There are many people who view cooking as a chore, rather than a fun and exciting experience. Cooking can, however, be an enjoyably pastime. Learning to cook at home more can also lead to increased health. Every good cook constantly looks for ways to improve their cooking skills. Use the tips in this article to learn more about cooking and to start seeing cooking as an enjoyable activity.

You can start cooking simple meals out of a cookbook you can borrow from the library. That way you can try different meals that you can prepare and when you are done you can take it back. Try making three or four of the recipes that appeal to you the most, and give yourself plenty of time to perfect your newly acquired skill.

Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. If the spices become too hot, or moist from humidity, it can shorten their shelf life. Too much light exposure also does this. Always keep your spices in a dark and cool location to extend their longevity. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.

It is absolutely essential that you have sharp knives whenever you cook. Dull knives make it very difficult to cut with and also extremely dangerous to use. When your knife is dull, it can be easier for it to slip off the vegetable and end up cutting you instead. Keep your knives sharp for safety as well as convenience.

When you are going to be cooking for someone important, whether it’s a boss or a potential love interest, make certain you are cooking something you are familiar with. New recipes can be difficult to make and can create unnecessary stress. This will allow for an easier cooking process.

Did you ever feel badly for throwing moldy fruit in the garbage? Are you tempted to just cut off the moldy part and save the rest for your meal? If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. It must be discarded because mold spores that you cannot see may be present on other areas of the fruit. If eaten, you could become ill.

Do you enjoy cooking with the flavors of fresh basil? Take out a glass and put some fresh basil inside. Make sure the stems are covered by an adequate amount of water. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. Frequent changes of the water might even encourage the basil to spread out some roots. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!

They are known to soak up water like a sponge. Wipe off each mushroom with a clean wet cloth to prepare them for cooking.

When simmering or boiling vegetables, try adding chicken broth. Simmering vegetables in the broth will keep them from adhering to the bottom of the pan and also infuse them with rich flavor. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.

When serving salad to guests, you should never put salad dressing directly on it. You should have it to the side so that each person can use as much or as little as they want. Everyone likes a different amount of salad dressing. It is a good idea to allow them to control the amount themselves. Your guests will also enjoy having a variety of dressings from which to choose.

You should consider drying your tomatoes on your own. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Place cut side up on a clean cooling rack and salt lightly. The next step is to put the rack on an old cookie sheet and then place in an oven set at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. The tomatoes can then be placed in plastic bags and stored in the freezer. Alternatively, dried tomatoes can be packed in a jar filled with olive oil and fresh herbs. Place in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.

If you desire to keep your spices fresh, preserve them in a chilled, comfortable area until your next meal. When you store your herbs out on the kitchen counter, they will lose their flavor quickly and become stale.

Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. If a spice is kept for a long time, it could lose some of its flavor. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.

Create your own stock for tastier dishes. Make a large batch, and then store it in your freezer. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.

As stated earlier, the best cooks are always open to learning new things about the culinary arts. The best part about cooking is not simply meal preparation, but learning about all the kinds of foods, ingredients and techniques. It is also about passing on what you have learned to others. Cooking shouldn’t simply be a skill that you learn; it should be a gift that you share.

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