America’s Best Snow Cones

One of your favorite childhood fixtures has officially grown up: Snow cones are now appearing at restaurants, bars and food trucks–complete with local ingredients, artisanal syrups and the occasional splash of booze. Time to explore the next ice age!

Brabo Restaurant in Arlington, VA, serves up the kickin’ Old Town Ginger snow cone, a refreshing blend of kaffir lime vodka, ginger beer syrup, mint liqueur and ice chunks, all of it topped with lime zest and chili flakes.


At the Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls shop in New Orleans, the specialty is made with light-as-air shaved ice (versus the ground kind you’re used to) and crowned with house-made syrups such as watermelon-jalapeño and cardamom cream.


Kauai’s Uncle’s Shave Ice serves up shave snow, a Hawaiian take on a Taiwanese treat that starts as a frozen block of water, milk and syrup (try the Asia-inspired lychee or dried plum), then gets shaved into creamy ribbons.


 Sno con Amor at L.A.’s Hollywood Farmers’ Market fancies up raspados (Mexico’s answer to the snow cone, served in a cup) with handmade syrups. Two faves: lime-mint and grapefruit juice with vanilla bean.


In true Bay Area style, Oakland’s Skylite Snowballs makes nearly everything from scratch with local farm fare. The result? Seasonal syrups–from pluot to lemon-ginger–poured over crunchy ice and served from a truck.



By Jenna Scatena

Host Your Own Backyard Clam Bake!

No beach? No problem! Here’s how chef Ben Ford builds a classic seafood feast on the grill.


Serves 4     Prep 20 min     Cook 50 min

2 live lobsters (about 1 1/2 lbs. each)

4 medium artichokes

4 ears corn

3 sticks butter–1 softened, 2 melted

4 sweet onions, peeled

5 lbs. rockweed seaweed

9 small potatoes

1 lb. fresh Mexican chorizo links

12 unpeeled, deveined jumbo shrimp, preferably head-on

2 1/4 lbs. littleneck clams, scrubbed


1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high. Place the lobsters in the freezer for 20 minutes. Trim the artichoke stems and leaves; slice off the top inch. In a pot, steam artichokes in 1 inch boiling water until crisp-tender, 20 minutes.

2. Pull back the cornhusks and remove silk. Rub each cob with 2 tbsp. softened butter. Pull husks back up to cover corn; tie with kitchen twine.

3. Using a chef’s knife, make two slits in the core end of the onions about a quarter way through, forming an X.

4. Lay half the seaweed on the top grill grate. Arrange the lobsters in the center of the seaweed, then surround with the artichokes, corn, onions, 8 potatoes and the chorizo links. Scatter the shrimp and clams on top; cover with the remaining seaweed. Place the remaining potato on top as a tester. Cover the clambake with the grill lid.

5. Cook until the tester potato is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with the melted butter.


Adapted from Taming the Feast by Ben Ford and Carolynn Carreño, Atria Books, 2014

Yards We’re Loving from

If you’re looking to create the backyard paradise of your dreams, now is definitely the time to do it. We’ve teamed up with Porch and Cost Plus World Market to provide one lucky winner $5,000 to redesign, redecorate and recreate their outdoor space. And whether you’re a porch Picasso or a redesign rookie, Porch has plenty of inspirational projects for you to browse, steal ideas from and drool over. Here are some of our faves this week:

This Vienna, VA backyard just begs for a party. With three levels of outdoor entertaining space, it’s the perfect place for graduations, birthdays, cookouts and more. Relax on the hammock on a lazy day or sip on a cold beer over dinner in the screened in patio–you can’t go wrong here!


Now this is a fire pit. This full-home redesign project achieved the owners’ goal of a “pristine, tailored look.” The black and smoky grey color scheme is complimented by silks and cashmere fabrics to creative a seductive and gracious space. We bet this patio is even perfect in the midst of winter.

How about this patio with a view? The owners of this Snoqualmie, WA home wanted to make their backyard more functional for their three daughters, complete with a sunning area, covered patio with a grill station and fire pit. The renovation made their space more open and spacious… perfect to catch a mountainside sunset!



Pool, fire pit, water features, oh my! This Bellvue, WA backyard really has it all. With plenty of seating and tables, the owners can definitely have a barbecue for the entire neighborhood. The only question we have is, “where’s our invite?”

Be sure to enter our #RRYardMakeover sweepstakes today–contest ends June 30!

Six Delicious Ways to Get Your Fresh Veggie Fill

Did you know today is National Fresh Veggies Day? While we love a good salad, there are plenty of other ways to get your fresh veggie fix. Check out some of our most colorful recipes, perfect for a summer evening. They’re so delicious, even the pickiest of eaters will find one they like!


Raw Puttanesca


Read more

Al Fresco Dinner Recipes

After spending a long day in an office, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the weather. We like to take every opportunity we can to dine al fresco with a fabulous meal that looks just as beautiful as the sunset. If you’re looking for some warm-weather inspiration (veggie-packed pastas, grilled kebabs, you name it), we’ve got you covered.


Penne with Asparagus, Mint and Pistachios


Beefsteak Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna & White Beans


Tropical Chicken & Rice


Greek Salad with Beef Kebabs


Skinny Crab Cakes and Peach Summer Slaw

The Only Beach Picnic Menu You’ll Need This Summer

Still planning your beach adventure? We know! According to Yahoo! trends expert, Lauren Whitehouse, beach travel searches are spiking off the charts. Whether you’re planning a trip to Myrtle Beach (the #1 searched destination), Virginia Beach or even the pool for you midwest dwellers, you’re going to need a stellar menu that’s easy to put together, transport and keep cold.



Read more

From Chilled to Grilled


Give your oven the summer off! Use your grill to heat up your favorite frozen foods and add smoky flavor, too.


Read more

Use Your Noodle!

No matter the time of year, we love a good pasta dish, but after a long day at the beach, piping hot spaghetti and meatballs doesn’t seem like the thing for dinner. Instead, we’re opting for noodle dishes that can be served hot or cold, coated in a light and flavorful sauce that won’t weigh us down. Just make sure to make a double batch– you’ll definitely want to enjoy these noodle salads for lunch the next day!


Soba Noodles with Sesame-Lime Dressing

Read more

Sun Day, Fun Day

Eating, drinking and making merry outside? What you want from your sunscreen– beyond broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30– is a scent that won’t compete with food and a formula that won’t leave your hands too goopy to snack. We found six products that fit both bills, and work extra well for the fiestas below– though a few tubes can easily cross party lines!


Beach Party


Read more

6 Spins on Lemonade


Squeeze the most out of your summer with these fun, fresh ways to flavor your drink!

Read more