10 Things You Should Know How To Cook

When you're freshly out on your own, your cooking repertoire might not be up to snuff. Everyone should have a list of go-to meals that they know they can cook and nail if necessary in a pinch. You never know, maybe you want to impress your new date? They do say that the way to a persons heart is through their stomach. Also, think about how much more impressive a warm breakfast is versus cold cereal after staying over for the first time. Whether you want to impress a date, coworker, boss, whomever really! It doesn't matter. These are 10 things you should know how to cook as an adult. 


10 Things You Should Know How To Cook


Eggs. Fortunately we've covered this topic a great deal over on ADR. Eggs are one of those staple items that can jazz up any dish. Whether you're making breakfast, toast, a salad or dinner, the addition of a fried egg can instantly elevate the dish. I suggest experimenting! Scrambled, poached, fried, hard boiled or soft boiled, all are a solid addition to any meal. Check out our videos for Sunny-side Up Eggs and Soft Boiled Eggs if you'd like to give them a go. 

Soft Boiled Egg on Toast


Rice. This one took me FOREVER to get right. Theoretically, rice should be one of the easiest things to make, it's water, seasoning and the rice, but the reality is that it is not that simple. I pride myself on knowing my way around a kitchen. Given time and a recipe, I can cook just about anything. Most of the time I improvise! But, rice. Rice was one of those things that took me forever to get down. In fact, I bought a rice cooker so that I would not have to make rice on the stove and subject myself to another over or under cooked rice. 


However, now I love rice. Actually, I always loved rice, it just wasn't always as fond of me. Fried rice is probably one of the easiest things to make because it actually comes out better with day old rice. It's a great way to get rid of the leftovers in your fridge before they go off. Sauté the veggies of your choice in some oil, add the cooked protein, rice and season. Heck, throw a fried egg on top and you have a pretty impressive and inexpensive dinner, ready in minutes. 


Pasta. This is another one that everyone should know how to make. The flavor doesn't matter. You choose, but you should have a go to pasta dish that you can make in a pinch. I love making homemade gluten free lasagna! I'm not talking about making the noodles from scratch, I don't have time for that, store bought pasta gets the job done. There is something so comforting and satisfying about a piece of lasagna. As I said, you don't have to make lasagna, it should be something you love whether it's a good Mac n' Cheese, Spaghetti Bolognese or Fettuccini Alfredo. You pick, you concur it. Go!


This is a homemade gnocchi! We hd some leftover pot roast from earlier in the week, and I thought this would be a fun play on pot roast dinner. That is the amazing thing about cooking, once you are comfortable in the kitchen you can start playing and experimenting. 


Homemade Gnocchi + Leftover Pot Roast


Marinade. If you're a meat eater, I think you should have a solid marinade that works with most, if not all proteins. A marinade is a great way to jazz up even the most inexpensive cut of meat. The more time you let the meat rest with the marinade, the better. Marinading is something I recently have gotten into, and let me tell you. I wish I would have started doing it years ago because it has totally elevated my cooking. Checkout my Pinterest board to see some of my favorite marinades. 


Cake. Everyone should know how to make a cake. I don't care if you make it from a box, or make it from scratch, but you should at least know how to make a cake. At some point in your life, I am sure you are going to be celebrating something with someone, and what better way to celebrate with them then over a piece of cake you made yourself. 


Salad Dressing. I know, I know. You can easily buy this at the store, but a dressing is so easy to make yourself. Most of the time, I don't even buy remade salad dressing. I grow bored of the flavor before I've finished the whole bottle. Making it yourself is so easy, all you have to do is follow  the basic formula and you can literally create any flavor you can imagine. All you need is,


2 Parts Base + 1 Part Acid + Sweet + Seasoning = Great Dressing


Your base is the fat (oil, mayo, etc), the acid is just that, the acidic component (citrus, vinegar, etc), a sweetener and whatever seasonings you fancy. Again, check out the Pinterest board that goes along with this post to get some ideas. 


Dip. Another staple in your back pocket should be a good dip. This could be ranch dip, green goddess, guacamole, whatever you'd like. This way you can offer your guests, or yourself, a snack without having to cook a whole meal. It's a great snack to help fuel your gathering or late night cram session. 


Pizza. I just recently started making homemade pizza, and I can't believe I never tried to make it before! It is super simple and tastes amazing. The best part is that you can customize the toppings to have whatever you'd like! If you don't have a gluten allergy you can buyouts about any store brand remade dough and throw on your own toppings. I make my own dough because I don't eat gluten, and I've yet to find a consistently good, store brand gluten free pizza dough. Making the dough is super simple and way more enjoyable. I'll be sharing my recipe soon, so if you're interested, stay tuned!


Roast Meat. I really wanted to say grill meat, but I realize that not everyone has access to a grill. However, most of us have access to an oven. You can cook just about any meat in an oven, the trick is time and temperature. Not to mention that a good roast dinner is the perfect meat for a cool fall or cold winter evening. A roast chicken is a great weekend meal! The best part is that you can repurpose the leftovers into lunch, or a whole new meal for later in the week. I've used leftover roast chicken as tacos!



Vegetable. There is no specific here because everyone has different tastes, but you should has 2-3 vegetables that you love and can cook. Try different cooking methods! Roast, steam or sauté. Try them all! Change up the seasoning so that this way you have something to accompany all of the other great things you know hoe to cook.  


Wedding Chicken. Haha, this is something that my dad said to me one night after cooking something, stuffed peppers, I think. I can't even remember exactly. Wedding chicken is not actually chicken, or at least it doesn't have to be. Wedding chicken is that one thing that you know you can nail. That one thing everyone knows you can make and is excellent every time. This is the dish you break out when you want to impress someone. The joke is that it impresses them so much that they think, "Dang, I could marry this person." So silly, yet so fun. 


Cooking doesn't have to be complicated. I don't believe that there are specific meals or recipes that everyone should know how to cook because the reality of life is that we all have different tastes. Pick things that you like in each category I mentioned. If you're feeling brave, experiment with some new recipes. Pinterest, Tastespotting.com, YouTube and MarthaStewart.com are all great places to check for inspiration. Epicurious is another great website because all of the recipes have step-by-step instructions and are rated from easy to hard, that way you know what you're getting yourself into. 


As always, I hope you found this helpful, and I hope you're inspired to start learning how to make some of these things! Most of these items are a part of my weekly rotation, so if you want to see how I prep them head on over to Instagram to see what I'll be cooking this week. I'd love to see what you end up trying, so if you do test out something new, please comment below or tag us on Instagram so we can see too!