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Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

A slice of classic cheesecake is one of those desserts that takes nicely to added flavors and tinkering. If you love both pumpkin pie and cheesecake, these creamy bars are the perfect hybrid. There's a sturdy graham cracker crust on the bottom, then a layer of classic white cheesecake, and finally a delicate pumpkin cheesecake layer fragrant with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices. One pan makes a lot of bars that you can take to your next party or potluck; I promise the pan will come home empty.

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How To Make Perfect Pumpkin Muffins — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

I recently read an article that mentioned most people are satisfied with one Pumpkin Spice Latte every fall. Just one. The same cannot be said for soft, lightly spiced pumpkin muffins. These breakfast treats are especially wonderful right now, as we settle into autumn, but are also perfectly acceptable to eat year-round.

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The Fastest Way to Prep Kale for Cooking — Tips from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

When I first started to really think about food, it was around the time people first started wearing shirts with kale slogans on them. This was in the early aughts and well before the second-wave Beyoncé kale shirt. Dark leaves of Lacinato kale were always stuffed in my fridge at that time. I was eating them by the boatload in soups and sautés (Never smoothies, though — that's just a hot bitter mess, in my opinion).

I found the practice of washing them and prepping them very soothing, but sometimes it was a bit too drawn out for my taste. So when I came across this technique for removing the stem from the leaves, I was sold. It took my kale prep time down to a few minutes and I didn't even need a knife to do it.

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Recipe: Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes — Quick and Easy Weeknight Sides

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

You've had roasted sweet potatoes before, so you've had them all, right? I used to think the exact same thing until I learned a technique for butter-roasting thick slices of sweet potato until they turned from hard tubers to almost butter themselves.

Popularized by the blog Dessert for Two, this technique for butter-roasted sweet potatoes — dubbed melting sweet potatoes by Christina over at Dessert for Two — roasts the potatoes until they are a dark amber on the outside, creating a layer of deeply caramelized sweet potato that just barely holds the soft, buttery insides together. She serves this with an incredible maple pecan sauce, but we think they are perfection all on their own with a fat pinch of salt to finish them off. This recipe won't let you think of roasted sweet potatoes the same way ever again.

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

This brilliant dinner hack is thanks to you, dear Kitchn readers. When we shared our recipe for slow cooker fajitas, many of you commented that your favorite riff on that concept was slow cooker salsa chicken. The premise is simply combining your favorite salsa with chicken breast in the slow cooker until tender. The result is deliciously seasoned, shredded chicken that's perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, or even taco salads.

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Recipe: Crispy Orange Ground Beef & Veggies — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

On busy weeknights when I'm tempted to order in, this is the recipe I've been turning to again and again. Inspired by a takeout favorite, this weeknight recipe features ground beef that's cooked until the edges are nice and crispy, quick stir-fried veggies, and an irresistible sticky orange sauce. You'll definitely want plenty of rice to soak up the extra sauce.

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