Learning how to cook is like learning how to dance. It takes plenty of study, hard work and dedication. The tips we’ve put together in this article should help you determine the types of things you should focus on mastering in order to become the cook you’ve always wanted to be.

It’s nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don’t have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn’t create the pie from scratch.

When storing ingredients that you will use for cooking it is a good habit to stock them in large quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. This will make preparing food easier and faster. For example, when preparing vegetables, you can just pull them out of the freezer and simply boil them.

An electric mixer is a blessing when you have to make your dough, but even this relatively easy task can turn into a nightmare when the dough sticks to the dough hook. To avoid the sticky mess, spray the hook with vegetable cooking spray and your dough will never stick to your mixer again.

You may have felt regret when you threw away a moldy orange or lemon. Is it safe to cut around that moldy area and save the remaining fruit for consumption? Beware! Once a fruit goes rotten, there is no way to safely rescue a part of it. Get rid of anything that has mold on it. Mold goes deeper than the eye can see and could be very harmful.

When you are cooking a dish that requires it to be sauteed, add oil around the edges of the pan rather than directly on the food. This gives the oil a chance to heat up before it reaches the cooking food that is in the center of the pan. Hot oil will give you improved results and makes your dish taste better.

Fresh herbs can add a great deal to most recipes. Herbs can be tricky to handle, though, because they need to be chopped so finely. Sprinkling salt over the cutting board before chopping herbs can cut down on mess. The salt encourages herbs to stick to the board instead of flying off.

If you want to spice up your meal, add peppers. Peppers will not only give the meal that you are making flavor, but will increase the spice intensity to appeal to your taste buds. Try different types and variations of peppers so that you can hone in on the peppers that you prefer.

You should use applesauce when baking if you want to cut back on the amount of calories the baked good contains. The applesauce will not change the texture or flavor of the baked good. It will cut back on the number of calories that are in the baked good. It will also add fiber to the food.

Although it may be a little bit more expensive, it is wise to get a high-quality olive oil. Just a small amount can help to bring out the flavor meat, fish, pasta, pizza, or whatever else you are making. Cheaper olive oils usually give food a less than desirable flavor.

When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.

Don’t use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.

Just like a dance, you are never done with learning how to cook. There is always a new style for you to study and master. Take these tips and learn to incorporate them into your everyday cooking. Always remember that you are never done learning about the art of cooking.