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Why we give candy to kids on Halloween

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year — that’s a lot of Skittles, Starbursts, and snack-sized candy bars. But as you’re buying bags of goodies to giveaway, you may wonder how this sweet tradition got its start. Well, the answer isn’t totally clear, but let’s shed a little bit of light on this dark holiday. Many scholars think that Halloween can be traced back about 2,000 years to its roots as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which means “summer’s end.” The festivities, usually held around Nov. 1, were a celebration of the end of harvest season and the beginning of darkest days of the year. Because the ancient records surviving to this day are largely incomplete, our understanding of the holiday isn’t fully understood. But Samhain is also thought to have been a time for the spirits…

How to pick the best butternut squash

Fall has finally arrived and winter squash are stocked on the shelves — acorn, spaghetti, and of course, butternut. Butternut squash a must-have fall vegetable that dates back nearly 10,000 years ago.  It’s true. Archaeological evidence suggests that squash was first cultivated in what is now known as the Isthmus of Panama. Squash was one of the three main crops (known as the “Three Sisters” — maize, beans, and squash) planted by Native Americans. If you’re looking for authentic North American fall foods for your Thanksgiving feast, squash certainly qualifies. (Read more at: How Americans Became so Obsess with Pumpkins) The most noticeable difference between winter squash and summer squash, like zucchini and yellow squash, is the exterior skin. Summer squash have thin, flavorful skin you leave on and eat, while winter squash have a tough, inedible outer shell. It’s because of this shell, however, that winter squash can be…

Restaurants offering deals and freebies on Labor Day

Cooking not your idea of a vacation? Not to worry. Many restaurants are offering discounts and freebies over Labor Day weekend, so if you don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen, you can still enjoy delicious grub. Here are a handful of the offers I’ve come across so far. baja fresh Use this coupon to get $5 off any $20 purchase. Deal ends Sept. 2. Baskin Robbins Not quite a Labor Day deal, but who doesn’t want ice cream over a long, summer weekend? Baskin Robbins will honor its original 31 flavors on August 31 by offering scoops for $1.70. Call ahead to make sure your local shop is participating in the deal. Chuck E. Cheese Weather not looking great? Take the kids for a day of fun and take advantage of this deal: 1-topping pizza and four drinks for $24.99. Print this coupon. Domino’s Get any Domino’s pizza for…

Where you can find deals and special menus for Mother’s Day 2019

No material thing can repay Mom for all she’s done for you over the years, but the least you can do on Mother’s Day is pick up the check. Mother’s Day is the single most popular day for dining out (followed by Valentine’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and New Year’s Eve). This year, the National Retail Federation estimates we’ll spend more than $4.6 billion at restaurants for Mom on May 12, 2019. It’s the second largest gift category after jewelry ($5.2 billion). Your relationship with your mom is priceless, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a little coin — after all, she always taught you to be smart with your money. Whether you decide on brunch, lunch, or dinner, here are some restaurants offering discounts or special menus for Mother’s Day this year. (And check back soon! We’ll add more freebies and deals for 2019 as they are revealed. Here were…

Odd foods that are dropped on New Year’s Eve instead of a ball

Every city has its own way of celebrating the turn of a new year. There’s no shortage of alcohol, parties and dazzling, dropping disco balls dangling from towers. But for some towns, this all seems just a bit too boring. Here are 13 towns that celebrate New Year’s Eve by dropping something a little more flavorful than a sparkly ball. https://www.instagram.com/p/BOme7KmDegD/?taken-by=rosaduartetv 1. A Peep (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)  Peeps usually make their only appearance during Easter, but in Bethlehem, the town where the famous candy was invented, New Years Eve brings the annual “PeepFest.” Every year on the 31st of December, a gigantic 400-pound Peep is dropped at precisely 5:15 p.m., followed by a colorful fireworks display. The massive Peep is made out of fiberglass and therefore, unfortunately, it is inedible. However, the big yellow icon is still a joy to see and something locals look forward to at the end of every year. https://www.instagram.com/p/xFFif8vEEj/?tagged=moonpieovermobile 2. A Moonpie (Mobile, Alabama)…

Loaded ranch snowman cheeseball

You’ll win at Christmas Eve when you set this ranch snowman cheeseball on the table. Seriously, cocktail shrimp, who? Everyone will be talking about the cute — and delicious — snowman dip! Plus it’s loaded with turkey bacon, green onions, and tons of flavor, so you know everyone is going to love it! Ranch Snowman Cheeseball Ingredients 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened 1 packet of dry ranch seasoning mix (1 ounce) 2 cups shredded white cheese (I like white sharp cheddar, but mozzarella works too), divided in 2 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled 3 green onions, chopped 1/4 tsp finely ground fresh black pepper 1 small carrot 10 whole black peppercorns Cooking spray or oil (for greasing hands) Serve with: crackers, carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips or anything else you like to dip in delicious ranch cheese! Directions In a…

18 restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day

When you think of Christmas, you probably think of digging fork first into a massive spread of home cooked feast. But, if you’d rather spend your time with loved ones instead of being stuck in the kitchen, or if you don’t find yourself at home for the holiday, we’ve listed 20 chain restaurants that will be open Christmas Day. Regardless of where you end up dining out, remember that these employees are stuck working away from their own families on the biggest holiday of the year. So don’t be a Scrooge. Tip well! Applebee’s Many Applebee’s locations will be open on Christmas Day, but it is best to call you local Applebee’s ahead of time since individual franchisees may opt out. https://www.instagram.com/p/BmmKp37n4wP/ Boston Market Boston Market locations will be open on Christmas so you can enjoy a traditional holiday meal for just $12.99. Also, if you’re going to be home,…

The most-Googled Thanksgiving recipe in every state

Every November novice cooks start to search for the recipes they’ll whip up in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. While it’s no surprise that the turkey itself actually got the award for most-Googled Thanksgiving dish in America, not every home cook ended his or her search there. According to Satellite internet.com’s new analysis of food-related Google searches, there is plenty of regional variation to what type of Thanksgiving day kitchen help we’re looking for — as the map below shows. Green bean casserole takes the crown for most-searched recipe, after clearly, having a massive Midwest following. Corn casserole also sneaks its way into the middle of green bean territory — maybe we’re witnessing a takeover? Massachusetts and Oregon seem to have a problem making cranberry sauce, while New Mexico, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky are all about the sweet potatoes. Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, and Illinois want to know how to…

A handy guide to helping you plan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the biggest feast of the year. There’s so much to think about and plan for, you’re going to want a guide going in so you don’t forget anything. What to do right now The guest list. It’s likely to change, but getting an idea of how many people are going to come can help you start to estimate what and how much you’ll need. Order a turkey. Don’t leave this one up to chance at the grocery store. If you wait too long to pick up a bird, you might be scrambling. Plus, ordering ahead gives you a chance to order the right size and type of turkey you want. And you know it will be fresh. Check your housewares. Go through your linens and dishes and make sure you have everything you need, from baking dishes to napkins, salads bowls, silverware, and even towels, sheets and toiletries if…

16 restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day

Forget to thaw the turkey? Traveling for work? Family 3,000 miles away? Whatever your reasons for not gorging on a home-cooked meal, rest assured that there are plenty of fast-food and sit down restaurants ready and waiting for you to stop by on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a list of some of them — just in case you need back-up: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmmKp37n4wP/?taken-by=applebees Applebee’s Call ahead just to confirm your specific location, but many Applebee’s locations will be open throughout the day and into the evening. They do have turkey options on the menu, so even if you just hate cooking, you may opt for Applebee’s. https://www.instagram.com/p/BnuUqg7BpFl/?taken-by=bahamabreezeislandgrille Bahama Breeze Give your Thanksgiving Day a dose of Caribbean-style fun. Thanksgiving menu items will be served with a tropical twist. Then wash it all down with something fruity from the yummy cocktail menu. https://www.instagram.com/p/BpMzSdRgY3P/?taken-by=bobevansfarms Bob Evans If you want to avoid the hassle of…