What to CookSlow-cookingWeekend Cooking

15 Recipes to Make When You Just Feel like Cooking

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Sometimes, it just feels good to cook. It keeps your fingers moving and your brain focused. It makes your house smell good. It makes you feel productive. The eating part? It doesn’t always matter that much. (We realize this sentiment is not true for those who only cook to eat. To you, I say, make this, and see if you don’t smile.)

These are 15 recipes to cook, even when you don’t have anyone to feed. They’re a joy to make, and good for a few days so you can work through them yourself—or have until someone does show up, hungry.

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Chicken Tofu Laksa
Chicken Tofu Laksa

Grind spices. Simmer with shallots. Lemongrass. Coconut milk. Bubble Bubble. Lime squeeze. Ahhhh...

Tina's Delicious Chinese Dumplings
Tina's Delicious Chinese Dumplings

Knead dough for 20 minutes. Chop chop chop cabbage. Roll dough, stuff, pinch, plop into hot water. Ahh...

Grandma DiLaura's Italian Ricotta Gnocchi

Grandma DiLaura's Italian Ricotta Gnocchi by cdilaura

Kalamata Olive Gnocchi

Kalamata Olive Gnocchi by Food52

Roll, cut, roll off a knife. Ah!

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Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette
Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

Chop chop so many vegetables. Lay them out to relax on a baking sheet. Scatter beans on top, swirl them around. Pretty pomegranate jewels. Arugula tendrils. Ah!

Suzanne Goin's Slow-Cooked Cavolo Nero (a.k.a. Tuscan Kale)
Suzanne Goin's Slow-Cooked Cavolo Nero (a.k.a. Tuscan Kale)

De-stem the kale, squeeze every dab of water out of it after it's been blanched, break it up in a pan with garlic and chile—rosemary and onion. Watch it turn from green to black. Ahhh.

Thomas Keller's Butternut Soup with Brown Butter, Sage, and Nutmeg Crème Fraîche
Thomas Keller's Butternut Soup with Brown Butter, Sage, and Nutmeg Crème Fraîche

Make an herb bouquet garni. Tuck a bit of sage in squash bellies. Roast. Add roasted squash to a whole bunch of simmering vegetables and alliums. Simmer, simmer, blend. Make brown butter, add it to the soup. Fry sage. Ahhh.

Brothy, Garlicky Beans
Brothy, Garlicky Beans

Hack up so many alliums and vegetables, precision isn't important. Dump them in a pot with herbs and beans, boil boil boil. Ahhh...

Potato Rösti
Potato Rösti

Grate lots of potatoes, let them sit in salt. Let the potato slivers sizzle in a hot pan. Flip with focus. Look at those golden brown potatoes. Slice and top with all sorts of toppings. Ahhh!

(Nothing Better Than This) Fried Pizza Dough
(Nothing Better Than This) Fried Pizza Dough

Make your favorite pizza dough. Press them into balls, let them fry—one by one. Dip the fried dough (repeat, fried dough) in anything you can find. Ahhh.

Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates

Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates by Phyllis Grant

Oranges with Olive Oil and Chocolate

Oranges with Olive Oil and Chocolate by Alice Medrich

Peel orange after orange. Get every bit of pith off. Slice oranges into little coins, collecting their vibrant juices. Arrange artfully on a plate. Ahhh...

S'mores Ice Cream
S'mores Ice Cream

Broil marshmallows. Top with graham crackers. Melt chocolate. Pour over cracker-covered marshmallows. Freeze, break apart into craggy chunks. Broil more marshmallows. Whisk with cream and egg. Let cool. Churn. Mix in s'more icebergs. Ahhh!

Soft, Puffy Snickerdoodles

Soft, Puffy Snickerdoodles by Marissa Rothkopf Bates

Thin, Chewy Snickerdoodles

Thin, Chewy Snickerdoodles by Marissa Rothkopf Bates

Roll roll roll in a cinnamon sugar. Ahhh...

Tell us: What do you cook when you want to hang out in the kitchen?