Are you being driven nuts by cooking for your own family? Cooking is not an activity that should make you feel hopeless! This article will give you some helpful tips for hassle-free, easy to prepare meals. When you see how easy cooking can be, you are sure to wonder why you found it so difficult to begin with!

bake tart or pie crusts longer that you think they should be baked. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.

One good way to store extra sauce is to freeze it using ice cube trays. When you need sauce for another meal, you already have individual portions, ready to grab and reheat in a pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!

Do you have trouble deciding how long to grill your meat? The best way to be sure that your meat has cooked fully is to test it with a digital meat thermometer near the center of the thickest part of the meat. If you’re working with a particularly thick slice of meat, you can cut back on grilling time by closing the lid of the grill.

You should think big when preparing chicken stock. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.

When you make food that contains seasoning, only put a little bit on at a time instead of putting it on all at once. This will help to give your food the maximum amount of flavor possible.

Make your own dried tomatoes. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.

Replace and refresh your spices twice a year. The flavors of spices fade just a few months after opening the container. If you have spices that you don’t intend to use any time soon, give it as a gift to someone who will use it.

If you want your dishes to be more flavorful, try preparing your own stock. Make a large amount and store it in the freezer. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. By making your own stock, you can be sure that it is not full of preservatives.

Once your meat is finished cooking, let it sit before serving it. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. It’s extremely tempting to eat a meal just as soon as it comes off the grill or stove. But, you will not enjoy the full flavor and texture of your meal if you engage in this practice. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.

Cooking for others can be stressful. Fortunately, there are many shortcuts and tricks to make cooking for a family quick and easy. When you go into the kitchen, just feel relaxed.

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