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52 Weeks Fresh: End-of-Summer Lovin’

Pizza Sauce

Plants worked hard all summer to deliver varied flavors, shapes and colors. Now it’s time to cook your bounty.

A garden row of seedlings at the season’s start should now be a greenmarket. If you’ve been following along this summer, you’ll have everything you need for pizza sauce (tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, onions) and salads (lettuce, arugula, red onions, edible flowers and beets).

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25 Ways to Use Blueberries

Blueberries are at the height of their season on the East Coast, which means whether you’re picking them from your backyard or the local farmer’s market, it’s time to stock up.

Small but mighty, blueberries are packed with antioxidants, and vitamins C and K. Utilize these sweet treats year-round by freezing them or by canning homemade blueberry jam (pictured above). For more information on your favorite summertime berry check out this Cooking Channel video on blueberries or just get straight to cooking with these 25 ways.

  1. Blueberry pancake options for everyone: Blueberry Pancakes, Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, and Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes.
  2. If you’re making blueberry pancakes, it just makes sense to serve them with two-ingredient Blueberry Syrup for Pancakes.
  3. Blueberry Breakfast Bars are the kind of breakfast you dream about, tons of flavor, whole grains and you can even take them on the go! Rye flakes are a breakfast cereal made by rolling whole-grain rye flat. If you can’t find rye flakes in the health food section of your grocery store, replace them with more oats.
  4. For when you’ve stockpiled an absurd amount of blueberries at the farmer’s market, Blueberry Pie can help.
  5. Or if you prefer your baked goods to only have a bottom crust, there is Fresh Blueberry Tart.

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Space Whiskey Finally Will Return to Earth After Three Years

In 2011, a Scottish distillery teamed up with a Texas space research company to see how well whiskey would age in the cold, unfeeling nothingness of space. They sent a vial of unmatured malt and charred oak pieces into orbit. There it sat, spinning along with the cosmos, for three long years. Now it is ready to return home and, more importantly, be imbibed.

It’s actually an interesting experiment. On September 12, the vial will return home and be compared with a control vial, which was relegated to the boring confines of planet Earth. Which one became a better whiskey? Which one gets you to send drunk texts quicker, in the middle of the night, to ex-spouses? The world is about to find out.

Interestingly, no matter how good this stuff turns out to be, it cannot be called Scotch whiskey. Scotch must be aged in an oak barrel in Scotland for three years, and not in the vast and unforgiving cosmos. Oh well. In space, nobody can hear you moan during a hangover.

Summer Soiree: 4 Ways to Shake Up Your Sandwich Routine

No matter how clever you get with your nut butter and jam, the sandwich routine can get stale pretty quickly. Shake up your back-to-school (or work) lunch options by swapping out bread for tortillas*. Here are a few filling suggestions to get you rolling. And then keep the cylindrical theme going with Kelsey’s homemade fruit leathers. That’s a wrap!

Bacon-Hummus Roll-Ups: Hummus with carrots and cucumbers is no ultra-creative concept. But these roll-ups take the idea a bit further by tucking them into bread with slices of crisp bacon (pictured above). The meal should keep for four hours. If you’re serving vegetarians, try this hummus-grilled vegetable alternative.

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This Giant Burger is Topped With Fried Ravioli and Alfredo Sauce

The culinary world has undertaken a noble — and never-ending — quest to combine each and every food in existence. The resulting creations are called Franken-foods, although instead of pitchforks the villagers get out their dinner forks (da dum dum.) In any event, here is the newest entrant: Rustic Ravioli Burger. 

This massive burger creation, invented by California eatery Slater’s 50/50, starts with a 1/2 pound patty sourced from both beef and sausage. That is topped with a hefty fried ravioli, Alfredo sauce, roasted tomato and, for some reason, broccoli. The four food groups.

If this burger sounds up your alley, you only have the month of September to get your Franken-food loving Franken-butt to Franken-fornia.

Hump Day Snack: Homemade Toaster Pastries

Toaster Pastries

While you’re stocking up on new pencils, notebooks and back-to-school shoes, don’t forget cool new things for your kid’s (or your own) lunchbox. In lieu of store-bought finds, try this recipe for homemade Pop-Tarts. Toaster pastries are ideal for racing-out-the-door breakfasts, but taking the time in advance to make your own pastry dough is worth the extra effort. As the autumn nears, use the season’s first batch of apples to make a delectable pie filling, then make a cinnamon glaze to top the squares. Serve them at room temperature or gently warm them in the toaster or microwave, and we can bet you won’t miss the packaged equivalent. Happy snacking!

For more ways jazz up your snacks in September, check out some of these recipes from Cooking Channel:

A Game Plan for Better Health

Even though resolutions season is still a good four months away, all the back-to-school, back-to-work flurry of September can make this time of year ideal for a fresh routine and do some self-improvement. No more lazing about like it’s summer (even though, yes, we know it’s still summer until September 23rd). Now’s the time to buckle down and commit to some health goals. Here are three steps to make it happen:

Think it: The first step is to take stock of what you’re currently doing and identify what you’d like to change. What about your food, exercise and health routine is working for you right now? What’s not? Maybe the first things to come up are really general — you want to lose weight, or eat healthier. Try to get a little more specific — what behaviors would you need to change to meet that goal? Eat less sugar? Eat more vegetables? Exercise more regularly?

Plan it: No matter your goal, you need to break it down into specific actions you can take (We’ve all heard of SMART goals by now, right?). So, if you want to eat more vegetables, for instance, decide what “more” means and plan for doing it. You could translate that one into “I’d like to eat the recommended number of servings of vegetables for me each day.” First, you’d look up what that number is. Then you’d brainstorm ways to make that happen. For example, you could decide to keep baby carrots on hand for snacks, or stock your freezer with frozen vegetables, so you can add them to pasta or mac & cheese at dinner, or add baby spinach and sliced tomatoes to your breakfast sandwich.

Do it: Decide when you’re going to start and, if it makes it easier to commit, decide when this particular goal will end. You might find that at the end of the challenge, a new habit has been formed and it’s easy to continue. Or maybe you’ll tweak it to make it work better for you, or tackle another goal. That’s all good.

Manhattan’s First Denny’s Features a $300 Grand Slam

The residents of New York City have been waiting with bated breath to get their very own Denny’s and now their long, solemn wait is over. The Financial District now houses a franchise of the mostly-edible diner chain, with a few fancy, NYC twists.

The decor of this Manhattan Denny’s takes a cue from its neighbors, eschewing the traditional color scheme for that workers-stopped-in-the-middle-of-building-it steampunk look that is de rigueur these days. There is also a fully-stocked bar and pricier menu options. Speaking of pricier menu options. you can also get yourself a $300 iteration of their famous Grand Slam breakfast, which comes with two entrees, a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon and, of course, a high five from the bartender (really.)

So, if you ever find yourself in the Big Apple and want to avoid the city’s thousands of unique food options, hit up this Denny’s!

Sifted: Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles, Crispy Beans + More

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake Waffles

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • Cakey chocolate-zucchini waffles from The Candid Appetite blur the line between breakfast and dessert. The zucchini element isn’t so much for health; folding in the grated summer squash leaves each waffles impeccably moist. Eating them at night? Top each one with a scoop of ice cream.
  • Just like onion rings, green beans are instant crowd-pleasers in a bit of batter. After breading their version with multigrain chips, With Food and Love sticks them in the oven for a quick 15 and serves them with quick pickles.
  • What makes Lottie and Doof’s torte “The Torte,“ you ask? Laden with jammy plums, the buttery cake is blissfully simple and worth the brain space it would take to memorize for preparing on the fly.
  • Classic grilled cheese may only need a slathering of butter, some white bread and a layer of American cheese to come to fruition. But A Couple Cooks stacks their roasted tomato-basil take with bursting cherry tomatoes and mozzarella for a summery swan song.
  • If your daily dessert is normally dug out of a cardboard pint, try whipping up banana “ice cream” instead. Even after bikini season, Dessert for Two‘s recipe works as a healthful alternative, deconstructing frozen bananas in a food processor with just a little coconut cream until it reaches scoopable form.

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