If your family doesn’t run to the table, maybe it is time to take an honest look at your cooking routine and see if you have fallen into a menu rut. Generate some mealtime enthusiasm and put a smile on your family’s faces with some fresh new ideas that are sure to please.
The smaller the item you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature should be. Baking something delicious does not have to involve leaving food in the oven for hours. If you are baking something small, set the oven temperature higher. Just make sure you leave it in the oven for less time.
Cook your pasta one minute less than the package suggests, then finish cooking it in a pan with sauce. Your pasta will absorb more of the flavor of the sauce without having an over cooked texture. This can be a quick and effective way to prepare a pasta meal.
Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.
Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
There is an easy way to peel garlic. There are many tips and techniques for peeling garlic, but there is a simple way that doesn’t involve any fancy gadgets. Take a rubber jar lid gripper and lay it on the counter. Place a clove of garlic on it and fold it over. Using a little pressure, simply roll the garlic clove around a few times inside the rubber gripper, and the skin will instantly be removed.
It is possible to cut back on the amount of calories that are in your favorite dessert by simply using applesauce in the recipe. Many recipes call for unhealthy ingredients that add tons of calories to a desert that really are not needed. Applesauce will add sweetness to the dessert with adding tons of calories.
Only cook with wine that you would actually drink. By using a wine you do not like or one that you are unfamiliar with, you are jeopardizing the taste of your food. When in doubt, use a wine designed for cooking.
Does your family love roasted vegetables? They taste wonderful but can get dried out and too crispy when roasted in the oven or on a grill. A little known secret is that vegetables will roast well in their own juices when placed in a crock pot. Hard root veggies like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and more, will roast to perfection when placed in the crockpot for 6-8 hours (depending on quantity) on low heat. You can add a little bit of salt and seasoning and a tablespoon or two of olive oil if you like, but they also roast perfectly well just in their own juices. Your vegetables will turn out delicious and healthy!
You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.
If you are making meatloaf or meatballs it is a good idea to test a small piece before you make the rest of it. Make a little piece and fry it in a frying pan. Then you can taste it, see if it needs any more seasoning. It is a small thing to do that will go a long way to making a better tasting meal.
Don’t spend too much time buying books and searching the Internet for exotic fare from around the world and forget the recipes that your family has served for years. Often the most basic recipes are the most cherished ones. Make sure you write those recipes down. No matter how simple they are, there may be a day when a family member wants them.
When it comes to cooking, be sure that you know the allergy concerns of all of those who will be eating your meal. This is extremely important because the effects of food allergy can range anywhere from mild discomfort to death – both of which you want to avoid at all costs.
When baking cookies, make sure to drop the batter in thick spoonfulls onto the cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. This reduces the flattening process that can happen when the baking process is taking place. When the edges are brown, remove the cookies from the oven, and you will be rewarded with a soft center.
If you took an honest look at your mealtime offerings and decided that they could use some help, start with the fresh ideas in the article above and you will have your family running to the table in no time. These practical tips will get you on your way to success.