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2018-06-18T17:06:55.606Z
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Summer starts on June 21st! In honor of all the BBQing, sprinkler-hopping, and ice cream truck-chasing to come, we give you Hello, Summer, a picnic basket full of easy-breezy recipes and tips to help you make the most of every minute this season.


As we inch closer to the longest day of the year, I’m more likely to call a pile of raw vegetables dinner than tackle a real cooking project. Because: It’s hot. The sun is out. And my toes are, ideally, in sand.

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Walking into Trader Joe’s can be an overwhelming experience. For so many reasons. First, there are all the charming, helpful employees with their breezy Hawaiian shirts and delightful smiles. And then there are all the the products: bags and boxes and containers of food that seems to extend for miles and miles and miles. The sheer amount of options is dizzying.

Because we’re creatures of habit, we tend to stick to what we know, that which brings us comfort. We’ve all got our favorites and that’s totally okay. But I was curious to know about—hungry for, if you will—everyone’s go-to Trader Joe’s purchases.

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Summer starts on June 21st! In honor of all the BBQing, sprinkler-hopping, and ice cream truck-chasing to come, we give you Hello, Summer, a picnic basket full of easy-breezy recipes and tips to help you make the most of every minute this season.


Has the siren call of the farmers market pulled you in yet? I walk through New York’s Union Square Greenmarket on my way to or from work a few times a week, and lately, it’s been a glorious flurry of colors (strawberries!) and activity (tourists! camera crews!). Pretty soon, we’ll be at the point where the bumper crops of zucchini and tomatoes swell our hauls, and we’re left thumbing through that killer zucchini bread and pitch-perfect gazpacho from summers past.

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Like most people who love spending time in the kitchen, I get all googly-eyed at a well-organized pantry. But I’ll admit I spend more time looking at photos of well-organized pantries than I do keeping my own in order. One day, I tell myself, I will go to Staples, buy those label thingies, stick them on my spice jars, alphabetize them, and never have to send out a small search party every time a recipe calls for smoked paprika again.

20 Amazing Pantries to Help Make Your #pantrygoals a Reality by Sarah Whitman-Salkin

As summer rolls around, so do memories of sluggish afternoons spent sweating curbside, hawking paper cups of lemonade to adults speeding by in cars. My cousins and I would gather, plastic folding table in hand, to set up shop and while away the hours. Sometimes we'd walk away with a few bucks and that was cool, too.

Well, call me old (don’t), but it seems things have changed! And not in the best way. In recent years there’s been a spate of police interventions in lemonade stands. Yep: Law enforcement has been busting children for selling lemonade on the street without a permit.

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Even if you’re sure you’ve never been to Fredericksburg, Texas, in your life, it is very possible you already have. Let me explain: Anyone who has seen a John Wayne movie has already walked down the town’s Main Street.

Pick-up trucks kick up dust as they turn off paved roads. People wear cowboy boots and the measured clop of their heels recall the moments leading up to a showdown. You might even expect a Rio Bravo extra, the one who had a little too much to drink at the bar last night, to stumble out from the narrow two-story Historic Gillespie County Jail.

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When I think back on my childhood, my first sensory memory is the sound of hysterical laughter from me and my sister, because of some elaborate game orchestrated by my dad. From uproarious “tickle tortures” to labyrinth-like scavenger hunts to hide-and-seek with our parakeets, my dad knew, and still knows, the Art of Play.

Edward Shelasky (my dad) is one of the kindest, gentlest, most devoted fathers and grandfathers on earth. He can build an enchanted tent out of one small sheet; he can sing and dance to any oldie, musical, or lullaby on demand and with gusto. I’m 41 years old and I have zero memories of ever fighting with him; all my dad-memories are—as my daughter Hazel would say—cupcakes and rainbows.

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I’m not one of those year-long ice cream fanatics. I have friends who will happily head for a scoop in the middle of fall, or stock up on pints in the dead of winter. But for me, it’s a seasonal choice, almost as much as ripe summer stone fruit is. So when summer comes, I jump on the frozen desserts bandwagon, and fast. I don’t handle heat…delicately, shall we say? So any excuse for a treat that will simultaneously conquer my sweet tooth and cool me down is a surefire winner.

I’m particularly fond of ice cream sandwiches. I get plenty of ice cream, plus a little texture in the form of some delightful cookie. They’re easy to make, transport, and eat—but not all ice cream sandwiches are created equal. Much like the your personal corn-eating method, way you take your coffee, or the preferred doneness of your steak, your...

So many grilling go-tos, from hot dogs to corn cobs, are (not) recipes, which you know we love. But our current contest, is all about recipe recipes. About changing up classic burgers. Saying, yup, you can grill dessert. Sharing tips and tricks for a newfound grilling confidence.

Your submissions delivered all that and then some. We received a slew of recipes that made us ooh, ahh, laugh, scribble grocery lists, and scurry to our backyards (or, you know, balconies). Here are some fun facts on the competitors:

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Last year, we tested a handful of the most popular "magical" recipes circling the internet, including 2-ingredient pancakes. Recently, the banana-egg combo resurfaced on our radar. Throughout June, our Cookbook Club is focusing on The Moosewood Restaurant Table, which includes a version of these pancakes.

Generally, one recipe catches fire in the Club every month due to universal praise it receives. But that hasn't quite been the case this month. The reviews on these simple banana pancakes have been very mixed:

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Well, folks, it’s been a great run. Today we’re wrapping everything up and giving you the season finale of our Burnt Toast podcast. We laughed, we cried, we most definitely talked about food.

Just in time for this installment, I reached out to Michael Harlan Turkell, the podcast’s intrepid host. We talked about the season and some of his favorite moments. As for the finale’s theme? I’ll let him tell you that himself. Or, listen here.

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There is a category of cake that I call "Korean ajumma cake." An ajumma refers to a married Korean woman of a certain age (usually middle age); it's as much a term of respect as it is one of endearment.

In my mind, these cakes fall into the easy-to-eat variety of sponge cakes, pound cakes, jelly rolls (mocha, please), light-as-air cheesecakes, sometimes incorporating Asian-friendly flavors like green tea or red bean, sometimes pushing into pastry and Danish territory. You know a good ajumma cake when you taste one. These usually not-too-sweet cakes are enjoyed alongside weak coffee or tea with fellow ajummas over long conversations where tales of church life, kids' academics, can't-miss-sales, and spousal gripes are shared freely and empathized with openly.

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We’re in the home stretch of our sprint to get important feedback from you on the first items in our product line (there will be more in the future, at a more leisurely pace). Your thoughts and definitive votes on cutting boards, kitchen mats, and mixing bowls have been so helpful—we can’t wait to show you the prototypes once they arrive at our office!

In the meantime, we’d like to announce our next product: kitchen towels.

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‘Tis the season for pasta salads. They’re a summertime staple at picnics and backyard barbecues for good reason: They can be prepped in advance, feed a crowd, and hang out for hours. Most importantly, they’re easy-breezy, exactly what a dish on a hot summer day should be.

Except that, in reality, pasta salad is often the most snoozeworthy dish on the picnic table—bland, mushy, oily, heavy, or all of the above. It’s the dish that we bypass entirely or shuffle to the sides of our plates after a few bites to make room for the things we actually want to eat.

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Spring and summer bring on all kinds of get-togethers. We've partnered with Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry to help you bring your entertaining game to the next level with easy, impressive cocktail recipes.

Even as a kid, I loved making what I called “frosty lemonade,” aka fresh lemonade and a bunch of ice, whizzed in the blender until slushy. Back in the day, I'm sure I used about six times the sugar I do now, but the appeal remains the same. When the temperature starts creeping up, there’s nothing more refreshing than a huge glass of something icy and tart.

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For many of us, it seems like we have to wait patiently for months on end for a bounty of produce to arrive at the market (don't rub it in Californians). But once summer is in full swing, we don't want to let a single bit go to waste. You know how to use sweet corn kernels, juicy watermelon, and perfectly ripe tomatoes, but don't forget to put the cobs, rinds, and peels to good use, too—they've all got more flavor to give! Here are some of our favorite uses for all of those summer scraps and more:

Corn

No matter how you strip the kernels from their cobs, if that's all you're using, a lot of corny goodness is being left behind. The cobs, silk, and husks can be used to make broth, wrap tamales, and more.

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I’ve been to a lot of lot-of-people bagel brunches. Usually, these people are my family and, usually, it goes something like this:

Grandma gets lox at Costco (and a hot dog while she’s there). My aunt cuts the tomatoes (and eats the end pieces as she does). I insist that we need more onion (yes, more than that). My mom brings plain and scallion cream cheese (everyone has an opinion).

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The millennial pink beverage that fuels summer by the glassful and floods your Instagram feed annually is now sold in a can. (Honestly, what took so long?) And not only is rosé in a can perfect for traveling, ideal for picnics, and easily shareable, it’s also the ideal candidate to update another summertime staple: beer can chicken.

As you may already know, I’m a bit rosé-obsessed. Here’s proof. When I first spotted a frosty can of rose chillaxing in the cooler at my local wine shop, I had to give it a try. For $4.99, why not? It tasted good enough for me (to be honest, I’m easy to please in the wine department), but more so I loved the convenience of it, or should I say can-venience.

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As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some stellar recipes from our community. Today's versatile dip comes from longtime Food52er drbabs.


In my family, we cut our teeth on artichokes. There was never a party without an artichoke dip, artichoke hearts were in every salad, and steamed artichokes served with melted butter or a mayonnaise-based salad dressing were a staple of my childhood.

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We've partnered with California Avocados to share recipes that embrace the California approach to cooking fresh and local. For Jeanette Ogden, the woman behind Shut the Kale Up, that means using her favorite ingredients in unexpected ways. The following is an interview with Ogden, as told to Food52.

It doesn’t really matter if I go to the gym or not, I’m always hungry. At breakfast time especially, I feel like my body needs real, nutritious foods to give me energy throughout the day. For that reason, I’m a huge fan of oats, whether they are savory or sweet. People say it’s hard to come up with easy, on-the-go recipes, but this is one that always works for me. They’re so easy, so fast, yet so delicious—and you can make them look beautiful.

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