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Meghan Rodgers

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30+ Restaurants where kids can eat for free (or at a discount)

No school, no homework, and no stress, right? Summertime is all about giving kids time to let loose, but unfortunately you’re still working, and kids inevitably end up bored and whiny. When that happens, sometimes all you need to make everyone happy is a trip to their favorite restaurant. You’ll get everyone out of the house, and save yourself some cooking time, too. And of course, free food makes it all possible. Here are 20 restaurants where you can get free (or seriously discounted) kids meals. Some of these deals make dining out so affordable for the entire family, you might even start a weekly tradition. ***NOTE: Before you head to your nearest location of any of these chains, call ahead to make sure they participate in the promotion. Just in time for busy summer schedules, here are 20 restaurants, listed by each day of the week, where kids can…

12 easy, healthy snacks for your road trip

Memorial Day weekend makes the beginning of the U.S. summer travel season. Nearly 43 million Americans will use the long weekend to travel — about 37.6 million of those by car, according to automobile association AAA. While you can’t avoid the inevitable dirty gas station bathrooms and frustrating traffic jams, you can pack some snacks to make sure that you don’t get hangry and reach for unhealthy fast food. I know, I know. “Road trip food is half the fun,” you say. But is it? Do you arrive to your destination feeling satisfied and refreshed, or do you skid in sideways with a greasy chicken sandwich upset stomach ready for a 12-hour nap? The food options on the road are quite bad, but without something to satiate us, we’ll tell ourselves, “what other options are there?” Well, there are tons of options! Stop yourself from spiraling down the dark rabbit…

America’s favorite beer is an import, research shows

Determining America’s favorite beer is quite an undertaking. With more than 7,300 microbreweries, brewpubs, and regional craft breweries turning out everything from Natural Light to Pickleball IPA, there are no shortage of options for Americans looking for cold one. Yet despite the bevy of domestic choices, as it turns out, America’s favorite beer is actually an import. Yes, Dutch beer Heineken is the beer of choice in America. To determine the title-holder, YouGov, an online market research company, looked at popularity scores and quality scores gathered from more than 8,000 respondents. Heineken (47%)  took the title of top brew, narrowly edging out Guinness (47%). Don’t agree? You’re not alone. The results were far from a national consensus, because to be “America’s favorite” the study required high scores in both recognition and quality. (The best beer in the country can’t be the favorite if only a handful of people have ever heard of…

Dunkin’ launches coffee-inspired nail polish line

First you can polish off a delicious donut, and then you can polish your nails. The company formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts recently launched a limited-edition nail polish line inspired by its signature lattes and ice cream-inspired coffees, according to a press release. There are six coffee-inspired colors to choose from: Coco Mocha, Caramel Craze, Blueberry Crisp, Butter Pecan, Pistachio, Almond Fudge, and Banana Split. The new polish line also includes the coffee chain’s iconic orange and pink shades Slam Dunkin’ and Pretty in Dunkin’. The new polishes are part of a partnership with Lauren B. Beauty, a vegan nail polish company. The full collection of nail polishes are available at select salons in 10 markets across the county, while supplies last. An interactive map on the company’s website shows where the polishes are available. And to sweeten the deal, customers who purchase polishes at participating sales will receive a $4…

Eating pasta three times a week won’t make you fat, study shows

Spaghetti. Rigatoni. Fettuccini. It’s everyone’s favorite — pasta — and Italian lovers everywhere can rejoice over new research that reveals the popular pantry item won’t make you fat. While the joys of pasta are undeniable (is there anyone out there who doesn’t love diving into a big bowl of bolognese?) its healthfulness has always been in question. In recent years, low-carb options like quinoa have taken a bite out of pasta sales as health-minded adults feared packing on the pounds. But science now tells us, that eating a portion of penne up to three time a week won’t make you fat, and it might even help you slim down. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto conducted 30 randomized control trials involving nearly 2,500 people who replaced their regular carbohydrates with pasta as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet. The findings? Pasta doesn’t not cause you to put on extra body fat. “The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to…

Brownie batter dessert hummus recipe

Yes, you read that right. This recipe calls for melted chocolate and chickpeas… together! When I learned about “dessert hummus” I couldn’t decide if it was some crazy gimmick or pure, culinary genius. You can now firmly file me in the latter category. If you’re all about the edible cookie dough trend, or if you can’t stop licking the brownie batter from the bowl, this recipe is definitely for you. No raw eggs here! Just protein-and fiber-packed garbanzos, chocolate, a pinch of flaky salt, and a splash of vanilla. It makes a thick and creamy spread, just like regular hummus, except it’s sweet, so it’s great for smearing on breakfast toast. Use it in place of those unhealthy hazelnut spreads. Dip fresh fruit, pretzels, pitas or eat by the spoonful for a healthier alternative to sweet snacking any time of day. And try easy Banana Dessert Hummus, too! 5-ingredient Chocolate…

10 foods you didn’t know were actually American

American cuisine, the great melting pot, is known for adopting foods from all over the world as its own. But there are plenty of foods invented in the United States that you might wrongfully assume come from other cultures. No matter where a dish is born, it doesn’t make it any less delicious. So let’s give credit where credit is due. Here are 10 “foreign” foods that are actually American inventions. 1. German Chocolate Cake The name might bring to mind decadent Bavarian pastries, but this coconut-pecan frosted chocolate cake owes its name not to the country of Germany, but to an English-born candy maker named Samuel German. German developed a type of making chocolate for the Massachusetts-based Baker’s Chocolate Company — his employer at the time. The product was marketed as “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.” In 1957, a Dallas housewife, Mrs. George Clay, used the chocolate in a recipe she…

Guilt-free banana dessert hummus recipe

I admit that the name “dessert hummus” is sort of baffling to the tastebuds. You can imagine the slightly gritty, savory texture of pulverized chickpeas in traditional hummus but can’t quite image how “sweet” can come anywhere near this popular appetizer. Two week ago, I was a skeptic just like you. Hummus flavors like sun-dried tomato and roasted red pepper are all the rage, but a coworker suggested I try to make a sweet hummus, or dessert hummus. She had seen them on Pinterest, and read the overwhelmingly positive comments people were saying. So off I went in pursuit of a sweet hummus recipe. The only problem I pondered, was that hummus is supposed to be healthy. I didn’t want to load it up with heavy nut butters and certainly not any sugar. So here it is folks. My dessert hummus. Sweetened only with the natural flavors of banana and…

Get your greens! Broccoli may help fight schizophrenia, study suggests

Broccoli has long been hailed as an all-star food thanks to its anti-cancer properties and healthy doses of vitamin C, calcium, and B vitamins. Now, a new study suggests that the crunchy cruciferous vegetable could be helpful in managing schizophrenia. Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that extracts found in the vegetable can tweak chemical imbalances in the brain of those suffering from the mental disorder. They used the compound sulforaphane, derived from broccoli sprouts, to restore glutamate and glutathione to lower levels. Broccoli’s high levels of sulforaphane also mean that potentially it could be used as an alternative to antipsychotic drugs, which often have painful or dangerous side effects. In a study published in January in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers measured brain regions of 81 people who had suffered a recent episode of psychosis. Those patients, on average, showed 4% less of the chemical glutamate in certain areas of…

Lovely lime squares bring just enough zing

If you’re a fan of all things citrus, you’re going to love these tart little lime squares. Just 5 ingredients give you a bright and cheery dessert that goes great washed down with hot tea or ice cold milk. I could pretty much commit to only eating desserts that incorporate citrus. I crave that light, refreshing, tongue twisting flavor. These lime bars aren’t overly zingy, but they have just enough pizazz to make them memorable. If you need to cut down, a small dollop of fresh whipped cream always does the trick. Make a batch for Mom on Mother’s Day or serve them in the winter when you need a cheery pick-me-up. They’re good any time you can find fresh limes at the market. Lime Squares Serves 9-16 Ingredients, Crust 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 6 tbsp sugar 12 tbsp cold butter, cut in small chunks Ingredients, Lime filling 1/4 cup…