When’s the last time you cooked something truly extraordinary? Do you remember? Extraordinary cooking doesn’t have to be something that is a rare occurrence. You can make every meal new and exciting, if you have the information and skills to do so. Here are a few cooking tips that will help every meal be special.

For those dishes that have longer cooking times, you will want to add your spices and herbs about an hour or so before eating. If these spices are cooked too long, then the resulting flavors may be too strong. In addition, it’s best to keep it simple by not using any more than three herbs or spices in any dish.

The prep work comes first. Having everything prepared before you begin cooking is important. Having a deadline for an important meal or event can become quite stressful when you are starting from scratch. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.

Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.

You can remove the garlic odor from your hands by rubbing them for thirty seconds on your stainless steel stove before washing them. Garlic adds a delightful flavor to many recipes, but the unmistakable odor can linger on your hands. Using this tip, you can enjoy your dinner without your hands smelling strongly of garlic.

Use these tips to spark your own ideas about what your meals can be like. With a little creativity and a little know-how, the food you prepare can be something wonderful, every single time. Get excited about cooking again and see what you can conjure up in your kitchen.