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May

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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…

How to freeze asparagus

Asparagus is one of the first official signs of spring and a promise that more homegrown produce is right on its heels. All winter long we wait for those green spears to show in the garden, but just like that, warm weather hits and the season is over. If you’re getting into June and you still have an abundance of asparagus in the ground, don’t fret. Freezing it means you’ll have asparagus spears available for the whole year to come. 1. Go homegrown Only bother freezing locally grown asparagus while it’s in season for your area. Asparagus that has been shipped from other states, or even internationally, will almost always be less tender and have less flavor — not a good place to start. 2. Size matters The spears you select for freezing should be at least as thick as a pencil. Thinner spears don’t hold up very well in…

Restaurants open on Memorial Day 2019

Believe it or not, Memorial Day is almost here. It felt like winter would never leave, but here we are at the end of May, getting ready for the unofficial kick-off to summer. It’s important to remember that Memorial Day isn’t just about soaking up the sunshine and gorging on grilled meats — it’s so much more than that. It’s a day to honor those who selflessly gave their lives servings our country. Of course, the annual Monday federal holiday does give just about everyone a long three-day weekend, but while many will choose to cookout at home and finish their meal with patriotic desserts, many others want to enjoy a stress-free. Thankfully, a handful of restaurants will be open to cater to those not wanting to cook — but also those whose backyard barbecue didn’t go according to plan. Here are some eating establishments ready for your business on…

12 easy, healthy snacks for your road trip

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the U.S. summer travel season. Nearly 43 million Americans will use the long weekend to travel — about 37.6 million of those by car, according to automobile association AAA. While you can’t avoid the inevitable dirty gas station bathrooms and frustrating traffic jams, you can pack some snacks to make sure that you don’t get hangry and reach for unhealthy fast food. I know, I know. “Road trip food is half the fun,” you say. But is it? Do you arrive to your destination feeling satisfied and refreshed, or do you skid in sideways with a greasy chicken sandwich upset stomach ready for a 12-hour nap? The food options on the road are quite bad, but without something to satiate us, we’ll tell ourselves, “what other options are there?” Well, there are tons of options! Stop yourself from spiraling down the dark rabbit…

Where you can find deals and special menus for Mother’s Day 2019

No material thing can repay Mom for all she’s done for you over the years, but the least you can do on Mother’s Day is pick up the check. Mother’s Day is the single most popular day for dining out (followed by Valentine’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and New Year’s Eve). This year, the National Retail Federation estimates we’ll spend more than $4.6 billion at restaurants for Mom on May 12, 2019. It’s the second largest gift category after jewelry ($5.2 billion). Your relationship with your mom is priceless, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a little coin — after all, she always taught you to be smart with your money. Whether you decide on brunch, lunch, or dinner, here are some restaurants offering discounts or special menus for Mother’s Day this year. (And check back soon! We’ll add more freebies and deals for 2019 as they are revealed. Here were…

Boozy Margarita cupcakes are a perfect, festive treat

Margarita cupcakes. What could be more perfect for spring and summer (and of course Cinco de Mayo!)? You’ll find all kinds of reasons to make these fun, tequila-infused cupcakes. I mean, who doesn’t love a little spiked dessert? This recipe makes a deliciously moist cake with a light lime and tequila flavor — just like your favorite drink to sip during the summer months. They’re topped with thick and creamy buttercream that’s infused with more delicious lime and tequila flavor. You can have lots of fun decorating them, too. I used green sprinkles and a tiny lime wedge, but you top them with more lime zest, a section of paper straw, a drink umbrella, or a candied lime wedge. You might even go crazy for a party and top with an upended mini bottle of tequila. As for the tequila in these Margarita cupcakes, I usually stick with one that’s…

Where to find Cinco de Mayo margarita specials and more

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862. The holiday is a fairly minor one in Mexican culture (it’s not a federal holiday, so banks, offices and stores go about business as usual), but in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved to commemorate Mexican heritage and culture — especially in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday in 2019, so get ready for restaurant deals lasting all weekend long. If you’re looking for a spot to join in on the fiesta, check out these deals and events for Cinco de Mayo 2019: And check back soon. We’ll update as more restaurants release their Cinco specials. Bahama Breeze Pretend you’re in the tropics at this island-themed chain. Bahama Breeze is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a weeklong “Fiesta Like There’s…

What’s in season in May? A guide to spring produce

The list of in season fruits and vegetables starts to lengthen in May as weather turns warmer for even the northernmost states. Citrus is on its way out, along with cool weather crops, but most of the country can now enjoy spring icons like asparagus and rhubarb. Southern and western states start to welcome summer produce like berries and cherries. Asparagus We really only get good asparagus for about two months of the year, so enjoy it all the time now, while you can. Try this asparagus tart with strawberry salsa for the ultimate spring brunch. Or go back to the basics with 4 ways to cook asparagus. Cabbage Cabbage comes back in season this month. This hearty vegetable can handle frost, but not heat. So even if we get a late-season frost, the cabbage crop still stays strong, but cabbage heads (which are mostly water) will expand and split…

How to make your own taco seasoning

Store bought taco seasonings are no fiesta. They’re filled with gross ingredients and labels that look like a chemistry textbook. If you’ve been looking to add more real food to your diet, you should try swapping this homemade taco seasoning recipe for those overpriced, small pre-mixed packets. Homemade taco seasoning is healthier, but it’s also cheaper. Not to mention, you’ll waste less packaging. It’s a win/win/win! Here’s how you make two tablespoons of taco seasoning — the perfect amount of seasoning to replace those 1.25 ounce packets. Each two tablespoon recipe is enough to season about one pound of meat, so if you’re making two pounds of meat, double the recipe. Three pounds? Triple the recipe, and so on. Add your new seasoning to these easy homemade enchiladas. Or try this warm and comforting taco soup. How to make taco seasoning Ingredients 1 tbsp chili powder 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2…

Easy, vegetarian Mexican quinoa bowl

This dish is chockfull of so many delicious flavors. From its black beans and jalapeños to the green chilis and cumin, it’s a fun Mexican dish with a twist. It has a hint of heat and a bit of tanginess from the lime, too. It’s a great healthy alternative to taco salad. The quinoa makes this dish so filling, and the cumin and beans makes it so satisfying, you’ll never even notice meat is missing. You could even serve this mix on a bed of fresh greens for extra nutrition. vegetarian Mexican quinoa bowl Serves: about 6 Ingredients 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinse and drained 1 cup corn kernels, canned or frozen 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed 1/2 red onion, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 can (4.5 oz), diced green chilis 1 small jalapeño, minced 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp salt + a pinch 1/4 tsp pepper 1 lime, quartered…