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Getting out of the box

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I want to start making most of my meals from scratch. No more processed foods. So I need help. I have no idea where to start, no recipes, no clue really. Thanks!
post #2 of 16
More with Less cookbook is a good place to start. Simple, easy recipes with nothing from a box.
post #3 of 16

Cooking from scratch...

I like www.hilbillyhousewife.com. She has menu plans with shopping lists, daily work schedule, and all the recipes. She has a nice sense of humor.
$45 a week menu is mostly vegetarian...(I don't know if that is important to you) Other menus include more meat.
She uses some things like bacon grease, but I just subsitute oil...
Most of the dishes are easy to make.

I was just commenting to my husband tonight that I was really glad that I decided to put us on a grocery/eating out budget. Now I cook almost every meal at home. It was a hard transition, but now I really enjoy my routine. My 20 mos. old daughter helps crack eggs, and stir things. I am losing my baby weight...we have more money for doing fun things...lots of benefits.
post #4 of 16
congrats on a healthy choice! I am a 99% scratch cook. To start,
what does you family like to eat?
veggie or meat resrictions?
what do you have on hand now?
do you want some ideas for stovetop, oven, or slow cooker? do you have and use a grill?
how about side dishes?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I do have a grill, I also have a slow cooker and I am open to cooking on anything. No restrictions, although we do have a housefull of picky eaters. For example, myself... I cannot eat onions, not because I dont like their taste, I physically cannot eat one. I gag everytime. Texture issue I think. I love the flavor though, so when I make Chilly I put a whole onion and a whole green pepper... for their flavors but I dont have to eat them lol. I want to start eating more veggies but my boys HATE them. I LOVE Green Beans, so does DD, but DH and the boys hate them. They are all a PITA lol
post #6 of 16
Get a couple of REALLY good cookbooks. I have listed these before, so sorry if you've seen this before, but I really love, "The New Best REcipes" by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated. I like it because it doesn't only give you a recipe, but also tells you how they GOT to that recipe, and why they use certain techniques in certain recipes. Soooo, I've learned a lot from using the book. Even if you're a good cook (and I think I was) I challenge you to use this book and not learn something you can take with you at least now and then. So, also, "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bitman is good. He has great recipes, too, although maybe not quite as educational as the Cooks Illustrated one. One of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks it "The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen" By Peter Berley. I have two slow cooker books I like...can't remember the one I like second best, but my favorite is "Not your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook."

Getting good books will help you to get the basics down. They have things in them like how to make broth. Broth is a great thing to have around the kitchen, and knowing how to make your own is a great tool. And it works up from there...

Meal planning helps, as does organization in the kitchen, and having really good spices and herbs and basic pantry stuffs to work with...it can make the final product significantly better. This doesn't mean to buy the most expensive brown rice, or whatever (I buy in bulk), just that the small stuff is sometimes worth it and can go a long way. Actually, I buy many of my spices from Penzy's, which is usually much less expensive and much fresher than grocery store's.

Shopping for fresh things once or twice a week is good, as is leaving the rest to large shopping trips and planned sales trips.


Have fun!
post #7 of 16
: Courtenay-e-love those books.

the library is a great resource for cookbooks and magazines and a deal.
post #8 of 16
Those are great books, Courtenay.

I also really like The Southern Living Ultimate Cookbook. It's a nice basic cookbook, with pretty easy to follow (for me, at least) recipes. Everything always tastes good, and it always turns out. And, they oftne have serving suggestions (serve over rice, serve with potatoes, serve with a salad), too, which is nice when I don't feel like thinking. LOL
post #9 of 16
Thanks! I like them a lot!
post #10 of 16
www.recipezaar.com is WONDERFUL!!!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all of you... I think my family needs to open up a little about food a try new things. As I get older I am more willing to do this and I hope it rubs off on them
post #12 of 16
I am a picky eater myself and not much of a cook. However, the key for me has been to take it one step at a time. Change one thing and when that thing is changed, do another. You have to experiment-luckily, my DH will eat anything, so nothing goes to waste here. Start simple-just a meat/main dish and a veggie side. My great-grandmother died and left me some of her cookbooks-she was a wonderful scratch cook and has all sorts of recipes marked that she prepared, so I get lots of ideas from those. I also use tasteofhome.com to find interesting recipes (some of them are NOT healthy, so you have to pick through) that are easy. Also, this forum has some really great ideas!

It's a lot of willpower too-especially when the prepackaged cookies look so good at the store! One thing that helps me is to avoid the aisle they are in-the other thing that helps even more is to read the ingredients! If I can't pronounce or understand what's in it, back on the shelf it goes! A piece of fruit tastes better most days, anyways. It's strange-if I eat something prepackaged now, it almost makes me sick.

Good luck in beginning this journey with your family!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Today I boiled some beef bones with meat on them to make a stalk I then in a pan put olive oil and garlic, added some beef tips, wine, the stalk i made potatoes, carrots, I cheated a little with frozen Green Beans and corn. I also cheated buy using bisquick to make biscuts.

I did it! A meal almost all out of the box.. I made my own stalk for goodness sake lol
post #14 of 16
The Foodnetwork lol
I love that channel, I get all my stuff from there, they have a sit with recipes, if you want to check it out.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinas3muskateers View Post
Today I boiled some beef bones with meat on them to make a stalk I then in a pan put olive oil and garlic, added some beef tips, wine, the stalk i made potatoes, carrots, I cheated a little with frozen Green Beans and corn. I also cheated buy using bisquick to make biscuts.

I did it! A meal almost all out of the box.. I made my own stalk for goodness sake lol
Hooray! Good for you, Tina! And, watch out, because once you taste how much better it is, and see how relatively easy it is to do...you won't want to look back!!
post #16 of 16
frozen veggies arent cheating

my favorite cookbook is the joy of cooking
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