For most people, cooking is nothing more than a daily chore they have to take care of. You really can learn to enjoy it, though. It can also be a way to a healthier lifestyle. A good cook will always continue to learn new and innovative methods, and the following information will help you learn more about cooking as well.
Try to plan for a week's worth of meals. If you can get in the habit of planning a weekly menu, it will save time on grocery shopping, and will reduce the stress of having to come up with a meal idea at the last minute. Also, keep a magnet-backed notepad on the refrigerator, and jot down any items that you are running low on. This way, your kitchen will always be stocked with the ingredients that you use regularly.
Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Additionally, if you are cabinets too close to heat sources, you may need to invest in cabinet refacing.
Are you using fresh basil to cook with? Take a bunch of it and place in a glass. Fill the container with enough water to cover the stems. The basil can remain fresh for several days if it is placed in indirect sunlight. With some care, you may even be able to encourage the basil to grow roots. By picking leaves you will encourage the basil to put out new growth. This will ensure that you have fresh basil on an ongoing basis!
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally "sucks out" the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can't afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
As you have seen, the key to becoming better at cooking is continuing to learn all you can. Learning about different cooking methods and types of foods is half the fun of cooking. It is about sharing knowledge that you have gathered from others. Sharing everything from your unique recipes to your finished food will give you a sense of well-being.