Many people do not realize how fun and exciting cooking really can be. The information provided below will give you an idea for simple approaches to cooking that can make your palate dance with delight. You do not have to be a chef to make outstanding meals that you will enjoy.

You should store all herbs and spices in cool, dark places. Herbs and spices can quickly lose their flavor if exposed to continuous light or heat. Ground herbs and spices will retain their flavor for about a year. Spices in their whole forms have longer useful lifespans, lasting up to five years. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors.

While most seasonings are added at some point during the cooking process, there are certain spices that are considered good after cooking options. These spices are garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Set these on the table, and let your guests decide on their personal preference to add a little kick to their plate.

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.

Do not be afraid to experiment. There is no rule that says you need to follow a recipe exactly. If you do not care for an ingredient, leave it out. If you think a different ingredient would taste better, substitute it. If you think the dish is missing a little something, add it.

The tips that have been given in the above article should have helped you to realize that anyone can cook if they put their mind to it. There is no reason to make any excuses when it comes to cooking. If you fail at one dish, there is always another waiting to be cooked.