~ Look for items on sale. This is your opportunity to try products you wouldn't normally buy. Be sure to check the expiration dates, though. Some stores try to unload expiring products with sales.
~ When cooking a new recipe, read the recipe at least twice. Prep work is important most of the time, but especially when trying a new recipe.
~ Make sure all the needed ingredients are in house. Chop/Dice/clean/etc what you needed, measure liquids and powders and have everything ready on the counter in the order in needs to be added before you start to cook.
~ Store your knives on a magnetic bar. When you store your knives in the drawer, every time you open and close that drawer the knives bounce around and that movement starts to blunt the knives. If you use a butcher block and you are not careful when inserting the knives in the hole you can blunt the tip of the knife.
~ Make sure you are cutting on a steady cutting board by making sure your cutting board grips at the base. If not, place a damp towel or paper underneath the board. Also make sure you sure using a well sharpened knife that fits your hands.
~ All ovens are different. When baking always set the timer about 5 minutes less than what the recipe calls for and check by turning on the light in the oven. Try to avoid opening the oven. If more time is needed, set the timer again in increments of 5 minutes. You can always add more time, but once its burned you can't fix it.
~ Use condensed skim milk, 2% or whole milk, instead of half-and-half or cream.
~ Prep work is important most of the time, but especially when trying a new recipe.
~ A nice rich red colour indicates the perfect quality of your ham. Remember than when you picking ingredients for your meals, make sure they are fresh and top quality.