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Summer Soiree: Why You Should Eat Avocados All Day Long

Flautas

We think avocados are pretty great. They’re the basis for guacamole, which might be the world’s most perfect food, and the ideal companion to a margarita. They’re pretty versatile, too. They’re versatile enough, in fact, that we’d eat them all day long if we could. If you feel the same way, here is our suggestion of how to eat avocados from breakfast through dessert.

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There May Soon Be a Food Court Strip Mall at the Grand Canyon

Image via Food Beast

Imagine this scenario: You and your family arrive at the Grand Canyon to take in its utter splendor. To the left, you spot a lone eagle, searching for prey. To the right, you can’t help but notice a group of cacti, stoically persevering year after year. And directly in front of you? The majestic beauty of a KFC/Pizza Hut hybrid restaurant.

That’s the plan anyways. Developers are angling to prop a food-laden strip mall at America’s greatest gorge, the Grand Canyon. The theory, as told by the developers, is that the variety of food options will encourage visitors to stay longer. Endless profit is not a motive here, folks. No.  The gentle, awed laughter of a child as he or she spends an elongated amount of time in the canyon, Sbarro slice in hand, is payment enough for these kind-hearted magnates.

It’s not a done deal, however. The measure will be formally decided next year, when the Navajo Nation Council votes on it.

Hump Day Snack: Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Spice Syrup

Whether you’re ready or not, the beginning of September undoubtedly means pumpkin spice fever: lattes, muffins, pastas, cookies, breads, pies, smoothies — the list is neverending! Get a head start on the spicing with your own homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Fall’s classic spices — cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg — star in a blend of sugar, water, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree to create the perfect — and natural — pumpkin flavoring, but the best part is what you decide to do with it. From pancakes and ice cream, to coffee and oatmeal, the options are harvest-ready.

Start to transition into autumn with more seasonal recipes from Cooking Channel:

Why You Should Eat an Apple a Day

Apple Slaw

A new crop of apples is fruiting. While you may be tempted to use the fall fruit to make an apple pie (a great idea, by the way), apples are versatile enough to go beyond dessert. If you want to cut to their savory core, follow these general ideas: Apples pair well with curry, bacon, pork and and root vegetables. But there are a few flavor surprises in here too. Here are 30 healthy savory recipes featuring apples:

Lunch

Waldorf Salad: Broccoli slaw makes this healthy salad a snap.

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These High Tech Chopsticks Can Sense Calories, Temperature and More

It wasn’t so long ago that only phones and tablets qualified as ‘smart’ devices. Nowadays, however, that list is growing to include watches, cups and even forks. Here is a pair of Harvard-bound chopsticks to add to the collection.

Introducing Kuaisou, a pair of smart chopsticks created by Chinese search engine Baidu. In addition to scooping up pieces of sushi, these smart sticks can also detect the pH level in food, in addition to analyzing the calories and temperature. They also connect via Bluetooth to your phone, tablet or other device.

If the idea of a pair of chopsticks outplaying you in Jeopardy sounds appealing, you’ll have a while to wait. No release date has been announced.

Cookbook Giveaway: The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

As any gluten-free baker knows, creating a wheat-free substitute for all-purpose flour might as well require a Ph.D. in chemistry. While a store-bought mix might work for one recipe (say, cookies), it could yield hockey pucks when used for bread or muffins.

The Everyday Art of Gluten-FreeThat was the epiphany that Austin-based Blackbird Bakery founder Karen Morgan had eight years ago while working as a pastry chef in France. French bakers rely heavily on specific flours for their various breads and pastries, so why would we assume one all-purpose option would work equally well in all gluten-free goods? (In fact, the absence of gluten increases the need for precision in flour.)

Since then, Morgan has developed six flour blends to suit all manner of baked goods, from biscuits to cakes. In her new book, The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free (on sale today), Morgan shares mixes in dedicated chapters that showcase a number of sometimes surprising ways to use each of them. Turn her biscuit blend into tacos or ice cream cones; the donut and fritter blend could become fried calamari or gumbo; and the pie and pasta blend is your ticket to Danishes and gnocchi, and so on. Whether you’re allergic to gluten or you have chosen to eliminate it from your diet, Morgan ensures you can have muffins and cookies, rather than homemade hockey pucks.

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Sifted: Mooncakes, Beer Brownies + More

Mooncakes

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • In honor of China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, give the gift of homemade Mooncakes. A symbol of unity and harmony, these Cantonese delicacies are available at most Chinese specialty stores, but Two Red Bowls has a pretty enticing reason to fill each round, golden cake with your own red-bean or white-lotus paste.
  • After you pour one beer for yourself, pop open another for your brownie batter. Joy the Baker stirs dark stout beer into her mix for dense and intense Beer Brownies, giving them an earthy bitterness that is crazy good with dark chocolate.
  • After a summer of potato chips with lobster rolls and fries with backyard burgers, we wouldn’t dare guilt you with the suggestion of kale chips. Instead, Simply Scratch suggests Crispy Baked Basil Chips that pack all that crisp satisfaction we dig about kale chips, but with an unforgettably herby edge.
  • As perhaps the last stone fruit confection of the season, Sprouted Kitchen‘s Nectarine Tart with Rye Cornmeal Crust  has a buttery crust with a more unique flavor and texture than if it was made with all-purpose flour. While we wish we could immortalize juicy nectarines forever, this one’s best enjoyed straight out of the oven.
  • Though Septemberfest doesn’t have quite the ring to it that Oktoberfest has, it’ll be hard to wait any time to devour this Bratwurst Grilled Cheese by i am a food blog. It presses layers of sausage, shredded gruyère and sliced potatoes between a beer-mustard-slathered pretzel roll.

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Dinner Rush! Quick Cauliflower Curry

In the fast-paced, cutthroat world of trendsetting foods, one industry veteran has managed to stay the course through it all. While sprouts, kale and juices may come and go with the seasons, the mighty cauliflower has managed to keep its head high and its florets robust through the storm. 

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Meatless Monday: Pesto Lasagne

Pesto Lasagne

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of lifeEating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

If there’s anything you should be hoarding right now, it’s summer’s fresh herbs. In a matter of weeks, they’ll be gone, disappearing from the landscape just as the days start to seem shorter. Take action while you can with pesto. Make as much basil-based pesto as you can (ideally using pine nuts and pecorino). Reserve half of it to make Debi and Gabriele’s rich vegetarian lasagne. Freeze the rest of the pesto in ice cube trays, so that you can store them until you want to add a bit of summery flavor on a cold winter day. And then enjoy this hearty dish and be happy that bathing suit season is officially over.

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This Woman Went on an All Emoji Diet For Entire Week

Emojis are pretty cool. They allow us to text stupid pictures instead of just texting stupid words. The only downside is that every single thing in the universe has yet to be recreated in emoji-form. For instance, you can text a picture of an ice cream cone but not a simple yogurt. One woman decided to see just how many food items were represented the only way she knew how, by eating nothing but emoji grub for a whole week.

Kelsey Ruxrout, a writer at The Atlantic, underwent this impressive feat. The rules were simple. She could only eat things that had associated emojis, although combining ingredients to create recipes was allowed. It must also be noted that animal emojis could not be used as meat, so that cute cow picture became even more useless than usual.

The end result? A fairly boring week of eating. With most of her usual staples out of the running, Ruxrout had to subsist primarily on fruit, shrimp and black coffee. To her credit, she says she probably won’t try this experiment again.

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