Cooking for dummies

Post all the little things you do which make your life a bit easier and more pleasant food-wise, but aren’t full-on recipes. The “I can cook pasta and frozen chicken wings” residents of this forum should be able to follow and use whatever is here.

Super simple condiment dip: I mix mayonnaise, mustard (preferably one with a bit of kick, as opposed to the sweet varieties), and a bit of soy sauce into a bowl, and incorporate them altogether. I mainly do this for putting on my chicken schnitzel, but I’m sure it works for other things that go with savory dips as well, like onion rings or fries.

Give your tuna some pizzazz: I personally prefer large-chunk albacore tuna canned in water for this, but that might be just personal taste. At any rate, you obviously put mayo in, everyone knows that, but then I add the following spices in order from most to least:

  • (Hungarian) paprika
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander seed
  • rosemary
  • marjoram (go real light on this one, it’s pretty bitter in large quantities, and tbh I’m not even sure it matters with how little I use, but it’s the routine I’ve got so I’m listing it)

I should add that I’ve had people who claim to hate fish and/or not like canned tuna absolutely love this when I make it, so it must have some merit. Even if you’re skeptical or usually don’t like tuna, try it maybe!

Now you guys share, I’m excited to see what you all have to lay out for the rest of us sad, talentless non-cooks! Also I’m open to better thread names if this thing actually gets used I couldn’t think of anything good.

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Pre-bake, drizzle a little olive oil on crappy store-brand freezer pizza, and it almost raises it into the category of food.


This kinda thing is my whole cooking life now that i own a crockpot and no stove. My #1 tip is: use a crockpot. it’s basically a witch’s cauldron for food


Also, a pound of beans beans + frozen/canned mixed vegetables + crushed tomatoes cost ~$5 and are the foundation of 95% of my meals. Throw whatever other veggies and meat and spices you want in there and you’re gold


it’s definitely the closest actual cooking can be to the BotW thing of just throwing a bunch of whole ingredients into a cauldron and then a dish of food just pops out of it

my ‘hot tip’ is instant oatmeal is a scam and you can make much better oatmeal for a lot cheaper using just whole oats. it takes like 5 minutes. nbd.


sorta like instant coffee

or instant anything

Yeah, I have… something kind of like a crock pot here. Strikes me I should probably use that for something, huh.

Is there anything clever and simple to do with canned beets? Beats are neat(s), but beyond cutting them up and mixing them with a couple of other things to make a salad I’m not really sure what to do with them.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had canned beets vs fresh, but you actually need to do surprisingly little with them to make them tasty. I enjoy sliced up beet drizzled in olive oil and baked for a little bit (not too long, should still be soft and tender). But my taste in food seems to be relatively bland compared to other folks so ymmv. I’m sure you could throw some spices on top of that.

Oh, also, beets and goat cheese? Little slices of the beet with goat cheese and whatever other addons on top. Basically like you would do with a cracker, but beets.

I mean. I’ve not had canned beets either. I’ve bought fresh ones and, yeah, just cut them up with a little salt, oil, and mixed with… something else. Pickles? Olives? I forget. Whatever was to hand. I figure I’m maybe not giving them their full range of expression.

Oh, yeah, cheeses sound like a good pairing. I can see what you’re doing with the goat. Earthy plus musky. Goat cheese is too grainy for me, usually. Something about the texture bothers me. Something sharper or more pungent sounds good, though!

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no judgment, mind

Rice + raw egg + soy sauce is good and easy and safe, probably.

I don’t measure the soy sauce. I just eyeball it. I guess I beat the egg and the soy sauce together in a bowl prior? Then make a little hole in the rice and pour it in. I read this is a Japanese Official Meal…and it is easy.


None interpreted. Goat cheese seems to be a rather divisive thing. I think you’ve got the idea in the sense of mixing that sweet, earthy flavor of beets with a sharp and tangy flavor. I’m sure there are other things besides goat cheese specifically that could accomplish that.

The danger from uncooked eggs is from the shell, more than the contents. Just scrub that fucker before cracking and you’re probably fine.

You know.



Also like, a lot of things we eat have raw egg in them without folks realizing it! Mayo is oil n egg whipped up, meringue and whipped frostings get their fluffiness from whipped egg whites being folded in, etc

Advice from a former longtime cooking professional

  • Throwing shit that seems like it goes together all in a pot til they get cooked is never going to be bad - thats all stew is. It’s tried and true and most of the best foods are just this in some form
  • You aren’t using enough salt, I promise you.
  • Also if you aren’t already, switch to using Kosher salt for your cooking instead of whatever you’re using right now. It’s got thicker grains so you can actually feel and see them, and makes it possible to actually visually measure and feel how much salt you use and makes it possible to learn how much salt to use
  • Also Also put salt and crushed black pepper on everything. It makes it better, I promise
  • If you have a blender, just cut fruit and freeze it in portions for smoothies. freezing the fruit lends a thicker texture to the final smoothie, bananas also add this. All you need is your preferred milk / milk substitute, and maybe a form of sweetening agent
  • Sharpen your knives, or at minimum use a honing steel. Dull knives are way more dangerous than a sharp one, and they don’t work!

you know what ppl should be using is msg as well!!!


Wait a minute hold on


Bread is a lot easier than you think!

  • The ingredients are very accessible. Flour and yeast are very cheap at most stores (when they’re in stock! quarantine economics baby). They also keep very long when stored properly.
  • You only need a tiny smidgen of yeast to Get That Bread Bubblin’, so it lasts a long time
  • You can feel out the proportion by hand. If it’s too tacky/sticks a lot to your fingers, add flour. If it’s hard or dry, add water.
  • You can start proving in the morning and bake at lunch for a nice bread treat
  • Kneading is relaxing and rhythmic
  • Keeping and feeding a sourdough culture is like baker’s tamagotchi.

i love tending to a food colony!!

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cocktail onions are really good with beets