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Food is an essential part of everyone’s lives. Take this advice and send your cooking skills up a notch.

TIP! One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod.

When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. Save time by doing the prep work before you begin cooking the meal. Of course, cooking under a strict deadline can really increase stress levels. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.

TIP! It is extremely important to prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking your meal for a group. Gather all the ingredients beforehand.

When baking crust for pie or tarts, leave them in the oven to bake a little longer than you planned. The color should be a darker caramel instead of the pale blond so many people do. This golden color means that the sugar used in the crust has caramelized, giving the crust a crisp and sweet flavor.

TIP! Cut meat thinly across the grain when you are stir-frying. Slicing the meat can take a lot of time and be rather tricky.

Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. The shelf life of spices is greatly reduced if they are exposed to heat, humidity, or light. If you store your spices in dark place with relatively low temperatures like a pantry, the spices will retain their taste and take longer to spoil. This will help every meal that you prepare taste better.

TIP! Partially chill meat so it becomes easier to slice into thin strips. For Asian meals, such as Thai and Chinese dishes, this technique creates strips that are particularly ideal.

Did you ever feel badly for throwing moldy fruit in the garbage? You may wonder if it’s okay to salvage them by trimming away the moldy parts. If you have fruit that is just a little rotten, throw it away. Toss it in the trash; you may not be able to see all of the areas that are affected by the mold, and if you eat any of it, you can become very ill.

TIP! When you add seasoning to your meats, test a little bit before you cook the whole thing. Certain foods require special care when seasoning.

By completing some food preparation ahead of time you can simplify your cooking process. Look over your recipe and determine which items can be prepared in advance and not spoil. Do the prep work the day before. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.

Chicken Broth

TIP! Do you find yourself throwing away molded fruits a lot? Is it alright to eat fruit after removing the moldy sections? It is not possible to save rotting fruit. If you see that fruit is starting to rot, just throw it away because even if some parts look healthy, the mold has most likely already spread throughout.

Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Not only will chicken broth help to keep vegetables from getting stuck to the pan, but they will add some nice flavors to the dish. Chicken broth is economical and widely available.

TIP! For crispier French fries, you should chill the peeled potatoes in water for 30 minutes or more before frying them. When you soak sliced potatoes in cold water, it strengthens their fibers, so that they can stand up to the heat when being deep fried.

When you do this, you can enjoy your favorite fresh fruits all year. This is a great way to ensure that you have your favorite fruits during their off seasons.

TIP! They will soak up a ton of water, just like a sponge. Get a wet cloth instead, and wipe off each mushroom by hand.

Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Some great replacements for milk are sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.

TIP! You need to soak wooden skewers in water for approximately thirty minutes prior to using them. If you do not do this, your food may cook faster than you want, causing it to burn.

If making dinner every night is becoming laborious, start preparing for it the night before. Easy ways to prep in advance include cutting up any ingredients that needs chopping, throwing together the ingredients for any sauces or marinades or assembling a casserole before you head to bed for the night. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.

Dried Tomatoes

TIP! Cooking with garlic, buy for the freshest garlic head possible. A good rule of thumb is that fresh garlic will have a sweet taste to it.

It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. Use a cookie sheet to hold the rack and set it in the oven at 190 degrees for at least 10 hours. Finally, place your dried tomatoes in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. Use them within two weeks of refrigerating.

Food is the essence of life, and the power it contains is astonishing. Implement the things you’ve learned to impress people around you.

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