There's loads of free recipe books if you search google, and although they might not all be suitable if you have laods you can pick your favourite recipes and make your own book!
i planned to learn to cook last summer, but it didnt happen. when i got there everythin was fine, and i experimented here n there and now can cook enough to get me by. Chicken is so versitile, i think a george forman is a welcome investment. Buy the basic meats and spitz them up. Buy some sweet chili sauce to pour on chicken. erm....the spices u can get from asda for a quid each r amazingly useful, piripiri is great. buy some soy sauce for stir frys. i also find the flavoured chinese and italian oxocubes spice up stir frys/pasta. cheese is nice for pasta. garlic adds a bit of flavor to chicken if your frying it. onions always nice.
curry powder...put some in rice when you boil it and it tastes lovely. mash potatoe is easy and yummy...add cheese and put in the oven and u got cheese and potatoe pie. yea...cooking is easy just improvise lol
nosh 4 students the book is a good basic cookbook. the chicken curry recipie is simple and very very tasty!
My mum bought me 'nosh4students' and another book, 'How to boil an egg', a few months ago. I haven't actually used them yet, but flicking through them both, they have some good recipes, and include things like shopping lists and advice on how long food can be kept for, etc.
i can make chicken fajita wraps now from scratch!! tho i do still struggle to even fry or boil an egg...
Boiling eggs well is actually really hard! When most people cook, it's done by sight and smell, taste and ocassionally touch. Obviously, you can't do any of these without taking the shell off the egg, so don't be disenheartened by boiled eggs!!
Make sure you always have the following in your store cupboard, and then you can make most simple dishes served in restaurants:
Herbs (basil, thyme)
Chopped tomatoes (tinned)
Vegetable oil (or Extra Virgin olive oil for Italian cooking)
Soy sauce (light)
That's enough to allow you to make everything from Margherita pizzas, pasta with tomato sauce, omelettes - plain, cheesy, Spanish etc, pancakes, egg fried rice, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, pasta with cheese, and so on.
All the meat/veg/sauce/syrup stuff are just seasonal fancies that you can put in to add variation or nutrition to your meal. Any cooking cupboard would be bare without this stuff.
I can do a few dishes, but havn't properly learnt. I've spent my first year in catered accommodation, the easy way out!
It's really wierd, I can cook quite well on a camp fire or gas or petrol stove outdoors, but take me to a proper kitchen with an oven and proper hobs and I'm hopeless!
What you can cook will depend on what facilities you have; for example, my accommodation as its supposedly catered has two hobs provided. That's it! So it was pasta and spag bol and things that could be cooked ina saucepan all the way. Ready meals were out, as there's no oven.
We clubbed together to buy a microwave. It was an amazingly good investment!
Anyway, back to the thread. it's probably useful to learn a few basic things like pasta, spag bol, frying and so on as well as a couple of better meals for when you want to be posh or share or whatever; for example, I can make a spaghetti or pasta carbonara from scratch and its amazingly nice but costs quite a bit to get all the ingrediants- more than buying a sauce ready made. But it is far better and perfect for joint, party-style occasions and I've had no complaints about it so far!
I've started uni this year, and as a vegetarian, student cooking is a bit more challenging. But I enjoy a lot of student favourites, including beans on toast, jacket potato and beans, as well as a few other favourites. I get sainsburys basics pizzas (there isn't a tesco in lancaster, and asda is practically in morecambe) for 89p, and shove loads of toppings on them.
Stir fries are also good, and I make my own version of spaghetti bolognese, which is a good favourite. And whenever soup is on offer, I'll bulk buy it.
But I can tell you one thing about student cooking! No matter how temptd you are, never cook a jacket potato in the microwave. I know it's quicker, but they taste so much better done in the oven!