The fact is that cooking is an absolutely essential life skill. If you can cook for yourself, you can make your food tastier and healthier, not to mention more economical.
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.
When you shelve an herb or a spice, make sure it's dark and cool. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. Store your herbs and spices correctly, so that they will stay fresh and keep their full flavor!
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.
If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.
Layered bar cookies, fudge and chewy brownies often fall apart or get torn up from trying to evenly cut them into squares. A good rotary pizza cutter can be used to accomplish this task without worrying about a sharp knife slipping and causing an injury. Make some light guidelines in your food with the tip of a knife first and follow up with the pizza cutter for perfectly cut bars, brownies and fudge every time.
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Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9" X 13" pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
If you follow these tips, learning how to cook homemade foods is simple and easy. As your cooking improves, you will discover how beneficial cooking can be, for your waistline and your wallet. Eating good home cooking will create a healthy and happy style of living for yourself and those around you. Use these great tips to make delicious, healthy and affordable meals that the whole family will love!