It’s a struggle for any parent to find time to make tasty and healthy meals. Sometimes it’s tempting to give up on cooking and just order take-out. But before you place that order, read this article. You’ll find some tips that will help any busy mom or dad in the kitchen.
A good tip to do when it comes cooking and preparing food is to prepare all the necessary ingredients that you need at night, that way when morning comes you are not stressing about them. This will help you concentrate at the task at hand which is preparing food in the best way possible.
When you learn to cook for yourself, do not be afraid of cooking in large batches. The freezer becomes your friend once you are making your own meals. Surplus food that you prepare, but will not use immediately, can be stored almost indefinitely in your freezer. Cooking in large batches is the best way to maximize the utility of your cooking time.
Fresh herbs can add a great deal to most recipes. Herbs can be tricky to handle, though, because they need to be chopped so finely. Sprinkling salt over the cutting board before chopping herbs can cut down on mess. The salt encourages herbs to stick to the board instead of flying off.
You should use nonstick cooking spray when cooking a meal or snack. The nonstick cooking spray keeps food from sticking to a pan without adding unneeded fats and calories. There are some sprays that are flavored, so that you can get the same flavor as if you had used butter.
Make sure not to use oil in the water you are using to make pasta. This will only keep sauce from sticking to pasta when mixed together. In order to give the water a little flavor and prevent the pasta from sticking the pot, you can add in a little bit of salt.
Some recipes call for peeled half or quarter peaches. In most cases peeling is not easy, as the skin sticks to the fruit and doesn’t come off. The easiest way to remedy the problem is to place the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the fruits, place them into ice water to stop the boiling effect. Their skin will come off easily.
Eggplants tend to turn black during cooking unless you treat them properly. Add a spoon of milk to the cold cooking water and add the plant to that milky water. The eggplant will not change its color during cooking and will make your dish more appetizing when you serve it.
Stop guessing on the taste of your meatballs and loafs. Take your mixture of meat and seasonings and fry up a small hamburger so you can get a taste of how your meatloaf or meatballs will turn out. This way you can add more seasonings or tone them down by adding more meat.
Prepare as much of the food as you can the night before. The cooking process will go much smoother when you can concentrate on the more difficult parts of cooking instead of worrying about the mundane tasks. Many dressings and vegetables, for example, will stay in the refrigerator quite well.
After you have cut up meats on your counter, be sure to thoroughly wipe the counters and chopping boards down with a disinfectant. You need to disinfect knives also. Keep separate chopping boards for uncooked and cooked foods. Many people get salmonella poisoning each year because they ingested food that was prepared on an unclean counter or chopping board. This is especially important if you prepare food for children or the elderly.
In order to save time when you are cooking, you can create beforehand your own blend of spices for different dishes. There are different spice combos for Asian, Italian, Mexican, or Indian cuisines. An easy “American” blend would be combining cinnamon and sugar for a quick cinnamon toast as a nice morning or evening treat.
If you like to bake for the holidays and give home-baked gifts from the kitchen, consider packaging your goodies in any of the readily available, multiple-use plastic storage containers instead of holiday print metal tins. The recipient of your tasty treats will not only love their cookies, but will also love the very re-useable container your baked goods came in. Fancy tins are pretty, but often get tossed away because they are rarely air-tight and tend to rust after washing.
After cooking meat of any kind, it is very important that you let it sit a while before cutting. If you cut too soon, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board, leaving the meat dry and with less flavor. Letting the meat sit allows time for the juices to retract back into the meat.
Rice is a great carbohydrate and very inexpensive. Pasta and bread are three times as much per pound than rice. Investing in a rice cooker is well worth it. Use rice as you would orzo or other short pastas.
If you are faced with cooking a meal for someone who you simply must impress, show some restraint when mixing things up in the kitchen. While it is okay to cook with a new or uncommon ingredient or to use a brand new recipe, it is not a good idea to risk it by attempting both.
Although it is tempting, do not add oil to boiling pasta if you will be using the pasta with a sauce. The oil prevents the sauce from adhering to the pasta, and may leave you with a slick, unappealing mess. Give your pasta a stir every couple of minutes as it cooks and use plenty of water, and there should not be any sticking issues.
The one thing that no parent has enough of is time. Luckily, the advice in this article will save you precious time in the kitchen, and will help you make meals your whole family will enjoy. You’ll be amazed at how much time you can save just by following these simple tips.