A lot of people consider cooking to be just another chore that needs doing. This article gives you ideas to make cooking the joy it should be.

When you are going to be looking for someone important, whether it’s a boss or a potential love interest, make certain you are cooking something you are familiar with. This is not the time for testing new recipes or new ingredients. This is a recipe for a stressful time in the kitchen.

Are you preparing a dish with fresh basil? Store basil in a glass jar. Pour water into the glass until the stems of the fresh basil are completely covered. When you do this, it easy to store and stays fresh for several weeks. If you are sure to add fresh water, your basil will even form roots and become a plant. You should also trim the basil once in a while so it grows even more.

You can use it on other foods besides meat. It can add flavor to all manner of foodstuffs, such as scrambled eggs. You’ll even surprise yourself with just how delicious your food tastes.

Save time and money by freezing leftover sauce in ice cube trays in the freezer. You can easily take them from the freezer when needed for a meal and quickly reheat in a saute pan. Don’t worry; the sauce will taste delicious after being frozen in an ice cube tray!

When storing baking ingredients, such as flour and sugar, be sure to store them in airtight food containers. Sealed containers are great for keeping bugs out and helping your food to not spoil. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.

If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to cut back on the fat by eliminating some of the cooking oils you use. Most of the time, the oils you cook with have high amounts of unnecessary and unhealthy fats. This is also true of butter. Nonstick cooking sprays are a great substitute which ends up giving you the same result except in a healthy way, as opposed to the oil which is unhealthy.

When cooking with pumpkins, you will need to place the pumpkin upright then slice it in half right down the middle. Put each half, cut side down, on a separate baking sheet. Spray a bit of water on each baking sheet, and then put both into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about an hour.

If making dinner every night is becoming laborious, start preparing for it the night before. You can marinate the meat, make a sauce and cut up some vegetables and onions before going to bed. You will be more relaxed and better prepared to cook the following day.

You can dry out your own tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Next, lightly salt the open sides and place them salt-side up on a wire cooling rack. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. Place them in the freezer in plastic bags. You can put the dried tomatoes with fresh herbs in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. The tomatoes will need to be refrigerated and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.

For the best cooking results, spices have to be replaced after six months. When spices sit around for too long, they tend to lose flavor. When you know you’re not going to be using a spice for a long time, give it away to someone in your family or to a friend before it loses its flavor.

Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. As fruits ripen, they produce a gas called ethylene. When you store the fruit in a perforated bag, the ethylene gas can escape so that the natural decay process slows down. This allows your produce and fruits to stay fresh longer.

You must stay organized so that you don’t burn any food. You can be more productive if your cooking station is well organized. A lack of organization in your kitchen work areas can cause you to lose focus, among other things, and can easily result in wasted time, money, and food.

When you are cooking, wash the dishes as you go along. If you have a double sink, keep hot soapy water and clear, fresh rinse water on each side of the sink. Utensils that have been used recently, will be easier to clean if you leave them in this water.

Add lots of salt to your water for cooking pasta. This allows the seasoning to soak into the pasta, which will retain its flavor. Salt and seasonings do not necessarily stick very well to cooked pasta, so seasoning it while it boils is your best bet to enhance the flavor.

To give your pasta some added zip, save the water you use to boil the pasta. Remove approximately a quarter of a cup and set it aside. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.

When preparing to barbecue, make sure you light the charcoal in your grill ahead of time. You should try to have everything ready 30 minutes prior to your cook time. Your coals should be kept at a medium heat range and covered with a layer of ash. This is the right temperature to begin grilling your food.

As you can see, cooking can be an adventure instead of a chore. Following these tips will help you engage creatively in an activity that could otherwise be boring or unpleasant.