It’s a struggle for any parent to find time to make tasty and healthy meals. Sometimes it’s tempting to give up on cooking and just order take-out. But before you place that order, read this article. You’ll find some tips that will help any busy mom or dad in the kitchen.

Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.

When roasting any type of meat, ensure that when you remove it from the oven you give it time to “rest” before you carve it up and deliver to the table. Allowing the meat to sit in its own juices for ten minutes or so will make sure that the meat is not dry or overly chewy.

Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.

When you are chopping onions for a home cooked salsa make sure you rinse them. Rinse your onions immediately after you cut them then blot them dry with a napkin. This will remove the sulfurous gas and will make your salsa taste better. This works well for other recipes too.

If you find yourself with leftover homemade sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. All you need to do next time you want to use it, is reheat in a saucepan. The sauce will remain edible even after being in an ice tray.

If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it on a pan, almost like a hamburger.

You should use nonstick cooking spray when cooking a meal or snack. The nonstick cooking spray keeps food from sticking to a pan without adding unneeded fats and calories. There are some sprays that are flavored, so that you can get the same flavor as if you had used butter.

Make the best of your baking adventures by leaving eggs and butter out at room temperature the night before. Then you do not have to go through the frustration of softening the butter to the right consistency. Also, warm eggs whisk to a greater volume, which allows the cake to rise evenly.

Acorn squash peeling made easy. The deep grooves in acorn squash make it hard to peel. First, peel the bumps. Then, slice the squash between the grooves to make wedges. Remove the seeds from the wedges and peel the skin from the outside edge. You can then cut them to the size that you need for your recipe.

How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.

Get creative to make cooking fun. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. That is how a real cook gets it cooking!

Use a paper towel to blot dry, any meat that you are browning before you put it in the hot oil. This prevents the release of moisture when your meat hits the hot oil. When you are browning meat, you want it to sear, not steam. Moisture-rich meats will steam and the brown crust that you seek from browning, will prove elusive.

The one thing that no parent has enough of is time. Luckily, the advice in this article will save you precious time in the kitchen, and will help you make meals your whole family will enjoy. You’ll be amazed at how much time you can save just by following these simple tips.