It is a fact that people need to eat if they want to survive. Here are some things you can use to bump your cooking skills up a notch.

Ensure that you aren’t missing important ingredients before you start cooking. With the right groundwork, you can enter your kitchen confidently and get right to work whipping up a fantastic meal.

You should not boil pasta in water that has oil in it. When you add oil to the water that you are boiling your pasta in it keeps the sauce from sticking to the pasta. By leaving the oil out you can toss your pasta in the sauce and it will cling to it.

Season meats evenly. It is important to season all of the meats you are going to be cooking evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning lightly over the meat like it was snowing down. This will keep the seasoning even and prevent clumping. The taste will be more consistent all through it.

Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.

When a recipe calls for vegetable shortening, coconut oil is a healthy alternative that should be used. Coconut oil can be difficult to find in the typical grocery stores so you may need to look in a healthfood store to find it. It is important to read the label to make sure it is true coconut oil.

How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.

Check your ingredients before starting a recipe. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe, only to realize that you are missing a vital ingredient. Also, you will save time by assembling everything. Measure everything out, and prepare any ingredients in advance. This way, you won’t suddenly find yourself having to chop an onion or grate cheese when you are right in the middle of your recipe.

Learning to cook, and having fun with it at the same time, is as satisfying as eating. Take these suggestions, and include little touches of them in your cooking. You’ll notice your skills gradually improve, and eventually, all of your family and friends will be wanting you to bring meals to them.

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