If cooking has never been your “thing” – take heart. You don’t have to rely on takeout (or mom!) whenever you want a delicious home cooked meal. In fact, some of the most intimidating meals out there are actually pretty easy.

So go ahead, invite the crew over and impress them with your newfound culinary skills. We won’t tell them how easy your recipes are!

Raspberry Baked Brie in a Puff Pastry

Get things started with this delicious appetizer!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough (or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls)
  • 1 round of Brie cheese, with the rind
  • 2 Tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a very sharp knife, carefully remove the top rind (only the top!) of the cheese. The rind is edible, so this step is optional.

Lay the puff pastry or crescent rolls flat on the lined baking sheet. Place the brie in the center of the puff pastry/crescent roll dough. Spread the raspberry jam on top of the brie then fold the dough over, cutting off any excess. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 


 

Lemon Pepper Salmon

Quick, simple, and healthy. What more could you possibly want?

Ingredients:

  • Side of salmon, skin on (roughly 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper, and place salmon in the center of the dish.

Next, make the lemon pepper topping. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, and onion powder. Brush evenly over the top of the salmon, then season with salt and pepper. Top with lemon slices (optional).

Bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

 


Pistachio-Crusted Chicken

Crispy and crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside. What’s not to love?

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or fillets (not too thick, about 5 oz. each)
  • 3 tbsp. honey mustard
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until they are small crumbs. Pour into a shallow dish and combine with the panko breadcrumbs.

Use paper towels to pat away any excess moisture from the chicken, then brush the honey mustard onto both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in the pistachio/panko mixture, pressing down firmly to coat evenly on both sides, then transfer the chicken to the baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.

 


Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Lamb Chops

Feel like firing up the grill tonight? This one tastes better if you do!

Ingredients:

  • 12 3-oz lamb chops
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (check the international section of the grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¾ tsp dry mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

Instructions:

Bring your grill to a high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and maple syrup. Grate the garlic into the glaze and add the dry mustard. Whisk to combine all ingredients.

Season lamb chops with salt and pepper. Coat both sides of each lamb chop with the pomegranate mixture; keep the leftover glaze. Grill the lamb chops until charred, about 4 minutes. Flip and brush the other side with leftover glaze. Grill for about another 4 minutes.

 


 

Ginger Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

Eating solo doesn’t have to mean takeout. Get your fill of veggies with this spicy one-serving dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 8 shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp mint leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger until soft, about 1 minute. Add bell peppers and pineapple, and saute until the peppers soften, about 5 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until they are opaque throughout and the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and rice vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes.

Garnish with mint and scallions and serve with lime wedges over rice.

 


 

One-Pot Pasta Limone

Because Italian night doesn’t have to mean spaghetti and jar sauce, again.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus one more lemon zest for serving
  • 3 sprigs of basil, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Combine pasta, 4 ½ cups of water, garlic, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper in a large skillet with 2-inch sides. Bring the water to boil. Stir occasionally until the water is nearly gone and the pasta is fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes.

Add lemon juice and Parmesan, stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves and lemon zest.

 


 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Finish off with this sweet treat that’s sure to delight your friends!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 oz.) refrigerated cookie dough
  • 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of a 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Press about ⅔ of the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Beat in whipping cream and sour cream until everything is well mixed.

Pour the cream cheese filling evenly into the pan. Crumble remaining cookie dough batter over the filling.

Bake 55-60 minutes, then let cool for about 30. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.