Healthy meals for your family

Cooking Help Is Here! Check Out These Simple Tips And Tricks

A lot of people think cooking food is a difficult task to accomplish, but this is not the case. Cooking is quite simple if you follow instructions and have the proper knowledge. The article below contains many tips that will assist you in cooking your favorite dishes and eliminating the stigma of difficulty.

Food & Drink

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When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.

After cooking with a large amount of garlic, rub both hands on your stainless steel sink before washing them. Use a vigorous scrubbing action. This will help to get rid of that lingering garlic scent on your skin. It will not leave a scent on your stainless steel sink.

Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.

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.

When storing ingredients that you will use for cooking it is a good habit to stock them in large quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. This will make preparing food easier and faster. For example, when preparing vegetables, you can just pull them out of the freezer and simply boil them.

Vegetable

Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.

Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for almost any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.

To make your French fries crisper, try leaving the raw potatoes in some cold water for half an hour before you fry them. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.

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.

Ginger roots can be used for several dishes so it’s worth learning how to store them. For a few days you can just put them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. For a much longer storage, freeze the unpeeled ginger root and cut the piece you need while it is frozen.

Fruits

Do you feel bad when you throw away fruit that has gone bad? Are you tempted to just cut off the moldy part and save the rest for your meal? Trying to salvage fruit when half of it is bad may save money, but it is not worth the health risks. Toss it in the trash; you may not be able to see all of the areas that are affected by the mold, and if you eat any of it, you can become very ill.

You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is very easy to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.

If you have purchased unripened fruits, put them into a plastic bag that is perforated. When fruits go through the ripening process, they release ethylene gas. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.

When preparing foods for picky kids, try changing up your presentation. Place foods in unexpected containers like muffin tins or silicone cupcake liners, or cut fruits, cheese and sandwiches into fun shapes to make them more enticing. Eggs can be cooked in a metal cookie cutter to make breakfast more interesting.

Prior to cutting a fresh lemon or lime for the juice, squeeze it and then roll it in between the palms of your hands or zap it in the microwave for ten seconds. Both methods help you to extract more juice from the citrus fruits. Squeeze the lemon or lime cut-side up to keep the seeds from falling into your dish.

Berries

Have you been making the same berry shortcake for a while? Make the flavor pop with the following tip. Mix your berries with a pinch of salt, a little fresh mint and a small spoon of lime juice. Your guests will never guess how you enhanced the flavor of the old family recipe.

If you would like to bake a berry desert in the winter (when most berries are out of season), use frozen berries as a delicious and more eco-friendly alternative to fresh ones! Thaw your frozen berries for 45 minutes, drain the excess, then use as you normally would when making a berry pie or cobbler.

As previously stated in the article above, many people think cooking is difficult, but that is not true. Cooking is simple when you have knowledge and instructions present. If you remember the tips in the above article when you are cooking your dishes, you will have an easy time.