10 sweet treats for the Fourth of July

Burgers and hot dogs seem to get all the attention on the Fourth of July, but dessert is the best time to show off a healthy dose of red, white and blue! Check out these 10 recipes that pay tribute to our grand ol’ flag and all the berry goodness that’s in season right now.

This Mixed Berry Lattice Cobbler will be a major hit at your party — and on Instagram!

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Kitchen Cameo: Jesse Tyler Ferguson makes Chicken Tikka Masala

He serves up big laughs on Modern Family, but Jesse Tyler Ferguson is currently dishing out drama as a restaurant reservationist in the one-man Broadway play Fully Committed through July 31. He and Rach get along great on her show, so we challenged him to whip up one of her recipes. First things first, we asked him about his cooking cred.

Rachael Ray Every Day: On the spectrum of “I burn everything” to “I’m a master chef,” where do your skills fall?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: “I’m closer to being able to run my own restaurant.”

RRED: What kinds of foods to you like?

JTF: “I love Mexican, Asian and Indian flavors. Spicy is always good!”

RRED: Do you like to entertain?

JTF: “I love cooking dinner and feeding friends and family. I love meals I can prep and leave alone while they cook to enjoy my company.” Read more


The Great Supermarket Grill-Off!

We like to consider ourselves the recipe experts, but we also give props where they’re due, and man, have supermarkets been upping their recipe game lately. For our Grocery Store Grill-Off story in the July/August 2016 issue, we scoped out the sites of several well-known grocery chains, and what we found surprised us—positively!—in scale (Whole Foods has almost 4,000 dishes!), quality (still talking about the Aldi burger we tried…), and creativity (I ended up watching Stop & Shop’s videos for fun).

In order to pick our favorite, though, it all came down to the food. To have a fair test, we picked a Greek burger from each.

Here are the contestants:

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30-Minute Meals: Salads for Supper!

You already know salads are good for you, and that one big salad every day could make an impact on your day-to-day health. But if the thought of having a salad every day is leaving you feeling kind of blah, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Salads can be so much more than your go-to tomato-cucumber-ranch combo. Once you start varying textures, temperatures, proteins and flavor profiles, your greens will be anything but boring. Check out Rach’s summer-y dinner salads from our June 2016 issue, which are full of flavor and won’t leave you hungry — we promise!

Sicilian Panzanella Salad with Grilled Swordfish

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a Sicilian vacation this summer? This salad might be the next best thing! Garlic, olives and Italian herbs in this citrus-y swordfish salad will transport you to the Italian coast. Read more


Empty Nesters: Obsessing over beds in a box

Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York CityYay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.

 

After we closed (read: signed a million pieces of paper and handed over the biggest check we’ve ever written), our biggest priority was to get some beds. We only had the box springs from the previous owner, which made it hard to sleep there and get stuff done.

We needed to order something that could be shipped and left on our porch while we were in the city. To me, the solution was clear: I wanted to try out those super popular bed-in-a-box companies. I had spent a few hours on some for a story in our May issue and I was excited to give them a longer test run. We were in the market for four (4!!!) mattresses, and we decided to try four different options: Casper, Lull, Leesa and Ghost Bed.

Our UPS, FedEx and USPS workers must
think we have a mail-order addiction.

Each one was ordered, shipped and delivered without a hitch. What I loved most was that these companies only offer one mattress (in the various sizes), so we didn’t have to stress out about picking materials or firmness levels. The boxes were heavy, but it was so much easier to push them up the stairs than a flat, cumbersome mattress would have been. And actually, a king mattress, which we needed for the largest bedroom, would never have fit through our narrow staircase if it wasn’t rolled up and vacuum-sealed. All four were packaged similarly: shrink wrapped inside a cardboard box. We opened each one in their respective rooms and watched in amazement as they literally unfolded in front of our eyes.

A man (not my husband) and a shrink-wrappedmattress.
Image: Casper.

We’ve now slept on all four and we couldn’t be more obsessed. They’re firm, but not hard (the Ghost Bed is the firmest of all), and we have some of the best sleep of our lives on these beds. And, because they all have a foam core (instead of coils), they don’t make a sound when my husband changes positions a million times. There are even more companies offering beds in a box now and, if the four I’ve tried are any indication, I imagine they’re all great. There’s even a new brand, called Sonno, which can be flip for different comfort levels.

The ability to sleep (well) up there is key. And now that we have beds, we can tackle the other empty rooms! Check back soon to see what we’ve been working on during our waking hours.

 


Is it hot in here?! 5 recipes for chile season

Chile peppers thrive in summertime, so as the weather heats up, so should your dishes! From Anaheim (mild) to Fresno (medium) to Habanero (spicy) and a million chiles in between, there’s a pepper out there for everyone who can stand a little heat in the kitchen. Our June 2016 issue has the rundown on how to buy, store, prep and cook chiles, plus cool fun facts. (Did you know that 89% of a chile’s heat is concentrated in its veins, the white spongy sections inside a pepper? Stop blaming those seeds!) Try these five recipes to put a little pep in your step this summer.

Grilled Habanero Steak Sandwiches

Some like it hot, and this sandwich is for them! Habaneros, which are fruity and super-fiery, likely originated in Cuba; the name means “from Havana.” Read more


The 10 best smoothies: store-bought vs homemade

As the weather gets warmer, we find ourselves craving smoothies all the time. So what did we do about it? We taste-tested over 100 store-bought smoothies to find the very best ones! In the Battle of the Bottled, we found five awesome winners available at your local supermarket— check them out in our June 2016 issue. But if you’re more of a DIY type, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite homemade smoothie recipes, too. Slurp’s up!

Best Tropical

Store-bought: Evolution Fresh Defense UpStick a tiki umbrella in this combo of pineapple, mango and orange juices. It has no artificial sweeteners and delivers 310% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C per serving. ($4.99 for 15.2 oz.)

Homemade: Kiwi-Pineapple SmoothiesIf you love tart and fruity smoothies, this one’s for you. Try adding coconut milk to make it more like a piña colada.

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5 summer sippers for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner! Cue the sun emoji, beach emoji, dancing-lady emoji, sunglasses-guy emoji, etc. Once you’ve survived the insane traffic, you deserve a pat on the back and a nice stiff drink. So sit back, relax, and pour yourself one of these warm-weather cold ones — summer is finally here!

Cucumber Gin & Tonic

Upgrade your garnish by slicing your cuke crosswise and snaking it around the glass. This cucumber just got even cooler!

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Empty Nesters: Decorating a dining room

Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York City. Yay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.

 

I have written about plenty of dining rooms in my day, but I’ve never actually had one. My New York City apartments have always been too small for a table, and my husband and I happily eat dinner at a coffee table in front of the television.

At the house, I finally have one—and I get to decorate it! We were pumped to have the previous owner’s dining table (I would have never been able to pick one from all the options in the world!). But her chandelier had to go. It just wasn’t our style. Luckily, I had this metal pendant lamp that I got for $5 at a sale in the city. Red isn’t exactly our color, so I spray painted it (and a little bit of my lawn) a light gray.

    Cute… just not really our color.                                            Gray is my answer to everything.

We loved the Windsor-style Clearing Dining Chairs at Anthropologie and decided to get two in the same aqua color and two more in mismatched shades of orange and light blue. There was a mix up with the order and, unfortunately, the persimmon chair wasn’t available anymore, so we got white. My husband wants to try painting it ourselves, but the white is actually growing on me, so we’ll see.

The walls still need a thing or three.

After tons of debating, we decided to go with the Galvin Sideboard from Crate and Barrel instead of something old and taller, like we had originally planned. For extra seating, we picked out a custom bench from an eBay seller and now we have the option to pull it up to the table when we have a full house.

This bench was made to order and fits
perfectly between the table legs.

I’m actually glad we kept the furniture to a minimum because the room feels light and airy. I especially love how the sun hits the space in the morning. The walls could use some decorating, but I’m sure we’ll find some things worth hanging… eventually. Check back soon to see what else we’ve accomplished.


The Year of the Vegetable: Cocktails and Desserts

We’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of the Vegetable, and eating your veggies has never been easier (or tastier!). We’ve shown you how to take veggies from side to main in the tastiest ways possible: build-your-own bowls, good-for-you tacos, and the best-ever veggie burger. For the final part of this package, we’re switching gears to our favorite veg-forward indulgences: cocktails and desserts! Make Happy Hour even happier and decadent desserts even more special with these healthy recipes.

 

Green-Tomato Mojito

When it comes to tomatoes, think beyond the Bloody Mary. Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, muddles Day-Glo Green Zebra tomatoes in his mojito. They have “the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” he says.

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