My favorite cooking tips, from mini peppers to freezing enchilada sauce.

Cooking Tips for Everyone

Cooking can be hard especially if it’s not something your used to doing. These are some cooking tips that can help your kitchen run smoother and make your food taste better. I truly believe everyone can learn to cook food that’s tasty to eat, we just need the right mindset and a few cooking tips and tricks.

Cooking Tip #1: Use a Toaster Oven

I love roasted veggies. A little salt, pepper, garlic and parmesean cheese makes pretty much any vegetable taste delicious when you roast it. Turning on the oven in the summer can heat up your house a lot though. Instead a toaster oven allows you to roast a serving or two of veggies without making your house overwhelmingly hot. It also works when you want just a couple chicken nuggets. Or tater tots.

I regularly roast red peppers for pasta sauce in my toaster oven.

Cooking Tip #2: Add Seasonings to Olive Oil

Letting herbs and seasoning sit in olive oil before you add them to your dish will boost the flavor because the oil starts to become infused with whatever you’ve added. Bonus points if you smash the seasonings (like in a mortar and pestle) first. Leave the spices to sit with olive oil in a small juice glass while you prepare other parts of the recipe.

I do this when I make these Brazilian Chickpeas & Rice from Emma’s Little Kitchen. If the spices are already distributed in the oil its easier to get those spices spread throughout the rice evenly. Do the same when adding dressing carrot & cabbage salad or seasoning cauliflower to pair with curried lentils.

Cooking Tip #3: Freeze Sauces in Ice Cube Trays

I saw this tip all over Pinterest for a few years before I started doing it. I didn’t think it would be so useful. Now I pull some sort of sauce from the freezer almost weekly.

We eat of lot of spicy in this house, and enchilada sauce is great to add to dishes in small quantities. By freezing the sauce, you always have it on hand. And you don’t have to worry about storing the rest of the can you haven’t used, or trying to use it up before it goes bad. Try this turkey chili or these chipotle falafel bowls with a few enchilada cubes in them.

Maybe you don’t use enchilada sauce as much as I do. You can use this for tomato sauce, wine, salsa verde, or bits of leftover pesto. If you have it on hand, you’re more likely to use it. Your tastebuds will thank you.

Cooking Tip #4: Tomato Bouillon

My fiance convinced me to buy this tomato bouillon after a coworker told him it was a must for rice and beans. I use it all. the. time.

Sprinkle it into cooking black beans. Add it to alfredo sauce for a combo of flavors. Of course it’s great in a black bean & rice bowl. In between the slices of a grilled cheese or in a quesadilla, its fantastic.

The only downside is, it has chicken base. So if your vegan or vegetarian it’s out for you. But if you’re not, I’m telling you – total game changer for me. I put that ish in everything.

Both of these can be hard to find in stores. Try a Latin market or Amazon.

Cooking Tip #5: Grilling Veggies

I didn’t like cooked vegetables growing up. Would not eat them. I love them roasted, as I said above. Grilled veggies are another favorite around here.

During grilling season, we regularly chop a few peppers, onion, and zucchini and cook them in a small grill basket to we don’t loose them to the grill. Tossing veggies with a little olive oil and Goya’s adobo with cumin turns them into crack. Seriously, I’d be happy to eat an entire plate of them. Minus the onions. Onions are icky and only enter my house because my fiance likes them.

Cooking Tip #6: Buy Mini Peppers Instead of Bell Peppers

Aldi was out of bell peppers one day and I picked up a pack of mini peppers instead. I have never looked back. Kind of like enchilada sauce, a few peppers seem to make their way into lots of dishes around here. Having lots of small ones around, means I can add a few to a dish without having store the rest of a large bell pepper. I’ve found they can last up to a month in the fridge without getting wrinkly. Buying the mini ones has helped always have peppers on hand, and waste less. Try them in these cauliflower burritos.

Cooking Tip #7: Jazz Up Bisquick

I’ve made biscuits from scratch. While tasty, to me they’re not so much better than Bisquick to justify the work that goes into them. Sorry if that’s sacrilege. I will happily order giant plates of from scratch biscuits while out at brunch. At home I use Bisquick. But we make it fancy.

For biscuits I add Old Bay & cheese if we’re eating them as is. It is a truly delightful way to start the morning and a topic I’ve brought up regularly on Instagram. If I’m making sausage gravy I usually go for garlic & rosemary. Pick out whatever flavors you like, and be generous. Biscuits can handle a lot of flavor.

For pancakes it’s always a dash of vanilla and cinnamon around here. Same as biscuits – I haven’t found from scratch pancakes to taste so much better that they justify all the extra work. You can also use chai tea to replace some of the liquid in your batter, and/or add a pumpkin pie spice blend to really make those pancakes cozy.

What are you making with these cooking tips?

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