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You’ve been lied to these last couple of days. Not by me, however. Don’t worry… I’m here to straighten this out right here, right now.

If you were riding around in your car listening to the radio this weekend or happened to read a newspaper, you might have been left with the impression that Labor Day marks the end of summer. Well, let me tell you something. The advertisers, newscasters, and journalists are just plain lazy! We still have plenty of time to enjoy this sweet season. In fact, according to Bing, we have 15 more days as of today. See?

Disclaimer: I did this search yesterday which explains the discrepancy in the countdown.

The good news doesn’t stop here though! Do you remember how I mentioned that I forgot my camera last week? Well, it happened to have the pictures for today’s post on them which caused a delay in publication. It turns out that this works out though because if I had the pictures last week, I wouldn’t have been so dismayed at the BIG mess up regarding the end of the summer. Thus, I’d not only be short on blog content (I mean, I’ve been able to stretch this into a pretty lengthy intro, right?) but I also would have missed out on a post title too!

So why is the post covering the last-and-late-yet-highly-anticipated recipe from the July/August Everyday Food promising to extend summer throughout all 365 days that comprise our non-leap year calendar? Well, the Tuna-and-Orange Lettuce Cups with Couscous Cakes recipe is fresh, bright, and features produce which can be found all year long! To me, it sounds like the perfect way to eat summery-inspired fare when the skies turn ever-gray (especially because navel oranges hit their peak in January)!

Let’s check it out…

Ingredients: Lots of them but they all tend to be available year-round. From upper right, moving clockwise: cooked couscous, navel orange, boston lettuce, rice wine vinegar and olive oil, canned tuna (splurge on the albacore!), basil, fennel with fronds, one egg. Phew!

My sweet friend, J, came over for friend/co-cooking time. I showed her how to segment an orange which consists of peeling the orange with a knife and then making tiny slices between the orange segments' membranes (the light white lines).

As you make your tiny slices, the segments will start to fall out...

... leaving you with tons of segments and this cool, orange, star-like thingy.

The recipe calls for two bowls. The first consists of the light salad which includes the orange segments, fennel, tuna, and vinegar/oil blend. The orange juice from the cool, orange, star-like thingy serves as additional acid so that the ingredients marinate.

The rest of the ingredients (except for the Boston lettuce and fennel fronds) get tossed and mixed up in the other bowl to make...

couscous cakes! Just place a spoonful of the mixture in a hot cast iron...

... and squish the mixture...

... to make a cute little cake!

Admittedly, they take a while to brown.

But when they do, you flip them...

... and let them drain on paper towels (honestly, though, there's not much to drain since you don't use that much oil).

This fresh-tasting meal comes together by spooning some of the tuna/orange salad into lettuce leaves and adding some cute couscous cakes!

While the ingredient list is a little longer than I’m used to, it was completely offset by the small amount of prep time required. As long as you don’t mind slicing and dicing some oranges, fennel and basil, you too can be on your way to enjoying “summer” all year long!

RECIPE STATS

Cost: Excluding the egg, oil, and vinegar, Jayme and I spent $12.26 for the ingredients.

Calories: 394 calories

Recipe: Another perk of a later-than-expected publication? The recipe’s online! However, if you love paper (like me), you can also peruse on over to p. 89!

Fun Fact: So you don’t like tuna? You’re not alone. Try subbing in one large can (at least 10 oz.) of canned chicken instead…

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