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summer



Make S’more Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting to Survive Six S’more Weeks of Winter

Has this been the longest winter ever? It’s starting to feel like it. Currently it’s a -21 wind chill outside and I’m starting to convince myself the sun may never come back; summer will always be a distant fond memory.

Like S’mores. That little campfire treat is one time I put my guard all the way down and say screw it! Gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate (I always splurge and use dark chocolate), and that crispy little graham cracker turn any dull summer night in to an instant memory maker. And right now, as I watch another winter storm swirl around the backyard, I’m clinging to those sweet memories of last summer to keep me warm.

cupcakes chevron

Another way to keep warm? Baking, duh! All that batter beating and pre-heating turns the kitchen in to a little den of coziness. A den of coziness with cupcakes!

And not just any cupcakes, but big, fat S’more cupcakes.

smores cupcake

And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.

chocolate cream cheese frosting

Winter just became manageable, folks.
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Blood Orange and Raspberry Sorbetto Mimosas Make Waiting for Spring a Little Easier

Well friends, we’ve thawed out from the polar vortex and now my attention is firmly fixed 21 days from now. Groundhog Day. Please don’t see the shadow little guy; this girl is ready for spring!

An early, warm spring filled with brunches on patios and showers with friends and mimosas.

sorbet mimosas

These won’t be any ordinary mimosas, though. Oh, no sir! Or ma’am!

These will be fizzy, bubbling flutes of Sorbetto Mimosas.

Leave your juice behind. Even fresh-squeezed has nothing on creamy Talenti sorbetto floating around in that suspended little bubble dance.

You can use any flavor you like. In fact, a few flavor options — like Talenti’s mango, lemon, or even strawberry gelato — at a baby or wedding shower will make your mimosa bar the most memorable of the season!

raspberries and raspberry sorbet

We can’t get enough of Talenti’s Roman Raspberry – tart and sensual. The color is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, which is pretty appetizing if you eat with your eyes.
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Your Seasonal Depression is Real and it’s Easier to Deal with SAD Than You Think

I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.

SAD

I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD.
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Summer’s Final Fling: Our 13 Most Popular Recipes of the Season

The results are in. We have our top 13 spectacular recipes for the 13 weeks of summer. From standards like pickles and sandwiches to more adventurous fare like caprese salad and quinoa donuts, we’ve taken existing recipes to a healthy new level. For years, we’ve proved that the robust qualities of some of our nation’s most beloved dishes don’t have to suffer when made healthy.

These 13 recipes have been our most popular this summer, but they’re only the tip of our recipe iceberg. With only days remaining before autumn, try to fit a couple of these delicious recipes into your weekend cooking schedule, they’ll surely surprise and delight your friends and family as you toast the end of the sunshine season.

best club sandwich

13. The Best Club Sandwich Ever

The best part about a club sandwich is that you don’t have to be a member to enjoy its delicious crunch and juicy mouthfeel. Whether you’re at a deli, brunch spot, or gastropub, if you see a club sandwich on the menu, you know it’s a solid choice. But you also know it will probably have ungodly sodium levels and contain meat from who knows where. That’s why our recipe uses humanely sourced meat from Applegate that’s organic, low in sodium, and hormone free. Once we subbed in fresh avocado slices for the usual mayo and stuck it all between two pieces of sourdough, this sandwich reached enlightenment.

rainbow smoothie prep

12. Rainbow Smoothie 

The CDC says only 14 percent of adults get their daily recommended dose of fruits and vegetables. Reality makes participating in a plant based diet quite a challenge, that’s why our Rainbow Smoothie is such a gem. The concept is simple: choose one fruit or vegetable from each color family—ROYGBIV—combine with yogurt in a blender and BAM, you’ve got seven servings of fruits and veggies in your cup. It’s fun, easy, and healthier way to taste the rainbow!
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Pick a Peck of Homemade Sweet and Spicy English Cucumber Pickles

I will never buy pickles from the grocery store ever again.

I’ve seen the light.

I’ve tasted victory.

Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?

When I remember the summer of 2013, it will be the Summer of the Pickle!

homemade pickles

My grandfather planted a beautiful garden in his backyard this spring. We’ve been reaping the benefits of his hard work all season and I couldn’t be more thankful. My house doesn’t allow for a garden, so when he emailed and asked, “what would you like me to plant?”, I sent him a list that probably took him by surprise.

At the top of that list were English cucumbers. A thinner skin, sweeter taste, and fewer seeds, English cucumbers are a much better eating experience than the ‘ole standard cucumber. While not an issue when grown in the backyard, when bought at the store, English cucumbers typically come without the layer of wax found on regular cucumbers. And they’re prettier. For what that’s worth!

english cucumbers

Grandpa’s harvest has been good, which means we’ve had English cucumbers out the wazoo. A girl can only eat so many before she starts daydreaming about getting rid of cucumbers. So I asked my three-year-old sous chef, and pickle aficionado, if she’d like to spend a Saturday making pickles. She was delighted at the invitation and we set to slicing a heaping pile of cucs.
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