Culinary Musings: Which Recipes Do You Know By Heart?

I remember when I first started fumbling my way through the kitchen, and the thought of cooking a recipe from memory was virtually incomprehensible. I didn't think I could ever function without a cookbook splayed open for me to glance at every 6.7 milliseconds. But as I experimented more and my confidence grew, some of those "scary" techniques went from seemingly mythological to pure muscle memory. The very best of those efforts have become classics, recipes that I continue to make time and time again.

In instances of great stress or complete laziness, I often want a meal that is quick and familiar. One that requires no forethought or planning, but also no delivery. You know, a meal that tastes like "home." I rely on a few standbys when those times arise—recipes that I can whip up anytime, anywhere. For me, it's cottage cheese pancakes (a weekend staple), dixie caviar (of course), my mother's turkey spaghetti (made with original Prego and sugar, her secret ingredient), Eric Wolitzky's chocolate chip cookies (the very best), and my homemade vanilla ice cream (the perfect base for endless flavor possibilities). Sure there are others, but these are my no-fail, always guaranteed-to-please favorites.

So here's a question for you as we head into the weekend: What recipes have you made so many times, over and over, that they live inside of you, in your very core? Which recipes do you know by heart?

Image souces: Delish, Martha Stewart, Williams Sonoma