What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten? It probably didn’t take you long to recall that delicious meal. Now, what if you could cook the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten or better yet, be the source of someone else’s greatest meal? Here are a few cooking tips to make that a reality.
To prevent your homemade pizza from becoming soggy with all of the juicy toppings you add, lightly coat the bare dough with olive oil. Pizza sauce, peppers, and meats can all weigh down a pizza dough and cause it to be soggy even after baking so be sure to brush on a bit of olive oil for a crispier, firmer pizza!
Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthily, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with low-fat Greek-style yogurt. This will make the dressing much healthier.
Sharp knives are essential in any kitchen. Dull knives not only are ineffective, but they’re also dangerous! If you have to work on forcing a dull knife to go through something, you’re much more likely to accidentally cut yourself in the process than with the one quick, clean cut of a sharpened knife.
A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.
Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light, and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.
Keep a few cut, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.
If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.
When cooking, many people forget about proper care for the spices that they use to season their food. All spices should be stored in a cool dark place and never above a stove. The reason for this is because storing spices in areas where there is a lot of heat, light, or humidity will cause them to lose their flavor.
Always have a lot of napkins handy when you are cooking in the kitchen. You never know when a spill will occur, so always prepare for the worst. Purchase thick napkins that can hold a lot of liquid if you want to get the most absorption when cleaning up a mess.
Ginger roots can be used for several dishes so it’s worth learning how to store them. For a few days, you can just put them in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. For much longer storage, freeze the unpeeled ginger root and cut the piece you need while it is frozen.
Get creative when you cook your food. Cooking is an art-form. You should not limit yourself to the usual flavors and combinations. Try adding different fresh vegetables in place of canned vegetables. Use varieties not found in canned vegetable mixes. You will soon find your meals have much more flavor.
To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.
Use a few tablespoons of sugar in the boiling water when cooking orange and yellow vegetables. Foods like squash and corn have a natural sweetness to them that is brought out when cooked in sugared water. This is a great way to get some healthy veggies into a kid’s diet as well as yours.
When cooking, be sure that you use as much low fat or lite dressings as you can. This is important because this is an extremely easy way to prevent unnecessary fat and calories from being consumed by both you and the people eating your food. In moderation, the regular types are acceptable.
You don’t need to use all that much water when boiling pasta. Your pasta does not need to swim. Add enough water for the pasta to swell up, but it takes much longer to bring a big pot of water to boil than it does for half of that amount, and your pasta will still be soft and pliable when you’re done.
To minimize freezer burn when freezing foods, place them in a zip-top freezer bag and close it most of the way, and then insert a drinking straw through the small opening. Squeeze out as much air as possible, and suck the rest out through the straw, pinching the bag the rest of the way closed when the air is gone. Less air exposure in the bag means fresher, freezer-burn-free foods when you are ready to defrost them.
If you are faced with cooking a meal for someone who you simply must impress, show some restraint when mixing things up in the kitchen. While it is okay to cook with a new or uncommon ingredient or to use a brand new recipe, it is not a good idea to risk it by attempting both.
Use these tips as a springboard for your cooking. Cooking is a never-ending journey, there’s always something new and fresh to learn and to try. Keep looking for ways to make meals special and one day, someone will remember you as the cook of the greatest thing that they’ve ever eaten.
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Photo credit to Le Creuset, Unsplash.