Having the skills to cook is one of life’s most valuable lessons learned. Homemade food is a joy to eat and also economical for the budget.

Spices should be stored in a dark and cool place. Heat, humidity, and light will all weaken your spices’ flavor. Generally speaking, spices that have been ground will keep their flavor for about one year. It is possible for whole spices to remain flavorful for up to five years. They can remain fresh longer if stored properly.

If you are going to use oil, make sure you add it at the edge of the pan so it can warm up before getting to the food. Using this method can help you to boost the flavor of foods.

Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.

It’s important to include beans and tofu in your diet if you’re trying to increase your protein intake. Both of these protein-rich foods are available at most grocery stores. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Boil the beans with herbs to make a tasty protein-filled dish.

When you want to cook a pumpkin, stand it on its end and slice it in half. Place them on individual baking sheets, cut side down. Add a touch of water to each sheet before putting it in the oven. You will want to bake this for approximately an hour at 350 degrees.

Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. This will allow your turkey to stay fresh for weeks. You can use the leftovers in sandwiches, salads, soups and your other favorite meals.

Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. A lot of people keep spices too long, which makes them not taste very good. If you purchase a specific spice, knowing that you probably won’t use it all, split it with someone.

Consider creating your own stock, in order to add some customized flavor to your dishes. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. This allows you to have savory homemade stock available that you can use for various dishes, like soup. Doing it on your own, prevents any unnecessary preservatives from being added to the stock.

When boiling water to cook pasta, be sure to add a generous sprinkling of salt. This allows the salt to be absorbed by the pasta. Salting pasta after cooking is often unsuccessful because the pasta will not absorb the salt then, it will only sit on top of the noodles.

When cutting fresh herbs, sprinkle salt onto the cutting board. This keeps your herbs on the cutting board and can add a bit of flavor, as well. Do not add too much salt to your dish. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.

It is important to take proper care of wood cutting boards. Your wooden cutting board can be damaged by too much moisture or too much heat. The result can be warping or splitting. Do not submerge the board to clean it, just sponge it off using warm, soapy water. Use an oil specifically formulated for cutting boards to restore and protect wooden boards. It should be completely dry before its next use.

Trussing is the process of tying the turkey with string. Trussing will cook your bird more evenly when you tie the legs and wings to the bird closely. If not tied down, the tips of the wings and legs tend to burn easily while the rest of the bird is still cooking.

Make sure that you take care with the cooking time for a perfectly baked cake. The recommended cooking times can give beginner bakers a general idea of how long to bake the cake, but these guidelines can be inaccurate because elevation and other factors have to be taken into account when determining how long to leave the cake in the oven. A better way is to test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it removes cleanly, it’s done; if batter is on it, it needs longer to bake.

If you’re dealing with a vegetable or fruit that you aren’t familiar with, you should take the time to learn more information about it. Do some research, and you might be surprised at how versatile the new food is. If you educate yourself on the potentials of a new food, you’ll have a lot more fun using it.

When cooking a meal for someone important, don’t attempt a new recipe–even if you want to impress and cook a fancy meal. You don’t want to risk a culinary disaster in front of people you hope to impress. Stick to dishes that you are confident you can make well, and your meal will be a success.

Set a timer on your watch or cellphone in addition to the oven. The watch timer gives you insurance that you will know when your food is done no matter where in the house you happen to be.

Pungent foods such as garlic, onions, and fish can leave an offensive odor on your hands. You can effectively remove this scent by rubbing your hands on a stainless steel object before you wash them. This strips the odors off your hands so that you don’t contaminate other ingredients. There are purpose-built steel “soap bars” for this, but the sides of your sink or your spoons will work just as well.

Use these tips to brush up on your cooking skills and to learn new ways to make homemade meals. You will find that home cooked meals will save you a lot of money and usually take less time then going to a restaurant. Home cooked meals will help your family learn better eating habits. The more you cook the more you are sure to see the many benefits and rewards of this hobby.

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