Category Archives: basic cooking

Let’s Talk Turkey: Parts 1-5 Revisited

by donR November 23, 2015

5 Tips & Tricks for better turkeys

5 Tips & Tricks for better turkeys

Two years ago we wrote a series of articles about choosing, preparing, and serving a turkey for budge-friendly holiday meals. We went on  to suggest safe  ways to use turkey and side dishes for several planned-over meals. Since that time we’ve picked up 5 more tips and tricks we want to share with you as well as review the 5-part series Continue reading

Cooking 101: 3 Simple Winter Squash Recipes

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

by donR  November 17, 2015

If you search for winter squash recipes you can find plenty of suggestions on the web. In our last post we interviewed a master gardener to get  few tricks for preparing nutritious squash. I was satisfied with that until I met Richard and Nancy while picking apples for a Cook-In. It was there that I heard another way to prepare winter squash.  They own Apple Creek Orchards in Ferndale, Washington, recognized by redtri.com  as one of the best apple orchards for families near Seattle. Continue reading

Counter-top Appliances: Our Top 5 Choices

Our top choice for best table-top appliances is the slow-cooker. Can you name four more that made the top five list?

Our top choice for best table-top appliances is the slow-cooker. Can you name four more that made the top five list?

by donR October 27, 2015

Small appliances, whether you love them or hate them, are often given as gifts or purchased on impulse. Then they often end up in thrift stores for various reasons, which we will explain later.

But they do have a place in the home kitchen as well as in  restaurants. Are there any homes that are without a Microwave oven, coffee maker or toaster? These are so popular that we will not discuss them here, However there are at least five small appliances that deserve mention  Read more about these time and energy-savers: Continue reading

Cooking101:Final Thoughts?

thoughtsby donR October 16, 2015

Final Thoughts? There is nothing final when it comes to cooking. So let me explain why that’s #1 on my “Final thoughts List…. Huh? …..Another list?  Yep…but there are only 4 more things to ponder. Hang in there. Read more to find out what I think is important for emerging cooks to keep in mind. If you have other ideas,  it’s okay to make your own list.
Continue reading

Simple Salad Dressing & Marinade: 5 X 5 Combinations

By donR  October 5, 2015

Mix N Match dressings complement these vegetables.

Mix N Match dressings complement these vegetables.

Home-made dressing for green salad is simple to prepare.  Kids can do it as their contribution to the family dinner.  When each family member makes their own, they may be more apt to ask for green salad at dinnertime. The following 5 X 5 ingredient chart shows how to create over 3,000 different dressings. Read More… Continue reading

Cooking 101: 5 Do’s For Thicker Sauces

picture of shrimp pasta

A thick spicy sauce works well with shrimp pasta..

Okay, you’ve gone through the trouble to make perfect rice or pasta. But when you put the sauce on top it runs onto the plate. This is not a way to impress your friends. But there are several simple ways to thicken the sauce to make it heavy enough to stick and add more texture. Continue reading

Cooking 101: EZ Cooked Vegetables

These veggies are complex carbohydrates.

These veggies are complex carbohydrates.

by donR  July 28, 2015

The USDA, a department of the US government recommends that we fill half of our plate with vegetables. But how many of us really do it? Any answer would be debatable and besides, that’s not the important question. A better question to ask would be, “How does one cook inexpensive vegetables in a way that preserves nutrients, is easy to fix, and tasty enough to eat every night?”  Here are five things to think about if you want to answer that question. Continue reading

Cooking 101: 5 Do’s for Better Nutrition

Include natural, low-fat proteins  in your daily meal plan

Include natural, low-fat proteins in your daily meal plan.

Better Nutrition? Yes, what you eat can make a big difference in how you feel, repair  cells, sleep, your energy level, fight disease and a host of other things going on in your body. Two thousand years ago a Greek physician taught his students to think of food as medicine for the body.  If this is true, what can you do to ensure you are getting the right kinds and quantity of food?

Here are 5 foods often found on most lists of nutritious foods. But first, keep in mind that some foods can interfere with medications so always see your doctor for special needs. Continue reading

Cooking 101; 5 Do’s To Remember

by donR  July 26, any year

Think Positive. Have a kitchen 'To Do' list posted in your kitchen.

Think Positive. Have a kitchen ‘To Do’ list posted in your kitchen.

It’s easier to remember items on a ‘To DO’ list when cooking rather than things on a ‘Do not Do’ list. I guess it has to do with something I learned early on as I challenged anyone who said “Don’t  _____ .) Or was it from my teacher education classes or parenting magazine articles? Frankly, what does matter is the next five articles I’m sharing with cooking newbies titled: ‘5 Do’s when________.’ 0r ‘5 do’s for __________.’ Be sure to watch this unfold over the next 5 days. Here is my first ‘To Do list.’

5 Things To Do In Your Kitchen To Prevent Food-Borne Illness:

#1. Thoroughly wash hands, counter top, sink, utensils and produce before beginning the cooking process.

#2 Have two clean cutting boards readily available, one red for cutting meat and one green for veggies.

#3 Use a digital meat thermometer to measure temperatures of meat, poultry or leafy greens to be sure food is cooked to the recommended safe temperature, and held above 135 degrees or stored below 41 degrees.

#4 Place meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator when storing it or letting it thaw out over night.

#5 Visit and/or bookmark the USDA website for food preservation, storage and safe handling information. But do come back for 5 more ‘Do’s about cooking.’

Cooking 101; 5 Helpful Tips

By donR  July 8, 2015

You are never too young or old to begin cooking.

You are never too young or old to begin cooking.

Seventy five years ago it may have been easier to compile  a list of  Affordable Basic  Cooking tips. I remember my mother and neighbors using local produce, with beef, pork and poultry. The limited variety of food was simply boiled, roasted or fried. In comparison, today’s supermarkets are filled with foods of all kinds and cook books with recipes for every occasion and ethnicity. With all those choices, people learning to cook find it difficult to keep it simple and easy. So now you know my first tip for a beginning cook. Continue reading