How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.

When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.

If you’re trying to start making more food yourself, try looking at basic cookbooks in your local library or bookstore. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.

You can boil away all of the health benefits of many vegetables. To retain the healthy nutrients, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables, or even better, eat them raw.

Overdo it a little when you bake a pie crust. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.

Add cauliflower to your mashes potatoes to make this dish healthier and tastier. Cauliflower’s bland taste makes it easier for it to blend with the potatoes, so that you can’t taste it, and it picks up other ingredients. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.

Store your spices in a cool, dark place. When they are stored in the sun, they lose shelf life because of exposure. If you store your spices in dark place with relatively low temperatures like a pantry, the spices will retain their taste and take longer to spoil. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.

Garlic is a delight to cook with, but its odor transfers very easily onto the hands. Try rubbing your hands on the inside of a steel sink after you work with the garlic or other potent ingredients. This cleanses you hands thoroughly to avoid transferring the flavor of garlic to other foods.

Have you felt bad before when you have had to throw away your moldy fruit? Is it possible to save the fruit by cutting the bad part out of it? Fruit that is rotting cannot be safely eaten. Fruit with any mold on it must be discarded because it contains unhealthy organisms.

In the interests of eating sensibly and losing weight, it is essential to use less oil when cooking. These oils are often loaded with unhealthy fats. A god nonstick spray is a wonderful substitute for the oils and fats that you are using.

Grilling is not an exact science, but you may have encountered some confusion the last time you hit the barbecue. Having a high-quality meat thermometer handy, especially a digital one, is a great way to ensure the meat you serve is fully cooked. Meat thicker than 1.5 inches should be cooked under a closed grill.

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. Set each half cut-side down on its own baking sheet. Sprinkle some water on both baking sheets, then at 350 degrees bake the pumpkin for about an hour.

Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. Consider brushing the grill with vegetable oil before cooking to prevent food from sticking to the grill.

Store your herbs and spices in a dark and cool place so that their flavors are preserved. The quality and freshness of spices and herbs will diminish when locked in warm areas.

If you use skewers for any of your dishes, be sure to soak skewers made of wood in water for a minimum of a half hour before using them. This helps them avoid burning when you cook. Prevent softer food from falling into the coals by using two parallel skewers rather than a single one.

Many vegetables and herbs emit aromas that remain in the cutting board, regardless of how many times you clean it. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you’re cutting.

Baking Sheets

For dishes that involve multiple steps, make it easy on yourself by doing portions of the work on the evening prior to cooking. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. When you are ready to get started with the meal, you will only have to deal with the actual cooking.

When you will be cooking a pumpkin, stand it up and then slice it down the middle. On separate baking sheets, place both halves with the cut side facing down. Sprinkle some water onto the baking sheets, and proceed to bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes.

When preparing pasta, it is important to add salt to the pot of water. Adding salt to the water prior to cooking ensures the pasta is infused with flavor. Pasta salted during cooking tastes better than pasta salted after the fact.

Cater to your guests by serving salads with dressing on the side. Some people like more dressing on their salad than others do, so it is better to let them add the dressing themselves. It is important to provide your guests with a plethora of dressings.

Explore creativity when you cook. You don’t always have to follow the recipe word for word. Sometimes making minor changes can make the dish taste even better than it did when following the original recipe. Turning a simple recipe into something that is uniquely your own is the sign of a true cook.

It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. If you use a kind of wine you’ve never tasted before, you may mess up the flavor of the dish you’re working on. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.

To make your pasta sauce a little better, use some of the water that you cooked your noodles in. Save about one quarter cup of this water. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.

If it can be hectic getting dinner ready in time, try preparing ingredients the night before. Make your sauces, cut your ingredients or marinate meat the day before. Doing so will decrease your stress levels and enable you to look forward to the actual cooking.

Put a little bit of salt on your cutting board before chopping fresh herbs. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. Just make sure you don’t add salt to your dish afterwards as the herbs already contain it. The salt will stick to the herbs, adding some extra flavor to your dish.

Dried Tomatoes

When you saute food, try to avoid filling the pan with oil. Too much food adds extra moisture and will lead to a steaming effect that will defeat the purpose of sauteing, which is to create a little crispness in the food. You need to make certain you are sauteing items at a lower temperature.

Make your own dried tomatoes. Simply cut them into 1/2 half inch slices, or cut lengthwise for Romas. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Keep the tomatoes fresh by storing them in freezer bags. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Take care of your wood cutting board. A wood cutting board can warp or split by too much exposure to moisture, heat or dryness. You should never put the board fully underwater, instead just use a sponge with some soap for spot cleaning. Use an oil specifically formulated for cutting boards to restore and protect wooden boards. Allow it to dry completely before using.

When you prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other time, don’t ever toss the leftovers. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer. It will keep fresh for several weeks which you can use for sandwiches or if you prefer a salad.

Tying a turkey with a string is called trussing the turkey. This pulls the legs and wings close to its body so that it can cook evenly. If not tied down, the tips of the wings and legs tend to burn easily while the rest of the bird is still cooking.

Try some of these handy tips the next time you make a meal. Once you taste them, you’ll be convinced that maybe cooking isn’t so bad after all! As a matter of fact, you may even begin actually enjoying it. Once you begin enjoying it, you’ll discover yourself trying lots of new recipes. Get ready to discover the joy of cooking!

Double up by setting a watch timer in addition to the oven timer. By having a watch set up to beep when food is done, you do not have to worry about under or overcooking your foods.

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