A lot of people view cooking as an unwelcome task. This article will give you tips on how to make cooking fun and a joy to do.

Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.

If you are preparing stir-fry, be sure to slice the meat on the bias and very thin. However, this can take a lot of time while also being very tricky. Remove meat when firm but no longer frozen, and slice it 45 degrees across the grain.

Texture and taste don’t have to suffer when you are trying to lighten up your mashed potatoes. Cauliflower makes for a great substitute to help drop the fat and calorie content. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.

Vegetables that are cooked more quickly will be of higher quality. Though slow cooking is popular in some cultures, the process actually eliminates important nutrients and renders the vegetables tasteless. In addition to these beneficial results, the overall effect is also serving vegetables that are healthy and more nutritious. If you learn to cook vegetables for the right amount of time, it will help to keep them tasty and preserve nutrients.

When you are cooking, it is important to remember that a fresh ingredient is always better than a frozen or dried ingredient. The more fresh ingredients you use in your cooking, the better your dishes will be. Fresh ingredients have more flavor, and are less costly than frozen and canned ingredients.

There are many steps you can take towards prepping your food to make your whole cooking process easier. You can read the recipe to find out what you can do in advance. Many different prep tasks can be finished a day or so before cooking the meal. This can turn even the most complex recipes into quick, fun and fast cooking jobs.

When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Make a yummy meat alternative by pan frying the tofu with some seasonings. You can boil the beans with some herbs to have a flavorful protein packed meal, side or snack.

A super healthy, and tasty, veggie dish is simply sauteed veggies in some chicken broth. The chicken broth will make the vegetables taste a lot better, and you will be able to avoid using other oils that may add fat and calories. This method of cooking vegetables will be tasty and rich in nutrients.

It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. You risk the final flavor of any dish if you make it with an unfamiliar wine or one with an off taste. Cooking wines are available.

You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Just slice them when ripe to about 1/2″ thickness. Next, lightly salt the open sides and place them salt-side up on a wire cooling rack. 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. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

As was shown in the above article, there are numerous ways for cooking to be more interesting and less of a hassle. If you use the tips in this article you’ll find that you can make cooking creative and fun, enjoying every minute of it.

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