Spend your day off exploring the kitchen with fun, new techniques like pickling, fermenting, and poaching. 
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

A day off for a holiday is like a gift of extra time. You now have 8 hours (plus whatever your commute is) that you wouldn't have otherwise had. So how do you spend it? We love breaking into the old Cooking Light magazine recipe archives and finding the pages we marked to make on a day we had a little extra time. Here are the recipes we can't wait to try on our day off, and we hope you'll join us as we experiment. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Olive Oil-Basted Grass-Fed Strip Steak

Basting proteins helps keep the steaks extra delicious and moist. This method is our go-to for adding some extra fat to a leaner piece of protein. 

Credit: Photo: Greg Dupree

Curry-Poached Cod with Snap Pea Slaw 

Poaching fish is the perfect way to infuse unreal flavor into a plain dish. This recipe uses a curry inspired sauce to take basic cod up to next level delicious. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Lentil-Tahini Burgers with Pickled Cabbage 

This quick-pickled cabbage slaw adds the perfect crunchy contrast to the creamy dressing and meaty vegetarian patty. 

Credit: Photo: Greg Dupree

Fermented Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Set some fermenting veggie jars aside with your free time to get a funky, kimchi-like sauce to use on a crazy weeknight down the road. 

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

White Cheddar and Bacon Risotto 

Risotto is one of those dishes that you have to babysit, but with an extra half hour on our hands to dive deep into the cheesy goodness, this is a great pick for dinner. 

Credit: Photo: Greg Dupree

Spaghetti and Meatballs 

We love simple spaghetti and meatballs, but it's finally time to try this lightened up zoodle version. Grab your end of season zucchini and spiralize away for this perfect dinner dish. 

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Basil-Ricotta Ravioli with Spinach 

Store bought wonton wrappers help make these homemade ravioli easier than you thought. It's the perfect opportunity to indulge a little this holiday weekend. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Tempeh Gyros with Tzatziki 

Alternative meats go way beyond sad grilled tofu. This dish has real flavor that hits you hard, with a fresh vegan tzatziki sauce and a unreal cooking liquid to take take tempeh places you didn't think it could go. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Tangy Beer-Can Chicken 

Turn up the grill one last weekend for the ultimate chicken dish. The evaporating beer keeps chicken tender and delicious, while adding a subtle flavor you'll adore. 

Credit: Photo: Victor Protasio

Tomato, Basil, and Corn Pizza 

Homemade pizza can truly be a family affair. Bonus points if you cook this one over the grill for a true end-of-summer feast. 

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Watermelon Granita with Hibiscus Syrup and Yogurt

This ultimate summertime dessert takes a little time and attention, but it's perfect for a pool day or family barbecue. 

Credit: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Matcha-Glazed Donuts

Donuts are the perfect way to entertain your kids when they're home from school. Experiment with the unique flavor that matcha brings, and get some great photos as you cook. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Halibut Ceviche with Lime and Seaweed 

Nothing screams summer as much as fresh ceviche. Take the plunge and try cooking with acid so you can enjoy dish this while the weather stays warm. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Tune Poke Bowls with Brown Rice and Kale

Hop on the poke wagon with these delicious tuna bowls. You'll feel like you took a dinnertime vacation to a tropical island.