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It is much easier to order take-out than it is to cook. After all, you get to sit and wait and there’s no clean-up afterwards. But when you do the cooking yourself you have more control over the ingredients and it tastes better because it comes from your heart. Here are a few cooking tips to make you put the phonebook down and take out the pots.

You should not boil pasta in water that has oil in it. When you add oil to the water that you are boiling your pasta in it keeps the sauce from sticking to the pasta. By leaving the oil out you can toss your pasta in the sauce and it will cling to it.

When making sandwiches, follow this tip. Take a portion of mayonnaise and spread it on the bread from corner to corner. Spreading from corner to corner rather than the widely used method of spreading down the middle allows every area of the bread to be evenly coated with mayonnaise, making a more flavorful sandwich.

To make the very best bread stuffing, check out your grocer’s day-old bakery section. You should be able to find a wide variety of different types of bread there, from tasty Italian and French breads to scrumptious sourdoughs and hearty rye breads. The trick for great bread stuffing is not only the seasonings used, but also the type of bread used. Different breads provide for many different flavors as well as textures in your home-made stuffing.

To make the perfect pasta, cook it one minute less than what you read on the box and cook it the rest of the way with the sauce you are serving with it. This ensures that you do not overcook the pasta if you were to toss it in with the sauce after you cooked the pasta until it was done in the pot of water.

Learn to make a good roux for top-notch cream sauces, gravies, soups and more. Begin by melting a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, and add just enough flour to soak up all of the melted butter. For recipes that call for a blonde roux, add liquid just after the butter is absorbed by the flour. For a darker roux, which imparts deeper flavor, allow the flour and butter mixture to cook a bit longer, stirring constantly.

Store your spices in a cool, dark place, such as a cabinet or pantry. One of the biggest cooking mistakes people make is storing herbs and spices above the stove. The heat, humidity and light will causes herbs and spices to lose their flavor. For the most flavorful meals, take good care of your spices.

Cooking your own meals can be a great experience. Use these tips to get your kitchen buzzing and rediscover how gratifying it can be to eat a meal that you prepared with your own two hands in your kitchen. You know what? Your meal probably tastes better than any take-out you can get.