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My experience of internet recipes is that they’re often over complicated and use ingredients that are rare in the USA. The typical internet recipe has two or three pans going, a home made sauce, and a garnish. If you’re not comfortable in the kitchen, that’s a lot of things going at once. Add in the expense of the exotic ingredients, and the pressure of comparing yourself to semi-pro cooks as far as how your food looks, and I honestly don’t blame people for giving up early.

A pasta or a dish over rice is pretty easy. You can cook pasta or rice or even mashed potatoes by boiling them, and it’s hard to get it wrong unless you boil over the pot or don’t have enough water. Sauces I think are something a beginner should purchase. There’s no reason that they need to make a sauce when they’re first starting out. Sauces aren’t super hard, but when you’re trying to get everything else right, adding an extra complication for no reason just makes the process more difficult for little real gain. Use frozen meatballs if you’re first starting. In baking, I think, again making your own crust is a waste of time until you’re comfortable in the kitchen. Start easy. Make simple stuff, and don’t be ashamed of buying the occasional ingredient or substituting expensive ingredients for cheaper common ones that you already have.

The feeling of “I can’t do it” I don’t think comes from not being able to cook anything. Most of the time if you can follow simple directions, you absolutely can cook something. The problem is thinking that you have to make complicated recipes that have to look instagram worthy to be successful. Or that they have to be 100% made from scratch. I’ve cooked for a while, and nothing I’ve made is worthy of instagram, and I use premade mixes and sauces. It’s not shameful, normal people do it all the time.