If cooking is a new adventure for you, realize that you just need to get started. While some people can step in the kitchen and work magic their first time, not everyone is so gifted. Once you start feeling more confident in your abilities, try recipes that are more complex and include unfamiliar ingredients. There are things that every cook should know that helps them to become better at making a good meal. Read on to find some smart tips to take your cooking to the next level.

There’s a neat trick you can use to save your sauce. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. You can then stir this solution into your sauce to instantly thicken it. The mixture should be added slowly and constantly stirred so that it doesn’t get too thick.

Do you regret having to throw out old fruit? Be sure to check apples occasionally because one bad apple will ruin all of them. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to save fruit that has begun to rot. They need to be thrown out, due to the fact that mold is much deeper than just skin level and could make you or anyone who eats it very ill.

Popular French fried potato recipes suggest soaking the potatoes in water for 30 minutes before cooking them. When you soak sliced potatoes in cold water, it strengthens their fibers, so that they can stand up to the heat when being deep fried.

Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.

Are you a fan of using fresh basil? Try putting a bunch of basil that is fresh inside a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Store it on the counter of your kitchen; it will stay fresh for weeks. If you keep the water as fresh as you can, roots will start growing. You can cut the basil every once in a while in order to spur further growth, thereby making basil available for even longer.

Do not assume this ingredient is for meat only. Experiment with adding it to roasted seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin, or even sprinkle into salads and egg dishes. Everyone at the table will be asking for your recipe!

Whenever you have a meal to cook, if you do your all your prep work ahead of time, it will be much less stressful and quicker. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. You can prepare a lot of food the day prior to actually cooking. By doing this, your cooking task will be quick and easy – even for very complex recipes.

Garlic can easily stay on your hands. If you have a stainless steel sink or other utensil, rub your hands over the inside of the sink to remove the smell. This works for onions as well. Your hands will be free from adding the garlic scent and flavor to other foods.

If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal, and quickly reheat in a saute pan. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.

When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.

Cooking is not always a natural talent, but with the right advice, you can easily turn yourself into a pro. It really isn’t as difficult as it may seem. With these tips kept in mind, there is nothing stopping you from mastering the culinary arts.

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