Perhaps you feel that being in your kitchen is a mundane experience. The thing is, when treat cooking as a leisurely activity, your perception changes. Your kitchen becomes a destination, and the time you spend in there results in a delicious meal that everyone makes time for. Here are some tips to get you started.

Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. The flavor of herbs and spices will be diminished if they are subjected to humidity, heat, or light. You can plan on ground herbs and spices retaining their potency for a year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. When stored properly, they will stay fresher longer.

Cooking with apples in autumn and winter is popular, however they must be stored correctly to prevent spoiling. Air that is warm or dry will cause apples to spoil, so it is important to place them in a plastic bag, knotted loosely and keep them in a cool place. Watch your apples so that you can catch any rotten ones, a rotten apple will make the others spoil.

Do you have trouble determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Use a good meat thermometer (a digital one is more accurate) so that you can ensure the inside is cooked correctly. Try using a grilling lid to reduce the cooking time on thicker cuts of meat.

A super healthy, and tasty, veggie dish is simply sauteed veggies in some chicken broth. Broth adds flavor to the vegetables while reducing the quantity of oil necessary for sauteing. You will thoroughly enjoy this way of preparing your vegetables.

If you are cooking a meal where seasoning gets added, don’t add it all at the beginning, add a little every couple of minutes instead. By cooking in this way, you can help different seasonings “open up” and release their flavor into the dish without overpowering it.

Know how much cooking oil to use. By measuring how much oil you use when cooking, you can lower fat levels in your meals better than if you just pour the oil straight from bottle to pan. This will give you the ability to know exactly how much oil is going into the pan at a time.

Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. You run the risk of ruining the taste of the dish if you use a wine you haven’t tried before. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.

Dry your own tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. You should place them on cooling rack, and salt them lightly with the cut side up. Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet, and bake the tomatoes in an oven set at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 hours. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.

Use the ideas presented here as a jumping off point for your own ideas. Always make it a priority to choose dishes that are enjoyed and relished, encouraging a relaxing meal time tradition. Learning to cook can help you to improve your diet, and it can also enhance your quality of life. Make your kitchen somewhere you love to be.

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