Staying Cool with 3 No-Cook Recipes

Tuna

Tuna Pita Sandwiches

I tend to be a bit delusional when it comes to summer. All winter long, I think, “This would be so much easier if it were summer. I can’t wait until it’s warm.”

And then summer comes and I remember that extreme heat makes every chore more arduous, and I end up counting the minutes until I’m in an air-conditioned room as soon as I step outside. In other words, I’m a whiny baby all year long.

So it’s hard to save money in sweltering months because my instinct is to keep the stove off and eat out instead. To resist the urge, I have some go-to, easy favorites that are cool, tasty, and more about compiling than actually cooking. Since they’re cold, they’re also great to make on Sunday and bring to work during the week….

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Patriotic Lobster Dish

Lobster Meal

Lobster Meal

Ed note. Nothing says summer to me more than wild lobster! Maybe it’s fond memories of family trips to Maine and enjoying a lobster roll or two.

In any case, getting together with loved ones is the best part of any Fourth of July celebration. That’s why I think Anna’s dish described below combines the best of the holiday: timeless memories and a great meal to enjoy with friends and family!

This year, I am taking my Independence Day celebration up a notch. Instead of the standard barbecue and beer event I usually host or attend, I was inspired to make a meal full of red, white, and blue!

My guests are sure to enjoy this new color-themed cuisine. To include foods of each of our country’s patriotic colors, I created this combination of taste and excitement:…

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The Ins and Outs of Cherries

Cherry

It's Cherry Season!

I don’t think there is a more visually appealing fruit than fresh cherries, and their versatility and rich flavor make them the perfect stone fruit.

In a salad, fresh off a tree, topping a cake, flavoring tea—the juicy fruit makes me positively Seuss-like.

My childhood friend had a cherry tree in her backyard, and one warm summer afternoon, we both filled our bowls and ate enough cherries to fill a pie. Our fingers were stained red and the pits formed a small mountain, but when her mother made fresh cherry pierogies later, we had some of those too. That’s the thing about cherries—there are never enough! So as soon as the season’s first cherries came in, I ordered a bag of red and a bag of Rainier and went wild….

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What’s Your Favorite Burger Topping?

Chicken Wings

Burgers

I remember growing up there were several summers where my dad would grill burgers by the pool.

My brother and I would race to see who would pick toppings first. I’d toss to Dad some cheese (yellow American) so he could melt mine right on the burger itself, then I’d assemble the rest of the toppings on the bun.

My brother didn’t care – he was off building a mountain of goodies, complete with stacks of onions, tomato, lettuce and mustard, which he used to refer to as “the glue,” between each layer.

Ahh, memory lane. As we head full swing into summer, I thought I’d ask some colleagues at FreshDirect what toppings they like on their burgers. Sure enough, whenever I stopped to ask one person, others perked up. Apparently, toppings are a topic of interest.

Here are some office favorites:…

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Fun Easter and Passover Recipes for Kids (and Kids at Heart!)

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

Are you getting together with family and friends for Easter or Passover? If so, we’ve put together some fun recipes to enjoy before or after your Easter egg hunt (decorated deviled eggs) or at the Seder table (tuna boats).

For Easter, how about decorating eggs – on the inside? With our “Mild Mannered Deviled Eggs” recipe below, you and the kids can have fun making bunnies, funny faces, and more. If you don’t mind colored egg whites, you can even use up your excess Easter eggs.

Keep this activity child-safe by having the adults do the knife work while the kids can have fun piping the yolk mixture into the egg halves, applying the decorations, and using floss or thread to ‘cut’ the egg in half. …

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Easy Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day!

Citrus

What's Your Favorite Citrus Fruit?

In the short days of Winter, I crave as much sunshine as I can get. For me, I love bringing the sunshine indoors with bright and cheerful citrus fruit.

Not only do citrus fruits make for easy and beautiful centerpieces, they are also healthy, tasty snacks filled with vitamins.

For variety, I like trying new fruits like red pomelo, finger limes, and Cara Cara oranges. The blood orange season is so short that I make sure to have as many of them as possible. And citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges easily add zest to salads and other dishes.  Need inspiration? Check out these recipes:  …

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Serve with a Side of Friends

Sides Party

The Turkey Party filled with Sides

For close to a decade, my dear friends Toph and Josslynne Welch open their home every November and host a pre-Thanksgiving potluck. The premise is simple: the hosts cook the turkey (plus some appetizers, a few sides, a couple desserts…) and the guests bring everything else. Josslynne says, “New York is a transient city, we created this party almost 10 years ago when we realized all of our friends scattered for the holidays; it is a wonderful opportunity to gather around a table to share the food and the people we love before the holiday crunch.”

This annual event, affectionately known as The Turkey Party, occupies a most-revered spot on my social calendar. It is a chance for friends to come together, celebrate the advent of the holidays and, best of all, feed each other delicious food.

In the early years, we stuck pretty closely to standard Thanksgiving fare and family recipes, impressing each other (and ourselves) with our burgeoning dinner party skills. Now that we’re older, wiser and much more comfortable in the kitchen, the Turkey Party has become a great excuse to try a new recipe or reinvent a family classic. Our hosts generously encourage us to try new things, “We want the flavors of each dish to be reminiscent of something mom made, but nothing you’ll find at her table three weeks later when the real deal rolls around.”…

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Seasonal Dishes by Chef Donatella Arpaia

Roasted Veg

Roasted Root Vegetables

With November upon us, our thoughts quickly turn to the upcoming holiday season (especially Thanksgiving!)

Celebrity Chef, Restauranteur, brand new mom (of a 1 month old baby boy!), and frequent Iron Chef America/The Next Iron Chef judge Donatella Arpaia knows a thing or two about entertaining.

So we were excited when she sent us these two seasonal recipes. They’re great for casual or formal get-togethers.

The aromatic soup is perfect for chilly evenings. The blend of cloves, star anise and peppercorns, perfectly fragrances the butternut squash. The roasted root vegetables is simple and quick. It also represents Fall produce at its best….

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5 Easy Fall Recipes

Roasted Potatoes

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes are one of my go-to, easy-to-make Autumn dishes.

I love Autumn. The leaves turn from green to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange. The weather is cooler. And I can happily turn on the oven to make hearty dishes my family will enjoy.

From rich squashes to crisp apples and savory sausages, Fall’s bounty fills my home with warm, welcoming scents.

Usually I like to keep dinner dishes simple and just roast chicken along with root vegetables (like potatoes, butternut squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.) in the oven. It’s so easy to toss the chopped vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few herbs (rosemary, Herbes de Provence, and oregano are some of my favorites) and then roast them in the oven….

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