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    So, maybe you're moving to university and therefore away from home for the first time. Or maybe you've been at uni for a few months and are fed up of living off Pot Noodle and Dominoes Pizza. Or maybe you've graduated from uni and feel like you need to broaden your food repertoire.

    So firstly, what might you need?

    Basic Ingredients

    - pasta (any shape)
    - rice
    - noodles
    - potatoes
    - dried herbs (you can either go for a few different ones, or a tub of mixed herbs)
    - salt
    - pepper
    - sunflower oil (or rapeseed oil, vegetable oil etc.)
    - olive oil
    - chilli powder (even if you don't like particularly spicy food, it can add flavour)
    - flour (personally, I have plain, self-raising and strong)
    - chopped tomatoes/passata sauce
    - meat of your choice (e.g. chicken breasts, sausages, mince, chops)
    - vegetables (carrots, peas, broccoli, onions, peppers are good ones to start with, but of course you will have others you like!)
    - cheese (I like cheddar, red Leicester, gruyere)
    - milk
    - stock cubes
    - eggs

    Useful Equipment

    You don't need a lot to do some basic cooking, although some recipes will need more stuff to do them/do them properly.

    - saucepans (at least two)
    - frying pan (a decent size)
    - baking trays
    - roasting tin (or at least deep baking tray)
    - chopping boards
    - knives
    - potato peeler
    - spoons (slotted and one without holes)
    - spatula
    - cheese grater

    Other things that are helpful:

    - large casserole dish
    - pie dish
    - blender/stick blender
    - food processor
    - standing mixer/handheld mixer

    Recipes

    The great thing about cooking is that for a lot of things, you can adapt them to suit you. Don't like a lot of spice? Add in less/no chilli powder. Don't have a certain ingredient? You may be able to leave it out or substitute something else for it (although of course, this is likely to affect the taste). It's more creative than baking, which is more of an exact science.

    So what are some good things to get started for novices?

    Places to Find Recipes

    There are a lot of places you can get recipes from. Of course, some may be handed down by family that you can use. You can also see recipes on all the cooking shows on TV. Many of these shows will have websites that have their recipes on. There are lots and lots of recipe blogs online. You can find recipes on Google or Pinterest (I have sooooo many boards with recipes). Or you can buy a recipe book. Or you can try and make it up...

    There are even recipes on TSR, here.

    Try! Experiment! Maybe even post pictures of your attempts in this thread/on Instagram!

    Cheats

    Of course, sometimes you don't want to cook or don't have time to cook. Some things I make when I can't be bothered are:

    - pasta and packet/sauce from a jar
    - stir fry with pre-packaged veg and store-bought stir fry sauce
    - frozen breaded chicken breast and chips
    - curry/sweet and sour sauce from a jar, with chicken and rice
    - pasta bake (I like the Homepride ones, as you don't need to cook the pasta beforehand)

    ----

    So what are your favourite recipes? How is your cooking going?
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    Here you go guys for those of you unsure on cooking for the first time :yy:
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    I've never used mine (although, we did see what pasta was like to do in it) but I know a lot of people swear by slow cookers.

    More of a snack; but I love pizza toast - toast, tomato puree, cheese and some herbs.
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    I am using a slow cooker tonight, saying that I do have a real pasta craving.
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    I want a slow cooker, but I don't have space! However, I've seen things where people use casserole dishes as slow cookers (altho obviously couldn't leave it on the hob/in the oven while at work)
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    Anyone use a foreman grill?
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    I like to just chop up some potatoes in small pieces(so they don't take ages to cook) and chicken same small pieces, then rub them both with olive oil and herbs(usually sea salt, black pepper and oregano) and just shove them in the oven for like 30-45 mins, then have them with some yoghurt on the side. (you can also add carrots or other vegetables in the oven)

    snack like thing: mushrooms(medium size) just get rid of the stem, put a small cube of cheddar in, and oven! (CAUTION IT WILL BE VERY HOT)
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    (Original post by Rock Fan)
    Anyone use a foreman grill?
    Yes. I use one if I'm doing something like steak or burgers.
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    I do my sausages on there usually.
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    I've got a fake George Forman (had it years and never used it) - not sure whether to try it out tbh
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    (Original post by Rock Fan)
    I am using a slow cooker tonight, saying that I do have a real pasta craving.
    What did you do mate?

    Slow cookers are fantastic for cheap cuts of meat. I use one for beef stews and curries with beef in. Over 10/12 hours it will be soft enough to cut with a spoon. If you buy some foil containers depending on how big your cooker is you can get probably 7 or 8 meals out of one stew, then freeze them.

    I like doing this quite often too, in bulk then freezing portions of it:

    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/775643/cottage-pie - good recipe but use less water in the stock and swap the wine for this - https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/209/752/

    I slow cook the mince/gravy for a few hours until it is how I like it. You don't have to but that's what I do.
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    I've done everything from stews, soups, briyanis, curries and roasts in the slow cooker. Meat in particular comes out lovely and tender and the liquid is great for cooking rice in for the extra flavour. The George Foreman is used for weekend fry ups. The amount of fat that comes off is amazing but the meat is still lovely and moist. The grill plates just come off and go in the dishwasher or wipe down.
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    (Original post by Wilfred Little)
    What did you do mate?

    Slow cookers are fantastic for cheap cuts of meat. I use one for beef stews and curries with beef in. Over 10/12 hours it will be soft enough to cut with a spoon. If you buy some foil containers depending on how big your cooker is you can get probably 7 or 8 meals out of one stew, then freeze them.

    I like doing this quite often too, in bulk then freezing portions of it:

    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/775643/cottage-pie - good recipe but use less water in the stock and swap the wine for this - https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/209/752/

    I slow cook the mince/gravy for a few hours until it is how I like it. You don't have to but that's what I do.
    I completely forgot to reply to this, I remember it was for some pork.
 
 
 
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