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The Cookstr Weekly: Ten Burgers for Summer

June 29, 2015
Featured Recipe: BLT Ranch Burgers 
by Katie Lee
 

 

During the barbecue season that stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s perhaps no dish as iconic as that star of the show, the burger. As a kid, I vastly preferred the smooth texture and pure saltiness of a hot dog, each juicy bite smothered in ketchup. With the flat, dry, hockey-puck burgers  topped with a single slice of rubbery cheese that abounded at pool parties and park picnics, who could blame me?

But in adulthood, I struggle to think of a chargrilled pleasure more worthwhile than a thick, well-salted patty (be it beef, bison, turkey, or legume-based) joined by a vast array of good cheeses, in-season vegetables and other favorite toppings.


Warmest regards,

 

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
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The Cookstr Weekly: Have a Squashing Summer

June 29, 2015
 

 

The CSA (community-supported agriculture) that I’m a part of has kicked into gear for the summer, and with it has arrived the beginnings of a glut of zucchini and yellow squash, ready to be sautéed, stuffed, fried, and baked into cupcakes, breads and savory tarts. Colorful and with a meaty bite that makes them a satisfying part of meatless main dishes, summer squash should be one of your go-to ingredients through the end of August.

Summer squash, the family that includes zucchini, pattypan squash, and yellow crookneck squash, is named not for its season but for its short storage life, as compared to winter squashes like acorn and butternut. So take advantage of summer and its squashes while we have them!


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director

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The Cookstr Weekly: Strawberry Season

June 4, 2015
 Featured Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream 
by Leslie Bilderback
 

 

Nothing says late spring to me like the smell of fresh strawberries, still warm from the sun. You want the smaller ones from a farmers’ market or local provider: although they don’t have the size of the mammoth version you can find in the supermarket year-round, the flavor punch they pack is huge.

If you have any berries left after eating them straight from the carton or maybe slicing them with a little fresh cream, the recipes below offer plenty of ideas for chilled soups, sides, and desserts that are excellent for bringing to potlucks or simply serving with supper in the backyard.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director

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The Cookstr Weekly: A Memorial Day Picnic

June 4, 2015

Memorial Day ushers in the first long weekend of summer, with its never-ending wish list of to-dos for the season: trips to take, parties to host, sights to see. Of course, despite the longer days, I know it’s unlikely I’ll get to even half of the day trips and events I’m dreaming of this summer.

But today, I’m filled with optimism, and Memorial Day weekend is the perfect reason to put together an easy picnic to kick off months of barbecues, parks, and long days of sunshine. Make protein dishes best served cold or at room temperature, hardy salads that won’t wilt in transit, and portable desserts that will leave guests satisfied.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
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The Cookstr Weekly: Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

May 18, 2015

The best rule for weeknight cooking I’ve ever heard is that as soon as you walk in the door, the first thing you should do, perhaps even before removing your shoes, is set a salted pot of water on the stove to boil. Whether the meal you put together ends up including pasta, grains, or vegetables, you’re buying yourself time that you can use to poke through the fridge and pantry for the rest of supper. Many of these weeknight dinner recipes take advantage of quick-cooking seafood, thinly cut chicken, or ground meat, and all of them can be cooked start to finish in thirty minutes or less.

Oh, and they’re all easy to make – just the thing for the end of a long day.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
by Naomi Duguid
Tomato is a classic foil for shrimp. Here the combination makes an appealing curry with plenty of sauce for drizzling on rice. Pair it with Smoky Napa Stir-Fry or a salad of cooked greens.  The green cayenne chiles give a nice little underlying heat; if you want more intensity, add a sprinkling of Red Chile Powder. If you find yourself with leftovers, add a little water, taste, and adjust the seasoning, then chill to serve as a delicious cold soup.” 
 Naomi Duguid

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The Cookstr Weekly: Mother’s Day Brunch

May 14, 2015

Whether you’re hosting a multi-generational celebration or just celebrating with breakfast in bed, nothing says Mother’s Day like a tray of French toast, eggs, and pastries with a flower in a jelly jar vase. Just be sure not to sound the morning alarm until the coffee’s made.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
by Cathy Barrow
“This combination of shortbread and jam is both a perfect ending to a dinner party and a lovely treat for teatime. I’ve made them tiny, in financier molds, medium sized in classic small tart molds, and in a 9-inch tart pan. The shortbread crust is pantry-friendly, it’s ready in an instant, and it marries perfectly with whatever leftover jam is lurking in your refrigerator.”  Cathy Barrow 

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The Cookstr Weekly: Southern Fare for a Kentucky Derby Party

May 14, 2015

Even if you’re miles away from Kentucky’s “Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” this weekend, there’s plenty to love about a reason to don a large hat and sip a mint julep or two. Pass around Southern specialties featuring plenty of ham and bourbon, and don’t forget to celebrate the winner with a slice of pie.


Warmest regards,

Kara Rota

Editorial Director
by Christopher Idone

How to make a julep: crush the mint, bruise the mint; freeze the glass, freeze the silver chalice; make it with rye, make it with bourbon. These are the disputes. I offer my julep recipe – I make it with scotch. 

– Christopher Idone

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