Are you being driven nuts by cooking for your own family? Cooking is a task that should be enjoyable, and not one that you dread. This article will help you to enjoy food preparation more. Make mealtime a source of enjoyment, not exasperation.
A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing. Try making three or four of the recipes that appeal to you the most, and give yourself plenty of time to perfect your newly acquired skill.
Prep work can be done way ahead of time. It is essential to have all prep work finished before it’s time to begin cooking. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Prepare your food in advance if you want to minimize the stress that you feel.
Pie crusts and tart crusts should be cook a bit past the point that you think they should be cooked. They need to be a golden caramel color rather than pale blonde. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.
Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Fresh spices offer better taste profiles than stale ones.
Invest in a knife sharpener to make cutting any ingredient simple. It is difficult to cut ingredients using dull knives and they are also dangerous to use as well. The chance of accidentally cutting yourself while using a dull knife to cut steak is way higher than using a sharp knife to cut the same steak.
Leave raw potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before frying them to make crispier French fries. Vegetables fibers can breakdown under high heat conditions. Soaking reinforces these fibers to produce better results.
It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. Dull knives don’t get the job done, but in addition, are actually dangerous. A sharp knife, however, makes quick and clean work of vegetables, meat, and anything else that you’re cutting. You won’t have to force the issue; a sharp knife glides through the task.
These seasonings can also add unexpected flavor to other foods. Try roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled with the seasoning for a tasty snack or mix it in your scrambled eggs. Everyone will ask what you used for spices.
Have you ever felt sorry for throwing away moldy fruits? Should you save fruits by cutting out moldy parts? There are no two ways about it; rotting fruit is unhealthful. Mold goes a lot deeper than you see and it can make you ill.
A great source of protein for your diet can be found in beans and tofu. These can be found at most grocery stores these days. You can pan fry the tofu with a few seasonings to have a delicious meat alternative. You can boil the beans with a bit of herbs to give the protein more flavor.
People tend to use a lot of apples for cooking in the fall and winter months, but if they are stored incorrectly they will quickly spoil. Warm, dry air will make apples rot, so keep them in the fridge or cellar in plastic bags. One bad apple will quickly ruin the other apples.
When you are purchasing ingredients to make something read your labels. There are many common supplies in cooking that contain unhealthy ingredients that are hidden. Too much salt, sugar, and those dreaded unpronounceable chemicals can really alter the flavors of dishes and be generally unhealthy for you.
Quickly cooking veggies is preferable to slow-cooking methods. With slower cook times, the overall value of the vegetables is decreased, mainly taste and nutrition. These quick cooking techniques will produce generally, healthier vegetable sides. Cook your vegetables for the minimum amount of time for better results.
Take the time and steps necessary to accurately measure any oil used for cooking. Determining the exact amount of cooking oil to use rather than just dumping it on your food helps you regulate the quantity of fat in each dish. By doing this, you can keep a close eye on the amount of oil you use in cooking.
Garlic is amazing, but comes at the cost of smelly hands. To avoid the lingering, strong odor from working with odoriferous cooking ingredients, thoroughly rub you hands on the stainless steel surface of your kitchen sink. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.
When making a dish that contains garlic, make sure you purchase the freshest garlic at the store. It’s well-known that fresher garlic equals sweeter taste. You can tell that garlic is fresh when it isn’t bruised, mushy or shriveled. The skin should be firm.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. Don’t worry, your sauce will taste great even after having been frozen.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. Because wine will have a big impact on the flavor of your food, a bad wine can result in a bad meal. Cooking wines are available.
Do you have trouble determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? When grilling, use a good quality meat thermometer. A digital thermometer is best and will ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly and safely. If your meat is thicker than 1.5 inches, consider closing the grill lid to reduce grilling time.
If it can be hectic getting dinner ready in time, try preparing ingredients the night before. You can dice, slice and otherwise prepare vegetables in advance. Stir up some sauce prior to your bedtime for a stress-free pasta dish the next evening. You will be much less stressed and more ready to cook the next day.
Always use an airtight container to store baking ingredients such as sugar or flour in the kitchen. Airtight containers are advantageous for several reasons. They prevent air exposure from lessening the freshness of your foods, and they also keep the bugs out. These containers can be purchased at almost any store and definitely make for a good investment.
You should discard your spices biannually and buy new ones. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
If a recipe calls for milk or water, try some other flavorful liquid to enhance the flavor of your dish. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Instead of milk, try sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Varying the liquids that are in your recipes is an excellent method of adding nutrition and variety to a dish.
Place unripe fruits in a plastic bags you have poked small holes into. As the fruits ripen, ethylene gas is produced. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. This method of cutting herbs provides a drier, more flavorful product than chopping.
Always select fresh garlic for your dishes. It’s well-known that fresher garlic equals sweeter taste. Fresh garlic is hard, not wrinkled, or mushy-feeling.
Directions should be followed closely when you are making macaroni and cheese. The macaroni will be perfection if you choose to cook it in this manner. After the cheese has melted on the noodles, you will be able to enjoy macaroni that is divine. To serve the macaroni and cheese, a solid faced spoon works just fine. Another great tip is to spice things up a bit with some black pepper.
If you’re feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, consider doing much of the prep work the evening before cooking. Most anything that needs to be chopped, like vegetables, can be done the night before and marinating your meats overnight actually makes them even more delicious. You will be more relaxed and better prepared to cook the following day.
Blot ground meat with a paper towel before you start cooking it. It’s never a bad idea to dry the surface of ground meats. If you do not do this, the moisture will be released as it is cooking. The moisture will sizzle before your meat does. This steams the meat, giving it a different texture than searing.
Cooks need to keep cooking supplies organized. If you don’t organize your supplies, you’ll constantly be wasting time looking for what you need. Organize your kitchen logically. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
When you are barbecuing, make sure that you prepare your grill beforehand so it is ready when you are. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. The coals should be at medium heat and they should be ash covered. This is the best temperature for grilling.
It is crucial that you buy new spices around every six months. The flavors of spices fade just a few months after opening the container. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.
To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. Different types of meat have a certain internal temperature that is considered safe to eat. If meat is under cooked, the bacteria in the meat can be consumed, which could result in illness.
Enhance the flavors in a simple dish by using fresh ingredients, herbs and seasonings. In a more complex dish with many flavors, dried herbs can be acceptable. On the other hand, fresher herbs invoke more vibrant and fresh tastes. If you want to have fresh herbs whenever you need them, consider growing a little herb garden.
If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
Fruit produces ethylene gas as it ripens. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
To make potato skins or twice baked potatoes, use baking potatoes for a firm shell. Red potatoes are too thin-skinned to hold up to a dense filling.
Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. Beyond that, dirty utensils allow bacteria to grow which could make you ill.
If your family regularly sits down to dinners with a standard side dish of frozen corn off the cob, now might be a good time to make a change. You can take a frozen bag of corn and give it a Thai twist simply by adding a few flakes of coconut. Both you and your kids are sure to be delighted with this simple, yet tasty addition.
High quality cutlery and knives are worth the expense. Sharp utensils are safer and will save you a lot of time. Dull blades are the cause of more accidents than sharp blades.
Make tastier mashed potatoes for dinner by using hot, but not boiling, milk when mashing them. Cold milk can weigh down an otherwise light and fluffy batch of mashed potatoes. Nobody looks forward to mashed potatoes that are lumpy and bland.
Wood Cutting Boards
It is easy to keep your cooked pancakes and waffles warm while you finish cooking the batch. Crank the oven up to 300 degrees. When you are cooking your waffles and pancakes, keep them on a plate in your oven as you finish with them to prevent them from getting cold.
Care for your wood cutting board properly. Excessive moisture, dryness, or heat all affect wood cutting boards and can cause them to split and change shape. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. To restore a damaged board, oil it on a regular basis, using a product specifically designed for wood cutting boards. Let the board dry thoroughly before you use it.
If you are cooking beans that have been previously dried, avoid adding spices, garlic and salt until they have become soft. These substances may prevent the beans from softening when they cook, which will most likely happen if they’re older. Waiting until the beans are soft will give you the flavor and texture you want.
Cooking for a family can be more than a little overwhelming. There are a lot of different methods that you can use to simplify your cooking. You can breathe a little easier when you next enter your kitchen.
Beautiful pies start with beautiful crusts. If you kneaded your dough for too long, cracks may appear in it. You can easily knead out these cracks with your finger if you sprinkle a dash of cold water on them first. If there is cracking on the top pie crust, use some milk on a brush and sprinkle with coarse grind sugar. The crust will then have a wonderful glaze that will keep the cracks hidden after it’s done baking.