Cooking problems

Joined Nov 8, 2003
I am a single dad and I am having loads of problems cooking for my 2 kids. I would appreciate any help. My main problems are

1. Oven temperatures in recipes often say 350 - 400 degrees, my cooker only goes up to 230

2. The word "fold" appears in lots of recipes, as in, fold the ingredients into the batter, what does this mean?

3. I have never heard of most of the ingredients in recipes, millet flour? stick margarine? vanilla extract? and loads more

4. Recipes always seem to overstate the cooking time, for example when a recipe says bake for 30 minutes my oven burns them after 20 minutes

Can anyone give me any dead easy recipes for healthy low fat food using easy to find ingredients?


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
OK first of all, you're in London and using American recipes? Your oven goes up to only 230 because that's in Celcius. You need to convert Farenheit to Celcius. 350F is 175 C. Your oven should come with a manual.

Fold means using a spatula and gently layering the mixture. It's a technique used when you're trying to add beaten eggwhites to a heavier batter. The point is to try and retain the loft in the eggwhites.

Looks like most of your problems are with baking. I would ask in the baking forum.
Joined May 26, 2001
Welcome, Grezaldo!

Here's a good resource, right in you own backyard: The BBC's food site. I think they have a conversion table for Fahrenheit to Celsius, and a whole section on cooking for kids.

Hope this helps. :)
Joined Aug 22, 2003
the easeist solution to the oven temp. problem is to buy an oven thermometer that reads in fahrenheit. not only will it do the conversion for you but you will be sure of oven temps. i have never been able to trust the little dial on any oven comercial or domestic, even after the oven guys calibrate it. why would you put all that effort and money into home cooked products and trust the little dial to treat you right.

the answer to the elusive culinary defintions, although there are many, the easeist would be to look it up. the food lovers companian, i think thats what it is called is a great resource. its a cheap pocket sized( if you have deep pockets)resource for a quick general description

both items maybe 10 bucks, but they will save tons of agrevation:confused:
Joined Nov 8, 2003
Thanks everyone. I have got the temperature thing sorted. Just half the fahrenheit for celcius. In London using American recipes? why not? You don't have to go to China to eat Chinese food.
Joined Dec 8, 1999
Use a conversion table for the temperature. The one-half only works for 350 degrees fahrenheit. If you were trying to convert 32 F to celsius, for example, you come up with 0 degrees celsius.
Joined May 26, 2001
To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius:

first: subtract 32 from the ºF number
second: multiply what's left by 5
finally: divide that result by 9.

Example: water boils at 212ºF
212 - 32 = 180
180 x 5 = 900
900 / 9 = 100
water boils at 100ºC

To convert fromCelsius to Fahrenheit:

first: multiply the ºC number by 9
second: divide the result by 5
finally: add 32.

100 x 9 = 900
900 / 5 = 180
180 + 32 = 212
Joined Aug 22, 2003
its wonderful to know how and why but all that math to tell you how hot the box is seems crazy
even after the math the ovens not callibrated
my muffins are burnt on the outside and have a nice liquid centre help:eek:
save the headache get an oven thermometer
Joined May 26, 2001
Nathanz: of course an oven thermometer is absolutely necessary. But tell me, do you really want to turn on your oven to a number you just guess at, and then spend an hour fine-tuning until the thermometer tells you you've got it right? The reason for knowing the conversions is simply to give you a point of departure. Anyway, once you learn what equals what, you never need to do the math again, and with a thermometer, you also know what temperature your oven control is REALLY giving you. It all works together.
Joined Nov 13, 2003
do you have a range? i find that as a student, and a full time chef specialist i realy have little time to cook my solution is sauteing. i also stir fry alot. you can do your prep a few days ahead of time and it can be realy healthy depending on what your tastes are. i enjoy using bell peppers, bok-choy (chineese cabbadge), thin sliced carrots, maybe some sunburst or other summer/early fall squash. slice some chicken and start cooking over med-high heat with a little grapeseed oil, when it is about half cooked add your veg. by waiting to add the veg you can cook it so it is just tender and you retain all the flavor, texture, and nutrients. then just add 1 tablesoon honey and 2 tablespoons of lite soy sauce. add garlic powder salt and pepper to taste. i omit the salt and pepper and add chopped melt-your-face-off-hot peppers. you can adapt this to anything you want. you can use olive oil add just some white wine, lemon juice, pepper, the possibilities are endless. anouther good idea is to invest in a crock pot and let your supper cook all day so it is ready when you come home. i hope that my ideas help you.... good luck!
Joined May 16, 2003
As to your other questions:

Millet is a grass that in America is used basically for animal feed.

It is a nutritious grain used in many other parts of the world. You should be able to find it in health food or gourmet stores.

Vanilla extract is made from mashing vanilla beans in a water/alcohol solution. It is used primarily in pastry & baking. Some are made from real vanilla beans and some are artifical.

Stick Margarine? I guess that's margarine formed into sticks like butter. I've never used margarine. Margarine is evil. It tastes like S*** and there is scientific evidence that it is worse for you than genuine butter. Butter, being a natural product, has constituents that enable us to break down and process the fat. Margarine does not.

Use real butter and take the stairs next time instead of the lift.


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