Do you ever wonder how people make such fabulous meals? This article is filled with all sorts of valuable cooking advice.

Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.

Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients available. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This will allow you to cook without having to worry.

When adding seasoning to meats, try some before cooking the whole thing. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. Never cook your whole meal without testing the seasoning. Cook a small piece of meat first. After that, you may choose to cook everything or adjust your seasoning accordingly.

Will you be making a meal using fresh basil? Take a bunch of the basil and set it in a glass. Make sure the stems are in water. Keep it on your counter and it will stay fresh for weeks. If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. To encourage growth, you can trim some of the leaves to use in your cooking.

Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Use any fresh ingredients that are available. They are not only tastier in general, but they also tend to be cheaper, as well.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. Broth will fill your dish with flavor. This cooking method also allows you to eliminate unhealthy oils. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.

When making a big dinner for family and friends, start the preparations for the meal the day before. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed on the day of the dinner. Do little things for your meals the night before so your mealtime will be a little bit easier. This will take a great deal of stress off of your shoulders when it is time to cook.

Tomatoes can be easily dried. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. You can store dried tomatoes in an olive oil filled jar. Add fresh herbs for seasoning. This jar should be used within 2 weeks and kept refrigerated.

Make sure you use the advice provided in this article. Soon, your friends and family will be asking you what your cooking secrets are.

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