10 Deceptively Easy Dishes

Boeuf bourguignon. Coq au vin. Molten chocolate cake. Fancy-sounding dishes for fancy-sounding meals, right? Whether you're impressing a date or an entire dinner party, there are certain items you can serve that will have the room applauding your culinary skills -- and have you taking it easy in the kitchen.

While the items below might sound difficult to make, every single one of them is deceptively simple to assemble, cook or bake. Get ready to wow your next church potluck supper attendees or just cook a fantastic meal for friends. And you don't even have to tell them that you spent more time on your outfit than on dinner.

1. Homemade Salad Dressing:

Whether you're whipping up a quick vinaigrette or some savory blue cheese dressing, homemade salad dressings are really a no-brainer. Why spend extra money on bottled creations that contain preservatives and icky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup when you likely have everything you need on hand to make your own? What's more, they're nearly foolproof to make. Added too much olive oil? Just pour a little bit more red wine vinegar in to compensate. Even better, you can make just as much as you need for a few servings and personalize the salad dressing to the meal. Serving duck a l'orange? Squeeze some of that orange juice into your balsamic vinaigrette, too, for a memorable meal.

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Katharine Shilcutt