I grew up with a dad who loves to cook. Every Sunday, I’m awoken with homemade biscuits, sausage gravy, baked hash browns, a few strips of bacon, and two sunny-side-up eggs. He doesn’t make everything from scratch, but when he does, our entire house goes into a food coma for approximately six hours. But I’m accident-prone, to say the least, and am not particularly handy, so he never really taught me how to cook. Twice in my life, I have accidentally left my oven on in a 400 sq. ft. apartment for over 10 hours, so the oven slightly terrifies me. And I’m known to burn the easiest thing to cook: eggs. I rely on a few staples when I’m home in my apartment (spicy noodles, anything with turkey taco meat, and the frozen section of Trader Joe’s), but otherwise, I stay out of the kitchen.
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I have all this time on my hands, and I can’t rely on my usual takeout to get me by. Plus, I live in a home almost entirely inspired by southern cooking (we’ve spent lots of time in Knoxville, TN!), so for the sake of my arteries, I have to take dinner duty a few nights a week. These are the recipes I’m mastering while I have a little help; they’ll be delicious now and a pretty cool trick once I’m back to “regular” life.
1. Creamy Lemon Chicken With Asparagus
Anything with “cream” in the name sounds delicious, but I’ve convinced myself they’re impossible. So, they sit in my Pinterest board just for fun but never for actual meals. This would be a great addition to the rotation when I want a low-carb meal that makes staying up and watching yet another Avengers movie not make me fall asleep.
2. Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
My coworkers reading this will revel in “I told you so”s. I said it just about every day in the office: I’m not a soup person. I have a big thing with texture, so the thought of eating mashed up food is the biggest turn off for me (even more so than Peter Weber’s dancing). But the new me who has spent hours upon hours reminiscing on her downfalls is ready to give soup a real chance. I’ve always liked broccoli cheddar (thanks, Panera!), and this recipe looks delicious. Wish me luck!
3. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs
I would be rich if I had a dollar for every time I saw this gorgeous image and thought “Ha, I can’t cook that!” We’ve posted this recipe countless times on The Everygirl, but I never quite had the motivation to try it. I’m always looking for new lunches to add to my rotation to make packing a lunch all the more enticing, and finally getting this one down pat might just do it. Sriracha (and any hot sauce) is truly a food group for me, and I could easily swap regular rice for some cauliflower rice too (or even a sesame noodles—omg yum).
4. Skirt Steak Tacos With Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
In my regular life, I eat tacos at least once a week, and they’re almost always takeout (whether it’s the lovely local restaurant for dinner or my 11pm Taco Bell run). But I’m in the suburbs right now with very minimal delivery options, and I’m *TRULY* dying to sink my teeth in a taco. I normally will make chicken or turkey tacos, but I’m pushing myself to learn to cook another kind of meat (I wasn’t kidding when I said I have minimal cooking knowledge) with these steak ones.
5. Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
OK, I didn’t say all of them would be super healthy. This is another “two birds, one stone” situation. Like I said, I’ve never made pretty much any sauce from scratch, and getting an Alfredo down sounds like something that could be good for my life. I also am not one to ever make lasagna just for myself—that’s reserved for my friends’ Italian moms and potlucks. But while I have the time and energy to potentially screw up and start over, now’s a good time to learn! The look of this recipe made my audibly gasp.
Honorable Mention: Peanut Butter Cookies
Why not try baking while I’m at it?! I’m not enough of a perfectionist to be a baker, but I love the domesticity of bringing treats to work or sharing a baked good with friends. Peanut butter cookies are my absolute favorite dessert on this earth. I’m trying to learn my family’s ~secret~ recipe, but this one is mostly the same and looks utterly delicious.