Just because you can legally buy Coors Light in a strip club doesn’t mean you’ve reached adulthood. There are a few things every self-respecting adult should know how to cook before declaring adulthood official. Welcome to maturity.

Just because you can legally buy Coors Light in a strip club doesn’t mean you’ve reached adulthood. There are a few things every self-respecting adult should know how to cook before declaring adulthood official. Welcome to maturity.

Roast Chicken

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Skimping on the salt.
  • Not drying it enough; the drier it is before you cook it, the crispier it will be on the outside, and the juicer it will be on the inside.

Do It Right:

  • Truss the legs and wings; this helps it cook more evenly and keeps the breasts from drying out.
  • Rain salt gratuitously over the bird to coat it evenly.
  • After roasting, let it sit for 15 minutes; this keeps it juicy and moist.

Spice It Up:

  • Marinate or brine the bird before you roast it.

1 whole chicken

1 Tbsp. salt

Pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. minced thyme

Preheat the oven to 450. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat it dry as well as you can, inside and out, with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper, then place it in a saute or baking pan, and roast it in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and add the thyme to the pan. Baste the chicken with thyme and roasting juices. Slather it with butter. Let it sit 15 minutes before serving. Pat yourself on the goddamn back.

Basic Salad Dressing

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Screwing up the oil to acid ratio.
  • Forgetting to season it.

Do It Right:

  • You can make any salad dressing with roughly three parts oil to one part acid (vinegar or citrus), but you can adjust based on your taste preference.
  • Add oil last, then whisk to emulsify.

Spice It Up:

  • Use infused oils. You can infuse your own oil by adding whatever you want — be it garlic, lemon, herbs, raspberry and so on — to olive oil and letting it sit for a few days.

Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard (aka Grey Poupon)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the lemon juice, mustard and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. If you don’t like it, add more salt, lemon juice or olive oil to please your picky-ass palate.

Basic Marinara Sauce

Biggest Mistake:

  • Over-thinking it; this is one of those things where simple is better. Don’t add too much shit.

Do It Right:

  • Use canned San Marzano tomatoes for the best flavor, and remember to strain the canning liquid out before you use them. You can get whole or diced tomatoes.
  • Use sea salt.
  • Use fresh herbs if you know what’s good for you.

Spice It Up:

  • Add ground meat, chopped carrots and onions to make it a meat sauce.

2 cans of diced or whole peeled tomatoes, strained and roughly chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. sea salt

Place the tomatoes, half of the minced garlic, half of the olive oil, half of the sea salt and most of the basil in a food processor, and blend until it’s the consistency you like it; more time for a thinner sauce, less time for a chunkier sauce. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic and saute it until it’s lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes to the pan. Add the remaining basil and salt, and cook briefly. Add the tomato mixture from food processor to the pan, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer the sauce for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s thickened. You can put this stuff on anything; put it on pasta or pizza, use it as a dipping sauce, or use it as a base for more complicated sauces.

Mashed Potatoes

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Not boiling the potatoes long enough.
  • Not having the right tool to mash them.

Do It Right:

  • Use a potato-masher tool.
  • Use Russet potatoes for the best texture.
  • Use an electric hand-held mixer to beat the potatoes; it makes them fluffier.

Spice It Up:

  • Add garlic or herbs, or use sweet potatoes instead.

2 1/2 pounds Russet, or baking potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks, about 8 cups of cut up


1/4 cup milk or half-and-half, or more to taste

1/4 cup butter

3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a four-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes thoroughly. Transfer them to a large bowl and break them up with a mashing tool. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. With an electric hand-held mixer, beat the potato mixture until it’s light and creamy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Not letting the dough chill.
  • Not using exact amounts of ingredients.

Do It Right:

  • Grease the baking pan or use parchment paper to avoid cookies sticking.
  • Stick the dough in the fridge for 15 to 25 minutes to make it easier to work with.
  • Sift the flour and baking soda together.
  • Separate the egg from the egg yolk by pouring the yolk into your hand, and letting the egg whites fall into a bowl below.

Spice It Up:

  • Add nuts, white chocolate chips, coconut, caramel bits or whatever your little heart desires to the dough before you bake it.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a strainer; set the mixture aside. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until it’s well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until it’s light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until they’re just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop the cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about three inches apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool the cookies on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.