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Meghan Rodgers

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4 ways to cook asparagus

No other vegetable symbolizes the start of spring more than long, slender asparagus. The succulent spears begin to appear in home gardens sometime in early April — with the promise of strawberries and longer days of sunshine right on their heels. While asparagus (part of the lily family) is available in grocery stores year-round these days, the best flavor and texture comes from just-harvested local stems. The earliest shoots are called “sprue,” and they’re usually very tender. Asparagus can be enjoyed tossed in a pasta salad, included in a casserole, or suspended in a quiche, but it’s also delicious perfect when cooked and eaten all on its own. If you’ve created a habit of cooking asparagus stalks the same way every time, perhaps it’s time to try this vegetable another way. We get asparagus for as little as two months of the year, so act fast! Try this roasted asparagus…

Where to get ‘Game of Thrones’ Wine

In less than one month, Game of Thrones fans will finally get the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the season 8 premiere. In anticipation of the April 14 return, creators of the epic HBO fantasy drama have licensed some GOT-themed products to help you throw the most amazing watch-party ever. While you can stock up on GOT Oreos, GOT beer, and even a 2-pound chocolate dragon egg, no product is more cosplay appropriate than GOT wine. Fans of the show are familiar with the characters they love (and love to hate) slowly sipping big bulbs of wine, while sneering and articulating plans for dominating the seven kingdom and executing enemies. Now you too can sip officially licensed GOT wine — just hopefully with a lot less disdain for your fellow man. Wines are available on the Game of Thrones website. Choose from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Red Wine…

10 Surprising facts about Jelly Beans

Unless you’re an uber-fan, you probably don’t think about jelly beans a whole lot until Easter rolls around — then the little candies take center stage. But what do you really know about these sweet pops of flavor? Here are some juicy details. 1. It can take 7 to 14 days to make A jelly bean. Making jelly beans is no easy task. It requires many steps from liquifying sugar and flavors to pouring into tiny bean-shaped molds and letting dry overnight. The candies then undergo a process called “panning.” They’re transferred to a rotating drum where flavors and colors are added as they spin. Sugar is then added to create the bean’s hard exterior shell. Finally, a hot syrupy wax is applied to give them their shine. After all of that, the beans still need to go through packing and shipping. 2. the battle for favorite flavor. For two…

Foods you should never freeze

Your freezer allows you to do everything from plan meals ahead to eliminate food waste. While you can usually throw in most dinner dishes or leftovers and be fine, the super cold temperature isn’t ideal for all foods. Certain ingredients can morph into something gross once thawed or even become a health hazard. The freezer has it’s limits. Here are some foods that just shouldn’t be frozen: Milk While it would be nice to have a few quarts of this staple item stowed away, milk stored in the freezer can separate into chunks and turn watery when it thaws. It is still technically safe to consume when this happens, but the consistency won’t be anything like what you would expect for your morning coffee or cereal. If you absolutely must free milk, try putting it in an ice cube tray to lessen the effect. Pull it out, and you won’t…

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…

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…

How to clean your stainless steel sink, while being green

When’s the last time your cleaned your stainless steel sink? Like, really made it shine? If all of those spots and stains are grossing you out but you keep putting them off, you’ve come to the right place. Your sink is probably coated in a layer of grime — whether you know it or not — and the longer you let it linger, the harder it’s going to be to get clean. But the good news is that you can ditch the dangerous chemicals and get your sink super clean by scrubbing it with baking soda and lemon. It’s an inexpensive cleaning trick that will make your sink shine like new, and you don’t have to worry about inhaling anything harmful. Sure, it’s still cleaning — and no one likes to do that — but at least being green about it makes the job a little more tolerable. And it…

Anthony Bourdain feared going to this one country

One might think that the late Anthony Bourdain was fearless. After nine season of No Reservations and seven seasons of Parts Unknown, the celebrity chef had seen and tried it all. He swallowed a beating, bloody cobra heart in Vietnam, had be be evacuated when conflict broke out in Beirut, and had been pushing to film in unstable Afghanistan for years. But despite all of his exotic experiences, one destination always scared him — Switzerland. That’s right. Bourdain once told Conan O’Brien on Conan, “I have a morbid fear of everything Swiss.” Yes, Switzerland. The country most famous for neutrality, cheese, and chocolate. “I must have had some terrible childhood experience while watching Sound of Music that I blocked out,” Bourdain half-joked. “Even alpine vistas, like snow-capped peaks or Lake Geneva, or cuckoo clocks or those hats with the feathers — even the cheese; it’s scary to me.” Like most irrational…

How to tell the difference between a shrimp and a prawn

Shrimp are the darling of coastal kitchens but can be found on menus just about everywhere. Whether it’s shrimp tacos, shrimp scampi, or shrimp cocktail, Americans devour nearly 4.5 pounds of the delicious crustaceans every year. But are we always sure what we’re eating? Come to think of it, maybe our neighbor’s shrimp boil last summer included prawns. What actually is the difference between the two? Let’s settle this culinary question for good. What’s the difference between shrimp and prawns? Shrimp and prawns have a lot in common, but they are, in fact, entirely different animals. Both shrimp and prawns are decapods, meaning that they have 10 legs and a thin external skeleton, but that’s where the similarities end. Shrimp (of the sub-order Pleocyemata, also belonging to crayfish, lobsters, and crabs) are typically smaller in size and live mostly in saltwater. They have claws on two of their legs and a…

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…