Learning how to cook for yourself every day is a great way to take control of your life. Cooking skills can improve your health, shrink your food budget and impress friends and family. Whether you are a stranger to the kitchen or an experienced stove-top jockey, there are always new cooking tips and techniques to learn. This article has a few such tips to get you started on sharpening your cooking skills.
How To Cook For Yourself Every Day
Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.
A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
You can make a lot of preparations when you are cooking to make it easy and fast. 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 will enable you to enjoy the process of creating dishes that ordinarily would be a real task.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
Airtight containers should be used when you are storing sugar, flour or baking mixes in your kitchen. Airtight containers are advantageous for several reasons. They prevent air exposure from lessening the freshness of your foods, and they also keep the bugs out. Thankfully, you can grab some affordable, quality airtight containers practically anywhere.
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
An easy way to skin nuts. When used in cooking, nuts such as almonds and pistachios need their skins removed. Blanch the nuts by boiling them in a pan of water for one minute. Drain the nuts, and place them on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dish towel over the nuts, and rub vigorously. The skins will rub off onto the towel.
Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.
To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. If the spices are stored in cabinets by the stove or near other warmer places, this could result in their flavor loss and a money loss for you.
When you purchase fruits that are not quite ripe, put them in a paper bag to ripen. Fruits produce ethylene gas when they become riper. Putting them in a perforated bag will allow circulation of the air and keep the gas retained, thus allowing the fruit to keep it’s delicious taste.
Use fresh carrots often in your cooking. They are versatile and easy to obtain. Carrots are very rich in vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. One of the best ways to sneak there goodness into your recipes is to use carrots in place of sugar.
When you are making homemade soups that contain meat, they tend to have a lot of fat that needs to be skimmed from the top. One quick solution to that problem is dropping in a couple of ice cubes. As the ice melts, the fat will stiffen around it and you will be able to remove it with ease.
When using a chopping board, make sure to always sanitize it before going on to a different ingredient. Making this a habit will prevent cross contamination of bacteria. It is also useful for keeping your flavors from being muddied by being chopped with other ingredients’ residue. A clean chopping board is a safe and useful chopping board.
Feel free to make use of the tips that appeal to you. One of the greatest things about cooking for yourself is that it puts you in control of your diet. You are free to cook the way you want to. As you refine your cooking skills, keep looking for recipes and techniques that will help you to make the kind of food that you want to enjoy.