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Easy Tie-dye Easter Eggs

When Easter rolls around, everyone wants to get in on the fun of dying eggs. It’s a much-anticipated spring holiday tradition for many kids and families. Some treat it lightly, purchasing the dye kit at the grocery store, happy to apply some soft colors to those crisp, white eggshells. Others, like myself, take the tradition way too seriously. When I dye eggs, I want COLOR! … and I want my eggs to be cooler than everyone else’s eggs. I get competitive when it comes to art projects. I know, weird. But every year I try new fun ways of dying eggs. This year tie-dye is making a comeback, so I thought, “why not eggs, too!” Tie-dye eggs are as easy as wrapping eggs in textured paper towels and dotting them with food coloring, then spritzing them with water. Giving each egg a light squeeze ensures that the paper towel transfers…

Super Simple Shepherd’s Pie

A 20-minute dinner doesn’t get much better than this classic Irish comfort food. It’s perfect for your St. Paddy’s Day celebration, but it’s plenty delicious enough to make all year long. Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods you’ll find on any March 17 restaurant menu. You’re practically required to eat it at some point in the month of March. It has become as synonymous with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration as pints of green beer — which is to say, that neither the green-dyed drinks nor this beef-based dinner are exactly Irish. Traditional Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb or mutton (It’s Cottage Pie that uses beef). But here in the U.S., we’ve definitely put our own spin on the holiday, so I think this dish gets a pass, too. I like to cut corners with this recipe and get everything pre-chopped so all I have to do is brown some…

10 recipes with beer you need to make for St. Patrick’s Day

You may like to crack open a cold one while you’re cooking, but on March 17, beer is the celebrated drink of the day. Let it inspire your cooking. Enjoy the distinct flavor of your favorite Irish brew at mealtime with one of these popular beer-infused dishes. And don’t worry, the alcohol is cooked out of the recipe, so you’re still free to cheers to St. Paddy with a few extra pints. Also, learn to make the original Irish Coffee. Beer and honey BBQ Chicken Skewers Let these beer beauties marinated overnight, then grill the next day. Recipe here.  Irish BeeF and Guinness Stew Guinness stew is traditionally made with lamb, but you’ll love this delicious big, chunky beef version. Check out the recipe. Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese How do you improve upon mac and cheese? Beer, of course! Get the recipe here. Beer butter mushrooms These smooth and…

What is corned beef and why do we eat it on St. Patrick’s Day?

Dig your “Kiss me I’m Irish” T-shirt from the drawer, get ready to guzzle pints of green beer, and crank up your Crock Pot for corned beef and cabbage because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Wait… what’s that you say? None of these things are actually Irish? You would be correct. They’re about as Irish as a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. The now iconic T-shirts are for sale only in touristy gift shops. The Irish would never pollute good beer with green dye, and while they do eat corned beef and cabbage sometimes, they’re probably not sitting down and eating it on March 17. So how did this meal become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day — especially in the United States? The Irish have a long history with cattle that shaped their views of eating beef in general. From early on, cows were not slaughtered for their meat…

Peeps debuts 7 new fun flavors for Easter, including cotton candy

Love them or hate them, is it even Easter without Peeps? The iconic marshmallow candies have been filling Easter Baskets for decades, but this year parent company Just Born is releasing seven new flavors just in time for the 2019 holiday, including: Cotton Candy, Pancakes and Syrup, Orange Sherbet Dipped in Crème Flavored Fudge, Root Beer Float, Chocolate Caramel Swirl, Blue Raspberry, and Vanilla Crème. See new Peeps flavors from last year. The new flavors come in the classic chick shape and are currently rolling out in stores nationwide from now until Easter. If you’re looking to stock up, some of the new flavors are available only at select stores, so you’ll have to go on a bit of a hunt — good practice for finding your Easter basket later! Root Beer Float can only be found at Kroger, Blue Raspberry are excluding to Walmart, and Vanilla Crème and Chocolate…

5 Irish Foods You’re Basically Required to Eat on St. Patrick’s Day

If you’re decking yourself out in green from head-to-toe and heading out to a local pub this St. Patrick’s Day, you might as well enjoy the foods most associated with Ireland. Also see, the recipe to  make the original Irish Coffee. Sheperd’s pie Shepherd’s Pie was born of frugal housewives looking for ways to repurpose leftovers their husbands would otherwise turn up their noses at. Recipes vary widely, but they share a basic structure — mashed potatoes at the bottom and top and minced meat in the middle. A Cottage Pie is a similar creation that contains beef, but a true Shepherd’s Pie will use lamb or mutton. Irish Soda Bread Irish Soda Bread has all the earmarks of being the product of a poor country. It’s made with the most basic ingredients: flour, baking soda, soured milk, and salt. Before baking, a cross is cut into the top to…

Why conversation hearts will be missing this Valentine’s Day

This year you might have to find another way to ask your sweetie to “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me.” Valentine’s Day’s most popular candy, SweetHearts, those tiny heart-shaped confections printed with terms of endearment, won’t be produced. New England Confectionary Company (Necco) annually made more than eight billion (13 million pounds) of the tiny hearts in the six weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, but despite a great effort to save the oldest continually operating candy company in the country, NECCO was shut down in 2018. With Necco dead, so too are SweetHearts — for now anyway. Competing brands offer rival ripoffs of the iconic heart candies, but SweetHearts is the original, most recognized and favored brand. SweetHearts’ hold strong sentimental value for many people in the U.S. and their sales were the strongest — by a long shot. Any SweetHearts products you find online or in stores this year…

Here is the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in every state

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to love, romance, and of course, candy. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend about $1.8 billion on candy this year as part of their Feb. 14 celebrations. As far as holiday indulgences go, candy is relatively inexpensive, so for couples looking to not break the bank, exchanging favorite sweets is a popular activity. Candy isn’t just for couples, however — 42% of people said they would buy themselves a box of chocolates this year. It’s clear that everyone loves candy, but where you live is likely to influence what you buy and give. Using sales data from the past 11 years, bulk candy company CandyStore.com determined each state’s favorite candy. Here’s what people are ordering where you’re from: Source: CandyStore.com. Alabama: Candy necklaces Alaska: Heart-shaped box of chocolates Arizona: Conversation hearts Arkansas: Hershey Kisses California: Conversation hearts Colorado: Conversation hearts Connecticut:…

This is the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk

Sometimes two foods are so similar we mistake them for one another — yams and sweet potatoes, baking powder and baking soda, and cilantro and parsley, to name a few. They’re all different foods that could never be used interchangeably. The other day I ran into another example as I was baking a pie that required condensed milk, but in a hurry, I had purchased evaporated milk. Yikes! I wondered if I had to go back to the store, or could I substitute one for the other? They both contain a shelf-stable concentrated canned milk substance, but in my research, I learned that there are clear differences. Let’s explore. Condensed milk Condensed milk is often referred to as sweetened condensed milk, and the name gives a hint at what makes it different. This shelf-stable milk concentrate has had about 60 percent of its water removed and loads of sugar added…

America’s favorite seasonal hot beverages

Nothing says winter weather quite like cuddling up on the couch in your flannel and fuzzy socks and a mug full of your favorite warm beverage. But, give the choice, what do you like to fill that mug with? Of course coffee and tea are welcomed any day of the year, but what seasonal drink do you go for around the holidays? An online poll recently asked Americans to share their favorite seasonal drink, and these were the top eight favorite drinks. So, do you agree? What drink would you add to the list, and which ones have you already crossed off the list this holiday season? 8. Mulled wine On a cold day, spiced wine is the perfect way to warm up. Make your own in a crock pot with bold red wine, spices, fresh fruits and some cognac. 7. Hot Buttered Rum This decadent drink will help you…