The post-long weekend blues were real this week. 

By Antara Sinha
September 07, 2018
Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Deb Wise

Getting back into the swing of things after a leisurely long weekend is rough—and we really felt it hard this week. Even though you’ve technically had an extra day to get your life together, Monday evening rolls around and somehow laundry is still unwashed, that book you swore you’d finish remains unread, and you haven’t meal-prepped, resigning yourself to a week of purchased, pre-packaged lunches, and excuses to run to the vending machine.
Which is why we were all about making things go as easily, quickly, and smoothly as possible in the kitchen this week, cooking up some new hacks, shortcuts, and tips to shake off that sleepy vibe from Labor Day. Next time you need an idea for low-effort meal-prep, give roasted chickpeas a try. They’re flavor-packed and easy enough to whip up, even on a Tuesday night after a long weekend. Trying to make a quick tofu curry for a flavor-packed vegetarian dinner? Pre-pressed tofu is a game-changer and your new best friend, literally shaving off at least 20 minutes from kitchen prep time. Looking for someone to go ahead and plan your meals for you? We looked at supermarkets’ family meal deals, and the good news is you’ve got lots of quick, tasty, and cost-efficient options no matter where you live. And if you ate anything particularly unsavory at that weekend cookout, we’ve got a carefully crafted game plan to get you up on your feet after a bout of food poisoning.

Of course, now that it’s officially September, there’s nothing holding us back from diving headfirst into everything apple and pumpkin pie. Ever wondered what the best prepared pie crust is for all of that fall and holiday season baking? We tried nine pies (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it) to pick out the best one. And if you’re stumped as to what you’re supposed to do with that entire container of pumpkin pie spice after you’re done baking, turns out you’ve got a lot of tasty options. As for apples, it looks like people are finally getting the produce section memo this year: We’re buying more of other, tastier apple varieties than the infamous, mealy Red Delicious that reigned number one for far too long.
If you’re still trying to wake yourself from the lull of Labor Day, doing your best to come to terms with the official end of summer, dealing with mom guilt after a particularly stressful day, or just need another weekend to hit pause and reset, we feel you. There’s no shame is just baking yourself a giant pan of cheesy ziti and calling it a week.