Some food preparation tips from a student chef aka a beginner family cook

Hello again everyone. Trying to make do with whatever time I have with this laptop to make at least a post about the things I do in my kitchen.

The economic downturn is definitely impacting on so many things about our lives. Take for example the case of our food budget. Homemakers are scratching their heads wondering how to make ends meet and yet maintain the same kind of menus their families have all been used to. In your case, do you scrimp, reduce quantity or accept less quality. Health concerns however bars us from resorting to such tactics.

Healthy food always require quality ingredients, proper food handling techniques and deliberate menu planning. In my kitchen, I make it a standard practice to ensure that food will remain healthy and appealing from the marketplace to the dinner table. And what better way to do this? Ensuring safe and healthy meals requires practical food handling in freezing, thawing, cooking, cooling and finally, serving. Safety rules that affect storage, temperature, hygiene and sanitation must always be observed.

To maintain food freshness in the refrigerator, I leave a reasonable amount of space to allow air to freely circulate. It is a must that all food stored are covered. If you stack a lot of food items, make sure there is a label noting dates of purchase. That way you know what food item to use first.

It is also now in vogue to limit the use of salt, fat and sugar in preparing food because these items are generally now considered not healthy when used excessively. We can all be too enthusiastic when cooking. And sometimes it makes us over indulgent in using these food ingredients. What I do is use herbs, and spices instead. And a lot. Since I started cooking, almost 8 years ago, I began learning the strategic hows and whens of using herbs and spices for my meal concoctions. Glad, I did.

I also use marinades and stocks a lot. This way I control the amount of salt required for certain food recipes. I also learned to incorporate fruit and vegetable juices to add flavor for certain types of dishes. To add that sugary taste I use cinnamon bark. As souring agents, I use lemon, oranges, kalamansi, lime, guavas, and kamias.

Other food preparation tips my mother taught me ( and there are so many) will have to be posted next time.


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