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Are you being driven nuts by cooking for your own family? The idea of cooking a meal for yourself should not be enough to send you in a tailspin! Follow the tips presented here to prepare excellent meals with only a minimum of stress. After you try these tips, you will be wishing you knew about them a long time ago!

TIP! Prepare as much of your recipe as you can ahead of time. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals.

Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. Your spices and herbs will lose some of their flavor when exposed to light, humidity and heat. When stored correctly, your spices can stay spicy for up to a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. Proper storage will enhance the flavoring for a longer time.

If you’re trying to start making more food yourself, try looking at basic cookbooks in your local library or bookstore. Be patient, and try several recipes. Like any skill, cooking can take practice.

Golden Color

Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. The crust should turn a golden color, not simple blonde. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.

TIP! Here is a handy trick you can use to save your sauce. Take one tablespoon corn starch, and combine with two tablespoons water in a mixing bowl.

If you are making stir-fry meals, you should slice the meat as thin as possible and cut it on the bias. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. Take the meat out of the freezer just as it is beginning to freeze and slice diagonally across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. The thin sliced meat is great in many dishes including many Chinese and Thai meals. By partially freezing meat ingredients, slicing is cleaner and the fibers do not stretch and tear as easily. After you have sliced the meat, allow it to thaw out before cooking. This keeps the meat cooking evenly.

TIP! If your recipe calls for slicing meat very thin, you can do this most easily by partly freezing the meat first. This technique is especially important if you are making Oriental dishes.

It is not always easy to remember the proper grilling times for all meats. Use a meat thermometer to tell when it is cooked properly. For extremely thick cuts of meat you should cook it with the lid closed to reduce the amount of time it needs to cook.

If your burgers seem to be sticking to the surface of your grill, it may be hard to take them off without breaking them. Because of this, you should use vegetable oil to brush the grill prior to cooking so that you can prevent the meat from sticking.

TIP! A lot of people usually use apples for cooking things in the winter and fall months, yet a lot of people store them incorrectly and they spoil quickly. Warm dry air causes apples to rot, so put them in plastic bags with loose ties in a fridge or cool basement.

Make the most of your holiday feast by reusing the leftover turkey. Cut it up, put it in an airtight container, store it in the freezer and use it later. The turkey will stay fresh for a couple of weeks, and it can be used in open-face sandwiches or as a salad topper.

It is important to buy new spices at least every six months. When spices sit around for too long, they tend to lose flavor. So, make sure that when you buy new spices go ahead and give half to either a friend or family member if you feel you aren’t going to use all of it soon.

Ethylene Gas

After purchasing unripened fruits, you should put them into a plastic bag with perforations. When fruits go through the ripening process, they release ethylene gas. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.

TIP! Reduce the amount of cooking oil you use if you are looking to lose weight and make your diet healthier. Most of the time, the oils you cook with have high amounts of unnecessary and unhealthy fats.

Making meals for your family can become a tall order. Luckily many ways exist that assist you in meal preparation. When you are cooking, relax and enjoy utilizing the new skills you have gained.

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