Do you ever wonder how people make such fabulous meals? You will be able to improve your cooking skills after reading this article.

Save yourself some time and stress by doing prep work a day ahead. Try to have the prep work completed before cooking; this is important. When you have a schedule as to how long you plan to be cooking, things can get a little stressful in the kitchen. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.

Here is a handy trick you can use to save your sauce. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Stir the mixture into the thin sauce and it will get thicker. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.

A sharp knife is indispensable for efficient cooking. A dull knife will not only make it more difficult to slice and chop your ingredients, but it will also be a hazard to use. You are more likely to cut yourself by using a dull knife, as opposed to when cutting using a sharp knife.

Do you ever feel bad for disposing of fruit with a little mold on it? Should you save the moldy fruit and cut away the bad parts? It’s not safe to try to save partially rotted fruit. Throw them away because mold grows much deeper than you can see and moldy food can make you very sick.

If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. 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. This stock is a popular base that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles and much more. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.

By doing this, you are guaranteed fresher fruit throughout the year. Plus, you will have fruits which are not available during certain periods of the year.

You can add new flavors for your meals by trying different liquids when recipes ask for milk or water. Use chicken broth, beef stock or vegetable broth instead. You can substitute buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in place of the milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.

When seasoning your food, add the seasonings gradually rather than dumping it all in at once. This will allow you to make your meal more flavorful, and will prevent you from adding too much seasoning.

When serving salad to guests, always offer the dressing on the side rather than pouring it directly on the salad. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. It is also a good idea to offer several dressing choices.

If your a fan of cooking with spices and herbs, make sure they are stored in a dark and cool area in order to keep their flavors. Do not keep your spices in a warm place or where they would be exposed to the sun because they could lose their flavor.

Twice a year, you should buy all new spices. When spices are stored for too long, their flavor degrades, resulting in a less potent spice. If you find yourself buying a spice that you aren’t going to finish, split it and give half away to a friend.

Place unripe fruits in a plastic bags you have poked small holes into. As a fruit ripens, it produces ethylene gas. When you keep these fruits in aerated bags, the gas that might normally build up and be trapped is released and allows the fruit to maintain freshness longer.

If you are sauteing, don’t use too much liquid in the pan. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Saute at a lower temperature as well.

When you truss your bird, you tie its legs and wings together. Trussing helps to keep the legs and wings next to the body so that cooking is done evenly. If the legs and wings aren’t tied down, they tend to easily burn while the body of the bird continues to cook.

You should always use fresh seasoning and herbs whenever the dish you are cooking is simple. For dishes with complex flavors, dried herbs will work. However, it is always better to use fresh herbs as their flavor is better. If you love to cook, create an herb garden, which will provide you with a variety of quality herbs any time you choose.

To avoid a greasy mess, don’t reheat meals that contain a lot of oil in a microwave. Instead, reheat the meals by baking them in an oven. By placing your food in a microwave you’ll find that the oil will separate from everything else, drying your food out. When you use the oven to reheat a dish, the heat will come slower and more consistent, which will keep the ingredients cohesive and the dish flavorful.

To ensure that your shells stay firm when making twice baked potatoes or loaded potato skins, use thick-skinned potatoes, such as russets. Red potatoes have thin skins and cannot support a dense filling.

When you blend sugar with butter for cookies, be sure to soften the butter instead of melting it. If your butter has melted put it in the freezer for some time to make it a bit harder or put your dough in the refrigerator for a little while. A dough that has been cooled will keep the cookies from spreading more than you want.

Being responsible for a meal that will feed a large number of guests can be extremely stressful. If you want to avoid last-minute panic and confusion, all you need to do is complete as much of your preparation in advance as possible. Measuring spoons, casseroles and non-refrigerated ingredients can all be set out the night before on the kitchen counter.

Look for different opportunities to use these tips. Before long, your loved ones will be in awe of your cooking ability.

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