Cooking your own meals is a great way to save money and to make your diet more nutritious. Food made from scratch is significantly cheaper than prepared foods and is much healthier. This article will give you the tips you need to start making delicious meals from the comfort of your own home.

To prevent the crust of your filled pies from getting soggy, coat the dough with egg white first and then bake it for about five minutes to allow it to set. You should then fill and bake as you normally would. This will stop your crust from absorbing too much of the filling during baking and becoming soft and wet.

If you are cooking for someone important, such as a new boss or for a dinner party, don’t use a new recipe and a new ingredient. Make sure you practice the dish first for your own family. Play around with it to make sure it is how you want it.

One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.

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.

Do not be afraid to experiment. There is no rule that says you need to follow a recipe exactly. If you do not care for an ingredient, leave it out. If you think a different ingredient would taste better, substitute it. If you think the dish is missing a little something, add it.

Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.

Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for almost any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.

If you are boiling pasta, make sure that you do not put too much in the pot. This will not cook your food all the way through and will taste very raw and thick. Try to limit the amount of pasta that you put in the pot to maximize taste and quality.

Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant’s seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base – it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.

Always continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.

If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it on a pan, almost like a hamburger.

You may or may not have heard of schmaltz, but it is a very useful component when cooking. Schmaltz, otherwise known as chicken fat, is very rich. The flavor of schmaltz is deeper than duck fat and can be used for many things, such as cooking meats or poaching fish.

To remove a batch of fudge from the pan with ease, first line the pan with aluminum foil that you have generously greased using butter, margarine, or a butter-flavored cooking spray. When set, simply lift the block of fudge up and out of the pan using the aluminum foil and you will then be able to peel the foil away from the fudge for cutting without the sticky mess.

Cook biscuits on a stick! You can use the dough from canned biscuits or homemade to make improvised bread over a campfire. Just stretch the dough out in to a thick string and wrap it around the end of a stick. Bake it slowly over the coals of a campfire just like you were roasting a marshmallow!

Even if you’re not an experienced chef, cooking your own meals is easy to do. Anyone can be a great cook, and if you’d like to be one too, the advice provided here will help you to do it.

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