How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Simple Recipes Anyone Can Cook by Mark BittmanAugust: Yall, I bought a cookbook. I can bake sweets that will make you cry mercy and beg for just one more hit. But actual cooking?
Yeah, not so much.
November: So Ive had this cookbook roughly three months. Am I a 5 star chef yet?
Well. No, not exactly. I still have a deep affection for take out pizza. I dont use fresh herbs. I screwed up a dip recipe by making it so spicy literally no one was able to eat it. Sometimes what I make tastes good, but it looks a bit like it was dropped from a great height. And I still havent made a pancake that doesnt have the consistency of a flip flop.
Gordon Ramsey would be ashamed.
HOWEVER. Im not a total lost cause. I havent lost any digits, havent cut myself at all actually! Which I feel is impressive for someone who once cut her face on a peephole. I feel decently capable of making my own meal, even if the meal isnt 100% perfect or made entirely from scratch. If you ask me if I want to go out for Mexican food, the answer is always yes, but making my own meals more often has been noticeably better for my budget and my waistline. (Just hit the 25 lb mark! Woo!)
Plus, I liked how detailed How to Cook Everything was, without talking down to you. Bittman explains basic techniques and tips really well. Want to know how to boil water, hold a knife properly, or what al dente means? Bittman has you covered. Im far from being an expert, but now I dont feel like Im throwing potatoes at sharp objects until something comes out edible.
Not everything was a success, and yall know I havent tried every recipe in this book. But currently my favorite by far is the Panzanella Caprese (p 126). (Fancy shit for tomatoes, bread and cheese in a bowl. But say you make something for dinner using big Italian words and people automatically assume you are talented.) I usually skip the soaking the bread stage cause I like the extra crunch and I use dried basil cause Im lazy. But its delicious, I make it once or twice a week now!
Im still pretty far from being any sort of expert cook. I wouldnt last a hot second on [insert basically any cooking show under the sun here]. But I can say that How to Cook Everything has delivered - I can kinda sorta cook! Or I can cook good enough for me, and thats all that really matters anyway.
And I continue to make the best pecan pies in the south.
15 Things You NEED to Learn to Cook Before You Turn 25
Add a few more dishes to your weekly dinner rota with some ideas from our round-up. Want to teach yourself how to cook? There are so many recipes out there — where do you start? From baking recipes like a Victoria sponge, apple pie muffins, brownies and rocky road to dinner favourites chilli con carne , roast dinner and homemade curry, our basic recipes will give you a great foundation for your cookery skills. Click through to see what recipes you can make and which ones you can learn…. Love cooking? Try our classic Victoria sponge recipe.
Fast Chicken Pot Pie
Ashley Bush, 23 Fairfax, Virginia Ashley feels cursed in the kitchen. Her culinary attempts in college were equally disastrous. Even hot dogs came out overcooked and rubbery. As a result, the two live on grilled boneless chicken breasts, frozen pizza, and plain pasta. Then they showed Ashley a go-to technique for cooking her beloved chicken and gave her a few quick flavoring tricks.