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Cooking is one of the finest skills to study on your own. Cooking well can improve your health, save you money and be fun. Better yet, cooking is a skill you can always improve. Even the greatest kitchen veterans can learn a little something new. Here are a few handy tips for getting better results out of your kitchen:

When cutting onions, hold a match between your teeth while you cut. Make sure the match is not lit. This will keep those stinging eyes and unwanted tears away. Your experience cutting the onion will be more pleasant if you follow this simple tip each and every time.

Saute tired salad greens. If your salad greens have seen better days, don’t discard them – saute them! Salad greens such as radicchio, arugula and endive make a tasty side dish when sauteed. Cook them quickly in olive oil, chopped garlic and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little bacon and goat cheese, and you will be happy that you didn’t throw away those unused salad greens!

Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)

When you are going to the store, do not always have a large shopping list which can restrain you to just getting certain items. See what you like and what you are in the mood for and purchase based on that. This will give you the spontaneity to cook whatever you choose.

Make sure you are storing your spices in the right place. Many people store their spices right above their stove or near a light source. To stay fresh, put them in dry and dark spot that is cool. Humidity can also destroy spices so keep those several factors in mind.

If you want to optimize the amount of juice that you get from a lime, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. This will allow the liquid to flow easily when you cut the lime, so that you can add this to your favorite meals. Use this trick anytime you serve a lemon or lime.

A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.

Hopefully, some of these ideas will prove useful to you. Not only is cooking a field in which there is always something new to learn, it is a very personal skill set. You retain full control of what you learn and how you apply it. Keep your eyes peeled for more tips that you can use to cook the way you want to.

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