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April

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Where you can get freebies on National Pretzel Day, April 26, 2019

Love pretzels? Go carb crazy this Friday, April 26, 2019, on National Pretzel Day and score any (or all!) of these fresh-baked soft pretzel freebies from these national retailers. No one has to twist our arm! Auntie Anne’s From April 26 through April 28, 2019, buy any one pretzel and get an Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel for free. Just download the coupon on their website, or download their app to find the coupon. If you’re feeling generous and want to bring pretzels to the office, Aunti Anne’s is also offering $25 off of and $100 catering order when you enter code “NPD25” at checkout. Code is only good April 26. Ben’s Soft Pretzels Ben’s is giving away a free soft pretzel when you make a donation of at $1 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund at participating locations. Philly Pretzel Factory No purchase and no coupons necessary. Just stop…

Thick or thin? The skinny on asparagus size

‘Tis the season for asparagus. And whether we get it from the grocer or our garden, it would be hard not to notice the size difference in asparagus stalks. So which is better, thick or thin? For a while “thin was in.” Skinny stalks were thought to be more tender and were even marketed as “gourmet.” Thicker stalks were passed over at the market because they were thought of as woody and tough. (Admit it. You assumed this, too.) But larger doesn’t actually mean tougher, and our association of “young” and “tender,” when it comes to asparagus, is incorrect. In fact, according to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, young asparagus puts a lot of energy into producing spears that can stand upright, so the younger plant is more likely to have more crude fiber per square inch. Whereas, if thick asparagus got a reputation as woody, it’s because home cooks…

Creamy asparagus, mushroom casserole

This creamy asparagus and mushroom casserole is the picture of spring side dishes. It uses up loads of that delicious, just-from-the-garden asparagus, fresh mushrooms, and leftover hard-boiled eggs. (Confession: My eggs had pretty pastel spots from getting dyed just days before, but this dish is a great way to make sure they don’t go to waste!) I’m a big fan of this casserole because it delivers such a big serving of vegetables, but it’s also so flavorful, I would eat it as a meal. The smoked paprika brings a lot of flavor to the white sauce, so take a few taste samples as you simmer the sauce and add more to your liking. Creamy asparagus, mushroom casserole Ingredients 2 bunches asparagus 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, with dirt brushed off 2 1/2 tbsp butter + 1/2 tbsp butter 1/4 cup onion, finely copped 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 1/2 ounces shredded…

This is what those plastic recycling numbers really mean

Recycling isn’t always straight forward. You may have the best of intentions, but the various symbols, rules, and potential fines you can face for recycling the wrong stuff, would make anyone a bit annoyed. Further adding to the confusion, what can be recycled varies wildly from town to town. Then there is the seemingly elaborate number system, which is a mystery all of its own. But those numbers (you know, the ones surrounded by the universal triple arrow symbol for recycle) don’t have to be a mystery any longer, per Greenmatters.com. It turns out, plastics are assigned a number (1 to 7), which can identify the type of plastic resin present. Knowing what these numbers mean can help you sort your plastics and identify the ones that your local recycling plant will accept. Those numbers can also be valuable to you as a consumer because they can tell you if your…

April produce guide: What’s in season

You’ve given your thick sweaters and snow shovels the boot. It’s time to welcome spring and all the tender, young produce making its way to your dinner table this month. Spring is full of vibrant and delicious produce, so clear build your menu starting with these in-season produce. Not only will using produce in-season save you money, but it tastes better, too. It’s a win/win! Here’s what’s in season in April: Artichokes (Best Mar. – May) Artichokes come into season pre-holidays, around October, but they’re at their best from March until May. They may be time-consuming to prepare, but the tender leaves taste great stuffed or served with any number of dipping sauces. Asparagus (Best April – May) Arguably, the king of spring. Asparagus taste great raw, tossed in a fresh spring salad, but they’re also easy to roast, sauté, or even grill. Chives (May – June) Chives are one…

Here’s how to get Free Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream on Free Cone Day

For as long as Easter eggs and spring flowers have marked the first signs of spring, so too has Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day. Well, okay, maybe not that long. But the annual ice cream event has been going strong since 1979.. Free Cone Day returns to Ben & Jerry’s on Tuesday, April 9, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for its 40th consecutive year. If you’re not familiar with how the lactose-loving holiday works, you’re in for a tasty treat — or as many treats as you’d like, to be exact! That’s because Ben & Jerry’s will give you a cup or cone of any flavor you like, then you can get right back in line for seconds (or thirds or fourths) — no fake mustache or wig needed. Unlike many giveaways or freebies, there are zero strings attached — no apps to download, no coupons to cut,…

4 ways to cook asparagus

No other vegetable symbolizes the start of spring more than long, slender asparagus. The succulent spears begin to appear in home gardens sometime in early April — with the promise of strawberries and longer days of sunshine right on their heels. While asparagus (part of the lily family) is available in grocery stores year-round these days, the best flavor and texture comes from just-harvested local stems. The earliest shoots are called “sprue,” and they’re usually very tender. Asparagus can be enjoyed tossed in a pasta salad, included in a casserole, or suspended in a quiche, but it’s also delicious perfect when cooked and eaten all on its own. If you’ve created a habit of cooking asparagus stalks the same way every time, perhaps it’s time to try this vegetable another way. We get asparagus for as little as two months of the year, so act fast! Try this roasted asparagus…

Where to get ‘Game of Thrones’ Wine

In less than one month, Game of Thrones fans will finally get the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the season 8 premiere. In anticipation of the April 14 return, creators of the epic HBO fantasy drama have licensed some GOT-themed products to help you throw the most amazing watch-party ever. While you can stock up on GOT Oreos, GOT beer, and even a 2-pound chocolate dragon egg, no product is more cosplay appropriate than GOT wine. Fans of the show are familiar with the characters they love (and love to hate) slowly sipping big bulbs of wine, while sneering and articulating plans for dominating the seven kingdom and executing enemies. Now you too can sip officially licensed GOT wine — just hopefully with a lot less disdain for your fellow man. Wines are available on the Game of Thrones website. Choose from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Red Wine…

10 Surprising facts about Jelly Beans

Unless you’re an uber-fan, you probably don’t think about jelly beans a whole lot until Easter rolls around — then the little candies take center stage. But what do you really know about these sweet pops of flavor? Here are some juicy details. 1. It can take 7 to 14 days to make A jelly bean. Making jelly beans is no easy task. It requires many steps from liquifying sugar and flavors to pouring into tiny bean-shaped molds and letting dry overnight. The candies then undergo a process called “panning.” They’re transferred to a rotating drum where flavors and colors are added as they spin. Sugar is then added to create the bean’s hard exterior shell. Finally, a hot syrupy wax is applied to give them their shine. After all of that, the beans still need to go through packing and shipping. 2. the battle for favorite flavor. For two…

14 Fun facts about Peeps

Forget groundhog shadows or tulips. The first real sign of spring are bright yellow Peeps stocking the shelves at your local grocery store. Marshmallow Peeps are everyone’s favorite non-chocolate Easter candy — they even outsell jelly beans! Americans will eat 1.5 billion Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this spring, but what do you really know about these sugar crystal coated, brightly-colored bird-shaped mallows? Discover 14 fun facts about Peeps: 1. Making Peeps used to be a really long process. It used to take 27 hours to make a Peep. The first Peeps were squeezed one at a time from a pastry tube before receiving hand painted eyes. Today, with an automated manufacturing process, a Peep takes just six minutes to make. 2. About 5.5 million Peeps are born every single day. Machines crank out 3,500 Peeps per minute — that’s nearly 2 billion Peeps per year! 3. Peeps were originally produced by…