Cooking skills are a valuable asset to possess. Cooking at home tastes great and is way cheaper.

Spices need to be stored in a dark, cool area. The flavor of herbs and spices will be diminished if they are subjected to humidity, heat, or light. For most grounded herbs and spices keep a lot of their flavor more than a year. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. When stored properly, they will stay fresher longer.

If you are baking crusts for a pie or tart, you will probably need to bake them for a while longer than you thought. The crust should have a nice golden color to be fully cooked. This deeper color is evidence that the sugar has caramelized in the crust for added sweetness.

There’s something you can do to save your effort and your sauce. Put a small amount of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly with two tablespoons of water to add to your sauce. Stir the solution into the simmering thin sauce to make it thicker. Make sure you add starch slowly and are constantly stirring the sauce so it doesn’t get too thick.

Sharp knives are an important component of any kitchen. Dull knives make cutting very difficult, and this makes them much more dangerous than sharp knives. Use a sharp knife and it will glide right through the items you wish to cut, without you having to put a great amount of force behind the blade.

Longer cooking times and techniques, like boiling, destroys healthful nutrients in veggies. Quick cooking at high heat in a wok is good. Steaming vegetables is also a good way to preserve the nutrients. Some vegetable are suitable to eat raw.

When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. Stay away from using new ingredients, or a new recipe. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.

To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.

Do you love to cook with fresh basil? Take a bunch of the basil and set it in a glass. Pour water into the glass so that the stems are covered with water. Place it on your kitchen counter to keep it fresh for weeks! In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. You should also cut the basil so that it keeps growing.

You can use this on other foods besides meat! You can add it to scrambled eggs or make a tasty snack by sprinkling a bit on some roasted pumpkin seeds. People will notice a different flavor than usual in your dish, and wonder what it is.

If you want to begin losing weight and improving your diet, you should reduce or eliminate the amounts of cooking oils that you use. Many oils and butters have a high concentration of fat. Another healthy alternative for low fat cooking is nonstick spray.

Sauteing vegetables in a small amount of chicken broth is a healthy and delicious way to cook. Not only does it lessen the amount of cooking oil needed as per a traditional saute, the broth adds an extra dimension of flavor to the vegetables. This is a wonderful way to cook, and enjoy, your vegetables.

If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. When you cook vegetables you can use chicken broth or add beef instead of water. You can substitute buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in place of the milk. You can increase the nutritional and wow factors of any dish, simply by trying different substitutions for liquids that recipes call for.

Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. It is often overlooked, but it makes a difference when you let the food sit and allow the flavors to be absorbed. It may be tempting to get the food to the table as quickly as possible. If you do this, you’ll miss out on the meat’s full flavor. Let the meal be for a few minutes, and give it time it cool off.

If you want to try a more advanced recipe, make it more manageable by prepping the day before. Always look at the recipe and do the menial tasks such as chopping and measuring in advance. Verify that you have all ingredients. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.

Do not forget to add salt to water for making pasta. The seasonings in the water will infuse the pasta thoroughly. Pasta that has been salted after cooking may not retain the flavors used in the seasoning and sauce.

Always use fresh seasonings and herbs whenever you cook something simple. For more complex recipes, it is fine to use a variety of dried herbs such as basil, rosemary or oregano. However, using fresh herbs adds a fresher, stronger taste that improves the overall quality of the dish’s flavor. If you want to have fresh herbs whenever you need them, consider growing a little herb garden.

Even though you might want to wow them with a fancy dish, never cook a new dish for the first time when the person for whom you are cooking is important. It may be a boss, new in-laws, or a new love interest that you want to astonish with your cooking. Instead, ensure your dish will turn out well by choosing one you are familiar with.

By following the techniques listed above, you can learn how to cook. As you expand your repertoire in the kitchen, eating at home will be a pleasure for you and your family. Your entire family will benefit from a new focus on healthy eating and good nutrition. Take the leap and use these tips to become a happier, healthier cook.

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