20 Rainy Day Cooking Projects to Tackle This Weekend

Dig into your own puff pastry, DIY yogurt, and all-day stews

Frenzied weeknights are all about getting dinner on the table, rainy days and weekends are the time to tackle some projects.

Instead of running out to your local cafe for a pain au chocolat, why not try making a batch at home? Or set some time aside for a batch of DIY yogurt and stews and sauces that taste like they've been simmering all day—because they have.

So pour yourself a cup of tea and grab your notebook, because these are the recipes to dig into with both hands.

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas
Beef Short Ribs Empanadas
In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »Justin Walker
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Homemade Yogurt
You'll find no shortage of yogurt brands on supermarket shelves these days. Still, as far as we're concerned, nothing beats homemade; doing it yourself allows you to make creamy, fresh-tasting yogurt that's exactly as tart as you like.Andre Baranowski
Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
These are made using a collagen-rich pork stock that gels as it cools; the jelly can then be sliced and mixed with ground pork and aromatics and used as filling.Maxime Iattoni
Leonard's Bakery Hawaii Malasadas
Leonard's Bakery Hawaii Malasadas
Butter, milk, and half & half give these Portuguese-style donuts their distinctive richness and luscious texture.Todd Coleman
Gravadlax
Swedish Cured Salmon (Gravadlax)
A salt and sugar cure flavored with fresh dill transforms salmon into gravadlax, silky ribbons of fish ready to be piled atop slices of rustic brown bread or crunchy rye crispbread for a Swedish Midsummer feast.Ingalls Photography
Homemade Ricotta
Homemade Ricotta
This recipe comes courtesy of Jenn Louis, chef-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Oregon. We featured Louis' ricotta gnocchi in our April 2015 issue, and we can't stop making this super-creamy ricotta—to add to gnocchi and everything else—because it's so easy and so darn good.Farideh Sadeghin
Baked White Bean and Duck Casserole (Cassoulet au Canard)
Baked White Bean and Duck Casserole (Cassoulet au Canard)
This duck-lover's version of the classic southern French casserole includes the bird in rich sausages, bone-in legs and thighs, breast meat, and the traditional confit.Penny De Los Santos
Jalisco-Style Goat Stew (Goat Birria)
Jalisco-Style Goat Stew (Goat Birria)
A low-and-slow cooking technique used for this birria, which colloquially means "a mess," ensures that the meat is fork-tender and the tomatillo broth infused with a rich, meaty flavor. Swap pork for goat, if you prefer. Get the recipe for Jalisco-Style Goat Stew (Goat Birria) »Dylan + Jeni
Indian Samosas
Indian Samosas
Triangular deep-fried pastries stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas are an iconic Indian snack. Pair them with tangy tamarind chutney or herbaceous coconut-cilantro chutney for dipping.James Roper
Homemade Mallomars
Homemade Mallomars
The recipe for these chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies was created by Nicole Lang to satisfy a craving for packaged Mallomars, which are only available from September through March in most of the country—and not available at all at her home in Richmond, Virginia. With a dense chocolate coating and a soft, cakelike cookie base, we think they're even better than the original.Matthew Taylor-Gross
Braised short ribs with celery root purée
Braised Short Ribs with Celery Root Purée
Cocoa powder enriches these braised beef short ribs from Manhattan-based chef Melissa Muller Daka.Ingalls Photography
Pain au Chocolat
Pain au Chocolat
Beautiful homemade croissants, each containing a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, make for an impressive and indulgent addition to a breakfast spread.Todd Coleman
Strawberry Rhubarb Pate
Strawberry Rhubarb Pate de Fruit
One of the best ways to preserve fresh rhubarb? Turn it into candy. Get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pate de Fruit »Christina Holmes
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Nougat Squares
These decadent candies taste best with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.Todd Coleman
Roast Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
Roast Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
Char siu bao (roast pork bun) is a Cantonese specialty consisting of marinated pork encased in a spongy dough that's then steamed or baked. The best are filled with the stir-fried trimmings of marinated and roasted pork butt—a slightly fatty cut that stays tender during roasting. There are dozens of varieties of buns in China, but char siu bao remains among the most popular on dim sum carts—and my favorite. —Corinne TrangTodd Coleman
Four Pepper Jelly
Four Pepper Jelly
Jalapeños, red bell peppers, poblanos, and serrano chiles come together in this spicy-sweet jelly from Elizabeth Stark, the blogger behind Brooklyn Supper. It's perfect paired with rich meats, spread on sandwiches, or served on a cheese-and-cracker spread.Farideh Sadeghin
Buttery Pie Dough
Buttery Pie Dough
This butter-rich, flaky crust is easy to make and works well as the foundation for pies with fruit, custard, or mousse fillings.James Roper
Adam Ford's Floral Citrus Vermouth
Adam Ford's Floral Citrus Vermouth
For this aromatic homemade vermouth, Adam Ford, founder of Atsby vermouth, uses an array of fragrant flowers, herbs, and spices, like lavender, rosebuds, chamomile, and vanilla, plus smoky tea leaves and lemon peel. Its complex flavors are a great complement to a rye Manhattan or other vermouth-heavy cocktail, but to get a sense of its true flavor, try it on the rocks with a splash of soda water.Ingalls Photography
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda
This hearty pork roast, rubbed with coriander, thyme, and allspice, gets a shot of brightness from a vinegary herb bagna cauda.William Hereford
Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon)
Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon)
"This is my modern take on the traditional Lechon, which is a whole roasted pig. While many of us don't have the space or equipment to roast a whole pig on a spit over coals, this recipe gives you the ability to recreate the idea and flavors." – Leah Cohen of Pig & KhaoMatt Taylor-Gross