Sometimes, your kitchen may seem uninteresting. You can make it more exciting by approaching cooking as your new hobby. Your kitchen will transform into a place that you like to be, and you’ll be able to make delicious meals the whole family will love. Below are a few ideas to get your hobby started on the right track.

Keep a few pointers in mind if you plan to attempt cooking with skewers. To get a better hold on the food, use a square or twisted type metal skewer.

If your stir fry recipe calls for meat, make sure to slice it very thinly on the bias. This can require some time and some effort. Before the meat is frozen (but when it is firm), pull the meat from the freezer, and slice the meat at a forty-five degree angle.

Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Don’t add all the starch at once, and avoid stirring erratically. Either of these could over-thicken the sauce.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. When they are stored in the sun, they lose shelf life because of exposure. Spices last longer and taste better when stored in cool, dark locations. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.

Try partially frozen meat to make thin meat slicing easier. This works especially well for meats to be used with Asian recipes. When the meat is partially frozen, it is much easier to slice and doesn’t tear or stretch. Then allow the slices to thaw so they’ll cook evenly.

Many use a good number of apples for baking and cooking throughout fall and winter, but if improperly stored, they will spoil quickly. To properly store them, you should keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool temperature. Sort your apples carefully before storing them, as one bad apple will end up spoiling the rest.

One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Because cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, it blends well with the potatoes and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.

Texture and taste don’t have to suffer when you are trying to lighten up your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower makes for a great substitute to help drop the fat and calorie content. Cauliflower’s neutral taste means that it blends easily with the flavor of the potatoes, butter and milk. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.

They’ll just simply work as a sponge and soak up the majority of the water. Instead, you want to wet a clean cloth and use that to wipe the mushroom off.

Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. Because of this, you should use vegetable oil to brush the grill prior to cooking so that you can prevent the meat from sticking.

It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. Whenever you are grilling it is advisable to have a quality cooking thermometer handy to ensure thoroughly cooked meat. If possible use a digital meat thermometer to obtain a more accurate reading. If you have a thick slice of meat, one that is more than 1.5 inches in thickness, you may want to close the lid of the grill to have the meat cook faster.

Chicken Broth

Use airtight containers to store all of your spices, seasonings and fresh ingredients. You should keep your foods stored in a air tight container so they stay fresh for a long time. You buy them pretty much anywhere and they are a beneficial asset.

Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables while keeping them from sticking to your pan. Chicken broth costs very little, and can be bought at most any grocery store.

When you are making chicken stock, think big. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.

When serving salad to guests, always offer the dressing on the side rather than pouring it directly on the salad. It is much better to let guests add the amount of dressing that they prefer according to their needs. Also, give a variety of different dressings.

Doing this means your fruit will always be fresh. You will also be able to enjoy certain fruits even when they are not in season.

Don’t use bitter, sour, or tasteless wine in your recipes. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. You can find wines that are made for use in cooking.

If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. If the recipe calls for water, try using chicken or beef broth, or even the water that you used to cook your vegetables in. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.

Replace and refresh your spices twice a year. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. If you purchase a new spice but doubt you can use it before the flavor dries up, share some of it with a fellow cook.

When you are going to make a dish that requires garlic, be sure to buy the freshest garlic you can. Usually when the garlic is most fresh, that is the point when it tastes the sweetest. You can see fresh garlic when it is not shriveled, soft, bruised and the skin is firm.

Always clean your utensils very well before you use them. Any residual food matter missed during washing can spoil the dish you intend to cook. This can cost you a lot because it might cause bacteria to spread.

Many food items leave their odors on cutting boards, which can linger even with vigorous scrubbing. Put a waterproof mark on the end of the cutting board so you’ll know which side to use.

To avoid mistakes like burning your food while you are cooking, it is of the utmost importance to stay organized. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. If you are unorganized, it is easy to lose track of things and waste your money and delicious food that you could have been eating!

Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. As a fruit becomes ripe, it puts off ethylene gasses. By placing them in a plastic bag with holes, air will circulate in the bag, making sure that ethylene gas is retained, and the fruit keeps its great taste.

If you are preparing macaroni and cheese dishes, you must always closely follow the directions on the recipe. The dish turns out perfectly when you follow the recipe, and is absolutely delicious when the velvet, soft cheese sauce melts on top of the macaroni. For serving, a solid spoon works best. Try spicing the macaroni with pepper.

Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. If you serve immediately off the grill, you will lose most of the juices in meat when you cut into it. The flavors intensify if you let the meal “rest” for a few minutes.

To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Set aside around a quarter of a cup of water. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Starches present in the retained water can contribute to a creamier sauce when combined.

Ensure that all of your spices and herbs are stored in a cool and dry area away from direct light. Your spices can become less spicy if you expose them to humidity, heat, or light. This exposure will only cause them to lose flavor.

Do all your cooking prep work well ahead of time. That way, you are able to prevent using a lot of gas or heat while cooking, and you provide safety when using hot oil or other dangerous things while distracted.

Even though you might want to cook a fabulous, impressive new recipe, always go with your old standbys when cooking for an important person or event. Whether you are preparing a meal for your boss, a new date or your in-laws, your cooking is most impressive when you prepare great dishes you feel very confident with. Please them with something that you know how to cook really well.

Use these ideas to spur new ideas of your own. Take the time to learn how to cook, and your family should truly enjoy gathering around the dinner table every day. Try cooking as a relaxing hobby that can also improve your health. Make eating a pleasure instead of a necessity.

Use beef or chicken stock as a substitute for water, in order to give extra flavor to a variety of dishes. Bouillon cubes are a great way to add instant flavor when mixed with the right amount of water. The liquid amount stays the same, but the added flavor will give your recipe a bit more zing.

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