Southwestern zucchini quiches are a snap to make

This April 28, 2017 photo shows zucchini quiches in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

You’d think quiche would be a summer picnic staple. In practice, the beloved cheese pies are too darn messy. Cutting one into slices while you’re sitting in the wild or at the beach can be tricky. And if you figure, “Aha! I’ll slice it up ahead of time,” you discover there’s no easy way to transport the individual wedges. Finally, however you transport your quiche to the picnic, it’s gotta be served with a knife and fork. No way. Picnics are all about finger food.

A natural dye garden can be easy and inexpensive

This undated photo provided by The Home Depot shows blue hibiscus, or Alyogyne, which is a good option to grow if you want to harvest a rich purple dye. Planting natural dye gardens is becoming a popular pursuit for those with green thumbs, as well as artists who work in various mediums. (The Home Depot via AP)

As interest in eco-friendly products and methods grows, it’s no surprise that many artists and other creative types are planting natural dye gardens.

Mediterranean Tomato Wheat Berry Salad

This December 2016 photo shows a Mediterranean tomato wheat berry salad with fresh herbs in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Mia via AP)

Wheat berries are great little nuggets — a whole grain, containing the germ, endosperm and bran. They have a nice dose of fiber and protein, as well as the B vitamins and several minerals.

Creamy Broccoli and Blue Cheese Salad

This May, 13, 2017 photo shows a broccoli and blue cheese salad in Coronado, Calif. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Tis (almost) the season of backyard barbecues, picnics and outdoor potlucks. We gather with friends, or simply migrate to the backyard picnic table for family dinner, and that has me craving the classics: grilled meats, veggies and some creamy starchy sides like macaroni salad. Today, I have the perfect solution for scratching the creamy-side-salad itch while actually getting in some seriously healthy raw veg. Win-win.

Safe organic pest control

Spraying pesticide. Processing of trees. Insecticide. Farmer exterminator hold sprayer fertilizer in hand. Vector flat design. Isolated on white background. Chemicals in garden. Deciduous branches.

Question: Last year leaf miners ruined my lettuce and maggots ruined my radishes. Is there any control for these pests that does not leave dangerous chemical residues on my food?

New pedestal sinks are perches with panache

This photo provided by Falper shows their Wing sink, designed by Ludovico Lombari, which evokes the swooping wings of a crane, in a wall-mounted sink. Pedestals and wallmounts like this are great choices for small baths, and become sculptural art pieces that elevate the spaces. (Maurizio Marcato/Falper via AP)

If you’ve got a powder room, chances are there’s a pedestal sink in it. The lavatory perches have long been the go-to option for small bathrooms, and even for full-size spaces where a less imposing fixture is desired.

Sweet potato gives you dinner and a dessert

This May 5, 2017 photo shows two halves of a sweet potato prepared with savory and sweet toppings in Coronado, Calif. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

The kitchen is my happy place, which is a good thing, because I spend a lot of time in it. It seems I’m always either developing recipes, or cooking them for a camera. And then there’s the not-so-small matter of cooking for my husband and four daughters every day. Truly, I love it.

To make heavenly banana bread, use vegetable oil

This April 3, 2017 photo shows banana bread at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Elizabeth Karmel. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Everyone makes banana Bread. And most people love it. A good friend of mine always makes it with chocolate chips because her family will eat anything with chocolate in it. I grew up with my mother making banana bread with butter and pecans, and I thought it was very good until I accidently created the world’s best banana bread a few years ago.

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