Preparing meals, day in and day out, can become a boring experience. To make things more interesting, try to learn about cooking as an art. Cooking does not have to be only about eating: you can have a lot of fun preparing a meal and discover new things. Once you learn the basic techniques for preparing certain foods, you can begin experimenting with new flavors.

Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. When exposed to light and heat, spices will lose their sharpness and flavor. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can retain their freshness for 36-60 months. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.

Prepare to cook before you actually start cooking. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. You can help lessen the potential stress by getting all your prep work done early.

Get a cookbook with easy recipes or a specific theme you find interesting to get you started. Try looking online or to your local library or bookstore. Focus on one recipe at a time and give yourself enough time to improve your cooking.

When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.

If you are going to stir-fry meat, be sure to have it cut on the bias and finely sliced. This can be quite tricky and time-consuming. Take out the meat before it is frozen, but very firm, and cut into it at an angle of 45 degrees perpendicular to the grain.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. The shelf life of spices is greatly reduced if they are exposed to heat, humidity, or light. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. You’ll taste the difference in your dishes.

Having knives that are very sharp is essential when cooking. Dull knives make cutting difficult, but in addition, they are dangerous. You can cut yourself because you are forcing the knife through the food, use a sharp knife.

Cooking vegetables for a long time robs them of the critical nutrients that make them a healthy choice. You can keep all those healthy nutrients by using a quick method of cooking like steaming or by eating the vegetables raw.

Improper storage techniques won’t ensure they will last from harvest through the winter months, which is when they are most often desired for inclusion in recipes. Apples will rot if they are stored in warm, dry air, so make sure to keep them in plastic bags in a cool place. One bad apple will quickly ruin the other apples.

If you wish to have crispy French fries, then you should soak the potatoes in cool water for 30 minutes and then fry them. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.

Starting with these tips can have you cooking with style in no time. It may even become a full-time hobby! Cooking can be as educational as it is delicious. You may even learn something about yourself as you begin to develop preferences for the type or style of food that you like to cook the most. The more you cook, the better your food will taste.

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