Holiday Recipes and Party Planning Ideas

Many people think that learning to cook is a difficult thing to do. If you are just learning the basics of cooking, start with simple recipes that include some of your favorite ingredients. It’s really interesting to have a picnic if the food that you cook is delicious. When you want to take your picnic in another level, picnic hampers in Sydney will prepare delicious fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and snacks for you.

To maintain the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs, make sure you keep them stored in someplace that is cool and dark. If they are exposed to light, heat or humidity, they will lose much of their flavor. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices can stay fresh for up to five years. You must store them correctly in order to maintain their freshness.

When baking pie or tart crusts, bake them longer than you think you should. They should be a light golden brown instead of pale in color. The color on your pie signifies that the caramelizing process is complete in your crust, yielding a scrumptious dessert.

Being organized is a key step when planning to prepare a meal for family or friends. Make sure you have everything you need to make your food. The day before your meal, get your kitchen into cooking mode and hunt down your favorite utensils, pots and pans. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.

Picnic Hamper Sydney - Couple Picnic

A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. Your finished dishes will be enhanced and more flavorful if you do this.

You should limit the amount of seasoning you apply to meat until you have tried it. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning. Don’t cook the whole thing after seasoning it. Instead, make a little piece into a patty and cook it first. After you have done this, you can decide if you need to change the seasoning or cook it.

When cooking for someone that you want to impress, it is a good idea to cook foods that you are comfortable with cooking. Avoid cooking with new ingredients or a new recipe that you have never used before. This will allow you to cook with less stress.

Do you enjoy cooking with the flavors of fresh basil? Place the basil in a container that is glass. Fill the glass with water till the stems are covered. Place the glass of basil leaves on the counter in your kitchen, and watch it keep its freshness for weeks. The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water changed occasionally. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.

Have you had difficulty in determining how long to grill your meat? Investing in a top-notch meat thermometer, such as an ultra-precise digital one, will let let you make sure that the meat is cooked correctly inside and out. Put the grill lid on to reduce cooking time for cuts that are more than an inch and a half thick.

A useful tip when making chicken stock is to think big! Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. A rich chicken stock makes a savory base for soups, stews and other dishes. After the liquid has cooled you can store it in heavy-duty freezer bags.


Always use fresh garlic to get the full flavor in your dish. It is widely known that the fresher the garlic is, more than likely the sweeter the taste will be. You can tell whether garlic is fresh or not by checking for bruising and making sure the skin is still firm and not shriveled.

Every cook needs some method for organizing his cooking supplies. If you refuse to organize your cooking supplies, you’ll take longer to find the utensils you need. Place the cooking supplies that are similar in one place. Keep pots in the same cupboard, for instance, or all spatulas in the same drawer.

Leftover flavors and scents can remain on your cutting board, even after repeated washing. Label the ending of your chopping board by marking it with ink. This will help you to identify the different sides of the board.

Spices should be replaced every six months. Spices do not last forever. They will eventually lose their flavor. If you know you can’t use as much as is in the package, give some to a family member or friend to keep from wasting it.

When using fresh herbs in your cooking like parsley or basil, bundle them together and cut them with scissors instead of chopping. This makes the herbs fluffier and lighter, and not wet like they would be if they were chopped.

Prior to cooking ground meat, blot it. Blotting the moisture off of your ground meat is definitely always a great idea. If you leave it there, the meat will not cook properly. It will sizzle away. This is undesirable, since the meat will technically steam, instead of searing.

A simple sandwich can often be a perfect one, if you pay attention to details such as covering the bread entirely with a smooth and consistent layer of mayonnaise. Too many sandwich artists hurriedly put a glob of mayonnaise in the center of their bread. An even spread helps keep the taste consistent from bite to bite.

You should have all preparations for your food ready before you start cooking. Otherwise, you might use the stove longer than you need to, and waiting can also make it safer and harder to burn food.

To cook your meats to the proper temperature, make sure you are using a meat thermometer. Meats have a specific internal temperature schedule that determines they are cooked and safe for human consumption. If the meat is not cooked thoroughly there is a chance that the bacteria living on the meat could remain and make someone sick if they eat it.

With the helpful advice in the article above, you can start cooking better meals with more confidence and creativity. Now that you have an arsenal of new cooking tips, there’s nothing left to do except to try them out in the kitchen. Your meals will be a hit every time.