Updated 2008-08-14 15:19:39 ID=35:0

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table Cooking at home is easy and fun! 2008-07-25 15:55:45:32
©2008 The Romantic Table

Cooking at home is easy and fun!

Let's get started cooking! A few pointers to help make it easy and fun!


There are some basic kitchen tools that will make your cooking easier and more economical.

If you haven't already started now is time to start cooking at home!

With so many fears about the quality of the food industry with its many food-scares and recalls, you can feel safe in the fact that you are using your own raw healthier ingredients that you prepared yourself. And let's not even talk about the price of pre-prepared foods!

The recipes on this website are very easy to prepare and do not require any exotic cooking utensils. But, if you are building your kitchen equipment collection, here a some suggestions.

The first thing you have to do is get some decent cookware.

Nothing is more serviceable than stainless steel. –That’s what the pros use and is mandated for all commercial restaurants.

Save yourself a lot of time and find the best quality stainless steel that you can afford in a few basic sizes and that will take you a long way!—I’m still using the same stainless steel pots and pans that my husband bought me as a newly-wed for Christmas thirty-five years ago - and it still looks good and cooks evenly. Ideally try to find the copper clad bottom ones. The copper promotes even heat conduction. And don't worry, you don't have to keep the copper bottoms shining like new.—You WANT your pans to heat up quickly. As the pan bottoms age, the pans will improve their heating qualities.

I suggest starting with a basic set such as a Revere 10 piece set that includes several saucepans with lids, as well as my favorite- sized 6 quart stockpot with lid (for about $129.00 as seen on the Internet). You can skip the frying pans. I’ve found that the non-stick frying pans much more serviceable and better for this style cooking.

If you can afford only one pan, I recommend just getting a 6 quart stainless Revere stockpot with lid with copper bottom -it can be found on eBay for as little as $15.00. That size will accommodate most recipes on this site for two to four people. And even if you’re only cooking for one or two people, because of its higher sides, using that size prevents a lot of mess on your stove top. When you can, get a 12 quart stockpot with lid for when you cook larger amounts -especially if you entertain a lot.

Everyone hates a messy clean-up of the stove after a meal’s preparation. You can really cut-down the amount of clean-up by using higher-sided pans and skillets for sautéing.

For instance, when I make a big batch of Marinara Sauce and plan to add some browned Italian sausage to the sauce, where a 6 quart pan would do for the sauce, to reduce splattering, I just use a much higher-sided 12 quart pot. This also allows plenty of room for adding the browned sausage. That way I can cook-away and not have to worry about spattering my back splash or stove top, keeping most of the spatters inside the confines of the pot.

If you like pasta and are planning on having it often, I recommend getting a pasta pot.

After trying different sets, the best one I’ve found was the original, least expensive one. It’s a stainless steel pot with separate built-in pasta basket. It also comes with a vegetable steamer. Something like it is available on the Internet for about $40.00 and in local supermarkets for as low as $30. Since all you’re going to be doing with it is boiling water and really don't need to worry about hot spots, you don’t need to have a real heavy pan -otherwise you’re going to waste a lot of time heating the pan instead of getting it to boil quickly.

There are some basic kitchen tools that will make your cooking easier and more economical.

Invest in a food- processor. The size you get depends on how many people you’re cooking for and the amount of ingredients you use. You don’t necessarily need a large one (unless you’re cooking for a big family.) I have a Cusinart L’il Pro. It’s just the right size for doing everyday chopping. It’s also large enough to process something like a small batch of basil and walnuts for a Classic Basil-Walnut Pesto with Linguine. Another good thing about this size -the work bowl fits inside the dishwasher for an easy clean-up!

I also have a larger food processor for big batches of cutting and processing though I don’t use it anywhere near the same frequency as the smaller one.

Another thing to invest in is a really easy-to- use scale with a flat top. That way if you’re doing a smaller or slightly larger amount than what the recipe calls for, you can easily scale down or up the ingredients. This is especially good for weighing pasta.—You can save a lot of money by cooking just what you need.

If you happen to see a larger heavy-duty mixer such as a Kitchen-Aid on sale, snap it up! You’ll find that you’ll get back many times the cost in a relatively short time. The Kitchen-Aid in particular is a god-send for me. With its attachments, it allows me not only to make a cake or bread easily, but also is an excellent meat-grinder and fresh pasta maker. With so many fears about the quality of the food industry with its many food-scares and recalls, you can feel safe in the fact that you are using your own raw healthier ingredients that you prepared yourself.




Latest Blog Posts

Henrietta the Uninvited Free Range Chicken that Flies

2015-03-06 18:04:33
© 2015 The Romantic Table


Early Fall Food Cravings

2014-09-28 12:14:50
© 2014 The Romantic Table


Day by Day Getting back into the Kitchen's Swing of Things

2014-09-03 16:44:57
© 2014 The Romantic Table


Fruitcake - A Christmas Baking Tradition

2014-10-20 14:53:16
© 2013 The Romantic Table

Fall! The Years Most Perfect Palette of Foods and Spices to "Dance With!"

2013-10-13 21:13:06
© 2013 The Romantic Table

What Your Immune System Needs to Guard Your Body of Winter Ills

2013-09-24 23:09:13
© 2013 The Romantic Table


As Summer comes to a close we must enjoy and savor the best-of Summer's produce and transition-in with some new favorites!

2013-09-02 21:08:59
© 2013 The Romantic Table


Santa Maria Style BBQ -A Barbecue Tradition Unique to The Central Coast

2013-09-02 23:32:13
© 2013 The Romantic Table

After a Long Illness, I'm Finally Back!

2013-05-17 19:50:35
© 2013 The Romantic Table


Living Well With Calcium

2012-05-05 21:35:53
© 2012 The Romantic Table


Past News and Article Archive Directory

A tip from Sue!

Frying high fat meats

You can cut down on the calories of high-fat meats, by just adding a little water (instead of adding oil) to your frying pan until the meat's fat starts releasing and lubricating the pan, then cook with the frying pan covered. If you want a crispy coating, you uncover the pan or cook with the lid partially ajar.