Do you ever look and wonder how friends and family make the meals they make. Follow this article to gain better cooking abilities.

If you would like to start cooking more food on your own, take a trip to a local library or bookstore where you can find many cookbooks with recipes you can enjoy making at home. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.

Always bake your crusts a little longer than is absolutely necessary. Let the crust go beyond light tan to a deeper, golden shade. This color means that the sugar has caramelized within the pie crust and will have a crunchy and sweet flavor.

When you season meats, try cooking a little piece prior to the entire piece. Certain foods like hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs have certain kinds of seasonings. Never cook your whole meal without testing the seasoning. It is a good idea to cook a small portion of the meat first. Once you’ve tasted the meat, change the seasoning accordingly, then cook the entire piece of meat.

Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. If you slow cook your vegetables, they will lose their nutritional value. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. You should only cook them just as long as it takes for them to be done.

Do you cook often with fresh basil? Store the basil in a jar. Fill with water to cover the stems. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.

Garlic is a tasty ingredient that has a flavor that can, unfortunately, transfer to your hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.

If you have sauce left over after a meal, store the remainder in one or more ice cube trays and let it freeze. When you need sauce for another meal, you already have individual portions, ready to grab and reheat in a pan. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!

Finding the correct amount of time to grill certain meats is a science that not many of us know how to do. Make sure you use quality meat thermometers to ascertain the internal temperature. If you’re grilling especially thick slabs of meat – anything thicker than an inch and a half – bring the lid down on your grill to speed up the cooking process.

Make big portions when preparing stock. If you make a large pot of stock, you can freeze it and store it for future use. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.

Carefully measure the oil you cook with. It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. This will allow you to closely monitor the exact amount of oil that you are using.

You can make your own dried tomatoes. Dry your own by slicing ripe tomatoes 1/2″ thick, or cut Romas in half, lengthwise. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Put a cookie sheet underneath the cooling rack and then set the pair in an oven heated to 190 degrees. Leave for as many as ten hours. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Another way to preserve your dried tomatoes is in olive oil, with herbs for added flavor, in a glass jar. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.

This article has very useful advice. Soon, you will have friends and family asking about your secret cooking abilities.

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