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Seasonal

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How to store apples so they last all winter

For many people, autumn means one thing: apples. Families love heading to the orchard and loading up on bags full of apples for making devious homemade applesauce, pies, and cobblers. But don’t let your enjoyment of those tasty fall treats end earlier than it needs to. Believe it or not, some varieties of apples can last you all the way through March. They just have to be stored the right way. Also see, the best apples for eating fresh. Apples are abundant in the fall, meaning you can buy them at cheaper prices and stock up. You’ll save money by buying in bulk, and you’ll also avoid grocery store apples which can be coated in unnatural waxes or doused with chemicals used to delay their ripening. Here’s everything you need to know about storing apples for winter: What type of apple should you buy Apples come to maturity between late July…

Where to get Halloween 2019 food freebies and deals

Don’t just indulge in candy this Halloween. Treat yourself to anything from creepy cocktails to freaky flapjacks. Here are 14 places you can score scary-good deals and freebies this Halloween. And check back soon! We’ll be updating the list as the specials come screaming in. Applebee’s Celebrate Halloween with a $1 Vampire cocktail; available for a limited time. This “freaky tiki” rum cocktail is made with run, strawberry, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and pineapple juice. It’s topped with vampire fangs and a cherry. Baskin Robbins Scoops are just $1.50 at BR on Halloween. Choose from any of the ice cream chain’s 31 flavors, including the flavor of the month, the Candy Mashup, made with all your favorite Halloween candy classics like Snickers and caramel cups. Bubba gump Kids eat free with (purchase of an adult entree) at Bubba Gump on Halloween during its “no tricks, all treats” promo. Chipotle Boorito…

Is white chocolate actually chocolate?

White chocolate is one of those polarizing foods like black licorice, Brussel sprouts and cilantro — you either love it or you hate it. But what actually is white chocolate, and can it really be considered chocolate? Let’s first look at chocolate in general Chocolate needs no introduction. You’ve had it. You love it in all its forms: bunnies, bars, brownies. But what makes chocolate, chocolate? Well, both the dark kind and the milk kind contain cocoa solids or cocoa powder — which give them their rich brown color — as well as the fatty cocoa butter — the fat that gives them their creamy mouthfeel. White chocolate just has cocoa butter — no cocoa. Both milk chocolate and white chocolate also typically include some amount of milk or cream powder, sugar, and sometimes vanilla or other add-ins. where does cocoa butter come from? Cocoa butter is the foundation of…

Mistakes you should avoid when cooking potatoes

Potato problems? Potatoes may seem basic, but there are a lot of ways to mess them up. Whether they come out partly raw, mushy, or generally flavorless, the good news is there is usually a simple solution. Read on and see what you might do differently next time to achieve those perfectly tender, flavorful spuds you salivate over. You don’t choose the right potato for the job. You’ll come across more than a dozen different kinds of potatoes at the grocery store, so how do you know which will work best for your recipe? Well, a good rule of thumb is to use russet potatoes for baking or steaming, and use red or gold potatoes for roasting or sautéing. Russets and yellow potatoes are best for mashing. Round red potatoes and fingerling potatoes are best for boiling. Not sure what to use? Those round white potatoes that you see at…

Why we give candy to kids on Halloween

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year — that’s a lot of Skittles, Starbursts, and snack-sized candy bars. But as you’re buying bags of goodies to giveaway, you may wonder how this sweet tradition got its start. Well, the answer isn’t totally clear, but let’s shed a little bit of light on this dark holiday. Many scholars think that Halloween can be traced back about 2,000 years to its roots as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which means “summer’s end.” The festivities, usually held around Nov. 1, were a celebration of the end of harvest season and the beginning of darkest days of the year. Because the ancient records surviving to this day are largely incomplete, our understanding of the holiday isn’t fully understood. But Samhain is also thought to have been a time for the spirits…

20 sweet ways to use up leftover Halloween candy

Extra large haul this year? Fewer trick-or-treaters than you expected? Whatever the reason, come November 1 you may be left with a lot more candy that you counted on. Here are 20 ideas for what to do with all that candy: Donate it Get it out of the house. 1. Make care packages for grandparents or great grandparents If older relatives don’t have heaps of leftover Halloween candy of their own, send them a care package with some candy, a card, and add a printed picture of the kids (or your pets) in costumes. They would surely appreciate your thoughtfulness. 2. Donate it to the troops Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops will send it to deployed troops around the world or distribute it to veterans in VA Hospitals across the country. Operation Shoebox will pack up your candy and ship it to troops overseas. And Operation Gratitude will send it to…

What’s the difference between stock and broth?

For most of my cooking life, I thought “stock” and “broth” were just two different terms for the same thing. (Perhaps one was old-timey and the other new age.) I didn’t really think much about those savory meat-flavored liquids beyond the occasion I wanted to make soup. But as it turns out there are actually significant differences between the two. The differences between stock and broth It would be easy to assume stock and broth are the same thing, after all, they’re both liquids flavored from simmering various meat scraps and vegetables. But there are three things that set the two apart: the cook time, the ingredients used, and the seasoning (or lack of seasoning). What is stock? Stock is made by simmering animal bones (and sometimes, but not always, small scraps of meat) with onions, carrots, and celery in a large pot of water. The bones may or may…

12 fun facts you never knew about pumpkins

Nothing says “October” more than a beautiful, orange pumpkin, but this most beloved symbol of fall is hiding some fun little secrets. Think you know everything there is to know about these great big gourds? Here are 15 fun facts you never knew about pumpkins: 1. Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables Fruits are considered to be the part of the plant that has seeds on the inside. By this definition, a pumpkin is definitely a fruit. They’re a member of the gourd family, which includes other fruits like watermelon and winter squash. 2. Pumpkin pie wasn’t served at the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving Despite our modern day obsession with pumpkin pie this time of year, it was no where to be found at the original Thanksgiving feast of 1621. Pilgrims wouldn’t have had butter or flour for making pie crust, let alone an oven for baking. Some historians speculate that the pilgrims…

The best apples for eating fresh

It’s fall and apples are everywhere. If you’re tempted to stock up while they’re in season, think first about how you’ll use them. Will you be baking? Making applesauce? Or do you prefer to eat them fresh, right out of your hand? If it’s the latter, here’s a list of delicious apple varieties you should try. Tart Apples These apples are best if you’re not looking to satisfy a sweet tooth. Braeburn Available: Mid-to-late October Braeburn are a great all-purpose apple, but their sweet and tart taste and crispy bite make them perfect for eating fresh. Cortland Available: Late September Cortlands originated in 1898, and they’re still as popular as ever. Their white flesh is juicy and tart, while still offering some sweetness. Goldrush Available: Late October Goldfish doesn’t easily brown, making it a great pick for snacking or salads. They also store well for up to seven months. Granny…

The humble pretzel’s twisted path to becoming an Oktoberfest food favorite

The first keg has been tapped and the beer is flowing freely at the massive two-week-long Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. More than 6 million people will descend upon the city to enjoy parades, music, rides, and of course, to guzzle nearly 7 million liters of beer — but revelers can not live on beer alone. Stirring up the thirst of these stein-swinging merrymakers? The humble pretzel. The Bavarian pretzel is a classic Oktoberfest secular snack, but it is said to have angelic origins. The exact history of the pretzel is unclear, but the most common legend says that sometime after 610 A.D., Benedictine monks of Bourgogne and Bavaria gave pretzels as a reward to children who said their prayers. (Germans called them bretzel, which is probably where the English name came from.) The twisted shape of the pretzels is said to represent the shape of two arms in…