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Cooking is an art. It is also a practical, everyday activity. This combination may account for the tremendous popularity of TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and cooking classes. Recipes are part of the heritage passed down in families. Here are some tips to help you expand your culinary adventures and finesse your kitchen skills.

When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.

When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.

Make sure that if you are planning a party with friends and family, to have each course planned out in advance. You should have an appetizer course, salad course, main dish and dessert. Breaking your meal into courses will give people a chance to digest and appreciate what you have cooked for them.

Taste your food as you cook it. Tasting your food is a simple and enjoyable thing to do. It can also really improve your end result. By continuously tasting your food as you cook, you will have a better understanding of how it is progressing. If it needs a little something extra, you are more likely to catch and remedy this.

When a recipe calls for vegetable shortening, coconut oil is a healthy alternative that should be used. Coconut oil can be difficult to find in the typical grocery stores so you may need to look in a healthfood store to find it. It is important to read the label to make sure it is true coconut oil.

For recipes that call for liquor or wine, you can substitute with fruit juices. Some people simply do not like the taste of liquor or wine while others do not want children eating meals that contain it. Therefore, fruit juices is suitable substitute that still provides your meal with the flavor it needs.

Keep your pantry well stocked with a selection of canned meats. You never know when the power might go out for a day or two and you can’t get to the store. Canned hams, salmon, or other canned meats can save the day. Just add a few other ingredients from your pantry and you’ll have a great meal!

Put vegetables in cold water after you blanch them. Blanching – also known as boiling – a vegetable can be a tasty way to prepare them. Unfortunately, it can quite literally “blanch” your veggies. While this is only an aesthetic problem, it can be easily avoided. By putting the vegetables in cold water after blanching, they will retain their green color.

This is a rich and bountiful set of cooking tips and lore to help both the novice and the chef. We hope they will challenge you to try new dishes and expand your list of ingredients. This can bring new enjoyment to you and those who share your table.

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