New to Cooking

New to Cooking

If you are a person like me, you know that cooking your own food is better for you, less expensive, and healthier, and yet we don't do it. I'm in my fifties and venturing into the kitchen to start cooking. If you want to learn along with me, come along for the ride as I talk techniques, recipes, strategies to create great food without losing my mind.


February 26, 2022 16 mins

I decided to try something that didn't have meat. I'm exploring eating a more plant-based diet. This is partly due to reading The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life.



  • 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight in plenty of water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14...
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I bought an instantpot last year and didn't really use it. I got distracted by smart ovens (you can now control them with your Amazon Alexa). I remembered i had the Instapot with a smartphone app.

I also had a family pack of chicken thighs with no bones or skin. This should be easy and it was.

I just opened my cupboard and whatever was there I added so this included:

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I just got done watching Shark Tank and there was this cool resource that looks like a giant ice cube tray for four giant cubes. The difference is the tray is made out of silicone. You can freeze your soup, chilli, pasta, etc and then push the item out of the cube.

For me (living alone) I often make pasta or soup, and then end up eating the same thing all week. Not any more. Now I can cook up a giant batch and FREEZE the rest. T...

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January 12, 2021 6 mins

As I live in Ohio, grill outside in the winter isn't much of an option for me. However, I want to batch cook lots of chicken (in this case) for the week. So I needed a decent sized grill, and I heard about the Power XL Smokeless Grill.


Yes. You dumb two cups of water in a drawer under the grill and turn on a fan and somehow that deters any smoke. I did end up with some steam, but that dissipates and...

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November 29, 2020 5 mins

For me, I need my food to be warm. Even when I make a salad I throw warmed up chicken into it. (see the "Not Chipotle" episode. One of my vices is the Egg McMuffin. Why? Because I rarely get an Egg McMuffin without getting the grease sponge that is the McDonald's Hash Browns, and a Coke the size of my head. So how can I make one at home?

I bought a Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker, and was surprised how well i...

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November 22, 2020 7 mins

With it getting cold here in Ohio, I wanted to make some stew type of beef vegetable. I purchased some McCormick Heart Beef Stew Seasoning Mix and a lb of Beef Stew meat (pre-cut), and a bag of frozen vegetables. The cost was right around $10.

As I live alone I use a smaller crock pot, but in looking at Amazon, it appears crock pot (the company) doesn't make that model. However, you can get it at Walmart for $10. The closes...

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November 11, 2020 8 mins

With it getting cold where I live, I can keep grilling outside. I had known about Luquid smoke but had never used it. I've used it twice and I have a sneaking suspicion I will be putting it on everything. I put it on some chicken thighs and it gave a bit of that "off the grill taste" but for me the one that I can wait to try again was when I put two frozen Talapia Fillets from Walmat on my George Forman grill.

This c...

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August 11, 2020 9 mins

Today I tried cooking some bone-in chicken thighs and ended up with the towering inferno on my back porch.

I share some tips on grilling courtesy of Char-broil. Check out their chicken thigh recipe

SPONSOR: Save time, save money, get organized with Plan to Eat.

If you are looking for a great meal planner, recipe organizer, and grocery list creation tool, you've found it. I made today's recipe while...

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July 29, 2020 13 mins

In this episode I share a new episode. I picked this one basically because I have eaten most of the ingredients. It's shrimp with a Chinese tint to it. 

Make your own takeout but swap the white rice for riced cauliflower! This fried “rice” dish is packed with pea pods and carrots for color and water chestnuts for crunch. Plus, shrimp is a quick cooking protein when time is of the essence. Finish each dish with thinly sliced gree...

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July 18, 2020 7 mins

I have an Amazon Alexa in almost every room of my house. I find her quite helpful. Now in the kitchen she can be even more helpful in conversions, but also if you have an Amazon show (I just purchased the Amazon Show 8) you can watch cooking shows and pause and resume with your voice (and not the the screen all icky).

Amazon gives a full year free to the Food network. I checked it out and its cool because:

  • You can see wh...
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June 27, 2020 9 mins

This week I played with the "not so" Instant Pot and found that if you want hard boiled eggs that are, well, HARD you need to cook them on high for 10 minutes.

I cut up some carrots and put them in for 10 but they were not "mushy." These are probably 2-3 inche pieces (not like the slices you get normally). Also I left the skin on (but washed them carrot) and I love the texture and this will give you more fiber.


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June 20, 2020 13 mins

This is not Italian Spaghetti, although it has tomatoes in it. Its got some zip and leaves me wanting more. Here is the recipe.

Mentioned In This Episode

Roysili Spice Rack Magnetic Spice Rack Durable Magnetic Shelves For Refrigerator Easy To Use 2 Pack (White) Lifetime Guarantee

Plan To Eat - A Great app that helps you organize your recipes, plan your trips to the store, and save you a ton of time.

Full Show Desc...

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Today I'm talking about making Turkey Meatloaf (or in my case meatloaves) see

Organize your recipes using the Plan to Eat website and app.

What I needed to create this

Mixing Bowl

Muffin Pan

Digital meat thermometer

What I Learned

That a digital meat thermometer is good to have to make sure your meat is done.

I also have to press the "On/Start" button...

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After looking for some recipes I notice that many of them were made for an instant podcast ( some people pronounce this "instapot." ) and when I saw they come equipped with wifi and can be controlled by your phone AND your Google or Amazon Speaker - I WAS IN.

Today I share my first experience along with my first recipe, and we learn how to Saute.


Sponsor: Plan to Eat makes finding, organi...

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May 30, 2020 12 mins

You don't want to be in the middle of cooking something and go, "Oh man, I need a ____." I've been there done that. Its frustrating so today I found some "Kitchen Starter Kits" that can help you out without breaking bank.

Home Hero Kitchen Utensil Set

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY AROUND - this fully comprehensive high quality utensil set is available at an incredibly low price.


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May 24, 2020 11 mins

Welcome to New to Cooking - a safe place to disclose you have no idea what you're doing in the kitchen. 

Welcome to this the very first episode my name is Dave Jackson. I'm currently in my fifties. Here is the history of me and food. 

Growing up as a small kid my Mom would feed me like any normal kid. I would eventually learn how to heat up some spaghettios in a pan. 

In my twenties I ate alot of cereal, pop tarts,...

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May 23, 2020 1 min

You think have reasons not to cook at home, but really its just excuses

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