Become A Cooking Pro With These Tips

143ca885e537501260493bfc_1920

Cooking may not be for everyone, but if you feel it is for you, you should be getting more information and advice to ensure you are getting some good meal ideas together. There are various things to consider when cooking, so use the advice in this article to understand better what role you are taking on.

Make sure that you never give up when you are cooking, as it is going to take a lot of practice and failures before you get it right. If you burn something, keep trying. You will only become a great cook if you maintain your persistence.

It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.

Whenever possible, avoid canned ingredients in your cooking. They have numerous disadvantages. Canned food has lost vital nutrients that you want in order to cook the healthiest possible meals. They also taste different – if not downright worse – than fresh ingredients, potentially ruining your recipes. Finally, canned foods have unhealthy additives – especially extra sodium – that you do not need in your food.

If you are cooking pastries or foods that can get very messy, make sure that you wear an apron at all times. The last thing that you will want to do is to get food on your clothes and have to change before you eat your meal with friends or family.

When you are chopping onions for a home cooked salsa make sure you rinse them. Rinse your onions immediately after you cut them then blot them dry with a napkin. This will remove the sulfurous gas and will make your salsa taste better. This works well for other recipes too.

One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.

Try to cook when you have a clear head so that you can maximize the quality of your food. If you are currently having emotional problems, do not put yourself in a dangerous situation where you can get hurt. Always have a clear conscience when you are planning to cook a meal.

You should separate your meat into usable portions before you freeze it. You can separate your meat and store the portions in sandwich bags. You can then place the sandwich bags inside of freezer bags. This will give you that ability to have your meats perfectly portioned and to be able to use the freezer bags over and over again.

Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.

When you are going to purchase beef, make sure that the package does not have too much liquid in it. An excessive amount of liquid may indicate that the beef was not stored properly or that it is no longer good. Make sure you always check the expiration date as well.

To make the perfect pasta, cook it one minute less than what you read on the box and cook it the rest of the way with the sauce you are serving with it. This ensures that you do not overcook the pasta if you were to toss it in with the sauce after you cooked the pasta until it was done in the pot of water.

When cooking around small children, safety is imperative. Get in the habit, even when children are not around, that you keep knives, breakable dishes and other objects that could fall and injure a young child, well back on the table or counter. You might just prevent a child from being seriously injured because of sheer carelessness, on the part of the cook.

Start your sear in a cold pan when searing duck breasts. Duck can turn very dry very quickly if not properly cooked. Using the cold pan technique for searing allows the fat to render slowly which will keep your duck moist and juicy. It will also give you more time to develop flavors and take care of some side dishes.

It sounds kind of funny, but to be a better cook, one should make sure they have a large enough kitchen. Some kitchens, simply put, are not large enough to accommodate a good cook. The more space you have, the more free you’ll feel. The more free, then the less confined, cluttered, and un-inventive you will feel.

When preparing food in the kitchen, always remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching food, or anytime you handle raw meat, fish or eggs. In addition, you never want to put cooked food on plates, counters or any other surface where these raw meats have been unless they have been washed with hot, soapy water.

Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. By holding the legs and wings close to the body, this allows for more evenly cooked meat. Otherwise, the meat found in the legs and wings tends to become dry and tough during cooking.

Make Johnny cakes for a treat at home or in camp! All you need is flour, baking powder (the kind that comes in a can, not baking soda that comes in a box), and cooking oil. Mix about a teaspoon of baking powder thoroughly into a cup of flour. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Pour it into a hot greased skillet, and fry the cakes like you would a hot cake.

Cooking can be fun if you have a passion for it, but there are some things you want to be serious about. Use the cooking tips from this article to get a better foundation for your cooking style and learn a few new things to try in the kitchen.editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Steelers beat up on Giants 24-14; improve to 7-5

MikeTomlin_UMT

When the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys weeks ago, many folks thought their season was over. After all, they had just lost their 4th straight win and saw their record fall to 4-5. Many folks were saying that the defense wasn’t any good and the offensive play-calling was horrible and they probably were going to lose to winless Cleveland the following week. Well, after they beat the winless Cleveland Browns 24-9 and the Indianapolis Colts 28-7 Thanksgiving night, it still wasn’t enough for the critics as they said they still had to beat a contending team.

Enter the NY Giants, who came into Heinz Field red-hot on a 6-game winning streak and an 8-3 record. They were to be the Steelers biggest challenge in the 2016 season, and after the Baltimore Ravens had beaten the Miami Dolphins 38-6, the pressure was on the Steelers to somehow find a way for them to beat the Giants to keep pace with the Ravens who lead the AFC North Division.

Well, if the Steelers were supposed to feel pressure, someone forgot to send them the memo as they beat up on the Giants 24-14 and sent them back to New Jersey with a broken 6-game losing streak. The Steelers manhandled a team that had hopes of keeping pace with the Dallas Cowboys, whom they trail in the NFC East Division. With the Giants loss, the 11-1 Cowboys became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot in the 2016 season. There’s no doubt that they probably wanted to send the Steelers a ‘thank you’ card for that performance.

As for the Steelers, they once again had an outstanding performance by their defense which for the 3rd straight game, realized that they could put pressure on the offense. They sacked Giants QB Eli Manning 3 times and intercepted him twice, once again evoking memories of those great Steeler defenses of the past and providing balance with the offense with the goal of getting the Steelers to the playoffs for the 3rd straight season.

LB Lawrence Timmons and rookie S Sean Davis picked off Manning and the defense overall turned the ball over on downs three times in this game. Meanwhile, the offense led by QB Ben Roethlisberger was able to put 24 points on the board against a stunned Giants defense who hadn’t even given up a 100-yard game yet this season.

But RB Le’Veon Bell ruined that streak as he rushed for 118 yards on 29 carries, his 3rd straight 100-yard performance. And not even a fumble could dampen his night as he helped wear down the Giants defense. Roethlisberger had another stellar game as he passed for 298 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception. 110 of those yards went to new TE LaDarius Green who had his best game as a Steeler. Green also caught a 20-yard TD pass. The other TD went to All-Pro WR Antonio Brown who caught a spectacular 22-yard TD in the back of the end zone. The Steelers didn’t have K Chris Boswell in this game because he suffered an abdominal strain, so they signed K Randy Bullock, and he made quite an impression as he kicked three field goals to add to the Steelers lead.

But the Steelers first points came on a safety when Giants offensive lineman Erik Flowers was called for holding in the end zone, giving the Steelers a 2-0 lead. After shutting down the Giants offense, the Steelers offense got into field goal range which leads to Bullock’s first FG extending the Steelers lead to 5-0. Then the Giants went on an impressive drive that led them to the Steelers 10-yard line, but when Manning threw the ball towards the end zone, it was snatched out of the air by Timmons for the interception. The Steelers LB return the ball 58 yards to the Giants 40. Big Ben took over from there and eventually found Brown for the TD, extending their lead to 11-0 after a missed 2-point conversion attempt. The Steelers would add three more on Bullock’s second FG to go into halftime with a 14-0 lead.

In the 3rd quarter, the Giants were still unable to do anything on the Steelers defense and their second drive, they got to the Steelers goal line, but were once again unable to convert on 4th down as LB Ryan Shazier batted down a Manning pass. But then the Steelers made their first mistake of the game when Bell took the ball from Ben and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Giants Eli Apple. Manning then led the Giants on their most significant drive of the night which finished with a 13-yard TD pass to RB Rashad Jennings, closing the Steelers lead to 14-7.

But the Steelers didn’t give the Giants any time to celebrate as they went on a significant drive of their own by driving seven plays for 88 yards and ending with the 20-yard TD pass from Big Ben to Green, extending the Steelers lead to 21-7. The Steelers then forced the Giants to punt, and the Steelers then made their second mistake of the game when Apple intercepted big Ben’s pass that was intended for WR Eli Rogers. But the Giants were once again unable to capitalize as Manning once again went for it on 4th down and fired a pass towards the end zone that was intercepted by Steelers rookie S Sean Davis. Bullock would eventually add his 3rd FG, and the Giants would add a late TD as the Steelers sealed to a 24-14 victory.

For the 8-4 Giants, Manning passed for 195 yards, the TD and the 2 INTs. The Steelers defense held the Giants running game to 56 total yards, and Odell Beckham Jr. led his team with ten catches for 100 yards.

With the win, the Steelers improved to 7-5 and once again tied with the Ravens for 1st place in the AFC North. But the Ravens hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers since they beat them 21-14 earlier this season.

Ray’s Take: I honestly thought the Steelers would show up for this game because they’re backs are against the wall. It’s what they do: Play well when the pressure’s on. They gave the Giants a healthy dose of Bell, who performed well, but it was truly Green who had his best game as a Steeler as he scored his first TD to go along with 100 yards. They said he would be a good replacement for the retired Heath Miller, and now he’s finally looking like it. And Kudos to that defense who shut down their opponent for the 3rd straight game. They’re playing with confidence, and they need to keep it going as there are only four games left in the season.

Next up: The Steelers will now travel to Buffalo next Sunday to face the 6-6 Buffalo Bills. Injuries: the Steelers suffered two injuries as rookie DT Jason Hargrave and S Shamarko Thomas both left the game with concussions.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

Pitt Earns Invitation to New Era Pinstripe Bowl

edited_img_8729-umt

The Panthers will face Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference.

                                                                                                                               

    PITTSBURGH—Pitt officially accepted an invitation this afternoon to face Northwestern in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, played at iconic Yankee Stadium in New York City on December 28.

 

This will be the Panthers’ 33rd all-time postseason appearance and first in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at 2 p.m.

 

On the strength of a three-game winning streak, the Panthers enter the postseason with an 8-4 record and boasting Top 25 rankings in the Associated Press poll (No. 22) and College Football Playoff ratings (No. 23). Pitt figured heavily in the final College Football Playoff rankings, giving No. 2 Clemson its only loss (43-42) and essentially keeping No. 5 Penn State out of the field by defeating the Nittany Lions, 42-39.

 

“Congratulations to our student-athletes and coaches for finishing an exciting regular season on a fantastic high note and earning a Tier One bowl bid,” Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes said. “I want to thank the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for their strong interest in selecting Pitt as the ACC representative. Our fans love New York City and I know they are excited to rally around our team. We fully anticipate that Panther Nation will continue the great travel momentum established last year. I can’t wait to see everyone in New York City.”

 

“On behalf of our football program, I would like to thank the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the opportunity to play in this year’s game,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to play a bowl game in a world-class city and prestigious venue. I’ve heard so many tremendous things about the first-class treatment provided by the Yankees. We are looking forward to the experience and especially the challenge of facing Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern team, a coach and program I respect tremendously.”

 

This will be the seventh all-time meeting between Pitt and Northwestern, but the first in a postseason game. The schools last played during the 1973 season, a 21-14 Pitt victory in Evanston. The overall series is tied at three wins apiece.

 

The Wildcats finished with a 6-6 regular-season record, including wins over bowl-bound teams Iowa (38-31) and Indiana (24-14).

 

Pitt has played twice before at Yankee Stadium. The Panthers went 1-1 in those games, defeating Army (7-6) on Nov. 17, 1962, while losing to Syracuse (3-0) on Oct. 20, 1923. www.pittsburghpanthers.com

 

Pitt gets ‘Out-Duked’ by Duquesne 64-55 in City Game

In a year, full of upsets that range from the world of sports to the Presidential Election, the Pitt Panthers decided to play on the wrong end of the latest upset as they fell to the Duquesne Dukes 64-55 in the this year’s version of The City Game.

 

In front of a packed PPG Paints arena crowd the Panthers looked like the team that’s been outplayed the last 15 years, and the Dukes looked like the team that was ready for bigger and better things. They hustled, played defense and shot the ball at an amazing pace. It was enough to justify ESPN for showing this game, and justify why this game will continue to be played at the PPG Paints Arena. This victory just added more drama to this rivalry.
“We know the history of it.” Dukes HC Steve Ferry said “We know we hadn’t won in a long time. We were glad to change it. “it hasn’t been much of a rivalry, and I think it is now, a credit to our kids and how hard they played.”

Meanwhile, the Panthers will leave PPG Paints arena wondering ‘What just happened?’ Just three days after a stunning 73-59 victory over previously-undefeated Maryland, the Panthers truly got their hats handed to them, and most of it was their fault. They were sloppy, missed several baskets, and they appeared to leave their defense back at College Park, Maryland, the scene of their biggest upset of this young season.

 

Several Pitt players didn’t show up for this game, including leading scorer Mike Young, who looked like the freshman from 3 years ago as he stumbled to 19 points on 8-21 shooting. 15 of those points were in the first half, only 4 in the second half. Young was also sloppy, letting the ball slip out of his hands in the paint as well as looking like his mind was anywhere but on the court as the Duquesne defense swarmed him every time he touched the ball. In the second half, he looked frustrated and lost as he tried to force shots, which led to misses. 3-point specialist Cam Johnson also looked out of it as well as he was only able to convert one 3-point basket and finished 1-7 for the game. He was an abysmal 5-14 and finished with 14 points. The rest of the team combined for 22 points and the team shot 33.6 % overall.

 

But what hurt the Panthers the most was the absence of their second-leading scorer. Jamel Artis, who averaged 19.7 points leading up to this game was suspended for failing to uphold the standards of a University of Pittsburgh basketball player. “It’s an honor and privilege to represent the University of Pittsburgh on and off the court,” Pitt HC Kevin Stallings said in a press release “Jamel failed to meet our high standards, and we have addressed the issue internally. Missing a game as a senior is a tough lesson to learn but I believe he will be better as a result of this action. Jamel remains an important part of our program, and we look forward to his return to form on and off the court.

 

Stallings on Young:”Mike had a bad night, and that caused some panic in our team, and we didn’t have enough firepower to solve the problem.”

 

As painful as it was for Pitt not to have Artis on the court was probably just as painful for Artis watch his team fall to their city rivals in an ugly fashion.

 

Like an underdog in a boxing match, the Dukes had nothing to lose and played like it as they stormed to an early 8-6 lead off two 3-pointers from leading scorer Emile Blackman and Nakye Sanders. It wasn’t so much the lead as it was the fact the Dukes were ready to battle against the Panthers. But then the Panthers came around with baskets by Young and Chris Jones, enabling the Panthers to take a 10-8 lead, but back came the Dukes as Blackman hit a 3-pointer, giving them an 11-10 lead.

 

The lead would change several times, before Young’s layup would put the Panthers up 20-18 and then they would go on a run that would eventually give them a 27-18 lead with 5 minutes left in the first half. Usually, that would be enough for the Panthers to begin putting the Dukes away as they’ve done the last 15 years, but Duquesne decided that it wasn’t going to happen this night. After Sheldon Jeter’s 3-pointer had extended Pitt’s lead to 30-22, the Dukes stormed back. Baskets by Mike Lewis II, Sanders, and Blackman, stunned Pitt as they closed their lead to 30-29 at halftime. Young looked so confused that he couldn’t get to the basket as time expired.

 

In the second half, Young did make a layup to extend the Panthers lead to 32-29, but back came the Dukes as they took a 35-32 lead thanks to baskets by Blackman and Sanders. Chris Jones would then score two baskets to give Pitt a 36-35 lead but once again, back came the Dukes as Blackman hit a 3-pointer to give them a 38-36 lead over Pitt. Then Lewis and Smith would add to their lead with baskets, and suddenly Duquesne had a 42-36 lead with over 14 minutes to play.

 

Jeter would then get the Panthers closer with two free throws, but then Lewis would deliver a blow to Pitt as his 3-pointer would extend their lead to 47-40 before Stallings would call a timeout to gather his players. Then Pitt mounted a comeback as they close the Duke’s gap to 47-46, but then Rene Castro would extend the Duke’s lead to 50-48 when he hit a 3-pointer.

 

With over 4 minutes left to play, Pitt trailed Duquesne 53-51 when Lewis took over and put this game away as he scored the next few baskets to give the Dukes a commanding 58-51 lead. While Pitt was wondering what happened to their shooting, the Dukes were making one basket after another. A dunk by James and two free throws by Blackman helped seal the Dukes surprising 64-55 win over Pitt, and as the buzzer sounded, the Duquesne fans stormed the court and raised the City League trophy which has been in the Panthers possession since 2001. And is now in the hands of the Dukes who celebrated like Pitt football’s fans did when they pulled off that huge upset over Clemson a month ago.

 

Blackman finished with 21 points Isiaha Mike led with eight rebounds. As a team, Duquesne had 13 assists and was 8 for 26 from 3-point range with four from Blackman. Such a victory should be a confidence booster for the Dukes as they continue their non-conference schedule and prepare for conference play in the Atlantic 10.

 

Ray’s take: To be honest, it was easy to overlook this game because of Pitt’s 15-year success, but I should’ve known that an upset was possible as I stand on the fact that you should never underestimate a team, no matter what their record is. I honestly think the Panthers overlooked the Dukes the same way that Mike Tyson slept Buster Douglass in that infamous 1990 loss that cost Tyson the Heavyweight Title. Like Tyson, Pitt wasn’t ready to fight, and like Douglass, the Duke were ready. Ergo the underdog won. To the victor goes the spoils.

 

I’m disappointed in Young, who didn’t look like the leader that he should be. He looked lost and embarrassed that his team was losing to a team like Duquesne. And like a leader, when he goes down, so does the team and so did the Panthers. I’m mad at Artis as well as his selfish off-the-court acts hurt his team and helped cost them this game. As well as Chris Jones played, it didn’t have the impact of a Jamel Artis and sadly Cameron Johnson had a bad game especially from 3-point range.

 

But alas, it’s only one game, and it’s a non-conference one at that, but it is truly an embarrassing loss for Pitt as they now need to lick their chops, regroup and get ready to continue their season as they resume play Wednesday, December 7th vs. Buffalo at the Petersen Events Center.

 

I think Pitt will be ok. Any experience that one learns from is never a bad one, but this will indeed be quite the experience for Pitt. But they will be all right. Congrats to the Duquesne Dukes on a big win.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

 

Ray Jr. on Sports

sports

  1. The Pitt Panthers are now ranked #24 in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25. Congrats to them, because they’ve certainly earned it after winning their final 3 games to finish 8-4 (5-3 ACC). Of course, one of their final 3 wins’ game against #3 (then #2) Clemson. What a season for Pitt and kudos to head coach Pat Narduzzi who’s led Pitt to back to back 8-4 seasons and Top 25 rankings.
  2. Pitt also received more individual honors: RB James Conner is the winner of the ACC’s annual Brian Piccolo award, named for the ‘most courageous football player in the ACC’ of course named after the courageous football player who played for Wake Forest and later the NFL’s Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was stricken with cancer.
  3. Pitt offensive lineman Brian O’Neill was selected as a Piesman finalist, given to the college football linemen who do decidedly un-linemen things on the field, such as running with, catching or throwing the ball. After that 24-yard TD run vs. Ga. Tech, O’Neill should run away with this award. What a weird name, though.
  4. And then there are the Broyles Awards, given to college football’s top assistant coach and Pitt Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada is a finalist on that list. Congrats to him. He truly was an offensive genius as he found creative ways for Pitt’s offense to beat the opponents. I hope he wins it.
  5. Of course, the Panthers regular season is over, but that final game is still in my head. I can’t believe that they needed 76 points to beat an opponent, because they gave up 61 points to their opponent, which was Syracuse?? that’s insane.
  6. I give credit to the offense for continuing to score, but the entire defense needs to ‘sit in the corner’ for their performance. I honestly think they got complacent and lazy after being up by 20 points early in the 3rd And Syracuse deserves credit for not giving up either as they kept scoring, when other teams would’ve given up. But the important thing is the fact that Pitt won the game.
  7. So now the focus is which Bowl will the Panthers get invited to. Many media outlets have them playing in the Sun Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl. Any one of those bowls will do (especially the Athletic Bowl vs. West Virginia) but I honestly like the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium on a cold December day. It’s a prestigious bowl in a legendary baseball stadium. We shall see.
  8. It will also be Championship Saturday as college football will have the respective Championship games. The one that stands out for the local area is the Big Ten Championship as Penn State will take on Wisconsin. Former Pitt HC Paul Chryst will lead his Badgers vs. the local Nittany Lions. Kudos to both teams for their 2016 seasons. That should be fun.
  9. Of course, the ACC Title Game will have Clemson facing Virginia Tech. It makes you wonder if Pitt could’ve gotten wins vs. North Carolina, and Virginia Tech whether they could’ve gotten to this game? Well, something to shoot for in 2017.
  10. As for the College Football Playoff standings, it goes like this: 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Clemson 4. Washington. It makes you wonder if Washington loses their Pac 12 title game and Wisconsin wins their title game, would that mean the Badgers get that 4th spot?? That would be exciting.
  11. As for the ACC’s postseason awards, DE Ejuan Price got robbed out of the Defensive Player of the Year award, instead he was runner-up to Florida State’s Demarcus Walker. But to be fair, Walker was tied the College Football lead with 15 sacks while Price had 12. But Price had more forced fumbles. Oh well. At least Price, Conner and Specialist Quadree Henderson received 1st-team ACC honors.
  12. As for the NFL, the 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers hope to continue their revival as they have a huge game this Sunday vs. the 8-3 NY Giants at Heinz Field. The Steelers know that their chances at a Wild Card Game is out, and if they want to make the playoffs for a 3rd straight season, it will mean winning the AFC North Division.
  13. I think the Steelers can do it, if they keep playing focused ball. The offense can’t play sloppy and the defense can’t play horrible. In fact, the defense has played much better since they’ve realized that they can blitz. Kudos to defensive coordinator Keith Butler for letting his defenders loose. They will certainly have to do so against QB Eli Manning and the G-Men.
  14. I like the play of new TE LaDarius Green, who caught 2 huge passes against the Indianapolis Colts Thanksgiving night. He’s truly a much-needed weapon for the offense, especially since several of their receivers are out with injuries or suspended.
  15. Getting back to the Steelers division title chances, it’s going to take them beating the Baltimore Ravens, who currently share the division lead with a 6-5 record. Their next game is Christmas Day. But they also must beat a tough Buffalo Bills team before they face them. These next few weeks will truly be a question of how bad the Steelers want it.
  16. As for the rest of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are the league’s best at 10-1, while the Cleveland Browns are an NFL’s worst at 0-12. I know the Browns have been bad, but I have never seen them this bad.
  17. As for Pirates news, of course it focuses on the eventual trade of OF Andrew McCutchen, who looks like he’ll end up with the Washington Nationals for top prospects. I don’t like it and I never will. This is a salary dump because the Pirates are still a bunch of cheapskates. Plus, McCutchen is a cornerstone player. This isn’t what contenders do.
  18. The Pirates have also watched Super Utility man Sean Rodriguez and backup OF Matt Joyce leave via Free Agency. After McCutchen, it makes you wonder who’s next? And what reclamation projects will they sigh? I can only shake my head at it all.
  19. The other Pirates news centers around 3B Jung Ho Kang who is charged in Seoul, Korea for leaving the scene of a DUI accident. You would think that he learned from his 2016 issues.
  20. Congrats to Cleveland Cavaliers F LeBron James for being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. A tremendous honor for a tremendous basketball player and person who also won it in 2012 while with the Miami Heat.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him   @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Basic Tips That Will Get Good Food On The Table

e7e12217918305833a878459_1920

Cooking is something that has been done since the beginning of time. Everyone appreciates a good cook and the food they seem to magically produce with ease. Cooking skill is not something you are born with, but rather it is something to learn as you go. This article can help you add to your cooking skills.

To make it easier to peel boiled eggs, run them under cold water immediately after removing from them the stove. Once they are cool enough to touch, tap them lightly to crack and roll on a counter. Once you begin peeling and have an opening in the shell, run this under cold water and you will find the rest of the shell will peel off with the greatest of ease!

After cooking with a large amount of garlic, rub both hands on your stainless steel sink before washing them. Use a vigorous scrubbing action. This will help to get rid of that lingering garlic scent on your skin. It will not leave a scent on your stainless steel sink.

Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.

Rising the dough requires patience and an optimal environment. Don’t just leave the bowl with the dough where it’s not in your way. Create the perfect conditions to get the best results. Find a place with constant, warmer temperature without draft. Constantly changing temperature and draft makes the dough rise slowly and unevenly.

Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.

You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Look through your recipes and determine whether or not certain steps can be completed beforehand. There is a lot you can do the day before to prepare for the next day’s meal. This makes preparing even more complex recipes fun and fast.

Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.

If you want to eat healthier and lose weight, it’s really important to use fewer oils in your cooking. Many unnecessary fats are found in butters and oils, so decreasing them is a healthy way to lose weight. Consider using a nonstick cooking spray as replacement for oil.

Sauteing vegetables in a bit of broth is a healthy cooking method. The chicken broth will make the vegetables taste a lot better, and you will be able to avoid using other oils that may add fat and calories. You will love this cooking style if you just give it a try!

Use either a steaming or a stir-frying technique to cook your vegetables. These two methods help the vegetables retain both their color and their nutrients, providing your family with a healthier side dish that also looks attractive. Your children, in particular, are more likely to eat their vegetables if they look nice.

Unripened fruits should be placed into a plastic bag with holes in it. As they ripen, they will create ethylene gas. If you put them in a perforated plastic bag, the air can circulate and assure that the gas is retained, keeping the fruit fresh and tasty.

Create your own stock for tastier dishes. Made in large batches, it’s easy to store in the freezer, if you use resealable plastic bags. By doing this, you’ll always have homemade stock available whenever you are in the mood to cook soup. When you prepare your stock from scratch, you will be certain that it is 100% natural, not loaded with preservatives.

Pesto cooking tip! When you are using pesto sauce, make sure you never heat it up! If you want to have it in a pasta or soup dish, it is best if you cook the food first – then add the uncooked pesto. This is important because cooking pesto will make the basil have a bitter taste.

Whenever you make stock for soups or stews, make it in large quantities, and freeze the extra. That way, the next time you want to whip up a quick soup or stew, the most time-consuming part is already done. You just have to pull a bag from the freezer for a quick and delicious meal.

Use only a very small amount of fat when sauteing a food. Too much moisture can cause food to steam rather than saute, affecting the crispness of the meal. Use a low temperature while doing this, too.

After cooking meat of any kind, it is very important that you let it sit a while before cutting. If you cut too soon, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board, leaving the meat dry and with less flavor. Letting the meat sit allows time for the juices to retract back into the meat.

If you are a horrible cook, try a crock pot. Getting used to crock pot cooking is easy, hard to mess up and there are tons of books and articles on how to use a crock pot. Crock pot cooking is almost fool proof and is very helpful for a busy family.

As noted, cooking has been around forever, and good cooks are always greatly appreciated and praised. You too can become a good cook by adding to your skills and your knowledge base. By adopting the skills and hints in this article, you can make your cooking skills that much more in demand. editor@urbanmediatoday.com