Cooking is generally a rewarding and relaxing hobby by many. An aromatic kitchen filled with fresh ingredients is sure to brighten anyone’s mood. However, it’s not always easy to come up with the recipes and techniques to make the perfect meal. Read on for some great advice to get you cooking fantastic meals that everyone will enjoy!

Spices and herbs should be stored in a dark and cool area. Herbs and spices can quickly lose their flavor if exposed to continuous light or heat. Do not expect your spices to last more than a year. It is possible for whole spices to remain flavorful for up to five years. Storing spices in glass containers with a tight-fitting lid will keep the best.

Meat should always be thinly sliced and cut on the bias if you are adding it to a stir-fry. This can be a bit difficult, and it takes some time to do it right. When the meat is not quite frozen, take it out of the freezer and slice it against the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

Does it upset you to discard fruit that is moldy? You may have wondered if it is okay to cut out the rotten part. Saving half-rotten fruit in a healthy way is not possible. In fact, it is best to throw away the fruit. Mold can grow much deeper than the eye can see, and eating it could potentially make you very ill.

Apples spoil quickly if stored incorrectly. Warm air is the enemy of apples; store them in a cool area or even the refrigerator. If one of the apples in a bag begins spoiling, the rest will soon follow.

When cooking vegetables, cook them as quickly as possible to keep their nutritional value. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious. Vegetables cooked in these ways make healthier side dishes and ingredients in recipes. The less time you take to cook them, the better your vegetables will be.

Complete many steps when cooking something ahead of time. Check recipes to find out what can be prepared ahead of time without risking spoilage. There is a lot of preparation that you can take care of a day in advance. Even if you are faced with a challenging recipe, it can make everything go quickly.

The smell of garlic can transfer to your hands easily. If you have a stainless steel sink, simply rub your hands vigorously on the inside of it, when you are finished handling the garlic. Doing this cleanses your hands and won’t allow the aroma to transfer to whatever you handle next.

This way, you’ll have fresh fruit to use for cooking all year long. An added bonus is that you are going to be able to eat fruit that is not in season and is therefore unavailable elsewhere during certain periods.

When certain recipes call for milk or water, try adding some other liquids that you would see fit to experiment with flavors. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Instead of using milk, you can substitute yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. Using different liquids can add nutritional content to certain dishes and improve their flavor.

Bone-in roasts will cook most rapidly, something to keep in mind when you need to watch the clock. The bone inside of the meat acts as a conductor of sorts, helping the meat to cook faster. Cut the meat around the bone before serving it.

It is important to only use wine that you typically drink when you are cooking. Using a wine that you are not familiar with in your food can cause you not to like the flavor that’s produced. If you want a safe bet, most liquor stores carry cooking wines.

Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. You can use Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise, or ripe tomatoes sliced about a half inch thick. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes on the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and place the tomatoes inside for as long as ten hours. Once done, you can store them in your freezer in plastic bags. Dried tomatoes can be placed into a jar that is filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. This will be good for up to two weeks and should be refrigerated during that time.

Spices should be stored in a cool, dark area so that they stay as fresh as they can for as long as possible. Storing spices in warm locations, such as above the stove, can cause the spices to lose their flavor and you to lose your money.

Stay creative and have fun when cooking. You do not have to use a recipe word for word, and a few steps of your own. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. That’s how real cooks do it!

As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.