<br/>Cooking is a skill that can take a while to develop. This article can help you learn some new ideas for making high quality, delicious meals. <br/>A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. Common kitchen conditions, such as heat, light, and humidity, will destroy the flavor of herbs and spices. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. If you store them correctly, they will stay fresh for an even longer period of time. <br/>When possible, complete all of the prep work in advance. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. However, when you are ready to start cooking and have a deadline for when your meal needs to be finished, it can be a bit stressful. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later. <br/>Your meat need to be sliced thinly across the grain when you are preparing stir-fry. This can sometimes be a tricky undertaking and very time-consuming. Take the meat out of the freezer once it gets firm, place a sharp knife at an oblique angle and start slicing. <br/>Try to add the oil into your pans from the sides, so that by the time it touches the food, it will be hot. This will give more flavor to what you are cooking. <br/>Here is a way to save your sauce and use it in your recipes. Combine a tablespoon of starch with two tablespoons of water. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Stir constantly as you pour the cornstarch and water mixture slowly into the pot. <br/>Has it ever seemed like you were wasting food when you threw away fruits that were moldy? You may wonder if it's okay to salvage them by trimming away the moldy parts. Never try to salvage fruit that is past its prime. The bacteria that causes mold goes deeper than you think, so it's always best to throw away food with even the smallest of mold spots. <br/>Do you cook often with fresh basil? Place fresh basil into a glass. Make sure the stems are submerged in water. This will help to keep it from going bad for quite a few days. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh, and you might even see your basil leaves sprouting some roots. Encourage growth by cutting or trimming the basil now and then, and you will be able to use fresh basil for a long time! <br/>Cooking is a thing you can improve upon by using these tips. When you start understanding how different spices and ingredients affect the taste of food, you can experimenting and making simple changes to existing recipes. You will be cooking dishes everyone will enjoy.