Little Tips For Big Improvements In The Kitchen

Little Tips For Big Improvements In The Kitchen

Little tips can lead to big improvements with your cooking. It also makes it easier. And let's face it. You're going to cook more if it's easier. And when you cook more, you lose weight and save money.

Quick Tips

A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. Exposure to excessive heat, humidity, or light will affect the flavor of dried seasoning. Ground herbs and spices retain their flavor for 12 months under normal circumstances. If spices are kept whole, they could stay fresh for up to five years. Spices that are stored correctly remain fresher for longer.

One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.

Store your spices in a cool, dark place. Leaving your spices out will expose them to moisture and light, which will diminish their quality. To keep your spices spicy and fresh, store them in an area that is cool and dark. Your food will be even more delicious if your spices are fresher.

You can save the sauce if you use the following information. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the sauce constantly to avoid letting it get too thick. Be sure to add the mixed starch slowly, you don't want the sauce to get too thick.

Getting thin strips of meat is a lot easier if you partially freeze the meat first. This works well for Asian dishes, like Chinese or Thai. It's easier to slice meat that has been partially frozen because the fibers don't tear and stretch, so you can make clean cuts. Though, before cooking the strips, they must completely thaw.

Test a small sample of your seasoned meats prior to cooking the full dish. It's hard to correct overly seasoned meat but spices can always be added. Never prepare the full amount after its initial seasoning. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. This gives you the option of cooking the entire meal with this seasoning or altering it according to taste.

It is possible to lower the fat and calorie content of mashed potatoes without impacting the taste or texture by replacing some of the potato content with cauliflower. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as potatoes, offering you a perfect way to add another vegetable to your dish while cutting calories.

Keep flour, sugar and other items for baking in tins with seals that keep the air out. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren't exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. You can find these containers in a variety of sizes online or at local stores. Regardless of where you purchase them, using these containers is a choice you are unlikely to regret.

Get More Protein Cheaply

Want to add more protein to your diet? Consider incorporating beans and tofu! They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. Boil beans with a sauce or herbs, or add them to a salad to serve up some additional protein.

If you have decided to serve salad with the meal that you are preparing for guests, be sure to serve the salad dry and serve the dressing on the side. There are many people who prefer little to no dressing on a salad. If you allow everyone to apply their dressings on their own it will allow them to have the amount they like. Make sure you have a wide selection of dressings to choose from as well.

Leave the bone in a roast when you are cooking and pressed for time. The roast will get done sooner because the bone will direct the heat right to your roaster. Once the meat is done, you then just cut the meat off the bone and enjoy.

It's necessary for a cook to organize all cooking supplies. Supplies and staples kept in disarray will have you scrambling when trying to find a needed utensil or ingredient. Store items of a similar nature together. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.

Have A Few Cutting Boards

Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. Make a mark with permanent ink on the end of the cutting board, so you always know which side to use for the item that you're cutting.

Prepare your meal ahead of time so you can leave it sitting for a few minutes. A lot of people may be unaware that it is important to allow the meal to rest. It has become almost habit now to serve up a meal as it comes right off the stove. However, you are missing out if you do so. Instead, allow each dish to cool briefly before serving it.

When chopping fresh herbs, sprinkle a small amount of salt on the cutting board. Doing this not only adds some flavor, but it also ensures that the herbs are right where they need to be, which is on the board. Then monitor the amount of salt that you add to the food as it is cooking. The salt used on the board provides that extra bit of flavor by sticking to the herbs.

There is more to cooking than putting a meal on the table. Cooking can be exciting and interesting to try. As you practice cooking, you'll produce some meals that don't live up to your expectations, but this will happen less frequently if you make use of this article's advice. Use the tips from this article to help in your kitchen so you can prepare successful dishes.

Want to learn more about the Primal Lifestyle? Check out this free book offer.

Simple Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Food

Simple Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Food

Do you love to eat different foods? Do you have an insatiable appetite when it comes to sweets? How about some savory ethnic food? Have you ever wanted to cook exotic dishes in your own kitchen? Simply start cooking and stop thinking about where to begin! The tips in this article can teach you how to cook tasty meals.

Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for keeping herbs and spices. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Another little-known fact is that ground spices tend to lose their flavor quicker than whole spices. Whole spices may keep their flavors, possibly, three years or longer. If you keep these properly stored, they can sometimes stay fresh for an even longer period of time.

Preparation is one of the most important things that you will have to do before you cook a meal for your friends or family. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Get everything set to cook the next day. Determine if you have you got the right utensils, etc. Having everything ready will take some of the stress off and increase the chances of your success.

Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Exposing spices to heat, humidity, and light will shorten their lifespan. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. You can prepare tastier meals if you use fresher spices.

It is possible to do a lot of preparation beforehand in order to speed up the cooking process and make it easier. Peruse your recipes and look for things you can do ahead of time. Choose items that will not spoil. Lots of prep work can be completed the day before cooking. The most complicated recipes can be transformed into easy, enjoyable kitchen work with advanced preparation.

If you are left with extra sauce after a meal, find a clean ice cube tray to pour the leftovers into and store the tray in the freezer. When you'd like to make a quick and easy meal later on, you only have to pop out a few cubes of sauce and reheat them in a pan. No worries, because the sauce is still quite edible after being frozen in ice cube trays.

Have you ever experienced difficulty judging the time your meat should be grilled? Use an accurate digital meat thermometer to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked. Another tip is to close the lid on your grill if the meat you're cooking is thicker than an inch and a half.

You should think big when preparing chicken stock. If you prepare a large pot of stock, it can be frozen and stored for future use. You can use the stock as a base for all kinds of soups or even casseroles. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.

Skewers should always be soaked in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes before they are used in cooking. By soaking, you can prevent the skewers from burning while cooking your food. To ensure that your food stays on the skewers, use two skewers instead of one to hold the food firmly in place.

If you are about to serve salad to multiple guests, serve the dressing separately instead of putting it directly on the salad. Some people enjoy lots of dressing when eating salads so it is important that each person add their own dressing. Offer your guests a variety of dressings.

Implementing the tips mentioned will have you creating wonderful meals you are sure to enjoy. Go out on a limb and experiment with exotic spices and herbs. You may find a new food that you love! Follow the tips presented above, and with the help of your taste buds, you can discover your inner chef.

Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

Paleo Tricks for Your Favorite Foods

I found these Paleo tricks for your favorite foods. What do we love? Sandwiches and tacos!  But what do we avoid? Carbs. (well, sometimes we do.) If you're going Primal, Whole 30, Paleo, or just low carb, then this is the post for you.

Replace Taco Shells With Zucchini

There's actually two ways to use zucchini in place of taco shells for Paleo tacos. First, you can cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Next,  scoop out the center and bake the zucchini until it's soft. Then you can put in your taco filling and go to town.  If you're eating cheese, you can sprinkle it on and toast the zucchini boat until the cheese is all melted.

Quinoa stuffed zucchinis
Quinoa stuffed zucchinis

The second way is to shred the zucchini and create tortillas with them.

Another Quick Paleo Trick

You can also use cauliflower to make a tortilla. And these can also be used as wraps for well, wrap sandwiches.

A Common Paleo Trick

You can get large lettuce leaves and wrap your taco filling inside of that. It's somewhat more like a burrito, but it's still very tasty.

And lettuce wraps are perfect for burgers, pulled meats, and just about any filling you can think of. I know some people don't like that they tear and have the filling spill out. I look for thicker leafed varieties like romaine.

Replace Sandwich Bread with Veggies

Use cucumbers in place of bread for sandwiches. I did a blog post on this earlier. You need to hollow out the center and then use something like cream cheese to hold everything in place.

 

Another great idea is to use avocados in place of mayo, and then eat right out of the avocado. This is perfect for things like tuna salad, shrimp salad, crab salad, and BLT's.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Making Things From Scratch Is Easier Than You Think

Making Things From Scratch Is Easier Than You Think

I'm always on your case about making things from scratch because it will be healthier. And you'll usually save money. But mostly it's so you can control how much sugar and additives are going into your system.

Last year I bought The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making and it was so inspiring.

And just recently, Craftsy had a big sale on their classes…everything was under $20….so I picked up The From-Scratch Kitchen by the same author – Alana Chernila.

Things I Forgot I Liked To Make

I used to make tortillas all the time from scratch. It was back when I felt I had more time. The truth is I have as much time. I just don't spend it as wisely as I used to!  I'm getting better.

The tortillas you get in the store are pretty good. Most of them are just made out of the basic ingredients with no preservatives. Still, I have to tell you it's wonderful to eat a handmade flour tortilla right out of the pan with a little bit of butter.

Corn tortillas need a bit more finesse because they dry out. My favorite thing to do with them is to lightly coat them with oil, bake and then salt them up. I think they're some of the tastiest chips ever.

I also love making mayonnaise. And lately, I've been making hummus since I like adding more lemon juice and trying different add-ins like olive tapenade from Trader Joes.

Also, I used to keep dry mustard powder around. (note to self…add it to the shopping list). You know the hot mustard packets you get with takeout Chinese? It's just dry mustard powder mixed with some water. And it's required in this household for egg rolls and chicken strips.

Yogurt was a major staple that I'd make. I love very firm yogurt that's lime flavored, and I just ran out of steam trying to make it easier. I'm now inspired to get some key lime flavoring from King Arthur and some yogurt culture from Amazon. Making it in the Instant Pot is a lot easier though then in the slow cooker or on the stove.

What I Can't Wait to Try

I've tried pickles and sauerkraut on my own and they were OK. So I'm looking forward to trying her recipes. I want to pickle beets and cauliflower. I'm also looking forward to making catsup. I'm astonished at how much sugar is in the store bought bottles!

What I want to try is making toaster pastries. My husband eats one brown sugar & cinnamon pop-tart every morning for breakfast. Well, except on weekends. Then he eats two chocolate fudge ones. He's a pop-tart monster. I'm hoping I can make them better so he never looks back.

Plus, I stopped being able to easily make pie crust.  Somewhere along the line, it just stopped working out! So I plan on practicing making that from scratch again.

So What's In the Craftsy Class?

The recipes are the same as in The Homemade Pantry but you get Alana walking you through the steps and options you have for making adjustments. The recipes she chose were what she felt were the most common pantry staples.

Alana is engaging and has lots of tips for saving money and increasing the flavor. The pace is good, and it's easy to skip around to the sections you're interested in.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Spiralizing Vegetables for Paleo Noodles

Spiralizing Vegetables for Paleo Noodles

I'm a big fan of spiralizing vegetables for Paleo noodles. It gets me a larger variety of vegetables, and I feel like I'm eating pasta.  Usually, I'll make a small amount of pasta and during the last minute of cooking, I'll toss in the spiralized vegetables. It cooks them up perfectly.

You can find the all the recipes here. It's something to inspire you to want to use the spiralizer more.

More Inspiration for Spiralizing Vegetables

You can make a wonderful salad by spiralizing cucumbers and serving with cherry tomatoes and a tzatziki sauce.

Spiralizing sweet potatoes are another great replacement for pasta. It has a more toothy feel to it. You will need to cook it longer than summer squash.

I spiralized cabbage to make sauerkraut. My husband loves my fresh sauerkraut but he prefers it to be chopped smaller. And I can chop it finer, but why? I can easily use my KitchenAid spiralizer attachment.

Want a fun dessert? Spiralize an apple and toss with some sugar and cinnamon. Then bake until soft.  It's so good.

Best Tips for Spiralizing Vegetables

Cut the noodles after you spiralize them. You don't want to be cutting while you're in the middle of creating the noodles.

Center the vegetable to have perfectly spiralized noodles. Otherwise you may end up with half-moons. It also help to use small to m

 

edium sized vegetables rather than larger ones. And be careful of too small ones. But that's only generally speaking. You will need to test with your particular spiralizer.

I've used Vegetti, Spiralizer, and the KitchenAid spiralizer attachment.  I liked the Vegetti because it was simple for some quick zucchini noodles. But it wasn't easy to use for harder vegetables.

The Spiralizer had a lot of different blade types and was more flexible. However, I don't have a good countertop, so I couldn't get it attached properly. And the KitchenAid is like a hot knife through butter.

I have to just be careful with how fast I have the motor going.

Peel the hard vegetables like carrots, beets and sweet potatoes before you spiralize them. And then cook them. Don't cook a vegetable before you spiralize them or you'll have a hot mess.

Dry your vegetables after you spiralize them. This is most important for summer squash like zucchini and cucumbers, otherwise you'll have a soggy salad or bowl of pasta.

Resources

 

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Three Healthy Snacks for the Superbowl

Three Healthy Snacks for the Superbowl

You want some healthy snacks to nibble on while everyone is chowing down on the insane stuff? I have three right here for you.

potpourri on a plateThe key when focusing on healthier alternatives is that you don't feel deprived. You've heard that a lot…probably because it's true. If you're dying for some potato chips dipped in onion dip, and you're trying to nibble on some healthy alternative that tastes like twigs and leaves, you're not going to be happy. And worse, you'll be resentful. No one needs that.

What Are Your Options

You could just give yourself permission to eat whatever you like and then drink water and eat lightly the next day. And that may be a good plan.

You could also decide to eat a little bit of your favorites, and then have something else for yourself. And you can find ways to make it work. Instead of potato chips, dip crudites into your favorite onion dip (that's what I do).

Your other option is to make some delicious options, and only eat those. But you'd better bring enough for everyone.

White Pizza Wonton Crunchers

This recipe is courtesy of Hungry Girl.  This recipe tastes a little like a white pizza. You could also use the wonton wraps and cupcake pan to make your favorite pizza combination.

Just be careful with how much pepperoni and sausage you put in. You can find turkey sausage crumbles that are a healthier alternative to pork sausage.

Or cook up the pork sausage and drain it really well. Some people even rinse the cooked crumbles to get as much of the grease off as possible.

Pork Sandwiches With Coleslaw

This recipe from Real Simple uses a pork tenderloin so you don't need to spend much time cooking.

Look for whole wheat or sprouted wheat buns. Or you could serve it on lettuce or cabbage leaves if you're going Paleo, low carb, or Keto.

You could also make pulled pork, kalua pork, or pulled chicken instead.

As a little trick, you can buy rotisserie chicken and shred that instead to save yourself time.

When making your own cole slaw, use light mayo. And feel free to use less than the recipe calls for.

Add more spices and even heat with chile peppers. It makes you drink more water, and it helps boost your metabolism.  Plus a well seasoned dish is more fulfilling. You don't need to keep eating more and more. You're satisfied.

Baked Buffalo Wings With Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dip

What's football without Buffalo wings, right? Well, you can eat guilt free with this recipe by Food Network by baking them instead. And remember what I was saying about spicy foods.

The other nice thing about Buffalo wings is you serve them with celery. That gets you more fiber and water and fills you up faster. So keep a lot of celery sticks on hand.

If you buy a pre-made hot wings sauce, make sure you check the sugar content first. As always, though, it's a balance. These wings will be healthier since they're baked.

And once you start making dips with yogurt, you may never go back to sour cream.

Are you hosting or going over to someone else's for Superbowl Sunday?

 

8 Foods that Beat Belly Bloat

8 Foods that Beat Belly Bloat

We've all had those days where our belly bloats up, right? Something we ate the night before has us swollen up like a balloon and we're retaining water. We could pull out the waist trimmers (and I have), but it's best to use food and water to flush it out. This video has eight foods that help to get rid of that belly bloat.

Peppermint Tea

I've also had good luck with spearmint and lemon mint. It's super easy to grow. And honestly, it tastes so refreshing to have fresh mint tea.

Bananas

I've heard from so many sources how great bananas are with fiber and potassium. But the truth is, they make my body feel worse. That's too bad because I dearly love them. I think it's the sugar that makes me bloat up.

I will eat a frozen dark chocolate covered slice as dessert occasionally.

And I will eat asparagus for a potassium burst that removes excess fluids. I prefer them roasted with a drizzle of olive oil.

Kumbacha

It wasn't on their list but I've found it works well for me. It's fermented with probiotics like kefir and bananas. And I get mine with ginger which was on the list.

Melon

Honedew was on their list. I've found good results also with cantaloupe and casaba. And don't forget watermelon. It's delicious and refreshing and super light.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are natural diuretics. I get the English ones and leave the peel on. Celery is another good water packed vegetable with the good kind of fiber.

Leafy Greens

A large plate of leafy greens with a drizzle of olive oil will help you feel full and get everything moving along and out of you.

Artichokes

There's a lot of fiber and other goodness in artichokes. It takes awhile to eat so you feel full after eating only one. And I've noticed I feel slimmer a few hours afterwards.

Water

And drink lots of water steadily throughout the day. I add in lemon. That seems to give bloat the boot.  Speaking of which, it's time for some.

One Day No Sugar Plan

One Day No Sugar Plan

One of the latest ideas is a no sugar or low sugar diet. As we were talking about yesterday, there's different diets for different people.  My preference is to eat reasonable amounts of everything. And doing as much cooking from scratch as possible.

I am a health book and cookbook junkie. Some state we're eating too much sugar, and that's affecting our obesity levels instead of gluten. Others say it's simple carbs. I think each body is different, and we need to eat according to what's best for our body.

I know there's sugar hidden everywhere, and the best way to counter that is by cooking everything.

One Day No Sugar Plan

Additional Ideas

Their clickthru is vegetarian meals with no sugar added.  I believe eating more vegetables will help us be healthier. I still like my meat.  One really fun cookbook is Meat On the Side by Niki Dinki.

That may inspire how you use meat.

Is Sugar That Bad?

A relative went to Thailand and was astonished at how much sugar everyone ate. He said everything was super sweet to his North American palette. But everyone was slim. They ate six or seven times a day. Each meal was small. And everyone walked everywhere.

So, maybe it's not the wheat. Maybe it's not the sugar. Maybe it's how we eat, and how we live our lives.

Still, I know I don't feel great if I eat a bunch of jelly beans or cookies. Although, we may have a disagreement over Reece's pieces, Good N Plenty and meringues. Just kidding.  But let's face it….some days you really don't feel like carrot, celery, and jicama sticks.

Cook It Yourself

Currently I'm reading this book on making stuff from scratch. It includes toaster pastries and ketchup. Reading the book is fun as well. I love reading the stories of her kids and how she was able to create some items. Let this inspire you to cook reduced sugar. Then when you want a treat, it will truly be a treat.

 

 

Tried And Tested Tips In Becoming A Good Cook

Anyone can experience the joys of cooking, even if you are a novice in the kitchen. Can you grab a recipe, buy the ingredients at the store, then mix them up? Does your kitchen have the basic necessities? If you answered yes to those two questions, then you are able to cook. Use the following advice to learn how to cook meals your whole family will enjoy.

You should keep your spices and herbs in a space that is cool and away from light. Heat, light, and a large amount of humidity can ruin spices and herbs. Herbs and spices generally keep their taste and flavor for about one year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. If they are stored properly, they will stay fresh longer.

When adding seasonings to meat, test a small amount before seasoning the whole batch. Take care when seasoning foods like hamburgers, meatloaf or meatballs. Season it mildly before you make the entire meal. Try cooking a small patty first. Once you have tried your sample you can correct the seasoning or proceed with the cooking.

If you have a meal that is important, like for a date or your boss, try cooking one of your better dishes so that you are familiar with it and know it tastes good. Avoid the temptation to try a new dish or ingredient. This can keep your stress levels in check while you cook.

When you cook vegetables quickly over high heat, their quality is best. Slow-cooked vegetables lose nutritional value and taste. These quick cooking techniques will produce generally, healthier vegetable sides. Learning to give them just a quick steam is the best way to cook them.

When you store things like flour, baking mixes and sugar, you should use containers that are airtight. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. These are carried in many stores and make a wise investment.

Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth. This helps to prevent vegetables from sticking on the pan. In addition, chicken broth improves the vegetables' flavor. Broth can be found at nearly any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.

If you use skewers for any of your dishes, be sure to soak skewers made of wood in water for a minimum of a half hour before using them. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. You can prevent food from sliding off skewers by using parallel skewers for twice the support of the food.

Substitute water for other more flavorful liquids, in order to spice up your meals. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. You can try out buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream instead of milk. Using different liquids can add nutritional value, while at the same time punching up bland, old recipes.

Do not dress your guests' salads. Serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to dress it to their liking. Some people like more dressing on their salad than others do, so it is better to let them add the dressing themselves. Your guests will also enjoy having a variety of dressings from which to choose.

When you want to cook a roast, but you don't have much time, consider cooking a bone-in roast. The bone acts as a conduit, transporting heat through the center of the meat. Once cooked, carve the bone out and serve the meat as normal.

To some people, cooking is just something you need to know how to do or an interesting hobby. To others, it's a way of making money. There are millions of ways to prepare food, and the best way to learn new cooking skills is to take advice from people who are good at what they do. Keep this article's tips in mind when you next decide to do a little kitchen work!

Cooking Tips From The Experts That Make The Kitchen Fun

Are you being driven nuts by cooking for your own family? Do not let your lack of cooking skills get you down. The following piece includes several terrific ideas that will remove any anxiety you have about preparing meals. Once you implement the advice presented here, you will wish you had read it sooner.

If you have every considered cooking with skewers, you should keep a few things in mind. Try to buy twisted or other shaped skewers when they are metal, the food will stay on.

Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. Their flavors will be weakened when they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. Ground spices typically maintain their flavor for around a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.

Bake pie crusts a little longer than you would think they should be baked. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. This golden color means that the sugar has caramelized, leaving a sweet flavor.

When you are cooking a stir-fry, ensure the meat is sliced to be very thin, and cut it on the bias. This can take time and be tricky. Take out the meat before it is frozen, but very firm, and cut into it at an angle of 45 degrees perpendicular to the grain.

Always keep a set of sharp knives in your kitchen. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. Attempting to force a blunt blade through a tough root vegetable is much more likely to lead to an accident, than quickly dicing and slicing the same tough root vegetable with a sharp blade.

By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. Many of the preparatory steps can be taken a day before cooking. This will enable you to enjoy the process of creating dishes that ordinarily would be a real task.

These will work as a sponge and soak up the water. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.

When you store some ingredients, like flour, baking mixes, and sugar, use airtight containers. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. These containers can be purchased at almost any store and definitely make for a good investment.

If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. Freeze premeasured amounts of your stock in freezer proof containers or bags when cool.

To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. Keeping herbs and spices in cabinets above the stove or other warm locations will cause them to lose their flavor.

Any time you are faced with a large amount of leftover turkey, don't be tempted to throw it in the garbage. Instead, cut it into smaller pieces, and place in the freezer in airtight containers. The turkey will stay fresh for a couple of weeks, and it can be used in open-face sandwiches or as a salad topper.

Do not forget to replace your spices twice a year. Often, spices that have sat upon the shelf for a long period of time lose their pungency. If you do not think you will use all of the spice within six months, split it with a friend.

If you decide on using fresh herbs, gather them in bunches and snip the stems with scissors. This is perfect for flavorful herbs like dill and parsley. The herbs will be lighter and fluffier this way, and will not be as wet as they would be if you chopped them.

When you have a large or complicated meal to prepare, you can eliminate a lot of the stress by doing any prep work the day before. Use this time to gather all needed ingredients, chop veggies and measure seasonings. Make sure you have everything you need. When the time comes to actually cook the meal, you will just have to combine the ingredients in the right order and cook them at the proper temperature for the correct amount of time.

Prior to barbecuing food, be sure that the grill is properly prepared. You can plan on 30 minutes as an average time before your charcoal grill will be ready for you to begin cooking. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.

There are a few ways to properly warm up tortillas. You can place tortillas right on the rack of a 350 degree oven until crisp. As an alternative, put the tortilla right on the top of the flame on the stove top. These two methods will give you a much tastier tortilla than microwaving.

It can be overwhelming to cook for your whole family. That said, there are many ways to make cooking for your family less of a hassle. You can breathe a little easier when you next enter your kitchen.