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“Cooking my own meals? I just don’t have the time for that!” If you’ve ever said this to yourself, chances are very good that preparing simple, healthy meals is much easier than you think. Read below for a variety of tips and suggestions about preparing your own meals.

Indenting the center of a hamburger patty by up to one half inch will prevent bulging during cooking. Just a poke in the middle prior to cooking will allow a more even distribution of heat and will stop your burger from swelling on the top, something most of us are all too familiar with.

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.

Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.

Add salt and horseradish to your foods if you want to instill more flavor and add spice to each of your meals during the day. These ingredients are found everywhere and are very inexpensive, allowing you to maximize your level of taste with very minimal expenses. You can Improve the flavor of many foods with these ingredients.

Whenever you are cooking and you feel the need to add more oil, the best way to add oil is to add it through the side of the pan. By doing this, the oil will be heated when it gets to the ingredient that is being cooked. This is a good tip to remember.

Flouring the baking pan is called for by lots of recipes. It is necessary for the baking, but leaves an unattractive white coating on the side of the cake. Change the recipe a little and use dry cake mix instead of flour. The unattractive white residue from the side of the cake will disappear.

A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.

Although many people think that preparing meals will be time-consuming, too hard, and stressful, the reality is often far from it! Making your own food can be an excellent way to save money while eating healthy, it’s a win-win situation! Leftovers are, after all, the original fast food!

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