When you’re thinking about taking up a hobby, consider cooking. Cooking is often overlooked because you are probably doing so much of it, but the truth is that cooking can be a wonderful source of relaxation for the home chef, as well as a way to create and explore. Here are a few tips shared by Peter Salzano to help your cooking exploration.

For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.

Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking. Setting a time limit can add stress to your cooking experience. By doing all of your preparation in advance, you avoid the stress and just enjoy your meal.

Have you been making the same berry shortcake for a while? Make the flavor pop with the following tip. Mix your berries with a pinch of salt, a little fresh mint, and a small spoon of lime juice. Your guests will never guess how you enhanced the flavor of the old family recipe.

Let roasts rest before carving to allow the juices time to retract from the surface of the meat. Slicing beef, pork, poultry, or lamb immediately after roasting lets most of the juice run out of the meat which makes it drier and less flavorful. Giving the meat time to rest prevents the loss of the juices.

Try adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes to lower the fat content. Since cauliflower is bland, it will mix right in with the potatoes along with the other ingredients. Cauliflowers look very similar to potatoes in texture and color when they are mashed. It will allow you to have a delicious side dish that is healthier and still flavorful.

In brief, learning how to cook is learning how to avoid pre-packaged foods and meals. These convenience food products, all too common today, have speed as their solitary real benefit. Home-cooked meals will always beat them in taste and cost. In most cases – even with meals that are not especially healthy – the version made in the kitchen will be healthier than the packaged version.

For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be moister, but it will also have a more intense banana flavor.

Take these tips shared by Peter Salzano, and use them in your dishes to make them come alive. Serve them to guests, bask in the compliments, and then do it all over again. The wonderful thing about cooking as a hobby is that you can always recreate or create anew; you’ll always need something to eat!