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This man invented the ice cream scoop and made summer a whole lot sweeter

Alfred L. Cralle died in a car accident nearly 100 years ago, but his invention continues to provide an essential part of your summer experience. July 15 is National Ice Cream Day, and while you’re feverishly shoveling spoonfuls of your favorite flavor into your mouth, it’s Cralle you can thank for those picture perfect scoops. While working as a porter in Markell Brothers drugstore and St. Charles Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa, Cralle noticed that ice cream stuck to the spoons and ladles the servers used, and they usually had to use two hands to separate them. Cralle responded to this ice cream crisis by creating the ice cream scoop — originally called the Ice Cream Mold and Disher. It was designed to be strong, inexpensive and easy to operate with one hand. It had no moving parts that could break or malfunction. On February 2, 1897, thirty-year-old Cralle applied for and received the patent…

Hamburgers vs hot dogs: which is healthier?

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and chances are you’re about to face the toughest choice of your summer: hot dog or hamburger? If you’re thinking “Both!” you’re in good company. But if you’re trying to make healthier choices this holiday, “both” probably shouldn’t be your response. Consider what a registered dietitian says about this age-old American debate. The Hot Dog Hot dogs typically have about 150 calories. Add a bun and some condiments, and you quickly hit about 300 calories — still a very reasonable amount of calories for a dinner entree. Their smaller size gives them a caloric advantage over the hamburger, but there are some disadvantages to hot dogs. Hot dogs have about 5 grams of saturated fat, which is pretty high for what you’re getting. They’re also packed with sodium (about 500 mg in contrast to 375 mg a burger might have) and sodium nitrites or nitrates, which may…

Patriotic thumbprint cookies

Where I’m from, thumbprint cookies seem to have a place every holiday get-together. For Christmas and Easter we roll them in nuts and make icing centers coordinate with the season. At Valentine’s Day, we make them chocolate. And now for Fourth of July we can dress them up with star sprinkles. These thumbprint cookies have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor. The vanilla and raspberry are perfect companions. And the red, white, blue sprinkles make them fun and ready for the Fourth! Patriotic thumbprint cookies Makes about 3 dozen cookies Ingredients 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup butter, room temperature 1 cup white sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg white icing 1/4 cup sprinkles 1/8 cup raspberry jam Directions Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set…

12 Iconic All-American foods invented right here at home

American cuisine takes a lot of flack for borrowing heavily from other cultures. Even the beloved hot dog and apple pie are imports (thanks Germany and England!). Over the decades, so many nationalities have influenced the food scene in the United States, it might be hard to point to many original inventions in your daily diet. But here are 12 everyday foods that you can proudly say are purely a product of America: Pecan Pie: Pecan pie is practically a food group in the Southern states. To claim anyone else came up with this classic would be a crime. Early New Orleans settlers from France are often credited with inventing the dish after they were introduced to the pecan but by Native American tribes. Corn Dogs: The classic American street food can be traced back to the Texas State Fair sometime between 1938 and 1942, when Carl and Neil Fletcher started selling their corn battered hot…

Fourth of July spending takes a dip because of ‘Hump Day’

To celebrate the birth of our country, Americans eat a whole lot of hamburgers and hotdogs. And no Fourth of July party is complete without loads of other red, white, and blue picnic paraphernalia. But according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics, consumers are planning spending less overall this year than last year. Consumers will spend about $6.9 billion, down from $7.1 billion in 2017. The decrease is attributed to the holiday falling on a Wednesday. But patriotism is still high. Despite the decrease, this is still the second-highest amount reported in the history of the survey and the highest per-person spending ever. Nearly 153 million Americans are planning a cookout or a picnic. Average spending per person is reportedly $75.35 — up from $73.42 in 2017. More than 216 million Americans plan to observe the holiday in some way — down from 219 last year. About 31 million Americans…

10 delicious summer salads to try as the weather warms up

When it’s hot out, you don’t want a heavy meal weighing you down. So that makes these summer salads the perfect option. Here are 10 delicious choices: • • • Arugula, mint and apricot salad Get the recipe here via Everybody Craves • • • Triple Berry Kale Walnut Salad Get the recipe here via Everybody Craves • • • Pineapple Cucumber Salad Get the recipe here via Everybody Craves • • • Tabouli Quinoa Salad Get the recipe here via Everybody Craves • • • Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint and Jalapeno Get the recipe here via Everybody Craves • • • Avocado, black bean and corn salad Get the recipe here via Vegan Huggs • • • Strawberry Chicken Salad Get the recipe here via The Recipe Critic • • • Peach Bacon Salad With Honey Lemon Vinaigrette Get the recipe here via RockRecipes.com • • •…

Opposing politics cut our Thanksgiving dinner short by more than an hour, study shows

Large family dinners can already be tricky to navigate, but recently, politics has added a fresh, new layer of malfunction. A recent study published in the journal Science shows that Thanksgiving dinner 2016 was considerably shorter than other years. (If you need a refresher, the holiday hit just shortly after Trump’s surprising victory.) The report suggests that annual holiday meals were cut short that year by an average of 30 to 50 minutes when people of opposing parties were seated at the same dinner table. To gather their data, researchers went pretty deep, and yes, creepy. They first collected 21 billion smartphone location pings from cell phone users all across the United States. Then they overlaid that information on an election map with the election result for 172,000 precincts. Essentially, the researchers figured out each person’s home using pings, extrapolated their political ideology based on where they lived, tracked where they went on Thanksgiving…

Eating for smoother, healthier summer skin

Long summer days are made for backyard barbecues, poolside picnics, and rosé all day. But all of that sunshine can have real consequences for your skin. The good news is that there are tons of delicious foods you can eat to help your skin recover from all of the summer excess — and also keep your complexion glowing long after the warm-weather has faded.  “There’s a big impact on how much your diet can effect the health of your skin,” said Dr. Ivy Lee, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Pasadena, California and clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. “What we’ve learned is that whatever is good for your heart health is good for your skin as well.”  That means farm-fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats and plenty of water. But it’s just as much of what you don’t eat as what you do.…

Here’s the scoop on the differences between your favorite frozen treats

Your love of ice cream might turn a little frigid if you knew the cold, hard truth. That carton you just purchased might not meet official ice cream criteria. Go ahead and take a peek at the pint inside your freezer. If it has the words “frozen dairy dessert” you’ve possibly been fooled. The reason that some packages have this alternative labeling is because the FDA regulates what products qualify as “ice cream.” In order to earn the name “ice cream,” a product must meet two criteria. First, it must contain at least 10 percent dairy milkfat. Second, it must weigh no less than 4.5 lbs. per gallon and have no more than 100 percent overrun. So, what exactly is overrun? Well, overrun refers to the amount of air pumped into the ice cream as it’s being made. The standard of about 50 percent overrun means that ice cream is made with one part…

Here’s how to pick the best watermelon

Watermelon is the happy fruit. It conjures images of childhood, sunny picnics and pool parties. But, one bite into a mealy, hard melon and all of the memories dry up, just like that first, terrible bite. There are, of course, ways to use less than wonderful watermelons, for example, smoothies and salsas. But when you want to bite face first into a big, juicy slice, only the ripest melon will do. The best way to avoid this underripe melon problem is to purchase the perfect melon in the first place. Here is what you need to know about picking the best watermelon: 1. Weight is wonderful No matter if it’s small or large, the best watermelon will feel heavy for its size. This weight is a sign that it’s full of water — aka. juicy flavor and not grainy fiber. Pick the heaviest one you can find. 2. Seeing spots Watermelons rest on…