Available Balance
How much is your budget for “Breakfast”?
March 24, 2017
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Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 11.42.43 AM

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 11.42.43 AM

For as long as I have not been working, my fiancé and I averagely spend $10-15 per day for breakfast. Do not get me started about lunch and dinner, that is a separate budget.

Now that we are engaged and planning for the future, we want to attempt at budgeting solely on one income, no guarantees and not necessarily a lifestyle change but we are seeing how it goes. Plus making our foods from home is a lot healthier as we know the way we are cooking is clean.

So far, we have a handful of breakfast ideas down.  One idea being pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon. Occasionally side of fresh fruit, toast or english muffin. Of course this is not a breakfast meal that we will eat everyday but I thought I would share one of the many breakfast ideas on a budget.

What ingredients do we need for our breakfast?

  • Organic Pancake Mix, one bag is $5 and we got 4 uses per bag therefore that averages out to $1.25
  • Organic Eggs – 12 count, cost $6 and we use 2 eggs – 1 for each of us therefore that averages out to .50 cents each, so $1.00 
  • All Natural Turkey Bacon – 12 count, cost $6 and we use 2 turkey bacon strips – 1 for each of us therefore that averages out to .50 cents each, so $1.00 
  • Organic Maple Syrup – $9 and we are currently half way at 4 uses, so averagely one bottle can be used 8 times. Each usage for the both of us would average out to be $1.13
  • Organic Milk for the pancake mix, $4 for 6 usages and that averages out to $0.67

Essentially, it costs us about $5 bucks or $2.50 each for our breakfast instead of spending the usually $10-15, we are saving at least $5 to $10 bucks already.

  • I did not include the price of organic canola oil that was $7. One bottle will last literally a long time so I did not factor that in.
  • As far as fresh fruits – it depends on what we buy and bread varies but those would be eaten not specifically just for breakfast but anytime.

Not too bad, but we are not really good at keeping to plans for long or mapping out prices. Had we use regular products and not organic, the costs would be a lot more inexpensive.

How much is your budget for breakfast? What do you usually have for breakfast?

Homemade Pizza: Roasted Vegetarian Pizza
March 23, 2017
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Do you love pizza?

I am sure that majority of us are pizza lovers, be it meat pizza or vegetarian pizza.

At least once a month, I would order a take-away at PizzaHut for a pan pizza that cost RM 5 ( USD 23 cents )!! That is SUPER CHEAP right?

My favorite is Hawaiian Pizza, Vegetarian Pizza and Seafood Pizza but the size of the pizza is way too small for the appetite of 4 person, isn’t it?

Forking out more money for Large pizza is out of my budget.

Hence, I decided to look for a simple pizza recipe where I can bake pizza anytime, any day that I wanted and I could save money too.

My kids and I had started to like Vegetarian Pizza because I had tried to embrace them the concept of consuming vegetables for good health and the nutritions of vegetable which are able to keep them strong, healthy and good bowel movements.

Honestly, I have not tried Roasted Vegetarian Pizza before. This recipe gave me the chance to prove it that pizza is REALLY EASY to prepare and roasted vegetables taste as good as meat toppings too.

I had thought whether or not to buy a readymade pizza dough or make my own homemade pizza dough with the protein flour.

If you are in a hurry, you could forget about making your own pizza dough. Just grab a packet of pizza dough or crust from the supermarket before your kids started to wail for food!

.Roast vegetables are as good as grilled vegetables. If you have time, go ahead, chop some of your favorite vegetables, grill them over the open grill or grill oven. Since I wanted to save time, I went ahead with roasting the cut vegetables over the frying pan which saves time and less hassle.

Don’t chop or cut your vegetables one night before hand because they will turn soft and mushy the next day.

Always make sure that the vegetables are fresh, chilled in the fridge and use appropriate size of the vegetable. For example, if you need eggplant, choose a small one, use up the whole eggplant, don’t leave the remainder in the fridge.

 

 

 

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup protein or bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp firmly packed dried yeast
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

 

Pizza toppings:

  • 1 small red pepper (capcium)-remove seeds, cut into squares
  • 1 small zucchini-sliced
  • 1 small aubergine  /eggplant- sliced
  • 1 small onion-peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium size tomatoes-remove seeds, cut into squares
  • 2 tbsp pasta tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g grated cheese -any type

 

 

Method to prepare:

  • In a big mixing bowl, sieve the protein flour, yeast and salt together.
  • Make a well in the middle, pour in water and olive oil alternately to form a stiff dough.
  • Knead for 10min.
  • Use a pyrex bowl, grease with olive oil so that the bread dough does not stick to it.
  • Transfer the bread dough into the bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and leave it at a warm place to rise double the original size. Top of the fridge is the best place to keep warm.
  • Leave it to rise for 45min.
  • Preheat the oven at 200C, place  the baking sheet on the tray.
  • Place a pizza plate ( card board covered with foil wrap ).
  • Heat up a frying pan with butter.
  • Roast the red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and onion until toasted on both sides. A little charred is alright.
  • Roast the tomatoes with the skin side up until a little blistered.
  • Peel and discard the tomato skin. Mash up the flesh with pasta sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  • On a flat surface, sprinkle with flour, roll out the bread dough.
  • Shape it into a round shape.
  • The thickness of your pizza depends on your choice.
  • Spread the tomato mixture all over the pizza surface.
  • Decorate with roasted vegetables on top.
  • Garnish with grated cheese on top.
  • Bake the pizza for 30min until the cheese bubbles.
  • Leave in the oven for 10min before cutting the pizza.

 

Makes around 6-8 slices

 

Written by peachpurple

Photo taken by pixabay

Article checked by plagium

 

More delicious food for kids related recipes here:

 

baked Turkey Hampie

eggs with minced meat

tom yum bee hoon

 

Chicken and Corn Fritters Snack for Kids
March 22, 2017
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chick corn fritter

My best friend told me that if there is one snack that could satisfy her 2 year old toddler, she would give me a kiss if I could share with her the recipe.

 

Well, I don’t want her kiss but I definitely wanted her 2 year old toddler to eat something different , rather than consuming baked macaroni with cheese, that would make her produce baby fats.

 

How about Chicken and Corn Fritters, I had suggested yesterday but she wasn’t sure that her toddler would put corn into her mouth.

 

I told her that Chicken and Corn Fritters are super easy to prepare and IF her toddler doesn’t like it, she and her hubby could finish them up because these fritters are super delicious snack that roadside stall doesn’t sell them at all.

 

She wasn’t convinced.

 

So, I had made some today and brought the first batch to her house for a “Test Trial”

 

It did freaked her out when her toddler kept eating one after another corn fritter non-stop because she knew that her baby dislikes anything with corn.

 

Now Chicken and Corn Fritters are made from left-over chicken which I had in the fridge. You could either steam fresh chicken fillets or keel, but make sure there isn’t any bones in the meat because you don’t want to choke your child, would you?

 

You may noticed that I had added in an extra ingredient; BANANA, which is helpful to make your child’s bowel movement to move the waste easily with the combination of banana and corn.

 

You could either use sweet corn kernels from the can or buy raw corn kernels in the frozen department of the supermarket.

 

Spring onion and coriander give the least taste of raw vegetables to children, so you don’t have to worry about the child picking out the bits of  veggies from the fritters.

 

 

Chicken and Corn Fritters Recipe

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 Banana ( medium size)
  • 1 egg -Grade A
  • 85g cooked chicken or left over chicken
  • 200g corn kernels from a can-drained
  • 1 stalk spring onion- chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • 85g self raising flour or plain flour mix with 1 tsp of baking powder
  • Peanut oil for deep frying

 

 

How to prepare :

  • Peel the banana, mash it with the back of a fork.
  • In a mixing bowl, transfer the mashed banana, egg, cooked chicken-shredded, chopped spring onion, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  • Add in the self raising flour, stir to form a soft batter, add a little water if too dry.
  • Heat up a wok with sufficient peanut oil.
  • Add in spoonful of Chicken and Corn batter into the wok, giving some space in between by using the spatula to break them apart.
  • Cook for a few minutes, flip over to fry the uncooked side.
  • When the fritters had turned golden brown and crispy, remove from the oil, transfer to a paper kitchen towel.
  • Allow the towel to absorb excess oil from the fritters.
  • Serve the Chicken and Corn fritters with chilli sauce, mayonnaise or mustard.

 

 

Makes a wonderful packed lunch for kids

 

 

Written by peachpurple

Photo taken by pixabay

Article checked by plagium

 

More snack related recipes here:

carrot scones

easy corn porridge

homemade chicken burger for kids

How to bake a Perfect Fish Pie
March 21, 2017
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fish pie

Red Snapper is a cheap fish which can be used well in a flavored Fish Pie but if you are willingly to fork out more money, you could treat your family members with cod fish or haddock fish.

 

Some people are sensitive to fish odor but if you choose the right type of fish, you could hardly smell any fishy odor at all.

Some of the fish I could recommend you to try for a perfect Fish Pie is fish cod, Red Snapper, haddock or Dory fish.

 

This is a family pie that belonged to my grandmother for generations.

Grandma used to bake tasty Fish Pie for us during festive season because it is a rare occasion that she would bake for us.

 

Fish Pie may take a few hours ahead for you to prepare in advance, to minimal the haste.

Sometimes, grandmother would prepare the ingrdients one night beforehand and wake up early in the morning to bake them, that awoke us up with the aromatic smell of the baked pies.

 

For this Fish Pie, grandmother used to buy Red Snapper from the wet market.

She would remove the intestines, scrap off the scales, use the spoon to scrap off the flesh from the bones.

 

I would rather use the easy method, buy a white fish cod or Dory fish from the wet market because it has less bones and more white soft fish flesh without any fishy odor.

 

Although white fish cod and Dory fish may be expensive, it is worth to spend a little more for my family.

 

 

 

 

 

Fish Pie Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp low fat milk
  • 2 tso olive oil
  • 1 garlic-chopped
  • 1 small onion-chopped
  • 1 small green pepper ( capcium)-remove seeds, halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 fresh tomatoes- remove seeds, chopped
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 medium size haddock / cod fish or Red Snapper
  • 60g shrimps-remove shells
  • 2 tbsp butter

 

 

 

Method of making Fish Pie

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Peel the potatoes, cut them into wedges, put them into a pot of water with 1 tsp salt. Boil until the potato wedges turned soft and tender.
  • Drain the soften potatoes, mash them with the back of a fork and then mix with low fat milk. Stir until the mashed potatoes diluted well with the milk.
  • Heat up olive oil in a saucepan, add in chopped garlic and onion, saute until fragrant.
  • Add in green pepper, stir fry for 3 min.
  • Stir in cayenne powder and flour into the saucepan.
  • Gradually, pour in the chopped tomatoes and water into it.
  • Bring to boil, keep stirring all the time.
  • Remove the skin from the fish, remove the bones and cut them into small pieces.
  • Place the fish on top of the vegetables, partially covered the saucepan and simmer for 10 min.
  • Stir in the shrimps into the fish and vegetables, mix well.
  • Then, transfer all the ingredients into a oven proof dish.
  • Spoon the mashed potato on top of the fish dish and level the surface with a spoon.
  • Dab small pieces of butter over the potato here and there.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-30min.
  • Then transfer the Fish Pie into a grill to brown the mashed potato.

 

 

More recipes written by peachpurple:

Turkey Hampie

Sweet and sour red snapper

Black Pepper sauce cod fish

How to Make Crispy Seafood Wontons
March 21, 2017
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seafood wonton

Seafood Wontons are my favorite snacks during teatime break, especially when I dine out while window shopping.

 

Wontons are Chinese cuisine which are very popular among young and old.

They are also known as dumplings, which are available in wet or fried method, depends on consumers taste buds.

 

However, I do prefer fried , crispy and brownish wontons because dipping the wontons into chilli sauce and mayonnaise or Thai Chilli sauce was a splendid complimentary taste.

 

Wonton skins are actually thicker than spring roll skins but smaller in size, around the size of your palm, square with little flour spread on both sides .

This is done in order for the wonton skins not to stick to each other, so that you can peel it off easily.

 

Minced seafood fillings are easily done by mixing assorted seafood into the pan, mix with spiced powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a little of cayenne powder.

Pour in flour and milk gradually in order for the fillings to be a bit sticky.

 

Cooked fish cod can be replaced with Red Snapper which is cheaper.

I chose baby squids because they are easily chewed compared to adult squids.

If you are allergic to shrimps, you could replace them with cooked crabs or readymade crab sticks that you can buy from the supermarket or wet market.

 

Seafood wontons are best cooked with deep frying method, either use a deep fryer or a wok with sufficient oil.

 

Otherwise, the wontons would absorb up the insufficient oil, making them soaked with oil and flimsy.

 

To make a crispy and crunchy seafood wontons, heat up the wok with oil until you could see light smoke rising up.

Then slide in the pouch wontons one at a time so that they would not stick to each other.

 

 

Seafood Wontons

 

Ingredients:

  • 85g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 150ml milk ( or mix powdered milk with warm water )
  • 6 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • A pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp spice powder
  • A little salt and pepper
  • 85g cooked shrimps without shells
  • 55g fresh fish cod
  • 85g cooked baby squids-cleaned
  • Some wonton skins

 

 

 

Method of making:

  • Heat up wok with a little butter.
  • In a big bowl, stir in flour, and then gradually pour in the milk.
  • Pour in the mixture into the wok, keep stirring the sauce until it thickens.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, chopped mint, cayenne powder, spice powder, salt and pepper.
  • Add in the shrimps, baby squids and white cod fish into the mixture.
  • Melt in the remaining butter.
  • Once the seafood mixture is mixed well, reduced the gravy, remove from heat.
  • Place the wonton skin onto a dry flat plate.
  • Scoop up 1tbsp of seafood mixture in the middle of the wonton skin.
  • Draw up 4 sides of the wonton skin together into a bundle.
  • Pinch the sides together to form a pouch.
  • Dab a little water onto the wonton skin in order for the pinched sides to stick together.
  • You can either bake the Seafood Wonton on a baking tray for 30 min or deep fry them in a wok with sufficient oil for 5 minutes.
  • Bake until crispy and brownish

 

Makes 12-20 wontons

Written by peachpurple

Photo taken by pixabay

Article checked by plagium

 

More snack related recipes here:

Heart shaped toast 

Eggless pancakes

Chow Mien

Crockpot – Chicken Noodle Soup!
March 21, 2017
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Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.59.18 PM

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.59.18 PM

My fiancé and I literally have made this chicken noodle soup four times now and we are not sick of it”yet”. This soup is literally the easiest to cook since we are using our Crock Pot on low for six hours. The only time consuming method for this recipe is prepping all the ingredients, throughly washing everything and chopping. The only difference between the last three batches is that we used more ingredients (carrots, celery, chicken breast) and did not save anything except half an onion. Before, we would use a few stalks of carrots and celery then we would not know what to make with the remaining and it would go to a waste. We literally doubled the recipe that we used to cook with and it made a huge difference. We also used a different pasta, a quinoa blend from Costco. The soup is much more sweeter from the natural onions and the flavors flow nicely. We also reduced the seasoning to just the minimal of salt, pepper, red crushed peppers, thyme, bayleaves (only for cooking) and for garnishing, parsley.

How to prepare this soup? Essentially I attached a step by step photo collage I made with a free app on my iPhone called Fotor. It is my go to app for creating collages quickly, there are a ton of free frames you could use.

  1. Wash all the ingredients (rainbow carrots, celery, onions). Slice carrots, celery, onions. Mince garlic.
  2. Add the carrots to the bottom of the crock pot and lightly season with dash of salt and pepper. Add chicken breast and season with dash of salt and pepper, then red crushed peppers. Add minced garlic on top and white onions then celery.
  3. Slowly add 2 cartoons of Chicken Broth and half cup of water.
  4. Cover and cook for about 6 hours.
  5. Once finished cooking, take your chicken breast out and set aside to shred. We actually only needed one chicken breast to shred and the other two is for our salad and other meals.
  6. The noodles is optional, but we used a new brand from Costco – it is a healthier alternative made from quinoa. We boiled that over the stove and did not put it in the crockpot since it will get soggy.
  7. Tah-dah, we have soup for a few days!

 

We bought a Griddle to make Pancakes, Eggs & Bacon!
March 21, 2017
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Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.32.00 PM

My fiancé and I are trying to cut down on eating out, so another appliance we added to the kitchen is this non-stick griddle. I ordered this griddle last night on sale from Macy’s via eBates and also received 6% cash back. The griddle was ready to pick up the next morning (today). Afterwards picking the griddle at the mall, we went grocery shopping for all the ingredients at Whole Foods. Even though we are cutting down on eating out, it is not necessarily cheap making food either as we need to purchase all the ingredients, but that is fine because it is healthier and we know what we are using and what goes in our food. By the time we got home, it was already past noon, and we wanted pancakes badly, so we prepare our brunch! While I prepped the pancake batter, my fiancé cleaned the griddle. This griddle is perfect for making breakfast like: pancakes, eggs and bacon. There are a lot of other recipes you can find on Pinterest and on the Internet as well, not just for breakfast. Ideally, I wanted a waffle maker because I absolutely love waffles and the batter for pancakes and waffles are the same, but I will wait for a better deal on a waffle maker. With this griddle, it is more universal and you can cook a lot more than compared to a waffle maker.

What we cooked on our new griddle?

  • Organic Buttermilk Pancakes – next time we’ll make the pancakes thinner and ideally we will cook about 8 to 10 pancakes first then add on the turkey bacon and eggs
  • Organic Large Brown Eggs
  • Peppered Turkey Bacon

For our pancakes, we had organic maple syrup and side of fresh berries and a slice of peppered turkey bacon. Breakfast was such a treat, we will have this 2 or 3 times a week only and alternate with other breakfast meals.

Quick and Easy Baked Tandoori Chicken
March 20, 2017
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tandoori2

Tandoori chicken recipe isn’t difficult to prepare at all if you have all the ingredients at home or buy readymade tandoori paste at the hypermarket.

 

I would rather use the fresh spices well blended with the other ingredients than readymade paste.

 

In addition, if you wish to make your chicken taste better, marinate the chicken parts with the blended spice overnight or at least an hour before baking time.

 

 

I love the taste of the tandoori paste because it is simply different from chilli paste.

 

Use the accurate ingredients, don’t leave out other spice ingredients because the taste of tandoori chicken would be weird..

 

Always use plain yogurt instead of fruity yogurt because it will make the Tandoori Chicken taste weird too.

 

If you are out of yogurt, try replace it with fresh thick coconut milk, which gives the similar milky flavor.

 

Don’t forget the salads!

You can prepare vegetable or fruit salads while waiting for the Tandoori Chicken baking in the oven.

Since it may take around 45min to an hour of baking time, prepare fresh salads in advance, chill them in the fridge because cold salads makes a perfect complimentary side dish for baked chicken.

 

 

 

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 large clove garlic-chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 inch fresh ginger-peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch ground turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper ( red chilli powder)
  • 2 chicken thighs or 4 chicken wings-remove skin and fats
  • Butter for glazing

 

Salads:

1 tomato-chopped

1/2 large bombay onion-cut into slices

1/2 lime juice

1 coriander sprigs-chopped

 

Method to bake Tandoori Chicken:

  • Heat up a small non stick frying pan, add in 1 tbsp of butter, add in cardamom and cumin seeds, heat up until fragrant.
  • Don’t burn them.
  • Remove, transfer to a mortar and pestel, crush them into powder form.
  • Alternatively, you can crush them on a chopping board by rolling the toasted cumin seeds and cardamom with a rolling pin.
  • In a blender, put in the plain yogurt, salt and pepper, lime juice, the powdery spices, cayenne powder. Blend until the ingrdients turn into a fine paste.
  • You will have a dark red paste.
  • Use a knife to criss cross cut the chicken thighs or chicken wings. You can chop them into smaller pieces if you want to.
  • Then coat all the chicken parts with the spice paste.
  • Prepare a foil for baking.
  • Lightly grease the foil with a little butter.
  • Transfer the coated tandoori chicken parts onto the foil.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes. Scatter the butter cubes on top of each chciken parts.
  • Then, cover the chicken with the sides of the foil, to form a package.
  • Put the foil package with the tandoori chicken into an oven.
  • Bake for 30-45min until the chicken turn golden brown and a little charred is alright.

 

 

How to prepare the salad:

In a small bowl, mix together the chopped tomatoe, bombay onions, lime juice and coriander.

Mix well.

 

 

Serve hot with white rice, tomato salad and tandoori chicken for each person.

 

 

Written by peachpurple

Photo taken by pixabay

Article checked by plagium

 

More chicken related recipes here:

 

All in 1 Chicken in a pot

Kung Pao chicken

BBQ chicken recipes

Sometimes You Have To Work With What You Have
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Today, I thought I’d share the easiest way to make a meal. We all go to our cupboards, see what we have, yet end up going to the store to get something for dinner. Laziness? Maybe! Most likely, many people aren’t very food savvy.

Let’s face it we live in a fast-paced world. Time and time again people are making shortcuts to meet those challenges. But should you really take shortcuts with your health?

My photo today is a meal I just put in the slow cooker. It took a whole 10 minutes to prepare and it will be done in about 4 hours. Today, I’m making Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions.

 

I used everything I already had in the home.

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions

(1) Bag of Yellow Potatoes
(Use what suits your families size. With 4 in my family, I used half a bag.)

(2) Olive Oil
(Just sprinkle it on.)

(3) Salt and Pepper

(4) Parsley
(You can use the flakes or fresh parsley. Remember use what you have.)

(5) Bacon
(I cut the bacon up because I’m adding three layers in the slow cooker.)

(6) Cheese
(Like the shredded cheese already in the bag. My girls use it for so much. But if you have a block of cheese go ahead and shred it up. And if you want to use two kinds.)

(7) Top with Green onions.
(Here’s a trick. Buy one thing of green onions from the store. Cut the bottom off. Put it in soil to grow or just a small glass and you’ve just saved money) I already had my green onions.
You’re going to repeat this two more times. (This will make a dinner dish but you can make less. Have it for a quick lunch or use it as a side dish. Whatever works for you.)

You’d be surprised by what you can make with what you already have in your cupboard. I hope you find this post inspiring. Let me know what you find in your cupboards.

want to learn how to cook here how
March 19, 2017
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you want to learn how to cook here are some ways to learn how to cook one read a book it a slow way. The best way to learn how to cook is to take a cooking class at one of the local school. This can help you a lot if you want to cook and enjoy it. Now you say you do not have the money to take a class . Well here on line there are other way to learn how to cook
how ? You tube is one of the best way to learn how to cook if you can not afford a cooking class. other way to learn how to cook is to become a shawdo. What do I mean by being a shadow? This is what you do get hold of a personal chef who works in people homes
this can be better way save you money and the personal chef will not have to pay you .Why you ask? since it going be kind of like a class he be doing the teaching and you will be doing some work this save the personal chef money and you save money to. Some personal chef are very good cooks . Here other way to learn how to cook ask a friend if they have or know some one who can teach you how to cook.This can be fun and rewarding if a friend can teach you how to cook. for me most of ladies I dated can not cook no joke I had only like three that knew how to cook. any way I think guys make better cooks what do you think are guys better cook I say yes . Look at all those male chef out there that have their own TV show like night mare kitchen or some other cooking shows