I remember as a new cook what a huge chore cooking for company looked to be. I found that it is not that hard. A good dinner can be prepared with simple ingredients and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some instructions on stocking your refrigerator and pantry so you will always be prepared.
Would you like to make dinner at home for your family and friends, but it seems expensive and too much trouble? It doesn’t have to be. You can make delicious food from scratch. You don’t need the latest equipment either. Ordinary pots and pans will do the job quite nicely. You will need a couple of good sharp knives, a spatula or two, ladle, mixing bowls, can opener, colander, grater,measuring cup, wooden spoon, and a blender unless you have a good strong hand and the energy to use it. If you want to buy the latest gadgets that’s fine. But you don’t need them for good cooking.
You will need herbs and spices for the most flavorful food. Here are the ones I keep on hand, basil, oregano, sage, garlic, bay leaves, marjoram, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, chili powder, rosemary, lemon pepper, thyme, cinnamon , ginger, and nutmeg. Herbs and spices make all the difference in how your food will taste. There might be more herbs and spices you would like to use so go right ahead. You never know until you try.
You will need to keep your pantry stocked with staples so you will have most of the items on hand to prepare a meal. These are the ones I try to always have in my refrigerator, milk, eggs, butter, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, onions, bell peppers, carrots, lemons, and cabbage.
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I keep a supply of these staples in my pantry. Sugar, flour, meal, canned milk, spaghetti, beans, chicken broth, macaroni, canned tomatoes, corn, olive oil, oats, and canola oil.
Now before you start thumbing through your cookbook for a recipe, consider what staples you have on hand, and remember while just about any fish or meat will be at the grocery store, using what is on sale will cut your expense. Beware of time consuming recipes. Aim for a delicious balanced meal that is easy to put together. Below you will find an example for an easily prepared meal.
Appetizers; put out crackers, bread sticks, cheese on toothpicks, olives, radishes,and a couple of dips.
You could serve chicken, potatoes, green beans, rolls, ,and a salad.
You can make a cake or pie the day before, or what the heck, make a pie and a cake.
Ice teas would go well with this meal or if you feel you must serve a wine, Cabernet, or a Chardonnay will do very well.
The above is just an example to give you an idea if you are new to cooking. Choose your own favorite recipes and go with the flow. To prepare for your dinner; Give your house a good cleaning a day or two before so you won’t have to think about it on the day of the dinner.
Shop in advance. Be sure you have everything on hand that you will need to prepare your dinner.
You can clean and break up your greens for salad early in the day but keep them refrigerated. Hold the dressing until serving time.
Figure out how much time the cooking will take and give yourself time to freshen up before the guests arrive.
Serve your meal in bowls and platters in the center of the table, so you don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen. Your guests will feel right at home and you can enjoy your dinner.