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Whether you’re a brand new cook or an experienced one, there are plenty of sources of frustration in the kitchen. No matter what your cooking skills are like, little annoyances can make preparing a meal much more stressful. Here are some cooking tips that will help preparing your meals go a little more smoothly.

If you have already cooked before for someone that you know and love, try to shake things up a bit and add some new spices to the recipes. Changing things up can keep things fresh and make your cooking very spontaneous. This will improve your ability and skills in the kitchen.

A great tip for using cooking oil is to ensure you pour it onto the sides of the pan, rather than directly in the pan’s center, so that it will be sufficiently heated upon reaching the food. This helps to bring out the flavor in your food.

Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.

Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.

By doing any prep work the day before a big meal, you can make the actual cooking process faster and less stressful. Try looking at recipes and see what can be done in advance without spoiling. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. Doing this can transform intricate recipes into simple, quick and enjoyable cooking tasks.

Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your dry goods, such as flour and sugar. Keeping your food in sealed containers will keep them fresher longer as the air can’t reach them. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.

Flour or any other dry goods stored too long, tend to attract bugs and make them either hard to use or not suitable for cooking. Lay a whole bay leaf in the container (and possibly also in the cupboard) and your goods and storage areas will be bug free forever.

If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.

There are plenty of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking. Now that you’ve read this article, you have plenty of advice you can apply the next time you head to the kitchen. Now that you have these tips, you may find you’re willing to try cooking something a little more challenging.

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