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Food (179 posts)
Borscht for Blistering Hot Days
You won't find a more eye-catching bowl of soup than this deep red puree, which includes baby beets, orange juice, marjoram and fennel. A spin on cold borscht, it also contains buttermilk and a blend of toasted coriander, caraway and fennel seeds.
Get the recipe: Beet Soup with Buttermilk and Marjoram
A New Use for an Old Southern Favorite
Pickled watermelon rind is a classic Southern condiment that's delicious on its own or added to chicken, shrimp or tuna salad. Making your own isn't difficult, but it takes a few days; otherwise, you can buy it on Amazon. In this recipe, the rind makes a tangy salsa that adds texture and flavor to a smooth watermelon-cucumber-chili soup.
Get the recipe: Cucumber-Watermelon Soup
And when life gives you a surplus of inexpensive lobsters with the promise that some may even be cerulean, we can't think of anything better to do than make the easier-than-it-sounds Lobster Thermidor. You could also fold the sweet meat into mac 'n' cheese (rich and buttery, with a decadence we didn't know was possible). Or, take the outdoor route and grill your lobsters and serve them with chili sauce. One more idea: simply mix together a lobster salad and scoop it up with toasted slices of baguette.
Finally, open up a bottle of equally cheap summer wine (perhaps raising a glass with a lobster-tinted manicure?).
Love crab cakes? 4 ways to make them
What to eat after a day at the beach
Read this before you pack a cooler for your road trip
Not that you need much more of a "recipe" than the one described above, but you can top your affogato with crushed espresso beans, shaved dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, or dulce de leche. However you serve this treat, it's best to eat it while envisioning yourself at a cafe in Rome, while your Vespa waits just across the piazza.
The best summer desserts to bring to a party
No-bake sweets for the hottest days
More delightfully icy treats
You're in luck if you have a rice cooker--and not because a nice big bowl of aromatic basmati is the answer to all your steamed-up prayers. These handy little appliances (which also happen to be cheap--you can get a decent one for less than $20) aren't just for rice. You can use them to make pasta, eggs, stir-fries and much more. Like slow cookers, they don't generate a lot of heat, but they're powerful enough to sear slices of chicken sausage, soften risotto into creamy spoonfuls and yes, give you perfectly-cooked grains of rice. Making dinner in the rice cooker is fast and easy, usually involving tossing all the ingredients into the pot, covering it with the lid and turning it on. Your one-dish meal will be ready in about 20 minutes. One last reason to dig out your rice cooker: clean-up is minimal--which means you'll be back in front of the fan, with an ice pop for dessert, in a flash.
Prunes are loaded with potassium, high in fiber, and, of course, help keep you regular. But for those who still see prunes as a treat only a senior citizen could get excited about, Sunsweet takes chewy prune bites and covers them in dark chocolate. These good-for-your-gut Raisinets are perfect for munching at the movies.
South Beach Diet Sweet Delights
Tiny sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E, iron, selenium and other important yet underrated minerals. They also have B vitamins and magnesium that have been shown to boost your mood, so when they're enrobed in dark chocolate like they are in these snack packs, they become the ultimate feel-good poppers.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Edamame
Vegetarians with a sweet tooth will love this delightfully unexpected pairing of soybeans and candy. Each serving of about a handful has 7 grams of vegetable protein.
Rawfully Tempting Gourmet Chocolate-Covered Kale Chips
Kale is having its own moment of fame right now, but of all the ways we've heard of eating the nutritional powerhouse, this version is the most appealingly offbeat. Raw food aficionado Barbara Shevkun coats the crispy leaves in raw chocolate and adds a dash of Himalayan salt. The result is like a chocolate-covered potato chip.
Dr. Oz's favorite healthy junk food
As this Chow.com video demonstrates, making a spiral-cut hot dog is easier than it sounds. First, you thread a skewer straight through the dog (if you mess up, just try again; the tutorial promises hot dogs are forgiving). Then, make a long cut with a knife that winds around and around the stick. Remove the skewer, and you're left with a curlicued tendril of beef, chicken or tofu, ready to cook. The increased surface area results in more caramelization and crunch from the grill. The spiral-cut dog also gives you a row of little crevices where you can tuck extra bits of relish, mustard or ketchup (or not ketchup, depending on where you stand in this debate). And last we checked, no one's ever asked "How'd you do that?" when it came to a grilled burger.
Try these cheese- and jalapeño-stuffed hot dogs
What did they do before hot dog buns?
A no-fail recipe for pigs in a blanket
Italian: Swap in 1 tsp. of dried oregano for the Old Bay, and use basil as the fresh herb.
Asian: Substitute hot Chinese mustard for Old Bay, and instead of the herbs use fresh ginger (1/2 Tbsp. peeled and minced). Wasabi mayonnaise, available at many grocery stores and Asian markets, is an ideal accompaniment.
Greek: Skip the Old Bay and amp up the herbs: stir in a Tbsp. each of fresh mint and dill. Tzatziki is the perfect dipping sauce.
Latin-Indian: In place of Old Bay, use Sambar or curry powder. For the herbs, use cilantro, and serve the cakes with lime wedges and mango chutney.
This summer's coolest food combinations
More foods to eat this month
Why does beach food taste so delicious?
Homemade Magic Shell
The DIY version of this classic ice cream topping is surprisingly easy to make (all you need are coconut oil and semi-sweet chocolate chips), and tastes just like a dipped cone from the truck on the corner, minus the alkali and soy lecithin.
If you're growing zucchini, you're probably familiar with their abundant but delicate flowers (which are also available at farmer's markets now). It's best to pick or buy the yellow-and-orange blossoms and eat them the same day, since they wilt quickly. While the most common--and arguably tastiest--way to serve them is to stuff the long, narrow blooms with cheese and fry them, they're also excellent baked, or incorporated into pasta dishes, quesadillas or soup.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but morning auto-pilot means it can also get pretty boring (eggs, cereal, repeat). If you're feeling ho-hum about your current rotation, consider one of these swaps instead.
If you always eat: Bagels with cream cheese
Swap it for: Ozery Bakery's Morning Rounds. Think of this saucer-sized, chewy bread as the love child of a bagel and an English muffin. Studded with plump cranberries and chewy bits of orange, they're the perfect canvas for a thick schmear of Karoun's Labne cheese, a thick, spreadable yogurt that's lighter than cream cheese and subtly tangy.
If you always eat: Cheese and toast
Swap it for: Carrie's Black Pepper Bacon Biscuits (at left). Handmade by Callie's Charleston Biscuits, with caramelized bacon, cream cheese, and green onions, these addictive little biscuits are shipped pre-baked and frozen. Simply pop one (or three) in the oven to warm, and breakfast is served.
From the brittle orchid on my desk to the wilted blooms in my last backyard, I've never met a plant I couldn't kill. (True story: I once watered a little potted shrub for nearly two weeks before realizing it was fake.) But on a recent grocery trip, I looked into my cart to admire my bounty of summer herbs and saw...a lot of plastic. It seemed each sprig of mint and leaf of basil was wrapped in its own little slip of bad-for-the-planet packaging.
That grocery store moment was a gentle reminder that growing your own herbs can save both money and the eco-impact of shipping and shelving all that basil, mint, and chives. The hydroponic herb planters from Potting Shed Creations seem particularly forgiving. Made from recycled wine bottles, the planters come pre-filled and are slim enough to soak up sun on a windowsill. When the organic herbs are ready for harvesting (usually in four to six weeks), you can simply rinse the bottle and replant. Three weeks in, my tiny garden is still going strong -- and smelling delicious. ($35, pottingshedcreations.com)