How to Use This Book
If you have no experience cooking, start by reading the Basics of Cooking # and Basic Food Safety #. If you need basic cooking equipment but don’t know exactly what you need, read Basic Cooking Equipment #.
If you already know how to cook and you have the necessary equipment, then you can proceed to the recipes. Use the table of contents or the index to find specific recipes.
Tips for planning meals and saving money can be found in Planning a Week’s Worth of Meals (#), Freezing and Refrigerating (#), and Lunches for Work and School (#).
Basic Cooking Equipment
Equipment should be solid, thick metal if possible. Don’t bother with non-stick pots, pans, cookie sheets, etc..: the non-stick coating is too easily damaged, and once damaged, the metal underneath is likely to rust.
Restaurant supply stores carry the best equipment: plain and made to take abuse. Yard sales can be a great place to find good quality kitchen items for cheap.
Large pot with lid
Small or medium pot with lid
Large frying pan with lid
Cookie sheet (preferably with edges, known as a “jelly roll pan”)
Medium or large casserole dish
Serving/stirring spoons, including a slotted spoon
Paring knife (any small knife will do)
A plastic cutting board that fits in the dishwasher
Whetstone or steel knife sharpener
Optional items that may make your life a little easier:
Instant-read or probe thermometer
Expensive Kitchen gadgets that you WON’T need for most of the recipes in this book: