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35 Essential Recipes You Should Know by 35

Learn to make these essential recipes, and you'll be equipped for any occasion. Think everyday healthy meals, decadent treats to share and celebration-worthy recipes.

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Taste of Home

In Your Teens

By your teens, you should master a few snacks, basic meals and classic sweets. This basic buttermilk pancake recipe is easy to whip up for Sunday brunch (or a sweet supper).

Get the Recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes

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Spinach Mushroom Scrambled Eggs Exps62041 Thhc2377563b05 04 8bc Rms 4

Spinach-Mushroom Scrambled Eggs

My husband and I had breakfast at a hotel and enjoyed an amazing mushroom and egg dish. As soon as I got home, I made my own rendition. —Rachelle McCalla, Batesville, Arkansas
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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
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Fudge Nut Brownies

There's no brownie recipe or mix I've ever tried that's better than this! And it's so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband's grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio
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Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

We love the perfect blend of sweet and citrus in this refreshing smoothie. It's so easy to throw together, I often find myself making one for breakfast or a midday snack. — Jamie King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Aunt Betty's Blueberry Muffins

Aunt Betty's Blueberry Muffins

My Aunt Betty is quite a baker, but I look forward to these mouthwatering blueberry muffin recipe the most. She gives me enough so that I can freeze and enjoy them for weeks. —Sheila Raleigh, Kechi, Kansas
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Hard-Boiled Eggs

In the kitchen, it's important to start with something simple, like how to cook hard-boiled eggs. Use this egg recipe in plenty of dishes, or eat them plain for a quick protein fix. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It's big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Taste of Home

Early 20’s

Time to master the basics, like sauces and grains, plus easy everyday healthy recipes, like this garlic lovers’ chicken.

Get the Recipe for Garlic Lover’s Chicken

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Roasted Tomato Soup With Fresh Basil Exps42059 Th2847295b02 21 7bc Rms 4

Roasted Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil

Roasting really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes in this wonderful soup. It has a slightly chunky texture that shows it's fresh and homemade. —Marie Forte, Raritan, New Jersey
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Taste of Home

Brown Rice

Rice can be one of the most versatile players in your mealtime lineup. It’s also one of the simplest to make. Our foolproof guide will teach you how to cook brown rice, with helpful tips along the way.

Learn How to Cook Brown Rice

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Get-Up-and-Go Granola

My family loves to have this soul-warming granola before hiking, biking or even when camping. It smells delicious while baking up and you can easily make in large batches for special occasions or to send in gift packages to family and friends. —Sabrina Olson, Otsego, Minnesota
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Classic Hummus

We love hummus, and this version is really amazing. If you have a pressure cooker, this is an easy, tasty reason to pull it out! We pair hummus with fresh veggies for a meal or snack. —Monica and David Eichler, Lawrence, Kansas
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Herb-Happy Garlic Bread

You'll love the fresh garlic and herbs in this recipe. The mild goat cheese that’s sprinkled on top makes it extra rich and wonderful. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Stamp Of Approval Spaghetti Sauce Exps Mtcbbz17 39564 D02 24 2b 5

Stamp-of-Approval Spaghetti Sauce

My father is very opinionated, especially about food. This recipe received his almost unreachable stamp of approval. I have yet to hear a disagreement from anyone who has tried it! —Melissa Taylor, Higley, Arizona
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Yellow Cupcakes

Nothing is better than homemade cupcakes. This yellow cupcake recipe makes delicious and fluffy treats. To top them, choose whatever frosting you want. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Raisin Nut Oatmeal

There’s no better feeling than waking up to a hot, ready-to-eat breakfast. The oats, fruit and spices in this homey meal cook together while you sleep! —Valerie Sauber, Adelanto, California
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Best Ever Banana Bread Exps Tohdj20 3309 E07 31 7b 38

Best Ever Banana Bread

Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of my best banana bread recipe. It really is amazingly good! —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Taste of Home

Homemade Salad Dressing

Cheaper and healthier than store-bought salad dressing, vinaigrette is also a snap to make at home. Our Test Kitchen shows you how it’s done.

Learn How to Make Vinaigrette

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Sweet & Tangy Salmon with Green Beans

I'm always up for new ways to cook salmon. In this dish, a sweet sauce gives the fish and green beans some down-home barbecue tang. Even our kids love it. —Aliesha Caldwell, Robersonville, North Carolina
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The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado
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Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Quick Bacon Potato Salad

My family was tired of the same old potato salad at family functions, so I created this with the ingredients I had on hand. Now I'm always asked to bring it to potluck gatherings. —Tami Gallagher, Eagan, Minnesota
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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Crusty Homemade Bread 180460Taste of Home

Late 20’s & Early 30’s

Time for more advanced recipes that rely on technique to get restaurant-worthy results. Think homemade bread and pizza dough, great steak, and more.

Get the Recipe for Crusty Homemade Bread

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Traditional Lasagna

My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend's home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister's Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois
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Balsamic Roast Chicken

When the aroma from this dish fills your house, your family will think you spent all day cooking. But this elegant, Sunday-special roast chicken, flavored with rosemary, wine and balsamic vinegar, is surprisingly simple to make. —Tracy Tylkowski, Omaha, Nebraska
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Blueberry French Toast

A local blueberry grower shared this recipe with me, and it's the best breakfast dish I've ever tasted. With the cream cheese and berry combination, this blueberry french toast casserole reminds me of dessert. —Patricia Axelsen, Aurora, Minnesota
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Grilled Marinated Ribeyes

These juicy steaks are a favorite meal of ours when we go camping. Let them sit in tangy, barbecue-inspired marinade overnight and you've got a rich and hearty dinner ready to grill up the next day. —Louise Graybiel, Toronto, Ontario
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Homemade Chicken Broth

Wondering how to make chicken broth at home? Learn here! Rich in chicken flavor, this traditional broth is lightly seasoned with herbs. Besides making wonderful chicken soups, this chicken stock recipe can be used in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes that call for chicken broth. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Pie

Apple pie baked in a cast iron skillet is a real stunner. This beauty, with its flaky, tender crust, also works in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. —Renee Schettler Rossi, New York, New York
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Thin Crust Pizza Dough

My family love this pizza crust, and this is our go-to recipe. It's healthier and less expensive than delivery and taste so much better. —Theresa Rohde, Scottville, Michigan
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Slow Cooker Short Ribs Exps74925 Th143190c09 25 2bc Rms 6

Slow-Cooker Short Ribs

These slow-cooker short ribs are an easy alternative to traditionally braised short ribs—you don't need to pay any attention to them once you get them in the slow cooker. (That makes it my favorite beef short ribs recipe!) —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
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Sandy's Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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