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Anyone who is alive needs to eat. But eating should be much more than merely a means of survival. Cooking something will make you feel proud, and you will enjoy your meal even more. Below is some valuable information that you can use to become the culinary expert you want to be.

Cooking with skewers can provide very beneficial if you use them properly. Avoid round metal skewers and stick to square or twisted types.

If you are learning to cook for yourself or your family, pick up a cookbook from your bookstore or library. Look for one that has basic, easy recipes that will be fun to cook. Try some recipes and be patient as you develop your skills.

TIP! If you boil your vegetables it can cook out the nutrients. To keep the nutrients in tact, consider steaming or sauteing your food, or even serving them raw.

For a delicious take on pie crusts, bake them for longer than the recipe calls for. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. That deeper color shows that the sugar has caramelized. This creates a crisp crust, which is also sweeter.

Invest in a knife sharpener to make cutting any ingredient easier. Make sure your knife is not dull when you are cutting something, this is very dangerous. A cut is more likely when you push down hard on a dull knife that when you cut easily with a sharp one.

TIP! You can reduce the fat and calorie content of regular mashed potatoes by substituting part of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower. This won’t affect the taste but it adds a handful of nutrition.

While it may be tempting to show off your culinary talents when entertaining a new love-interest or your boss, you will do best if you keep to a menu you are familiar with, and has already garnered rave reviews. Never prepare an unfamiliar recipe or try to use a different ingredient than you are used to. By using a recipe that you are comfortable cooking, you will be less stressed and can concentrate on your company.

Apples don’t have to be just for fall or winter cooking. With proper storage they can last for months. Apples spoil in warm, dry air, so keep them in a refrigerator or basement, in plastic bags that are loosely tied. Be warned, there is a reason for the old adage about the rotten apple! If you fail to quickly discard spoiled apples, the rest will quickly spoil as well.

TIP! If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. When you do this, making a quick meal can be accomplished by simply reheating by using a saute pan.

Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. The bland cauliflower taste will make it so that you do not notice much difference in the taste, while accentuating the taste of some of the other ingredients. At the same time, cauliflowers mash into the same color and texture as potatoes, giving you a fail-proof way to add vegetables and subtract calories from a classic mashed potato dish.

If you make sauce, freeze it into ice cubs to use later on. This makes it easier for you to make a quick meal which you can reheat at a later time. Do not worry, the sauce will still be edible after it has been in the ice cube trays!

TIP! When preparing chicken stock, it is best to make a large batch. If you make a large amount of stock you can freeze it for future use.

Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your dry goods, such as flour and sugar. Not only will these containers make sure your foods aren’t contaminated by bugs, the lack of air will keep your goods fresher for longer. You can find them on sale often at discount stores and the investment is worth every penny.

The fun of cooking is often as enjoyable as eating the product it creates. Build up your fund of cooking knowledge by incorporating the preceding tips into your kitchen skill set, and keep your eyes peeled for more great ideas. Your cooking will get better, and everyone you know will ask for your cooking wherever you go.

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