Ditch the Mixes & Cook These 5 Easy Treats From Scratch

things that are easy to make from scratch You don't have to be a foodie to cook from scratch. I'm living proof. Look at me -- I'm a slob with zero culinary training who has nearly taken off her entire hand while slicing a bagel, and even I can do it. Like so many things, I started ditching the mixes and cooking from scratch out of laziness. It was the happiest of accidents, as most things combining good food and sloth are.

I'd really wanted to make cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Now I recognize that making cookies from scratch isn't a big deal, and if I'd wanted to make fancy, delicious, home-baked cookies, I could have. But that wasn't the taste or experience I craved. I wanted a hot, junk-food-tasting peanut butter cookie, the kind that comes in a tube, and I wanted it NOW.


My cupboard was mostly bare. I had peanut butter, but that was about it. I could have gone out to a local bakery and grabbed a cookie or, better yet, rushed out to the grocery store to buy allllll of the ingredients. But I wasn't wearing pants, and there was a Little Couple marathon airing on TLC. Leaving the house wasn't an option.

So, because my phone is never far from my side, I picked it up, opened the web, and typed in "easiest richest peanut butter cookies on the planet." I found this recipe: mix peanut butter, sugar, an egg -- bake. Cookies.

Since I found this recipe, I've made these cookies roughly eight million times. These cookies have proved to be my "gateway" to being from-scratch for life. Pretty soon I was throwing out the Bisquick and making my own pancakes on the weekends. The same went for scrumptious chocolate cake. I tossed the mixes and went nuts with one of our site's crazy-easy from-scratch Crock-Pot recipes. I was hooked!

My other surprising finds included marshmallows, sandwich bread -- I ain't afraid of no yeast (if you want to taste the best toast of your life, make your own bread) -- and salad dressing (put olive oil in a cup, then put balsamic vinegar in the cup, then stir it -- YOU ARE DONE). I'm constantly on the prowl, hunting down fast, easy fixes for stuff I've been thoughtlessly shelling out way more dollars than I should have at the grocery store.

Here are the 5 recipes I'd recommend starting with (... we'll call the dressing a 'bonus'):

I have no intention of looking back. But I'm not going totally nuts either. I will never be a woman who makes her own preserves or, you know, dries herbs. So fret not, Martha. I know my limits. 

Are you a mix fanatic or a from-scratch fiend? Does cooking from scratch sound too time-consuming to you?


Image via food passionates/Corbis

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