Maybe it will be a date and you really want to impression the other person. Maybe your parents will want to come and visit your new apartment (that you totally picked out using advice from last week’s blog). Maybe you will have a little extra money one week and want to cook up something fantastic. No matter the situation, here are five easy recipes that will help you serve up something delicious for dinner.


  1. Grilled Chicken Breast – This recipe comes straight out of my mother’s kitchen, and is so incredibly easy to make. It is my go-to when company is around.
    1. Ingredients:
      1. Medium sized chicken breasts (equal to however many people you are feeding)
      2. All-seasoning salt
      3. Garlic powder
      4. Canola oil (vegetable and peanut oil work as well, but I’ve found that canola works best)
      5. Chopped parsley
    2. Instructions:
      1. Open and rinse the chicken breasts
      2. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board/other clean surface
      3. Lightly season one side with all-seasoning salt
      4. Lightly season both sides with garlic powder
      5. Cover bottom of a frying pan with oil
      6. Turn oven on medium heat
      7. Grill chicken thoroughly, flipping sides every 2-3 minutes
      8. Once the meat is cooked through, remove from heat.
      9. Sprinkle on parsley for decoration and serve with side dish or rice
  2. Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Loin Roast – I will admit that I have not tried this recipe, but the Graduate Assistant in the Student Publications office swears by it. This recipe does require a crockpot or slow cooker, and can be found at:
    1. Ingredients:
      1. 1 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin roast
      2. 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
      3. 1/2 cup honey
      4. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
      5. 1 tablespoon dried basil
      6. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
      7. 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
      8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
      9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
      10. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
      11. 1/4 cup chicken broth
      12. 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
    2. Instructions:
      1. Place roast in slow cooker
      2. In a bowl combine cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, oregano, garlic, oil and salt
      3. Pour mixture over the roast.
      4. Cover and cook for 5-6 hours or until meet reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
      5. Remove meat from slow cooker and place on serving platter
      6. Strain juices into a small pan
      7. Mix cornstarch and chicken broth, then combine with juices to create a glaze
      8. Add sugar if needed
      9. Slice roast and serve with glaze


  1. Taco Dip – This is another recipe I enjoy making. The first time I tried this recipe, I was visiting a friend. Now it has become a must-have for parties and get-togethers. Not only does it take less than 10 minutes to prep, it is delicious. Also, a note for picky eaters: this recipes works with any number of the toppings listed, so if you find that one or two of the listed ingredients is unappealing, feel free to make it without them. The recipe I use for this can be found at:
    1. Ingredients:
      1. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
      2. 1 (16 ounce) container non-fat sour cream
      3. 1 (1.25) package taco seasoning
      4. 1/4 head iceberg lettuce – rinsed, dried, shredded
      5. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I actually prefer Mexican blend cheese for this recipe, but that’s just my opinion)
      6. 3 chopped tomatoes
      7. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
      8. 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained
    2. Instructions:
      1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning. Spread this mixture into a 9-inch round serving dish
      2. Top with lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper and black olives
  2. Spinach Parmesan Rice Bake – This is another recipe that our Graduate Assistant really enjoys. The website swears that even the pickiest of eaters will love this recipe, so it must be good, right? This recipe can be found at:
    1. Ingredients:
      1. 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
      2. 2 cups cooked white rice
      3. 1/3 cup melted butter
      4. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
      5. 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      6. 1/3 cup chopped onions (or 2 large green onions, chopped)
      7. 1 garlic clove, minced
      8. 3 large eggs, beaten
      9. 3/4 cup milk
      10. Salt and pepper to taste
      11. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)
      12. Shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
    2. Instructions:
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and generously grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish
      2. In a large bowl, combine spinach, rice, butter, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, eggs and milk until well mixed
      3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
      4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
      5. Bake for 20 minutes, and then top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes.


  1. Buttermilk Pie – What is dinner without dessert? This recipe is the perfect example of a southern dessert, and totally worth sharing with friends and relatives. This recipe can be found at:
    1. Ingredients:
      1. 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
      2. 2 eggs, beaten
      3. 1 cup white sugar
      4. 3/4 cup melted butter
      5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
      6. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
      7. 1 cup buttermilk
      8. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2. Instructions:
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      2. Place beaten eggs in a medium bowl.
      3. Gradually beat sugar into the eggs. Then stir in melted butter, salt, flour, buttermilk and vanilla extract, Mix until smooth.
      4. Pour mixture into unbaked piecrust.
      5. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.
      6. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
      7. Pie is done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

An extra tidbit of cooking advice: invest in a crockpot. Crockpot recipes are generally incredibly easy and can be left alone for hours without needing attention. Also, they make a house/apartment smell fantastic.