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‘Food Hacks’ takes bites to brilliance

Peggy Wang, founding editor of BuzzFeed, leads the attack on ordinary food, with “Amazing Food Hacks: 75 Incredibly Easy Tips, Tricks & Recipes to Amp Up Flavor”

Savory bread pudding with sausage gravy makes for a hearty, delicious brunch centerpiece. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Make-ahead dishes for brunch

Make-ahead menu allows for a leisurely late-morning repast for the cook, too

This lunchbox serves up appealing hues and nutritious veggies: pita wedges with colorful hummus dips made with carrots, avocado and beets, along with carrot hummus “sushi” rolls. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

The spread of hummus

Middle Eastern mainstay has grown beyond chickpeas — try beets, carrots and avocados

Coconut butternut squash soup with shrimp takes butternut squash soup to a whole new level. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)

New ways to use butternut

New and creative recipes for using up one of fall’s most prolific squashes