Is cooking family meals that one chore that you have begun to dread? The idea of cooking a meal for yourself should not be enough to send you in a tailspin! This article provides several fantastic tips that will make cooking more enjoyable, and stress-free. Once you follow the tips from this article, you will look back and laugh at how stressed out cooking used to make you feel.
Store herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dark. Exposure to heat, light, and humidity can cause them to lose their flavor. Generally speaking, properly stored herbs and ground spices can keep a good portion of their flavor as long as one calendar year. Whole spices can retain flavor for about three or five years. If you keep them correctly, they will last a lot longer.
Do you want to cook with fresh basil? Try placing clumps of fresh basil into a clear, glass container. Cover its stems completely with water. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. Trim or cut the basil periodically to provide for added growth so you can partake in some fresh basil for a while!
Fresh ingredients are always preferable to dried or frozen ones in all of your recipes. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible, as they make the food more flavorful, and they may cost less over the long run.
By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Recipes should be examined and items that won’t spoil that can be prepared a day or two ahead should be done first. The day before the cooking happens, there can be a lot of prep work done. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.
It can be very useful to think large when making your favorite chicken stock. 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. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.
Freezing helps ensure fresh fruit throughout the year. In addition it will give you access to fruits that aren’t always in season.
Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. Cooking the roast with the bone still in it will help the inside of the roast cook faster. When done cooking, carve the bone out of the roast and serve.
If it seems overwhelming to cook the family dinner, prepare some of the ingredients the evening before. You can marinate the meat, make sauces, grate cheese and cut up veggies before retiring for the evening. With this done, you will have a major portion of the meal ready for the next step, which means less stress for you.
You should consider drying your tomatoes on your own. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Then place that on a baking sheet and dry them in an oven that is 190 degrees for 10 hours. After the tomatoes have cooled, place them in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Cooking for the family can be beyond overwhelming. That said, there are many ways to make cooking for your family less of a hassle. When it comes to mealtime, relax, because help has arrived.