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10 Perfectly Distracting Recipes for When You're Avoiding Chores

My apartment is small and gets messy in a flash. I try my best to clean as I go, tossing dirty clothes in the hamper, junk mail in the trash, or wiping down counters that never seem to lose their water spots. But there’s always a point at which I get overwhelmed. My couch has unending amounts of cat hair, and I just can’t get my bathroom to look sparkly.

In search for peace, I turn to the kitchen to feel like I’ve accomplished something, picking aromatic recipes that perfume my home as they bake or bubble. Procrastibaking cookies filled with chocolate chips are my go-to, but there are lots of other mouthwatering dishes that make my home smell amazing (and keep me from doing laundry). Here are 10 of my favorites—they won’t make my apartment cleaner, but they’ll keep me from worrying about it.

Caramelized onions

The Truth About Caramelizing Onions
The Truth About Caramelizing Onions
by Sarah Jampel

The OG aromatic. While they start out with a tear-inducing bite, low, slow heat transforms onions into sweet, jammy goodness.

Roasted citrus

How to Roast Citrus and 5 Ways to Use It
by Leslie Stephens

Rather than dry the juices out, baking citrus at a high temperature concentrates its sugars and flavors. The entire process is similar to that of roasting vegetables (you don’t even have to bother with peeling).

Roasted nuts

Five Spice Oven Roasted Nuts
by Louisa Shafia

This recipe combines the intoxicating scent of roasting nuts with aromatic five spice powder—the Chinese seasoning mix of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and white pepper.


Peanut Butter Granola
by Lindsay Maitland Hunt

A filling, snackable granola packed with easy-to-find ingredients and sweetened with just a kiss of maple syrup. The addition of roughly chopped peanuts and smooth, creamy peanut butter lends the granola a welcome nuttiness.

Braised chicken

Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives
by Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Two Moroccan powerhouse ingredients—olives and preserved lemons—flavor this tender, juicy chicken.


How to Make Meatballs Every Which Way (& Without a Recipe)
by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

You’re only five steps away from the warming scent of spicy, browning meat.

Braised Chickpeas

Joy the Baker’s Olive Oil-Braised Chickpeas (More or Less)
by Sarah Jampel

Quick, memorize this formula: chickpeas + oil + things salty, fresh, and acidic. You’re welcome.


Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits
by Gena Hamshaw

Whether you decide to make these biscuits savory or sweet, they’ll come out of the oven with a tender, moist interior and golden sheen.

Quick Breads

Irish Soda Bread with Ancient Grains
by MariaSpeck

This Irish-inspired bread is as quick as they come. With the help of rich olive oil, this richly textured bread develops a comforting crumb.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ovenly’s Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Genius Recipes

You knew I was going to mention chocolate chip cookies, right? This Genius recipe is “soft-bellied, chewy, caramelly-crisp-edged, rippled and ringed and puddled with melty chocolate, haunting, well-salted, and incidentally vegan.” What’s not to love?

What are the meals you make to avoid actual chores? Share in the comments!

(via Food52)

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