Everyone can prepare basic dishes, but great cooking requires training. The advice in this piece offers some great ways to prepare delicious food at home. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the idea of preparing a fine meal with a variety of ingredients. Cooking can be a very good skill to have. Have fun cooking and don’t stress if you go a bit overboard and make a mess occasionally.

Store herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dark. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. Most spices will retain their flavor for about a year. Spices in their whole form can be stored for between 3 to 5 years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.

For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. Judge their color, not the time in the oven to determine if they are done. They will be golden brown when cooked. The deep caramel color demonstrates that the sugar has melded with the other ingredients, giving you an optimal flavor.

Here’s a trick you can use to save your sauce fast! Put some corn starch into water and mix it in your sauce. Use this solution to instantly thicken any sauce. The mixture should be added slowly and constantly stirred so that it doesn’t get too thick.

Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. When your potatoes soak up cold fluids, their fibers are reinforced. This means that they will hold up better to the heat necessary for the frying process.

Are you planning to use freshly picked basil in a recipe? Take a bunch of the basil and set it in a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. If you perform periodic water changes, the roots of the basil will grow in the water. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time!

If you make sauce, freeze it into ice cubs to use later on. Then, at a later date, it is a simple process to reheat the cubes on your stove top in a pan. Don’t worry; the sauce will taste delicious after being frozen in an ice cube tray!

Have you had difficulty in determining how long to grill your meat? Use a meat thermometer to tell when it is cooked properly. If you have thick meat, more than a inch and a half, close the grill to make cooking time shorter.

If you are on a diet, try cutting down the amount of oil you use in your food. Butter and oils are often unnecessary fats. Consider using a nonstick cooking spray as replacement for oil.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. 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 is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.

Cooking doesn’t have to be scary. Making your own home-cooked meals can be healthier, more nutritious and cost-effective, as well. It is also lots of fun! Internalize this article’s handy advice and put it to work in the grocery store, the kitchen, and, eventually, on your plate. Have a great time cooking for yourself and bon appetit!

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