TT Leftovers: September Edition

Cooking frills and shortcuts for kitchen domination

This month, "back to school" has been replaced by "back to the kitchen" with a cadre of stories to help you cook to your own tune. Invoke the talents of chefs by heightening a burger with their favorite toppings or prepare a meal as painlessly as possible with a classic cookbook that breaks with convention.

Let these stories reawaken your inner chef:

Personal Affair Bespoke snacks continue to saturate the market. Let your creativity to run wild and design the perfect mash-up of flavors in your own chocolate bars and jerky.

Magic Dust Make sure to stock your pantry with dried-fruit powders; a pinch of mango, pomegranate or lime can go a long way in stews and stir-fries.

Liquid Handshake Look to the France's Jura region for idiosyncratic wines, which have captured the hearts and glasses of wine geeks. The delicate reds are perfect options for shoulder season.

The Hard Truth As much as we love to spend hours in the kitchen, sometimes 15 minutes is all we can muster. When it's that kind of day, pick up a copy of the (newly updated) I Hate to Cook Book for some seriously easy recipes.

Off the Top The burger is the ultimate canvas. Take a cue from the chefs by topping yours with these inventive twists or create your own burger trend to oust ketchup from the spotlight.