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Meghan Rodgers

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The 6 biggest mistakes you can make when baking pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie, with its thick, pumpkin-y custard, fragrant spices, and flaky pastry crust, is about as delicious as Thanksgiving gets. Served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, there is no Thanksgiving dish that arrives with such anticipation. Yet, even the most seasoned bakers know a truly perfect pumpkin pie is no easy task to pull off. Here are a few mistakes you need to avoid in order to make your best pumpkin pie ever: 1. You use fresh pumpkin I can hear you now, “But such-and-such variety of pumpkin makes a delicious pie, just like my grandma made!” Well, if you have a tried-and-true family recipe that you’re used to, then nothing is going to change your mind — nostalgia looms large on Thanksgiving. But for those who want to make a truly perfect pie every time, it’s important to practice consistency. Fresh pumpkins can vary wildly in size…

24 grocery stores open on Thanksgiving 2019

It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’ve been planning for weeks. You triple checked your grocery list and have everything in the kitchen under control. And then… oh no! You burnt the rolls! Or you forgot the cranberry sauce, or you dropped the gravy — whatever the mishap, your family will never let you live it down. Off to the grocery store you go. But which grocery stores are even open on Thanksgiving this year? Be thankful this Thanksgiving that lots of grocery stores have your back for when things in the kitchen go a little unplanned. Here are 20 grocery stores that will save you: Food Lion Most Food Lion locations will be open on Thanksgiving Day, though some may close earlier than usual — at either 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Call your nearby store ahead of time to be sure. Whole Foods Market Run out of wine early? Whole…

Festive olive wreath holiday appetizer

You did it! You just found the prettiest way to serve olives this holiday season. Welcome the holiday olive wreath to your table this year. It’s amazing how ordinary olives go from drab to centerpiece status with just a few springs of rosemary. Add some fresh mozzarella pearls and some sweet and tangy pepper drops for color, and you have an appetizer platter that’s ready to party. What’s better still? This olive wreath can be assembled in just a few minutes, so no need to save it for special occasions. Throw one together for your couples holiday movie night-in, while you’re decorating the house for the holidays, or anytime a friend stops by to chat this season. I fill the middle of mine with crackers — especially when I can find adorable shapes like these stars — but feel free to leave the center open. You can always serve crackers…

The best towns to live in for pizza lovers

When you’re looking to move, there are a lot of factors to consider: job opportunities, schools, taxes, distance from family. But that all pales in comparison to the importance of pizza. Yes, proximity to and the number of pizza restaurants is important if you ask true pizza fanatics. Pizza lovers looking to surround themselves with what matters most should consider a recent ranking released by Apartmentguide.com revealing the 10 best places to live for pizza lovers. Enjoy 25 mouthwatering facts about pizza. To establish the ranking, Apartmentguide.com took the number of pizza establishments in each town and the number of overall restaurants available, and determined what percentage of those overall eating options in a particular town were specifically pizza. And no, surprisingly it’s not all New York and Chicago, either. So, pizza lovers, pack your bags! Make a move to these towns and you’ll surely find other pizza-loving people just…

Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins

No tricks here! These Rice Krispie pumpkins are the easiest treat on the block. Make them for Halloween or for Thanksgiving, and they’ll be just as festive. If you’ve ever made Rice Krispie Treats before, you know your hands can get pretty messy. That marshmallow mixture can stick to your fingers and become really frustrating — but don’t fret! I’ve figured out how to rolls the balls without making a mess. Also try these Mummy Rice Krispie Treats for Halloween. The trick? Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, like Pam. I’ve tried all sorts of methods, including butter, but nothing works better than Pam. Just trust me on this. Spray your palms with a healthy coating and rub them together like you would to put on lotion. This way, you get the oil around the sides of your fingers and in all of the little corners that marshmallow could…

How to host a stress-free Thanksgiving feast

Whether you’re a first time host or a seasoned veteran, whipping up a Thanksgiving dinner is no easy task. Add in a bit of forgetfulness, a touch of poor planning, and some overly eager houseguests, and you could quickly find yourself in the middle of a full-blown holiday disaster. But don’t fret! A little preparation and a few reminders, and you can be on your way to a totally stress-free Turkey Day. Here are 10 tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving: 1. Planning is the name of the game The best way to reduce stress on Thanksgiving Day is to have a plan made well in advance (we suggest preparing at least two weeks in advance). That includes knowing how many people you’re cooking for, writing a grocery shopping list (don’t forget the wine!), and a schedule of how you’ll actually manage your time on the big day. 2. plan out…

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are America’s favorite Halloween candy, poll finds

Americans love Halloween candy, but let’s face it — not all candies are created equal. Some candy gets devoured before Halloween even ends, and others will linger clear through the New Year. So which candies do Americans like most? Perhaps not surprising to peanut butter fanatics, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are America’s favorite Halloween treat (36%), according to a recent poll conducted by Monmouth University. Snickers came in second (18%), M&M’s ranked third (11%), and Hershey bars and candy corn rounded out the top five (each with 6%). “Candy corn even making the list may surprise some people, but it is one of the top-selling Halloween candies in the country,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. Love it or hate it, check out The Sweet History of Candy Corn. America’s Favorite Candies According to the poll, these are America’s top 10 favorite Halloween candies: Reese’s…

2019 Veterans Day free meals and discount offers

Restaurants love to honor veterans and active service members with free meals and other deals on Veterans Day each year. Here is your guide to where you can score free food on Monday, November 11, 2019. Not seeing your favorite restaurant on this list? Not all restaurants that have participated in the past have released their 2019 information yet, but we’ll add more as they are announced. So check back often. Also, remember that before you can get your food freebie, most restaurants require you show valid military identification or proof of service. Applebee’s Military members or veterans eat for free when they choose from one of these 8 entrées. Find your nearest location here. Must have proof of service or military ID. California Pizza Kitchen Veterans and military members can stop by participating California Pizza Kitchen restaurants on Monday, Nov. 11, and choose a pizza, salad, or pasta from…

A fun sized history lesson on fun sized candy bars

Shouldn’t “fun sized” candy bars be really big and the ones given out on Halloween you eat in one bite be named something less rosy? It’s a question just about every kid in the past 50 years has asked themselves on Oct. 31. But just when did these bite-sized Butterfingers and snack-sized Snickers become the norm? Well, it seems the first shrunken versions of popular candy bars can be credited to the former Chicago-based Curtiss Candy Company. Now part of Nestlé thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company produced a “Buddie” size Baby Ruth bar in the early 1930s. “Junior” sized versions of their Baby Ruth and Butterfingers candy bars came along in the 1950s. Hershey also got in on the game early when it began selling its sleek “Miniatures” candy bars in 1939. Small candy bars had been well established by the time candy manufacturer Mars…

The 9 best cheeses to use in mac and cheese

Instant mac and cheese might pass the test for as a college dorm room quick fix, but everyone knows that nothing beats the homemade stuff. At its best, the real deal — made from scratch — can truly transcend you to a carb-loving comfort food heaven. Whether it’s baked into a crunchy-topped casserole or scooped straight from the stove top, the creamiest mac and cheese starts with the right cheese. So what cheeses guarantee maximum creaminess? The main quality a cheese must have is meltability. It might seem obvious, but often times home cooks can lose sight of the end goal (And, admittedly, those fancy, sprawling cheese departments at the supermarket can have us wanting to experiment with all kinds of cheeses we don’t need). Plus, you want a cheese that isn’t going to separate into an oily, grainy mess. So stay on task and when you head to the…