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Last Call! 6 Ways to Devour Fresh Summer Produce Before Labor Day

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but the time has come to bid farewell to fresh summer produce. After months of eating piles of fresh corn on the cob, watermelon and other in-season fruits and vegetables, it’s time to move on to apples, squash, Brussels sprouts and more fall fare.

Before Labor Day rolls around, start a mini bucket list of things to cook with your farmers market favorites. Whether you enjoy baking a bubbling stone fruit cobbler or biting into a fresh tomato like it’s an apple, the countdown starts now. Get it all out of your system now so when fall comes on Sept. 23, you’ll have some closure, having given warm-weather produce a proper sendoff. Here are six ideas to get you started with your goodbyes.

Tomatoes: Heirloom Tomato Caprese

Fresh heirloom tomatoes are so juicy that you may want to take a bite of one without bothering to even slice it up. But if you want to be a little less of an animal, make a simple caprese salad with Burrata cheese, basil and olive oil.

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Take Your Own Taco Trip with 5 Unique Twists on the Mexican-Food Favorite

It doesn’t have to be Tuesday to have a taco party. If we had it our way, every day of the week would be filled with different variations on the Mexican staple, whether it’s classic childhood fare — aka ground beef stuffed in hard-shell corn tortillas — or upscale twists like braised pork belly or fresh lump crabmeat.

Even if you don’t have time to travel across the country in search of the best tacos, you can still make your own taco trip at home. Check out five of our favorite unique taco recipes, then tune into the premiere of Taco Trip with host Aarón Sánchez on Tuesday, August 25 at 10pm ET for more new takes on Mexican fare.

Mexican Pot Roast Tacos

Reinvent your fast-food favorite with two easy swaps: slow-cooked beef shoulder instead of ground beef and freshly fried corn tortillas instead of mass-produced hard shells. Homemade guacamole and salsa don’t hurt, either.

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Meet the Easiest (and Cheesiest) Summer Meal of Your Dreams

The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are almost over. Soon we’ll be sipping pumpkin spice lattes and slow-braising meat as the leaves start to fall. Until then, let’s set a final goal for the warm months: eat more pizza. The Italian staple is one of the fastest and most endlessly customizable meals, and it’s even better when you throw it on the grill.

Whether you make your own dough or cheat and pick some up at a local pizzeria or grocery store, it’s a crowd-pleasing, easy and deliciously cheesy way to get dinner on the table quickly. While anything can go on a pizza — that dough is just a vessel for all of your favorite foods — here are four foolproof recipes below.

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Bake Doughnuts, Not Cupcakes!

If you’re looking for something other than cupcakes to contribute at your next birthday party, may we recommend Ina Garten’s Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts? For a festive twist we added sprinkles to the batter, then replaced Ina’s cinnamon sugar topping with frosting and sprinkles. To make the frosting we mixed confectioner’s sugar, heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and blue food coloring until we got a thick, smooth consistency (we went with electric blue in honor of the birthday girl’s favorite color). So, just like plain cupcakes, doughnuts are a great canvas for personalizing decorations.

More Reasons We Loved This Recipe (Plus Photos):

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Squash Boring Dinners with Zucchini as Your Main Dish Tonight

When you head to the farmers market or the grocery store this summer, there are plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to choose from, but sometimes it’s easier to stick to tried-and-true produce for quick meals. One of the most abundant and popular veggies of the season is zucchini, which is at its peak and always manages to sneak its way into your basket.

If you’re bored of just roasting, grilling or sauteing, we have some great zucchini recipes that will make you want to gorge on gourds. Check out these six ideas for using squash as your main dish, from a breakfast-for-dinner frittata to meatless meatballs.

Risotto-Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini

Play with your food when you hollow out little zucchini boats (and/or red peppers) and fill them with creamy risotto. You won’t miss the meat in this hearty dish.

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These Slow-Cooker Recipes Are the Closest Thing to a Robot Cooking for You

It’s 2015 and robots that cook for you still haven’t been invented yet*, so we have to settle for the next best thing: a handy-dandy slow cooker, which you can pretend is actually Rosie from The Jetsons.

A slow cooker can make fall-apart-tender meat for tacos or macaroni and cheese while you’re at work, and save you from turning on your oven until the world cools down. So get ready to do some easy prep, turn on that magical machine and come home to a delicious meal with six slow-cooker recipes perfect for the sweltering summer.

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Aioli

Pulled pork is a slow-cooker staple, but there’s another meat you should try going low and slow with: chicken. Kelsey Nixon’s easy recipe gives you everything you love about chicken wings — spicy sauce, blue cheese and a crunch from celery — all tucked into a sandwich.

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6 Fake-Out Takeout Recipes That Are Faster Than Delivery

When your closest relationship is with the food-delivery guy, it may be time to reevaluate your meal habits. Though there’s an undeniable appeal to delivery food, there are also the matters of cost and questionable ingredients.

To solve both of these problems, we’ve gathered six homemade renditions of your favorite delivery food, from sesame chicken to fully stuffed burritos. Your stomach and your wallet will thank you after you chow down on these dishes.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp

Haylie Duff adds bacon to the traditional Thai fried-rice dish for a punch of smoky flavor. Serving it in a pineapple is much better than presenting it in a white takeout container, too.

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Stick to Your Ribs with 5 Recipes for Any Summer Occasion

Admit it: You’re stuck in a food rut. After flipping burgers and grilling chicken for months, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and kick your ‘cue up a notch with sticky, meaty restaurant-quality ribs. They may seem intimidating, but the grill-averse can turn to the oven — or even a slow cooker! — and the results will be well worth the time and effort.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard bash or putting a homemade spin on Chinese takeout, these five rib-sticking picks are summer at its best. Pick your favorite below and get even more rib recipes here.

When You’re So Fancy, You Already Know: Balsamic Baby Back Ribs

Nadia G’s ribs get a classy spin with a balsamic barbecue sauce that is spiced up with a habanero chile and a shot of whiskey. Impress that special person in your life with truffled twice-baked potatoes on the side.

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Stay Cool with 6 Summery Spins on Comfort Food

Winter isn’t coming anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find cool comfort. Channel the hearty flavors of meatloaf and cheesy loaded baked potatoes into warm-weather versions, like kebabs and tailgate-ready potato salad.

Check out six summer-fied comfort food recipes below and transport yourself to cooler times. We’re halfway there — just two more months of heat waves to go.

Pecan Pie Parfait

Take a break from berry pies with this riff on the classic pecan pie. Store-bought pie crust becomes a crumble over vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and bourbon-pecan topping.

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6 Thrilling Fillings for Ravioli ‘Round the World

Sometimes “all thriller, no filler” shouldn’t be your mantra in life, and that’s if and only if you’re talking about ravioli. You can’t go wrong with pasta stuffed with delicious cheese and other fillings, whether it’s the traditional ricotta and meat or a carb-on-carb explosion like pierogi.

In celebration of the return of My Grandmother’s Ravioli on July 29 at 8pm ET, we’re going ’round the world with six versions of “ravioli,” from the Italian classic to Japanese gyoza to apple dumplings for dessert. Get ready for your taste buds to jet to many flavorful destinations — all without leaving your kitchen.

The Classic Cheese Ravioli

The ultimate Italian comfort food is pillowy cheese ravioli filled with creamy ricotta and topped with homemade marinara sauce. You can’t beat this classic.

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