Cooking is one of the things in life that needs to be done, but it can also be a delicious hobby to take up as well. Anyone can cook using quality advice to learn from. The article below has just the ideas that you need to inspire the cook in you!

Store your spices and herbs in a cool and dark spot when you decide where to keep them. Moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor of your spices. Ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months under normal circumstances. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.

Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Stir this mixture into the thin sauce and it will thicken up. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don’t want the sauce to get too thick.

Do you often throw away moldy fruits and feel bad about it? Is it safe to cut around that moldy area and save the remaining fruit for consumption? Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to save fruit that has begun to rot. After a certain point, the fruit may become moldy, though you may not be able to tell by looking at it. Consuming the fruit could make you very ill.

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. Because cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, it blends well with the potatoes and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Additionally, mashed cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so no one will know that you’ve boosted the veggie content of the dish while removing calories.

if fresh basil what you’re cooking with? Place your basil into a large glass. Make sure the the stems are completely covered with water. You can keep basil fresh for weeks on top of your kitchen counter this way. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh, and you might even see your basil leaves sprouting some roots. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time!

Fresh ingredients are much better to use in all of your cooking than those that are frozen or dried. When you use fresh ingredients you can bring out the true flavor of your food, and they can sometimes be cheaper in the end.

When you are making chicken stock, think big. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Allow the stock to cool, then split it up into heavy duty Ziploc freezer bags.

Spices should be replaced every six months. When a spice is kept for a while, it won’t have the same flavor. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.

Make sure that prior to cooking, your utensils are sparkling clean. If there is food leftover after washing, this could ruin whatever you are going to cook. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.

When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Get the ingredients ready, chop the veggies, measure and prepare the spices and herbs. It’s also a great time to make sure you have everything that is needed. When you are ready to start cooking, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and cook them.

We cook to produce food; however, we also cook to relax, create, and have fun. Trying to make different dishes can be a very enjoyable and delicious activity. It’s normal to fail occasionally when cooking, but with the information provided, those failures should happen less often. By following this advice, you will find success in the kitchen.

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