Do you ever look at the culinary masterpieces that your family and friends create, and wonder how on earth they manage it? The following article will give you the ability to improve your cooking skills, regardless of how great a cook you are.

You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. Ground spices, when stored correctly, can retain flavor for up to a year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.

Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Try your hand at some of the recipes, remembering that patience is key during the learning process.

If your stir fry recipe calls for meat, make sure to slice it very thinly on the bias. This is rather difficult to do, and can take a lot of time. Take the meat out of the freezer when it is slightly frozen and cut at a forty five degree angle, do it across the meat’s grain.

Always have your spices stored in a dark and cool place. If they are stored in an area that they are exposed to light, heat and humidity, their shelf life is shortened. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Make sure that your spices are fresh to add taste and flavor to any meal.

When adding oil to a pan or skillet that already contains food, drizzle the oil down the side of the pan. The oil will heat as it flows toward the center. The flavor will be greatly enhanced when it has completed cooking.

For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.

If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Look at your recipe and decide which steps you can do in advance without worry of food spoilage. You can simplify the cooking process by doing your prep work well in advance. Doing this can transform intricate recipes into simple, quick and enjoyable cooking tasks.

Use airtight containers for storing flour, sugar, and baking mixes in the kitchen. Bugs can creep into your food, and most food items will become stale if exposed to the open air. These are just a couple of solid reasons that you need solid containment. Airtight containers are your best friends in the kitchen. They are a must-have for the kitchen and can be purchased everywhere kitchen products are sold.

When seasoning your food, add the seasoning in increments rather than putting it all on at once. When this is done, the flavors of the food will be enhanced, and you will be bringing out the best in all of your ingredients.

If you are often pressed for time when making dinner, try doing a little preparation work before hand, perhaps on the night before you plan to cook the dinner. Chop your onions, slice your vegetables, make the sauce or marinate your meat before bed. This will result in less stress the next day, and you will be more than ready to begin the cooking process.

Save the delicious taste of summer by drying tomatoes yourself. Cut tomatoes in thick slices or in half, depending on their size. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Put the rack on a baking sheet, and slow-bake in an oven that is set to 190 degrees for about 10 hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Dried tomatoes could also be put in a jar with fresh herbs and topped up with olive oil. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.

Look for different opportunities to use these tips. Before you know it, your loved ones will want to know your secrets to cooking.

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