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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…

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…

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…

Celebrity chefs give tips for making the perfect gravy

Thanksgiving dinner is nothing without a boat of steaming gravy to smother it in, but somehow the sauce is the hardest thing to make. It can be too lumpy or runny or flavorless — but not this year. Look no further than your favorite celebrity chefs for foolproof tips and recipes on how to master their techniques and make a perfect gravy every time. And if there is one thing they all agree on, it’s that you have to make plenty of gravy — it’s the best part! Alton Brown Alton Brown’s adds a little something special to his Best Gravy Ever — wine. And not even white, but rather, a red wine that adds a rich flavor to his hearty gravy recipe. In a large roasting pan he deglazes the bottom with 24 oz. of low sodium chicken broth and 8 oz. of red wine. As it boils and reduces, scrape the bottom to…

Why we celebrate Oktoberfest in September

Every year millions of people around the world wonder why the German tradition known as Oktoberfest is celebrated primarily in the month of September. The annual celebration is best known for its beer, food and general celebration of German culture. But given the name, shouldn’t the shindig primarily take place in its namesake month? The official Oktoberfest website explains. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, with a one-day horse-race held as part of the wedding festivities for Bavarian King Ludwig I and his wife, Theresie. The crowd liked it so much, that it became an annual event, eventually developing into the world of marching bands, sausages and colorfully-dressed beer maidens we know today. But over the decades, the horse-race disappeared, and the event grew to more than two weeks long — stretching the event into mid-October. Since fall can be quite cold in Bavaria, even snowy, a decision was made to start the festivities earlier…

Walmart study shows which states prefer hot dogs vs. hamburgers

No matter where you live in the United States, cook-outs are a much anticipated part of summer. Is there anyone that doesn’t look forward to grilling hotdogs and hamburgers and piling a plate high with all the fixins’? To dive further into this American tradition, Walmart tracked sales of hot dogs and hamburgers in every state leading up to the Fourth of July to gauge where the hot dog and hamburger people hail from. Overwhelmingly, America is a burger nation — a whooping 39 states fell on the burger side of grocery shopping. Maine, Michigan and North Carolina were among the 11 states that made more hot dog purchases. And what’s a cook-out without condiments and side dishes? Walmart also tracked sales of ketchup, mustard and sides. Ketchup beat mustard in all 50 states while potato salad and coleslaw proved to be the country’s preferred side dishes. The study also showed that Texans love their buns. The…

Planning your food for outdoor adventures

When you’re heading out on an adventure, with days planned full of activities, you want food that will nourish and revitalize you. Hiking, climbing, swimming, paddling, gathering fire wood, lugging equipment — you’re going to be burning more calories than you think. An adventurer should plan for about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of food — about 2,500 to 4,500 calories — per person per day, depending on the individual and their exertion level. Even if you’re car camping, you’ll still likely be exerting yourself more than on a typical day. Extra food is essential for any overnight trip, but a common beginner mistake is to pack too much food, forcing you to haul extra weight everywhere you wander. Only experience will allow you to dial in your personal food requirements, but Bob Frye, outdoors editor for the Tribune-Review, everybodyadventures.com and lifelong outdoorsman, offers expert advice. Day Hike Even if your weekend adventure won’t include any overnights,…

Mother’s Day is busiest day at KFC

Mom has a secret love she’s never shared all of these years. Mother’s Day is a big day for dining out. More than half of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day plan a special brunch or dinner. According to the National Retail Federation, 55.9 percent of mothers celebrating will get taken out for a special meal. But when we can assume Mom has her pick of places, where does she choose to dine? KFC. According to YUM Brands, KFC sees its best day of business all year on Mother’s Day. And it’s not even close. Single stores report sales jumps of 50 percent on the annual holiday. KFC says it serves about 370,000 families each Mother’s Day. That translates to 6.5 million pieces — or 1.5 million pounds — of chicken and 815,000 servings of mashed potatoes and gravy. So celebrate your favorite matriarch this Sunday with a box of chocolates and a bucket of…

16 Mimosas for Mother’s Day

Because without booze, it’s just breakfast. Give Mom what she really wants this Mother’s Day. Show that you love her — more than your siblings, obviously — and go beyond the basic OJ with one of these 16 simple recipes. STRAWBERRY PINEAPPLE MIMOSAS CRANBERRY ORANGE MIMOSA BELLINI STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE MIMOSA Creamsicle Mimosas TEQUILA SUNRISE MIMOSA Pomegranate Kombucha Mimosa Grapefruit Mimosa ORANGE SHERBET MIMOSA PUNCH Unicorn Mimosas APPLE CIDER MIMOSAS Mimosa Floats Lemon Mint Pineapple Mimosa Strawberry Cream Mimosa BLUEBERRY LIME MIMOSAS MIMOSA SANGRIA Blackberry Mint Mimosa