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A Make-Ahead Menu for a Rustic Bridal Shower Lunch — Tips from The Kitchn

A bridal shower is mostly about showering the bride-to-be with gifts and love and playing silly games — but that doesn't mean the food should be an afterthought. In fact, I don't think there is a better way to show your affection and support for the bride than to also shower her, and her closest family and friends in attendance, with good food and drink.

This menu will help you do just that, and do it with ease. Planning a shower can be a lot of work, but if you follow this make-ahead menu, it can actually be quite simple. We've even provided a timeline so you can line up everything you need to do in order to throw a shower your favorite bride is sure to love.

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Recipe: Summer Squash Risotto — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Christine Han)

A creamy, comforting bowl of risotto can be yours for the eating even on a weeknight. Add grated zucchini for a healthy helping of summer vegetables; chop some fresh, fragrant basil; and, of course, throw in a few handfuls of Parmesan cheese and you have a delicious vegetarian dinner to enjoy. Yes, there's some stirring involved, but pour yourself a glass of wine and put on a podcast or some music, and let the repetition be a relaxing meditation on the deliciousness to come.

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Throw a Laid-Back Cocktail Party with This Easy-to-Make Menu — Tips from The Kitchn

Text all your friends immediately and tell them you're throwing a cocktail party. With this easy menu, it's possible to host a festive one just a few days from now without breaking a sweat. The key is to lean on simple sips and bites whose components can be made ahead or even bought straight from the store. That makes the last-minute scramble not much of a scramble at all.

This laid-back menu starts with a refreshing rhubarb cocktail that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser (especially because it can also be made as a mocktail). Snacks like cheesy polenta bites, spicy carrot hummus, and hearty beef tenderloin sliders are sure to keep your friends satiated, and there are a few sweet treats to round out the occasion. There's no better excuse to host a gathering than this one.

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A Last-Minute Mother’s Day Brunch That You Can Throw Together in the Morning — Mother’s Day

So you're hosting Mother's Day brunch and, for whatever reason, you're down to the wire with barely a plan in place. Mom is coming over in just a few hours and you haven't put one thought into what to make. Don't worry — you still have time to pull this off. And there's no need to run out for a dozen doughnuts and a box of joe — you can do this just the way you pictured. This menu will help you put together a fast, fancy, and celebratory brunch together in little to no time. This menu feeds six people and can be made before mom arrives. We've even included a timeline on exactly how you to can pull this off. You've got this!

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How My Kids’ Allergies Reshaped My Identity as a Mother and Cook — Mother’s Day Menu

(Image credit: Katie M. Simmons)

I recently went to a dinner party at the home of a friend who happens to be a wonderful cook. I was in the kitchen sipping a glass of wine when I glanced at the refrigerator and noticed a list with all of the guests' names on them. Over half of them — including mine — had food restrictions, allergies, or sensitivities listed after their name.

Have you had this experience? A vegetarian friend coming to dinner? Your daughter has gone vegan? Your son has a nut allergy? Your best friend is gluten-free and your own tummy may do better without dairy?

This is the age we are living in, where people are more and more vested in what they are putting into their bodies — whether it is for better health or ethical reasons. Now more than ever you are what you eat, which means who you are can change, too.

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This Is What You Should Always Order as a Wedding Guest — Ultimate Summer Wedding Guide

Deciding whether or not you're going to go to a wedding is never the hard part. This is your former coworker's sister's best friend we're talking about. You wouldn't miss it for the world! You even know what you're going to wear! The hard part? Figuring out which box to check for your seated dinner. Do you want the chicken, fish, steak, or the vegetarian option?

How are you supposed to know what you'll want to eat on a Saturday in September? You're not even sure what you want for dinner tonight!

As someone who used to work at a wedding magazine and someone who has attended a few dozen weddings (in just the last couple of years), I have formed my very own strong opinion: The vegetarian option is always the best.

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