There will always be new and interesting things to try when cooking. You should be creative regardless of what or when you are cooking. A few secrets can turn a simple dish into a great dinner your friends will remember. Use these tips so that you can create excellent flavors in the kitchen.

Here is a handy trick you can use to save your sauce. In a bowl, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir this solution into your simmering thin sauce until it thickens. Add the mixture slowly and keep stirring to make sure it does not thicken too much.

Boiling takes time and removes the nutrients from veggies. To keep the nutrients in tact, consider steaming or sauteing your food, or even serving them raw.

Do you love to cook with fresh basil? You can cut basil by the stems, bunch it together, and put it in a glass. Now fill the glass with water to just above the stems. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it should stay fresh. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. Trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more and stays fresh.

Garlic is one of those delicious ingredient that has a drawback; its flavor gets onto your hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. Hands will then be clean, and odors will not be transferred on.

Baking mixes, flour and sugar should all be stored in airtight packaging. Sealed containers are great for keeping bugs out and helping your food to not spoil. You can find them on sale often at discount stores and the investment is worth every penny.

If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. Allow the stock to cool before freezing it in durable, Ziploc bags.

Measure the oil you use when cooking! Pouring straight from a bottle does not give you an accurate idea of how much fat you are using, which can result in overindulgence. This is the best way to know the amount of oil being added to your food.

Try drying your own tomatoes. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.

If you are going to use fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley in your meal, put them together to form bunches and use scissors to cut them. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.

Dab away excess moisture from ground meat before cooking it. Blotting the ground meat’s moisture is a good thing to do. If you leave the moisture on the ground meat, the moisture will release as the meat cooks. It will start to sizzle away. This can steam the meat, which will make it difficult to sear it.

To enhance the flavor and texture of your pasta sauce, set aside a small amount of the water that was used to cook the pasta. Set aside approximately one-fourth cup. When the time comes to add the sauce to the pasta, add this water as well. Residual starch in the water adds volume and creaminess to the sauce of your choice.

You will not become a better cook without using these tips. Following these tips should be relatively easy if you take your time and try one new thing at a time.

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