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Meghan Rodgers

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This is why bread comes wrapped in brown paper bags

Grocery stores have a lot of tricks up their sleeve to persuade you to part with your hard-earned cash. From the local farmers market look of the fruit baskets to the “wet look” of the lettuce, there’s a lot of psychology behind a supermarket’s decisions. But while making things look appetizing is the grocer’s goal, there is one product decision that has nothing to do with convincing you of freshness. It’s the bakery section bread, and it’s wrapped in brown paper bags for a reason. You might have thought that the paper was to make it look like a fancy French bakery (or even to make it go stale faster if you’re a bit cynical), but believe it or not, the brown paper bags actually help keep the bread fresher longer. The open paper bag allows room temperature air to circulate, keeping the bread crusty — in a good way —…

Royals aren’t allowed to eat garlic, Camilla confirms

If you love food, not being able to eat garlic would be tragic. But it’s one of the dietary changes self-proclaimed foodie Meghan Markle had to make when she married into the royal family. Rumors have swirled about a royal garlic restriction for years, but Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, confirmed the rule during an appearance on MasterChef Australia. “I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no,” she said when asked about foods banned from the family diet, reported AOL. “So garlic is a no-no?” asked one of the show’s judges. “Because you’re talking, chatting?” “Yes, exactly,” said Camila. “So you always have to lay off the garlic.” So there you have it. In case you felt like the royal life was one of too much privilege, image if you had to give up the garlic! But the good news for Markle is that this royal rule only…

Caprese Pizza recipe

This warm and crispy pizza combines two Italian favorites. You might find yourself wondering you ever want to eat anything else again. And try these other delicious, original takes on Caprese. Caprese Pizza Ingredients 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cubed 12 ounce store-bought pizza dough 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes of varying colors, halved 2- tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp cornmeal 3-4 ounces of fresh grated mozzarella cheese salt and pepper 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin Directions Let pizza dough stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Broil about 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to lightly brown. Place your pizza stone…

This state has the most fast-food restaurants per capita

No matter what state you live in the U.S., you’re never a far drive from a fast-food restaurant. In fact, in the lower 48, you can never be more than 107 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s, meaning that no motorist is ever more than a tank of gas away from filling up on Big Macs and fries. But residents of some states have a lot more options than others. If you live in Alabama, you can’t go far without running into a few. The southern state comes in first, with the most fast-food restaurants per capita. There are 6.3 restaurants for every 10,000 Alabamians, according to a recent report from Datafiniti, a web data company. Nebraska comes in second with 5.4 restaurants per 10,000 residents. West Virginia and Oklahoma tie for third with 5.3 locations per 10,000 residents. Vermont turned up as having the least available fast-food options with just 1.9 restaurants…

Coney Island and other crazy eating contests in the U.S.

Eating contests are about more than just a casual competition about seeing who can eat the most food the fastest. Major League Eating (MLE) is an actual organization that regulates the sport — much in the way Major League Baseball does. They oversee professional eating contests at fairs and festivals all around the country all year long. Even if you’re not up for the challenge of taking down dozens of hot dogs in a single sitting, you can stop by one of these festivals and be entertained by some of the world’s best eaters — many of them are hosted annually. If it doesn’t make you ill, these eat feats will at least make you marvel at what the human body is capable of! Coney Island, NY Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, July 4 Record: Joey Chestnut, 73.5 hot dogs: 10 minutes Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog…

Seattle officially bans plastic straws and utensils

As of July 1, straws, plastic utensils and cocktail picks are prohibited in Seattle. This makes it the first major U.S. to successfully push such legislation. The ban is extensive and applies to all food services businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias, for trucks, coffee shops and delis. It’s not illegal to provide these items altogether, however. Businesses may switch over to utensils that are environmentally friend and/or compostable. Reusable steel and recyclable paper are acceptable materials, but the city prefers that the customer ask for them, rather than making them standard with purchase. The ban on plastic comes as a concern about needless waste and threat to wildlife — particularly marine life. Americans use about 500 million straws per day and straws repeatedly turn up in the top 10 most common items collected during the International Coastal Cleanup, according to nonprofit organization Sailors for the Sea. A 2015 video of an…

Survey finds America’s favorite grocery store

Where you choose to grocery shop is pretty much a regional decision, but there is also a lot of personal preference involved. You may prefer one chain over another because of layout or prices, item availability or bakery goods. All of these factors were considered when participants took a recent survey on their favorite grocery store in America. And the winner? Wegman’s. The East Coast chain comes out on top in the Market Force Information poll which asked more than 12,000 their likes and dislikes. The New York-based Wegman’s has just 97 locations, but it managed to come out on top. Florida-based Publix came in second, and Trader Joe’s in third. Aldi and San Antonio-based H-E-B rounded out the top five. This is the third consecutive year Wegman’s has won the honor. It ranked high for specialty department service, store cleanliness and item availability. Publix polled top of the list for…

Men think food tastes better when waitress is attractive, study claims

From interesting menu items to the perfect ambiance, restaurants pull out all stops to fill their seats night after night. But if it’s men they’re looking to attract to, the trick might be something much more simple. A recent study found that men believe their food tastes better when the waitress is attractive. Researchers say this is because good-looking women change mens’ expectations about their dining experience. Alternatively, the study found, when food is served by a handsome waiter, women’s opinions aren’t swayed. The research conducted by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada surveyed 195 participants of both sexes. While an attractive woman raised men’s expectations of the dining experience, women were far more concerned with the location and noise level of the restaurant. Researched released a statement saying, “The current research shows that the presence of physically attractive individuals can affect consumers’ expectations about their consumption experience which…

Hamburgers vs hot dogs: which is healthier?

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and chances are you’re about to face the toughest choice of your summer: hot dog or hamburger? If you’re thinking “Both!” you’re in good company. But if you’re trying to make healthier choices this holiday, “both” probably shouldn’t be your response. Consider what a registered dietitian says about this age-old American debate. The Hot Dog Hot dogs typically have about 150 calories. Add a bun and some condiments, and you quickly hit about 300 calories — still a very reasonable amount of calories for a dinner entree. Their smaller size gives them a caloric advantage over the hamburger, but there are some disadvantages to hot dogs. Hot dogs have about 5 grams of saturated fat, which is pretty high for what you’re getting. They’re also packed with sodium (about 500 mg in contrast to 375 mg a burger might have) and sodium nitrites or nitrates, which may…

Patriotic thumbprint cookies

Where I’m from, thumbprint cookies seem to have a place every holiday get-together. For Christmas and Easter we roll them in nuts and make icing centers coordinate with the season. At Valentine’s Day, we make them chocolate. And now for Fourth of July we can dress them up with star sprinkles. These thumbprint cookies have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor. The vanilla and raspberry are perfect companions. And the red, white, blue sprinkles make them fun and ready for the Fourth! Patriotic thumbprint cookies Makes about 3 dozen cookies Ingredients 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup butter, room temperature 1 cup white sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg white icing 1/4 cup sprinkles 1/8 cup raspberry jam Directions Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set…