Cooking is an art form. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.

When you are making stock, make a lot of it. Then save it in a plastic zip bag, date it and freeze it. That way you can pull it when you would like to make a soup. You can use it to boil some veggies in. Having some in the freezer will make preparing healthy meals very much easier.

When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before. This saves you time when you're getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You'll thank yourself because there is less stress the night of the big meal.



Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Storing spices in lighted areas or warm areas can reduce their length of freshness. Store spices in a dark, cool location to keep them flavorful and fresher for longer. Using fresh spices will make your food taste better.

Rising the dough requires patience and an optimal environment. Don't just leave the bowl with the dough where it's not in your way. Create the perfect conditions to get the best results. Find a place with constant, warmer temperature without draft. Constantly changing temperature and draft makes the dough rise slowly and unevenly.

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.

Herbs and spices have a powerful impact on the quality of your cooking. To preserve these important, expensive ingredients, keep them in a cool, dark place with minimal humidity. All too often spices are left near ovens and sinks. The heat, light and moisture in such places leach the flavor out of high-quality spices.

As your cooking prowess grows, you will learn to appreciate the versatility of stocks and broths. Rather than buying these useful ingredients at the store or wasting your time cooking them in small batches, prepare stocks in large quantities. You can store surplus stock in plastic bags in your freezer, ready for quick use in future recipes.

While garlic is a great addition to many dishes, it has the frustrating feature of rubbing off on your hands. To remove it, rub your hands along the inside of a stainless sink or bowl . This will clean your hands of the smell that can get onto to the food that you have to handle next.

This is a rich and bountiful set of cooking tips and lore to help both the novice and the chef. We hope they will challenge you to try new dishes and expand your list of ingredients. This can bring new enjoyment to you and those who share your table.