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Quick and Easy Cooking Tips-Learn How You can Save Time and Mess in The Kitchen

Updated on January 31, 2011

We could all use some trouble free cooking methods added to our daily routines. Even if we love to cook and eat, we can still confess to how much easier working in the kitchen would be if there were less spill, mess or burning of dishes due to bad timing, too much multi tasking or distractions.

Whiel there is no such thing as trouble free cooking, there are some tips that you can use that will make your time in the kitchen flow a lot smoother and improve your efficiency.

Whether you are a novice in the kitchen or an old pro, everyone could benefit from a few refresher tips and maybe even learn something new, or recall things you may have forgotten you ever learned.

Cleaning As You Go

How many times have you started out cooking up a big meal or baking up a storm only to turn around and find dirty bowls, pots, pans, spoons, measuring cups and more all over every available counter space, on the kitchen table and perhaps even on a kitchen chair or two. While you may love to cook, clean up is another matter for most. But if you take the time to clean up as you go, it cuts the work down and in the little time slots you don't even feel like it is much of a mess. Fill up your sink with soapy water and put the bowls and dishes from each dish you complete. When there are enough dishes in the sink, take the few minutes to wash them down and put them in the drainboard. This will clear more space up on the counter for your next preparation or dish.

How many times have you seen a spill on the counter and thought to yourself that you will get to that later when you just finish doing something else. Especially when you are baking, these spills can be sticky and gooey often transferring onto other pots, pans or even your clothes. When they dry, you find yourself having to scrub something that could have easily wiped off with a quick swipe the first time if you had taken the minute needed to do so. This is by far one of the simpler quick and easy cooking tips you can learn to adopt.

Also one final quick tip is to scoop out all your dishes from their pots or pans into serving dishes and then immediately put water into the pots and pans to soak. How many times have you left your pots to sit only to have to spend time applying a lot of elbow grease to scrap them clean? By allowing them to sit in water while you dine and then washing them after you have finished, this will cut down on time and aggravation(especially if you have a teenager who is on
dish duty and hates having to the dishes in the first place).

Tips to Avoid Burning

I used to be a big burner of my food. Why? I simply cranked the stove on high and let the food do what it may. Then sure enough I would be called away to answer the phone or change a poopy diaper and the next thing you know the smoke detector is going off and I am fighting my way into the kitchen through a cloud of dark smoke trying to find the windows so I can get some cool air in to disperse the thick cloud before it sets the rest of the family off into fits of choking.

After several hundred dollars in wasted pans, I finally learned that a medium high temperature does the job and a much better temperature and there is more time for me to get back to the kitchen even if called away for something. Many cooks believe that you should never even use the highest guage on a stove. For those who lack patience such as myself, this can be a hard habit to break. If you do need to fry something fast on a high heat level, make sure you are standing there and attending to the food so you can turn it off when it is done.

Follow Directions and Don't Take Short Cuts

When a recipe calls for you to preheat the oven, this is not a waste of time or energy. If you want you food to cook properly then an oven temperature that is the proper heat called for to do the job is what you need. If you wonder why something wasn't cooked after 35 minutes when expected and you did not preheat your oven, this could be one reason the timing is off.

If you are not a practiced cook, then don't try to cook up an elaborate meal you have never made before when you are going to be serving your new boyfriend his first home cooked meal. Not only will this stress you out but if you fail to cook it correctly it will leave you embarassed or ashamed. Why not cook up one of your favorite dishes and spend the rest of the time sitting comfortably chatting and getting to know your new beau( who knows, he may even surprise you and ask to help with the dishes!).

And always, always make sure you have all the ingredients you need before you start a thing! Not only will this save time, you will also not be taking a chance on something going wrong when you try replacing the missing ingredient with something that doesn't work,or having to rush out at the last minute to hunt down whatever it is you forgot.

You Can Never Wash Your Hands Enough

When you are cooking with several different types of food, you can never wash your hands enough. Keeping your hands clean,the counters clean, the cutting boards clean and any other utensil or dish you may be using, you can avoid spreading germs and cross contamination. This is especially important if you are in contact with raw meat. Keeping a sink full of nice warm sudsy water will enable you to quickly and easily give your hands a wash any time you need to.

These quick and easy cooking tips may seem a little basic or just common sense but they can often be overlooked or just not thought of as necessary. The more time you spend in the kitchen practicing these tips, the more they will become a habit and pretty soon you will find that your cooking is soon almost trouble free.

If you are looking for even more great cooking tips or ideas for both you and your children, feel free to drop over to my newest site My Cute Little Chef

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