Having to cook meals three times, every single day can become tedious over time. In order to keep things interesting, learn more about cooking. Cooking can be more than just food preparation; it is an always-fertile field of study and possibly an enjoyable hobby. This article contains some easy-to-implement tips that will advance your culinary skills to the next levels.

If you're trying to start making more food yourself, try looking at basic cookbooks in your local library or bookstore. Try your hand at some of the recipes, remembering that patience is key during the learning process.

One thing that you can do is to bake a pie or tart crust longer to optimize quality. Wait until the crust turns golden rather than pale blond. The caramelizing of the sugar in pie crust gives it crispness and extra sweetness.

Did you ever regret throwing moldy fruit away? You may wonder if it's okay to salvage them by trimming away the moldy parts. Sadly half rotten fruit is something you can never really save. If you see that fruit is starting to rot, just throw it away because even if some parts look healthy, the mold has most likely already spread throughout.

Add cauliflower to your mashes potatoes to make this dish healthier and tastier. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and other ingredients. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.

When you are making chicken stock, think big. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. This stock is a popular base that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to casseroles and much more. Let your stock cool off and pour it inside Ziploc bags.

Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. Most grocery stores stock these items. Tofu can be pan-fried with some seasonings, and makes a tasty meat alternative. You can boil the beans with a bit of herbs to give the protein more flavor.

To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. Not only will the flavor be enhanced, but they will be lower in fat without the need for oils and butter. This technique is a tasty way to cook healthier while not skimping on flavor.

Before cooking your pumpkin, have it standing in a vertical position and slice it directly down from the stem the entire way around, making two equal halves. Put the halves down on the baking sheets. Sprinkle a little water on to your baking sheets, then you can bake your pumpkins for an hour in a 350 degree oven.

Substituting another liquid for milk or water can help give your meals a new flavor. Juices, beef broth, or vegetable broth can all be used as a substitute for water. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.

Anytime you are cooking a dish that calls for substantial seasoning, try to add spices gradually throughout the process rather than all at once at the very start. When you use this method, you will be more in control of the flavor and can limit over using your ingredients.

If you have to prepare any dish that involves garlic, get the freshest possible garlic available. Usually when the garlic is most fresh, that is the point when it tastes the sweetest. You can identify fresh garlic by its lack of bruising and firm skin.

If you are having people over to your home to eat, and you are including a salad with the meal, allow your guests to put the dressing on themselves. Some people like more dressing on their salad than others do, so it is better to let them add the dressing themselves. Your guests will also enjoy having a variety of dressings from which to choose.

Do not use any kind of wine in your cooking that you haven't tasted on your own. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. It is possible to find wines that are meant to be used in cooking.

Create your own stock for tastier dishes. Make a large batch, and then store it in your freezer. Doing so will provide you with an abundance of custom, home-produced stock, readily available for creating soups and other dishes. By making your own stock, you can be sure that it is not full of preservatives.

Keep butter or oil used to a minimum when sauteing. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn't allow it to saute or get crispy. Make sure you saute foods on a low temperature.

It important to neither overcook or undercook a cake. While the recipe or directions are a good starting point in cooking times, they may need adjustment. Factors like what kind of oven is used and elevation play a part in what the optimal cooking time will be. To be sure, test your cake by inserting a toothpick in the cake's middle. If no undone cake batter remains on the toothpick, you can consider it ready.

If you are cooking a simple meal, add some seasonings and fresh herbs to add some flavor. If you a making a more complex dish, then using certain dried herbs such as oregano and basil is acceptable. However, fresh herbs are much better and will produce a stronger, fresher and overall better taste. Cultivating an herb garden on your patio or deck, or even in your kitchen, will make it easy to snip fresh herbs whenever you need them.

Putting the advice you just learned into practice is a great way to get started in an exciting new hobby. Cooking, of course, is delicious, but it can also be a great and fun way to learn about food. You can be even more self aware, as you discover what things you enjoy making. As you enjoy cooking more and more, not only will you have fun with it, your meals will taste better.