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Meghan Rodgers

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The best way to reheat a baked potato

Whether you’re serving them oozing with chili and cheese or slathered with butter as a simple accompaniment to a steak dinner, baked potatoes make for a tasty, versatile side dish. But perhaps you found you made too many and now have leftovers.  Don’t pitch that potato. Here’s how you can make sure they taste as great in the few days following as they did when you first pulled them out of the oven. The best way to reheat a potato: The oven No question about it, the best way to reheat a baked potato is in the oven. This method keeps potatoes moist while skin stays crispy and delicious. The downside is that it takes a lot longer than zapping the potato in the microwave, but the extra time is totally worth it. First, remove potatoes from fridge and let them warm up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to…

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with a kick

Blistering cold winter nights are made just a bit better with warm comfort food. This week’s weather calls for a delicious Cheesy Cauliflower Soup. Cozy up on the couch with a big bowl tonight or whip some up this weekend and stay in with your favorite movies. This soup does not disappoint. What makes this soup so special is the surprise kick. People may ask you what your secret ingredient is—It’s just the right amount of cayenne pepper. It gives tons of flavor without bringing overwhelming heat. Making this soup is super simple. Just some steamed veggies, a simple sauce/broth, and a slow simmer will have this homemade meal on your table in under 35 minutes. Also try, Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi Soup. Cheesy Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and broken into florets 1 medium-to-large onion, diced 14 ounces of chicken broth 1 chicken bouillon…

20 creative ways to use your KitchenAid Mixer

A friend of mine recently said she received a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, but didn’t know what to use it for. If you too have one of the brightly-colored beauties just sitting on your counter, let me share with you my top 20 favorite ways to use my KitchenAid. I admit, I was a bit slow to take to it at first too, but after eight years together, we’ve whipped up some pretty delicious stuff. 1. Mix meatballs or beef for burgers Whether it’s seasonings for meatballs or burgers, dump all your ingredients into the bowl and mix until combined. Keep an eye out—you don’t want to overmix—but using your KitchenAid to make meatballs means your free to prep other items. 2. Shred chicken, pork, or beef Place your roasted or crock pot chicken in the mixing bowl, attach the dough hook, and run on low for about 20 seconds at a…

Does ginger ale actually help an upset stomach?

Think back to when you were feeling a little under the weather as a kid. If an upset stomach was your complaint, Mom’s go-to remedy might have been a carbonated can of ginger ale. While you may have fond memories of swigging the spice-flavored soda for the good of your gut, Mom’s old school method might not actually have been as helpful as you think. Ginger ale has long been used as a treatment for soothing minor stomach-related issues. But research has shown that it isn’t the queasy cure-all we once thought. While it does make for a delicious drink, Canada Dry and many other name brand ginger beverages are made purely of sugar and water—there’s very little, if any, actual ginger. (Ginger beer though actually has quite a bit! Permission to drink?) Try this anti-inflammatory celery, apple, kale, ginger juice. The problem with that is that sugar can actually…

Panera to offer a more plant-based menu in 2020

Whether it’s animal welfare concerns, climate change, nutrition, or just preference, it seems everyone nowadays has a reason for eating less meat. In response to the cultural shift, Panera is the latest restaurant chain to announce it would introduce more plant-based offerings to its menu. In fact, the popular quick-service restaurant and bakery said it plans to have half of its menu be plant-based within the next few years. Consumers can expect to see a new plant-based item added in every category by 2021. Panera’s bakery-café is also onboard with the switch-up. While 25 percent of its menu is already plant-based, the offerings will increase to make up at least half of the entire menu by 2021. Other fast food chains have responded to consumer demand by offering meat-like substitutes from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, but Panera will dish out more plant-based whole foods like quinoa and edamame. Two new…

Natural sunlight helps kill germs in your house, study shows

If you’re looking for easy, natural ways to combat cold and flu season, listen up. A study published in the journal Microbiome says that letting natural light pour into your home helps kill germs. You may remember Grandma claiming something of this nature. You may even have had an intuition. But there had not been much research to explain how or why this is the case inside, until now. Researchers at the University of Oregon set up a study of 11 dust-ridden, doll-sized rooms and observed what happened when indoor rooms were exposed to daylight through regular glass, UV light, or when the rooms were kept dark, NPR reports. Dust was collected from actual homes in Portland then the miniature room were let to collect dust from outside, all while researchers kept them at a normal room temperature. Dust can sit around your house for 90 days (even if you…

A poor diet is worse than smoking or high blood pressure, study shows

You don’t smoke, your blood pressure is in-check, and you’re not obese. So what if you don’t carefully watch your diet, right? Wrong! According to a recent study published in the Lancet, poor diet is the leading cause of death worldwide—contributing to more deaths than well-know risk factors like tobacco use and high blood pressure. Researchers analyzed dietary habits of adults aged 25 and older between 1990 and 2017 across 195 countries. They compared those findings with how it affected their chances of an early death. In 2017, they found that 11 million deaths (that’s 22 percent) of the deaths over that time frame were caused by poor diet. The breakdown? About 9.5 million deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. Another 900,000 were due to diet-related cancers. More than 330,000 deaths were from diabetes, and more than 136,000 deaths were caused by kidney diseases. Not only were there more dietary-related…

Authentic Maldivian breakfast to try at home (mas huni)

Besides all of the fun and interesting people you meet, one of the most memorable aspects of traveling, for me, is the food (of course). I’m talking about enjoying local cuisines and new foods that can broaden your horizons and give your taste buds something brand new to crave when you get home. I discovered a super simple breakfast dish during a recent holiday in the Maldives I couldn’t wait to make it when I got home. Maldivian cuisine is an exotic blend of rich flavors and regional influences from neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and India. Dishes range from a mild spiciness to a delicate sweetness, often times straddling the two. Eat traditional Maldivian food and you’ll fall in love with complex curries and easy-to-eat coconut-oil fried finger foods. Maldivian cuisine, also called Dhivehi cuisine, is largely based on three items: coconuts, fish, and starches. This tasty dish, called mas…

New Girl Scout cookie flavor announced for 2020

Pucker up, lemon lovers. There’s a new cookie in town and it’s just for you. The Girl Scouts are kicking off their cookie season with a brand new flavor for 2020. The new cookie, called “Lemon-Ups,” is a crispy, lemon-flavored cookie produced using sustainable palm oil. Aside from being more eco-friendly, each cookie also comes with a positive feminist message such as “I am gutsy,” “I am a go-getter,” or “I am a leader” as a reminder that the Girl Scouts are about more than just cookies. “When you purchase a box of our crispy, lemon cookies baked with motivational messages inspired by bold Girl Scout Cookie entrepreneurs, you’re helping a girl learn money management. She handles money, keeps records, even tracks orders — activities that are essential to running a successful business,” the Girl Scouts’ website says. Lemon-Ups have 140 calories per serving (2 cookies), along with 6g of…

How to freeze and thaw bread while keeping it fresh

If you’re guilty of wasting one food it’s probably bread. Here’s the all-too-common situation: You just twisted open a basic bag of sliced sandwich bread at home, but then you go ahead and buy an artisanal loaf to accompany tonight’s dinner-for-two anyway. (After all, they are very different breads.) Then you buy buns for grilling burgers later this week and perhaps some bakery rolls for Sunday’s dinner. That’s when you realize, you’ll never get through all of that bread before it gets stale. Can you keep it fresh in the freezer? Thankfully, the answer is yes! Most bread really only lasts about two or three days before it starts to show signs of staleness, or worse, mold, but the freezer can help ward off both. Also see: Is it safe to tear the mold off of bread and eat the rest? How to freeze bread: short-term Short term storage can…