1. How to make eggs three ways.
Take your pick — fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached — then learn exactly how to nail each version here. Once you’ve mastered that, experiment with turning eggs into full meals — they’re versatile, cheap, and packed with protein.
2. How to cook pasta perfectly.
Three important things to remember:
1) Salt your water! Don’t be shy here — this is key, as it will flavor the noodles aka the entire base of your dish.
2) Stir the noodles occasionally so they cook evenly and don’t stick together.
3) Drain the pasta at the right time so that it’s al dente — not too hard, not too soft.
3. And how to make a killer sauce that isn’t straight out of a jar.
Start with a super easy tomato sauce — like this classic version by Marcella Hazan that proves you don’t need a laundry list of ingredients to make something rich and delicious. (In this case: only tomatoes, butter, onion, and salt.)
4. How to bake incredible cookies from scratch.
5. How to make a damn good cocktail.
7. How to slow cook like a pro.
Confession: I discovered slow cookers during my senior year of college, and haven’t stopped using them since. There’s something that’ll never get old about the ease of tossing ingredients into a pot, doing your own thing for a few hours (whether that’s studying for finals or binge-watching Netflix), and coming back to a meal that has basically cooked itself.
8. And alternatively, how to cook fast.
(Because life’s too short to be hangry.)
9. How to make healthier swaps when you want to.
Whether’s it’s quick ingredient substitutions (like trading maple syrup for fruit), or experimenting with better-for-you alternatives when you’re craving something sweet (like making soft serve out of frozen bananas) — the more swaps you have in your arsenal, the better.
10. How to cook an entire dinner on one sheet pan.
Any time you can cook protein and vegetables at the same time (and on the same surface, for less cleanup), it’s a good thing. Sheet pan dinners are the oven-ready equivalent of Crock-Pot dump dinners, or one-pot meals — and are perfect for busy weeknights.
11. How to make a meatless meal that even carnivores will love.
Meatless Monday is a great thing to adopt — even if only for a month or so — because a) it challenges you to think creatively beyond meat, and b) it’s almost always cheaper to cook without meat. (Which, TBH, is the reason I started doing it.) Easy MM staples that I never get tired of: veggie lo mein, spicy black bean tacos, creamy mushroom pasta, and vegetable stir-fry.
12. How to toss together a great marinade.
Marinades are one of the simplest ways to dress up meat and infuse it with more flavor. The building blocks of a solid one are fat + acid + salt — but you can (and should!) experiment.
13. How to make homemade chicken broth.
Easier to make than you think, and tastes way better than the boxed stuff.
14. How to make a salad that doesn’t suck.
Often, the key is an awesome homemade dressing. The two pictured above — a DIY balsamic vinaigrette and a tangy miso one — are great, easy starters. Three other things to try to work into your salads: something that’s crunchy, something that’s creamy, and something with protein — which will help keep you fuller, longer.
15. How to meal prep to save time and money.
Meal prep can take as little or as much time as you want it to — whether it’s quickly making a big batch of frozen breakfast smoothies that you can then grab in the mornings; or taking a few hours on Sunday and making lunch for the entire week. Along the way, you learn to get super efficient with your time (and often your money, because you can buy in bulk). Also, when it comes to prepping? Future You will thank Past You every single time.