Fair thee well: 83rd Arkansas State Fair offers rides, food, music and competition Ten days of food, fun and family entertainment are expected to draw tens of thousands of fans and participants as the 83rd Arkansas State Fair opens Friday and runs through Oct. 22 at the State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. Universe keeps telling me to prepare this zucchini pasta recipe A couple of weeks ago posts featuring "zucchini butter" pasta started showing up in my social media feeds. Next, I saw a description for "Melting-soft courgettes" in an advance copy of "The Secret of Cooking: Recipes for an Easier Life in the Kitchen" by Bee Wilson. Cookbook filled with recipes inspired by feminists After looking over the recipes I settled on Skillet Maize With Spicy Cherry Tomato Salsa inspired by Zitkala-Sa (1876-1938). A member of the Yankton Dakota Sioux, Zitkala-Sa was a writer, teacher, editor, musician, suffragist and political activist. Sign up for the food newsletter Receive updates directly to your inbox by signing up for our weekly food newsletter. Fresh blueberry cobbler with a streusel-like topping The name "cobbler" is a bit of a misnomer. Instead of a short crust pastry or cake batter, the blueberries are topped with a streusel-like mixture of whole-wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Season has arrived for Mixed Berry Brita Cake I first saw brita cake on SmittenKitchen's Instagram feed last summer. The dessert is reminiscent of pavlova or Eton mess, but so very different. No-boil noodles speed cheese-laden lasagna to the table No-boil lasagna noodles are a game changer for weeknight lasagna cravings. Combined with jarred sauce, they make lasagna on a Tuesday, in an hour, 100% doable. Two chimichurri recipes that pair perfectly with scallops You're probably familiar with Argentina's vibrant green chimichurri, but did you know this flavorful sauce also comes in red? Fresh blueberry cobbler with a streusel-like topping I came across the inspiration for this recipe while sorting though old photos on my computer. The photo was of a recipe for chocolate banana bread from the Arkansas Democrat's Front Burner column by Kathy Harlan, published July 15, 1981. Season has arrived for Mixed Berry Brita Cake I first saw brita cake on SmittenKitchen's Instagram feed last summer. I was intrigued, but busy working on a blackberry cake recipe, so I tucked the brita cake idea away for later. Later is today. Tahini Cinnamon Swirls simple, quick to make These cinnamon swirls are so much simpler and faster than yeast-based cinnamon rolls — simple enough to prepare on a lazy weekend morning while you're still waking up with your first cup of coffee. German-style pancakes add pears to the mix Traditionally, German pancakes are filled with apples. I've opted to use pears because, well, it's pear season and apples are so predictable. Halloween nibbles, drinks and treats to tantalize your big and little goblins These sips and nibbles won't gross anybody out, but served in seasonally appropriate wares — black or dark dishes and a plastic spider or two, they have just a touch of the macabre. Fast, flavorful white fish with an herbal, citrus-punched crust This fish recipe takes just few minutes to prepare and cook, leaving me lots of time for bingeing Sally Rooney adaptations on Hulu. 6 canned pumpkin dishes good enough to make any time of year Recipes for the pumpkin hoarder. Of the parms, Cauliflower Parmesan is just right In this cruciferous twist on parmigiana, thick slabs of cauliflower are brushed with olive oil and roasted until tender and then topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar toast entices I had to buy the ingredients for this soup twice. Beef + beans + rice = easy, hearty, one-pan supper The ingredients are really quite simple — beef, rice, beans, cheese, aromatic vegetable and spices — and the best part is everything cooks together in one pan. Traditional pound cake but with a German twist Don't be mistaken; even with the additional lift, this loaf cake is rich and dense — perfect for serving with coffee or tea. Oktoberfest indoors We will be celebrating Oktoberfest 2021 zu Hause (at home), where we can drink all the beer we care to without worry of how to get home and no one will judge our pale legs and decolletage if we dare to dress in lederhosen and dirndl. 3 key ingredients create pasta called da bomb You're going to want to save this recipe, at least until you've committed it to memory. Meatballs with a Mediterranean-inspired twist I love Italian-style meatballs, especially on a bed of spaghetti or smothered in mozzarella and tomato sauce, but sometimes I want something different. Enter these Mediterranean-inspired meatballs. Frozen chocolate pops a cool, sweet, creamy treat Pudding pops, it turns out, to my adult taste are remarkably similar to Fudgsicles, except they're smoother, much smoother. (Fudgsicles, by the way, are still made by Popsicle.) Transition to fall with Chili and Cheddar-Jalapeno Shortcake Have your food cravings have already turned to fall? Craving chili? How about trying some chili shortcake? Dishes requiring no cooking to end summer Recipes for when you just don't want to fire up the oven. Colorful peppers add heat to 6 amazing recipes There is little about a chile that hints at the danger lurking inside. They dangle colorfully, seemingly harmlessly, from a plant's bright foliage, or they are piled welcomingly at a grocery store or farmers market. Getting in the spirits You can use alcohol bottles to create lots of flavorful barbecue sauces — using the alcohols' distinct flavors and aromas to complement those of the other ingredients — that you can make now and keep in your fridge to use at a moment's notice. Sup-herb Basil has long been considered the "king of herbs" because it is so flavorful and versatile. Melon masterpieces The following recipes are some of our favorite ways to use those not-so-perfect melons; prepare them with an impeccably sweet watermelon and they'll be even better. All about that brine A method is to ensure the meat retains its natural moisture is a simple dry brine — a mixture of salt, sugar and spices — provides that bit of insurance. Customized Condiments Summer proves the perfect time to cook a batch of homemade tomato ketchup, whirl up fresh mayonnaise and enhance everything with fresh herbs. Two Fourth of July-themed pastries to set off your taste buds’ fireworks Celebrating the Fourth of July? That's as American as apple pie. Summertime courses Summer is the best time to eat outdoors, and, when eating outside coincides with cooking outdoors, so much the better. A return to salad days It's picnic season again. Even people who are not good cooks can take this opportunity to avoid embarrassment by making their own dishes for the occasion. Marvelously marshmallowy Messy, sticky, warm and sweet, s'mores are a treat that needs no recipe. The combination of fire-roasted marshmallow, sturdy graham crackers and melty milk chocolate remains a classic for a reason. Black barbecue gets a long-overdue spotlight in two new books "Black Smoke" was released in late April, just weeks after another highly anticipated book on smoked meats, "Rodney Scott's World of BBQ." Both feature recipes that help tell the history of Black barbecue. Cottage cheese a sweet or savory ingredient fit for Miss Muffet Sure, it's lower in calories and higher in protein than some of its dairy case brethren and sistren, but cottage cheese's appeal, especially here, lies in its rich and satisfying creaminess. A handful of dishes that taste better over the smoke of a flame The last time my Boy Scout troop went on a campout, we ate steak. I was startled. I was shocked. I didn't know you could do that on a campout. Go bananas! Desserts get their sweetness from this popular yellow fruit Bananas are the most popular fruit in the United States, with apples and oranges, respectively, rounding out the top three. And it's no wonder bananas are so popular. They're nutritious, portable and plentiful. The secret to smooth dough and fluffy bread is already at hand Hot water might not seem like the most exciting ingredient, but understanding how and when to use it can transform the way we cook and bake. From sweet to meat Sopaipillas — those pillows of deep-fried dough so often drizzled with honey and served as dessert at Tex-Mex restaurants — needn’t be sweet. Straight to the heart Is there an ingredient you're leery of, either because it's intimidating or because you're clueless about how to cook it? For me, that is the artichoke. A bread in the hand Sandwiches are well and good for a picnic, but there are so many other highly portable, satisfying recipes. Buns and flatbreads travel well, require no utensils, are equally good warm or at room temperature and are even excellent the next day. Cabbage chameleon We should embrace cabbage for being low in calories and rich in vitamins and folate. And cooks should appreciate it for being versatile, a team player and kitchen workhorse. Small-batch baking is having a delicious moment 2020 may have been the year that got more people baking, but it was also the beginning of a mini trend: small-batch baking. Cookbook authors started creating scaled-down versions of recipes for those who want a baking project but don't want a big batch. Flatbreads let your creativity flow with myriad toppings Flatbread is pizza's flamboyant cousin. There is a strong DNA connection, and they often look alike. But there is a difference... Food experts' new cookbook a keeper So it was refreshing to to receive a review copy of "The Anti-Inflammatory Family Cookbook: The Kid-Friendly, Pediatrician Approved Way to Transform Your Family's Health" by Stefania Patinella, Alexandra Romey, Hilary McClafferty (MD, FAAP), Jonathan Deutsch (PhD) and Maria Mascarenhas (MBBS). Canned culinary creations When I'm at a loss, wondering what to cook that is appealing and relatively easy, I scan the nonperishable items in my pantry and take a glance at the fridge and freezer. Blood oranges are a colorful and tasty addition to Valentine’s Day recipes Blood oranges are a natural choice for adding a burst of color and flavor to dishes intended for romance. Pommes Anna gives potatoes classy presentation Pommes Anna, the French potato dish featuring thinly sliced potatoes layered and cooked with nothing but butter and salt, and sometimes thyme. Bagels can be made at home, and here’s how This guide explains how to make bagels, from mixing to forming, boiling to baking. Love those lentils These little legumes are protein rich and often used as a meat substitute Beef and Vegetable Stew warms the heart, soul By the time winter's chill really sets in — when the sky is so white it looks like it would spill snow if you only had a poker long enough to pierce it — I start craving beef stew. 5 weeknight dishes to break up monotony — with sauce As we plod through these first few weeks of 2021, I felt the best thing I could do for you was to tell you to make meatballs — lots of meatballs. One-time air fryer critic now gets excited about pandemic cooking If I applied Marie Kondo's simple yet polarizing question to my kitchen appliances, only my air fryer would make the cut. It has undeniably sparked a particular kind of pandemic joy: the pleasures of safe experimentation, mental activity and the illusion of control. A taste of 2020 — These recipes helped get us through a very tough year I almost didn't write this story. I didn't want to spend one more minute thinking about 2020. I was eager to move on and look ahead to all the tasty things we will eat in 2021. These offerings are perfect for stay-at-home New Year’s celebration There's a lot I miss about my usual holiday shindigs this December. No sipping eggnog in red lipstick and spangles, no parking myself in front of platters of camembert and Stilton, not even any sleeves of Ritz crackers with that unidentifiable orange cheese spread I look forward to year after year. Cranberries are a great holiday ingredient that transcend their spot at Thanksgiving We love jellied canned cranberry sauce as much as the next gal — in fact, it is our preferred cranberry sauce for pairing with roast turkey — but we love the versatility of fresh cranberries even more. Thinking inside the box Eleven months out of the year, I make what would be considered an above average, but not excessive, number of cookies. Lotsa flavor: Latkes are more than a traditional Jewish dish So, latkes are something I've obsessed over since I was a kid, begging my mom to make them for me year-round. As an adult, I've made all kinds: with potatoes and with other vegetables, coarsely shredded and finely grated, fried and baked, with all manner of seasonings, spins and techniques. Priceless polenta As someone who writes about Italian food, I pride myself in knowing, and understanding, Italian ingredients. But when it comes to polenta, I've been remiss. Baking pies can be meditative, and eating them can be transcendent This year, at Thanksgiving tables all over the country, we'll see smaller casseroles and fewer diners. But the sweetest part doesn't have to change. Small Thanksgiving, big flavor The whole point of Thanksgiving is to go big: a huge turkey surrounded by a bevy of sides and what's never too many pies, all devoured by relatives who may or may not be under the influence of free-flowing wine. That's the way the holiday usually goes. Falling for pumpkin It's hard to beat the convenience of canned pumpkin. Sure, fresh pumpkins are aplenty this time of year, but after sitting on your front porch or mantel since before Halloween, they're not exactly at the peak of freshness. Greater babka: Even Elaine Benes would have to admit, a savory babka is no ‘lesser babka’ If you feel the desire for a multiday bread-baking project, but chocolate babkas are too sweet, and crusty sourdoughs, too needy, I've got a loaf for you. It's a savory, ricotta-filled babka that's absorbing and meditative, but not at all fussy. Simply tearing the warm, garlic-scented bread with your hands will make procuring the yeast and flour well worth the search. And slices make for the best grilled cheese sandwiches, ever. Spooky foods that could put you in the Halloween spirit Halloween is not just about the sweet stuff. If you want to creep out your family with scary-looking treats, you need some real food, too, to counteract the inevitable sugar rush that comes with candy consumption. Versatility of the cast-iron skillet is its calling card, but it’s also remarkably good at many of its uses Anne Byrn's black Griswold has been a workhorse in her kitchen. She has fried bacon, cooked pancakes, seared salmon and baked cornbread in the 12-inch cast-iron skillet umpteen times. 'Big Book of Cidermaking' makes fermenting easy Several years ago I tried a kit called "Spike Your Juice" that included champagne yeast and an airlock. The process was quite simple — add the yeast to any jug of commercial fruit juice with a high sugar content, pop on the airlock and wait 48 hours — and voila! Low-alcohol booze. The longer you let the yeast do its thing, the higher the alcohol content. Apples abound in many tastes and colors for all sorts of dishes Apples are everywhere this time of year, and so are apple recipes. Although all apples are desirable, they aren't interchangeable. For optimal enjoyment, it's important to pick the right apple for the recipe. This Spinach and Chermoula Pie serves as a warm hug, until we can all embrace again Recently, when I posted a picture of a homely, frozen-spinach-filled pie on my Instagram, it got a lot of love. Usually, it's red tomatoes that get the red hearts. It was interesting, then, to think about why this simple pie struck such a "Yes, please!" chord. Korean chile flakes spice up chicken and vegetables Like everyone else I know, I've been cooking at home much more than usual these past several months. I have enjoyed it and have been eating well, but after a while I found myself getting bored with my own culinary repertoire. Culinary sumac and a really tasty chicken recipe For years I avoided recipes that called for sumac, or relied on poor facsimiles using lemon juice. Versatile ground turkey takes on flavors of whatever you cook with it In a moment of clarity and understanding usually attainable only by solitary meditation on a remote mountaintop, photographer Hillary Levin said, "Ground turkey is the tofu of meat." Tomato soup is tops for fall's arrival Tomato soup — with or without a grilled-cheese sandwich — is one of my favorite rainy or cool weather meals. And with fall officially here, hot soup season can begin in earnest. German-style pretzels and pretzel rolls If you think it's the salt or the shape that makes a pretzel a pretzel, you're wrong. Corn, okra and peppers make summer's best stir-fry Okra is my favorite vegetable, summertime or not, and it's teeming in farmers markets now. Fresh corn is a close second, its sweetness there to balance the okra's verdancy. In California, mild, floral Jimmy Nardello peppers are a rare treat at this time of year; when I see them in the market, I buy a giant handful of the spindly, twisted chiles. And then, of course, there are the heirloom tomatoes, as soft as water balloons and begging to be eaten like apples while their juice bleeds down your arm. Pick pecans for these vegan picadillo empanadas The best toddler-birthday-party food I've ever had were picadillo empanadas. Fede, a boy from my daughters' daycare, turned 3, and his mom baked a huge batch of them. She had made the dough by hand and pulled out tray after tray while the kids played. Oyster-sauce scallops to make you 'Stir Crazy' Ching He Huang is the face of Chinese cooking for many TV viewers. In the U.K., she's known for shows such as "Exploring China," while her programs in the U.S. include "Easy Chinese: New York & L.A.," for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Polenta Nachos are a tasty twist on traditional In the winter, I love serving pot roast or chili over fried polenta. But in summer, my cravings turn to cooler fare. Pickling isn’t just reserved for cucumbers Everyone sort of assumes it is the chicken. Everyone thinks that the process of pickling was invented as a way of preserving food in a time long before refrigeration and that people who tried it decided that it tasted great, too. Banana Pretzel Pops are easy to make and cool to eat Beat the summer heat with a chilly treat. These Banana Pretzel Pops can be put together in a few minutes with just a handful of ingredients. The best part? The stick is edible, too! BBQ 2020: Reduced risks required Here's a maxim for entertaining in the age of covid-19: The only way to bring people together is to figure out how to keep them apart. Pickled red onions are easy, fast, delicious Now that onions are safe to eat again (knock on wood), today seems like a good time to share this quick pickle recipe. They’re good on everything from burgers to salads and nachos, and even straight from the jar. Yeasted Breakfast Cake provides the perfect canvas for delicious fruit While summer in the "before times" may have meant swimsuits and beach days to most people, to me it only ever meant it was time to eat all the stone fruit now! As anyone who counts fruit as their true love can attest, now is the season of lustful infatuation. Berries are great, but have you ever bitten into a peak-season peach and had its juice run down your arm? These fruit-based ice pops are a delicious way to cool off Technically, we aren't supposed to call them "popsicles." That's a registered trademark. But ice pops, creamy pops made with milk or yogurt, and other fruity desserts-on-a-stick are having a moment. You might be seeing them pop up on your Instagram feed, in bright colors, made with orange and mango and filled with pieces of fruit. Lemon Mascarpone Pasta Mascarpone, lemon, hazelnuts and fresh herbs come together in this easy pasta dish that can be dressed up with add-ins like sauteed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, green peas or cooked and diced pancetta or bacon. Butter-Basted Fish A fish recipe even picky-eaters will love. Filets of cod (or black sea bass, haddock, pollock or hake) are pan-seared then basted with melted butter that's been infused with garlic and thyme. A squeeze of lemon finishes the dish. Peach Tiramisu This seasonal twist on tiramisu, replaces the coffee, rum and cocoa of traditional tiramisu with peaches, bourbon and just a touch of cinnamon. Cheese Stuffed Peppers Mild, sweet and hot peppers are stuffed with two kinds of cheese, corn, spices and seasoned meat in this version of pepper poppers. Roasted strawberries, syrup seasonal treats If the old adage "we are what we eat" is true, I will soon turn into a strawberry.