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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…

Buttered Popcorn defends title as America’s favorite jelly bean

Attention candy fans! If you ever needed a reason to scoop up some extra jelly beans, this is your weekend. Easter and National Jelly Bean Day fall back to back (April 21st and 22nd), creating the perfect storm for sweet eaters. This year, an estimated 16 billion beans will be eaten just for the Easter season (That many jelly beans could make it 1/3 of the way to the moon!). But while most people agree jelly beans are delicious, that’s where our similarities end. It seems that state-by-state we differ in what jelly bean flavors we find most delicious. Source: CandyStore.com. Some states savor the fruity flavors. Florida, Washington, and New Hampshire prefer pear, while Nebraska, New Mexico, Iowa, and Utah choose cherry. Watermelon is a favorite in Oregon and Alabama, but blueberry is best according to Pennsylvanians, West Virginians, and Indianians. Buttered Popcorn gets the love of both California…

Soda could cause cancer tumors to grow, study shows

Think your 3 p.m. Coca-Cola pick-me-up isn’t a huge problem? You might want to reconsider. New research revealed that your sugary soda addiction could actually cause serious health problems — even cancer. According to The Sun, it was the increase in bowel cancer cases in people under 35 that spurred the interest of Dr. Lewis Cantley, of Cornell University, to look for answers. Cantley, along with his colleagues, suspected that an increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup was to blame. To test the theory, cancer-prone mice were fed high-fructose corn syrup (amounting to about one can of Coke per day for a human). The study showed that the tumors were “directly eating the sugar… the cancer was using fructose and glucose together to more than double its growth rate.” Yikes! Excluding skin cancers, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer…

Lucky Charms Bars

Lucky Charms is probably one of those cereals you only spring for occasionally — like around St. Patrick’s Day when that devilish little leprechaun gets the best of your diet. But we must admit, the luck-themed sugary marshmallow shapes do add a fun flair to the holiday. This year, upgrade your classic Rice Krispie squares to these Lucky Charms bars. You basically just swap out the cereal in your favorite Rice Krispie recipe. Lucky Charms bars Makes 16 squares Ingredients 6 cups Lucky Charms 4 tbsp butter 1 (10-ounce) package of mini marshmallows Cooking spray Directions Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. (This will help you remove squares and cut them later.) On low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until everything is melted. Pour in cereal and fold until cereal is completely coated with melted marshmallow. Transfer cereal…

14 Fun facts about Peeps

Forget groundhog shadows or tulips. The first real sign of spring are bright yellow Peeps stocking the shelves at your local grocery store. Marshmallow Peeps are everyone’s favorite non-chocolate Easter candy — they even outsell jelly beans! Americans will eat 1.5 billion Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this spring, but what do you really know about these sugar crystal coated, brightly-colored bird-shaped mallows? Discover 14 fun facts about Peeps: 1. Making Peeps used to be a really long process. It used to take 27 hours to make a Peep. The first Peeps were squeezed one at a time from a pastry tube before receiving hand painted eyes. Today, with an automated manufacturing process, a Peep takes just six minutes to make. 2. About 5.5 million Peeps are born every single day. Machines crank out 3,500 Peeps per minute — that’s nearly 2 billion Peeps per year! 3. Peeps were originally produced by…

Tequila could help you lose weight, study claims

If you want to lose weight, any doctors or nutritionist will tell you to omit the alcohol from your diet, but a surprising study actually shows a link between drinking tequila and weight loss. This is huge news for anyone looking to shed some pounds in the New Year without totally suppressing their social life. According to the American Chemical Society, the effects of tequila on blood glucose levels and found that the sugars naturally occurring in the agave plant — the plant that gives us tequila —  can actually help lower blood sugar. These sugars — called agavins (not to be confused with agave syrup) — are not digestible and can act as dietary fiber, so they will not raise your blood sugar. According to Dr. Mercedes G. Lopez, agavins are the best sugars to support healthy growth of microbes in the mouth and intestines. The study looked at…

Warning: You may not want to use the pepper shaker at restaurants

The next time you’re out to eat, you may want to consider whether you really need to add salt and pepper to your meal. It turns out, pepper shakers are one of the dirtiest items in a restaurant. According to a study from ABC News, pepper shakers harbor one of the highest bacteria counts at a public dining facility with counts reaching 11,600 — second only to restaurant menus. (And for your complete disgust, restaurant menus were found to carry the most — an average bacteria count of 185,000 — and have 100 times more bacteria than your typical toilet seat.) The study examined swab samples taken from common table items at 12 restaurants throughout New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The swabs were then examined for “total bacteria counts and coliform — a broad class of bacteria found in our environment. The presence of coliform can indicated fecal matter.” Dr.…

Winter white hot chocolate with cinnamon

Living in Pittsburgh, it seems hot chocolate is everywhere — and that, in my opinion, isn’t always a good thing. Those watered-down styrofoam cups at freezing cold football games or the overly sweet stuff handed out after cold weather 5Ks, are really consumed out of a need to stay warm, more so than for the enjoyment. It had been a long time since I had a cup ‘o chocolate that I actually enjoyed. But I was feeling a bit Christmassy decorating the house, so I thought I’d whip up something warm and delicious to sip on as we watch holiday movies on repeat. This Winter White Hot Chocolate has a dash of cinnamon to give the cup some complexity. You can add more or less, if you like. Even some nutmeg would taste pretty good. The best part of making drinks like this is always the extras, so if you’re going…

Nutrition labels are about to look different

The next time you pick up a bag of chips at the grocery store, flip it over and look for the new nutrition label. The Food and Drug Administration announced that nutrition labels would be receiving a makeover that reflects new scientific findings. The changes will ultimately help you make better-informed choices about foods you and your family eat. The new labels will only be required of manufacturers who sell more than $10 million in food a year. Companies in this category have until 2020 to adopt the new label. Some manufacturers have already incorporated the new label into their packaging, so it might already look familiar if you’re a frequent label checker. One of the most noticeable changes comes with the serving size and calories. Serving sizes have been adjusted to reflect how much people actually eat, rather than an arbitrary number some companies were perviously using to skew…

The sweet history of Candy Corn

Every October, when the weather cools, we recognize that it’s time to start arguing about candy corn. But whether you think the little tri-colored candies are delicious or disgusting, no other candy is more iconic of Halloween. The history of candy corn and its place as a part of Halloween dates back more than a century ago. Though nobody knows for sure, candy corn is said to have been invented in Philadelphia by George Renninger, a candymaker for the Wunderle Candy Company. In 1898, George’s recipe rose to nationwide popularity when the Goelitz Confectionary Company picked it up and started marketing it as “Chicken Feed.” The candy packages pictured a rooster and a tag line that read, “Something worth crowing for.” The initial marketing was intended to appeal to Americans’ agricultural roots, and it was touted as a year-round treat. The Goelitz company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the…