I recently celebrated my 30th birthday, so when I came across this article, “30 Recipes You Should Know How to Cook by the Time You’re 30,” I was intrigued to learn whether I’d reached my culinary benchmark. As I excitedly scanned the list to uncover new recipes, I realized my understanding of the basics was right where it should be. In fact, not only had I mastered most of the recipes on this list, but there were a few more I felt I could bring to the table…literally. I thought I’d take this post to share a few fun ones I make most often.
Apple Salad: I love apples! Cubed, sliced, baked or mixed with yogurt, I will eat apples every day to satisfy a sweet craving or fill me up before bed. I recently learned this simple apple salad recipe from a co-worker and now it’s a staple in my house.
Cut up one whole apple into small pieces and put into a bowl. Dice three celery sticks into small pieces and mix in. Chop one-quarter cup of walnuts and mix into the apples and celery. Add one-quarter cup of raisins (golden raisins work best) and finally, bind it all together by mixing with one container of vanilla yogurt. The sweetness of the apples and raisins, the bitterness of the celery and the crunch of the walnuts make this dish a must-have for breakfast, dessert or in between!
Full Moon: This recipe goes back to my college days, when late-night snacks required little effort and big taste. I have heard this called a number of things, “hobo toast,” “sunlet,” “egg in a basket,” “toad in the hole,” and more, but I go with the “full moon.”
You simply take a piece of white bread, butter both sides, use a circular cookie cutter or knife to cut a round hole in the middle and remove the bread’s center, and place on a heated, buttered pan. Once you’ve lightly toasted one side, flip the bread over and crack an egg in the hole so the yolk is centered in the cut-out middle. Lightly fry that side and flip over again to finish cooking the first side and voila!
Broccoli Casserole: This one is thanks to my mother-in-law, who brought this dish to the last Thanksgiving dinner and barely set it on the table before every last bite was devoured! I knew I had to try making it after seeing how fast it went. I asked for the recipe and realized it’s much simpler than it looks. All you need is a bag of frozen broccoli or a couple crowns of fresh broccoli cut up, a can of cream of mushroom soup, about one half cup of shredded cheese (your choice but it’s great with cheddar), and about one quarter cup of fried onion toppings. Heat your oven to 350 Degrees and coat the inside of a glass baking dish. Half-cook the broccoli by steaming, sautéing or microwaving it. Layer the prepared baking dish with the broccoli and pour the can of cream of mushroom soup over the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of that to cover every corner and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Once all the cheese is melted, pull out and sprinkle the onion toppings over the top. This is a great side dish to bring to a dinner or just to have in the fridge during the week.
These are some of my favorite and most commonly prepared dishes since diving into my culinary voyage. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as I discover new and tempting recipes that come across my plate! When it comes to cooking and baking, I always migrate toward recipes that are not very intimidating and only require a few ingredients!