Easy to make cooking recipes

By Sarah Contreras

Anyone can cook, the saying goes. The trouble is: not everyone knows where to start.

Cooking can be, to say the least, very tedious. Recipes might call for ingredients you’ve never heard of or they might be three pages long. Ovens, food processors and special utensils get thrown into the mix and then what? Who has time to learn to navigate a kitchen, let alone cook a meal regularly?

The answer is simple: You do.

You have the time and the skill required to pull together delicious meals without visiting the closest Burger King. Even if you only have one hour of spare time, you have the time to cook.

Whether you are a kitchen novice or a busy student (or both), easing yourself into home cooking will do wonders. Here are two tried-and-true recipes that are sure to boost your kitchen confidence and amaze you with their simplicity and deliciousness.

Sarah’s Favorite No-Fuss Pasta:

1 pound spaghetti

1 stick butter

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt, pepper and other desired spices (crushed red pepper is suggested)

In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to instructions on its box. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water in separate cup. Remove pot from heat and put noodles back into pot, along with the stick of butter, olive oil and Parmesan. Toss and cover until butter and cheese melt. If too gooey, toss with pasta water to loosen up. Add parsley and spices to taste.


-Dress up this simple pasta with veggies like tomatoes or broccoli, or even shredded chicken.

-Parmesan-Reggiano is a tad pricey, but it is worth it. A small $5 block will yield a few cups of grated cheese–you will indeed get your money’s worth. Alternative Parms will suffice, though.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake:

1 box white cake mix

1 small can sliced pineapple

1 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)

1/2 cup softened butter

Preheat oven and prepare cake mix according to instructions on box, then set aside the mix. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Pour butter/sugar mixture into deep springform pan or rectangular cake pan, making sure to spread mixture evenly. Arrange pineapple slices on top of mixture, then pour cake batter into cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.


-Cake batter is too much for a single circular cake pan. Make sure pan used is deep enough, or else contents will spill over while in oven.

-Pineapple can be swapped out for cranberries or canned peaches.