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.
Cook your pasta for one minute less than the box recommends. Look at the cook time on your box of pasta and subtract a minute. If you are including the pasta in a dish, it will cook the rest of the way when you are cooking it with the sauce.
Olive oil is one of the most important investments that you can make during the course of your cooking career. Find a high quality brand of olive oil and add this ingredient to a variety of different foods. This oil will help bring out the taste in pasta, fish and meat.
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.
In brief, learning how to cook is learning how to avoid pre-packaged foods and meals. These convenience food products, all too common today, have speed as their solitary real benefit. Home-cooked meals will always beat them in taste and cost. In most cases – even with meals that are not especially healthy – the version made in the kitchen will be healthier than the packaged version.
Keep track of ingredients when baking. Sometimes, when you are adding a lot of dry ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s easy to lose track. An easy solution to this is to place each ingredient in a different part of the bowl. That way, every dry ingredient you add can be seen and counted.
Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. Vegetables that have been slow-cooked are not as nutritional or tasty as vegetables that are cooked in other ways. Using these techniques will mean putting healthier food on the table. If you learn to cook vegetables for the right amount of time, it will help to keep them tasty and preserve nutrients.
You should think big when preparing chicken stock. Instead of making just what you need, make a huge pot so you have some to freeze and use later. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.
If you choose the wooden versions of cooking skewers, it is a good idea to immerse them in water, and leave them there for about half an hour before using them. If you do not do this, your food may cook faster than you want, causing it to burn. Try using two skewers parallel to one another instead of just one skewer.
Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having a quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.
If you are going on a picnic, put lettuce and other vegetables in separate containers from condiments. Condiments are not to make sandwiches soggy, so by separating them, you are ensuring your sandwich will taste fresh. Also, do not place any food items next to drinks inside of the basket.
If you have left over wine in a bottle from dinner or drinks with friends, you can pour out the remaining wine in an ice tray and put it in the freezer. When you are making a sauce that has wine in the recipe you can drop in a couple of cubes.
Freeze some ice tea and other cold drinks up in ice cube trays. You can use the frozen drink cubes as ice on those particularly hot days. That way, your drink won’t be diluted by the quickly melting ice cubes. It makes for a nice change, not having to run back and forth to the refrigerator, just to top off your drink glass.
When cutting up apples for a fruit tray or lunch box, place the slices in a bowl of lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or pineapple juice to soak for 5 minutes or so. Any of these drinks will prevent the apples from turning that unappealing brown shade, and they won’t drastically alter the flavor of your apple slices.
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.