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Hints to Charming Homecooked Meals

Updated on January 3, 2013

When you look at a roasted chicken topped with bright greens, or grilled fish on a platter with lemon slices placed just so, the food is actually making you think that they are delicious.

It only takes a few extra minutes to put "a little beautiful something" into your meals. If you spent time cooking the meal, why not complete the whole thing by making it look inviting? Here are a few hints to give your home cooked meals a little more zest and make family mealtime more pleasant.

It is Fortunate to Have Quality Food

Does it taste as good as it looks?
Does it taste as good as it looks? | Source

While meat needs to be well cooked to kill the bacteria, vegetables should only be lightly cooked. Keeping veggies as close to their original state as possible saves those minerals so often thrown away. Cooking just right makes the food appetizing to eat.

  • Add the more tender vegetables like snow peas, spinach and other leafy greens minutes before cooking is done. They can disintegrate if they spend too much time cooking.
  • Use quality ingredients. Save the bones from your leftover chicken and make a good stock, along with some good veggies to go into a soup dish.
  • It's also a good idea to be resourceful over a dish that you're not sure how to cook. Squid, for instance, becomes tough and chewy when it is cooked too long. Perfecting calamari requires high heat cooking somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
  • When grilling, have everything you’re going to need close at hand before you start cooking. Your chicken breast will burn by the time you run back into the kitchen to find those tongs.
  • Try to keep flavors mild in general. Kids have more taste buds than adults.

Many a wise woman knows how to make a steaming pot of soup that gratifies a food wish. She knows that when it comes to preparing family meals, she has to share herself and give her heart to cooking good.

People Appreciate Different Things

Quick and easy lovely dinner
Quick and easy lovely dinner | Source

You don’t want everything fried, all brown, or everything covered with sauce. Put variety. Cold and fresh vs. warm and cheesy vs. greens vs. orange…something like that. Since there is no single food that contains all the nutrients, food combinations is a much better approach to get the right balance of a wide variety of foods. Processed foods once in a while is okay. The important thing is that you concentrate more on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, meats, and dairy products.

Some examples are adding diced red or green chili peppers to scrambled eggs, spinach omelet roll-up or mixed veggies in fried rice. Leftover salad can be used as a sandwich filling. Vegetable soup or wonton noodles can make a wholesome lunch. A crunchy crust or spicy tarragon sauce can transform an ordinary fried fish into a taste sensation. What about pureeing a handful of fresh strawberries and add it to iced green tea?

The color of a fruit or vegetable indicates its nutrient content. Eventually, you will find easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Your meals will become healthier and children will develop healthy eating habits. As Tony Horton’s Laws of Nutrition say, “The more varied your diet the more you improve your chances of getting the right combination of nutrients to suit your needs.”

Do Things That You Like to Look At

Country Style Omelet
Country Style Omelet | Source

Attractiveness is obtained through simplicity. The most natural, fresh, and dainty garnishing is by no means overworked or overdone. Lemon or other citrus has been proven very ideal garnish and seasoning for fish and seafood in their ability to tone down the "fishy" aroma. Almost any leftover material can do wonders to make an uninteresting dish take on a regal aspect. Even the simplest platter of cold cuts will look extra special with a cucumber bundle.

Sauces are one of the simplest garnishes. Ketchup, mustard, yogurt, mayo, gravy and chocolate sauce already can enhance food. Small quantities of brilliant greens, mimosa yellows (as in mangoes), apple reds and gelatin pinks may be used to accent the food. This shows how contrasting colors produce an artistic picture. Just make sure that if you're using artificial coloring to produce tints, great care must be observed.

Bright colors add life
Bright colors add life | Source

Working on things that you like to look at is like combining restraint with great elegance. It awakens the eye and taste buds. Just because a dish comes from scratch doesn't mean that it has to look and taste like bland porridge. I find this list of soup garnishes from scratch very useful. Try them.

Charming Meals Gratify the Family Together

A happy attitude is often either gained or lost at the dinner table. It may seem like children only enjoy sweets and plain foods, and hates anything green and crunchy on their plates. If you're clever enough, you can trick them by hiding the foods they hate into the foods that they love.

With a little charm in your meals, your man will be grateful for the good things that come his way. Aches and stress of a day's work will be gone, and you're helping him manage quite nicely with his current plan. He will quit whatever complaints realizing that the best things in life are free.


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    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      5 years ago from The City of Generals

      Thank you travelman. I remember how big the smile I had to discover the secret to preserving color and shape of veggies in my stews - its adding them minutes before cooking is done :=). Thanks for bringing me back down memory lane. I bet you can make so gratifying meals being an expert cook. So glad you made it by. - Best of all. - Tonette

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I love and practice all your ideas. As a cook on board ship, I'm so sensitive with colours of the ingredients I'm cooking, from meats to vegetables and fruits.

      Dull colours will always mean overcooked dishes.

    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      6 years ago from The City of Generals

      Hello teaches. Quality ingredients and color - one thing that arose my interest here was about a mushy veggie meal. I couldn't imagine if we are to prepare meals in such manner, there is no way children would develop a positive attitude over food. Like you said, striving to make homecooked fresh meals has not only lowered your bill, but made the whole family a LOT MORE healthier. A perfect example. You're one beautiful mom. Thank you for the wonderful comment. HAPPY NEW YEAR teaches.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I especially like your suggestions to use quality ingredients and color. These are two factors that make food healthy and tasty. We avoid using processed foods around our home and strive to make home-cooked, fresh meals. Consequently, our food bill is lower and we are healthier! Voted up.

    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      6 years ago from The City of Generals

      I'm with you Angela. I am that ordinary porridge girl with the most delicious thick rich-chocolatey milky, creamy soft meal... ahhh how else could bland come to my bowls, LOL. Thanks for dropping by. You always make my day. Happy New Year! :=)

      Thanks so much Ruby. Perhaps we're two beautiful woman to love making things beautiful, haha. May we all have a wonderful, safe , beautiful and blessed New Year! :=)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love your ideas. Thank you..

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent information, tips and advice. The most bland food, delightfully presented -- can become a feast (I know, my Granny sold me on oatmeal for breakfast for years that way!) Very enjoyable read. Best/Sis


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