Great Cooking: Not As Hard As You Think!

Whether you’re a brand new cook or an experienced one, there are plenty of sources of frustration in the kitchen. No matter what your cooking skills are like, little annoyances can make preparing a meal much more stressful. Here are some cooking tips that will help preparing your meals go a little more smoothly.

cookingUse a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.

One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.

Since you are going to be using a lot of sharp knives in the kitchen to cook your meals, you will want to maintain precautions at all times. Instead of simply putting your knife in the drawer, make sure that you put a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.

A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.

If you are having a big party, one of the worst things that you can do is to put dressing on the salad. Since the salad will sit out for a long time, it will probably get soggy after a while. Instead, leave an assortment of dressings out for people to choose.

cooking_kuvanje-7-61_webAlways continue to taste test all of your food as you cook them. Cooking a sauce, and you’re not sure if it needs more salt? Just taste it and you’ll know right away. Getting into a habit of testing all of your foods will keep you from accidentally over-spicing or under-spicing it.

It is important to know that just because a recipe does not call for a certain spice does not mean you cannot add it. For instance, you may feel that garlic would make the dish taste better, which may be true. So do not be scared, go ahead and add it.

When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.

If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.

There are plenty of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking. Now that you’ve read this article, you have plenty of advice you can apply the next time you head to the kitchen. Now that you have these tips, you may find you’re willing to try cooking something a little more challenging.


How To Choose A Great Roofing Company

roofer-roofing-worker-working-on-roof_fyG0W_8u_L_webIf you are a homeowner, you probably know how important it is maintain your roof inspected throughout the year. Unfortunately, many people neglect this task for one reason or another. However, roof maintenance is a necessity if you want to keep your home protected. The following article will teach you everything you need to know about proper roofing.

If your roof is leaking, you want to call in a professional roofer to fix the job. Asking your friends for recommendations can steer you towards a reliable contractor. Always ask for references from anyone you are considering hiring. Otherwise you could end up with a bigger mess than the leak itself.

Since you’re going up on your roof anyway to do work, clean the gutters while you’re there. Sometimes a leak can actually be the result of backed-up gutters. Try cleaning them out and then hose down the roof – if the leak doesn’t reappear, you may have actually solved the problem.

Avoid putting off a roof repair for any length of time, even if it seems like a minor issue. Once a shingle or two have blown off, it’s much easier for the wind to get underneath the rest and blow them off too, one-by-one. Fixing your roof right away will minimize damage, saving you money.

Have a leak in your roof? Check out your gutters. The gutters of your home can easily become clogged, and can be a major cause of leaks, especially if they have not been cleaned recently. If you see they are filled with debris, like leaves, be sure to clean it out.

roofingNever try to repair a roof in the rain or snow. Climbing onto a roof when the weather is poor could result in injury or even death. Instead, do your best to contain the leak from inside your home with tarps and buckets, and wait until the weather improves before climbing on to the roof.

Make sure that your grass is cut before the project begins. This will make it easier to find any nails that fall from the roof. If he has a magnetic tool for finding nails, it will work best with the short grass.

It is very common for the gutters on your house to become clogged, so make sure you have them cleaned on a fairly regular basis. If you allow them to stay dirty, it will give rain a chance to build up and pool on top of your roof, which increases the chances of the roof becoming damaged.

Avoid paying a roofer in full before they do their job. You want to make sure the roofer does good work on your roof before you pay them everything they are owed. Some roofers may require a down payment to begin the work, though, which is usually about 25% of the final cost.

Do you love the look of wood shingles but not the fire hazard? You can now purchase roofing material that presents the look of wood shingles, but is made of steel or composite materials instead. The steel roofing is pre-formed with the appearance of shingles, but is actually large panels.

Measure twice, cut once. If you will be doing your own roofing job, you want to make sure your measurements are correct. This will save you both time and money. You can assure your measurements are accurate by taking the extra time it takes to measure two, or even three times.

If you are looking to install a new roof and are environmentally conscious, don’t overlook the possibility of a living roof. A living roof provides you with space to plant. While a living roof can only be used in some climates, it also adds insulation.

Identifying the cause of leaks is frustrating but totally doable. You will eventually find the source using process of elimination or by using your water hose with a friend’s help. If you have a large house, try using cell phones to talk so that the water doesn’t go into the house by mistake as you test possible leak areas.

Do not try to tackle a problem with your roof that is too big for you to handle. While it is great to save money doing it yourself, sometimes the problem is bigger than any one person can handle. Consider the level of experience needed before you begin to ensure that you do not cause more harm than good.

You may want to consider avoiding chain roofing companies. While they may do a fine job, they usually cost a good deal more and pay their employees far less than their competition. This can mean that their employees are less satisfied and experienced due to a high turn-around. Be sure to consider this before choosing a contractor.

Having read the article above, you hopefully now have a better understanding of how important roofing maintenance is. Make sure to use the tips and tricks mentioned above to ensure that your roof is always in good condition. Not only will it keep your home safe, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.