Whether you are teaching your children to cook or just looking for ways to maximize your own time in the kitchen, use these tips to help with meal preparation. Creating delicious and nutritious meals for yourself and your family can be easy and fun for everyone who is included in the cooking process.
When cooking any recipe, use the best ingredients that you can afford. Splurge a little on imported cheeses or better quality meats when you can, so that you can experience a restaurant, quality-tasting meal at home. To enhance the experience even further, try to creatively plate up the meal with a little thought, for something different every now and then.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
For stir fry with an authentic Chinese touch, try using their velveting technique! Prepare a mixture of corn starch, egg whites, seasonings and sherry and set your pork, chicken or shrimp in it for about half an hour. Then, blanch it in hot oil or boiling water for shiny, tender and delicious restaurant quality stir fry.
A good tip to do when it comes cooking and preparing food is to prepare all the necessary ingredients that you need at night, that way when morning comes you are not stressing about them. This will help you concentrate at the task at hand which is preparing food in the best way possible.
If you are cooking a meal for some important occasion, stick with a tried and true recipe. Cooking a new recipe is a bad idea since you have not yet worked out any quirks in the recipe. Doing this will decrease the stress that you feel, which is always a good thing.
If you have ever questioned the freshness of the eggs you bought and you don’t know whether the eggs in your fridge are still useable or not, you can break them individually into a cup to see if they are good or not. If you need to test several eggs, put them in a pan of cool, salted water. Use the ones floating on top and throw away the ones that sink to the bottom of the pan.
Save your butter and margarine wrappers to use when baking. The wax paper that butter and margarine is wrapped in just happens to be the perfect size for greasing pans or rubbing onto a potato before popping it in the oven for baking. Save wrappers butter-side to butter-side in a closed storage container, so it stays fresh for your baking needs.
Whenever possible, avoid canned ingredients in your cooking. They have numerous disadvantages. Canned food has lost vital nutrients that you want in order to cook the healthiest possible meals. They also taste different – if not downright worse – than fresh ingredients, potentially ruining your recipes. Finally, canned foods have unhealthy additives – especially extra sodium – that you do not need in your food.
They will act somewhat like a sponge that soaks up all the water. Try using a clean, wet cloth and wiping them off instead.
Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.
Tofu is a great source of protein that vegetarians should use to get the nutrients their body needs. Many vegetarians are lacking in protein because they are not eating meat. Tofu can be prepared in a variety of ways and really soaks up flavors so it can be served as a meal or as a quick snack.
Roast nuts briefly in the oven and then sprinkle some flour on them before using in a cake to prevent them from migrating to the bottom of the pan. Applying heat and coating lightly with flour keeps them in position in the cake batter and reduces the likelihood the nuts will settle before the cake is done baking.
When making food that relies on seasonings, use some every few minutes, versus using it all at the start. Seasoning in this manner offers several advantages. First, you are maximizing the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Second, you are utilizing ingredients in the best way possible.
Some recipes call for peeled half or quarter peaches. In most cases peeling is not easy, as the skin sticks to the fruit and doesn’t come off. The easiest way to remedy the problem is to place the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the fruits, place them into ice water to stop the boiling effect. Their skin will come off easily.
A well-stocked pantry is a cook’s best friend! Never is that more true than when you are faced with unexpected company and you have nothing specifically planned to serve. Maintaining a pantry stocked with the basics gives you the flexibility to create easy meals at the last minute. For help in creating a great cook’s pantry, think hard about the items you go back to again and again. You can also find great tips on items for the pantry in most good cookbooks and online at cooking sites.
You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.
Leverage some or all of the tips in this article to help you prepare great meals for your family. Whether you are cooking a quick meal after a long day or a large meal for guests, use the tips provided in this article to best leverage your time and ingredients, in the kitchen.