3 Must-Try Recipes for 2018 (+1 to Avoid)

I've never been much for major resolutions, but I do love setting small and frequent challenges for myself. I find that those little goals are not only more immediately attainable, but they often have a way of adding up and leading to much bigger accomplishments, one small step at a time. Even more importantly, it's often the act of trying one simple thing that can teach you lessons to help you in other aspects of your life.

With that in mind, I've put together a brief list of 3 easy recipes you should try to add to your culinary repertoire this year (plus one you should eliminate completely). Whether you're looking to entertain more, save money, or eat more quality meals at home, the following recipes will help you approach 2018 on the right foot.

1. A Crispy Roast Chicken
As easy and basic as it is, roast chicken is one of the most satisfying and gratifying dishes you can make in your kitchen. There are thousands of variations and techniques, but it's one of those where the simplest is usually best.

If you've never made one, I recommend giving it a try. In as little as an hour, you'll have mastered a versatile dish that works just as well on a busy weeknight as it does at a cozy dinner party. The leftover cooked chicken will make delicious lunches for at least a couple days, and even the bones can be used to make a quick chicken stock to use in soups, risottos, or pasta dishes.

2. A Cozy Pureed Vegetable Soup
When I was in Paris last month, one thing I loved was that every single menu featured at least one type of cozy pureed vegetable soup. Making soup can sometimes seem overwhelming, but it's actually one of the easiest things to make. Better yet, opting for a pureed soup means you don't have to worry about spending time finely prepping and dicing ingredients. A few quick chops and into the pot it goes. Once tender, the blender does all the work.

Try this Roasted Tomato Soup, a brightly flavored Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup, or this light, yet satisfying, Creamy Green Vegetable Soup. Once you make these, you'll see how easy it is to re-purpose your favorite seasonal ingredients into a recipe of your own.

(Pro-tip: this is also a great way to use up veggies that are just about to wilt, helping you save money and reduce food waste!)

3. The Perfect Everyday Cake
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: this blog features dozens of cake recipes that are really all the same recipe with just tiny little tweaks. Swapping out an extract or a different fruit or throwing in a handful of chocolate chips is often enough to totally transform an otherwise super simple cake recipe.

Once you've learned one or two basic cake recipes (and by learn I mean know it so well that you can make it from memory without a recipe!), you'll be set for any occasion from a simple afternoon craving to a last-minute school bake sale to a proper birthday celebration. .

My go-to base is the one in this Simple Summer Cake made with fresh berries (any berry will work!), but in fall I transform it into a cozy cold-weather treat with the addition of cinnamon and pecans. And if I have something to celebrate? Make two layers and stack them up with your favorite frosting like in this gorgeous Chocolate & Almond Cake!

4. The One Recipe You Should Skip This Year
OK, so while all the previous recipes are all ones I recommend you try, the following super short video is the recipe for disaster I'd suggest you avoid altogether:

Did that get your attention?

I know it may have seemed a bit out of left field, but just like you may have been caught off-guard by this video, you can just as easily be caught off guard by surprises on the road if you’re not paying attention.

As you learn, try new things, and set goals for yourself this year, I’d also encourage you to take the AT&T It Can Wait pledge to not drive distracted. It’s such a simple act, with a major and possibly life-saving impact. Putting your phone away while driving will help keep you and your family safe, and protect others on the road. Seriously, it can wait!

Because what good would it be to learn all these new kitchen skills and delicious recipes if you're no longer around to enjoy them with the people that you love?

Thank you to AT&T for sponsoring this important message. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com and follow @ItCanWait on Twitter.

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