Simply Recipes

9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party

Berry Tart

When it comes to warm weather desserts, there are a few very key considerations:

1. You don’t want something that’s going to get gooey or wilt in some way—it can be surprisingly warm on Memorial Day weekend!

2. You want something that’s easily portable, so fancy things that are perishable, delicate or have elaborate toppings are probably out of the question, too.

3. All that, and it’s got to be delicious and eye-catching, too — right?!

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Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Grilling Pork Chops

Boneless pork chops seem to be a popular grilling option during summer because they are always available and are easy to season and toss on a hot fire.

But they also tend to dry out quickly and are easy to overcook.

That’s why I love this Citrus Brined Pork Chop recipe! The salty sweet brine keeps the pork chops really tender and moist, even if you do accidentally overcook them a few degrees.

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Meal Plan for May Week 4

Meal Plan for May Week 4

This month, Megan Gordon is back with us sharing her weekly meal plans! Megan is a writer and recipe developer living in Seattle, WA, the author of Whole Grain Mornings, and mom to a 2-year-old. Please welcome Megan!

I can’t believe we’re staring down at the end of May already! Our son is too young to think about summer camps or activities, but we’re all starting to get pretty excited about getting outside and taking short hikes, packing picnics, and riding our bikes on the weekends.

To allow for more time outdoors and a little less time in the kitchen this week, I chose recipes that are easy to make in advance (or that, like Monday’s meal, basically make themselves).

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What’s in Season in May?

May Produce Guide

Hello May and welcome to month 5 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides!

May means peak spring mode at the market. We are still awash in spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, leeks, favas, radishes, carrots, and peas. But now we also welcome fruit, including pineapple and the first berries of the year—strawberries.

Rhubarb is still going strong, and in many places we’ll see it carry through the summer. Rhubarb loves strawberries so use them together in pies and crisps!

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How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes from Scratch

We make pancakes weekly in our house. Most of the time, I substitute half of the all-purpose flour with spelt or whole wheat pastry flour and top our pancakes with fruit, but sometimes it’s nice to go with a classic like Buttermilk Pancakes.

For this recipe, I wanted to make fluffy, light, and airy buttermilk pancakes with crisp edges, and a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. Forty pancakes later, I was happy with my results: I finally figured out how to avoid the common pitfalls of dense, chewy, eggy, or rubbery pancakes.

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Texas Stacked Enchiladas with Corn and Black Beans

Vegetarian Stacked Enchiladas

In my early days of cooking, I had a friend from California who introduced me to what she called Texas Enchiladas. Instead of the usual filled and rolled enchiladas, the tortillas were fried, dipped in sauce, sandwiched with filling and then stacked in layers.

I have not been able to discover the exact origin of this version of enchiladas, but I think they are popular in Northern Mexico, west Texas and in New Mexico.

The bottom line: delicioso!

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Meal Plan for May Week 1

May Meal Plan

This month, Megan Gordon is back with us sharing her weekly meal plans! Megan is a writer and recipe developer living in Seattle, WA, the author of Whole Grain Mornings, and mom to a 2-year-old. Please welcome Megan!

May, I thought you’d never come! While I’m not naive enough to think that we’ll magically start seeing warmer temperatures in Seattle anytime soon, it’s nice to see the flowers in bloom and the longer days always inspire slightly more leisurely cooking in the evenings.

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Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus with Lemon-Mustard Dressing

How to roast potatoes with asparagus

Spring is here! Spring is here! Sometimes I feel like Chicken Little. That’s how excited I get about spring and spring food.

And no, the sky is not falling, but it sure feels like my world is changing all around me when it’s no longer pitch black at 5 o’clock.

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Meal Plan for April Week 4

Meal Plan for April Week 4

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for April. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Each spring I tiptoe out to my garden to check the buds on our perennials and the blossoms on our apple trees, and to plant seeds for early-season vegetables. As an avid gardener, I want to spend these extra hours of daylight outside with my hands in the dirt.

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Nut-Free “Peanut Butter” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Birthdays and holidays in the daycare classroom involve some culinary creativity. Most schools are nut-free these days, and a lot of our son’s friends also have egg allergies or gluten sensitivities.

So recently I decided to develop a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that everyone could eat.

My secret ingredient? Sunflower butter! It imparts a nutty flavor similar to peanut butter, but is much more allergy-friendly.

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Moo Goo Gai Pan (Chinese Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry)

Moo Goo Gai Pan Chicken

I spent most of my time in culinary school perpetually hungry (ironically). Like most college students, I was living on pennies and most of my meals came from our “Production 201” class—a course in which we prepared food for mass consumption.

On the rare occasion when I had a few bucks to spare, I would indulge in Chinese takeout. Moo Goo Gai Pan — Chinese Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry — was my go-to meal.

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Meal Plan for April Week 3

Meal Plan for April Week 3

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for April. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Here we are squarely in the latter half of April and ready to celebrate the best of spring.

We don’t think much about it anymore, but eggs are actually seasonal. Chickens are photosensitive, which means they lay more eggs as our days grow longer.

It’s also about this time of spring where cool nights followed by warm wet afternoons, and morel mushroom season begins.

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What’s in Season in April?

What's in Season in April, Seasonal Produce Guide

Welcome Spring, and welcome to month 4 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides!

April is all about spring vegetables—asparagus and artichokes are at their peak, snap peas begin to make an appearance, as well as young carrots with their fern-like carrot tops, and fava beans. Spring garlic, spring onions, leeks and fennel are thriving, as are the first spring radishes.

Winter citrus are fading, and while we are seeing some early strawberries, the “fruit” of April isn’t really a fruit, but a vegetable that acts like one—rhubarb. Perfect for pies and cobblers.

What’s in season in April?

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Singapore Noodles with Shrimp

Singapore Rice Noodles Recipe

Ok, a disclaimer before we get started: The Pu Pu Platter in a Chinese restaurant isn’t something you would find in a restaurant in China. And Singapore noodles are unknown in Singapore.

My Singaporean friend was surprised when he noticed the item on a Chinese restaurant menu here in the United States, and couldn’t imagine where it was from.

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Freezer Breakfast Burritos with Sausage, Eggs and Salsa Verde

Frozen Breakfast Burrito Recipe

Without a doubt, weekday breakfasts can be one of the biggest meal struggles for busy families. Everybody wants to sleep an extra few minutes, but then you still have to get ready for the day and get out the door on time—plus find something to munch on at some point!

These freezer breakfast burritos, filled with sweet sausage, seasoned potatoes, cheese, scrambled eggs, and salsa verde, are my answer to this weekday struggle.

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Meal Plan for April Week 2

April Week 2 Meal Plan

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for April. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Spring can be a fickle friend, especially where I live in Nebraska. One moment the sun is shining and my family has abandoned their boots for flip flops, and then next week it’s snowing and we cry a little inside.

The plus side of all of this is we can marry cozy, rich foods with spring fruits and vegetables. This week’s meal plan provides tasty dinners (and hope for spring), bringing you the best of both worlds regardless of the temperature outside.

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Meal Plan for April Week 1

April Week 1 Meal Plan

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for April. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Warmer temperatures bring with them a familiar ease to life – more daylight hours, fewer coat buttons to button and less headwear to adorn before flinging open the front door and stepping casually into the sunshine.

Spring comes around to remind us that being outside is a privilege and not a punishment.

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Savory Dutch Baby Pancake with Salmon and Fried Egg

Puffy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Whole Wheat Flour

My first food memory is of sitting on a kitchen countertop watching Anna, the young German woman who came to our house to help with cleaning and tidying, pull a puffy pancake out of the oven.

It was the biggest pancake I had ever seen. She slathered it with butter, sprinkled it with lemon, and doused it with a snowy shower of powdered sugar. I was fascinated.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins Gluten-Free

There’s a coffee shop by our house in Seattle that makes a great, substantial chocolate chip muffin with a nice crusty top that isn’t at all too sweet. I’m quite smitten with it.

Recently, I decided to recreate them at home, only making them gluten-free and dairy-free so we could share them with our extended family and friends, many of whom have food sensitivities and allergies.

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Pastelón (Puerto Rican Plantain “Lasagna”)

Pastelón, the Puerto Rican layered meat and sweet plantain pie, is one of those recipes that can divide families.

Being a “Nuyorican” (a Puerto Rican from New York), I found this to be true when my husband and I came together over our first dish of pastelón. As a native Puerto Rican, he argued that my version “wasn’t the real deal.”

It was as real to me as his attitude, so I defended my version tooth and nail!

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Meal Plan for March Week 4

Meal Plan for March Week 4

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, and Army wife – and she is also one of our Simply Recipes recipe testers!

Can you believe that we’re already at the end of March?! I don’t know about you, but it seems as if the new year is flying right by!

Since Easter is next weekend, you may need meals during the week ahead that you can prepare quickly so you can focus on hosting or enjoying your loved ones.

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3 Foolproof Ways to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

With Easter coming up and summer potlucks following right behind, there are many hard-boiled eggs in our near future. Sometimes they can be a little tricky to pull off—peels included!

Here are three ways to make hard-boiled eggs depending on your equipment, what kind of eggs you have, and what you plan to do with them.

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Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Bake

French toast is one of my favorite special breakfasts. I love frying up slices on the stovetop for my little family of three on a lazy weekend. But when it comes to making something for a large brunch crowd, I don’t want to be stuck at the stove, dipping and flipping slice after slice of toast.

That’s where this casserole-style French toast comes in. It can be quickly assembled in the morning, or even the night before, before being baked off and served by the slice

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Lemon and ricotta are a match made in heaven. You will find the pairing in many Italian desserts like cheesecakes, tarts, and torta di mandorle (lemon, ricotta, and almond cake), but with pancakes, you don’t have to wait until after dinner to enjoy this winning combination.

Unless, of course, you are “a pancakes-for-supper” kind of gal like me. There’s nothing like pancakes to help make the stresses of just living in this world feel a little bit lighter.

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