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Need Some Cooking Ideas? Check Out These Tips!

Cooking can be quite enjoyable and therapeutic. Many people think that only chefs can cook outstanding meals. That is simply not the case. You can use the tips below to learn how to turn any simple dish into a culinary delight by using just a few techniques. There is no need to fear cooking.

Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.

If you are cooking for someone important, such as a new boss or for a dinner party, don’t use a new recipe and a new ingredient. Make sure you practice the dish first for your own family. Play around with it to make sure it is how you want it.

When you learn to cook for yourself, do not be afraid of cooking in large batches. The freezer becomes your friend once you are making your own meals. Surplus food that you prepare, but will not use immediately, can be stored almost indefinitely in your freezer. Cooking in large batches is the best way to maximize the utility of your cooking time.

To save on fat when cooking, use applesauce instead of butter. A cup of applesauce is equal to a cup of butter. This will reduce fat and calorie contents of your dessert recipe. It will also make your recipe moist and delicious. Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference.

When heating oil on the stove top to use for frying, use a low setting and slowly turn the burner up to reach the desired temperature. Most foods do not require much more than 350 degrees, for the oil to fry it to a nice golden brown and not end up burnt to a crisp on the outside, while raw on the inside. If you crank the temperature setting knob to its highest point, you not only run the risk of spattering and burning yourself, as well as the food you are trying to fry, but you are also wasting time while you wait for the oil to cool down enough to use. Oil heats up quickly, but it is very slow to cool down, once it has gotten too hot.

When you are chopping onions for a home cooked salsa make sure you rinse them. Rinse your onions immediately after you cut them then blot them dry with a napkin. This will remove the sulfurous gas and will make your salsa taste better. This works well for other recipes too.

If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.

When you are going to purchase beef, make sure that the package does not have too much liquid in it. An excessive amount of liquid may indicate that the beef was not stored properly or that it is no longer good. Make sure you always check the expiration date as well.

To maintain the freshness and flavor of herbs and spices store in a cool dry place away from direct light. Spices and herbs lose their flavor when they are stored in warm areas.

If you are going to buy mushrooms, make sure that you get them before they are opened. When the stems and the caps of a mushroom are tightly attached, this means means that they are really fresh. If the cap is opened, chances are the mushroom is not too fresh.

Don’t spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.

When baking cookies, make sure to drop the batter in thick spoonfulls onto the cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. This reduces the flattening process that can happen when the baking process is taking place. When the edges are brown, remove the cookies from the oven, and you will be rewarded with a soft center.

Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of variation among different types of potatoes. Waxy potatoes are good for potato salad or boiled potatoes but aren’t good for making french fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. Russet potatoes will produce the fluffiest results.

Cooking should seem a little less challenging now that you have read the information in this article. It is important to give cooking a try and to realize that any dish can be made to be a masterpiece with just a little bit of know how and a lot of heart, from the cook.

Cooking Advice To Help You Make Better Food

There are always new things to learn about cooking, even if you are just cooking for your family. With the right tools and information, anyone has the power to transform a bland, tired dish into a delectable offering. By applying these tips to your next cooking endeavor, you will find yourself with loads of good food.

Make sure that you have the place none set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible.

Try to plan for a week’s worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.

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. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.

Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.

Do you know grilling times for meats? It’s always good to use a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure you correctly cook the inside. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.

If you have a lot of pets around the house, they should not be with you in the kitchen, if the stove is near the ground. This can present a safety hazard because you want to reduce any risk of your animals getting hurt. Keep all animals and small children away from hot ovens.

When recipes call for wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for half an hour at least before you use them. That way, you won’t be able to burn them as easily. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.

An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.

If you are making meatloaf or meatballs it is a good idea to test a small piece before you make the rest of it. Make a little piece and fry it in a frying pan. Then you can taste it, see if it needs any more seasoning. It is a small thing to do that will go a long way to making a better tasting meal.

Don’t spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.

Store vegetable trimmings in the freezer for a tasty vegetable stock. Save money and increase the flavor of your dishes by making your own vegetable stock. Throughout the week or even month, place vegetable trimmings and peels into plastic bags and store them in the freezer. When you have a spare afternoon, throw them in a pot with some water and let simmer. Once strained, you will have a flavorful broth that can also be frozen for later use.

Get all your prep work done the night before you plan to cook a big meal. Getting the most time-consuming part out of the way helps alleviate stress during the actual meal preparation. In addition, your family or friends are sure to be impressed with the speed with which you whip up a culinary masterpiece!

Think of these ideas as as a starting point, and come up with your own culinary miracles. Here, we have compiled some great examples of tricks and techniques that will help you use your cooking to win the hearts of your family and friends.

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