Handy Tips For Great Cooking Any Time!


by Susan Greely


Learning to master the basics of cooking can seem like a daunting task to someone who has never cooked before. If you do not know anything about cooking and are one of the people who burn water when trying to get it to boil, here are some tips to teach you the basics of cooking.

Chocolate

When melting chocolate for coatings, truffles or other recipes, always use a double boiler or a Pyrex bowl atop a saucepan partially filled with simmering water. Keep the water at a simmer, not a boil, boiling water can splash into the chocolate or cause the chocolate to get too hot, which can cause it to become grainy.

Get your children to eat their veggies by including them in unexpected foods. Pumpkin is great in pancakes and muffins, and pureed carrots or butternut squash pair well with tomato-based pasta sauces. Grated zucchini takes on the flavor of nearly anything in which it is used, even chocolate or spice cake.

To get extra moist chocolate chip cookies, add a packet of dried vanilla pudding mix to any recipe. You do not have to add the other ingredients for the pudding recipe or even add extra moisture to your existing recipe. Simply adding the powdered mix helps the cookies to attain a smoother, softer texture.

Chocolate

How to 'un-seize' melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has 'seized', and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.

Have you ever looked for a specific recipe only to come up short? This is why it's a good thing to have a recipe box or book to hold all those valuable, family favorites. You can categorize them by appetizer, pasta, soups, meats, casseroles, etc. The categories are endless and should be done in a way you will easily be able to find them. You don't want to lose Grandma's famous chocolate chip recipe, right?

When melting chocolate for coatings, truffles or other recipes, always use a double boiler or a Pyrex bowl atop a saucepan partially filled with simmering water. Keep the water at a simmer, not a boil, boiling water can splash into the chocolate or cause the chocolate to get too hot, which can cause it to become grainy.

As it was stated at the beginning of this piece, cooking is not difficult. Take these tips and head to the kitchen where you are sure to cook up a meal for your family that they are sure to love. Apply this information to your everyday cooking and find success in your meal preparation.




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