Making the same meals every day can be oppressively boring. Liven up your meals and learn some new cooking techniques. Not only is cooking needed to have a wonderful meal, but you could find it to be a fun hobby. Below are some helpful tips and hints to get you started on your exciting new venture with cooking.
Always bake pie and tart crusts for longer than the recipe specifies for best results. They should not be a pale blond color, they need to be golden brown. The golden color indicates that the sugar in the pie crust has caramelized and this will give a sweet and crisp flavor.
Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. Your spices will not last as long if they are exposed to light, heat or humidity. When spices are stored in an adequately dark and cool area, they tend to retain their taste and shelf life for greater periods of time. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
There is a great trick to thicken up your sauce so it isn't wasted. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. You can then add the solution to the sauce and it will become thicker. For sauce that is too thick, add liquid until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
Try to cook the foods that you are talented at when you are cooking for a special event. Trying out a new recipe may end in disaster. This will help to make cooking more enjoyable and less stressful.
Try putting some cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes to cut some calories and fat. You will not even taste the cauliflower in with the potatoes, because it is so bland. Cauliflower mashes into the same texture and color as potatoes, so no one will notice, and you you will get the benefits.
Lots of recipes for fresh basil? Fill an empty glass with fresh basil. The stems will then need to be covered with water. Keep it on a kitchen counter so you remember to use it. Even if the water is varied on occasion, the basil will still grow their roots regardless. Picking the leaves from time to time will cause the basil to put out new growth, so you will have a constant supply!
Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. Try cooking your veggies in chicken broth. It adds a nice flavor, and the veggies will not stick to the pan. Chicken broth is cheap, and can be bought anywhere.
To prepare pumpkins for baking, cut the standing pumpkin in half through the center. Take both halves with the cut sides down and place on different baking sheets to bake. Pour a little water on some baking sheets and bake the pumpkin for about 1 hour at 350 F.
When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Substitute plain water with juice, broth, or the water that you cooked your vegetables in. Other dairy products such as buttermilk or sour cream can be used in place of milk. Using liquid substitutions in your cooking can increase nutrition and give a standby dish a new flavor.
Use these tips and add your own style to what you cook, and you may have discovered a wonderful, new passion. Enjoy your time in the kitchen and spend it with loved ones. Older children can be a great help in the kitchen. You will also find out more about your tastes and preferences. As you practice, you will start having more fun and make better dishes.