The kitchen in your house can seem boring sometimes. You can change that by making a hobby out of cooking. Your kitchen then becomes a place you enjoy, and the end product is a wonderful meal that you can share with others. Below are a few ideas to get your hobby started on the right track.
Store your spices and herbs in a cool and dark spot when you decide where to keep them. Your spices and herbs will lose some of their flavor when exposed to light, humidity and heat. Spices and herbs that are ground usually retain their flavor for close to a year. Whole spices typically last longer than ground spices. Depending on the advice you’re reading, they can last from one to several years. In terms of lasting, remember it is the flavor of the spices that is usually the issue with the older spices losing their flavor. The color, fragrance and condition of the spice will often indicate its freshness. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.
Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Heat, light, and a large amount of humidity can ruin spices and herbs. Generally, ground herbs and spices stay fresh for around a year, after that they begin to lose their flavor. It is possible for whole spices to hold their flavor for several years. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.
If you would like to start cooking more food on your own, take a trip to a local library or bookstore where you can find many cookbooks with recipes you can enjoy making at home. Be as patient as you can be when you are learning how to cook.
Here is a way to save your sauce and use it in your recipes. Mix together a solution of one tablespoon corn starch and two tablespoons water. Stir this solution into your simmering thin sauce until it thickens. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
bake tart or pie crusts longer that you think they should be baked. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.
Always taste test what you are cooking to check the seasoning. Foods like meatloaf, meatballs, and even hamburgers can require careful seasoning. Never cook all of your meat immediately after it has been seasoned. Start with a small amount of the spiced meat first. After trying the piece, you can cook the rest of the batch or adjust the seasonings that are needed.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. The duller the knife, the more difficult your kitchen task will be. You are also in danger of cutting yourself if you choose a dull knife. You are more likely to cut yourself by using a dull knife, as opposed to when cutting using a sharp knife.
One way to make mashed potatoes retain their taste but contain a little less fat and calories is to replace some of them with equal amounts of cauliflower. Because cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, it blends well with the potatoes and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Take a large bunch of this fresh herb and place it in a glass. Pour water in the glass until the stems of the fresh basil are completely covered. It will remain fresh for weeks, just sitting on the kitchen counter! If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. Occasionally trim the basil, which will encourage more growth, and you will be able to have the benefits of fresh basil for quite some time.
You can use it on other types of food besides meat. Add this savory seasoning to snack foods like Chex mix, or use it to spice up your omelet. The interesting flavor will leave everyone wondering what the secret ingredient it.
If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.
When you are cooking, use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for the best results. Use fresh foods any time you can, as they bring out the best flavor of the dish, and can be real money-savers too.
Garlic is a popular ingredient that has one notable downside; its trademark scent transfers easily to your skin. To avoid the lingering, strong odor from working with odoriferous cooking ingredients, thoroughly rub you hands on the stainless steel surface of your kitchen sink. This helps clean your hands and keep you from transferring the smell onto your other foods.
When you are making chicken stock, think big. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Good chicken stock that you make at home makes a great starter for soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. To store your homemade stock, let it cool, pour it into a freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer.
To cook flavorful veggies that turn out well, use chicken broth. Using chicken broth will prevent the vegetables from sticking in the pan as well as add some tasty flavor at the same time. Chicken broth is very inexpensive, and can be purchased at just about any local grocery store.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Most grocery stores sell both items. Tofu can be seasoned and pan-fried, and then served in lieu of a meat dish. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.
Losing weight and eating healthy can feel difficult, but you can easily lessen the amount of oil you use in your cooking. For the most part, both butters and oils contain unneeded fats. Nonstick cooking spray is a great alternative that will give you the same end result as the oils with less unhealthy ingredients.
Whenever you are cooking a recipe that calls for garlic, seek out the freshest possible garlic available. When garlic is fresh, it has a sweeter taste. Fresh garlic is very firm to the touch and has an intact, taut skin. The individual cloves are also plump and firm, not shriveled and shrunken.
When you do this, you can enjoy your favorite fresh fruits all year. This is also advantageous for those seasonal fruits that you can only find during certain growing seasons.
All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Put all the things that are the same in one place. Keep pots in the same cupboard, for instance, or all spatulas in the same drawer.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. The dried tomatoes can be put in plastic bags and frozen. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with some fresh herbs and olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.
You can reduce your stress level by doing your prep work for an important meal the day or night before the event. There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time like chopping vegetables, measuring seasonings and gathering all the utensils you will need. Also verify that you aren’t missing any ingredients. Now all that is left is to assemble the dish and toss it in the oven!
After purchasing fruits that are not quite ripe, store them in a plastic bag that is perforated with holes. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. A paper bag allows air to circulate, yet also keeps in enough ethylene gas to help the fruits ripen and enhance the flavor.
The smallest touches, such as spreading mayonnaise well from edge to edge of the bread, can mean the difference in making your food “pop” with your guests. Many people rush and just place the mayo in the bread slice’s middle. It is much more enjoyable to have mayo in every bite.
When using fresh herbs like parsley or dill, gather them into bunches and cut them with scissors. This practice does not get herbs wet like chopping would, and makes them generally fluffier and lighter.
Rinse diced onions with cold water if you are planning on making salsa and serving it later. Fresh onions contain sulfurous gas. This gas can ruin your fresh salsa. Rinsing and drying the onions takes most of the gas away.
Get rid of the moisture on your ground meat by blotting it out before you begin cooking it. One smart move in the kitchen is to remove the moisture from ground meats. If you do not blot it away, the moisture will come out when the meat is cooked. It will sizzle away. This can steam the meat, which will make it difficult to sear it.
Don’t start cooking until your preparations are finished. This is the best way for you to prevent any accidents or waste in the kitchen. Oil should not sit in a pan for too long, or it could cause a fire. Having everything ready to go will help you to be able to monitor what is going on in the kitchen, and not create a hazardous area.
When chopping fresh herbs, you should shake some salt on a cutting board. The salt will give the herbs more flavor and prevent them from sliding of the board as you cut. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt sprinkled on the board adheres to the herbs, which takes the flavor up to 11.
The suggestions you were given in this article can help you come up with your own creative ideas. You can make great meals that your family will appreciate and you can relax while you cook. The process of cooking can contribute largely to your overall health and nutrition as well as your lifestyle. Your kitchen will be the place everyone wants to be.
If you’re going to be barbecuing, it’s a good idea to prepare your grill beforehand so that it’s already ready for you when you need it. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. Make sure that the heat of the coals is medium and that they are covered with ash. This is the ideal temperature for grilling.