Holiday Cooking 101: Preparing Holiday Candy
Cooking is an art form and like many others, it can always be improved. With new information, or just a few reminders, you can up your game significantly. If you are looking to improve those skills you picked up ages ago in college, or just want to try out something different, these tips will help you to do just that.
Ensure that you properly maintain your cooking utensils on a regular basis. A chef’s knife, for example, is of no use to you when blunt so ensure that these are sharpened on a regular basis. When purchasing a chef’s knife look for one with a long and wide blade as this will give you better control and chopping speed.
Easy measuring cup clean up. Many baking recipes call for sticky ingredients such as butter, honey, syrup or peanut butter. Instead of having to wash out a gooey mess every time you need to reuse the measuring cup, spray the inside of the cup with non-stick cooking spray. The ingredients will slide right out and you can reuse the measuring cup right away!
When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before. This saves you time when you’re getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You’ll thank yourself because there is less stress the night of the big meal.
The best thing that you can do when you are making hamburgers is to engage in trial and error. Instead of guessing that the meat is cooked well, make a small patty and taste it yourself. This will allow you to adjust your level of seasoning and cook your burger more if it needs it.
Season meats evenly. It is important to season all of the meats you are going to be cooking evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning lightly over the meat like it was snowing down. This will keep the seasoning even and prevent clumping. The taste will be more consistent all through it.
Keep track of ingredients when baking. Sometimes, when you are adding a lot of dry ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s easy to lose track. An easy solution to this is to place each ingredient in a different part of the bowl. That way, every dry ingredient you add can be seen and counted.
Always choose to cook with a wine that you would drink yourself. If you don’t even like the taste of the wine that you are cooking with, chances are that you will end up disliking whatever it is that you are making! So pick out a good wine that you know you love, and you will like your dish even more.
To have a meal ready when you get home from work use a slow cooker or crock pot. Some meals come prepackaged. All you have to do is pour it into the crock pot, maybe add some water and set the heat. If you like making your own meals you can prepare ingredients the night before. After you’ve prepared the ingredients put them in the fridge. Add everything to the crock pot in the morning before you go to work.
Be careful with frozen spinach. After thawing, squeeze the water out before cooking or the extra water will come out during cooking possibly destroying your recipe. You can squeeze it by hand or use any other suitable device to do it. Lay the spinach on paper towel to drain the excessive moisture.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
When you are going to the butcher to get meats or fish, do not be scared to ask to smell the product before purchasing it. Sometimes the meat or fish is bad and the butcher does not even know it, which is why it is important for you to smell it.
It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. If you select wine that you do not enjoy or use a bottle that you have never tried, you may not like how your food turns out. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.
If you want a creative and efficient way to store your sauces, pour them in ice cube trays and leave them to freeze. That way you can choose how many cubes you need to make the right amount of a particular sauce, dinner or soup, plus they can be easily reheated.
Eventually if you practice enough you will get good at it. By following these tips you will have the knowledge that other people have had to acquire the hard way. Following good advice and tips is a must in cooking and thanks to these you will be well on your way. Just remember to enjoy it!