Curious 4 (Who here enjoys the art of cooking?)

samkfj

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I love cooking. I love the **** out of it.

I love cooking for guests, relatives, prospective women; everyone.

I was always told a woman enjoys the sight of a man in the kitchen, whether she does or not; I'll still be in there. Who else here enjoys it, and what do you like to cook? What is your best (non-secretive, of course) recipe?

I like a lot of complex meals. Last Christmas, I home made an entire feast of 5-style mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, bourbon baked beans and my personal favorite--beef wellington. I was cooking nearly all day, once I was finished--everyone was running with their little plates in hand... sad part was, I only got a small piece of wellington after all that haha... but it was nice to see the faces of delight on my family and friends.

I think this year--I might make a German styled dish, so shout out to my German/Austrian peeps for any recommendations. Or--maybe something French. S'been a while since I made a nice French dish; though my favorite to make is croque madame; so shoutout to my French pals for any recommendations too.

I like a lot of grilling and smoking too.

But--enough about me... tell me what y'all like.
 

Xenphir

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I love cooking, though I am not very good at most things. The only thing I am good at is flavor, but the actual cooking itself is hard for me. So I love making dishes that are easy to cook, hard to make taste great, such as crock pot meals and soups. I like experimenting with different seasonings and herbs to make a flavorful dish. I am told I make the best spaghetti by a lot of my friends and family but it probably isn't anything like restaurants. I personally find restaurant spaghetti bland, but most people might think my spaghetti is too flavorful and lacks "balance."

My spaghetti is literally just noodles and sauce from the store, but then I add a ton of seasonings. I can't remember all of them since I just line them up in my cupboard xD But most of them are rosemary, oregano, parsely, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, bay leaves... Think theres like 15-20 different herbs but those are the main ones.

I also hate spicy, but love flavor. So I'm always experimenting on seasoning and herbs that make a meal more flavorful yet avoiding spicy seasonings.

I can't bake at all. Its my worst. xD
 

samkfj

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That sounds great! I love crock pot meals also, they're like dump and forget meals. Just go about your day--come back X hours later and eat! Love it.

Have ya tried making your own spaghetti sauce? If not, try it! Most of those seasonings you listed are the basis for that; just some tomato paste and those spices and poof! Then you can add your own unique spin on it. I do like some spicy, but not overly spicy (for instance--people that order the extremely hot wings at wing places... just can't do that, I enjoy flavor as well, not heat.)

EDIT: I do bake, sometimes--usually when the mood strikes. It's one of those things that I like to do mostly on special occasions.
 

Xenphir

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That sounds great! I love crock pot meals also, they're like dump and forget meals. Just go about your day--come back X hours later and eat! Love it.

Have ya tried making your own spaghetti sauce? If not, try it! Most of those seasonings you listed are the basis for that; just some tomato paste and those spices and poof! Then you can add your own unique spin on it. I do like some spicy, but not overly spicy (for instance--people that order the extremely hot wings at wing places... just can't do that, I enjoy flavor as well, not heat.)

EDIT: I do bake, sometimes--usually when the mood strikes. It's one of those things that I like to do mostly on special occasions.
Hmm I've never tried making my own before. Maybe I'll try that the next time, making the sauce from scratch ^.^ Ragu just makes such nummy sauce already haha. It'll be hard to beat!

I also remembered I can make fried rice, stir fry, and onigiri (Rice ball with seaweed and filling) but not very well. I like to try making chinese food a few times a year but it is hard haha. I found out fried rice tastes much better if you steam it in a rice cooker with chicken broth instead of water.
 

samkfj

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I've only tried fried rice once... but I will totally have to remember to use chicken broth instead of water now!

Ragu is pretty rad, have to say... but yeah! Try it sometime! I do that a lot, try to create my own little sauces and meals from nothing. In college, I used to just pull everything I had together, call my girlfriend at the time and ask hey... bring something, anything and I'll see what I can make.

Hit and miss generally, but I love just putting things in a pot or pan and seeing what comes out.
 

Xenphir

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Yeah I've always wanted to try mixing tomatoes and strawberries for some reason. Maybe I'll do that someday xD Been worried it wouldn't turn out but I suppose if it doesn't its not too expensive to buy those. Not sure if I want to try a sauce, a jam, or a sweet salsa.
 

Finnuval

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I hate cooking! Despite being pretty good at it haha Even something as simple as making scrambled eggs I don't like doing lol
Lucky me my hubby loves to cook and is real good at it, especially his steak dinner is just....yummy :D
 

samkfj

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Oh wow--I can totally imagine this... if it were me, I'd say sweet salsa, I dunno why--but it just seems like it would work.

I'll have to try this too hee hee. A little sweet, sour and heat, I think you're onto something here.
 

samkfj

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@Finnuval I totally never let my girl cook... I should. She's really good at it, brings a lot of European recipes. She knows one actually that's Dutch--but omg if I can't remember what it's called... I'll have to ask her but she's raiding at the moment and I'd rather keep my skull intact.
 

samkfj

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@Xenphir If ya want, lemme go to my raggedy little cookbook (it's a homemade cookbook :p) and I'll see what my recipe for marinara sauce is.

Off the top of my head--it's crushed tomatoes (large can,) tomato paste (normal can or two small cans,) garlic (fresh or the one in the little glass bottles, or plastic.) oregano, basil, small amount of (very small, minuscule even--tiny) rosemary, thyme, parsley (I use dried mostly) salt, pepper, olive oil, and if you like onion (I do) half a finely chopped onion.
 

CodeHunterEx

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I totally enjoy eating a good meal, but cooking? Absolutely not. My cooking mostly consists of tossing something into a square box that has a dial and buttons. Watch it spin slowly for a while and then beep at me.

My lady is always trying t get me involved in the kitchen, and I do my best to get out of it.
 

samkfj

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Aww @CodeHunterEx you should do it! It's a great bonding thing to do together. Or--better yet, one day, just send her out somewhere--and prepare something for her to eat! A nice little thanks for tolerating me kinda thing. I do that all the time whenever I mess up.
 

RetroExcellent

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I'm really good at cooking, except baking. I cannot make a cake to save my life. I went to culinary trade school, so I can make most things, I enjoy cooking and always end up making something when I have company, but I also tend to cook for my family and it gets old after a while. I make a really really good stuffed mushrooms and crab dip.
 

Finnuval

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@RetroExcellent mmm I love crab dip, too bad that's something my hubby doesn't do haha
 

samkfj

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@RetroExcellent Y'know--I always wanted to do that... there's a cordon bleu school out here in Dallas, but I was already enrolled for game/simulation programming elsewhere. I didn't wanna switch again, naw'mean?

I heard cooking school is really fun though. But--oh man, stuffed mushrooms are my kryptonite. Not even funny.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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I love cooking, the food I prepare is always cooked thoroughly and rarely burnt...but I'm absolutely horrible at presentation. I just don't care about it, so basically my baking skills leave something to be desired as I don't do layers or decoration or any of that bs (though I can bake some mean bread, but while it tastes delicious any bread expert would chew me apart for making it uneven or lumpy or whatever) :D

Just got back from a community potluck actually. I made pressure cooked sausages wrapped in bacon and glazed, oven baked ham sliders and my great grandma's pound cake...was one of only two people under the age of 40 who bothered to bring anything not pre-made in a store and was profoundly disappointed in the potluck as a result.
 

RetroExcellent

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I actually went to Culinary School because it was an option while I was homeless. It gave me a roof over my head and taught me a useful trade. I haven't actually had a chef position or worked in a restaurant though. I enjoy doing it as a hobby instead. I also want to go to game design school.
 

samkfj

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@Philosophus Vagus Total respect there, brother. It's a shame when an event like that is marred by the inability, or rather--the apathy of others not even bothering to boil a few potatoes for it.

Tell ya what though, sausage in bacon... I should give up going to the gym and just be in love with food. Wish there was a love button.
 

Finnuval

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Only 1 thing I do do when it's food concerned and that's firing up the BBQ :D
 

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