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Meghan Rodgers

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Freezing herbs and other methods to make them last all winter

The cool, fall weather has been here long enough that most gardens are finally on their last leg. For many, the biggest draw of a home garden is the easy access to fresh herbs. But soon it will be too cold, and there won’t be any herbs left to pick straight from the garden — they will have all bolted for the winter months. So what can you do to prolong access to your herb garden? Each herb favors different types of treatments, so Doug Oster, garden editor for the Tribune-Review and Everybodygardens.com gave us the dirt on how to best save each of the common herbs in the coming winter months. Move Indoors If you grew herbs in containers this summer, some of them may continue to thrive if you bring them indoors. “There are certain herbs that will happily keep going on the window sill,” said Oster. “Rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, lemon balm. Those will be happy to limp along near…

Most popular Halloween candy in each state

Americans will spend $2.7 billion on Halloween candy this year, as estimated by the National Retail Federation. But what sweet treats you get in your loot bag will largely depend on where you live. Online bulk candy retailer Candystore.com combed through 10 years (2007-2016) of sales data to tell us what the best sellers in every state are in the weeks leading up to Halloween. They created this interactive map to show you the most popular candies, by sales, in each state — actually the top three. This map, of course, is limited to online candy sales, but it gives us a peek into what Halloween candy is popular where. It’s no surprise that Hershey’s M&M’s are popular in their home state of Pennsylvania, but most others seem pretty random. So, how does your state hold up? Judging by this map, you might be inclined to pack up the car and go treat-or-treat in a neighboring…

Cooking and canning your own crockpot applesauce

October is National Apple Month — but we don’t need an official title to tell us that. Apples are everywhere. Grocery stores, local shops, farmers markets. I’ve seen whole bushels for sale for just $6. They’re probably piling up in your fridge drawer by this point, and you may be wondering what to do with all of  them. Crockpot applesauce is your answer. A variety of apples works best when making applesauce. Granny Smiths are great, but mixing them with Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Cortland, Yellow Delicious or pretty much any apple that is firm and full of flavor will make the best sauce. And what’s better still? You can make your applesauce and can it now, and be stocked for the rest of the year. You’ll eliminate loads of sugar from your diet along with whatever other scary preservatives go into store-bought applesauces. The whole process only takes an afternoon and your house will smell…

17 strange food phobias you won’t believe exist

Halloween is drawing near, and while we’re in the mood to celebrate all things spooky and strange, let’s talk about food phobias. While fears of spiders and heights are quite common, once you get into the fear of foods, things can get pretty weird, pretty quickly. Not to judge anyone’s irrational fears (I myself am cartoonishly afraid of spiders), but it’s hard to imagine anyone being legitimately scared by broccoli. When thinking about food phobias, it’s important to distinguish dislikes from fears. Most people have strong preferences, but phobics experience genuine panic, sweating and nausea when faced with the food of their nightmares. For your Halloween holiday reading pleasure, here are the strangest food fears: cibophobia (see-boh-fo-biah)  The Fear of Food/Eating The most inconvenient food phobia of them all. Cibophobics typically have had a scarring experience with food poisoning or deal with large number of food allergies. This phobia can, of course, be deadly if not treated. MAGEIROCoPHOBIA…

Here’s why the first glass of champagne will get you drunker

A leading professor of medicine has published a book that dives into the fascinating science behind our vices, from caffeine to chocolate to alcohol. In his book, The Longevity List, Merlin Thomas puts wives-tales to the test to determine fact vs. fiction. He explains that that the first glass of champagne poured out of any bottle will get the person who drinks it more drunk than those who receive the second, third and fourth (and so on) glasses poured from the same bottle, Mail Online reported. Thomas concluded that the fizz is the culprit for the phenomenon because it speeds up the absorption of alcohol into our bloodstream. While other drinks have fizz, champagne or sparkling wine is the most bubbly alcoholic drink of them all. With the pop of the cork, the carbon dioxide held in the champagne starts to escape partly through those tiny gas bubbles you see rising to the surface, but…

Broccoli Bisque: One pot, one blender, one bowl

I guess I never knew how tasty and easy soups were to make in the blender. Just simmer some ingredients in a pot; add to blender; serve in bowl and voilá! Here’s a puréed soup recipe I made with an unlikely ingredient: broccoli. It packs a ton of veggies into each serving, and the fresh, green color gives all kinds of healthy feel goods. This broccoli bisque recipe is a variation on my carrot ginger soup. The steps are largely the same. Just swap out the veggies. Broccoli Bisque Serves about 6 Ingredients 3 big handfuls of spinach, washed 1/2 stick of butter 1 large onion, chopped 4 tbsp. flour 2 cans vegetable broth (chicken broth is fine for omnivores) 7 cups broccoli florets (about 1 large head) 1/2 cup cream pepper salt 1 cup plain yogurt 1 lemon Directions In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, or…

How to make your jack-o-lantern last longer

From funny faces to scary skulls, there’s no limit to what you can carve into a pumpkin. Displaying your work is one of the Hallmark’s of Halloween. But that excited fall feeling quickly fades when your masterpiece becomes a mushy mess on the front porch. Of course you know your jack-o-lantern won’t last forever, but there are a few steps you can take to help keep your hard work intact for longer: Always buy your pumpkins from a local farm. Because it’s grown on-site, you can be sure your pumpkin has been spared the damage often done by careless shippers. Pick a good one. A long-lasting jack-lantern starts with a firm pumpkin. Avoid choosing a pumpkin that already has soft spots. Clean it well. Exterior: Before you start carving, load a spray bottle with one teaspoon of bleach and one quart of water. Spray and wipe the exterior surfaces first to remove any excess dirt and bacteria that could enter your pumpkin. Interior: Once…

Food bank received antique Heinz soup can donation

We’re all guilty of it. When it’s time to donate to the food bank, we go to our shelves and pull off some items without giving the expiration date much thought. But one food bank was stunned after a mystery donor left a 47-year-old tin can of soup. It’s a record!! Never had a donation with 10d on before! Please could we remind everyone that food donated needs to be in date! Thank you 🙂 pic.twitter.com/EVf5qMulA6 — Cardiff Foodbank (@CardiffFoodbank) October 5, 2017 The workers at the Cardiff Foodbank posted a picture of antique can of Heinz kidney soup to Twitter. The photo showed a price tag with 10d stamped it. The can is thought to be about 46 or 47 years old, dating to at least before 1971 when Britain adopted a decimal system for their currency. Heinz hasn’t even made kidney soup in 35 years. It’s believed that the soup…

U.S. obesity epidemic not budging

NEW YORK — America’s weight problem isn’t getting any better, according to new government research. Overall, obesity figures stayed about the same: About 40 percent of adults are obese and 18.5 percent of children. Those numbers are a slight increase from the last report but the difference is so small that it could have occurred by chance. Worrisome to experts is the rate for children and teenagers, which had hovered around 17 percent for a decade. The 2-to-5 age group had the biggest rise. The years ahead will show if that’s a statistical blip or marks the start of a real trend, said the report’s lead author, Dr. Craig Hales of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bad news is that the numbers didn’t go down, experts say. In recent years, state and national health officials have focused on obesity in kids, who were the target of the…

The unhealthiest Halloween candies

Halloween may be mostly for kids, but the calorie count of the candy-centric holiday affects everyone. The American Heart Association says that an adult woman shouldn’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day; for men, it’s 37.5 grams. Many of the most popular candies of the season pack a huge amount of this sugar in just one or two fun-sized servings. The worst part is that sometimes we snack on these small sizes without much thought. Here are a few of the worst offenders: Reese’s Minis Per 3 pieces: 108 calories, 6.4 grams fat (2.2 grams saturated), 9.9 grams sugar One serving, or 9 Reese’s minis, packs half of your maximum daily about of sugar and tons of fat into just a few small bites. Hershey’s Take 5 Per snack-sized candy bar: 100 calories, 5 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 9 grams sugar The ingredients sound simple enough — chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter,…