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No more margaritas: why we might see a tequila shortage soon

All you margarita fans out there, let’s get serious. Experts are projecting a massive world-wide tequila shortage until 2021, and unfortunately, yes, your Friday night binges are partially to blame. According to Reuters, a shortage of the agave plant — the plant used to make the liquor — is the problem. The price of the the blue-tinged spikey-leaved succulent has increased six-fold in just two years, causing the price to jump from 3.85 pesos per kilo to 22. Agave plants normally take seven or eight years to reach maturity. The report states that only 17.7 million agaves were planted in 2011 — and 42 million are needed to supply the 140 registered tequila companies. This shortage is forcing farmers to harvest agaves that have not yet reached maturity — causing a downward spiral for several upcoming years. Tequila has gained popularity in recent years with total U.S. sales up 7.4 percent between 2015 and 2016. That amounts…

Hail storms wipe out eight million bottles worth of Champagne grapes

Today the Champagne industry has nothing to toast. Strong hail storms hit the famous wine growing region of France and wiped out the equivalent of eight million bottles of bubbly. The strong hailstorm damaged 4,450 acres of Champagne vineyards — completely destroying about 1,000 of those. This isn’t the first storm to wreck havoc on this year’s harvest. The northeastern Champagne region was hit hard four times between late April and May, which is unfortunately the exact time that the delicate vines begin to flower. The fourth storm, which hit May 27, caused the most harm. “Of course storm and hail are not unusual phenomena in Champagne, but what is rare is to see them at this very early stage and with this level of violence,” the industry’s Champagne Committee said. Thanks to the region’s reserves, the hail damage is not expected to result in a shortage for customers this…

Bob Dylan makes whiskey to become latest celebrity with branded booze

Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan is the latest celebrity to create his own brand of alcohol. The Nobel Prize winner worked with bourbon maker Marc Bushala to create Heaven’s Door. The small-batch whiskeys come in three varieties: a straight bourbon, a straight rye and a double-barreled whiskey. “Dylan has these qualities that actually work well for a whiskey,” Bushala told The New York Times. “He has great authenticity. He is a quintessential American. He does things the way he wants to do them. I think these are good attributes for a super-premium whiskey as well.” The whiskey is only available at the online store for Heaven’s Door, but it will be available in mid-May in stores in select states. Dylan joins a crowded market of celebrity-branded or -owned spirits, as seen below: • Drew Barrymore — Barrymore wines. The actress has a partnership with Jackson Family Wines that’s produced Pinot Grigio, Pinot…

Get Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials at these restaurants

Despite the fact that Cinco de Mayo commemorates a Mexican military victory over France, for whatever reason the holiday has taken hold in America. This Saturday marks the annual fiesta, so be on the look-out for deals on delicious south-of-the-boarder indulgences like tasty tacos and crisp, yellow lagers. Here are a few deals you can snag on May 5: Applebee’s Whether it’s beer or tequila, Applebee’s has something to offer. The Dollarita — that is, a $1 margarita — will be available through May 5. Plus Dos Equis will be on special for $2. Bahama Breeze Score a Classic Margarita for just $5 between April 29 and May 5. California Pizza Kitchen It might not serve Mexican food, but CPK wants to be part of the party, too! Stop by on May 5 and order an Agave Lime Margarita for just $5. Chipotle Use the DoorDash app at any participating…

Easy Chicken Enchiladas are ready to party

You’ll look forward to making this easy enchilada recipe almost as much as you’ll look forward to eating it. It’s so simple yet full of that delicious Mexican flavor you crave. And you don’t have to go to a restaurant for Cinco de Mayo. Whip these up for authentic flavor on May 5 or any night of the year. Easy Chicken Enchiladas Ingredients 3-4 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I use cooked rotisserie chicken as a time saver) 1 medium onion, chopped 2 teaspoons olive oil 3/4 – 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 1 large can enchilada sauce (Dos Amantes has great flavor) 3 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend preferred) 8-12 flour tortillas Directions Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large pan over medium heat, heat 2 tsps of olive oil. Simmer the onions and cook until soft. Stir often. Combine the chicken and the onions in the pan. Stir until combined. Pour about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce…

You’ll soon be spending more for that cheap wine

Just when you found a few good, cheap wines to rely on, they’re about to get way more expensive. According to data from the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine production was down this year to the lowest production levels seen since 1957. According to Reuters, it’s the weather causing the problem. Three of the world’s top wine producers, Italy, France and Spain, were hit by harsh and unusual weather last year, like drought, hailstorms and late spring frost, leading to an overall drop of 14.6 percent in production. The 2017 harvest only brought 25 billion liters of wine. That’s down from the 2015 harvest which produced 27.6 billion liters, and the 2016 harvest which brought 26.7 billion liters. The continent accounts for 65 percent of global wine production. The OIV told the Independent that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a shortage of wine unless the weather conditions and poor harvest…

Where you can get free food on Tax Day 2018

Tuesday, April 17 is Tax Day, which means an opportunity to score some free food at participating restaurants. Just because you’re getting money back doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a good deal. Finish filing and head over to one of these chain restaurants for an added Tax Day bonus. And if you finished filing weeks ago, that means you’ll have time to scoop up an extra deal or two! Boston Market Participating locations are offering a Tax Day Special. For $10.40, pick up a half chicken meal with two sides, cornbread and a regular fountain drink. Try this restaurant locator to find a location near you.  Bruegger’s Bagels From April 9 to April 17, celebrate with friends and get 20 percent off catering orders in what Bruegger’s is dubbing Tax Week Relief. Or, get a $10.40 Big Bagel Bundle now through April 17 with coupon from its website. Find a location.…

Is it ever okay to eat late at night?

At some point in your life you’ve been told you shouldn’t eat after a certain hour in the evening. The idea is that the food will just sit in your stomach all night causing you possible stomach pain, constipation and weight gain. Yet, we’ve all done it. So how bad really is it to eat before bed? And if you’ve missed dinner and you’re hungry, is it best to skip the meal entirely if it’s too close to bed? Erin Jennings, MS, RD, CSO, CDN, a registered dietitian at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY, told Real Simple that if you’re hungry, you should eat. “Your body is perfectly capable of digesting and absorbing your food at any hour of the day,” she said. But that doesn’t exactly give those high-sugar, high-fat foods like ice cream the green light. The real problem with eating late isn’t the hour necessarily…

Easy 6 ingredient lemon bars with poppy seeds

If you have a love of all things lemon, then this easy recipe will quickly become your new favorite go-to. It’s just six simple ingredients — including the crust. Waiting for the pan to cool before cutting into the lemon bars is honestly the hardest part. The sweet and tart flavors and the cheery yellow color make this dessert perfect for spring. Try it with lime juice instead for a unique twist on this classic recipe, or omit the poppyseed if they’re not your thing. lemon bars with poppy seeds Serves 9-16 Ingredients, Crust 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 6 tbsp granulated sugar 12 tbsp cold butter, cut in small chunks 1 tbsp poppy seeds + 1 tsp. Ingredients, Lemon filling 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 4 eggs 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 tbsp lemon zest Directions Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set…

7 tips that will help cut calories from your favorite cocktails

Everyone knows that alcohol is the first thing you should give up if you’re trying to shed some weight — and with summer coming up, we’re all looking for fast fixes. Alcohol possesses the unfortunate combination of being high in calories while also inhibiting or reducing your body’s ability to burn fat. In other words, your body is forced to store excess alcohol calories as fat, which makes sugary drinks one of the worst offenders ever. But not all alcoholic drinks are created equal. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you want to imbibe, but also want to minimize the damage done. 1. Let’s begin with booze. Every bottle is different, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s better to stick with standard types of alcohol — vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey or scotch. All of these options have zero carbs and have fewer calories that cream-based liqueurs, like…