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The holidays are right around the corner, which means it is time to start preparing your menus. Cooking for the holidays can be a daunting task, which can take a lot of hard work. Your holiday cooking does not have to be an impossible task, though. Just follow the advice from this article, and you will breeze through it.

It is fine to alter recipes. Do you like more cheese than what is called for? It’s fine to add more. Do you think onions would be good added in? Try it! Adding your own special twist to a recipe can help make a meal one of a kind!

If you are following a recipe, make sure that you do not follow this religiously, as you should always add a personal spice to your meal. Instead of following a pizza recipe to the tee, add some red pepper to inject a punch into your dish to make it unique and individualized.

Damp paper towel and a plastic bag can extend the life of your greens. If you wrap your fresh herbs or fresh greens with a damp paper towel and then place them in a plastic bag, they will last longer. They will normally stay fresh three to four days longer if you do.

If you are cooking pasta and are tired of the same taste, you can add a hint of lemon. Lemon will give it the extra taste that you desire, and this additive is also a very powerful antioxidant. Adding spices and different flavors can help improve the quality of your meals.

Certain types of cooking such as boiling, can strip vegetables of their valuable nutrients. Keep them healthy by choosing fast methods of cooking such as steaming or sauteing, or better yet, learn to love them raw.

Do you often throw away moldy fruits and feel bad about it? Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. Fruit with any mold on it must be discarded because it contains unhealthy organisms.

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.

You can make dried tomatoes yourself. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes about a half an inch thick, or Romas in half. Next, lightly salt the open sides and place them salt-side up on a wire cooling rack. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Put them in plastic bags for freezer storage. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Kept in the refrigerator, these tomatoes will keep for a couple of weeks.

Trying to deep fry at home? Whenever your food is ready for the fryer, use tongs to gently hold the item just below the surface of the oil so that it has a sealed exterior and then let it go. If you toss it in without holding it for a few seconds, you might see your food stick to each other or to the fryer itself.

When cooking with raw meat or eggs, it is very important that you keep your hands and cooking station very sanitary. This is because the raw form of these materials can spread illnesses, such as salmonella, to you. If you do contract an illness, you will be very sick and won’t be cooking for a while!

If you want a creative and efficient way to store your sauces, pour them in ice cube trays and leave them to freeze. That way you can choose how many cubes you need to make the right amount of a particular sauce, dinner or soup, plus they can be easily reheated.

Cook small quantities of food at higher temperatures for a lesser amount of time. Bite-size cookies only need a few minutes in the oven if you put it a higher temperature because there is only a small surface area to cover and it will not take long to cook. This way you will be able to enjoy your meal in minutes.

Reduce the stress of cooking for a lot of people by preparing the ingredients the day before or earlier in the day. This helps prevent burning certain dishes because your attention is on preparing another dish. When you prepare the ingredients beforehand, you can focus all your attention on cooking the best meal possible.

Cooking made easier! Make soup stock in large quantities and put them in freezer safe containers to freeze for next time you need stock. This takes a lot of the work out of making homemade soup! Some people even think broth and sauce tastes better, after it is frozen.

When making dough for cookies, set your sticks of butter out at room temperature for a while so they are softened and avoid going further than adding sugar if the butter has been melted. If the butter has melted, you should allow it to briefly harden in the freezer. An alternative is to mix the butter with the other ingredients, then allow the dough or batter to sit in the refrigerator. Dough that’s cool prevents your cookies from over-spreading.

To cook foods kids will (probably) like, follow these simple rules. First, serve foods that are bland, unless you know the children are familiar with (and like) a particular spice. Second, avoid “complex” flavors and sauces. Children usually prefer simple tastes which they can identify. Finally, most kids like chicken nuggets, so keep them handy.

As we previously mentioned, upcoming holidays mean lots of cooking. A lot of people do get concerned about getting started on their holiday menus, because they can be so vast. However, the tips and tricks you read in this article will make your cooking woes and inhibitions disappear and get you ready to conquer that holiday cooking!

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