Even the kitchen at your own house can seem rather boring from time to time. If you look at cooking as an enjoyable experience, this may change. Your kitchen turns into your canvas, and your meals are your finished painting, something you can be proud of, that pleases everyone. Here’s some advice to give you some ideas.

Always store your spices in a cool and dark place. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity. When properly stored, ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for up to a year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. When stored in the correct place, they will keep their freshness for longer.

Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. Having everything prepared before you begin cooking is important. Trying to prepare a meal without handling the preparation beforehand can get stressful, especially if you need to finish your cooking in a set amount of time. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.

Make sure that all of your spices are stored away from heat and light. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Make sure that your spices are fresh to add taste and flavor to any meal.

However, there is a way that your efforts can be saved and the sauce still used. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Slowly add this mixture to your simmering sauce to thicken it up. Adding the cornstarch mixture slowly and continuing to stir helps you judge the proper thickness of your sauce.

For crispier French fries, put raw potatoes into cold water and let them sit there for about half an hour before frying. Cold water will allow the sliced potato to retain its internal fibers, meaning that they are less likely to completely break down when cooked at a high heat.

You can sprinkle it on many other foods besides meat. This type of seasoning can be applied to pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and even roasted peanuts to create a great on the go snack. Everyone will beg you to let them in on the secret ingredient.

Regardless of the recipe, you can always bet that a fresh ingredient is better than its dried or frozen counterpart. When you use fresh ingredients you can bring out the true flavor of your food, and they can sometimes be cheaper in the end.

If you make sauce, freeze it into ice cubs to use later on. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. This process doesn’t cause the sauce to go bad, so reheat with confidence!

When you cook veggies, try using some chicken broth! Simmering vegetables in the broth will keep them from adhering to the bottom of the pan and also infuse them with rich flavor. Chicken broth is cheap, and can be bought anywhere.

When cooking pumpkins, set the pumpkin so the top is facing up and slice it in half down the middle. The halves should be placed face-down on two baking pans. Moisten each sheet with water, then place the pumpkin halves in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes.

If you use herbs and spices when cooking, be sure to retain the flavor and freshness by keeping them in an area of the kitchen that is cool and dark. You should never store herbs and spices above a stove or in any other warm location because that will cause them to lose their flavor, and of course you will be out the money.

Make certain all your utensils are cleaned prior to cooking. If your utensils are not completely clean, you run the risk of introducing old food residue into whatever you are cooking. This can also cause bacteria to spread.

These tips might give you some creativity of your own. Make delicious meals that your family will love, meals that you relish and feel good about. Cooking as a hobby can enrich not only your diet but your life as well. Good luck in your future culinary efforts.

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