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Meghan Rodgers

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10 grocery story items you should always buy generic

Brand names can invoke nostalgia, but they can also come at a cost. Just because you’ve bought a brand name since you were younger, doesn’t mean it makes sense to continue to buy that product if there is a generic version that saves you some coin. Sometimes the national brand names offer something special, but more often anymore, they don’t. Here are 10 grocery store items you should always buy generic: 1. Cereal Think that tiger is totally original? Think again. The contents of brand named cereal boxes are nearly identical to the generic versions — and the latter can come at half the price. Invest in a airtight container so store the cereal once it’s opened, so it doesn’t get stale in that bag. 2. Water If you still buy bottled water, choose the store brand to stop yourself from washing dollars down the drain. Better yet, buy a…

The most-Googled Thanksgiving recipe in every state

Every November novice cooks start to search for the recipes they’ll whip up in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. While it’s no surprise that the turkey itself actually got the award for most-Googled Thanksgiving dish in America, not every home cook ended his or her search there. According to Satellite internet.com’s new analysis of food-related Google searches, there is plenty of regional variation to what type of Thanksgiving day kitchen help we’re looking for — as the map below shows. Green bean casserole takes the crown for most-searched recipe, after clearly, having a massive Midwest following. Corn casserole also sneaks its way into the middle of green bean territory — maybe we’re witnessing a takeover? Massachusetts and Oregon seem to have a problem making cranberry sauce, while New Mexico, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky are all about the sweet potatoes. Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, and Illinois want to know how to…

How many calories will you consume at Thanksgiving dinner?

We’re not here to burst your Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, but if you’re concerned about calories on Turkey Day, you might want to take note. According to the Calorie Control Council, most Americans will consume around 4,500 calories next Thursday — and that’s during dinner alone! As if that’s not bad enough, most of us are in denial. According to a Basis Science survey, most Turkey Day diners expect to consume just 1,780 calories, and 75 percent of diners estimate their meal will clock in under 2,000 calories. While ignorance can be bliss, your pants will always know better. And you should, too. From appetizers to dessert, we took a look the calories in a traditional Thanksgiving holiday menu. Too scared to read on? No need. We won’t ask you give up gravy — or pie.  You can have an enjoyable holiday feast without depriving yourself. Just be mindful of what…

Is it safe to tear off the mold and eat the rest of the bread?

Bread. It’s one of those foods that you always like to have at your house, yet it gets moldy so quickly. When you see a loaf start to go bad you just rip off the green stuff and use the rest. All is good, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, that one little circle of moldy bread does ruin the whole loaf. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that you toss bread at the first sign of mold. It seems excessive, but it’s true. Studies have shown that mold has long, threadlike roots that can penetrate deep into the entirety of nearly any food it grows on. And mold is nothing to take lightly. The microscopic fungi can cause a wide range of health problems including allergic reactions, breathing problems, stomach problems, and some molds — those that produce the substances known as aflatoxins — can even cause liver cancer.…

American Airlines to allow passengers with nut allergies early boarding

Peanuts haven’t been served on American Airlines flights for some time, but now the major U.S. airline is going further to help those with nut allergies by allowing them the opportunity to board early. According to AA, passengers with peanut or tree nut allergies will have the option to join Boarding Group 1. The extra time gives passengers a chance to wipe down seats, tray tables, arm rests or any other areas of concern where allergens my be present and trigger their condition. The change will be well received, no doubt, by the 15 million Americans living with the food allergies, though it may not come as a surprise to many. Various people and groups have filed complaints in the past urging the airlines to address potential allergen issues and increase efforts to provide for passenger safety. Food Allergy Research & Education, a nonprofit, filed the original complain against the…

Overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole

Dishes like this overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole are particularly great around the holidays when you have guests, but you also want to sleep in. You want it all! And I agree. On top of being easy to make, breakfast casseroles are a great choice because you can prep them ahead of time, and feed an army in to time. Try making customs omelets or stacks and stacks of pancakes when you’ve been entertaining the entire day and night before — yawn! This casserole says “I care” yet, “I also care about my sanity.” Just tear or chop up some bread and apples. Add some raisin and let soak overnight in the creamy french toast egg mixture. The bread will sop up all that delicious flavor and give you super moist french toast, loaded cinnamon flavor. And all the fruit in this dish means that you don’t have…

This is why Coca-Cola cans are red

It’s one of the most memorable logos in the world. You see just a glimpse of the product and know it’s a Coke thanks to that highly recognizable shade of red. But why did the company chose this shade in the first place? Some fans think the red color came from some of the company’s first nationwide advertisements, which featured the now-iconic Christmas Santa Claus wearing a classic red and white suit, holding a bottle of Coke. But Santa didn’t begin popping up in Coca-Cola ads until the 1920s, and by that time the brand was nearly 40 years old. “It goes all the way back to the beginning,” said Coca-Cola Archivist Ted Ryan. The real story of Coke’s color red is essentially one of a happy accident. More than 130 years ago, Coca-Cola was distributed in large barrels at drug stores and pharmacies all across America. Alcohol was distributed…

Sweet and spicy glazed bourbon carrots

These carrots are simple to make but pack tons of flavor. All you need is a stove top and five easy ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and you have yourself a delicious side dish for any holiday meal. I like to use baby carrots because they save time and always look pretty, but feel free to clean and chop whatever else you have in the fridge. The whole dish can be ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll love this glaze so much, you’ll start imagining what else you can smother in it — salmon? Chicken? Swedish meatballs? Ice cream? But you’ll have to make more, but there is no way you won’t want to lick the bowl clean. Make sure you choose a liquor you like, because the flavor combo comes across pretty strong — in a good way. The sweetness from the sugar and the heat from the cayenne…

A handy guide to helping you plan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the biggest feast of the year. There’s so much to think about and plan for, you’re going to want a guide going in so you don’t forget anything. What to do right now The guest list. It’s likely to change, but getting an idea of how many people are going to come can help you start to estimate what and how much you’ll need. Order a turkey. Don’t leave this one up to chance at the grocery store. If you wait too long to pick up a bird, you might be scrambling. Plus, ordering ahead gives you a chance to order the right size and type of turkey you want. And you know it will be fresh. Check your housewares. Go through your linens and dishes and make sure you have everything you need, from baking dishes to napkins, salads bowls, silverware, and even towels, sheets and toiletries if…

November produce: What’s in season?

Summer might seem like the time for the tastiest fruits and the vegetables, but there is plenty of produce that grows in colder weather or even in neighboring tropical climates. Fruits and veggies tastes best when you eat them in season, so while you might be bummed your favorite berries are bitter this time of year, there are still tons of great options for eating in season items that are ripe right now. Here is what will give you peak flavor in November: Apples Apples are the perfect fall ingredients, adding flavor to foods both sweet and savory. Plus, they’re delicious all on their own. Chop fresh apples in your oatmeal, bread, or yogurt for a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C. Artichokes Artichokes are delicious and fun to eat. They make an appearance at many holiday tables because they are ripe and ready this time of year.…