Cook As Good As A Pro With These Tips

“Cooking my own meals? I just don’t have the time for that!” If you’ve ever said this to yourself, chances are very good that preparing simple, healthy meals is much easier than you think. Read below for a variety of tips and suggestions about preparing your own meals.

Invest in a knife sharpener to make cutting any ingredient simple. Dull knives don’t get the job done, but in addition, are actually dangerous. You’re less likely to cut yourself chopping up a vegetable with the clean, fast strokes of a sharp knife, than when you are forcing and wiggling a dull knife.

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.

A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.

After you have cooked a piece of food in the oven, you should give it several minutes to rest before serving. The last thing that you will want to do is serve any part of your meal that is too hot, which will ruin its overall quality for the person you are serving.

When you learn to cook for yourself, do not be afraid of cooking in large batches. The freezer becomes your friend once you are making your own meals. Surplus food that you prepare, but will not use immediately, can be stored almost indefinitely in your freezer. Cooking in large batches is the best way to maximize the utility of your cooking time.

Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.

Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.

When attempting to make baked goods, less fattening, applesauce is a great ingredient to use. It can be used with cake mix, brownies or even pancakes. It is an inexpensive way to make foods that are usually fattening, healthier and delicious. When baking, it is a good idea to use unsweetened applesauce.

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.

If you do not have time to cook for your family, prepare things in advance. Try preparing any required sauces, prepping vegetables, or marinating meats the evening before the meal will be cooked. Cooking will be less stressful if you have prepared everything in advance.

To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.

Placing eggs in water can let you know if they are fresh. Eggs that lie on the bottom, on their side will be fresh. Eggs that stand upright in the bottom are losing freshness and should be used promptly within a day or two. Eggs that float on top of the water should be discarded immediately. Always check eggs for freshness before using.

Adjust your baking time for smaller items. For example, if you are making mini cookies, crank the oven up to 500 degrees, and bake the cookies for only 4 or 5 minutes at the most. The end result is perfectly cooked, delicious cookies that will fly out of your cookie jar!

For easy low-fat cooking make sure that you measure the oil that you use in your recipes. If you just pour it from the bottle it is easy to accidentally include too much oil in the dish. By measuring it out, you are giving yourself much more control over how much oil you can use, which will help you to keep your dishes healthier.

Although many people think that preparing meals will be time-consuming, too hard, and stressful, the reality is often far from it! Making your own food can be an excellent way to save money while eating healthy, it’s a win-win situation! Leftovers are, after all, the original fast food!