Sunday, July 5, 2015
     

Food

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
This June 8, 2015 photo shows grilled pineapple fruit salad in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Want an easy way to add a little punch to your otherwise humdrum fruit salad? Just add some heat.

In this case, we tossed pineapple rings on the grill for just 4 to 5 minutes per side. The intense heat of the flames caramelizes the natural sugars of the pineapple and adds a smoky char. Once the pineapple rings come off the grill and cool a bit, they can be chopped and tossed with all the usual fruit salad suspects.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
This June 8, 2015 photo shows bratwurst grinders with apple, cheddar and sauerkraut in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Anybody can grill a hot dog, slap it on a bun and dump on the usual ketchup and mustard.

So how about going a bit beyond the ordinary this July Fourth?

Rather than your basic dog, up the ante by grilling up bratwurst sausages or peppery kielbasas. They are bigger, meatier and way more flavorful.

For toppings, we went decidely German, filling our buns with sauerkraut, cheese and sautéed apple.

Bratwurst grinders with apple, cheddar and sauerkraut

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 teaspoon sugar

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
This June 8, 2015 photo shows raspberry rhubarb cream pie with oatmeal crust in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A basic strawberry rhubarb pie is a delightful and iconic part of summer, but why let it rest at that?

This summer we decided to crank it up and take this pie to a whole new level. We started by ditching the usual cooked strawberries in favor of fresh raspberries. The raspberries get arranged over a simple but deliciously tart-sweet rhubarb compote.

And we didn't stop there. We layered all of that over a vanilla pudding, giving us the best of two worlds fruit pie and cream pie.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I'm not a fan of potato salad that tastes like a bunch of spuds smothered in mayo. I want more. At the very least, I want to taste the potatoes. Trouble is, potatoes are pretty bland if not properly seasoned. They also need to be seasoned at the right moment during the cooking process. Here's how to make that happen.

To start, be sure that the water in which you boil the potatoes is well salted. The potatoes will absorb the salt as they cook. When they're done, you won't taste the salt, but the potatoes will start to come alive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead Mid-Century Macaroni Salad

We reached all the way back to the "Mad Men" era for inspiration as we crafted this classic July Fourth side dish.

It's macaroni salad in all its tangy, comfortingly mayonnaise-rich, decades-ago glory.

This is pasta salad as your parents or more likely your grandparents remember it. You won't be able to stop shoveling it onto your plate.

Want to make it more substantial? Shredded cooked chicken would be a fine addition, as would cooked and crumbled bacon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This recipe is what would happen if your favorite deviled eggs hooked up with a sinfully delicious potato salad.

Rich, creamy, tangy, eggy and starchy, this is everything you want in a July Fourth side salad.

This also happens to be a lovely do-ahead recipe. In fact, we highly recommend you prep it the day before to give the flavors more time to marry.

Just hold off on the smoked paprika garnish until just before serving.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
This May 18, 2015 photo shows Father's Day Dagwood sandwich in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

You know what Dad really wants for Father's Day this year? A sandwich.

No, seriously. Guys generally are not complex creatures. And they don't tend to ask for much.

The occasional electronic gizmo (which they'd rather pick out for themselves anyway, thank you very much). Maybe tickets to a sports game. Perhaps somebody else to mow the lawn for once.

Heck, even just a night off to play poker with his buddies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead Chili-stuffed avocados

There's no real shocker here avocado pairs delightfully with a rich and meaty chili.

But I decided to pair them in a fresh way that is just right for summer grilling season.

Rather than simply whip up a pot of chili and scatter some diced avocado over it, I decided to spoon mounds of chili into pitted avocado halves, top everything with cheese, then pop the entire delicious mess on the grill until melty and bubbly.

The chili in this recipe is intentionally simple and meaty. Of course feel free to substitute your favorite chili recipe, or add to mine as you see fit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
This April 27, 2015 photo shows infused lemonades, from left, cucumber, mixed berry, herb, mango chili and watermelon in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

We're going to come at this one a little backward, and you're going to love us for it.

Straight up fresh lemonade is, of course, delicious. It's the classic summer refreshment. And we're going to walk you through making a truly wonderful basic lemonade, as well as some terrific infused lemonades that doctor up that basic batch with some fantastic complementary flavors.

But first, let's move way beyond basic.

Because as good as a straight up lemonade is, we can't help but think it gets even better when you add a little splash of something adults-only.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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As spring brightens the weather and fills the world with blooms, grocery stores and farmers markets are being brightened by the vibrant red hue of rhubarb.

Popping up all over home gardens and restaurant menus, rhubarb has experienced a renaissance over the past few years. Chefs and home cooks alike have rediscovered the tart and tangy flavor these colorful stems add to all kinds of dishes, whether fresh or frozen.

Bring the taste of spring to your kitchen this season with these rhubarb recipes from Taste of Home.

Rhubarb Citrus Punch

Yield 12 servings