out harder than you intended it to be. food = science. it's chemistry! i mean most of it is, the rest goes into good sense and taste and creativity! Here are two books i recommend On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed by Shirley Corriher Also, Rachel Ray is not a good cook or Sandra Dee :( well, that and i'm annoyed with them, lol. and if you're starting out, start making 'breakfast foods', then 'Lunch food', and then graduate to "Dinner" and then "dessert". like going from easy to harder. :P
ALSW ALSW 10 years
One skillet meals are the best! Head over to or something and look for recipes that are short on time and ingredients. Harder to screw up in my opinion. (Although I've probably done it!) And then just progress from there and experiment! I'm a firm believer in experimentation!
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
hehe, i started out with making scrambled eggs. Start out froim there, make omelettes or something. Eggs are food you cook on the stove that are so easy to make! After that youll want to start cooking other easy stuff on the stove, and will already have some experience.
Food Food 10 years
SU3 - are you using room temperature butter and eggs? And be sure to really cream the butter & eggs before adding the other ingredients. Chocolate chip cookies are my fave, they were my starter recipe - here's step by step instructions and brokenbracelet- that's too funny! you should try one skillet meals. there's more than one step, but at least there's only one pan!
candy-apple candy-apple 10 years
my advice as a non-cooker? i make my boyfriend do it! hehe. seriously though, that was great motivation. seeing him go to all the trouble of cooking for me and coming up with all those elaborate dishes really motivated me to: 1- do something nice for him outside the bedroom (lol), 2- have fun with him trying out new things and tastes. I've actually started looking up recipes of dishes I think we'd both like. It's always a nice surprise. And even when i make a complete fool of myself and screw it up, there's always someone to laugh with me about it!
brokenbracelet brokenbracelet 10 years
I totally hate cooking, and I hate too many directions. I swear, I picked up a box of rice a roni, realized there was more than one step, and had a meltdown LOL
SU3 SU3 10 years
I love cooking and trying out new things BUT I always seem to mess up the chocolate chip cookies. I don't get it. I follow the recipe step by step EXACTLY as is, but they never turn out that great! WHY?!
quietriott quietriott 10 years
i agree, its one of those things that you just have to keep trying at. my best recommendation is to try things in steps. for starters, pick something that is pretty much a meal in and off itself -- pasta, stirfry, etc... (side dishes just add more stress to the cooking experience) then prep or make one portion of the meal at a time so you don't overwhelm yourself in the kitchen. if you are making pasta, cook the pasta, then drain it and set it aside. THEN start on the sauce or vegetables or meat that is going into the pasta. if you try to cook all at once you will overwhelm yourself and have a hard time keeping track of everything. and my other recommendation is to plan simple parties. do a wine and cheese party (no cooking!) or just have fancy chocolates and fruit.
jendudley jendudley 10 years
Anyone can cook. You just gotta get in there and mix it up!!
kelsen kelsen 10 years
Start with ramen noodles. Get creative and add veggies or chicken to them. Try to work your way up. Even if you never get much farther in your culinary adventure, at least you'll have your oodles of noodles on standby.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Not liking cooking at all would be hard since you save a ton of money by cooking for yourself. I'm glad I like cooking, now cleaning up is another thing entirely. Everyone- no matter how much you hate cooking- should know a few recipes in case you're too sick or tired to go to the store, etc... Get a friend to teach you one or two recipes!
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Start with the simple and easy and then keep going from there! I'm still not an amazing chef, but I can do the easy stuff and I can usually follow directions. Normally, I choose not to, but I can! =]
mochachino mochachino 10 years
When in doubt DANCE!!! I do know but trust me there was a point where I could even boil water, now I am a pro.
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
I have been cooking since I was a teenager. I love to cook.
mochachino mochachino 10 years
When in doubt DANCE!!! a friend asked me to make macaroni salad. I said sure. Got home and thought what?!!! So this is what i did, i went to the store and got already made macaroni salad, a bunch of green onions, and a can of peas. went home,mixed the drained sweet peas, cut up onions, and macaroni salad all together, found one of my prettiest bowls and had the poor child thinking I was a mastermind in the kitchen. That was until I discovered something...learn. DesignRchic is right learn teach yourself, it is like being a bartender, just when you think you will never get it, you stand back and suddenly you are looking at the perfect pour, drink, appetizer, whatever and you get this feeling of complete and utter happiness and it jsut gets better, for a while I could only make the perfect bowl of cereal for my daughter, now i am graduated to BLT sandwiches and wraps, but anywho keep trying, it does get easier, and don't be afraid to ask friends for help, believe me they figured out a long time ago that you couldn't cook, and decided it would be great to help you
Tech Tech 10 years
My tip No. 1 is making good friends with someone who is an amazing cook. As frustrating as it might be, my mom still gives me tips and instructions whenever she can and having friends like Yumsugar, Partysugar and my amazing baker BFF, is both encouraging and inspirational. Part of me knows I will never be a chef, but having patient cheerleaders is helpful. No. 2. Forget Yoda. Try, try, try again. No. 3. Takeout. Lots of takeout.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
The only tip I can suggest to those who can't cook is to start cooking. I learned through, burning, under cooking, and over-spicing many dishes, so it was trial and error for me. What helps as well, is to follow cookbooks for a while, till you get comfortable and then try coming up with your own dish.
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