Category

Seasonal

Category

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 — they will have all bolted for the winter months. 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 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…

Most popular Halloween candy in each state

Americans will spend $2.7 billion on Halloween candy this year, as estimated by the National Retail Federation. But what sweet treats you get in your loot bag will largely depend on where you live. Online bulk candy retailer Candystore.com combed through 10 years (2007-2016) of sales data to tell us what the best sellers in every state are in the weeks leading up to Halloween. They created this interactive map to show you the most popular candies, by sales, in each state — actually the top three. This map, of course, is limited to online candy sales, but it gives us a peek into what Halloween candy is popular where. It’s no surprise that Hershey’s M&M’s are popular in their home state of Pennsylvania, but most others seem pretty random. So, how does your state hold up? Judging by this map, you might be inclined to pack up the car and go treat-or-treat in a neighboring…

Cooking and canning your own crockpot applesauce

October is National Apple Month — but we don’t need an official title to tell us that. Apples are everywhere. Grocery stores, local shops, farmers markets. I’ve seen whole bushels for sale for just $6. They’re probably piling up in your fridge drawer by this point, and you may be wondering what to do with all of  them. Crockpot applesauce is your answer. A variety of apples works best when making applesauce. Granny Smiths are great, but mixing them with Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Cortland, Yellow Delicious or pretty much any apple that is firm and full of flavor will make the best sauce. And what’s better still? You can make your applesauce and can it now, and be stocked for the rest of the year. You’ll eliminate loads of sugar from your diet along with whatever other scary preservatives go into store-bought applesauces. The whole process only takes an afternoon and your house will smell…

17 strange food phobias you won’t believe exist

Halloween is drawing near, and while we’re in the mood to celebrate all things spooky and strange, let’s talk about food phobias. While fears of spiders and heights are quite common, once you get into the fear of foods, things can get pretty weird, pretty quickly. Not to judge anyone’s irrational fears (I myself am cartoonishly afraid of spiders), but it’s hard to imagine anyone being legitimately scared by broccoli. When thinking about food phobias, it’s important to distinguish dislikes from fears. Most people have strong preferences, but phobics experience genuine panic, sweating and nausea when faced with the food of their nightmares. For your Halloween holiday reading pleasure, here are the strangest food fears: cibophobia (see-boh-fo-biah)  The Fear of Food/Eating The most inconvenient food phobia of them all. Cibophobics typically have had a scarring experience with food poisoning or deal with large number of food allergies. This phobia can, of course, be deadly if not treated. MAGEIROCoPHOBIA…

How to make your jack-o-lantern last longer

From funny faces to scary skulls, there’s no limit to what you can carve into a pumpkin. Displaying your work is one of the Hallmark’s of Halloween. But that excited fall feeling quickly fades when your masterpiece becomes a mushy mess on the front porch. Of course you know your jack-o-lantern won’t last forever, but there are a few steps you can take to help keep your hard work intact for longer: Always buy your pumpkins from a local farm. Because it’s grown on-site, you can be sure your pumpkin has been spared the damage often done by careless shippers. Pick a good one. A long-lasting jack-lantern starts with a firm pumpkin. Avoid choosing a pumpkin that already has soft spots. Clean it well. Exterior: Before you start carving, load a spray bottle with one teaspoon of bleach and one quart of water. Spray and wipe the exterior surfaces first to remove any excess dirt and bacteria that could enter your pumpkin. Interior: Once…

The unhealthiest Halloween candies

Halloween may be mostly for kids, but the calorie count of the candy-centric holiday affects everyone. The American Heart Association says that an adult woman shouldn’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day; for men, it’s 37.5 grams. Many of the most popular candies of the season pack a huge amount of this sugar in just one or two fun-sized servings. The worst part is that sometimes we snack on these small sizes without much thought. Here are a few of the worst offenders: Reese’s Minis Per 3 pieces: 108 calories, 6.4 grams fat (2.2 grams saturated), 9.9 grams sugar One serving, or 9 Reese’s minis, packs half of your maximum daily about of sugar and tons of fat into just a few small bites. Hershey’s Take 5 Per snack-sized candy bar: 100 calories, 5 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 9 grams sugar The ingredients sound simple enough — chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter,…

How Americans became so obsessed with pumpkins

Halloween and Thanksgiving are quickly approaching, but the spirit of the season has already been here for weeks. By early August, retailers were stocking shelves with pumpkin-flavored foods. Starbucks began selling it’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte back on Sept. 1, and pumpkin beer has been available in bars for just as long. People associate pumpkins with fall, and as they look forward to the season, the demand for pumpkin everything increases. According to Nielsen data, sales of pumpkin and pumpkin spice-flavored items skyrocketed last year to $414 million – up from $286 million in 2013. But this hasn’t always been the case. There was a time when pumpkins weren’t celebrated as they are today — with products bearing their beloved image and contests cheering on their gigantic size. “American colonists were less than enthusiastic about pumpkins,” said Cindy Ott, author of Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon. The colonists were accustomed to eating a diet of domesticated meats…

8 Foods you can carve that aren’t pumpkins

Be original this year and forget about pumpkin carving. There are other fun foods you can turn into jack-o-lanterns just as easily. You could start with an unusual looking squash — one of those green and bumpy ones you see at the farmers market, or you could take it totally weird and think citrus. Here are eight creative carving ideas for Halloween. Apples Apples are another symbol for fall, so why not give them the jack-o-lantern treatment? Their firm flesh and thin skin make them a perfect candidate for going under the knife. If you plan on keeping them around for longer than a few hours, try spraying with a bit of lemon juice to keep from turning brown. Bonus points for turning your creation into the best fall apple of them all — candy apples. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMO8G07jQfy/?tagged=carvedapple Oranges A grapefruit spoon will help you tackle the delicate job of gutting an orange. Carve…

20 Spooky Halloween Recipes

Food creativity around Halloween goes way up! I’m always amazed at the things people come up with for this holiday in particular. My theory is that it’s driven by moms up late at night who forgot about their kid’s classroom party — “We only have pretzels and chocolate in the pantry?! Yup, totally looks like Frankenstein!” Either way, these ideas are enviable. But luckily, these crafty folks proudly pasted their ideas to Pinterest for the rest of us to marvel at — and of course copy. Mini Halloween Pizzas It’s genius. Why shouldn’t cheese look like ghosts around Halloween? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155655730851255379/ Jack Skellington Oreo Pops Everyone’s favorite Halloween movie. Or is it Christmas? … Or is it Halloween? The debate continues. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/201254677082069614/ Skeleton Ribs and Guts Clever. Gross, but clever. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/283726845257060705/ Monster Toes So easy. And a really cool idea, too! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/143481938112679123/ Strawberry Ghosts Again, super simple, but incredibly tasty. Everyone loves chocolate covered…

How the real Granny Smith accidentally discovered her namesake apple

The next time you take a bite from the pointy tip of a slice of apple pie, consider what makes it taste so irresistible. The key to America’s most iconic dessert lies in the unique tartness of Granny Smith apples. But how did such a popular, crisp, bright green apple get such a homely name? Fans of the chartreuse green fall fruit might be surprised that there really was a Granny Smith for which the apple was named. But she didn’t live in Pennsylvania, New York or anywhere else in the United States that is seemingly synonymous with harvesting apples. Granny Smith and her namesake apple both called a small town outside of Sydney, Australia home. As the story goes, Maria Ann Sherwood was born in 1799 in Sussex, England. At age 19, she married Thomas Smith and together had numerous children. During the colonial period of England, the government was offering incentives to any citizens willing to relocate and work its new lands. In 1830,…