Coconut-Cashew Granola With Mango & Pistachios
Coconut and mango are a match made in Hawaii heaven. Most granolas call for olive oil or butter, but here, coconut oil adds extra coconutty intensity. If you can’t find pre-toasted coconut chips, you can make them yourself. Heat oven to 350° F and spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool then proceed with the recipe as written. If you want to go totally coco-crazy, serve with dairy-free coconut yogurt. Brands like Anita’s, So Delicious, or Silk are available in the refrigerated section of your supermarket.
Make It Yourself: Birthday Cake
Sure, you can make a cake from a box, but once you know how easy and delicious the real deal is, it’ll be hard to turn back. Instead of creaming butter and sugar together, this cake uses a mixture of vegetable oil and melted butter, which means it comes together quickly. Not to mention, the crumb is rich and dense with classic yellow cake flavor. And, it wouldn't be a classic birthday cake without fudgy frosting. This one uses both semisweet and milk chocolate to create a rich ganache-style frosting. Spread over the cooled cake in generous swoops using an offset spatula.
Make It Yourself: Go-To Vinaigrette
Making your own salad dressing is the key to becoming a stronger cook: Master it and you’ll have the confidence to improvise other dishes. Store-bought dressings, even simple vinaigrettes, are often slicked with freaky stabilizers and excess sweeteners, which can overpower your greens. Once you graduate to the homemade stuff, you’ll never go back. This recipe is a combination of ingredients you almost always have on hand, and you can modify each batch to suit your mood. Try agave or maple syrup in place of the honey or add some freshly grated lemon zest for extra floral tang. Now go forth and emulsify.
No more searching for your favorite pancake recipe. These buttery pancakes will win the taste-test every time, thanks to their fluffy texture and incredible flavor. Buttermilk adds just a little bit of tang, and will make your family wonder, “What IS it that makes this taste so good?” For perfectly golden brown pancakes, make sure your griddle is hot. A non-stick skillet will work great, too. In fact, you can pour the batter straight into the skillet, as they will brown more evenly without oil or butter. Warm syrup and crispy bacon are the perfect accompaniments (aren’t they always?).
Vanilla Peaches in Rosé
This recipe reads like a list of all the best things in life: there are peaches, rosé, vanilla bean, and of course, sugar. You’ll start by making a syrup with the rosé and sugar, plus vanilla and anise for aromatic floral notes. Then pour this over cut peaches and let them soak up the delicious flavors. Finally, serve the peaches over vanilla ice cream, with extra syrup drizzled overtop. These would make a great hostess gift. Pack the peaches into a pretty, heat-proof jar and pour the syrup overtop. Got extra syrup? Shake it up with vodka or rum and ice for an easy cocktail.
Quick Strawberry-Cider Jam
Unlike a standard jam, which can be super heavy on sugar, this cider vinegar-infused strawberry number has a balanced tartness. There’s no added thickener in this recipe, and since strawberries are low in pectin (a naturally-occurring thickener in many fruits), it’s essential to reduce the jam until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve this spread on buttered toast, of course, but it’s also at home as a swap for traditional strawberry shortcakes, over ice cream, or in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Tart
Here’s a universal truth about good recipes: Smart steps lead to better cooking. In the case of this tomato tart recipe, that includes pre-seasoning the tomatoes so that they release excess juices. Doing this means that the tomato liquid doesn’t seep out and make the tart soggy. These top an herbed Cheddar-mayonnaise mixture and crispy phyllo sheets for something part Southern tomato pie and part spanakopita. A green salad with cucumbers and avocado would be a nice addition to make this meal heartier.
German Beet-and-Potato Salad
Steam-roasting the beets and potatoes in this easy salad recipe makes them tender and creamy without relying on a lot of oil. A traditional German potato salad calls for boiling the potatoes, but this is an easier, hands-off method that takes care of both the potatoes and beets at once. They get tossed with crispy bacon and a cidery-mustard vinaigrette for a new take on a classic salad. Serve alongside roasted chicken, grilled steak, or, of course, sausages.