There is a saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home. In most homes now, wives and mothers have little time or energy to cook after working all day. Boxed or prepared meals are time saving and have gotten more appetizing, but the nutritional value is probably not as good as home-cooked meals.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.
Understand that the smaller the item, the higher temperature that you are going to need to cook at. This will help to maximize the way that your food tastes during the meal. Cook your smaller foods at very high temperatures and larger foods at lower temperatures for the best results.
For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Prepare your ingredients, cookware, and cooking utensils in advance of starting to cook. Your time spent in the kitchen will be greatly reduced, and you will have less chance for error, when you do this. Make sure you remember to get the spices you will need ready as well.
An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.
For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.
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.
Cooking is easier now than in the past, since appliances are available which can be timed to cook foods with preset programs. After the meal, it is easier to clean up with dishwashers, so no one has to stand by the sink for an hour washing dishes. An exhausted mother or even older children can make a meal with minimal effort.