Category: Blog Post

Round It Up, Summerlin!

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and CRAVE Summerlin has partnered with Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit support group for families of children with cancer.


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Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada (Candlelighters) is the first and oldest non-profit organization in Nevada serving families coping with childhood cancer. Its mission provides support, education, hope, and advocacy through programs and services for children and adolescents with cancer, their families, and the professionals who care for them. Candlelighters helps more than 75 families per month and 600 children annually. With more than 25 programs and services, these include family counseling, transportation for treatment, assistance with living and medical expenses, Child Life interventions in the clinic on a daily basis, scholarships for childhood cancer survivors, bereavement support, and many other programs and services to improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer.

With the purpose to alleviate the isolation many families feel at the time their child is diagnosed, Candlelighters extends its love, care, encouragement, and understanding so that nobody need face alone the uncertain world of childhood cancer. Recognizing the various needs of individuals and families, all programs and services are given at no cost to the families. Donors and supporters have the satisfaction of knowing their support and contributions are directly helping Nevada families affected by childhood cancer.

Join us in celebration of this amazing cause!

Candlelighters Kick-Off Event

When: Thursday, Sept. 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Featuring: Children’s art showcase, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments

CRAVE Summerlin will host a kickoff event and showcase artwork created by children affected by cancer, along with passed hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Ranging from $50-150, the art will be available to purchase and will remain on display in the restaurant during the month. All proceeds benefit Candlelighters.

“It’s important for us to give back to our local community. We’re dedicated to raising funds for Candlelighters to help the local families in need of support, education, support and hope.” – Ryun Chastain, CRAVE Summerlin General Manager



“Helping Kids See A Cancer-Free Tomorrow.”

Throughout the entire month of September, your generous donation will help fund the pediatric cancer research, treatment, and programs lead by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Help us provide greater hope to these families – simply “Round It Up“!


CCRF_website_imgFueled by compassion since 1981, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund has revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide. Its investments in key research initiatives and patient care have led to innovative treatments, faster cures, new discoveries, and compassionate quality-of-life programs that give hope to pediatric patients and their families.

Over the last thirty years, CCRF provided $130 million to support world-class research, a culture of collaboration and a proven track record of bringing therapies from the lab to children. With the help of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, this leading-edge research has helped increase the childhood cancer survival rate up to 80 percent. However, cancer remains the nation’s leading cause of death by disease among children. The work of CCRF is not finished until every child facing cancer becomes a healthy survivor.

Your donation provides seed money grants that help researchers advance new ideas and win competitive, multi-million dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Every dollar you give leads to an average of $18 in additional funding.

CRAVE has been a longtime advocate of supporting the communities we serve. From our CRAVE Cares program to participating in nonprofit events, striving to better serve our community is at the core of our mission. We take pride in our natural propensity to give back.

Make a Reservation & Support Children’s Cancer Research Fund TODAY! 



In the spirit of National Waffle Day tomorrow, our goal was to give you the perfect” basic waffle recipe, the one everyone dreams about: fluffy inside, crispy outside, buttery and just a little sweet…when all you need is a pat of butter and a slathering of maple syrup to send you into breakfast euphoria. 

We were going to do that…until we found all these other sinfully-delicious recipes! They are just too beautiful to pass up. We won’t even sugar-coat these sugar-coated recipes: in a world where “wonuts” (waffle-donuts) reign supreme, these recipes are going to cost you…calories. But it’s Waffle Day, so indulge a little – these wonderful waffles are beyond worth it!

Admittedly, we did also include an amazing recipe for whole-wheat waffles…but you’ll just have to scroll through the rest in all their sugary splendor to get there! *cue evil laugh*


10+ mouth-watering waffles (and one Frittaffle!) you need to try NOW!


ChefinTraining-LiegeWafflesChef In Training – Liege Waffles

If you’ve never been to Belgium, you’re missing out. Luckily for you, this recipe gets pretty darn close to the real thing. Classic Belgian waffles made with actual Belgian sugar pearls used in their traditional preparation. If there’s any waffle you truly need to try at least once, this is it.

“The dough is what set these apart. It was no ordinary waffle dough. The dough is a literal bread dough, kneaded and made with love. Lots and Lots of love and worth every effort it takes to make them.”


HuffPost-BrieBlueberryThe Baker Mama – Blueberry Cake Waffles

“Crispy sweet waffles loaded with juicy blueberries and coated in a sweet sugar glaze. It tastes just like a blueberry cake donut, but in waffle form. The best of both worlds and truly out of this world!”

This waffle is truly eye-candy. A caky, sugary waffle jam-packed with a cohort of blueberries. Out-of-this-world, indeed.



Ibakeheshoots-darkchocolateI Bake He Shoots – Dark Chocolate Waffles

These dark chocolate waffles are serious…not see-me-after-class serious, but are-you-really-trying to-have-this-for-breakfast serious. The answer is ‘yes’.”

When you just need to start your day with chocolate, but don’t want your breakfast pastry overly sweet.



TheSassyLife-WonutsThe Sassy Life – Homemade Wonuts: Waffle-Donuts

Wonuts: the best pastry mash-up since cronuts (croissant-donuts). “I covered my waffles in rainbow sprinkles. Sweetness overload! Eat while the waffles are hot/warm for the best flavor and texture! I just had a waffle with a scoop of ice cream. It was like a scoop of heaven.”

BONUS: this recipe also comes with your choice of homemade vanilla or chocolate glaze! 



RealFoodbyDad-FritaffleReal Food by Dad – Frittaffle

We know. It’s not technically a waffle. But we had to include it for these reasons: it’s a perfect on-the-go breakfast, almost no mess to eat, you can make it ahead of time, and it’s versatile – you can mix-and-match the fix-ins! Plus, who doesn’t love having yet another reason to break out the waffle iron! Everything tastes better in waffle form!

As the creator says: Get busy frittaffling!


CookingClassy-PumpkinWaffleCooking Classy – Pumpkin Waffles

Because Fall is just around the corner, and you’re going to need another pumpkin recipe in your arsenal.

These waffles are one of my favorite fall breakfasts especially when topped with this incredibly delicious Apple Cider Syrup and a little sweetened whipped cream. The flavor combination of the two is simply irresistible and it couldn’t be more fall inspired.”


HeathersFrenchPress-NutellaPBFrenchToastHeather’s French Press – Stuffed French Toast Waffles

Just when the thought of french toast waffles couldn’t get any better, the genius behind Heather’s French Press came out swinging with a 3-punch combo of Nutella, peanut butter, and banana stuffed inside. Knock. Out.




CompletelyDelicious-AppleFritterCompletely Delicious – Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts

A blissful union of three of our favorite decadent breakfast treats, all wrapped into one. This recipe is throwing us into full autumn mode, and we love it.

Starting off with apple fritter batter— filled with diced tart apples and plenty of cinnamon— takes it way over the top, and makes it a perfect fall splurge.”



BonAppetit-ChickenWaffleSandwichesCandid Appetite – Chicken & Waffle Sandwiches

Did you really think we wouldn’t include a chicken-and-waffles recipe?

From Bon Appetit: ““Oh cute,” you might say, “someone has taken the dish ‘chicken and waffles’ and turned it into a sandwich. Fried chicken, waffle for buns–what a nice idea.” But you would be wrong. This recipe, from Jonathan Melendez’s Candid Appetite, is more than cute. It is KOOKERY. And the secret to these Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches‘ genius is all in the “bread”: they’re bacon, cheddar, and green onion waffles, with all three ingredients mixed into the batter.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


ChicaChocolatina-ChurroApplePieChica Chocolatina – Churro Apple Pie Waffles

The food-blogger with a renowned churro waffle recipe strikes again, this time with “an American classic with a Mexican twist”!

“Roll them in cinnamon-sugar, dip them in the beloved melted butter, but this time stuff them with plump, tangy apples. Wow, The result was perfect marriage! …and a new breakfast tradition is born!”



RealLifeDinner-WholeWheatReal Life Dinner – Whole Wheat Waffles

We told you we’d include these. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of healthier options AND indulgence, this is your waffle! Made with whole-wheat flour and all the warm, fluffy goodness of your favorite homestyle waffle! “Light and fluffy and Delicious! Oh and they also freeze really well! Perfect for making ahead and pulling out later for breakfast.”





CRAVE-ing More?

Get your waffle fix at CRAVE!

CRAVE serves breakfast and brunch at select locations! Choose from:

CRAVE-smore-waffleClassicstack of mini waffles, whipped butter & syrup

Chicken & Wafflesour take on a southern classic, mini waffles & crispy chicken strips smothered in smoked paprika caramel, bacon, and green onions

S’mores (pictured) – chocolate waffles layered with house-made marshmallow cream & graham cracker cookies, topped with toasted marshmallow ice cream & chocolate sauce

Seasonal Berrywaffle stack, fresh berries, fresh whipped cream 


Check out to find a CRAVE breakfast/brunch near you!


HuffPost-BrieBlueberry HuffPost-MonteCristo HuffPost-Smores







Huffington Post – Waffle Sandwiches So Good, They’ll Change Your Perspective on Mornings

With a name like that, you know they mean business. And with pictures like those, we’re sold.

Featured here: Brie & Blueberry Waffle Grilled Cheese, Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwich, Bacon S’mores Waffle Breakfast Sandwich.


Buzzfeed-pretzels Buzzfeed-frenchtoast Buzzfeed-cheeseburgers







Buzzfeed Article – 17 Unexpected Foods You Can Cook in a Waffle Iron

From pretzels to french toast, even cheeseburgers (pictured), there is more to do with a waffle iron than you ever imagined!


These cupcakes take the best flavors from Summer and Fall!

Did you know August 17th is National Cupcake Day? For such a special day, don’t settle for the same old chocolate or vanilla. These beauties take the best flavors from our favorite seasonal treats, and we’re obsessed. From tangy red wine sangria cupcakes, to a french toast-inspired cupcake we can only describe as “autumn awesomeness”, you can indulge in these decadent delights all year round!




Cupcakes_HalfbakedHarvest-ChocoBourbonChocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie – Half Baked Harvest

With the season of holidays just around the corner, these pecan pie cupcakes will make the ending of summer a little easier for you. Ooey-gooey sweet pecan pie filling nestled inside a rich chocolate and bourbon cupcake bursting with flavor, and topped with butter pecan frosting with bourbon-glazed roasted pecans. Do yourself a favor, don’t wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy these cupcakes.



Cupcakes_BeyondFrosting-CoconutCreamCoconut Cream Pie Cupcakes – Beyond Frosting

That light, sweet tropical flavor reminiscent of your favorite beach vacation…Coconut always reminds us of summer. This is a heavenly, lightly-sweetened, airy cupcake for all those coconut lovers out there! Coconut cake, coconut mousse, and a cream cheese whipped cream the creator describes as “100% lighter and fluffier” than your favorite cream cheese frosting.



Cupcakes_The1stYearBlog-SangriaSangria Cupcakes – The First Year Blog

Cupcakes = love. Sangria = love. Cupcakes + Sangria = Obsessed. A little sweet, a little tart, AND they’re made with fresh fruit and red wine…so that makes them better for you, right? Vanilla cake with bursts of strawberries, blueberries and orange zest, topped with a healthy dose of fluffy, red wine infused buttercream frosting. Summer berries and tangy citrus are great ways to celebrate the last weeks of the season!


Cupcakes_DomesticRebel-KeyLimeKey Lime Pie Cupcakes – The Domestic Rebel

Lime-infused cupcakes with infamous key lime filling, topped with a thick, “luscious” key lime pie frosting garnished with little sprinkles of honey graham crackers. Enjoy these in the winter to imagine you’re laying on the beach in the Keys.

“Sweet, tart and bursting with key lime flavor, these fruity cupcakes will transport you right to the Florida Keys without ever leaving the house! I love the fresh lime flavor and the filling is such a zingy, perfect surprise to the sweetness of the frosting and lime cake.”


Cupcakes_AllDayIDream-ChocoBlackoutChocolate Blackout – All Day I Dream About Food

The All Day I Dream About Food blog should be called “All Day I Dream About THESE CUPCAKES”! Bring these to your holiday gatherings, and be everyone’s new favorite chef! Made with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, these dark chocolate cupcakes mean business. The best part? They’re low-carb, sugar-free, and nut-free…of course you CAN add a little sugar to suit your taste! Chocolate-lovers, rejoice. You don’t have to give up these sweet treats during holiday season!



Cupcakes_RecipeCritic-LemonBlueberryLemon Blueberry – The Recipe Critic

We know what you’re thinking: Snooze. Lemon-blueberry is so Summer 2014. But these are the best lemon blueberry cupcakes. And it’s still summer, so we had to include them – to quote the creator, “these cupcakes just scream warm weather and outdoor parties” These summery delights are “bursting with vanilla, fresh blueberries and a hint of lemon. Piled high with a delicious lemon buttercream frosting and of course, it wouldn’t be a cupcake with out SPRINKLES!” YUM.


Cupcakes_Bakingdom-FrenchToastStruesel-Topped French Toast Cupcakes – Bakingdom

These cupcakes make us want to snuggle up beside a fire on a crisp Fall morning. They’re everything your cinnamon-sugar, maple-syrupy dreams are made of. Not too sweet, not too spicy. Just the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake to complement the crunchy streusel and smooth maple buttercream. We won’t even judge if you eat these for breakfast!


There’s something about a food holiday that makes a Monday more exciting.


Summer isn’t over until you’ve had at least one s’more, that’s the rule. We couldn’t make this one up. If there were any day to celebrate the season, this is it: National S’mores Day.

And we don’t mean “sprinkle graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips over your ice cream and call it a day” (although that WOULD be delicious). We’re talking about bonafide, campfire-cookin’, “ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness” s’mores. But if you can’t make it to a bonfire today, or if you haven’t quite yet mastered marshmallow roasting without charring it to a crisp, you can still celebrate this lovable holiday properly with these recipes.

Satisfy all your s’mores cravings without the hassel…or the fire hazard.


The Simple & Genius

From add-ons to substitutions, these recipes pay homage to the s’more in its classic form…with a new and delicious twist!


Buzzfeed_CookieSmoreCooking Classy – Chocolate Chip Cookie S’more

If two of your favorite chocolate treats had a child, this would be the heavenly creation. We’re still wondering why never thought of this before! Oreos, chocolate-chip, double chocolate…the possibilities are endless!



More ideas we love!

  • Replace the Hershey’s Chocolate with Nutella spread *jaw-drops*
  • Add peanut butter!
  • Replace the graham crackers with pretzels (and/or chocolate-covered pretzels!)
  • Add strawberries (or any berry!)

Click HERE for more delicious inspiration!


Thinking Outside the Cracker

If you’re looking for new & surprising ways to indulge in s’mores – check out these mouth-watering recipes to get inspired!


ACozyKitchen_SmoresPavlovaA Cozy Kitchen – S’mores Pavlova

If there’s any way to describe this dish, it’s “a masterpiece”:

“The pavlova is chocolate-y by way of sifted cocoa powder and folded in bits of dark chocolate. The 7-minute frosting acts like a marshmallow and gets all toasty when a flame kisses it. – The crushed graham cracker is sprinkled on every. single. layer.”

One user commented, “s’mores are my jam, but pavlova is my symphony.” Same.


Sallys_SmoresTartletsSally’s Baking Addiction – S’mores Tartlet

Sure, as scrumptious as it looks, you might be thinking “I can not make a homemade s’mores pie”. We politely respond: YOU’RE WRONG. Three ingredients for the graham cracker crust, three for the chocolate ganache, and only four for the marshmallow. So worth it. Not convinced yet?

“These s’mores tartlets […] are phenomenal. No, way better than that. Downright heavenly. The toasted marshmallow topping is enough to send you into dessert oblivion. Bye.”


CompletelyDelicious_SmoresIceboxCompletely Delicious – S’mores No-Bake Icebox Cake

If you’ve never tasted, nor made an icebox cake (especially THIS icebox cake) – stop what you’re doing, and try it now. You’ll thank us later.

If you’re unfamiliar, “an icebox cake is one that requires a fridge, not an oven, to work its magic. Layers of a creamy filling and cookies chill overnight together, which sets the filling and transforms the cookies in soft cake-like layers. Icebox cakes are easy to assemble, and the hardest part is waiting for them to set up in the fridge.”

Creamy, fluffy, gooey goodness – “the last s’mores inspired dessert you’ll ever need.” And that’s saying something.


SprinklesSugar_SmoresTrufflesSprinkle Some Sugar – S’mores Truffles

Self-described as “bite-sized heaven”, this recipe is so easy you’ll be using it time and again. As the creator describes, this basic truffle recipe has been “s’mores-ified” but you can swap out different toppings and flavors to create the velvety-smooth truffle of your dreams! The gift that keeps on giving…



Tablespoon_SmoreSpringRollCheeky Kitchen – Crispy S’mores Spring Rolls

“To make this recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients and an insatiable craving for fast s’mores.” Just five ingredients: egg roll wrappers, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, chocolate frosting and chocolate sauce. They made sure to make this recipe easy, because you need these spring rolls in your life…NOW.




Perfect for Parties

You just can’t have a summer party without something s’mores-inspired! These dishes will be the life of the party – no campfire needed!


CraftyMom_SmoresStickScattered Thoughts of a Craft Mom – S’mores On a Stick

Who doesn’t love something on-a-stick. Whether you’re at a carnival, a backyard party, or the State Fair, you just can’t resist. These easy-to-make and even easier-to-eat pop-able treats are sure to be a hit at your party!




Five Heart Home – S’mores Dip

“This is one of those recipes that’s so brainless, I hardly feel justified calling it a recipe. Simply toss some chocolate chips in a skillet or oven-safe dish. Top with jumbo marshmallow halves. Toast for 5 or so minutes, pull out the graham crackers, and voilà!” As the author describes, this is the perfect party-friendly way to effortlessly enjoy s’mores year-round!


LifeLoveSugar_SmoreCupcakeLife Love and Sugar – S’mores Cupcakes

Seriously, how good do these look. This divine creation unites a buttery graham cracker crust with a moist chocolate cupcake, and a pillow of light and fluffy marshmallow icing. SOLD.




MyBakingAddiction_SmorePuddingShotMy Baking Addiction – S’mores Pudding Shots

“Pudding shots couldn’t be easier and they can be dressed up as seen in the photographs, or simply piped into mini plastic cups for a casual backyard barbeque. Chocolate pudding mix combines with milk, Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka and Cool Whip to create a fun, simple and boozy sweet treat that’s sure to be the hit at any party.” Enough said.



MothersNiche_SmoreConeMother’s Niche – Waffle Cone S’mores

The waffle cone craze is all the rage right now: your favorite s’mores flavors come to you in an even more transportable package! All you need are waffle cones, marshmallows, and any of these tasty extras: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, banana slices, berries, chocolate candies (Reese’s, Rolos, etc.).



HowDoesShe_SmoresJarHow Does She – S’mores in a Jar

Simple. Homemade. Cute. Inexpensive. Everything we love in a party favor! Whatever the occasion (birthday, wedding, shower, etc.), these DIY s’mores jars are perfect for any summer occasion! Keep the good times going by attaching one of the recipes here for your guests to try at home!




The Simply Outrageous

You’re a s’mores connoisseur and those amateur recipes just don’t cut it. We’re confident these s’mores will leave you wide-eyed and wanting more.


Buzzfeed_PeachBrieSmoreJoy the Baker – Peach, Brie, and Dark Chocolate

If you want to raise the bar for s’mores more than a few notches, this is the s’more for you. This recipe is sure to raise eyebrows: Wisconsin brie cheese, a ripe peach, and 70% dark chocolate culminate into a flavor explosion you’ll HAVE to experience for yourself.



Buzzfeed_SmorritoPeanut Butter, Jelly & Bacon S’morrito 

With a name like “The Vulgar Chef”, you know the creator of this s’more would make sure it’s nowhere near boring. PB & J, bacon (yes, bacon), and all your favorite s’more accoutrements wrapped in a snuggly tortilla blanket of goodness. If anything, we applaud the creativity.



Buzzfeed_ChocoSmoreCooking Classy – Chocolate Lover’s S’more

Chocolate marshmallows, chocolate graham crackers, and semi/bittersweet chocolate. The recipe even calls for homemade chocolate marshmallows. Oh my.






(We couldn’t resist.)


CRAVE’s S’mores Waffles 

The perfect way for any s’mores lover to start their day: fluffy chocolate waffles layered with house made marshmallow cream & graham cracker cookies, topped with toasted marshmallow ice cream & chocolate sauce.

See if your CRAVE location offers brunch & indulge in this divine dish!




The CRAVE S’more Brownie

An original. A tantalizingly-moist chocolate fudge brownie with a crumbly graham cracker crust, topped by a fire-kissed pillow of our special marshmallow cream. Featuring scrumptious marshmallow ice cream and smoked sea salt.



TheKitchn_MarshmallowFluffRECIPE WAR!

CRAVE’s Marshmallow Cream vs. The Kitchn’s Marshmallow Fluff!

Recently a recipe for our famous marshmallow cream was featured on Bring Me the News. When it comes to s’mores, we know how to do ‘mallows. Sweet, sticky, and oh-so fluffy – we think we’ve got the recipe to beat.

What do you think? Try ’em out, and tell us who you think is winner!

With superheroes like The Avengers, Ant-Man, and the Fantastic Four taking the world by storm this summer, we were looking for our own ways to be “super” this summer. The answer is…with SUPERFOODS! Powered by a team of nutrient-packed foods, you’ll be kicking butt in no time…without all the Spandex, of course.

We’ve got all the need-to-know info on some of these powerful foods, 15+ recipes you’ll love, and more!


What is a Superfood, anyway?

The “superfood”  label is no new term. But if this is your first time learning about it, there are a few crucial things to know. No, it isn’t some sci-fi hybrid food product engineered by a mad scientist. Generally speaking, “superfood” is a basic term for “nutritionally-dense” foods full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that do wonders for our bodies and minds.



Lovingly-known as the “supergrain”, quinoa is a quick-cooking, whole-grain seed. Known for its protein content, this gluten-free food is famous for being one of the only plant foods containing complete proteins, offering all essential amino acids. According to the Whole Grains Council, quinoa is also a good source of iron, fiber, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B6. This jam-packed balance of nutrients can aid in lowering cholesterol, help digestion, and offer many other anti-inflammatory and heart benefits.

Word to the wise: high nutrients don’t always equate to “low-calorie”. While quinoa is said to have as many calories as brown rice, it can still be a great substitute nonetheless!

For more information on QUINOA, check out this great article by Eating Well!

Dishes you’ll CRAVE:

GardenGrazer_QuinoaPowerSaladThe Garden Grazer’s Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad

The name says it all. This super salad has all the fiber, protein, and good fats you need to sustain your appetite AND satisfy your cravings for something delicious.




EatGood_QuinoCasseroleEat Good 4 Life’s Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

For those chilly nights at home…All the warm, cheesy home-made goodness boosted by broccoli, spinach, and quinoa! Bonus: this recipe calls for pesto – the perfect opportunity to try a KALE PESTO! (See below for the pesto recipe)



Back2HerRoots_GreekQuinoaSaladBack To Her Root’s Cold Greek Quinoa Salad

Cucumber. Kalamata olives. Feta cheese. Red bell peppers. Sounds like a great reason to get down with quinoa this summer.





Kale has topped the “Superfoods” lists for years. Said to contain well over a day’s worth of vitamins K and A, and more Vitamin C than an orange, kale is known for its star-studded roster of nutrients reported to reduce the risk of certain cancers (including breast and ovarian), provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and aid in brain development – among others.

Variety is key!

While kale is often the most celebrated, you can actually get many of the same nutritional benefits from its cousins in the cabbage family including broccoli, cauliflower, and collards. Like any food, it is important to include a variety of greens in your diet. Mix any of those mentioned here and include other leafy greens like spinach or swiss chard!

There are numerous types of kale available, the trick is to look for dark, crisp leaves. There are even more ways to incorporate kale in your meal!  Sauté in olive oil and garlic for stir-fry or a side of greens, swap out your romaine or iceberg lettuce for kale in salads, or lightly coat chopped kale with olive oil and roast it for kale chips. Kale is also a great green for juices and smoothies, however some have reported digestion issues with raw kale if consumed more than a couple times per week.

Dishes You’ll CRAVE:

GlowingFridge_SpicyKaleQuinoaBBSaladThe Glowing Fridge’s Spicy Kale Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Want to “spice” up your healthy habits? With quinoa, black beans, and kale, this dish packs a punch both in taste and goodness! Flavor and nutrients to boot.




Food52_KalePestoFood 52’s Kale Pesto

Pesto is the best-o. Much simpler to make than a good marinara, yet still so flavorful! As promised, here’s a can’t-beat recipe for a kale pesto sure to have you raving (even if you’ve never had pesto before!).



JoytheBaker_KaleSmoothieJoy the Baker’s Kale Spinach and Pear Smoothie

The recipe that proves eating well can be delicious! All it takes is kale, spinach, a pear, a banana, and some almond milk. “It doesn’t taste like you’re drinking kale and spinach. It tastes like you’re drinking good.” Violá!



For additional KALE information: check out what Cookie and Kate has to say. And even more facts at the Huffington Post!



You’ve probably seen blueberries on many other superfood lists, and rightly so. Like other berries, they are rich in vitamins, soluble fiber and phytochemicals. The Blueberry Council states that blueberries are “low in fat, but high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, and a good source of manganese.” Among other incredible benefits, these nutrients have been found to help lower your risk of disease and cancer, lower blood pressure, and aid in healthy digestion.  Blueberries are also high in antioxidants, which help protect you against harmful disease-enabling “free radicals”.

Dishes You’ll CRAVE:

Kitchenthusiast_5minFroYoKitchenthusiast’s 5-Minute Frozen Yogurt

With just a few ingredients and a few minutes to spare, you can have yourself a simple and healthy frozen yogurt complete with an added toasted-coconut crunch! While the blueberries are the main act here, you can certainly throw in some spinach or kale for bonus goodness!



GimmeSomeOven_PinappleChickenBBSaladGimme Some Oven’s Grilled Pineapple Chicken Avocado Salad

We just couldn’t resist adding this beauty to the list. The blueberries take on a supporting role in this dish, but are an important flavor component regardless. And who could say no to a little extra sweet-and-tartness?! When it comes to taste, nutrition, and being perfectly-summery, this dish certainly has it all.



EnjoyEveryBite_BlueberryMuffinsEnjoy Every Bite’s Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

It’s hard not to love blueberry muffins. It IS hard to find a recipe without a ton of refined or processed ingredients. If you’ve been looking for a more nutritious way to indulge in this breakfast classic, look no further. This recipe uses whole wheat flour, oats, and blueberries and is naturally-sweetened!





Fish and shellfish are generally nutritionally-rich. Salmon in particular is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12). However, the plethora of omega-3 fatty acids salmon contain is the real show-stopper. Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot produce them by itself. These fatty acids are thought to support good brain health, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, help balance cholesterol, and may cut cancer risk. Considering all these extraordinary benefits, it is suggested you eat oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and fresh tuna) at least three times a week.

Check out the BBC’s Good Food article for more information!

Dishes You’ll CRAVE:

SkinnyTaste_SalmonBurgerSkinny Taste’s Naked Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

No doubt, summer is when the burger reigns king. As tough as it might sound, try to stray away from the turf and go for the surf! This salmon burger will satisfy all your cravings for a juicy, flavorful, and hearty burger, with all of those glorious omega-3’s!



CookingClassy_SalmonTacosCooking Classy’s Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa

This dish will have you wishing every day were Taco Tuesday. If you’ve had fish tacos (and you should!), you NEED to try this street taco variation. Flavorful and beautifully-complemented with fresh avocado salsa and Cotija cheese? Is it Tuesday yet?



CookingClassy_BakedSalmon&VeggiesCooking Classy’s Baked Salmon and Summer Veggies

Cooking Classy is hitting it out of the park with the salmon recipes. This one would be PERFECT for a summer party, and here’s why. This is a light and nutrition-packed dish that’s, most importantly, so easy to make! The oven does virtually all of the work – which means less time babysitting the grill, and more time enjoying the party! PLUS: you’ll have a chance to use all of those beautiful in-season summer squashes from your garden (or have a reason to go to the farmer’s market asap).


Full of fiber, oats are also notable as rich sources of magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. They contain a special type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, and their magnesium works to regulate blood-sugar levels. According to the Whole Grain Council, whole oats increase appetite-control hormones, lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, help control blood pressure, and lower risk of diabetes. Oats even have twice the amount of protein than whole wheat or whole corn!

Are all oats “whole oats”?

In short, not necessarily. Whole oats are oats that still contain their endosperm, bran and germ. Oats such as “quick oats” that have been further processed to remove these essential parts also significantly reduce the amount of nutrients the oat contains.The trick is to look for “whole oat” products such as  whole grain oat groats, steel cut oats, and thick oats.

Dishes You’ll CRAVE:

WheatlessKitchen_BananaBreadOatsThe Wheatless Kitchen’s Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Yes all day to overnight oats. Easy to make, a serious time-saver in the morning, nutritious, AND filling. There’s no need to give up your appetite-satisfying oatmeal during the warm weather months! Best of all, it’s great on-the-go! Still not sure? Let this article convince you. Then check out this delightful blueberry version here.



Texanerin_OatPancakesTexanerin’s Banana Pancakes

Gluten-free. Whole grain. Dairy-free. Sounds too good to be true right? Think again. These ‘cakes are soft, moist, and as the creator describes, “banana bread in pancake form”. The star here is oat flour, which as the creator explains, is just ground up oats! (Well that’s convenient!) .



AverieCooks_PB&JGranolaAverie Cook’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola

You have to try this Whole Foods-inspired snack! As the creator describes, it’s a one-bowl, no mixer, easy recipe that delivers an almost unbelievable combination of sweet/salty and chewy/crunchy. And don’t worry if you’re careful of sugar, this PB&J granola actually doesn’t use jelly – it’s sweetened by dried fruit!



CRAVE-ing More?

Check out even more satisfying superfoods here:

One more note:

Superfoods – Stay informed.

While many of the foods discussed here do offer many important nutrients, consumers should always be wary of food fads and gimmicks. Unfortunately, “superfood” is often used a marketing term – the first general criticism of the term “superfood” is that, while the food itself might be healthful, the processing might not be. Food products that advertise the benefits of superfoods may also hide added sugars and chemicals. The important thing is to be informed and conscious of where your food is coming from. For more on this, check out this article at Live Science.



10+ recipes, picking tips, storage advice, and more!

Summertime is berry time. As part of our seasonal food highlights, we’re taking a moment to focus on berries. While strawberry season is sadly winding down, your other fruit favorites are just arriving. Be prepared for this joyous season of superfruit splendor. All you need to know about berry season is right here.



Thompson Strawberry Farm in Wisconsin.
Thompson Strawberry Farm in Kenosha County, WI

If you’ve decided to pick your own berries (and you should!), kudos to you!

You’ve forgone the convenient, yet questionable freshness of grocery store produce for a more homegrown selection. So go on – lace up those old sneakers, slather on the sunscreen, and head over to a pick-your-own farm. (TIP: Pick-Your-Own is a great source for finding local farms near you!) The berries will taste better after all that hard work anyways…right? Here’s some need-to-know information about picking your favorite berries this summer:

In general, berries are better-picked earlier in the day before the heat over-ripens them. When it comes to judging the ripeness of fruit, your senses are your friend. In the case of berries, color is a pretty good indicator – the brighter and deeper the color, the better! For stone-filled fruit like cherries and peaches, feel is also a factor. Softness and weight are good clues here.



  • Peak Season: June-August
  • What to look for: softer and falls off easily.


  • Peak Season: June-August
  • What to look for: uniform in color, brighter blue, and falls off easily


  • Peak Season: June-July
  • What to look for: heavier, firm, and skin is somewhat shiny


  • Peak Season: July-September
  • What to look for: easily separates from the stem, color changes from greenish to yellow. For yellow varieties: look for orange tint. For white varieties: look for yellow-white.


  • Peak Season: July-October (Summer and Fall varieties)
  • What to look for: plump and falls off easily


  • Peak Season: May-June
  • What to look for: firm and as red as possible! If mostly red, they will continue to ripen after picked. Under half red, will not ripen much afterwards.

For more in-depth information, check out these tips.



blueberry_storageWith all the fruits of your labor (pun intended), now what? If you’re not using them immediately, store or freeze them! Berries keep for months when frozen, and when stored properly can last weeks in the fridge. From rinsing in vinegar to storing in special containers, there is much debate over the most effective method for making berries last.

Consensus seems to be on one point, however: berries like it cold and dry. This cannot be stressed enough. Heat and moisture = bacteria, mush and mold.

Many recommend leaving berries unwashed until consumption, stored in a cool, dry place, to avoid these issues. If you do rinse the berries, make sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them in a loosely-sealed container lined with paper towel and plenty of berry breathing room.

For more tips and tricks, check out this article.


Recipes & Inspiration

While great as a stand-alone snack, berries are versatile, and their sweet-and-tartness can be a great complement to just about any recipe.

Quick & Easy Ideas

  • Dip in dark chocolate and freeze for a healthier treat!
  • Freeze and use as ice cubes for your favorite cold drink
  • Mix in yogurt and freeze for a delicious frozen yogurt, or make into a sorbet – see recipes below!
  • Mix into your favorite pancake or waffle mix
    • Bonus: make into a jam or syrup – use this easy recipe!
  • blend with yogurt or almond milk and ice for a great smoothie
  • Layer on yogurt and granola for BYO parfaits


Favorite Berry Recipes


Berry Bliss Iced Tea

Inspired by Starbuck’s Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, this recipe has antioxidants, is refreshingly sweet and tart, and has enough caffeine to get you through the day.

Prepared green and hibiscus tea, a bit of sugar and ginger, ice cold water, mixed berries. Let chill for an hour for flavors to blend.


SlowRoasted_BerrySangriaA blast in a glass: Summer Berry Sangria

Sangria in the summer needs no introduction. The berries in this drink do all the talking.

Your favorite moscato wines, a bit of sugar, lemon slices, and a TON of fresh berries

BONUS non-alcoholic version: substitute the wine for sparkling grape juice or regular juice and 7-up



DomesticateMe_SmoothieBowlThe super smoothie: Vegan Berry Smoothie Bowl

Just when you thought smoothies couldn’t get better – you’re in for a treat. Easy to make, packed with nutrients, and tantalizingly tasty!

For the smoothie: frozen berries, almond milk, and agave nectar/honey. Top with fresh berries, granola, chia seeds, almonds, and coconut shavings.



Sallys_BerryCrostiniThe “berriest” simple snack: Cheese and Fruit Crostini

A snack, an appetizer…we could eat this all day! Crunchy, sweet, savory – this dish has it all! You need no occasion for this flavorful crostini creation.

Crostini (toasted slices of baguette or even use your favorite cracker – the key is in the crunch factor! Top with a soft & spreadable cheese like goat cheese or brie, drizzle on honey, and garnish with a few berries. For added flavor pizzazz, drizzle some balsamic glaze


Sallys_YogurtPopsiclesPut the “pop” in popsicles: 3-Ingredient Yogurt Popsicles

Popsicles and summer. Berries and summer. Both go hand in hand…why not unite the two? The simplest summer frozen treat! Blended blueberries mixed into greek yogurt and honey or agave nectar. Freeze in a popsicle mold and BAM. Summer on a stick. For a non-dairy sorbet version – follow these tips by The Kitchn!




TwoPeas_BerryQuinoaSaladSensational in salads: Berry Quinoa Salad

The perfect summer side dish can also make a great breakfast or healthy snack!

Mix cooked quinoa, mixed berries (fresh of course), chopped almonds, finely-chopped basil and mint leaves, and drizzle with this to-die-for “Citrus-Honey” dressing.



AppleEye_BakedOatmealOats with the most: Baked Berry Oatmeal

Even if you’re not the biggest oatmeal fan, you’ll love this. It’s perfect on-the-go breakfast, or if you need a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Layers upon layers of a mixture of oats, cinnamon, & brown sugar with milk, honey, vanilla, your favorite berries, and chopped pecans. Good morning, breakfast.



CRAVE-ing More?

LoveLemons_BerryCollectionCheck out this “berry” delicious collection of recipes by food blog Love & Lemons!

  • Muffins
  • Salsas
  • Crostinis
  • Salads
  • Ice cream
  • And more of your favorite berry-filled dishes!


They’re bursting with flavor! Firework puns because…America.

Kitchn BerrySangriaSummer Berry Sangria from The Kitchn

Start off the 4th by serving up this summery and U-S-Amazing drink decked out in red and blue.

With the tartness of the berries mixed with the sweet sangria, this patriotic take on a summertime classic is sure to get the party going!



Love&LemonsKaleSaladWatermelon & Avocado Kale Salad from Love & Lemons

Summer and watermelon go hand in hand. Looking for something light yet interesting enough to spice up your summer cookout?

Why not impress your guests with a little dose of creativity by pairing these surprising ingredients. Watermelon. Avocado. Kale. A little sweet, a little salty, and a ton of fresh flavor.


IamFoodBlogGuacHow to Make Guacamole by I Am a Food Blog

Guacamole. Sure, it may not exactly be the first thing that comes to mind on 4th of July – but it IS a great alternative to the same old, boring dips-and-chips platter.

In contrast to other dips, it offers more nutrition while still packing a punch in the flavor category. Serve it up with your Summer Berry Sangria, and you’ve got yourself a dynamic duo. There are countless different guacamole preferences: chunky, smooth, zesty, hot, tomatoes vs. no tomatoes…the best part about making guacamole is that YOU are in control. Add as much or as little extra flavor as you like!

KitchnPotatoSalad5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Potato Salad – The Kitchn

Let’s discuss potato salad. It’s commonplace at summer gatherings. Not matter what the menu, it seems with any cookout comes this dish. People seem to either love it or hate it – but when done right, it can be an excellent complement to burgers, ribs, steak, etc. Here are a few simple, but crucial tips from the pros to make sure your potato salad makes a good impression on Saturday!


PrarieHomesteadBurger“The BEST Homemade Burgers” by The Prairie Homestead

What food is more patriotic than an American classic?

The hamburger. Whether you like the simplicity of a burger and a bun, or prefer a more snazzy burger with all the bells and whistles, you can’t go wrong on the 4th with this cookout staple.

This sensationally-seasoned recipe had people raving. However….


Food&WineNachoBurgerBonus Recipe! The Nacho Burger from Food & Wine

…if you love over-the-top burgers, this is the one for you! From the ingenious mind of Chef Bobby Flay, this mouth-watering delight is complete with queso, jalapenos, salsa, AND tortilla chips. *crying* Never going back to a plain burger again.

Just be careful – with a burger like this, your guests will insist you throw a cookout EVERY weekend.


TheKitchnGrilledChicken10 Tips for the Perfect Grilled Chicken by The Kitchn

Need a burger alternative? Try the other summer classic: BBQ chicken. This dish is sure to please just about every meat-loving guest. But take note: not all chicken is grilled equally. Be sure to follow this insightful advice provided by the folks at The Kitchn to insure your chicken turns out beautifully caramelized, juicy, and tender. (The secrets lie in the cut, the grill, and the sauce…)


Food52Cobbler12 Crisps, Cobblers, and Crumbles – Food52

Crisps, cobblers, and crumbles..oh my! From Blackberry Apricot Cobbler, to Red, White, and Blue Fruit Crisp (shown here), Food52 is serving up recipes for all of your favorite summer fruits: peaches, berries, cherries, and more!

These recipes might even give your grandmother’s famous recipes some competition!


BromaBakeryAmericanPieMiss American Pie from Broma Bakery

I’m just going to say it – you can’t go more American than pie. And this is the one to top them all. The creator of this red, white, and blue beauty even explains it as “so simple and yet so festive. You can bet that if you brought this to your 4th of July it would be the star of the table.”

And have no fear. This pie is simple enough for the most novice of bakers. From the creator: “holidays should be about stress-free entertaining, so a little store-bought crust is welcomed in my book.”

MyBakingAddictionGrilledPoundcakeGrilled Pound Cake with Pineapple & Passionfruit – My Baking Addiction

After all the hotdogs and hamburgers come off the grill, why not keep it going a little longer for this sweet treat! If you need another summery addition to your menu, try this tropical dessert with the island flavors of pineapple and passionfruit. The marriage of these sweet fruits and a slice of  grilled pound cake topped with yogurt, make this dessert lightly sweet-and-satisfying enough for any summer palate.

CRAVE-ing more ideas?

Try out these July 4th recipe collections from some of our favorite food blogs!





Mix-and-match these ideas for a full day of summery activities!

Foodies, outdoorsy couples, those of us who need a little entertainment and excitement…look no further. This list is packed with local, fun-filled, and relatively inexpensive options for any type of date you CRAVE.


For the Foodies

1. Beer/Wine Tours & Festivals

Feel like a local and try some hometown brews and eateries!
beerGreat for a party of two or a group of friends. Be adventurous and sample new flavors and labels together – this is your chance to try each other’s favorites! Tip: no need to eat beforehand – tasting events also often include local food stands & trucks! To find events near you, check out websites like these:

Wine events:

Beer events:

2. Farmers Market

Give your morning or afternoon a healthy dose of summer!

applesGet outdoors, sample fresh, local food & produce, and show your support for local farms and businesses. Buy some ingredients for a picnic or cookout to make together later!

Check out these sites to find a market near you:



3. Berry Picking

With so many berries to pick, you’ll need two sets of hands!

berriesSummer is berry season! Head out to a farm near you and pick strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. while they’re in season.

Bring them home to be devoured ASAP, have fun making a pie together, or reward your labor with a beautiful Sunday brunch using the berries atop homemade waffles or pancakes! (You could also use a homemade jam or syrup for those waffles..blueberry syrup, anyone?)

Need ideas of what to make? Check out these tasty recipes:


4. Cookout or Picnic

Get cozy and romantic with a classic picnic for two in the park, or invite friends over for a potluck outdoor BBQ!

cookoutDitch the same ol’ hotdogs and burgers in favor of new flavors and fixin’s – how about a BYO burger bar with tasty add-ons like avocado, fried onion strings, and pineapple!

  • See CRAVE’s menu for some delicious inspiration: BBQ smoke house burger, salmon burger, breakfast burger, and more!




Active & Adventurous

5. Outdoor Sports

1 v. 1 or choose teams  for kickball, ultimate frisbee, mini-golf, batting cages, etc.!

sportsA little friendly competition never hurts! Channel your inner child by rounding up some friends to play schoolyard favorites like kickball – or hit up the amusement park for mini-golf, batting cages, and go-karts!

Note: amusement park must be followed up with some ice cream or a corndog – preferably something on a stick.


6. Biking

Exercise and nature – without the trauma of running!

bikingMake a trip out of it: bike to the lake, go to the park for a picnic, or reward yourself with a stop at your favorite ice cream shop!

Don’t have a bike? Rent one using services like Nice Ride, Spinlister, or Rent-a-bike.





7. Hiking

“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, keep nothing but memories.”

hikingBurn some cals, soak up the sun and scenery, and get out of the city for awhile! Venture out to one of the beautiful parks and trails near you, and enjoy nature at its finest before winter returns. To find a trail near you, try out these sites:



8. Kayak, Canoe, SUP (Stand-up Paddleboard)

Whether it’s a lake, river, or ocean, summer is meant to be spent on the water.

kayaksMake a trip out to one near you, and enjoy some time off shore! Go to one of your local parks or beaches, and rent a canoe, kayaks, paddleboards, etc. for a daytime adventure. Just be sure to pack the sunscreen!







Outdoor Entertainment

9. Local Fairs & Festivals

The other best thing about summer? Festivals on festivals on festivals.

fireworksFrom neighborhood block parties to state fairs, there are seemingly-endless events happening almost every week from June to August.

Fairs/Festivals are home to everything wonderful about summer: food, concerts, parades, fireworks, carnival rides…all in one convenient location! Bonus: no need to go to that class reunion…You’re bound to see everyone you know and their great aunt’s second cousin!

Reward your inner foodie! Indulge in your favorite “fair food” – fried-sweet-gooey-cheesy-deliciousness-on-a-stick.


10. Baseball Games

What’s more “summery” than America’s pastime?

baseball game

Grab a seat, a hotdog, a brew, and enjoy the night! (who knows, you may even end up on the Kiss Cam!) Rally up some friends, pack up your grill and cooler, and tailgate beforehand!

Tip: many ballparks offer discounted ($5!) tickets during the week, if you don’t mind the views. Check out your team’s schedule for discounts/deals!

Want all the excitement of baseball without the major-league crowds and prices? Check out your local minor league and sit front and center!


11. Outdoor Movies

Grab a blanket and get cozy together with this favorite summer activity!
driveinFrom drive-in theaters to movies in the park, many cities offer events for cinematic splendor under the stars! Check out your city’s parks and/or events websites for more information.

Don’t have a drive-in or park event near you? Break out the sleeping bags and popcorn for a private showing: set up a backyard movie with your own computer!

Bonus: you can bring your own snacks, and you don’t have to worry about getting there early for prime seats!


12. Stargazing

After your picnic or outdoor movie, sit back, relax, and enjoy nature!

Star-gazingMark your calendars for August 11th-13th – the next meteor shower! To learn more about this amazing celestial event, check out this website for visibility information!

Playing constellation I-Spy? Click here for updates on what is visible in your area. Or use a stargaze app like SkyView to get a real-time mapping of constellations above you!






 Bonus Idea!

13. Go to CRAVE for our Date Night Special!

Impress your date with a dinner to remember – Friday & Saturday is Date Night at CRAVE!
At CRAVE, we know how to make the night special: a 3-course dinner for two, PLUS a bottle of wine to share for only $50!


CRAVE_Out_State_Date_Night_Web_Slider_960x400 (1)

Starters, snacks, small plates…these small bites are becoming big hits.

Inspired by “tapas”, the Spanish style of dining consisting of smaller-portioned snack dishes, the small plates trend is making a huge impact on restaurants everywhere.  While it it may seem as though small plates have just become mainstream, the trend has actually taken off over the course of the last decade. Back in 2003, Michelle Huneven of the LA Weekly described a certain freedom tied to small plates: “No longer do you have to commit yourself to one entree – or even, one restaurant.”

With small plates, the dining possibilities are endless.

Guests can mix-and-match familiar flavors and experiment with new ones! While often viewed as a “starter” or “appetizer” course, more diners are replacing their main course with these dishes. This is the beauty of small plates: their versatility as the start or the star of your meal gives you the freedom of deciding the size and scope of your dining experience. As Pete Wells recently stated in the New York Times, “the only limitation is the size of the table.”

Summer Veggie BruschettaRisotto BallsBacon Cheddar TotsCrispy Pork Dumplings







CRAVE is no stranger to the small plate craze. Our summer menu features 14 new snack items starting at just $4! From melt-in-your-mouth cheesy risotto balls, to sweet-and-spicy crispy pork dumplings, we have crave-worthy bites you’ll want to sink your teeth into. These sensational snacks are perfect for lunch or dinner!


Featured Snacks at CRAVE

Truffle Parmesan Fries

crispy and tossed with fresh grated parmesean cheese and truffle oil

Bacon & Chedder Tater Tots

packed with melty cheese-and-bacon goodness

Risotto Balls

creamy, cheesy, and coated in a crunchy panko crust

Crispy Pork Dumplings

served with a sweet and spicy cilantro chili sauce

Summer Veggie Bruschetta

fresh & drizzled with a balsamic glaze

Guacamole, Pico & Chips

fresh, zesty, and full of flavor

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Strips

hand-breaded, served with a medley of dipping sauces