Make Ahead

How To Make Homemade Copycat Kind Bars — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Kind Bars are the snack bar that I always reach for when I really want a candy bar but don't want the resulting sugar crash. Full of nuts and seeds held together with a sweet-sticky glue of brown rice syrup, these bars are sweet, crunchy, a little salty, and sometimes gilded in chocolate. They are totally crave-worthy in their own right!

But Kind Bars are kind of budget-busting when I've got five dinners, seven breakfasts, and seven lunches to shop for my family of four. So I set to work making these snack bars at home. Yes, there are some specialty ingredients that are an up-front investment, but there's still a huge cost savings.

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Recipe: Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins — Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

Take the major players from your favorite sandwich, turn them into a savory muffin, and suddenly your lunch routine is instantly more exciting. Inspired by the classic combo of ham and cheese, these hearty, savory muffins are mixed with a touch of cornmeal for some extra heft and texture, and loaded with thick-cut chunks of ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and a pinch of chives. Sounds good, right?

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20 Ideas for Make-Ahead Lunches That Last the Week — Recipes from The Kitchn

There have been far too many Sundays in my life when I've wanted to get ahead on meal prep for the week but skipped it out of laziness. That stops now! Because carving out some time to make lunches for the upcoming week can make busy days run a whole lot smoother — whether they're for your kids to tote to school or for you to pack up for the office. Here are 20 great recipes that call for a little effort on the last day of your weekend but reap big rewards.

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Recipe: The Best Pesto Chicken Salad — Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Over the years I've perfected a version of homemade pesto chicken salad after ordering it countless times at any number of restaurants. It pairs fresh pesto with sun-dried tomatoes with shredded chicken — the ideal preparation for catching all the bits of herbs, cheese, and nuts that makes this recipe the best.

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How To Make Boozy Bourbon Bacon Jam — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Nothing makes me feel like more of a breakfast or dinner hero than remembering that I have jars of boozy bacon jam in the fridge. This rich spread could turn a sleeve of stale crackers into a pretty stellar dinner, but when you fold it into warm pasta with fresh corn, sweet tomatoes, and basil, or mix it with maple syrup for pancakes, then you'll feel like giving yourself a gold star for having the foresight to make it.

Boozy bacon jam is also a practical way to preserve bacon that might need using up. You cook the bacon, caramelize some onions, and hold the two together with a little maple syrup, a decent amount of bourbon, and a splash of vinegar. The resulting spread is chunky, with plenty of smoky, savory flavor and back notes of sweetness and bourbon. Making bacon jam is the greatest gift you can give to your future self.

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How To Make Boozy Bourbon Bacon Jam — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Nothing makes me feel like more of a breakfast or dinner hero than remembering that I have jars of boozy bacon jam in the fridge. This rich spread could turn a sleeve of stale crackers into a pretty stellar dinner, but when you fold it into warm pasta with fresh corn, sweet tomatoes, and basil, or mix it with maple syrup for pancakes, then you'll feel like giving yourself a gold star for having the foresight to make it.

Boozy bacon jam is also a practical way to preserve bacon that might need using up. You cook the bacon, caramelize some onions, and hold the two together with a little maple syrup, a decent amount of bourbon, and a splash of vinegar. The resulting spread is chunky, with plenty of smoky, savory flavor and back notes of sweetness and bourbon. Making bacon jam is the greatest gift you can give to your future self.

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