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Southern Sweet Iced Tea

Few things are more refreshing at a mid-day meal than a tall glass of sweet tea. But too often, what arrives at lunch is an overly bitter glass of brown brew or a pale and watery pour. We like to make our own so we can control the strength and the sweetness. When brewed strong and sweetened, tea can get cloudy, but our friends in Birmingham tipped us off to a secret ingredient that not only cuts the bitterness but also makes clear tea. And it’s already in your pantry (or maybe your fridge): baking soda. Just an eighth of a teaspoon is enough to clarify 8 cups of tea.

Make It Yourself: Birthday Cake

Sure, you can make a cake from a box, but once you know how easy and delicious the real deal is, it’ll be hard to turn back. Instead of creaming butter and sugar together, this cake uses a mixture of vegetable oil and melted butter, which means it comes together quickly. Not to mention, the crumb is rich and dense with classic yellow cake flavor. And, it wouldn't be a classic birthday cake without fudgy frosting. This one uses both semisweet and milk chocolate to create a rich ganache-style frosting. Spread over the cooled cake in generous swoops using an offset spatula.

Vegan Breakfast Burrito With Tofu Scramble

An easy and flavorful tofu scramble is the filling in this vegan breakfast burrito. The tofu so closely resembles scrambled eggs it’s hard to tell at first glance it’s not actually eggs. Seasoned with ground turmeric, cumin, and nutritional yeast, the tofu cooks into a tasty filling. Make sure to drain the tofu and press on it with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Enjoy this vegan breakfast burrito stuffed with a tofu scramble at home or even on the go. Wrapped in foil or parchment paper it’s a great option for those mornings on the run.

Cornmeal-Crusted Mozzarella Sticks

A gluten-free diet doesn't have to be deprived of mozzarella sticks—we made sure of it. We accomplished this feat by coating string cheese (yes, the classic childhood favorite) in a mixture of cornmeal (instead of breadcrumbs), grated Parmesan, freshly-ground black pepper, and dried oregano. Then, after being fried in hot oil, we hit them with salt, more Parmesan, and oregano. Serve warm with a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping. Everyone—gluten-free or not—will love these. In fact, we think you'll prefer them to the traditional sticks.

Pineapple Caramel

This take on traditional caramel sauce is fruity, slightly tangy, and, wait for it—made almost entirely of pineapple. After the caramel is smooth and golden, you'll stir in chunks of pineapple for texture and sweetness. The addition of chopped fruit also makes it a great candidate for an instant parfait: layer the sauce with Greek yogurt and chopped macadamia nuts, and you've got breakfast, dessert, or a tasty afternoon snack. It would also be delicious spooned over ice cream, as a topping for pound cake, or even as a cake filling. Both kids and adults will go nuts for it, so we recommend always keeping a jar on hand.

Easy Stovetop Shrimp Boil

A shrimp boil sounds like a big ordeal, but this recipe is actually a one-pot dinner. Just throw the onions, lemon, garlic, potatoes, sausage, artichoke, shrimp, and corn into a large stockpot and bring to boil with some dry shrimp-and-crab boil seasoning. You can find the seasoning in the spice aisle near the old bay seasoning; we love the brand Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seafood Boil because it has good ingredients (read: no MSG). After just about 20 minutes of cook time, your potatoes will be tender and your shrimp will be cooked through. The results are spicy and well seasoned. Dump them out onto a big platter, or, for a festive occasion, cover your table in newspaper and serve straight from the surface.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

These vegan chocolate chip cookies are gooey and chewy in the center and slightly crispy on the outside—just the way we like it. If you’re having trouble rolling the dough into balls, place it in the refrigerator for a minute or two to allow it to firm up. For the very best vegan chocolate chip cookies, we suggest using Barney butter almond butter and Enjoy Life non-dairy chocolate chips. For vegans who avoid honey, use equal parts agave or coconut nectar. And though you may be tempted to devour one as soon as it comes out of the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes on the baking sheet to ensure it holds its shape. You’ll be rewarded for your patience with with chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies.

In terms of nutrition, these vegan cookies are a healthier choice than a traditional chocolate chip cookie because they don’t contain butter or refined sugar. Look for almond butter that doesn’t contain any added sugars.

Smash Burger and Oven Fries

Perfection is boring! Which is why we are super accepting of these not-round burgers, craggy edges and all! Use your spatula to smash them down—don't worry about forming a perfectly circular patty. The more irregular the edges, the crispier (and more delicious!) they will be. And the magical secret sauce? Ketchup + mayo + chopped pickles. Oops...not-so-secret anymore. We've got you covered! For more great ideas head over to Dinnerly.com.

Lemony Cucumber-and-Herb Pasta Salad

Some say that there’s no such thing as an original recipe, but this pasta salad begs to differ. It’s the summertime staple of the nineties returned to modern dinner tables with this fresh take. Each perfect bite is made up of a short pasta shape, vibrant fresh herbs, crisp Persian cucumbers—famous for their good skin-to-flesh ratio—salty feta, and a mustardy garlic-lemon dressing. This portion is meant to serve as a side and would taste delicious alongside grilled chicken or steak, but it could also make a delicious dinner for four.

Roasted Asparagus With Flax Seed-Walnut Crumble

Start preheating your oven now for this roasted asparagus recipe. Roasting asparagus concentrates the flavor and even brings out its earthy sweetness. While the asparagus is doing its thing in the oven, you’ll be making a flaxseed walnut crumble to dress the crisp tender and bright green spears. The turmeric crumble is packed with omega-3s from the flaxseeds and walnuts. You’ll want to add this healthful topping to more than just asparagus. Use it top other roasted or raw vegetables or mix into a salad.