How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.

Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Exposure to heat, light, and humidity can cause them to lose their flavor. Herbs and spices generally keep their taste and flavor for about one year. Whole spices can retain flavor for about three or five years. Spices that are stored correctly remain fresher for longer.

Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. It is quite important that the preparation is done well in advance of the cooking process. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.

Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Keeping your spices in a cooler space with little light will enhance their flavor and shelf life. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.

To make it easier for you to slice meat into thin strips, you should partially freeze it. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.

You should limit the amount of seasoning you apply to meat until you have tried it. Certain foods require special care when seasoning. Hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs are examples of foods that need to be carefully seasoned. Do not cook it all after seasoning. A better way is to form a patty with a little bit of meat, then cook it. Then, you could either cook it like that or add more seasonings accordingly.

It is important to have sharp knives when cooking. Dull knives can be dangerous and they also make cutting things hard. It is easier to hurt yourself while you are struggling to cut something than if you were using a sharper knife.

Boiling and other long preparation methods tend to eliminate key nutrients in vegetables. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.

When cooking for someone who is important to you, it’s best to prepare something that you are skilled at making. Don’t experiment with recipes or ingredients that you’ve never used before. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.

To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as potatoes, offering you a perfect way to add another vegetable to your dish while cutting calories.

Use these tips for your next meal. Once you try some of these tips, you will believe that perhaps cooking is not so difficult after all. You may even start to enjoy the time you spend cooking and be willing to try some new recipes to expand your daily menus. Give cooking a shot!

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