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.
Your spices and herbs should be stored in a cool and dark area. They will not taste as fresh if they are exposed to light or warmth. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If spices are stored properly there is a better chance that they will stay fresher for a longer period of time
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.
Cheese is one of the best things that you can add to pastas and different types of meats. If you are making pasta, do not forget to buy grated cheese and put it on the table for people to add to their dish. This will improve the quality and texture of the meal.
Kneading is a tiring task, but the constantly moving board makes it even more difficult. Have you tried a few unsuccessful tricks to secure the board? Try the simplest of all which always deliver the best results. Place a damp towel under the board you are using to knead the dough. It will keep the board in place.
To keep your cakes from falling flat, mix dense batters by hand with a wooden spoon. Electric mixers beat too much air into the batter, causing the cakes to fall when they are baked. Meanwhile, by using a wooden spoon to gently mix thick batters like carrot cake you protect the consistency of the batter from absorbing too much air.
When you are going to the store, do not always have a large shopping list which can restrain you to just getting certain items. See what you like and what you are in the mood for and purchase based on that. This will give you the spontaneity to cook whatever you choose.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
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.