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Meghan Rodgers

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Soda could cause cancer tumors to grow, study shows

Think your 3 p.m. Coca-Cola pick-me-up isn’t a huge problem? You might want to reconsider. New research revealed that your sugary soda addiction could actually cause serious health problems — even cancer. According to The Sun, it was the increase in bowel cancer cases in people under 35 that spurred the interest of Dr. Lewis Cantley, of Cornell University, to look for answers. Cantley, along with his colleagues, suspected that an increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup was to blame. To test the theory, cancer-prone mice were fed high-fructose corn syrup (amounting to about one can of Coke per day for a human). The study showed that the tumors were “directly eating the sugar… the cancer was using fructose and glucose together to more than double its growth rate.” Yikes! Excluding skin cancers, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer…

Classic chocolate eclair recipe

Do you dare to éclair? Éclairs used to seem like one of those unattainable pastries—something you had no choice by to pay $8 for in a fancy French patisserie in New York or Europe if you wanted to cure your craving. Why, they simply couldn’t be made at home by a cheeseburger eating American girl with no formal training! …Or so I had myself convinced for years. This is, of course, 100% ridiculous. For all the fanciness of their name—éclair means lightning, by-the-way—they really are not all that hard to make. Sure, there are three steps, but even all together, they can still be tackled in around 2 hours. The filling can even be made ahead of time. Though they had originated in France around the turn of the 19th century, the first known recipe for éclairs appears in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, published…

What’s the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine?

Confused about what’s Cajun and what’s Creole? Though you might hear the terms Cajun and Creole used interchangeably, they are in fact, two distinct ethnic groups, each with its own history, traditions, culture, and of course, food. The two cuisines do share some common ingredients and differences can be difficult to point to, so here’s a quick breakdown of the basics. What’s the difference between Cajun and Creole? To be clear, both cuisines come from Louisiana, but one easy clue is that, generally speaking, Creole dishes will use tomatoes and traditional Cajun dishes will not. Another basic way to tell the difference is how locals talk about it—Creole as “city food” and Cajun as “country food.” But let’s dig a bit deeper. What is Cajun food? Cajun food can be traced back to the Acadiana region of southern Louisiana where the French settled. Settlers here were further away from the city…

How to order Keto-friendly at Panera Bread

Panera might have “bread” right in its name, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order keto-friendly at the popular fast-casual food chain. The restaurant welcomes modifications to most menu items, so you can easily eat keto, as long as you know what to ask for, and since most restaurants are open from 6 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m.,  you can count on finding an acceptable meal there no matter the time of day. (Find a Panera near you.) Of course, you know to pass on the bread bowls and baguettes, but here are a few high-fat, low-carb options that will perfectly fit your diet. Panera also posts all nutrition online, so if you’re unsure, check the frequently updated site. Asiago Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel (no bagel) Don’t think breakfast has to be all about carbs. Order a sandwich, but skip the bread. Try this Bacon, Egg, Cheese sandwich…

This is why we eat ham on Easter

Holidays are chock-full of timeless traditions, perhaps in no category more steadfastly than food. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey? Halloween without candy? New Year’s without some bubbly? And of course, what would Easter dinner even be without a briny, salty ham? But aside from simply tradition, how did pigs come to play such an important role in our annual spring feast? It really just has to do with practical considerations and timing. Traditionally, pigs were slaughtered in the fall as temperatures cooled. This would allow the meat to stay fresher for much longer. Before refrigeration, farmers would set aside any unsold meat to be cured, or preserved, as to not waste food or income. That cured meat was finally ready to eat each year right around Easter. Also read, Why do eat chocolate bunnies on Easter? These days, slaughtering schedules don’t play an important of a part as simply our preference. While…

Why you shouldn’t order “chai tea”

Tea lovers, listen up. I’m about to save you from an easy error we’ve all made before. Here it is: Chai means tea. Yes, that means if you’ve ever gone to a coffee or teahouse and ordered a “chai tea,” you basically ordered a “tea tea.” While it is common to order that way in America, now that you know what it means, it will probably feel pretty silly. So just call it “chai.” I found this out on a recent trip to India, that in Hindi, “chai” translates to the generic “tea”, meaning the term is used to refer to all kinds of tea. (Side note: the word is originally derived from “cha”, the Chinese word for “tea.”) But what we know as chai tea in the States—that slightly spicy, milky black tea beverage—is actually called masala chai in India and elsewhere. In Indian cuisine, masala refers to a flavorful…

Where to find the Hard Seltzer Festival this year

When it comes to festivals, beer drinkers have it good. They can pick just about any weekend of the year and find a well-stocked, well-attended festival serving up their favorite IPAs, craft brews, and local beers. If there’s a beer, there’s a surely a gathering of its fans in the not too distant future. Spiked seltzer drinkers? Not so much. That is, until now. Bring on the bubbly! Vodka soda drinkers are finally getting their own traveling festival, and it looks like tons of fun. Starting this spring, Seltzer Land is bringing a bubble-filled festival to a city near you. According to the Wall Street Journal, attendees will be able to sample more than 100 varieties of hard seltzer, as they dine on snacks, enjoy live music, and take a selfie in the ball pit. Tickets start at $29, and VIP tickets start at $49. Each festival day will host two…

Red velvet pizzelle are a perfect cookie for February

Pizzelle are the ultimate holiday cookie. In my family, we eat them for Christmas and New Year and always, always, always around Easter. We can even count on them for birthdays. Valentine’s Day was feeling left out so I put a red velvet twist on this traditional Italian cookie. The bright red color and crispy, rich chocolatey taste make them perfect for sharing with your better half. Dunk these Red Velvet Pizzelle in ice cold milk or savor with your morning coffee for a combo that will have you believing in love at first bite. Red Velvet Pizzelle Makes about 3 dozen Ingredients 3 large eggs 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp vanilla 2 tsp red food coloring Directions Preheat pizzelle iron and set aside. Lay a few low-lint…

A short but sweet history of Hershey’s kisses

The year was 1907. Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States, Oklahoma had been admitted as 46th state in the Union, and Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses came into the nation’s collective candy-loving conscious. Hershey’s has been planting its chocolaty kisses on Americans for more than 110 years. Today, the bite-sized candy is the 5th most popular chocolate brand in the country, with sales topping $400 million. To keep up with demand, more than 60 million Hershey’s Kisses are produced each day between the company’s two factories. So how exactly did this iconic candy get its lovable name? While no one alive today was there to witness the first bottom-heavy, bite-sized, chocolaty blob hit the conveyor belt, urban lore has it that the tasty treat was named for the lip-smacking sound the machinery made when dropping the melty chocolates during the manufacturing process. Naysayers argue that the word “kiss” had been a…

Heart-shaped peanut butter cookies

Soft, sweet, and chewy, who can resist peanut butter cookies? This recipe is packed with peanut flavor, sure to satisfy that peanut butter craving. They taste as delicious dunked in ice cold milk as they do all on their own. Plus, you’ll fall in love with the little heart-shaped design. This is my go-to recipe for peanut butter cookies. While I don’t always take the extra time to make them into hearts, you simply have to this time of year. It’s so easy, and no cookie cutter or rolling out dough necessary. It makes them extra fun for kids and coworkers, plus, it gives you an excuse to get baking in the first place! You can put this creative twist on just about any peanut butter cookie recipe (some of the 3-ingredients recipes are a little too crumbly to hold up). How to make heart-shaped peanut butter cookies Step 1…