15 Essential Recipes for Home Cooks

How to Cook Tender, Juicy Pork Chops
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

What makes a recipe “essential”? Essential recipes become our bread and butter, the dishes and meals we make again and again, season after season. Essential recipes help you out with pan-seared pork chops for Tuesday dinner and homemade ranch dressing for Wednesday salad. They are the ones that lend themselves to experimentation and adaptation, like a great yet basic chili and crispy homemade crackers. They are also the ones that we go back to when we just need a little comfort — a slice of warm banana bread or bowl of chocolate pudding.

We covered a lot of “essential” ground in 2013! Here are fifteen recipes we think you’ll like having in your apron pocket.

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Welcome to The Kitchn’s Best of 2013 roundup!

From December 21 through January 3 we are rounding up our favorite (and your favorite) posts from the past year. We’ll also share guest posts, special holiday features, and a sparkling Winter Glam Cocktail Party, the final installment in our 2013 Gatherings from The Kitchn. Happy Holidays!