Do you look at the wonderful meals your friends and family members make and wonder how they do it? Anybody can make use of this article’s advice to refine and cultivate their cooking skills.

Here’s a way to turn that thin sauce around. Combine two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl and mix. Stir this mixture into the thin sauce and it will thicken up. Make sure you add the solution slowly while stirring constantly or you risk thickening the sauce too much.

Slicing meat is easier if the meat is frozen. This method is especially useful when preparing Chinese or Thai entrees. Partially freezing meat keep the fibers in meat from stretching and tearing resulting in perfectly sliced strips. Before you cook the sliced meat, however, you must first allow the strips to thaw.

Long cooking processes, like boiling, can “zap” nutrients from foods, like vegetables. To retain the healthy nutrients, quickly steam or saut√© your vegetables, or even better, eat them raw.

If you are cooking for an important occasion, you should choose something you have done successfully before. You don’t ever want to try new ingredients or recipes that you don’t have experience with. Cooking will be less stressful this way.

There are many dishes you can make with apples, especially in cold-weather months. But if stored improperly, well, one bad apple does spoil the bushel. Storing apples in warm, dry air will cause them to rot. Instead, store your apples in a cool place. Quickly remove any apples that are rotting, because they will cause the other apples to spoil quicker.

To make your French fries crispier, let the raw potatoes soak for about half an hour in cold water prior to frying. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.

It is possible to lower the fat and calorie content of mashed potatoes without impacting the taste or texture by replacing some of the potato content with cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.

Do not assume this ingredient is for meat only. You can add it to scrambled eggs or make a tasty snack by sprinkling a bit on some roasted pumpkin seeds. People will wonder how you’ve managed to add such amazing flavor to simple dishes.

Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. Nothing to worry about as the sauce will be fine even after it’s been sitting in ice cube trays.

If you want to add flavor to your dishes, use a liquid other than milk or water. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. To replace milk, yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can make good substitutes. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.

Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. The reason this cooks your roast faster is because the bone pulls the heat to the center of the roast. After the cooking period is completed, simply remove the bone and proceed as usual.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with preparing dinner for your family, do some of the preparations the night before. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. This way, your next meal will only require a modicum of effort, making dinner stress-free.

You can make your own dried tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Place the resulting tomato pieces on a rack, then salt their exposed flesh lightly. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Place them in the freezer in plastic bags. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Put this jar in the fridge and use it up in two weeks time.

It is important for every cook to have their cooking supplies organized. If they are not properly organized, you will wind up rummaging around to find what you need. Store items of a similar nature together. Keep pots in the same cupboard, for instance, or all spatulas in the same drawer.

Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. Many times, spices are kept for too long, and they lose their flavor. When you have to buy certain spices for specific dishes, be sure to give some of the spice away to a family or friend, if you do not plan on using all of it, before it will go bad.

Stay organized when you are preparing a meal to avoid kitchen catastrophes. An organized kitchen is a much more productive kitchen. Unorganized cooking stations may mean you lose money and valuable food that is better suited to eating.

Dab your ground meat with a few paper towels before cooking it to rid of excess moisture. Blot away the excess moisture on all ground meat before cooking. Leaving it can cause the liquid to release when cooking. This moisture will just sizzle off. While this may not seem like a big deal, it means that the meat will actually steam, instead of sear, which makes a huge difference in the texture.

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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