Author

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. 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 herbs 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 a window indoors. They’re not going to look…

How to cut sugar and calories from your Pumpkin Spice Latte order

Fall cool weather has arrived, and we’ve all got pumpkin spice on the brain. But before you head to Starbucks to wrap your hands around a warm cup of pumpkin spiced goodness, wrap your brain around the fact that each standard Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte has the sugar equivalent to 3.5 giant Starbucks sugar cookies. Yikes! At that rate, you’ll be packing on the holiday pounds before we even enter October. Plus, all that sugar can leave you feeling sluggish and cranky. So what’s a PSL fanatic to do? Each Grande PSL has four pumps of pumpkin spice syrup. At 7.5 grams of sugar per pump, it’s easy to cut back while still keeping the delicious pumpkin flavor. Order half the amount of syrup (2 pumps) and save 15 grams of sugar. Of course sugar isn’t the only problem. A Grande PSL will add a whopping 380 calories to your day.…

Where to get free coffee on National Coffee Day, Sept. 29, 2018

While true coffee lovers worship the steamy drink all year long, there is one day every year that we set aside for a true celebration — National Coffee Day. On September 29, coffee shops across the country with mark the occasion by offering free or steeply discounted cups of coffee to visitors. Here are what some of the chains are brewing up:   7-Eleven On Sept. 29, get a free coffee with purchase of a breakfast sandwich more than $2. Cumberland Farms Text FREECOFFEE to 64827 and receive a mobile coupon for a free hot or iced cup of joe. Dunkin’ Donuts BOGO free deal on all hot coffee purchases. Krispy Kreme America’s favorite coffee chain is offering coffee lovers a free hot or iced java of any size. Peet’s Coffee Enjoy a free drip coffee or tea at participating locations, as well as 25% off a pound of beans…

Book Review: Canning goes Back to Basics for beginners

This time of year always seems to turn in to a game of pass the produce. Your neighbor has too many tomatoes. Your friend gets extra cucumbers in her CSA. And every week, your co-worker tries to pawn off a basket of his peppers. There are worse problems to have. This year, instead of saying no — or continuing to pass the goods down the line to other friends — pick up a new skill for this plethora of produce, and learn to can. Canning is the next natural extension of our increasing national awareness of eating fresh, healthy and local. Grandma knew canning could feed her family healthy meals all year long, and what’s old usually becomes new again. Canning — much like knitting (can you believe it?) — is back on the scene. But between tools, temperatures and safety measures, the age-old practice can leave first-timers at a loss (and wishing Grandma was still…

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole makes perfect late summer side dish

At this point in the summer, you’re probably still picking lots of zucchini and squash from your garden. Or if you’re lucky, friends are trying to offload their extras. This zucchini casserole is a great way to use up all the zucchini and squash you have laying around. It might be the end of summer, but the warm weather means it’s still solidly squash season. This recipe is rich and creamy and made perfect by a melty blend of Gruyere and Parmesan cheese. You’ll love this as a late summer side dish. Cheesy Zucchini Casserole Ingredients 4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1 half of a medium onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp butter 1/2 cup heavy cream 5 ounces Gruyere cheese, roughly shredded 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated salt and pepper Directions Preheat oven to 450ºF. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish and set aside. In…

This is the most popular Halloween candy in every state

It’s officially fall and that means Halloween fun is right around the corner. Of course, for most of us, that means filling up on loads of sweet treats. But where you live might depend a lot on which candies you prefer. Americans are expected to gobble up $2.6 billion on trick-or-treat candy, according to the National Retail Federation — slightly less than 2017’s $2.7 total. Still, if we’re going to spend that kind of money on chocolates and goodies, we might as well spend it on the sweet stuff people actually want. Across the country, Skittles, M&M’s, and Snicks take the top three spots respectively. Reese’s Cups, Starburst, Candy Corn, Hot Tamales, Hershey’s, Tootsie Pops, and Jolly Ranchers round out the top 10. Online retailer Candystore.com compiled data from the past 11 years to show which candies are most popular in each state: Source: CandyStore.com. Alabama – Candy Corn Alaska…

Why we celebrate Oktoberfest in September

Every year millions of people around the world wonder why the German tradition known as Oktoberfest is celebrated primarily in the month of September. The annual celebration is best known for its beer, food and general celebration of German culture. But given the name, shouldn’t the shindig primarily take place in its namesake month? The official Oktoberfest website explains. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, with a one-day horse-race held as part of the wedding festivities for Bavarian King Ludwig I and his wife, Theresie. The crowd liked it so much, that it became an annual event, eventually developing into the world of marching bands, sausages and colorfully-dressed beer maidens we know today. But over the decades, the horse-race disappeared, and the event grew to more than two weeks long — stretching the event into mid-October. Since fall can be quite cold in Bavaria, even snowy, a decision was made to start the festivities earlier…

Easy peaches and cream protein smoothie

With just a few ingredients, this smoothie will be your go-to breakfast throughout the whole peach season. There is nothing quite like the sweet taste of a delicious, juicy peach in the summertime. Add a pinch of cinnamon, some skim milk, and Greek yogurt for protein, and you have a healthy, nutritious peaches and cream-like smoothie to get your day started the right way. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share this recipe with you. I make it all the time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Peaches and Cream protein smoothie Serves 2 Ingredients 5 ounces low-fat greek yogurt 8-9 ounces frozen peaches (or use 1 large peach, pitted + 1 cup ice cubes) 3/4 cup skim milk 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional) Directions Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy right away. ALSO…

Is plastic better than wood?: The cutting board debate

Whether you cook three times a day or three times a year, you probably own a cutting board. It’s a kitchen staple with one simple job, but without it, you wouldn’t have anywhere to cut, chop, dice, or slice your meats, apples, and onions. While you may know you need a cutting board, do you know when you should choose a wooden board over a plastic one, or vice versa? After all, anything your food touches can be a source of contamination and foodborne illness, so kitchen tools and care are no small decision. As it turns out, there are some major differences between boards you should know before you head to the store. Wood versus plastic For most of history, chopping blocks then cutting boards were all made of wood. But the invention of modern plastics in 1907 meant that plastic utensils slowly began making its way into people’s…

Airport security bins are dirtier than toilets, study shows

The dirtiest thing you’ll encounter at the airport isn’t the toilet seat. Nor is the tray tables or even your sniffling seat mate. According to a study from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, it’s those plastic security trays that are the filled with the most infectious diseases. The research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases, which found 10 respiratory viruses including the flu and common cold lingering on various surfaces through the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland. Scientists visited several times during the 2015-16 flu season and collected germ samples at various times of the day. As it turns out, the bins that hold your cell phone, shoes, purse, coat, and other belongings that need scanned for security, had more germs than any other area tested — including toilet, elevator buttons, and even the flight check-in kiosks. The virus found could easily cause you…