Food  &  Party

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    Breakfast is hands-down the best meal of the day for moms to really show their stuff with minimal effort. Eggs, bacon, waffles -- it's all good, and there's so much you can do with it that doesn't take a ton of time, but looks like you slaved.

    I think we can all agree: That's a big mom win!

    We're often in such a hurry in the morning that we don't pay a lot of attention to that super important first meal of the day. But on weekends or days off, or any time you have a few minutes, it's fun to do something different. That's where these super cute pancakes in fun shapes come in. Recruit your husband and the kids to help you! (Okay, maybe just the kids.) Your whole brood will love 'em.

    Another idea? You could just make them for yourself. We promise we won't judge you.

    Check out our video tutorial on how to make pancakes in adorable shapes for the kids and the rest of the family to boot. It's easy!

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    Any hamburger lover rejoices at the mention of Labor Day. Because obviously, the upcoming holiday traditionally means cooking up all manner of flame-grilled delights -- and then relishing in eating them. Sometimes a lot of them.

    We're getting hungry just thinking about it.

    It's really no wonder that burgers are such a no-fail crowd-pleaser, considering how they're basically a blank canvas where you can "paint on" your favorite toppings. As much as we all love the basic ketchup, lettuce, and tomato variety, you can also jazz up your classic burger just a bit with those old favorites or get creative and bold with some other, more daring customized burger toppings. No matter which you choose, they're all guaranteed to make your tastebuds sing.

    Here's the fastest way to throw together the burger of your dreams, with the perfect combo of toppings.

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    What mom doesn't love a shortcut? And there's nothing better than one that saves you time in the kitchen! 

    While take-out is always tempting, when you're hungry and in a hurry, before you reach for those menus, let me share my secret ingredient for whipping up a delicious dinner in half the time: the rotisserie chicken

    This classic staple, most often sold in that futuristic-looking plastic bubble, has become my best friend on busy evenings. As yummy as it is versatile, a ready-to-eat roasted chicken can give you a well-deserved head start when you need it most (like when your kids are chanting, "When's dinner?").

    Another thing I love about it: minimal clean-up. But here's a tip I learned the hard way: If you want your guests to think you spent the whole afternoon in front of the stove basting your bird, be sure to dispose of its packaging before they arrive!

    Here are 8 ways to jump-start dinner using a rotisserie chicken.  

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    Got more hummus than you know what to do with? Drowning in fresh basil? Avocados about to turn to the dark side? Fantasizing about whipping some pre-cooked pasta right out of the freezer? Well today is your lucky day! You can freeze all of those foods. You just have to do it the right way.

    Here are 10 foods you may not know you can freeze. We'll tell you how you can freeze them for best results.

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    You will not believe this, but I have some news that will stand your hair on end: Starbucks is already selling its pumpkin spice latte! EEK. It's not even Labor Day yet and already we've got the full flavor of autumn breathing down our necks with that special coffee treat we cannot resist -- no matter how much we resent its early arrival.

    But before you whip out that five-dollar bill for your first PSL of the season -- that's $5.17 for a Grande in my neck of the woods -- consider this: You could make your own for about a dollar. Any time of the year! We've got your homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe right here. Learning how to do that pretty heart foam thing, though? That's on you.

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    Mashed potatoes are a comfort food my kids never knew. Before you gasp in horror, let me explain. I love mashed potatoes. As a matter of fact, they are the first side dish I’ll order in a restaurant. After all, potatoes are nutritious and filling and have absolutely no fat or cholesterol or sodium. They have more potassium than a banana and are a great source of vitamin C. I know all that. But shamefully, I was never able to replicate the creamy, scrumptious mashed potatoes that I loved so much as a child.  

    I tried. I really did. I’d spend a good hour in the kitchen trying to get it right. But still, my mashed potatoes took way too long to make and tasted way too bland. So I just kind of gave up and enjoyed them only as a treat when we were eating out.

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    Can you believe we're only a week away from Labor Day? Bet you're looking for some cool new drinks to serve at (or bring to) that barbecue, right? Well have we the perfect twist on iced tea for you ... it's fancy-sounding and looks and tastes amazing -- but it's really ultra simple to make.

    It's billed as a non-alcoholic Watermelon Refresher Tea, created by Top Chef's Gail Simmons and inspired by farmer's markets. This would make the perfect punch for a backyard party for kids and adults, though we've included directions for spiking the drink for grown-ups if you're so inclined. Or you could indulge in a glass while lounging in a hammock during those beautiful end-of-summer afternoons. 

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    Check your nut butters before you make lunch today. nSpired Natural Foods Inc. is voluntarily recalling six brands of peanut butter and almond butter because of possible salmonella contamination: Arrowhead Mills peanut butters, MaraNatha almond butters and peanut butters, and private labels sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger, and Safeway. The affected products are sold throughout the US.

    The company has not specified how many jars are being recalled, but 45 production lots have been affected. The salmonella contamination was found during routine testing by the FDA. Four illnesses have been reported that may be linked to the recall.

    Here's everything you need to know to respond to this recall.

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    One of my family's favorite traditions is a monthly Family Movie Night complete with make-your-own pizza; each person gets to choose what they want to top their pie before it's baked.  After that, we let the kids eat in front of the TV (something I never otherwise allow!) while we watch our movie and then tuck in sleepy kids.

    Sadly, during the warmer weather we're more likely to turn towards our favorite local pizza joint than to DIY; I hate turning on the oven when the temps get high. But this recipe not only allows for individual pizzas with some of our favorite toppings and a healthy and hearty whole-wheat crust, you cook them outside, on the grill! If you've never had grilled pizza, you have to try it; it gets crisp and smoky and incredible. The bonus is super-easy cleanup and no oven heating up the house! 

    Pizza night just got more fun with individual-sized pizzas—plus they’re made completely on the grill. 

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    Ever since I picked up a jar of rose petal jam on my trip to Paris this summer, I've been obsessed with it. Rose petals have been used in sweet and savory cooking around the world for hundreds of years. They deliver a wildly romantic and unexpected taste sensation. I'm serious. 

    If you're not the type to eat flowers, we'd love to tempt you to try something new. If you're STILL not convinced, at least look at the stunningly beautiful photos and dream of what could be. And what woman doesn't love roses, anyway?

    Behold these 8 beautiful rose-petal recipes (pesticide-free, of course). Ooh la la!

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