Summer

Recipe: Crispy Chicken Thighs with Fresh Cherry Salsa — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Chicken thighs are on the menu weekly in my house. It's hard to beat their versatility and affordability. This is how I plan to eat them until fresh cherry season — aka the best season — comes to an end. The thighs are cooked in a cast iron skillet until their skin crackles and then they're topped with a quick and easy cherry salsa made with red onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime. When piled onto the chicken thighs, it's an effortless yet elegant summer meal that's as ready for casual weeknights as it is for simple dinner parties out on the back porch.

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Recipe: One-Pan Basil-Plum Pork Chops — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I like to think of plums as the silent heroes of summer, sitting patiently among other more celebrated stone fruit like peaches and nectarines. Biting into a perfectly ripe, juicy plum is a rite of summer, and turning plums into dinner is one of the best ways to give them a place in the spotlight. When roasted with bone-in pork chops, plums get a bit jammy and turn into a sweet-savory sauce built around a few pantry staples and finished with a fistful of soft basil leaves. All this quick one-pan dinner needs is a crisp salad and a crusty loaf of bread for capturing all that saucy goodness.

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Recipe: Tomato-Basil Chicken and Rice — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Summer needs comfort food just as much as every other season. Sure, there are those super-hot days when you can really only manage to eat a salad for dinner, but there are other days when you crave something a little more satisfying. Maybe the heat finally broke or there's a summer storm brewing — whatever the reason, it's important to have recipes on hand that fit that mood. This one is exactly that. Chicken thighs bake on a bed of rice that has been flavored with diced, in-season tomatoes for a crowd-pleasing casserole that needs nothing more than a handful of chopped fresh basil to make it taste like summer.

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5 Iced Coffee Upgrades That Make It Even Easier to Get Your Caffeine Fix — Recipe Templates from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

Some may argue that iced coffee is such a perfect warm-weather drink, so why not just leave well and good alone? You see, I don't agree because it's a perfect template for experimentation. Coffee works well with so many other flavors that riffing on the beverage is not only fun, but it also turns out to be seriously successful. If you thought regular iced coffee was great, just wait until you give one (or all) of these twists a try.

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5 Things I Learned Working at an Ice Cream Shop — Summer Jobs

This month we're looking back on all the strange and wonderful food jobs people have held during the summer. Whether it's a job at a local scoop shop, a grocery store, or the concession stand at a baseball field, the skills and memories you gather in those short, hot months usually turn out to be invaluable. Here's Lisa Freedman on the life lessons she learned from working at an ice cream store.

For a teenager, working in an ice cream shop is better than being a kid in a candy store. I should know: I worked at a popular soft-serve joint in my hometown for a few years. It was a lot of fun. It also — surprisingly — taught me some valuable lessons about real life and adulting.

Here's what I learned working at an ice cream shop during my high school summers.

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Next Week’s Meal Plan: The 5 Recipes I’ve Been Dreaming About All Summer — Next Week’s Meal Plan

Every once in a while, I get a week free from obligations — calendar or budget — and can just choose recipes that are new, enticing, or have just been on my to-try list for too long. This is one of those rare weeks, and how it fell in the middle of summer when produce is at its peak I'll never know, but I'm thanking my lucky stars.

This week's meal plan features a bunch of seasonal suppers that have had me drooling. The meals are still relatively quick and easy, and almost every dinner uses one or more peak-season vegetable — making the most of our farmers market haul and overrun from our neighbor's garden.

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