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How to cook with horrible pots and pans

Ok so I am a SAHM and DH and i had a talk the other night because we haven't been very happy lately and so we both sat down and told each other a few things that the other one could work on that would make it better. Like for me i said it would be great if he spent a little less time on the video games and more with me and dd. So one of his big things was that he works 55 hours a week and he said he would really like to come home to a good home cooked meal which i totally understand i am not a very good cook and i get really sick of the stuff we eat every night so i thought it was a very reasonable request. Here is the problem. I have been watching the food network like crazy and i don't think i can cook like that because i have a set of pots and pans we got 5 years ago for i think $45. We can not afford new ones right now so do you have any general cooking tips KNOWING i have no skills (lol) and bad equipment?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:17 PM on Feb. 19, 2011 in Food & Drink

Answers (6)
  • Start with easy recipes! Things that have only a few ingredients and nothing out of the ordinary - chicken breast is a really good way to go, and you can do a million things with it. Get a few cook books from the store - not the fancy ones, but ones with "five ingredients" or "30-minute meals" in the title ... there are so many!
    Also, I know you want to put the pots & pans to good use, but I also suggest getting a slow cooker. You can do so many things with those, most of which don't require much skill.
    Good luck!

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 8:22 PM on Feb. 19, 2011

  • The very best - and most simple - dinner in our home is roast chicken. It makes the house smell heavenly and it cooks itself. I start with a fryer chicken (not a roasting hen, they don't taste as good) and season it with season salt, garlic salt and black pepper. Place it in a 9x13 baking dish and roast it at 325 for 2-3 hours or until you can wiggle the leg and it is nice and loose. You can use the drippings for making gravy (it's wonderful) or put them in a freezer bag with your leftover chicken to save to for making homemade stock.

    Answer by scout_mom at 9:10 PM on Feb. 19, 2011

  • Do you have a crock pot or bakeware? Casseroles or a crock pot meal may be your place to start! I love to cook but I have 5 children at home and lots going on - my crock pot is my best friend most of the time. It also is a mom's dream with less expensive cuts of meat :)

    Answer by AAAMama at 11:43 PM on Feb. 19, 2011

  • Does not matter how horrible are the pot and pans what matter is how well you put together the recipes. I have lots of pots and pans more than 10 years old and still turn out great food from them.

    Answer by musicmom08 at 11:57 PM on Feb. 19, 2011

  • Good gear helps, for sure, but you can still cook tasty stuff with crap. I do it all the time. :)
    Crockpot = YOUR BEST FRIEND. If you don't have one, start looking at garage sales and on craigslist. Ask friends and family if they have an old one.
    Also, cast iron. Individual pieces are pretty inexpensive. I got a 13" skillet for $12 on sale at my grocery store. Keep an eye out. If you see one at a yard sale, snatch it up, even if it's rusty. It can be saved.
    Try things like stir fry, blackened chicken alfredo (seriously, just get blackening seasoning, cook the chicken over high heat, slice it up and toss with fett. and alfredo sauce) and stuffed peppers (I do them with leftover taco meat, tomatos and spanish rice. Pop em in the oven for like 15. YUM)

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 10:12 AM on Feb. 20, 2011

  • If you are going to continue with the worn pots/pans please do not use metal utensils. Stick with wood or plastic. I dealt with pans of the same age and it was horrible to see the black stuff in my food. I finally got a new pots and pan set for xmas and I absolutely LOVE IT! (watch for sales if you can, I got my set for 50% off and wouldnt trade it for the world! It can even go in the oven!)

    I know you said you watch foodnetwork all the time (so do I!) ...have you thought about ordering their magazine? The recent one is all italian food but I absolutely love their magazine. Great tips and tricks. If you can pick up a few pieces from yard sales or thrift stores or even better family hand me downs that would be great for new pots/pans.

    I also recommend looking into a crockpot (try thrift store/yardsale again) or baking things in the oven.

    Answer by PyraLynne at 8:20 PM on Feb. 20, 2011

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