Daily meal time is enjoyed by almost everyone. Meals often taste much better when they are prepared by someone who knows their way around the kitchen. The information on cooking contained herein will make meals prepared by even experts just a bit better.

When storing your herbs and spices, they should be kept in a cool, dark spot. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. Generally speaking, properly stored herbs and ground spices can keep a good portion of their flavor as long as one calendar year. If kept whole, spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. They’ll last longest when stored properly.

For stir-fry dishes, meat should be sliced very thinly and on the bias. This can take up much time and is also somewhat tricky. When the meat is partially frozen, slice it diagonally across the grain at a 45 degree angle.

A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. Your food will taste better, and you will not have a lull in the cooking process waiting for the oil to heat up.

Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest French fries. Soaking the potatoes helps to make the fibers within them stronger, which makes them better able to handle the heat during frying.

Are you going to prepare food with fresh basil? Place some basil in a clean glass. The stems will then need to be covered with water. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. If you pay close attention and frequently change the water in the glass, you are likely to see basil roots starting to grow. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.

Be sure to read labels when purchasing ingredients for recipes. Though they seem innocent enough, many of the components of everyday cooking items can be loaded with secret things that hinder your overall health. Keep track of the amount of sugar and sodium in the staple products used for your recipe, and make adjustments by omitting additional sugar or salt, to avoid diet-related health issues.

This way, you have fruits that stay fresh throughout the year. This process also gives you easy access to seasonal fruits at times when they would not normally be available.

Substitute water for other more flavorful liquids, in order to spice up your meals. As a substitute for water, try broth. Juice can work as well. Some people use the water left over from boiling vegetables. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.

Try making your own dried tomatoes. Prepare by cutting ripe tomatoes into half-inch-thick slices or slicing Roma tomatoes in half down their long axis. Place on a cooling rack, cut-side up and lightly salt them. 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. Place them in the freezer in plastic bags. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

It is important for every cook to have their cooking supplies organized. If they aren’t organized, you will waste valuable time getting everything together at the last minute. You may find it beneficial to group similar items together. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.

There are few things more enjoyable in life than sitting down to partake in a well cooked meal. You may think that it takes years of training to learn how to cook, but you would be wrong. You are capable of creating many tasty dishes! After reading this article, you now have the skills that are necessary to become a master in the kitchen.

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