Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you were never taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.

How to pit and peel an avocado. Peeling and pitting an avocado can be quite messy, but there is a simple way. Use a sharp knife and cut around the whole avocado lengthwise. Grip each half of the avocado and twist it apart. Using your knife, carefully but firmly hit the top of the pit and twist it. The pit will slide out, still attached to the knife. To remove the peel, simply take a large spoon and run it between the peel and the flesh. Enjoy!

Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid, freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.

Rub your hands against your sink after cooking with garlic. Garlic can be an undesirable smell to have cling to you. It might sound a bit odd, but next time you are cooking with it, rub your hands against your sink. If your sink is stainless steel, it should remove the smell.

There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time at all.