Our family christened an inaugural year, so to speak. Our eldest child turned 18  this year – officially a “man.” Yet, in our household, there are certain responsibilities of manhood that comes as a prerequisite to graduation.  I’ve shared before that by the time our children graduate, there are certain kitchen essentials that they need to have mastered.

In my opinion, if they can make a killer lasagna,  some type of baked treat, like a quick bread (Zucchini Banana Bread) or (Healthy Banana Oatmeal Muffins), or chocolate chip cookies (Neiman Marcus Cookies), and finally, a homemade bread recipe (simple French Bread), they are ready to conquer most recipes.

Now, of course, their kitchen skills aren’t limited to that, but those are three recipes I want them to have memorized or mastered.

If they know how to blend spices and layer varying food items, like in homemade lasagna, they can whip together any type of comfort food casserole and that will serve them a lifetime. If they can follow a simple baking recipe, they open up their world to delicious and easy treats, and if they have patience enough to tackle homemade bread, the strong character traits I’ve  hopefully been nurturing, will show me glimpses of that special young adult I’ve been praying for throughout the years.

Yes, a purely scientific basis for the recipes I’ve chosen, can’t you tell?

I’d love to collect a list of the Top Ten recipes or cooking concepts that I think my children should have memorized. No, in reality, I think it would be fun for ME to master these as well.

In order to make weekdays run more smoothly, I  it’s key to have those “Go To” recipes that we can whip up at a moments notice – those recipes we don’t have to ponder and decipher.  Last year, I asked you all if you follow recipes or if you just whip things up off the cuff.  76 of you responded with some great comments, and I realized that we all come from such varying backgrounds with cooking, yet we’d all love to have that mastered.

For lunch and dinner recipes, I do not tend to follow recipes, that’s why it’s often hard for me to post my favorite creations  here, but for baking, I typically always follow recipes, yet switch them up to make them my own.

But tell me what you recommend? If we are to help cooks across America develop some main staples that they should have memorized, what should it be?

I have a repertoire of tried and true crock pot recipes that I can whip up, meeting my Ten Minute Dinner requirement, but here are a few basic recipes that I think would be good, most of which I have memorized, some of which I want to memorize.

I’ll get you started, and then I’ll circle up with a follow up post listing what you have mentioned: Basic White Sauce (perfect for many items, including something for Cream Biscuits), Stir Fry, Pasta Bakes like this Easy Baked Ziti where you don’t have to boil the noodles, Good Marinades and Glazes, (Swedish) Pancakes are so versatile because you can also make them into dessert or dinner crepes, One Minute Cobbler (or better yet, add the butter)…oh, the list could go on, but I’d love for you to take over.

Below are just three of my last recipes posted that I can whip up at a moment’s notice without a recipe. Yes, they change up a bit each time I make it, but they are always tried and true and finished in less than Ten Minutes.

Baked Chicken picnik Cheesy Chicken (3 ingredients)

Three ingredient Cheesy Chicken Recipe (making the flavor combinations more complex if desired by adding additional seasoning, cheese etc) or my Cheesy Cheddar Ranch Chicken. 

Three of mine have these down.

easy taco casserole Taco Casserole Recipe (Our Kids Favorite Family Casserole)

Our most requested casserole – Easy Taco Casseroleperfect for freezing too)

Sesame chicken Simple Sesame Chicken at Home

Chinese Orange Chicken and Simple Sesame Chicken – I get requests for these weekly.

I can’t wait to see your suggestions for our “Top Ten List.”

(This was previously published, but loved seeing how far our kids have come in this area.)