When you have to prepare meals on a daily basis, it can turn into a monotonous routine. Think of cooking as art, and learn all you can about it. Cooking is not only a good way to get better nutrition, but it also can be entertaining. Here are some good ways to start out.
Keep your herbs in a place that is both dark and cool. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. When properly stored, ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for up to a year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If you store them properly, they will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
You should keep your spices and herbs in a space that is cool and away from light. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Generally, ground herbs and spices stay fresh for around a year, after that they begin to lose their flavor. Whole spices usually keep their flavor for around 3 to 5 years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.
When you cook vegetables for a long time, like boiling them, a lot of essential nutrients will be cooked away. Keep them healthy by choosing fast methods of cooking such as steaming or sauteing, or better yet, learn to love them raw.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Fresh spices can greatly enhance your meals, making this effort well worth your time.
Do you ever find it difficult to determine how long you should grill your meat? The best way to cook meat consistently is to invest in a digital meat thermometer that gives accurate readings of the temperature inside the meat. If the meat is greater than 1.5 inches in thickness, you should close the lid of the grill in order to decrease your grilling time.
For better seasoning results, use smaller applications of seasoning at frequent intervals throughout the cooking process instead of dumping it all in at once. Then the foods absorb the seasonings rather than being caked with them.
There is a way to save your dish and you can use it immediately. You need to mix 2 tablespoons filled with water and 1 tablespoon filled with corn starch in a bowl. Continually stir the sauce while adding corn starch slowly. Be sure to gradually stir in the solution, and frequently stir the sauce so that it does not become too thick.
You can make your own dried tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Keep the tomatoes fresh by storing them in freezer bags. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. Dried tomatoes should be stored within the refrigerator and used within two weeks.
You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition. You will not taste the blandness of cauliflower, but notice a new interesting flavor instead. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
A good cook will have their utensils and ingredients well organized. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Store similar items together in the same place. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.
Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? Gather a small bunch of freshly cut basil and place it in a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Put the basil on your counter and it will remain fresh for up to seven days! If you keep the water as fresh as you can, roots will start growing. Trim or cut the basil periodically to provide for added growth so you can partake in some fresh basil for a while!
When cooking, be creative. Following a recipe is not fun if you do not add a personal touch. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. That makes a person a great cook!
It is alright to use it on other foods besides meats. Add these types of seasonings to roasted pumpkin seeds when you need a pick-me-up, or spice up your breakfast by putting it on scrambled eggs. People will wonder on what the secret ingredient is!
For maximum sandwich enjoyment, make sure you spread mayonnaise evenly across the bread. Usually people just slab it on in the middle. When it’s evenly spread, each bite of the sandwich is tasty!
If you want to make chicken stock, you might as well make a lot of it. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. This stock is a popular base that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles and much more. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.
Make all the preparations for your food before you begin to cook it. Doing this will allow you to focus on putting the dish together. You won’t waste electricity by letting something cook just a little longer, so you can prep the ingredients for the next step, or be distracted when cooking with hot oil.
Tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein. It is possible to buy both at most supermarkets. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.
When planning to barbecue, don’t forget the lead time necessary to get the grill hot when you are ready to use it. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. The heat should be moderate and the charcoal should be a little ashy. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.
Many liquids are interchangeable within a recipe; try replacing the water or milk with something new. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. If a recipe calls for milk, try using buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. By using different liquid ingredients in your side dishes, you can increase their flavor and nutritional value.
Make sure that you maintain your wooden cutting board. Cutting boards made of wood can often warp due to climate. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. Oiling the wood regularly with an oil made for this purpose can help restore the board to good condition. Be sure to let your cutting board dry completely before you use it again.
Don’t throw a huge helping of seasoning in all at once. Try to spread it out, and taste after each application. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.
There are much better ways to heat tortillas. One way is to bring the oven temperature up to 350 degrees, put tortilla right on rack, and then let cook until you have the desired crispness. Place a tortilla on the grill directly above the flame on the gas stove top as an alternative. When you use these methods, your tortillas will taste crisp and fresh.
Keep your seasonings in a cool, dark, moisture-free place. Heat and moisture can have an adverse effect on the taste of your spices. These areas are not good because the spices will get exposed to flavor losing elements.
You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Drying them is easy – simply cut Roma tomatoes in half, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Take a cooling rack and place the tomatoes on it. Sprinkle them with salt. The next step is to put the rack on an old cookie sheet and then place in an oven set at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. You can store your dried tomatoes in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. Dried tomatoes should be stored within the refrigerator and used within two weeks.
Try not to overcook or undercook a cake. If you are just beginning baking, you may have a hard time understanding how to adjust recommended oven temperatures to take variables such as elevation and humidity into account. This can cause your cake to bake strangely. The best test for a cake being fully cooked is to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. The cake is finished if the toothpick comes out completely clean. If it does not, and has some batter on it, it needs to be cooked longer.
When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. It will not only add flavor to the herbs but it will also keep them in place while they are being chopped. Don’t add to much salt when doing this. Applying salt to the board will allow the herbs to stick better and give the meat a bit more flavor.
Always use fresh seasonings and herbs in simple dishes. Dried herbs, such as thyme, basil or oregano, are fine for dishes with complex flavors. However, a fresh herb provides a more potent and fresh flavor. Using them as for the main flavor in a simple dish will give you the best taste! If you have a hard time finding fresh versions of your favorite herbs, then consider planting an herb garden.
Keep butter or oil used to a minimum when sauteing. Too much moisture can cause food to steam rather than saute, affecting the crispness of the meal. Be sure that you do this when the temperature is low too.
Measuring and chopping ingredients before you begin cooking can save you time. Prepare ingredients for several days worth of meals ahead of time. In some cases, you will find the longer preparation window will make your end result a flavorful masterpiece. After you try this technique once, you will want to continue doing it.
There are a few ways to properly warm up tortillas. First, turn you oven on, to around 350 degrees, until it preheats. Place the tortilla on the rack directly until it’s warm and as crispy as you want it. You might also wish to put your tortilla shell right on the grill if you have a gas stove top. Be sure that you have the heat on extremely low and you only leave it on there for a few seconds. Either method will result in a fresher, tastier meal!
Set 2 different timers, like the one on your oven and one on a watch or phone. That will let you move on to other projects on the house while assuring that you’ll hear the timer go off wherever you are.
By using the tips above, you can embark on a journey to culinary excellence and begin to cook with flair and style. Cooking is an enjoyable way to educate yourself about food. As you discover new foods, and start to really enjoy cooking, you may actually learn a little about yourself. As you start to get more pleasure out of cooking, you will notice that it is enjoyable and helps you cook tastier dishes.
Use soft butter not melted butter when creaming sugar and butter to make cookies. If the butter melts, place it into the freezer and let sit for a couple of minutes to harden a bit, or you can place the dough in a refrigerator after the ingredients are mixed. Dough that has been chilled first will help your cookies retain their shape better instead of spreading out.