Cooking tips for new cookers

Cooking Tips, Recipes & Techniques:

Grocery Shopping :Try to shop for staples once a month (i.e. canned goods, pastas, rice, etc), while purchasing fresh ingredients as needed (i.e. fruits, meats, vegetables, etc. Plan what meals you want to make for the week in advance. This will help you plan your grocery list better Keep a constant shopping list in your kitchen, jotting down items when you run low.
Freezing:To save money on food cost, freeze any ingredients you do not use within 1-2 days. You can microwave to defrost items or thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.Meat and poultry that is partly frozen are easier to cut for soups, stir-fries and scaloppine.If you have a lot of leftovers, you can store them in the freezer in labeled and dated containers/ziplock bags.

Fresh and Refrigerated Goods:

Selecting quality produce is crucial to cooking. A rotten fruit/vegetable is never a tasty thing! When picking fruit, always go with aroma, lack of bruises, and bright in color.To extract the juice from limes and lemons, roll them firmly on a hard surface. This helps extract the water content nestled within the membranes. Save the peels in a ziplock bag for later usage. You can add them to water to prevent browning of peeled apples or potatoes, or preserve the rind for flavorings dishes, or household uses such as cleaning tough stains off kitchen counters and freshening up your food disposal.
When selecting melons, smell at the stem end for a sweet aroma- it should yield slightly to pressure. Berries should also have a fragrant aroma as well and should not be washed until just before use.To keep herbs from wilting, keep them stored in a tall container of water in the fridge. Trim the stems as you would flowers.
Store mushrooms in a paper bag so they are able to breathe, or else they become slimy and browned by condensation from the plastic bag.When selecting chili peppers, red ones will be sweeter than green because they are more ripe. The bigger the pepper the less hot it is. (Kind of like scorpions! Random?
To test the doneness of a hard boiled egg, simply just give it a spin. If it does not spin and wobbles, it is underdone, when it continues to spin it is ready to eat. Also to quickly peel hard-boiled eggs, roll the egg lightly until the entire shell is cracked all over. Peel from the end with the air pocket and remove the shell in a spiral formation.
Dry Goods:If a recipe calls for herbs and spices to be removed before serving, simply put them in a cheesecloth and tie it with a string or if readily available, a wire meshed tea ball. This will make extracting the herbs easier.Store commonly used dry goods like flour, sugar, grains, legumes and pasta in large half-gallon, wide-mouth, vacuum-sealed containers. These jars will allow you to easily measure out your ingredients as well as keep the moisture out.to shorten the boiling time for water, start with hot tap water. This will cut your time by almost half. Thin pastas such as vermicelli and angel hair will call for a much quicker cooking time than a thicker pasta like fettuccine or penne.
Glass wins out over canned or plastic: while it does use more energy to manufacture and recycle, it doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals that plastics and metals have. Be sure to reuse the glass containers over and over again to lessen the carbon footprint.canned produce wins out over frozen.That being said, most cans and many frozen containers are lined with a material containing BPA. There are brands, though, such as Eden, that are BPA-free. Paperboard wins out over canned, plastic or frozen options.
How to reduce packaging:Always bring your own reusable grocery bags. For a host of brands,Bring reusable bags and containers for produce and bulk items.Never buy bottled water.Consider powdered mixes rather than liquid drinks or frozen concentrates.Buy meats and cheeses from the deli rather than purchasing them in foam and plastic containers.
How to reuse containers:Use glass jars, such as pasta sauce jars, for food storage. They make a great alternative to plastic containers. They can also be microwaved without leaching toxins into your food.Instead of buying salad dressing containers, mix or make your own and store it in glass jars.Buy in bulk, making sure you use your own bags for transport and glass jars or other reusable containers for storage. Cooking can be a fantastic hobby for people of all ages. The articles listed below cover cooking hints and tips, including food handling safety, and preparing great meals at home.Although our articles will be of use to anyone seeking information regarding various cooking methods and food types, our primary focus is to provide information regarding kitchen skills and cooking for persons with disabilities and mobility problems, be it cooking for yourself, or preparing meals for seniors, or someone with a disability or health condition.You will also find information regarding cooking and eating utensils, including products and aids that assist persons with disabilities preparing and cooking food in the kitchen and for ease and independence when dining. Never be afraid to fail when cooking the first few times.Cooking is an art, and any art always takes a process ad of course, determination. As long as you have the passion for cooking, you can whip your way to culinary heaven and impress anyone with willing taste buds.Tip: When beginning cooking you should choose recipes that are not too complicated. Too difficult recipe steps can sometimes be a little overwhelming for the new cook. Be aware of how many resources you can acquire and how much time you can invest on the cooking process.

15 Basic Cooking Tips To Make Your Life Easier:

There are some basic cooking tips that anyone could learn and use to help out in the kitchen. With todays’ busy lifestyles becoming more prevalent, learning and using these basic cooking tips will save you time and headache.

Bacon: Reduce shrinkage by running cold water over it before frying.
Beans: Stop gas attacks by adding a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in a big pot of beans while they are soaking.
Boiled Eggs: Add some vinegar or a little salt to the boiling water when boiling eggs. This basic cooking tips will keep the egg in the shell if it cracks.
Ripening Fruits and Vegetables: Put your unripe fruit and vegetables in a brown paper bag and place the bag in a dark cupboard for few day. Using this basic cooking tips is an excellent way to save money on fruits and vegetables that has to be ripened.
Salads: Cut your iceberg lettuce into wedges instead of tearing salad greens to save some time making a salad.
Spaghetti Sauce: Add a small pinch of bicarbonate of soda to your spaghetti sauce to lower the acid taste from the tomatoes.
Corn: Place the corn directly into boiling water, and do not add salt. Do not boil corn for more than three minutes. Overcooking reduces the taste level.
Frozen Vegetables: When they are stuck together, simply run boiling water over them.
Pancakes: Use a small amount of sugar in the batter and they will brown more quickly.
Pie Pastry: Substitute one teaspoon of vinegar for one teaspoon of the cold water called for in the recipe and the pastry will be much flakier.
Quick Sauces: Use condensed cream soups such as cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of tomato, cream of celery, to make fast and easy sauces.
Quick Tenderizer: Use vinegar as a meat tenderizer. Add a tablespoon to water when boiling meat or ribs for stews. This basic cooking tips will help tenderizer even the toughest meat.
Wilted vegetables: Soak wilted veggies in two cups water, one tablespoon vinegar to help bring them back to life.
Wooden Skewers: Soak all your wooden skewers in cold water for twenty minutes to prevent them from burning.
Inspiration could be considered to be one of the key ingredients to writing. Only if one is inspired, can one get to writing on any subject especially like cooking.

COOKING TECHNIQUES:

“It’s my belief that the best way to become a good cook is to learn these basic cooking techniques.”
Once you learn how to handle these fundamental techniques, you will be able to handle most recipes. Cooking is not just about recipes….it is about how to take ingredients and make them taste as good as possible.Recipes are great road maps to show us how someone else got there, but one of the joys of cooking is to find your own paths. Knowing these techniques is like taking the car out for a spin in a new location. You’re not sure where you are going to end up, but getting there will be fun.

How to Stir Fry in Your Own Kitchen:

Every week or so I get a craving for Chinese food. There’s something about those crunchy vegetables, tender meats, and incredible flavors that forces me to dig out a menu buried in a kitchen drawer and order from a local restaurant. The Chinese have a way of manipulating food that I wanted to learn about so I dug out the wok that I inherited when I got married and started reading up and experimenting.The Chinese have a way of manipulating food that I wanted to learn about so I dug out the wok that I inherited when I got married and started reading up and experimenting. Often I talk about prepping ingredients before you start cooking, but this is a must when doing stir-fry. In fact prepping the ingredients will take longer than the actual cooking. Once you get your pan hot. Stir-frying will also give you some practice with your cutting skills since each ingredient will be bite size (Have you ever seen a knife in a Chinese restaurant?) and have different cuts. Once prepped, I like to put the ingredients in individual bowls separated by cooking times.The technique is to quickly fry the ingredients in a large pan over high heat while constantly stirring to preserve flavor, color and texture of the food and keep the vegetables crisp. Easy enough. Other than a few specialty ingredients, you can use whatever you have on hand to make a stir-fry. It’s a great way to clean out the vegetable drawer. Because you’ll be cooking at very high heat, you want to use a high smoking point oil like peanut, safflower, corn, or canola. Some of the specialty ingredients that you should be able to find at your local supermarket are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce. Short or medium grained rice is best for accompanying your stir-fry.
You start by prepping the meat or chicken. Cut the meat into thin bite-size slices and marinate to protect it from overcooking. The marinade can be made with a variety of liquids depending on the flavor you are trying to obtain. Typical marinade ingredients include chicken stock or beef stock, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili sauce, corn starch, brown sugar, rice wine or dry sherry. Marinate for a least one hour, longer is better.Prepare an aromatic mixture consisting of finely chopped herbs and spices that will add flavor and aroma to the stir-fry. Typical aromatics include garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes, shallots, and chili peppers to name a few. Next prepare your vegetables by cutting them into small pieces and separating according to their cooking times. Slower cooking vegetables like asparagus and green beans will be added before faster cooking vegetables like pea pods and tomatoes. Now you’re ready to stir-fry.