Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: Just enough to make you slightly late to work | Servings: More than you’ll end up eating
Something healthy like spinach to curb your guilt
Slightly more milk than what’s left in the carton
Combine ingredients in medium bowl to make a gelatinous paste-batter, which you will instinctively taste because you have a secret love of bitter, yeast-flavored gruel and not because it didn’t cross your mind that not all batter tastes like cake.
Cook in a skillet on medium heat. You’ll know it’s done when the heavens align in perfect cosmic formation. Enjoy your inevitably undercooked or slightly burnt meal.
Tip: Make this recipe on a Sunday evening and freeze individual portions to enjoy a week’s worth of pre-made breakfasts that you will only eat for two days and then ignore.
Fancy Lunch You Found on Epicurious Instead of Eating Leftovers
Prep Time: A gross underestimation | Total Time: All morning, starting immediately after breakfast | Servings: 1.5
Small amount of meat
Trendy vegetable that’s out of season
Something you can only find at Whole Foods
Rare imported item from a specialty foods store
Weird variant of normal food item
Collect only the finest authentic ingredients, traveling within a 30-mile radius as necessary. This lengthy ritual affirms you’ve made it as a proper adult, one who makes lunch with more than three ingredients, several of which are organic and very expensive.
Combine well. Conclude that this must be what it’s like to be The Gwyneth, Holy Mother of Goop. Calculate the odds that you’re both simultaneously doing the same thing right this very minute. According to the multiverse theory, technically you probably are. Congratulations!
Let simmer for an hour, then spend 10 minutes searching your cabinets for an ingredient you forgot to buy. You won’t find it. Substitute something else at random.
Cook for another hour, pull out of oven, inspect, sprinkle with the smallest amount of Rare Expensive Item. Store Rare Expensive Item in a cool, dark place for the next tenant to find after you move out.
This dish is done when you are too hungry to conclude otherwise. Realize this was too much effort for bland food. You are not Gwyneth. You don’t even like kale. Starve until dinner out of spite.
Brunch After Your Friends Cancelled on You
Consume booze. Forget that there’s anything else to this recipe.
The Comfort Food Dinner
Prep Time: A gross underestimation | Total Time: As long as it takes to make you feel like a total failure | Servings: 6 (somehow), but you’ll wind up eating two servings and feeling guilty anyway. “Do normal, well-adjusted people eat portions this small?” you will ask. They do.
1/4 of a vegetable that will rot in your crisper for the next three months
Inconvenient measurement of single-serve item
One ingredient you have on hand
Ingredient you’ve never heard of
Ingredient you don’t like
Lots of cheese
Seasonings you surprisingly do have on hand
Fresh herb that costs more than anything else on this list
Commit to making this meal despite your hunch that you won’t like it. The Internet gave it five stars and you want to be the type of person who cooks five-star-tasting meals. Maybe then you could host dinner parties and bring something other than Pigs in a Blanket to potlucks. People would refer to you as The Person Who Makes That Amazing Dish. You’ll be expected to make it for every holiday party and work gathering lest you endure passive-aggressive whining from friends and coworkers. The responsibility to recreate this dish over and over again will consume your entire social schedule and later, your soul.
Screw it. Order a pizza.
Dessert You Picked Out at Random
Prep Time: However long it takes you to wash your measuring cup five times | Total Time: A few hours | Servings: too many for you alone, but too few for an event
The zest of 4 lemons and the juice of 3.5
Several sticks of butter
Brown sugar (packed…no, more packed than that)
Add lemon zest and juice. Take a stand by using ALL of the lemons and Every. Single. Last. Drop. of lemon juice. That’ll show those jerk recipe writers that you won’t be pushed around by vague units of measurement any longer.
Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together with an old (does that make it vintage?) hand mixer and all the arm strength you can muster. Use another bowl to mix frosting. It’s universally known that the more dishes a dessert requires, the better it is.
Bake for one extra minute than suggested, or until slightly burnt. Eat a small amount and then toss because you only taste lemons and sugar.
To repair broken ego, rant on social media and eat a box of Thin Mints instead.
Amanda Duncil is a writer living in the perpetual summer of the South with her many pets. You can find her on Twitter @amandaduncil.