Learning More About Cooking: How To Feel Like An Accomplished Chef

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.

When not in use, put your spices in an area that receives the lowest amount of light and heat. If you leave them out somewhere, you will expose them to light, wetness, and heat, and it could ruin them. To keep your spices spicy and fresh, store them in an area that is cool and dark. Using fresher spices can make tastier meals.

Rub your hands against your sink after cooking with garlic. Garlic can be an undesirable smell to have cling to you. It might sound a bit odd, but next time you are cooking with it, rub your hands against your sink. If your sink is stainless steel, it should remove the smell.

Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don’t discard them – saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn’t throw away those unused salad greens!

If you want to optimize the amount of juice that you get from a lime, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will allow the liquid to flow easily when you cut the lime, so that you can add this to your favorite meals. Use this trick anytime you serve a lemon or lime.

If you are cooking for someone special, do not try a recipe that you have never tried before. Because you are trying to impress this person, you want to make sure you make a satisfying meal. Try something you are very familiar with, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to make it.

When you are making fish or meat, make sure to sprinkle seasonings equally. You can compare the sprinkling to falling snow. By doing this, you are avoiding clumping. Also, the spices will be spread evenly so that one side of the meat or fish does not have more seasoning than the other.

You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.

When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.

Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.

Next time you make a dressing at home, swap half of the amount of mayo with an equal portion of Greek-style yogurt. This increases not only the richness of the dressing, but it gives it the creamy and smooth texture that we all love to see on our salads and other dishes.

Make the best of your baking adventures by leaving eggs and butter out at room temperature the night before. Then you do not have to go through the frustration of softening the butter to the right consistency. Also, warm eggs whisk to a greater volume, which allows the cake to rise evenly.

Use cast iron pans when you cook your meat. Cast iron imparts the best flavor to the meat and avoids any chance of sticking. You also get the added benefit of your meat having a higher iron content from using the cast iron. Sometimes old fashioned ideas are the best.

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.