Help feed the hungry!

Specifically, me.
Okay, last month my GF moved out of the house to go attend school.

This leaves me to fend for myself in the kitchen.

This is not a good thing.

Quite frankly, I’m clueless. With a few exceptions, I have no idea how to prepare food. And even those few exceptions- hamburgers and pasta- send me into flurries of anxiety attacks when I start to work preparing them.

What I need is a cookbook. A very basic cookbook. I’m not interested in learning how to cook a frauline du coq au vin with almonds; I’m interested in learning how to make meatballs. Yep. Something as simple and stupid as meatballs, and I have no freaking clue.

Anyone have any suggestions on very basic cookbooks that I can get, or should I just resign myself to ordering pizza and Chinese food every night until my GF returns home for break?

I read a good one. I think its called 5 ingredients, 5 minutes.
Lemme go check. I’m in the library.

I can make you some toast and jello if you want…

As for meatballs: mold ground beef into balls, and cook.

Glad I could help.


no no no!
Take ground meat, add breadcrumbs and an egg!
THEN much together into a ball, bake for 35 minutes!

cookbooks?..we don’ need no stinkin’ cook books, man…

we have internet!..look up kraft or betty crocker…both sites have ‘interactive kitchen’ areas with recipes, weekly menu plans, etc…

or send me your addy so I know where to send the 47 cookbooks I do have and never use… :slight_smile:

It sounds cheesy, but The Betty Crocker Cookbook has most of the basic recipes in it. It also has a glossary that explains all the techniques, as well as how to measure properly (important in baking).

If you want to be a little more adventurous, Cooking Light magazine has good recipes, not too hard to prepare and not a lot of weird ingredients to search for. They also run good “how to” articles with pictures.

The best cookbook I found that is easy to follow is the Betty Crocker cookbook.

On the other hand, in the frozen foods section of the grocery store are any number of different selections that you can just pop into the microwave, heat and eat. My favorites are Stouffers. Also, if you have a Safeway store near you, (I don’t know where you live) their own brands called Safeway Select are quite good. Just a suggestion.

I’m going to recommend a Betty Crocker cookbook too. The recipes are simple and very easy to follow.

Also, there is a show on the Food Network, “How to Boil Water” that seems to have simple recipes on it.

The Better Homes & Gardens cookbook is also a good rudimentary one, with lots of illustrations, step-by-step instructions, etc.

These 3 were on the recommended giftlist for college students (former B&N employee).

‘Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her : Surviving Away from Home’
by Kathryn J. Frandsen, Kent P. Frandsen, Betty Rae Frandsen. Has quite a few basic recipies.

BTW, its companion book - ‘Where’s Dad Now That I Need Him? Surviving Away from Home’ by Betty Rae Frandsen, Kent P. Frandsen (Contributor).

‘The Starving Students’ Cookbook’ by Dede Hall, Rob Sterling (Illustrator).

‘The College Cookbook : An Alternative to the Meal Plan’ by Geri Harrington, Constance Oxley (Editor).

‘The 5 In 10 Cookbook : 5 Ingredients in 10 Minutes or Less’ by Paula J. Hamilton. Hardcover (April 1993)

Then again, you may want to invest in ‘Intercourses : An Aphrodisiac Cookbook’ by Martha Hopkins, et al, for when GF gets back. [Wonderful recipies using honey, chocolate, asparagus, etc. The strawberry spaghetti sauce is better than it sounds, believe me. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Memories.]

Easy recipe.

1 pound of ground sausage or beef
6 eggs
1 or 2 ounces of cheese

Brown sausage or beef in skillet, then drain, leaving just a little bit of grease. Pour in the eggs, scrambled. Then add the cheese, diced. Stir over heat until the eggs are fluffy. Pepper the heck out of it. Good for at least 2 meals. Yummy!

Ramen noodles. Add egg and/or some frozen peas when soup is almost done. Cook for 15-30 more seconds. Make sure to stir in egg unless you want egg surprise at the bottom.

Sammichez. get some meat (presliced, probably), some cheese, and some bread. assemble sammichez however you like.

I just make shit up. I find things in my kitchen and make stuff with it. Won’t win me any awards, but I haven’t gone hungry, yet. :slight_smile: Last night I found some chicken breast in the freezer. I defrosted them, then covered them in a little butter some spices I found in my pantry. Garlic flake thingies, and various other powders I found that looked somewhat appealing. I through both of them in a saucepan on high. By the way, I don’t use my oven, and as far as temperature goes, I just use off and high. Then I popped some green beans in a pot and heated them up. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, including cleanup and it was pretty good.

Damn it. I’m hungry now. I’m going to lunch.

How 'bout this?

1 1/2 Pounds of Ground Chuck.
5 good sized Carrots.
2 good sized Potatoes.
1 medium Onion.
1/2 pound Fresh Button Mushrooms.
2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Chicky soup, do not add any liquid.
Coarse Ground Pepper, Oregano, Basil and Chopped Garlic to taste.
Peel carrots (and potatoes if you wish).
Cut carrots and potatoes into bite size chunks.
Dice onion.
Boil above until tender (carrots take longest).

Press ground chuck on the bottom and sides of ungreased large casserole dish.
Layer vegetables, mushrooms, spices and soup in dish, reserving some soup for the top.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (or until beef looks done) uncovered.
Spoon off excess grease.

Serve with garlic bread. (This keeps well in the fridge for several days.)

Or this.

1 lb. or so of yer favorite pasta (I use a mix of shells and twirls) boiled and drained
1 small onion diced (Vidalia’s are great in season)
¾ lb. o’ colby cheese cubed
¼ lb. o’ Velveeta® cubed
½ cup o’ milk
2 Tbsp. o’ butter
1½ Tbsp. seasoned or fresh ground black pepper
1 Tsp. oregano
1 Tsp. basil
1 Tsp. onion salt
12 - 15 saltines crumbled
2 oz. grated parmesan cheese
*All measurements are approximations. Use as much or as little as feels good.

Mix everything except the saltines and parmesan cheese in a glass/pyrex® dish to distribute the cheese evenly. Do not mix until the cheese melts; this would be very wrong.

Sprinkle the parmesan on top. Sprinkle the crackers on top of that.

Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with some nice crusty pumpernickel rye.

Don’t underestimate crock-pot cooking either. Just throw in whatever meat(especially if you only have cheap and crappy meat left)you have around, some beans, veggies and a couple shakes of some spices before you leave. You’ll have a nice filling chili or stew waiting when you get home.

Stouffer’s Salisbury Steak entree

Open box, remove entree. Poke a small hole in the film. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove film and discard. Eat food, discard tray.

This book is a must for every kitchen. I’ve given it at weddings for the last 10 years.

The Joy of Cooking gives you all the basics – stuff you should know (or did know) but have forgotten – baked potatoes, poultry cooking times, simple veggies and desserts and, yes, meatballs.

Good luck Man, You’ll need it.

As for my advice, it’s simple. Follow directions, and don’t attempt anything too outrageous. Stay calm, and get to know your adversary. Research, plan, then strike!

Seriously, I’ve never had problems, but them my Mom taught me to cook so I’d keep from tearing up the kitchen when I was little. I was easier to keep track of if I was interested in something.

It’s not hard! Just relax, find a place to start, and start on the simple stuff.

Just wanted to express my appreciations for the responses and let people know that I am reading this thread even if I don’t respond specifically to everyone.

I’m definitely going to get that Betty Crocker book and print out Uncle Beer’s recipes.

As for the “just go for it”, apparently you don’t realize just how clueless I am. I have no idea how long meat should be cooked for or at what temperature. (My hamburgers always turned out raw in the middle until my girlfriend explained to me to cook them on a low burner setting.) Unfortunately, in contrast, I am quite aware and paranoid about salmonella and e.coli and the like, so just the thought of under-prepared food makes me nauseous.

Yeah, I know, I’m a weenie.