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Every novice cooker has to begin at some point. Not all people are naturals when it comes to cooking. That being said, everyone can learn to cook. There is some foundational knowledge that needs to be acquired in order to become the chef that you want to be. Here are some great suggestions on how to start on your culinary journey.

TIP! Prep work can be done way ahead of time. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook.

Keep your herbs in a place that is both dark and cool. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity. Herbs and ground spices usually retain their flavor up to a year. Spices that have not been ground may still be worth using for three years or a little more. If you store them correctly, they will stay fresh for an even longer period of time.

When cooking a large meal for a family gathering or dinner party, preparation is key. Take an inventory to be sure that everything that you will need is available. Set all of the non-perishable ingredients and utensils out the day ahead. This process will reduce your stress level and help manifest a more positive outcome.

TIP! If you are just starting out with cooking, consider doing your research at your local library. There are plenty of cookbooks with simple recipes available.

If your stir fry recipe calls for meat, make sure to slice it very thinly on the bias. That can be time consuming and a bit difficult. Take the meat out of the freezer when it is slightly frozen and cut at a forty five degree angle, do it across the meat’s grain.

Do not add food to the oil until it is hot. This will help to maximize the flavor of your food when you are done.

TIP! Sharp knives are a kitchen necessity. Blunt knives are frustrating to use and they can also be very hazardous.

Leave raw potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before frying them to make crispier French fries. The fibers of raw cut potatoes that have been soaked in cold water prior to hitting the deep fryer, are stronger and can handle the heat better without breakage.

Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.

TIP! When you are going to be cooking for someone important, whether it’s a boss or a potential love interest, make certain you are cooking something you are familiar with. Don’t attempt cooking experiments or recipes you’ve never tried before.

Soak wooden skewers before cooking with them. They need to sit in water for about half an hour before they are used. This will help to prevent burning when they are cooking. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.

In recipes that call for milk or water, try substituting more flavorful liquids. Use chicken broth, beef, or juice in places where you would normally use water. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.

Fresh Garlic

Get the freshest garlic you can when making a dish that you must add garlic to. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste. Fresh garlic will have firm skin and will not be bruised or soft to the touch.

TIP! Regardless of what you cook, it is always better to use fresh ingredients as opposed to those that are dried or frozen. Your recipe will be more flavorful if you use fresh ingredients, and the cost can be lower as well.

To make your cooking experience run more quickly and smoothly, commit some of your time for food preparation the night before a meal. You can marinate the meat, make sauces, grate cheese and cut up veggies before retiring for the evening. You will be a much happier cook if you do not have to do as much the next day, resulting in less stress.

If you have a good recipe, the ability to follow directions and fresh ingredients, you can make a delicious meal. This isn’t rocket science, after all. Apply the tips that you have read here, and nothing will be able to get in your way.

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