Originally Posted by Misty8723
Thanks for the links, guys. I'm going to check them out later on my lunch break (or when I get home tonight).
As for the Betty Crocker cookbook, I used it a lot too when I was a beginner, maybe I should take a look at it again. As much as we have been eating out lately (fast food junk), I guess you could say I'm beginning again
Using products that are not full of preservatives and additives is a great start and just remember that pretty much anything you make at home yourself is going to be healthier than eating out.
Cooking is like anything else, all you need is practice. I used to have a roommate that always said she wished she could cook like me. I told her if she could read she could cook. Now, she is a great cook, loves to experiment more than I do really and is very proud of her accomplishments in the kitchen.
You can dress up the plainest meals so easily, for instance when I make pork tenderloin (a 30 minute dinner), I slice the tenderloin into medallions of approximately 1/2 inch thick, saute (fry) to cook through, remove them from the pan, add some chopped apple and stir that around in the oil, add some liqueur (I use Calvados but you could use any fruit based liqueur like Grand Marnier or even a little water - just something to deglaze the pan which is a fancy way to say "get all the lovely brown bits from the pan".), stir that all around until the alcohol evaporates and leaves just the delicious flavour, add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup 35% cream (whipping cream), let that simmer down to thicken a bit, serve that over the pork medallions. It's easy, fast and delicious. Served with baby potatoes (with butter and parsley) and your vegetable of choice, it makes a lovely dinner. For broccoli (which we have almost every night because hubby loves it and it's so good for us), I just clean it, cut into smallish pieces, put it in a small glass dish, add a tsp. of water and microwave for 3 minutes. It comes out perfect but keep in mind microwaves vary in power so you may need to start at 2 minutes and just add minutes as required to get it the way you like it.
ETA: With a bit of forethought and pre-preparation, any weeknight meal can be a quick meal. Tonight I will do a pot roast for tomorrow. Tomorrow night I will just put it on the top of the stove to heat it up, make the veggies and gravy and a delicious dinner will be ready in under a half hour.
Try making up a menu for the week and when shopping use that to pick up your items. Do as much as you can the night before.