The most common angle to sharpen your knife is 20°. However, you should check with the manufacturer of the knife if you wish to determine the exact angle of your knife.
Olive oil has well reported health benefits, however it does burn easily and has a strong flavour that can adversely affect your cooking. Oils with a high flash point (that can withstand high temperatures) include canola, sunflower and peanut. Of these canola carries the least flavour.
Cut the onion it in half across the base (leaving a portion of root on each half - this will help keep the onion together while slicing), peel the onion and place cut side down. Make multiple cuts long ways from top to bottom but not through the root at the end. The more cuts, the finer the dice.
Squash the unpeeled garlic using the flat side of a large knife to loosen the skin and help release the flavour and oils. Peel the garlic and then roughly chop. All of the pieces need to be about the same size to ensure consistency while cooking.
Spices are generally at their best for up to a month, if stored correctly. Store spices in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to quickly lose their flavour.