A Feast Inspired by the 50 States

Summer is admittedly not my favorite season, but I’m sure everyone who knows me has realized that by now. I’ve complained enough about the heat and humidity, sunburn (thanks a lot, fair skin and a desk job, for making the sun an enemy), allergies, and bees enough in my time to prove that point to anyone.

As with everything, though, there are trade-offs. The end of summer will mean that local, fresh produce will start to trickle away and outdoors farmers markets will close for the season. It’s still possible to eat seasonally in the fall and winter, but to buy outside of a conventional grocery store, options are limited to hearty greens and root vegetables.

And as much as I love kale and rainbow Swiss chard, it’s hard to beat a good Caprese salad. The taste of slightly acidic, fresh heirloom tomatoes nestled together with buratta or mozzarella cheese, drizzled with good olive oil and balsamic, some salt and fresh pepper, and fresh basil… that is pure bliss.

My undying love for Caprese aside, it’s true: I can’t wait for the end of summer so my favorite season, fall, can begin. Before that happens, though, many of us will likely be spending our Labor Day weekend hosting or attending one last party of the season. If you’re looking for ideas for what to serve and are getting tired of hamburgers and hot dogs by now, try a themed menu of favorite foods from across America.

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On Pinterest: Stars and Stripes

If you took a day off from work today (like me) to get a jump-start on your holiday weekend plans, then I hope you’re not battling too much traffic right now to get where you need to be. Better yet, maybe you’ve already arrived or opted to skip the crowds and stay home, and with a drink in hand are currently catching up on a good book or TV series. Either way, I hope you enjoy. 🙂

I certainly hope to have a relaxing extended weekend, myself. My plans for the actual holiday will likely include throwing something on the grill and kicking back with a few cocktails, but tomorrow I’m looking forward to a day in the city with my mom. We have tickets for a matinee performance of Jersey Boys and are planning to go for dinner after the show. (P.S., if you have any suggestions for me on where to eat in NYC, I’d love some new ideas. Let me know in a comment or DM me on Twitter @fromannakitchen.)

If you’re planning a big bash to celebrate the holiday, check out these red, white, and blue food and entertaining ideas curated from Pinterest and have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

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On Pinterest: A Cold Glass of Iced Tea

Today is National Iced Tea day! Some of my favorite summer memories from when I was a kid included spending time over my grandparent’s house, swimming in the pool, and BBQ’s and drinking my aunt’s homemade sun tea.

Cool down with these iced tea recipes curated from Pinterest and check out these links to find places offering free iced tea today.

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