Is cooking for the entire family beginning to drive you crazy? Cooking can seem like a pain – or pleasure! Here you will find some excellent cooking ideas that will help you remove the stresses of not knowing where to begin. Make mealtime a source of enjoyment, not exasperation.
Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. Moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor of your spices. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.
If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. Get everything prepared at least a day ahead of time.
A pie crust should be baked a little bit longer than you would think. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
Many important nutrients are removed when vegetables are cooked in lengthy processes like boiling. To keep them nutritious, try quickly cooking them, like sauteing or steaming. You can also enjoy them raw.
Here is a way to save your sauce and use it in your recipes. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more cornstarch until you reach the desired consistency. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Stir constantly as you pour the cornstarch and water mixture slowly into the pot.
Poultry seasoning is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways not just with poultry. You can sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or on roasted nuts and seeds for a snack. Just be sure not to use too much seasoning, because you don’t want to completely overpower the natural flavor of your food.
It’s very important to have good, sharp knives for cooking. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. It is very easy to accidentally cut yourself when you’re struggling to cut something with a knife that is dull.
If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, cut back on the amout of oil that you cook with. Oil and butter provide a lot of un-needed fat. A smart alternative is to switch to a nonstick cooking spray, it gives similar results with less of the unhealthy ingredients.
Cooking vegetables quickly improves their overall quality. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious. These speed-cooking techniques usually produce vegetables that are more nutritious overall. Cooking better vegetables is all about cooking them for the least amount of time possible.
Try to read all the labels of the ingredients that you buy. You might be surprised how many common cooking implements have ingredients concealed within that are unhealthy. Some things to check for include high levels of sugar or sodium, as both are common contributors to many health problems.
Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your dry goods, such as flour and sugar. These containers do two things to keep your food fresher: they keep bugs from entering them, and they keep air exposure to a minimum. These containers are affordable and are available at most grocery stores.
Cooking pumpkins requires a few steps that are necessary. First, you must make sure it is standing upright. Second, you must cut it evenly in half by cutting down the middle. Lay each half on it’s own cookie sheet with the cut side facing down. Place a tiny bit of water on each sheet, then bake the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. Both are readily available in grocery stores. Fry up the tofu with seasonings to get a great meat alternative. You can boil the beans with a bit of herbs to give the protein more flavor.
When serving a salad at a social gathering, keep the dressing in a dish to the side. Certain people prefer a larger amount of dressing on the salad than others. Because of this fact, you should allow people to pour dressing on their own. Offering a variety of dressing for their salad is the best way to make sure that all guests are happy.
The simplest way to prepare a pumpkin for cooking is to half it by cutting the pumpkin in half. Arrange each half face down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some water on the sheets and bake them around 350 degrees Fahrenheit; they will be done in about an hour.
Don’t waste the leftovers when you cook a turkey, whether it is for Thanksgiving or any other meal. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. Storing turkey in this method helps it stay fresh for weeks and allows you to use it again in the future for sandwiches or salads.
If you are preparing a recipe that calls for milk or water, try substituting with an alternate liquid to add new flavor to your meals. Juices, beef broth, or vegetable broth can all be used as a substitute for water. You can substitute buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in place of the milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.
Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This is so that the seasoning will set into the pasta. Salting pasta after cooking it results in a less flavorful pasta dish.
If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. Make sure you have a selection to choose from.
Impress your family and friends with a simple sandwich just by carefully preparing it and presenting it in a great way. Most people simply spread mayonnaise on the middle of the bread. When you spread it evenly, you offer your guests delicious sandwiches, with flavor in every bite!
As you cook, try to wash your dishes along the way. Make it easy on yourself by filling your sink with water, while reserving a separate section for rinsing. Mixing bowls and your utensils rinse rather easily and can be cleaned and wiped before the next ingredients in your meal.
When it comes to sauteing food, do not put too much food in the pan at once. The extra moisture will steam the food instead of sauteing it and will not add that little bit of crispness that sauteing is good for. Make sure you saute foods on a low temperature.
A tip to keeping your salsa tasting fresh is to rinse the onions in cold water after dicing, then use a paper towel to blot them dry before adding them to the other ingredients. Fresh onions have sulfurous gas in them. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. Once the onions are rinsed and dried, the gas is gone.
Take care of wooden cutting boards properly. Your wooden cutting board can be damaged by too much moisture or too much heat. The result can be warping or splitting. Do not immerse the cutting board in water, instead, clean it using a sponge and warm water. You can do some restoration to a damaged board by regularly oiling it with a product specifically for this purpose. Let it dry for a while after oiling.
Prep your grill in advance of your barbecue cookout. Prepare the grill approximately half an hour prior to putting the food on. The charcoals are ready to cook over once they are ash covered, and at medium heat. This is the right temperature to begin grilling your food.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. Tying the legs and wings together keeps the turkey compact, ensuring that it cooks evenly. If you do not do this, the wings or legs will burn easier.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. The moisture from the large pool of oil will douse the food you planned to saute and make a greasy, limp mess. Be sure that you do this when the temperature is low too.
Pick a place that will not compromise the quality of your cooking spices; try somewhere that is non-humid and light free. Spices can quickly lose their flavors when exposed to heat, light and humidity. In this location, the spices are exposed to heat that will cause their flavors to dissipate.
There is not just one kind of potato, and each kind works best in different recipes. Waxy potatoes are best for potato salad and should be avoided when making mashed potatoes or french fries. Russet potatoes are often recommended for making mashed, fried or baked potato recipes because they have high starch content.
Know the right care for wood cutting boards. Heat, dryness, and excess moisture can cause a wooden cutting board to warp and split. It is never smart to immerse your board in water. Instead, sponge clean it with soapy, warm water. When a cutting board shows signs of wear and tear, there are special oils that can rejuvenate them. Always allow your board to dry completely, whether it is wet or oiled.
If you have time when you are reheating food, use an oven rather than a microwave to avoid dry food and puddles of extremely hot liquid. Because oil heats the quickest, the concentrated heat of the microwave can cause the oil to separate from other ingredients of the dish. Baking your leftovers will heat your food gradually, reducing the mess and allowing you to truly savor your food.
There are a few different ways to heat tortillas. Most people prefer to heat the tortillas directly on the rack, in a 350 degree oven. Another suggestion is to place the tortilla directly over the burner above the flame on top of a gas stove. These methods will give you a fresher tasting tortilla.
If you want a shell for double-baked potatoes or skins with additional firmness, try using a thick potato designed for baking. Red potatoes don’t have the skin thickness for high-density fillings.
Take the temperature of cooking meats with a thermometer. All types of meat should be cooked to a specific, minimum internal temperature before it can be safely consumed. There is bacteria present in the meat, and to make sure you do not get sick you will have to cook it thoroughly.
When a recipe calls for the creaming of butter and sugar, soften the butter but do not melt it. If it did melt, just put it in the freezer until it hardens a little bit, or you can refrigerate the mixed dough, as well. Warm or room-temperature dough spreads more and can make your cookies flat.
An excellent way of cooking is to use brine. Soak turkey, duck, chicken or goose in your brine for one hour prior to preparing your meal so that your dish’s poultry flavors are the best they can be.
Making fried rice or stir fry is an excellent way to use up all the leftovers in your fridge. Leftover rice works best for fried rice, but you can use fresh if you make it with slightly less liquid than the package calls for. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, then throw in your rice an season with some soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other spices of your choice.
Feeding an entire family can be very overwhelming at times. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help simplify the meal making process. You’ll be able to relax the next time you’re in the kitchen.
If your hands start to smell like the fish or onions that you are cooking, take a moment to rub them against a stainless steel surface before you wash them. The stainless steel will help to remove the offending odor restoring your hands’ freshness. You can find stainless steel on your kitchen sink basin, on cutlery or even in specially designed stainless-steel soap bars.