You Can Cook And Have Fun Too
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Learning how to cook is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
In order to make the process of cooking easier, you should take to time to make large amounts of meat or vegetable stock and store it in the freezer. Not only is making your own stock less expensive than buying it from a retailer, but it makes it easy to keep a large supply on hand. Simply freeze the stock in small and clearly labeled portions and then take out what you need when you need it!
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
How to pit and peel an avocado. Peeling and pitting an avocado can be quite messy, but there is a simple way. Use a sharp knife and cut around the whole avocado lengthwise. Grip each half of the avocado and twist it apart. Using your knife, carefully but firmly hit the top of the pit and twist it. The pit will slide out, still attached to the knife. To remove the peel, simply take a large spoon and run it between the peel and the flesh. Enjoy!
There is a trick to save your hard work and be able to use it instantly. Make a mixture of two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon corn starch. Slowly add to the sauce while on simmer and your sauce will gradually thicken. Stir constantly as you pour the cornstarch and water mixture slowly into the pot.
Many apples are purchased for cooking in winter and fall, but they will rot in a short period of time if they are not properly stored. Apples keep best when they are stored in a cool location where there is plenty of air circulation. One rotten apple can actually spoil the whole bag so make sure you keep an eye your apples.
To take the metallic taste out of canned pumpkin pie filling, heat the filling with all of your spices first. Simply mixing your filling with the other ingredients and then baking traps the metallic taste in your finished pie. But by heating your pumpkin filling alone with the spices first, you release the metallic taste of the filling and simultaneously imbue it with the richer taste of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
If you want to optimize the amount of juice that you get from a lime, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will allow the liquid to flow easily when you cut the lime, so that you can add this to your favorite meals. Use this trick anytime you serve a lemon or lime.
Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.
You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.
When you are cooking pasta, follow this useful tip. Instead of strictly following the instructions given on the pasta box or package, try cooking the pasta one minute less than the time indicated. Then finish off the pasta by cooking it in a pan with sauce for the final minute. Doing so will give the pasta more flavor.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
Easy measuring cup clean up. Many baking recipes call for sticky ingredients such as butter, honey, syrup or peanut butter. Instead of having to wash out a gooey mess every time you need to reuse the measuring cup, spray the inside of the cup with non-stick cooking spray. The ingredients will slide right out and you can reuse the measuring cup right away!
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy.
If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. Much of the preparation can be done the day before it is needed. By doing this, your cooking task will be quick and easy – even for very complex recipes.
If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.
It is possible to cut back on the amount of calories that are in your favorite dessert by simply using applesauce in the recipe. Many recipes call for unhealthy ingredients that add tons of calories to a desert that really are not needed. Applesauce will add sweetness to the dessert with adding tons of calories.
If you find yourself with part of a loaf of stale bread, don’t throw it away or feed it to the birds. Instead, turn it into croutons for a soup or salad by tossing cubes of bread with oil and seasonings and baking them until crispy. You can also turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for many recipes.
When you open a can of tomato paste for just a spoonful and are wondering what to do with the rest, place dollops on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and stick the sheet in the freezer. When the blobs of paste are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag. You can then pull out just enough tomato paste for your next few recipes, without wasting partial cans.
To lighten up recipes that call for sour cream or mayonnaise, substitute plain Greek yogurt for half of the creamy ingredient. This thick, rich version of yogurt is full of protein and is often non-fat, so you can skimp on calories without altering the rich texture of your salad dressing or other recipe.
When making stocks, make them in large quantities and store the extra stock in your freezer in plastic bags. This is very convenient and will save a huge amount of time when cooking future recipes. All you will have to do is grab the bag of stock from the freezer and thaw it.
Get organized. Making a prep list that is broken down into tiny pieces will allow you to see that even simple recipes have many steps that can require a lot of time. Cross each step off as it gets done and enjoy a sense of accomplishment. It will be time well spent.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.