I'm still basically learning to cook. I thought maybe you all could answer a couple questions.
I used a new cast iron Lodge griddle for the first time tonight to make hamburgers. I put down some vegetable oil on the surface when the griddle was heated - Is it normal that the oil smoked a bit? The hamburgers came out really good. When I was done, I let the griddle cool down and cleaned it off with some water and a paper towel I noticed that a brownish substance came off on the paper towel when I was drying it. What is that? I then put vegetable oil on it and heated it up a bit again till it smoked so I can store it till next use.
I also made some hummus. One of the ingrediants is tahini (sesame seed oil). It was hard to measure out the portion of it because it's kind of like natural peanut butter with the oil on top, but harder to mix together. Is there any easy way to work with tahini? Unfortunately, the grocery store only had a huge $7. container of it - I would have preferred to purchase a smaller container. I put the lid on the can when I was done and threw it in an air-tight plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator till next time. I really wasn't thrilled with working with tahini.
I've bought a couple of cook books to try to learn more. Believe it or not, the one I've used the most is the William Sonoma Kids cooking book. I bought another kids book by Paula Deen that I took a couple of things from and I bought that huge book "How to Cook Everything" by Bittman - it seems a bit intimidating - it's a huge book with little hand-drawn pictures in it. I also picked up the book "One Dish at a Time" by Valarie Bertinelli which looks interesting. Aside from that, I've taken recipes from allrecipes.com and tried a couple recipes that relatives have given me.
Thanks for reading my post, and if any of you have answers and advice, I'm always trying to learn.