Classic Dishes You Should Master

Here’s my personal list of classic dishes—popular in the U.S.—that I think you  need to know how to cook. With time, it’s fairly easy to tweak traditional recipes to your tastes and dietary needs.


Blueberry Muffins
Buttermilk Pancakes
Crispy Waffles
Eggs Benedict
French Toast
Soft-Scrambled Eggs & Oven-Baked Bacon


Buttermilk Biscuits Two Ways
Skillet Cornbread (Southern-Style)Read more

Baked Sausages with Browned Potatoes and Vegetables

Baked Sausages with Browned Potatoes and Vegetables
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Aidell’s chicken sausage links, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large potatoes, cut into small wedges
2 large mixed orange and red bell peppers, seeded and cut into wedges
1-1/2 large onions, cut into wedges
1 carrot, thickly sliced
4 large garlic … Read more

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Streusel

The streusel lends itself to a bit of improv—try more orange zest or lemon, instead. Leave the coffee out or add powdered cocoa. Play around with a mix of your favorite spices. Use walnuts instead of pecans…you get the idea.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Streusel
Makes one 10-cup bundt cake or a 4”x11” loaf cake 

1-1/3 cups (about … Read more

Chicken-Sausage-Tortellini Soup (InstaPot )

This soup is easy and delicious. Bump up the red pepper flakes if you like things spicer. Vegetarians can use cannelloni beans and veggie-sausage.

Chicken-Sausage-Tortellini Soup (InstaPot )
Yield: 4—6 servings

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2-1/2 cups organic chicken stock
1/4 cup dry … Read more

Carrot Cake

This recipe is based on Bon Appetit’s “Best Carrot Cake” (and it is), though I’ve added citrus zest, cloves, and cardamon to this version. They make it as a two-layer round cake, and I make it as a sheet cake. But I agree with their assessment that “this is the only carrot cake recipe you’ll ever need.”

Carrot Cake

Read more

Deconstructed Chicken Enchiladas

Easy, fast, delicious—here’s a great weeknight dinner. Have one person shred the chicken while the other one chops veggies and starts the sauté, and it’ll be done in no time.

Deconstructed Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4—6

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2—1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt… Read more

Pasta with Garlicky Spinach, Cannelloni Beans and Pine Nuts

This is a recipe that lends itself to interpretation—and always turns out tasty.

Pasta with Garlicky Spinach, Cannelloni Beans, and Pine Nuts
Yield: 4 servings

16 ounces rigatoni or rotini (or other short pasta)
4 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts (or salted pistachios or almonds)
6 large garlic cloves, chopped (or … Read more