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Strawberries and cream popsicles are a must for summer

If you haven’t hopped on the homemade popsicle wagon, you are missing out on a ton of tasty fun. For about $10 you can buy a decent popsicle mold, which will give you the freedom to explore delicious combinations, use up left over juice and smoothies, and allow you ultimate control over your sugar intake. When it comes to one of summer’s most loved treats — the popsicle — everyone wants one. It’s great to be able to give a guest or your child’s friend a delicious treat option even though they have dietary restrictions. For this recipe, I didn’t add any additional sweeteners like sugar or honey. I wanted to be able to feel good about these and not have to put them on the splurge side of my diet. The full fat milk makes it decadent enough for me, but feel free to add some sweeteners to your strawberry…

What causes ‘brain freeze’?

It all starts with an innocent spoonful of ice cream. Then another. Then another. But before you know it, your ice cream sundae — or perhaps morning smoothie — has stopped you cold in your tracks with an old fashioned case of sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia — better known as brain freeze. It’s so common, you could ask if it’s really even summer without experiencing this sensation. It’s not harmful and it doesn’t last long, but when it hits, those few seconds can be crippling. So what causes it?  After many personal experiments diving face first into that mint chocolate chip cone, you already know that cold treats leave you with a quick and intense headache. But what causes our bodies to react that way? Is it really cold temperatures “freezing” your brain? “On the roof of your mouth you have this thick bed of capillaries, so when you have something cold, it causes…

Appetite-Inducing American Town Names, cities named after foods

Hungry for travel? More than 80 percent of Americans are expected to take a road trip this summer, according to a survey conducted by the auto club AAA. Road trips have always been the perfect opportunity for a little quirky out-of-the-way adventure. World’s biggest rubber band ball? Don’t mind if I do! But what’s out there specifically for the foodie? Surely, we’ve visited towns for their unique cuisines — New Orleans, Maine, Texas — but what about towns named after cuisine? You don’t have to be a culinary expert to enjoy visiting these appetite-inducing American towns. Their quirky names make traveling to far-flung corners of the country an adventure for all eating enthusiasts. Enjoy these delicious destination: Breakfast fans might like to start their day in Two Egg, Florida, then head on up to Toast, North Carolina and Bacon, Washington. Hot Coffee, Mississippi is a can’t miss, but don’t forget the Cream, Wisconsin. Or maybe you’d like to…

Sand dollar sugar cookies make a splash for Shark Week

Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel this Sunday. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual Shark Week event, so expect new television shows centered on the sea’s most fascinating predators. Over the past three decades, the mid-summer shark series has gained quite the following — it’s practically a national holiday at this point. The shadowy feeling shows air just as many Americans are heading to the beach, increasing the nervous anticipation of a run-in with the ocean’s apex predator. But fear not! As the series frequently demonstrates, sharks want nothing to do with you, mere human. So instead, celebrate! Dare to sink your teeth into these delicious sand dollar sugar cookies. They’ll make a big splash at the office or at your own home-viewing party. They stack well too, so take them to the beach or give them as a pretty summer-inspired gift. Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies Ingredients 3/4 cup butter, softened 3/4…

This man invented the ice cream scoop and made summer a whole lot sweeter

Alfred L. Cralle died in a car accident nearly 100 years ago, but his invention continues to provide an essential part of your summer experience. July 15 is National Ice Cream Day, and while you’re feverishly shoveling spoonfuls of your favorite flavor into your mouth, it’s Cralle you can thank for those picture perfect scoops. While working as a porter in Markell Brothers drugstore and St. Charles Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa, Cralle noticed that ice cream stuck to the spoons and ladles the servers used, and they usually had to use two hands to separate them. Cralle responded to this ice cream crisis by creating the ice cream scoop — originally called the Ice Cream Mold and Disher. It was designed to be strong, inexpensive and easy to operate with one hand. It had no moving parts that could break or malfunction. On February 2, 1897, thirty-year-old Cralle applied for and received the patent…

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…

Star spangled ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches already scream summer, but with a little makeover, they can be the coolest Fourth of July treat at the table. Okay, this “recipe” is basically cheating. But if you want to add a little fun to your Fourth of July without any effort — literally, like zero effort — then you’ll love this simple trick. Buy a pack of ice cream sandwiches from the grocery store — or ice cream truck! I went for the mini sandwiches since there are always so many delicious treats at picnics. Smaller sizes mean you can sample more sweets. They also mean less mess, since they won’t have as much time to melt.  Pour some sprinkles in a bowl, and get rolling. Just like an ice cream cone with sprinkles, the extra taste and texture is delicious — and way more fun! Happy Fourth of July! Star spangled ice cream sandwiches Ingredients 1 dozen ice cream…

Fourth of July spending takes a dip because of ‘Hump Day’

To celebrate the birth of our country, Americans eat a whole lot of hamburgers and hotdogs. And no Fourth of July party is complete without loads of other red, white, and blue picnic paraphernalia. But according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics, consumers are planning spending less overall this year than last year. Consumers will spend about $6.9 billion, down from $7.1 billion in 2017. The decrease is attributed to the holiday falling on a Wednesday. But patriotism is still high. Despite the decrease, this is still the second-highest amount reported in the history of the survey and the highest per-person spending ever. Nearly 153 million Americans are planning a cookout or a picnic. Average spending per person is reportedly $75.35 — up from $73.42 in 2017. More than 216 million Americans plan to observe the holiday in some way — down from 219 last year. About 31 million Americans…

Arugula, mint and apricot salad

Apricots are too often overlooked in the summer. We repeatedly reach for fresh berries and cherries, even peaches and watermelon. But for many, apricots are a fruit only eaten dried. A ripe apricot, with its dainty golden blush-color, dripping with juices is a perfect fruit on its own or used in a summer salad. Apricots give you a boost of vitamin A which is said to help repair skin damage from the sun. They also maintain electrolyte balance in the body — great for sweaty, active summer days, since electrolytes reduce cramping and keep blood pumping through your body. Expand your fruit horizons this summer and try this refreshing arugula, mint, apricot salad while the apricots are at their peak. arugula, mint, apricot salad Serves 2 Ingredients 2 cups arugula 1/4 cup mint leaves 2 ripe apricots, sliced 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup almond slices 1/2 orange (for dressing), cold 1 tbsp extra virgin…

It’s not summer without strawberry, rhubarb pie

I wait all year to make certain pies, and this weekend it was finally strawberry rhubarb season. I “borrowed” some from my family, with the promise of returning it in pie form. In the world of sweets, we’re definitely a “pie family.” Cake just never hits the spot like a flaky pie crust bursting with summer fruit. This recipe is filled to the brim with juicy strawberries and tart rhubarb. It’s so simple, it will quickly become one of those recipes you can make from memory. And that’s how a simple summer pie should be — who wants fuss when there’s pies, pools, and picnics to attend. Feel free to use your favorite homemade pie crust, or pick up one from the store. And make sure you make this pie soon. Before you know it, rhubarb season will be over, and you’ll have to wait another year! Strawberry Rhubarb pie Serves 8 Ingredients 2…