Cooking More at Home Is About Developing Systems, Not Memorizing Recipes

The recipe community makes it seem like one-and-done type meals are the pinnacle of home cooking. And if you crack open a cookbook or browse a few food blogs, that’s mostly what you’ll see. But for people who don’t already have experience in the kitchen, this is wildly inefficient.

Say you want to cook a typical, single-meal recipe you found for dinner. Think about that process for minute. You have to decide on the recipe, stop at the store on your way home from work, pick out all the ingredients you need (because that great-looking recipe always has a few secret, fancy ingredients you don’t have at home), then drive home and finally cook it.

Sure, meal-kit services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh can ease some…

Save Time and Money With These 15 Delicious Sheet Pan Meals

Feel like you’re constantly stuck in a dinner rut? Don’t turn into the drive-thru lane again for a quick dinner solution. Instead, use sheet pan meals to cook a delicious dinner, all in one pan.

The best part about sheet pan meals is that there are endless options. Below are 15 recipes, but feel free to tweak them to your desire. These meals are practically foolproof. (See also: 10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner)

1. Ultimate Chicken Nachos

Nachos can’t really be dinner, can they? You bet they can, and your family will love you for it. Spread an overlapping layer of chips on your metal sheet pan, then top with grated cheese, cooked chicken pieces, diced tomatoes, corn kernels, and canned pinto or black beans. You can even add sliced jalapeños if you’d like.

Bake at 400º for 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle chopped cilantro on the finished chips. Top with your favorite wet ingredients (sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.) and enjoy!

2. Ratatouille

You won’t miss the meat in this dish. Use a mandolin or vegetable slicer to save time. Cut Yukon potatoes, zucchinis, yellow squash, and eggplant into small coin shapes. Next, open a can of tomato puree and add a thin layer on your sheet pan. Season with salt, then arrange the sliced vegetables in an overlapping fashion. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

Bake the ratatouille for 35 minutes in a 375º oven. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve with crusty bread for a complete meal.

3. Lemon Garlic Salmon and Green Beans

Baking salmon on top of green beans, or a vegetable with a similar cooking time, makes for a yummy, heart-healthy meal.

Layer the green beans on a nonstick sheet pan. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of olive oil, the juice of two lemons, a dash of salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Dip the salmon fillets in the oil mixture and then lay them skin side up on the green beans.

Broil on high for eight to 10 minutes. Make sure the oven is fully hot before sticking your fish in, and check the fish at the eight-minute mark. It should flake easily with a fork.

4. Cilantro Lime Chicken Fajitas

Cut raw chicken breasts, onions, and bell peppers into strips. In a bag or bowl, mix ½ cup of oil, ¼ cup lime juice, finely chopped cilantro, and a packet of taco seasoning….

Check Out These Celebrity Cookbook Authors

The list of celebrities who have tried their hand at writing cookbooks ranges from the not-so-surprising (Oprah) to the totally unexpected (Stanley Tucci?). Here are 11 famous, non-chef figures whose cookbooks you can buy.

When Oprah is obsessed with something, the whole world is obsessed with it. So it’s surprising that it took her until 2017 to release her favorite recipes. Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life is part cookbook, part memoir, and part lifestyle guide from the talk show host and cultural icon (and her favorite chefs). Oprah is an investor in Weight Watchers, so obviously each recipe includes calorie counts and how many Weight Watchers points each recipe is worth.

Coolio likes to describe himself as the “black Rachel Ray,” and has been dishing out cooking advice for quite a while. A whole episode of the reality TV show Coolio’s Rules was devoted to “Cooking with Coolio,” a segment that was later expanded into a web series. He describes his cookbook, Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price, as a guide to becoming a “kitchen pimp.” Some of the recipes include “Finger-Lickin’, Rib-Stickin’, Fall-Off-the-Bone-and-into-Your-Mouth Chicken” and “Banana Ba-ba-ba-bread.” In 2012, the rapper appeared on an episode of the Food Network show Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, competing in the cooking show under the tutelage of Guy Fieri.


The poet and civil rights activist might not be as well known for her cooking as for her verse, but she’s the author of two cookbooks, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes and Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart. The former takes a memoir-inflected approach to laying out Angelou’s favorite dishes, while the latter was inspired by the author’s significant weight loss and includes advice on moderation and portion control.


Most culinary aficionados don’t think of the back of a tour bus as the most delicious food destination in the world, but nonetheless, Smash Mouth: Recipes from the Road: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Cookbook does exist. The band members’ favorites from their pit stops across the country include lobster sandwiches and “Pink Lady apple and arugula salad.” All the recipes were just solicited from real chefs by the band, but the book does have chapter-long cameos from famous/infamous contributors like Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar. You should probably…

Take A Look At These Disgusting Classic Cocktail Names

Bartenders began putting cocktail names and recipes to paper centuries ago. As they soon discovered, many were using different names for the same recipes or the same name for drinks with much different ingredients. The 1913 Bartenders’ Manual, by the Bartenders Association of America, attempted to clear up some of the overlap. “In compiling this book our subject is to come as near as possible to a uniformity of names and methods of mixing and serving drinks with the view of establishing a standard to work from,” the book begins. “There is no actual code universal, either in name or formulas for mixing drinks … Our endeavor is to assemble the various names and methods of concoctions so as to prevent confusion.”

In general, the names that stuck around were the ones that were the easiest to remember. So when bartenders came up with new drinks, they’d try to make theirs memorable by giving them either frank, informative names or totally bizarre ones that no one else would possibly come up with.

Today, bartenders still use this principle when naming their original craft cocktails. Molly Wellmann, who is owner of Japp’s bar in Cincinnati, considers how her new cocktail names will be received in the future. “I believe every craft cocktail will be a classic one day,” she says. “When you make your own cocktail, you should always have a good story behind the name because 100 years from now, there’s going to be a bartender wanting to know about this one drink.”

Flipping through cocktail books from 100 to 200 years ago, it’s obvious that many bartenders did not have the same foresight. In our search through 50 cocktail books that were published between the 1820s and 1940s, we found quite a few cocktails with names that we’re glad were lost to history. (Many…