Whether you’re a brand new cook or an experienced one, there are plenty of sources of frustration in the kitchen. No matter what your cooking skills are like, little annoyances can make preparing a meal much more stressful. Here are some cooking tips that will help preparing your meals go a little more smoothly.
To prevent the crust of your filled pies from getting soggy, coat the dough with egg white first and then bake it for about five minutes to allow it to set. You should then fill and bake as you normally would. This will stop your crust from absorbing too much of the filling during baking and becoming soft and wet.
For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.
Easy measuring cup clean up. Many baking recipes call for sticky ingredients such as butter, honey, syrup or peanut butter. Instead of having to wash out a gooey mess every time you need to reuse the measuring cup, spray the inside of the cup with non-stick cooking spray. The ingredients will slide right out and you can reuse the measuring cup right away!
Buying pasta sauce that already has vegetables, seasonings, meat, or cheese in it is a great way to save time and money when cooking. There’s a great variety to choose from, and you won’t have to chop up peppers and mushrooms or brown the beef. It’s all in one jar–just heat it up, and serve over your favorite pasta!
Try to store spices in dark, cool places and do not store them above your stove. Places that are bright, humid and hot, can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A good place to put them would be inside of a pantry or in your kitchen cabinets.
Cook pasta for one minute less than instructed on the box and then place the pasta in a sauce pan. By making pasta this way, the sauce will absorb into the pasta and the overall quality of your meal will be better. You can even add some spices into the saucepan.
You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive and this will cut back on your costs each month.
You need to store your flour in a waterproof container. If flour gets wet, it becomes a huge mess and cannot be used for cooking. There are some waterproof containers that can be sealed so that there is no way for water to get into it, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
You should cook chicken stew if you need to make a quick meal. Take a carton of chicken broth and put it in a large stock pot. Add cooked shredded chicken, diced potatoes, carrots, green beans and onions to the pot. Season to taste and cook for three hours on low. It is a tasty meal that does not take a lot of work.
Use either a steaming or a stir-frying technique to cook your vegetables. These two methods help the vegetables retain both their color and their nutrients, providing your family with a healthier side dish that also looks attractive. Your children, in particular, are more likely to eat their vegetables if they look nice.
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.
If your family tends to eat a lot of chicken and often, remember to always brine the poultry as it will lock in flavor. Otherwise you are left with a dry piece of chicken that merely has whatever spices and herbs you chose coated on the outside rather than penetrating every bite.
If you are a big fan of having baked potatoes with your meal but do not like the long cooking time, you should soak them in salt water for twenty minutes before you bake them. They will take only about half of the usual time to bake after being soaked.
Acorn squash peeling made easy. The deep grooves in acorn squash make it hard to peel. First, peel the bumps. Then, slice the squash between the grooves to make wedges. Remove the seeds from the wedges and peel the skin from the outside edge. You can then cut them to the size that you need for your recipe.
It is a good idea to cook your green vegetables in boiling hot water. If you place the veggies in cold water and wait for it to come to a boil you will lose a lot of the green color because the chlorophyll in them will leech into the water.
Keep some simple already prepared dishes frozen in the freezer. These dinners are very handy for either a quick dinner on those hectic days when you just don’t feel like cooking or on that Sunday morning when you have to get something together for the church social.
To avoid wasting chipotle peppers when you need only a couple from a can, puree the remaining peppers and adobo in a blender or food processor, then transfer the puree to an ice cube tray lined with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When the puree is frozen, move the cubes to a freezer bag. You can use the chipotle cubes in soups, sauces, taco meat and more.
There are plenty of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking. Now that you’ve read this article, you have plenty of advice you can apply the next time you head to the kitchen. Now that you have these tips, you may find you’re willing to try cooking something a little more challenging.