For many people, cooking serves many purposes. It allows people to test their creativity by constructing new culinary masterpieces, improve their skills as they become better chefs, or simply to eat their favorite dish. Whatever the reason is for you cooking, the tips found in the following article will help you with cooking.

Easy measuring cup clean up. Many baking recipes call for sticky ingredients such as butter, honey, syrup or peanut butter. Instead of having to wash out a gooey mess every time you need to reuse the measuring cup, spray the inside of the cup with non-stick cooking spray. The ingredients will slide right out and you can reuse the measuring cup right away!

You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.

Poultry seasoning is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways not just with poultry. Add this savory seasoning to snack foods like Chex mix, or use it to spice up your omelet. Seasoned salt is a wonderful secret weapon to your spice rack.

You should use real butter when you are cooking for your family. There are some people who choose to use margarine when they cook instead of butter because it is more affordable. They may not know that they are feeding their family something that contains hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are unhealthy.

When you are going to crush garlic for a dish, put it in a resealable plastic bag. Then, smash it up with the end of a knife. By doing this, you will prevent your knife, cutting board and hands from smelling of garlic, which is a smell that is hard to get rid of.

Slice garlic when you sauté it. Many people mince garlic. If you plan to sauté it in a pan, this might not be the best idea. When you sauté minced garlic it is likely to burn. If you cut the garlic into slices it cooks more thoroughly and without burning.

Never use oil that has been used for other foods or has been sitting in a frying pan for a long time. It will give your food a foul taste. If you are unsure if the oil is good enough to cook with, smell it and use your finger to try a little of it.

Don’t use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.

Avoid dry sandwiches by making sure the spread reaches every corner of the bread. Whether its mayonnaise or a cucumber cream cheese spread, it rids the sandwich of the dry taste of bread, meat and cheese. A quick dollop in the middle leaves only a well moisturized middle and less flavored and prepared edges.

To save time when cooking for a big event like Thanksgiving, do all the prep work the night before. You can also make desserts a day or two before the dinner. This will give you more time to focus on what needs to be done and the day will be a lot less stressful.

Use cast iron pans when you cook your meat. Cast iron imparts the best flavor to the meat and avoids any chance of sticking. You also get the added benefit of your meat having a higher iron content from using the cast iron. Sometimes old fashioned ideas are the best.

Treat your herbs like fresh flowers. If you are tired of your fresh herbs going to waste before you can use them all, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, trim the stems and place them in a vase in which you would like to keep freshly cut flowers. You will keep the herbs alive and healthy much longer.

Don’t be afraid to play with recipes and change the ingredients you don’t like. Recipes are not the Bible; they are simply guidelines for preparing a dish. If you do not like an ingredient like oregano for example, replace it with thyme. Most of the time, the dishes flavor is preserved, and you’re happier knowing you don’t have to eat something with a flavor you dislike.

When you have decided what you want to prepare for the evening meal, make sure you have left yourself enough time to prepare it. This includes the prep time, as well. If this is the first time you are making this particular recipe, you may want to add on 10 or 15 minutes to the directions just to be sure you aren’t rushed at the last minute.

Cook fish on a plank! Use a cedar plank to replicate the taste you get in expensive restaurants right on your campfire. Clean your freshly caught fish and split them open so they are less than one inch thick. Tack the fish to the board and position it beside the campfire so it absorbs the heat of the fire but is not so close that the whole thing catches fire!

Buy your food at fresh markets. Food you buy from farmer markets and private gardens is going to be healthier for you. These foods are often free of the harmful chemicals that infect out mainstream grocery supply. Look out for the health of yourself and your family, and your cooking will automatically be better.

As stated before, cooking serves many purposes. It tests creativity, improves skills, and delights your friends and family. The tips from the article above should help you with cooking, no matter the reason. You will be able to successfully create your favorite flavorful dishes, and have a wonderful time preparing and eating them too!

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