Food is a major focus of our society and there are so many ways to prepare so many things. If you love food and want to learn how you can get better at cooking your meals at home, then this article can give you some great tips. Cooking gets easier by just doing it, so be sure that you don’t just read about how to cook, but you practice cooking, as well.
When storing ingredients that you will use for cooking it is a good habit to stock them in large quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. This will make preparing food easier and faster. For example, when preparing vegetables, you can just pull them out of the freezer and simply boil them.
Dazzle Your Dinner Guests With These Tips And Tricks
Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for almost any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.
For pasta that is cooked perfectly all the way through, do not place it the in water until the water is boiling. Pasta cooks from the outside in, so to keep your pasta all one texture you need to cook it at the same consistent temperature from the beginning to the end.
Taste your food as you cook it. Tasting your food is a simple and enjoyable thing to do. It can also really improve your end result. By continuously tasting your food as you cook, you will have a better understanding of how it is progressing. If it needs a little something extra, you are more likely to catch and remedy this.
One fun part of learning to cook is showing off your new-found skills. If you are cooking for someone special, though, leave the experimentation for another day. Do not try new recipes or new ingredients (or, worse, both at the same time) when you are cooking a meal for someone you really want to impress.
Here is a great cooking tip to use when you are handling smelly garlic. After handling garlic, simply rub your hands with a piece of stainless steel for 30 seconds. This could be your sink or a doorknob. After doing this, wash your hands with soap as your normally would. The stainless steel helps to remove the odor from your hands.
Place fruit that is not quite ripe in a plastic bag with a few small holes to allow it to ripen. The plastic helps retain the gases used by ripening fruit while the holes allow fresh air to circulate across the fruit. This also helps you keep your fruit fresh longer!
If you are making mashed potatoes, return them to the pot after you have drained them cover the pot tightly and then let it steam for about 5 minutes. By doing this, the potatoes are able to dry out, which will make them mash into the perfect texture. It will also soak up butter and and cream easier.
Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.
No matter what kind of cheese you may have in your refrigerator, be sure that air cannot enter it by wrapping it tightly. Air contributes to mold growth on cheese. If your cheese does happen to have a little bit of mold on it, you can still use it by just cutting off the part with mold.
You should always organize your cooking supplies. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. Put all the things that are the same in one place. For instance, keep your spices in a cabinet, your baking goods in another, and cooking utensils together in a drawer.
Whenever possible, you should buy your food from the farmers market rather than a normal grocery store or supermarket. Food from the farmers market is fresh and sometimes requires less maintenance to bring out flavors rather than normal food. Remember to keep it simple when cooking with food from the farmers market.
Blot any ground meat you eat before you cook it. It is always advisable to blot away moisture from ground meat. Any moisture left on the meat will be released when it’s cooked. The moisture will start to sizzle and steam away when it hits the heat of the pan. This means you meat is being steamed and not seared.
If you are deep frying, make sure to use tongs to add the food to the hot oil. If you submerge the food below the surface of the oil with the tongs for about five seconds before you “drop” it in, the outside of whatever you are deep frying is sealed. This prevents it from sticking to other food in the oil.
If you make your own salad dressing, consider using yogurt as a substitute to half the mayo. By doing this, you drastically cut the fat and calories in the dressing. When you use Greek-style yogurt, you ensure your homemade dressing is just as delicious and creamy – just not as bad for you!
This article has some great tips for anyone who wants to be a better cook. Be sure that you begin testing recipes and start experimenting with different foods, because you can only improve with hands-on experience. This article can reveal some great little tricks when it comes to cooking, but you will only get better at cooking when you start practicing all these great tips.
Genius Ways to Dazzle Guests at Your Next Dinner Party
Hosting a great party should never really feel like work. Sure, you might be the one making the food, refilling the wine glasses, and tidying up afterward, but you also get to decide who is (and isn’t) invited, what music to play, what to serve — hello, only food that you enjoy — and your commute is only the number of steps from the living room to the bed.
Whether you’re planning a low-key backyard BBQ or a proper dinner party, here are five ways to make sure you and your guests have a great time.
1. Create the Perfect Menu
You might not be able to please every picky eater in your social circle, but with some solid menu prep, you can come pretty close. Dishes that allow for customization, like sheet pan flank steak, Instant Pot carne asada tacos or pan-seared sirloin steak with balsamic herb cream sauce (numbers one, eight and 12 on this
), mean folks can take what they want and leave their least favourite foods off their plates. Don’t get fixated on food trends, but do keep your menu seasonal; not only will you be using the freshest produce for your dishes, but you’re less likely to have to hit up multiple grocery stores to find an out-of-season ingredient.
2. Pair Your Food with Wines
Depending on your guest list, you can either allow invitees to bring a favourite bottle or prescribe a theme to ensure that all wines are paired with your menu. Those carne asada tacos (or any great cut of meat) would be complemented perfectly by a hearty glass of red wine, such as those produced by Carnivor, a California wine brand. Try pairing them with a big red with a satisfyingly smooth finish, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon. Carnivor’s Zinfandel is packed with flavour and spicy aromas, making it perfect to pair with dishes like barbequed ribs. For a match made in heaven, try it with these mouth-watering. If you’re in BC, you can pick up both the and the at your nearest BCL; in Ontario, look no further than the LCBO for all your and needs.
Provide extra wine glasses or invest in some glass-friendly pens so that folks can keep track of theirs with a name or a signature doodle. You could even offer up notepads for recording names of new wines discovered. Regardless of your guests’ wine knowledge, a wine tasting is a fun way to keep everyone entertained — and possibly send them home with a new favourite label.
3. Choose a Theme
This doesn’t necessarily have to be over the top — unless that’s your thing, in which case, more power to you! You don’t need to choose anything that requires too much forethought or investment, but it’s nice to have an angle that ties the event together. Even just a little accessory, like a lei left at each place setting for a Hawaiian pork roast or sprig of greenery for a fall feast theme, adds a little something to an otherwise regular evening. If you don’t have a lot of time to craft, focus on table settings and other small touches that show a little care.
4. Build a Great Playlist
Building a playlist to suit the theme of the event is never a bad idea. Some guests might not know the top 40 hits on your playlist, so be sure to include some familiar favourites. And once the wine has been flowing for a little while, it doesn’t hurt to play classics that people can sing along with or even dance to. Not a burgeoning DJ? Remember that apps like Spotify and Apple Music, along with radio station websites and more, have got you covered. Just be sure to give the playlist a listen before you make your decision — you want to avoid forcing your best friend to change up the music while you’re scrambling to answer the door.
5. Choose Lighting That Sets the Mood
For example, stringing full-sized bulbs over outdoor seating next to the grill is a fun, festive, and picture-perfect choice for a backyard soirée. Avoid overhead lighting at all costs and opt for indirect lighting that’s flattering, but not too dim. If you light candles, keep them unscented so as not to compete with the food and drinks, and be mindful of placement. No one wants to go home with burnt shirt cuffs.
Hosting should never feel like a chore, but your party should also never be a bore. A little planning and forethought (and some excellent bottles of wine) will show your guests that you want them to enjoy themselves in your home. That way, even if you stray from the plan a little, you’re bound to have a great time.