Heather Kessler, Purdue University Student & Peer Counselor
Okay, so you took our advice. You made a list and set a budget for your first grocery shopping trip. You now have lots of healthy food, including vegetables, fruit, meat, and starches. But now what do you do? At home, Mom was the chef, and the only time you walked in the kitchen was to pop a bag of popcorn, or make boxed mac and cheese in one pot on the stove. Well, never fear! This article will arm you with the knowledge needed to not only cook, but also become a great chef! I’ll give you some information on where to find recipes for different meals, and also equip you with some cooking basics (for example: raw meat is normally not a good thing!).
The internet will be a great resource, especially if your mom lives far from campus. There are many websites to help with cooking how-tos. WebMD has an article titled Cooking 101: Kitchen Basics that covers different facts about bread, chicken, and pasta, which can be helpful before making these items for the first time,. WikiHow has articles from “boiling noodles” to “making an omelet”.
For actual recipes, there are many sites to help with ideas and options. Food Network, All Recipes, and, of course, Pinterest are just a few great options out there to find good recipes on the web. You can also ask your mom, grandma, or other great family chefs for that favorite recipe you had as a child. I am sure they would be happy to pass that information down to another generation! You can also invest in a cookbook to get a lot of options to keep right in your kitchen. Some good generic cookbooks include Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book for a generic recipe book that ranges from drinks to salads, to main dishes, and desserts; or you can get a cookbook that is specific to what you are interested in making. Love Italian food? Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian chef who has many cookbooks, and Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes could be a great place to start. There are many options to choose from, so find something you are interested in and start cooking!