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Meghan Rodgers

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25 mouthwatering facts you need to know about pizza

No matter how you slice it, Americans love pizza. We eat 23 pounds of the stuff every single year. We take down 350 slices every second. Calling pizza a staple of the American diet would be a huge understatement. But pizza’s powers waft beyond the borders of the US. Our cheese-laden love affair has also extended to the rest of the world. It’s cheesy, delicious, and available just about anywhere you go. In honor of National Pizza Week, here are 20 fun facts about everyone’s favorite dinner… and lunch… and breakfast (when cold). 1. Pizza didn’t gain popularity until the 1950s, but the word “pizza” actually dates back more than a thousand years. A manuscript from 997 A.D. found in the small Italian town Gaeta, is the first known documentation of the word, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported. 2. The first documented pizzeria in the world was opened in Port’Alba, Naples. It…

Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs, a fan favorite

Are you ready for some football? Of course you are! But do you know what you’re bringing to your friend’s party? This year, let someone else bring the boring chips and dip, while you show up with these adorably delicious Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs. With just four ingredients, this recipe is super easy to make. I melt the butter, add the marshmallows, pour in the cereal, then transfer to wax paper and let it cool. It’s impossible to shape warm, gooey marshmallow, so it will need to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start. But don’t wait too long or the mixture will set and become too hard to mold. For the football shapes, I never like recipes that require specific cookie cutters, like — Hello! How many kitchen gadgets do you think I have?! (Actually, don’t answer that.) Anyway, no cookie cutter or special tool required. Footballs…

This state drinks the most wine in the US

With its ample sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and general laid back state of mind, California has acquired a bit of a party reputation over the decades. So it probably comes as no surprise that residents of the Golden State drink the most wine in the country. The National Institutes of Health’s examination of national drinking trends found that Californians drink more wine by volume than any other state. Of course, California is also home to world renown wine producing region, Napa Valley, and more wineries than any other state — by a long shot. In fact, 86 percent of the wineries in the country are located in California. California also boasts the largest population, with 39 million thirsty residents, so they have a leg up. Runners up include Florida, New York, Texas, and Illinois. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Wyoming drinks the least wine, followed by West Virginia, North…

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 new 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…

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I know, I know! Cauliflower isn’t exactly the most exciting vegetable to make, but it is having a moment — and for a good reason! If you haven’t tried this cruciferous vegetable in a while, now is a good time to revisit. Just like Brussels sprouts came back a few years ago with much fanfare, so too has cauliflower, thanks to tons of delicious new recipes and ways of preparation. Here is one easy recipe to get you back on team cauliflower and eating more veggies in the New Year. The roasted cauliflower adds a ton of flavor, and the finely diced carrots and celery give the soup even more texture. A big, hot bowl of this hearty cauliflower soup, served with crusty bread — that’s what winter days are all about. Roasted Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 4 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 small onion, diced 1 carrot, finely diced 1…

The man who invented sliced bread and the origins of the popular phrase

Lots of things are declared “the greatest thing since sliced bread,” but have you ever wondered, just what timeline we are talking here? Sliced bread is one of those inventions that seems like it should have always been part of our diets, and the accompanying phrase, forever part of our vernacular. But it’s much more recent than you would expect. So when was this ubiquitous food staple first invented? Bread is one of the world’s most commonly prepared foods — it’s also one of the oldest. There is evidence of humans making crude variations of the stuff as far back as the Neolithic era. Sliced bread, however? That’s a different story. For perspective, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Bennett, and Betty White are all older than sliced bread. The first automatically sliced commercial loaves of bread didn’t hit production until July 6, 1928, in Chillicothe, Missouri. It was all made possible…

7 Keto-friendly drinks you can order at Starbucks

So you have the keto thing down no problem when you cook at home, but when you go out to eat, things can get pretty tricky. Sometimes you might just decide just to skip the restaurant entirely if you’re not sure of its menu options, but skipping out on Starbucks? Well, is that really ever an option? The good news is that you don’t have to give up your beloved coffee run. The java giant offers plenty of keto-approved caffeinated drinks so you can have your morning pick-me-up, while still staying true to your diet. Overall, keep in mind when ordering any drink at a Starbucks or another coffee shop, you’re going to need to order sugar-free, since sugar is basically just carbohydrates. Also, order heavy cream or coconut or nut milk instead of regular milk. That will help you customize most drinks to be more in-line with keto, but here…

Cranberry, orange, almond smoothie

You may think of cranberries as a fruit option only between Thanksgiving and Christmas when popular dishes like cranberry sauce and cranberry baked goods prevail. But there are plenty of reasons to eat the fresh, ruby red fruit all year long. Cranberries have long been known to help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections. They also contain important vitamins such as C, E, K, manganese, fiber, and loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to limit the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and help reduce signs of aging as well as helping to fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cranberries may also reduce bad cholesterol, help fight gum disease, and boost your immune system. Get the picture yet? Eat more cranberries! You can add fresh or dried cranberries to any number of salads, salsas, smoothies, or dishes, but eating them fresh delivers the most health benefits. This…

16 US States with outrageous laws about alcohol

Too much alcohol can make people do crazy things. It can also inspire governments to set crazy laws. For as long as there has been an America, Americans have been known to imbibe, and for just as long, U.S. lawmakers have been creating strange laws to regulate it (like say, the Eighteen Amendment). While some states recently got around to repealing their ridiculous laws, there are still plenty of eyebrow-raising alcohol laws in existence in the country today. Here are a few of our favorites. Alaska You can’t get drunk in Alaska. If you think the point of going to a bar is to get drunk, think again. It’s illegal to get drunk and be visibly intoxicated in a bar in our northernmost state. Oh, and also, up until recently it was illegal to give alcohol to a moose. Arkansas Underage drinkers face homework assignments. Arkansas has the same legal…

Vegan-friendly foods you can order at Panera

It can be hard eating out when you’re on a vegan diet. Restaurants sneak in all sorts of extras you would never know about unless you poured through online ingredients lists for every restaurant. But who really has time for that? Whether you went vegan because you love animals or you just prefer to eat a cleaner diet, we found some plant-based, vegan-friendly food offerings from Panera are 100% safe, along with some offerings you should surprisingly shy away from. Also see, 9 vegan-friendly foods you can order at Chick-fil-A. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcqFMdFny2h/ Breads The Farmstyle XL, Country Rustic, Artisan Ciabatta, Sea Salt Focaccia, French Baguette (which is often offered as a side), and Sourdough are all suitable vegan bread choices. Steer clear of the white and honey wheat breads. They sound innocent enough, but Panera sneaks butter, eggs and milk into these loaves. https://www.instagram.com/p/BmLeI40gupT/ Pastries Unfortunately, not a single pastry at Panera…