20 Appetizers You Can Make with 5 Ingredients or Fewer — Recipes from The Kitchn

My appetizer strategy when hosting a party is simple: I lean on easy recipes that come together with just a few ingredients, and are totally delicious. This lineup of recipes is proof that you don't need a long list of ingredients or even a lot of time to make impressive party apps.

From flaky cheese straws and brown butter radishes, to irresistible dips and bacon-wrapped dates, these 20 appetizers can all be made with five ingredients or fewer.

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5 Culinary Greats Share Their Best Advice for Graduates — College Graduation

Congratulations, graduate, and welcome to your brave new world. We've got plenty of guidance for you as you make your first few steps into new terrain. But making it on your own requires more than a couple sharp knives and a few go-to recipes. When times get tough, take comfort from a few words of wisdom from people who were once in your shoes.

We've rounded up some of the best pieces of advice, straight from real commencement addresses delivered by food-world luminaries. With any hope, they'll give you the confidence to go forth and cook up something great — no matter what career path you're on.

(Not a recent graduate? Forward this link to someone who is. But also, it's still worth a read. If you like feeling inspired, that is.)

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Don’t Knock the Jello Mold Dessert Till You Try It — No-Bake Desserts

(Image credit: Christine Han)

I have a brand-new dessert obsession. It isn't ice cream, or cake, or even this dreamboat of a peanut butter icebox cake. Nope I'm having a love affair with molded jello desserts. Before you say that jello molds are all antique kitsch, let me be clear here and say that my love affair with jello molds isn't some retro-chic revival — it is an honest-to-goodness love story of me discovering the joys of jello for the first time as an adult and as a mother.

Sure, I had a few jello jigglers or the occasional snack-pack of jello in my lunch box as a kid, but neither of my grandmothers served molded jello salads or jello desserts (Cool Whip is another story entirely). I felt relatively neutral on jello until one day at the grocery store when my daughter asked if we could buy a box of blue jello. I said "yes" because the box was so cheap and I knew making it would entertain her on that dreary day. But some sparks flew in the making of the vibrant blue jelly. It was fun, easy, fast, and infinitely customizable. What followed was a year of gelatin desserts that made me fall in love with molded gelatin desserts.

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10 Graduation Gifts That Are Better than Cash — Shopping

You know this all too well: Graduating means leaving the safe bubble of college life and getting cast out into the real world. And this real world comes with real responsibilities. You have to pay rent, you have to go to work, and you have to feed yourself — and preferably not a steady diet of frozen pizza and canned wine.

It's (hopefully) not on you to help the recent college grads in your life pay rent or land a job, but you can help them with that last part. Any of these gifts are practical and long-lasting, which means grads will get tons of use out of them as they make their way through the school of life.

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How To Make a One-Bowl Vanilla Cake — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Sometimes you need a cake — like, now — and getting out a stand mixer and dirtying a few bowls isn't ideal. It's often in these situations we lean on cake mixes to get a cake in the oven. Inspired by the virtues of cake mix (it is easy and reliable, after all) we set out to create an everyday vanilla cake — something sweet but sturdy and resilient that we could quickly turn into everything from an everyday coffee cake to cupcakes to a giant ice cream cake sandwich.

Honestly, this cake can come together faster than your oven will preheat. So go set it to 350°F and then come back here to learn how to make this universal cake. It can be as simple or as stunning as you choose, and it will bake up at least a dozen different ways — all of them buttery, fragrant, and delicious.

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From Eggo Waffles to Eggs Benedict: How My Mom Learned to Love Cooking — Mother’s Day

Growing up, my mom did hardly any of the cooking for our family. She could microwave frozen fish sticks and toast Eggo waffles, and she had one signature dish of meatballs with jarred Ragu sauce over spaghetti, but that's about as far as her culinary prowess extended. There were a few times when she attempted to make slice-and-bake cookies, but they either ended up burnt or she walked away without preheating the oven and would come back hours later to find sad blobs of dough still waiting on the baking sheet.

As president of a video production company and a singer in a blues band, my mom had many talents — cooking was just not one of them. So she deferred to my dad, a wonderful cook, when it came to feeding us. But all that changed some years ago when my dad's ability and desire to cook was thwarted by illness.

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