In the beginning.........

I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the cooking know-how that I have acquired over 45+ years of cooking for myself and others. A lot of it I learned from Mom, who was a great cook; a lot I got from failing miserably (I still remember a braised short-ribs dinner that went to the dog while I ate an omelet); and some of it I learned from generous people on the Internet.

I like spicy and hot food; if a recipe I post looks to be hot, then it probably is, so cut back on the pepper or whatever when you cook it. I will only post recipes I have tried and like; you may not agree. In that case, don't cook it again. I welcome comments toward improvement. Please read the Do-s & Don't-s, Essential Gear and Versatility, flexibility & frugality pages (below)

Versatility, flexibility & frugality

Today's grocery prices are rising faster than healthcare costs (around here they say "Higher 'n a cat's back"), making it doubly important to be versatile in your cooking repertoire. If you start through the aisles of your favorite store with the idea that you want pot-roast for dinner and nothing else will do, you might get distracted at the beer cooler and blow by this week's sale on spare-ribs or tri-tip roast, both of which can be cooked in much the same way and are just as good.
  • Do Check the newspaper or web ads for your store(s) to see if you can save some money. Also, check the sale flyers at the store. I can usually save about 30% by being flexible about what's on the menu and where I shop -- leaves a little extra for a six-pack (or three).
  • Don't bother with manufacturers coupons. They are usually for brand-name items that are already priced too high and have store brand equivalents that are just as good or better at a better price. This not a hard-and-fast rule; you may need a coupon for a particular item that is on sale.
  • Do be careful about buying too much of a good thing. Just because steak's on sale, getting a month's supply at a great price won't save you money if you wind up throwing 1/2 of it away because it goes bad. Other stuff, like beans, pasta and canned food will last for months. Frozen foods (assuming you have the freezer space) do not last forever, but are good for a long time. I'll do a post on frozen foods later.
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