6 Ways to Beat the Heat in the Kitchen This Summer — Stay Cool

So it's about a zillion degrees out — but you still have to eat! And to do that, you usually have to spend some time in the kitchen (although takeout does sound good). For the days you're definitely going to be cooking at home, here are our best tips for keeping your kitchen from overheating.


Why You Should Save Your Strawberry Tops (& What to Do With Them) — Strawberry Season

If you're like me, prepping strawberries is something you do on autopilot — washing the berries, slicing off then tossing the tops in the trash, and diving into your bounty of juicy berries without another thought. It's time to revise this plan with one major change: Stop being so quick to throw out those strawberry tops. They still have plenty of life left in them!

Here's why it's worth saving them and the sweetest ways to put them to work.


Recipe: Flag Cake — Easy Dessert Recipes

One of my favorite annual traditions is making this super-simple flag cake with my daughter. Yes, turning a cake into an American flag is somewhat cliché, but if you consider this the best way to dress up berry shortcake then it's as fun to make as it is to share.

This charming, whipped cream-frosted cake has a colorful surprise inside. It's what makes this vanilla-cake-meets-berry-shortcake recipe stand out from the rest.


Recipe: Fast and Fancy Pork and Beans — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Pork and beans, the popular companion to barbecued meat at summer cookouts, doesn't have to come straight out of a can — nor does it mean soaking dried beans and hours of slow cooking time. With your favorite cut of cured pork, smoky molasses, canned beans, and a secret ingredient, you can be eating creamy beans suspended in a smoky, velvety, sweet, and savory sauce with just 30 minutes of stovetop time. This recipe is fast but just a touch fancy — just the way we like it.


How To Make Vegan Cashew Ice Cream — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This creamy, dreamy, basically mind-blowing ice cream is vegan. It only requires three ingredients (four if you insist on counting the salt) and no cooking. I wouldn't believe it myself if I had been there for the failed recipes that finally led to this triumphant one.

All ice creams require a correct ratio of fat to liquid in order to freeze into tiny crystals that are still soft, pliable, and, most importantly, creamy. Many vegan ice creams use coconut milk to add fat and flavor to non-dairy milks to achieve that creamy result. Here, cashew butter turns the non-dairy milk of your choice into a rich, buttery ice cream. Sweetened with maple syrup to keep it vegan, the resulting ice cream tastes like cashew meets caramel in one smooth, cooling scoop. Here's how to make this cashew ice cream at home.


5 Answers for Your Summer Meal Planning Questions — Meal Planning

I love the seasonal wax and wane of meal planning. Summer always seems to arrive right when my regular weekly meal plan hits a rut. Meal planning is really regimented for my family during the school year, but as summer roll in, we get to plan things faster and looser. This makes meal planning more fun — as does all the fresh produce and grilling — but it certainly creates some other challenges too.

Here are five of the most common questions that every home cook must conquer in the coming months, and our favorite meal planning solutions for each.


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