11 Easy Ways to Fancy Up Your Avocado Toast — Two-Ingredient Upgrades

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

I feel nostalgic for the good old days when avocado toast was something novel, a little breakfast secret to share with friends. Avocado toast these days, well, it’s gone mainstream. But that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted. Avocados are a water-hungry crop, and with drought conditions being what they are, this wonderful fruit could get rarer and more expensive in the days ahead. So make that avocado toast count — every slice should be extra special!

Here are 11 delicious ways to upgrade your toast into a breakfast treat that is worthy of the avocado itself. And all you need are two ingredients to make any one of these fancied-up avocado toasts.

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eggplant parmesan melts

eggplant parmesan melts A thing I have learned over the last 10 years (!) here is that people have fairly bifurcated opinions of eggplant. Some find it to be the greatest, especially when it is at its most eggplant-y, others don’t care what you do with it, they’re never going to be converted, but even the most eggplant-equivocal agree on one thing: eggplant parmesan is the bee’s knees. I am, however, the one that’s ambivalent about it. To take beautiful coins of eggplant, batter and fry them to a profound and well-seasoned golden crisp just to bury them in texture-killing amounts of sauce and melted cheese feels wrong to me, disrespectful of the labor involved and calories embedded in gloriously deep-fried foods. (I feel the same way about fries smothered in sauces and gravies. Unfollow me now!) thinly sliced
breading trilogy All of these concerns go out the window when making a sub, however, which is what we called hoagies/heroes/grinders in my half of New Jersey growing up. The eggplant parm sub is in a way-too-small category of Great Vegetarian Sandwiches*, and I don’t know when they went out of style, but I don’t see them around very often anymore. The eggplant’s texture is less compromised than it gets in casserole form, and so much extra from a seeded roll (it must be seeded; don’t even ask), I find you can even make compromises with the eggplant itself (baking instead of frying breaded eggplant or roasting coins without breading at all) and not feel like you’re missing a thing. Continue reading

How To Peel & Devein Shrimp — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

I’m a little embarrassed to admit how long I avoided buying shell-on shrimp for fear of having to peel and devein them. It just seemed so intimidating, so messy, and so fraught with potential shellfish failure. I love shrimp too much to have it fraught with anything.

Then I went to culinary school, and the day came when I was handed a pile of shrimp and told to get to work. I’ll tell you what I learned that day: Peeling and deveining shrimp isn’t nearly as hard as I thought. Here’s how to do it, exactly the way I was taught.

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What to Eat While Reading First Star I See Tonight — Hot Reads, Cool Eats

(Image credit: Samantha Bolton)

August is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. This hot-and-steamy month is, appropriately, Read-a-Romance Month, 31 days dedicated to swooning and melting, yearning and burning. We asked Bobbi Dumas, founder of this homage to romance novels, to pick her favorite book each week. Naturally, we’ll be complementing her suggestions with something to snack on. And since you’re likely to get hot and bothered, we decided to go with food pairings to help cool you down.

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5 Ways to Make Dessert with Sugar Cookie Dough — 1 Ingredient 5 Ways

Sugar cookies may be plain, but they’re far from boring. In fact, their simplicity is exactly what makes them great: You can taste all the butter and sugar without anything getting in the way. That simplicity also means that the dough can be transformed into a number of different desserts beyond cookies. Here are five great ideas to try.

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15 New Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker This Summer — Recipes from The Kitchn

You might think the slow cooker is an appliance made for the fall and winter months, when you’re craving heavy soups, stews, and braises, but it can be just as useful in the summer for many reasons. One, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Yes, you can cook a full roasted chicken without having to suffer through hours of a sweltering kitchen. Second, who wants to spend time inside during the summer?

We’d rather spend our weekends on the back patio or exploring our hometowns in the sunshine instead of standing over the stove thinking about what’s for dinner. The slow cooker gives you that freedom and makes plenty of summer-friendly dishes. Here are our top 15 summer slow-cooker recipes — from a granola we’re putting on ice cream and yogurt to a pulled pork we’re folding into sandwiches.

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