Cooking is something that is necessary to do in life, and is also a tasty past time to take up too. There is not a person who can not cook as long as they have good information, and some helpful advice to learn from. Read through the tips in this article, and you will very likely encounter just the sort of advice you need.

When storing your herbs and spices, they should be kept in a cool, dark spot. Their flavors are weakened significantly by things like heat, light and humidity. Ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for about a year. Whole spices can stay fresh for up to five years. Proper storage can extend their shelf life even longer.

A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing. Work your way through a few different recipes, but do not allow yourself to become discouraged during the learning process.

One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. The crust should have a nice golden color to be fully cooked. When the crust is a golden color then you know the sugar has caramalized and you will have a sweet and crispy result.

People tend to use a lot of apples for cooking in the fall and winter months, but if they are stored incorrectly they will quickly spoil. Warm, dry air rots apples, so they need to be stored in loosely tied bags, and then placed in the fridge or cool area. Check your apples regularly. If one apple starts rotting, the whole bag will be spoiled.

Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. With slower cook times, the overall value of the vegetables is decreased, mainly taste and nutrition. These methods usually create healthier vegetables. You should only cook them just as long as it takes for them to be done.

Would you like to cook with fresh basil? Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Then, add water to the glass, immersing the stems in water. Put it on top of your kitchen counter and it will be fresh for weeks! If you keep the water as fresh as you can, roots will start growing. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.

It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.

Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. Most grocery stores stock these items. Try pan-frying tofu with some interesting seasonings and you will have a tasty alternative to meat. The beans can be boiled with some herbs for a flavorful protein source.

Cooking pumpkins requires a few steps that are necessary. First, you must make sure it is standing upright. Second, you must cut it evenly in half by cutting down the middle. Arrange each half face down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the baking sheets with water, and put the pumpkin in a 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for one hour.

Get the most from garlic by buying only the freshest bulbs you can find. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste than old garlic. Garlic is fresh when it is firm, unbruised and has not shriveled up.

Cooking isn’t just about putting together a bunch of ingredients. Cooking can be fun if you learn how to cook in interesting ways. Sure, you will mess up from time to time, but those screw ups can actually help you get better and will happen less often as you get better. Follow these tips to culinary success.

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