It’s the second week of our Love Your Kitchen Challenge and the second Pantry Staple Wednesday. You know the drill: Take inventory of your pantry! Make sure you’re well stocked on staples like grains, pasta and canned goods, because you never know when you’ll have to whip up a meal in minutes. Whole grains and pasta are great for late or lazy nights, and canned beans, tuna and veggies provide easy protein and flavor to a dish.
Want to know what we’ll be whipping up tonight? You’re looking at it! Our Weeknight Meal Planner recipe of the day is a perfect way to utilize canned chipotle peppers in adobo, tomato paste and pinto beans. The end result? A bright and flavorful Chipotle-Orange Chicken Chili that’ll keep dinnertime exciting, healthy and filling. Happy inventory day!
Want to transform humdrum dinners into mealtime magic? It’s easy! Hit the kitchen armed with these genius tips and simple recipes from our Every Day experts, and your friends and family will wonder if you went to cooking school on your lunch break!
Lesson 7: Shake Up Your Salt
Salt is essential to a dish. It highlights flavors and brings them into sharper focus. But not all salt is created equal. Step away from the iodized table salt and stock the three below. Your food (and everyone who eats it) will thank you.
We can always find a reason to get behind a good charity, especially when it’s promoted by one of our sister magazines. This weekend, put your sewing skills to the test with American Patchwork & Quilting‘s Million Pillowcase Challenge. Beginning on Friday at 3 pm, the 24 Hour Sew-a-Thon will be hosted nationwide by All People Quilt, and our Des Moines office will be participating, tweeting and sharing photos of the staff hard at work. Each pillowcase created will be donated to the charity of the maker’s choice, there are are over 50 other locations throughout the US and Canada doing the same.
Photo courtesy of allpeoplequilt.com
Whether you’ve got an hour or a full day, every pillowcase counts in the attempt to reach the 1 million goal. If you’re new to sewing but would like to participate, there will be opportunities to pick up easy-to-follow instructions, a how-to video and pillowcase kits.
Our Des Moines office will be donating their pillowcases to YESS (Youth Emergency Shelter and Service) and Rebuilding Together, but we encourage everyone to donate to a local charity that can use them. Find out which of your favorite charities will be accepting pillowcases here.
And don’t forget: share your pillowcase making story online! Use the hashtag #APQSewathon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love seeing what our readers are up to, especially when it involves a good cause!
More News on Charities
Getting into the back-to-school mentality can be a little tricky, especially when it comes to lunch duty. Juggling multiple picky eaters plus your own desire to keep your family eating healthy can be a hefty task. But have no fear: We’ve put together some lunch ideas that will solve all your problems in one! These recipes are quick, easy and subtle enough for any picky palate while still being healthy enough for your own lunch! Your kids may never ask for lunch money again.
Have your kids made a habit out of PB&J? Try a healthy, fun alternative side dish in the form of these Crunch Apple & Almond Butter Rounds. Plus, if your school is peanut-free, you won’t have to worry!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the first week of the Love Your Kitchen Challenge! We were wowed by your wall decor, cookbooks, pantry items and dish soap pics — and can’t wait to see what the second week bring. Remember, you’ll be entered to win $2,500 (yes, you read that right!) every day you upload a picture completing the day’s task to Instagram and tagging your photo with #RRKitchenLoveSweepstakes. Good luck!
Monday, September 15: Buy some blooms
Add color to your kitchen with fresh flowers or potted herbs.
Tuesday, September 16: Get spicy!
Clean out then organize your spick rack or drawer. Bye-bye 10-year-old cumin and mystery spice blend!
Wednesday, September 17: Pantry Staple Wednesday
Take inventory of your pantry and make sure you’re well stocked on staples like grains, pasta and canned goods, then make a meal using one of your staples.
Thursday, September 18: Make some cool moves
Toss mystery and out-of-date items from your fridge and freezer. Then organize the remaining items.
Friday, September 19: Pots & pans in their place?
Tidy up your pots and pans and show us how they look.
Saturday, September 20: Weekend project
Give your kitchen a quick refresh: Upgrade your cabinet hardware, install a new light fixture or swap out your window treatment.
We’re going around the world in Weeknight Meal Planners, and this week’s stop may be the biggest yet: Asia! Show your family that this favorite cuisine can be made at home and will taste just as good as the restaurant (if not better!). All you’re missing is a fortune cookie!
Monday, September 15
Today is National Peanut Day! We love these legumes (yep, they’re not actually a nut!) for their crunch, creaminess and soft flavor that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention they’re also high in protein and healthy fats — and can basically be used in any form (roasted, raw, whole or chopped!). Obviously these babies have tons of potential. To celebrate their special day, whip up one of these recipes that go way beyond the jar.
A sprinkling of chopped peanuts over these Baked Coconut Chili Lime Wings will enhance the marinated coconut flavor — plus, it’ll add a nice buffer from the spicy chili peppers.
Is it just us or is every food imaginable served on wheels these days? The Vendy Awards are back for their 10th anniversary and Every Day with Rachael Ray‘s second as the media sponsor! This five-city festival honors the best street cooks in the country, and tomorrow just so happens to be the New York City event on Governor’s Island. Whether you’re in the mood for organic sandwiches, empanadas, authentic churros or even a ramen burger, you’re sure to find at least a few trucks to suit your fancy. But make sure you go on an empty stomach! Check out these highlights from a decade of deliciousness.
Everyone wants a bite! The first food truck competition in the country shows no signs of slowing down.
Our editor-in-chief, Lauren Purcell, center, joined in the fun as a judge last year.
Luke’s Lobster won the People’s Choice Award for NYC in 2013– we see why!
It’s not too late! You can still purchase tickets for the NYC Vendy Awards here.
Not ready to let go of summer just yet? We’ve got good news: You don’t have to! Get one last sip of summertime sweetness in a cocktail that’s delicious, fresh and super easy to make. The best part? Strawberries are in season until late summer so they’ll be totally fresh in your festive sip. Whip up these Strawberry Suckers for your friends and family — they’ll thank you for turning back the clock, even if it’s just by a few weeks.
1 ounce vodka
2 ounces strawberry schnapps
1 strawberry, halved
Ice cubes (freebie)
Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. Add the vodka and schnapps and top with club soda. Garnish with the strawberry. Serves 1.
More Delicious Four-Ingredient Cocktails
Our first Pantry Staple Wednesday task for the Love Your Kitchen Challenge will set you up for success during the rest of the challenge and beyond! Here’s what you need to do: Toss anything questionable; donate anything you’re not planning to use before it expires; remove products that have been sitting unopened for far too long. These products are taking up space in your pantry that could be otherwise used for the important and useful ingredients, tupperware, wrapping materials and more.
Now, make a recipe using one or more of your staples that are left behind! Here are some tasty ideas we’re dying to make during the challenge:
Use canned chickpeas and canned tuna in our Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad with Tuna.