How many times have you dreaded going into the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner? You might need a new perspective. Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing if you try to see it in another way. Here are a few cooking tips that are sure to get your taste buds tingling and entice your inner chef to come out.

Spices should be stored in a dark and cool place. If light, humidity and heat are present, these items will begin to lose their flavor. Usually, spices and herbs that are ground will retain their flavor for up to a year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.

Keep spices tucked away in cool, dry and dark areas. If the spices become too hot, or moist from humidity, it can shorten their shelf life. Too much light exposure also does this. You can preserve the flavor and freshness of your spices by storing them in a dark, cool spot. Make sure that your spices are fresh to add taste and flavor to any meal.

Here’s a trick you can use to save your sauce fast! Mix two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir the solution into the simmering thin sauce to make it thicker. Add the mixture slowly and keep stirring to make sure it does not thicken too much.

Nearly any recipe benefits from using fresh ingredients rather than the frozen or dried version. Fresh ingredients can really enhance the flavor of your meal, as well as be more economical to prepare.

If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Read your recipe and note which steps you can complete in advance without compromising the dish’s quality. There are a lot of things you can prep the day before you need to cook. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.

If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. This way, the next time you want some sauce, all you need to do is saute it in a pan. Not to worry, it freezes well and is perfectly edible when stored this way.

When you plan on using wooden skewers for cooking, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This keeps them from burning up while the food is cooking on them. To ensure that your food stays on the skewers, use two skewers instead of one to hold the food firmly in place.

Take the time and steps necessary to accurately measure any oil used for cooking. This will help you lower the fat in your foods while cooking. By doing this, you will be able to clearly see how much oil you are using.

When you have an upcoming dish that has garlic as an ingredient, go out and get the freshest available garlic that you can find. As a rule of thumb, garlic will taste sweeter the fresher it is. You can recognize fresh garlic from its firm skin and lack of bruises.

When you are planning to prepare a salad for guests, leave the dressing on the side. Let people add what they want to their salad. Your guests will also enjoy having a variety of dressings from which to choose.

If you really like to use a lot of herbs and spices, you need to keep them in a dark and cool place so they can retain their freshness and flavor. If you store herbs and spices in places that have a lot of heat, they will lose their flavor. This can cost money.

Check to make sure your meat is cooked thoroughly by using a meat thermometer. Every meat has a certain internal temperature that needs to be reached in order for it to be safe to eat. Since bacteria is all around us, especially on meat, it is important that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill off this bacteria and therefore prevent you from getting sick.

Fresh herbs and other kinds of seasonings can help spice up even the simplest dish. Dried herbs, such as oregano and basil, are suitable for complex dishes with a lot of flavors. Fresh herbs though, are optimal to use if you want a more natural taste when consuming. One way to ensure that you have fresh herbs is to plant a herb garden.

Use this advice to improve every meal. After your first taste, you will realize that cooking is not such a bad thing after all! You may find that you enjoy cooking and begin experimenting even further. You may find that you can be a good cook, if you give it a try!

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