5 ideas for savvy party planning made easy

January 10, 2019 (751 words)

[Headline: A non-DIYer's guide to entertaining]

Here are some ways for you to make it look like a pro-DIYer was behind your entertaining.

Semi-homemade hors d'oeuvres. Combine pre-made phyllo cups with deli items like tuna or chicken salad, chicken curry, barbecued beef or pork or anything else that strikes your palate.

Know when to outsource. Outsourcing dessert is one easy option and a big time-saver. 

Hire a cleaning service. Merry Maids offers a variety of cleaning services and customizable plans. 

Give homemade gifts. (Just not made in your home.) You can find handcrafted and unique items online. 

Infant health insight: 4 formula-feeding mistakes and misconceptions

January 08, 2019 (698 words)

[Headline: Save money on baby formula]

According to a Perrigo Nutrition survey, 20 percent of moms worried about what formula to purchase in the first few months of their baby’s life. One way to stretch budgets without sacrificing quality is to use store-brand formulas that meet the same strict FDA standards as nationally advertised brands. 

“Store-brand formula will provide complete nutrition for baby just like any brand-name formula,” says Dr. Jennifer Gardner. “All infant formulas are required to meet the same FDA standards, which means store-brand formula has the same quality as other brand names but costs less. More importantly, there’s no need for parents to take unnecessary risks such as diluting formula to save money when they can trust that store-brand formula is a high-quality and affordable option.”

4 ways to simplify your decorating

January 03, 2019 (440 words)

[Headline: Simplify home decorating]

When it comes to the new year, opt for easier decorating with the tips below.

* Add a little color to your home. Sprigs of evergreens added to vases can bring a flora component to any room and infuse a seasonal dash of color.

* Photo-friendly options. New photo panels from Kodak Moments — available at cvs.com/photo — provide you a new and exciting way to display your favorite family moments.

* Let there be light. String lights through the main entertaining areas of your home using insulated holders, just be sure to check the wires for fraying before you do.

5 tips to entertain like a boss this winter

December 28, 2018 (544 words)

[Headline: Tips to entertain like a boss]

Brighten up winter evenings by entertaining. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess offer these tips: 

1. Clean at least one day ahead and set the table the night before. 

2. Stock up on ice and easy-to-fix drinks to simplify bartending. The LG Smart InstaView refrigerator can boost ice production from your phone, thanks to the LG SmartThinQ app. 

3. Prep food ahead and warm dishes that day. LG’s ProBake Convection technology gives you optimal heating distribution on every rack, every time.  

4. Delegate. If guests ask, "What can I bring?" — don't be shy. Request a bottle of wine or favorite treat. 

5. Cater to all the senses. Set a pretty table, prepare delicious food and play upbeat music. If you don’t have a yummy smelling dish cooking, simmer water with cinnamon and cloves, or use scented candles or essential oils to enhance your party. 

5 simple tips for the best batch of cookies

December 26, 2018 (621 words)

[Headline: 5 simple cookie tips]

* Get a food scale. For consistent results, weigh ingredients, especially flour. The rule of thumb: Every cup of white flour equals 5 ounces.

Use high-quality ingredients. Use the best quality natural ingredients and flavorings, such as double-strength, flavor-rich Watkins All Natural Baking Vanilla Extract, to bake your best cookies yet.

Chill the dough. Chilling dough for at least an hour prevents cookies from over-spreading while baking. Another upside: You can prepare dough ahead of time and chill until you’re ready to bake.

Use parchment paper. No need for pricey baking sheets. Parchment paper on each cookie sheet does wonders for preventing overdone cookie bottoms.

Decorate with care. Start with good dough (chilled) and use cookie cutters for perfect shapes. Wait for cookies to cool before applying icing or toppings. Use a variety of toppings (candies, sprinkles, icing, etc.) for beautiful results.

6 best foods to donate to food banks

December 21, 2018 (655 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Spicy Mandarin Orange 4 Bean Salad]

For Dole Packaged Food's hunger relief campaign, Chef Jamie Gwen created this delicious recipe from ingredients commonly donated to food banks. 

Spicy Mandarin Orange 4 Bean Salad

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) green beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (11 or 15 ounces) Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 to 2 small jalapeno peppers, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt, freshly ground pepper

Mix kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, mandarin oranges, celery and jalapenos in large bowl. Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add salt, black pepper to taste. Pour dressing over bean mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate 1-2 hours minimum before serving.

4 ways to reduce your stress

December 20, 2018 (501 words)

In the United States, a survey found that seven out of 10 people reported feeling some stress daily. To help you stay calm and focused, consider these four ways to reduce stress.

Smells: Certain smells can bring back specific and detailed memories. Seeking out smells that bring back those happy memories can help reduce stress levels.

Salt: Stress is characterized in the human body by high levels of the hormone cortisol, the "stress hormone.” Scientific research has shown that increased levels of salt consumption are effective in reducing levels of cortisol.

Pets: Animal therapy has long been used to relieve stress, improve mood and treat anxiety. Some studies have indicated that just being around an animal can reduce blood pressure.

Exercise: Regular exercise, even if mild, may be the best stress reducer there is. When you are active the body releases endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being.

Cold brew coffee: How to enjoy this top 2019 food trend at home

December 13, 2018 (648 words)

[Headline: What is cold brew coffee?]

Cold brew coffee is slowly steeped in cool water using rich, coarser beans than you would in hot brewing at home. While you can brew a pot of traditional hot coffee in a few minutes, cold brew takes hours — 12 or more — to achieve the signature result.

Coffee made using the cold brew method has a smoother, naturally sweeter result that is less acidic than traditional hot-brewed coffee. The reason is organic acids (like citric, malic, formic, quinic and acetic) enhance coffee’s flavor and aroma, yet dissolve in hot water. The cold brewing method allows these important molecules to stay intact, which results in a difference you can taste. 

Java House(R) Authentic Cold Brew Dual-Use Liquid Pods can be enjoyed hot or cold at home, so you can taste the difference without all the work.

Rule the holidays using Alexa smart home technology

December 05, 2018 (652 words)

[Headline: Rule the holidays]

Most of us know all too well that the holiday season is busy, busy, busy. Use smart home technology to cut through the chaos and make your life easier this holiday season.

* Create a stress-free routine by using your smart home to control lights, music, set alarms, check the forecast and review your daily schedule.

* If you’re hosting, use your smart home device to play games and music, sing carols or test everyone’s holiday trivia knowledge.

* Finish your holiday shopping by using voice technology to order gifts quickly and easily.

* Cook the perfect holiday meal with help from your smart home by receiving recipe suggestions, setting timers, ordering groceries and more.

* There are more than 20,000 devices that work with Alexa, from smart lights, doorbells, locks and more, so take some of the stress out of the holiday and let your smart home device do some work for you.

Prep your kitchen against holiday pests with these 5 tricks

November 30, 2018 (359 words)

[Headline: Keep pests out]

The experts at Terminix have a few tips for protecting your kitchen from insects, so that you can spend your time enjoying the holidays rather than combating pests.

Start with a deep clean: Clean your kitchen and pantry top to bottom, removing food spillage and stains that could attract pests. 

Don’t try to salvage contaminated food: If you find a food item that’s been contaminated, simply throw it out.  

Store supplies carefully: Seal the plethora of holiday leftovers and open packages in airtight containers.

Inspect new purchases for signs of damage: Be sure to examine each new food product for signs that it could already be infested.

Call in a professional: Trained technicians can help determine what kind of pest is trying to invite itself to your classy dinner, and how best to get rid of it. 

Luxury entertaining for the holidays

November 29, 2018 (420 words)

The holidays usher in a sense of celebration and opportunities for lavish seasonal gatherings. To leave a luxurious, lasting impression, try these tips from award-winning Chef Michael Voltaggio.

The experience: At the start of the event, greet guests with a cocktail topped with fragrant garnish, and introduce unexpected details, such as a passed amuse-bouche atop a slate serving platter.

The essentials: Every touchpoint should exude the same level of luxury, from the linens to the culinary tools used. For Voltaggio, this is especially true of kitchen faucets. The Artesso SmartTouch Pull-Down Prep Faucet by Brizo offers visual intrigue and touch technology.

Lavish pairings: Pair candlesticks of various heights with bone china; carefully select wine pairings for dishes.

Finishing touches: Ornament an autumnal risotto with shaved truffle to bring rich depth of flavor or infuse a wintry dessert with liquid nitrogen for an unexpected dining experience.

Eating healthy, eating safe

November 27, 2018 (448 words)

Each year, foodborne illnesses sicken close to 50 million Americans. A lot of these illnesses are caused by simple things like restaurant employees’ failure to properly wash hands, cooking surfaces and fruits and vegetables.

Salt is a very effective anti-bacterial in food. In fact, it is the oldest known food preserver.

Salt preservation works by influencing the amount of water that all microorganisms require to survive and grow. The use of salt in controlling water means that microbiological safety can be achieved with reduced heat, acidity and other preservatives. This results in a product of improved taste and nutritional quality. 

Food safety is an ongoing challenge for an enormous and complex food system, and although challenges continually arise, exercising caution and attention in food purchasing, storage and preparation will minimize the risks. Remember to not only eat healthy but to also eat safely.

Holiday baking and wine pairings

November 26, 2018 (521 words)

[Headline: Holiday baking and wine pairings]

Suggestions for pairing holiday cookies and CK Mondavi and Family wines, from the Mondavi household to yours.

Snickerdoodles and Sauvingnon Blanc

This tangy wine pairs perfectly with the sweet-tart flavor of snickerdoodles.

Jam thumbprint cookies and Merlot

Merlot's fruity finish enhances the flavor of other red fruits, like strawberry jam. 

Lemon bars and Chardonnay

Chardonnay paired with lemon bars are a match made in vineyard heaven. 

Chocolate chip biscotti with Red Blend

Both contain antioxidants. Dare we call this healthy decadence?

Sugar cookies and Pinot Grigio

The sweetness of a sugar cookie needs a light partner, like Pinot Grigio.

Almond biscotti with Cabernet Sauvignon

The buttery, rich biscotti needs a full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.

5 DIY holiday activities for the whole family

November 21, 2018 (786 words)

[Headline: DIY: Cup of joy]

Want a simple DIY project that is as much fun to create as it is to give? From neighbors and the mail carrier to teachers and school friends, it's easy to show you care when you create a treat that lets everyone enjoy a cup of joy.

Simply get packets of classic hot chocolate and PEEPS marshmallow in seasonal shapes like gingerbread men, snowmen and holiday trees. Tie together with a bow and add a tag with a holiday greeting or fun saying like, "You're our favorite 'PEEP'le, thanks for being great neighbors!"

6 holiday hacks for easy entertaining prep

November 21, 2018 (562 words)

[Headline: Easy entertaining hacks]

With these helpful tips, you’ll be entertaining like a pro this holiday season.

Never turn down help

When someone asks to help you in the kitchen, take them up on their offer. Delegate tasks to your kids, spouse, family or friends. 

Get a head start

Choose dishes that can be made ahead of time. And don’t forget about your non-food prep. Make sure you have enough clean plates, silverware and napkins for all your guests. 

Clean strategically

Find tools that will help you get the job done faster. A cordless, versatile vacuum like the Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum allows you to quickly deep-clean carpets and floors.

Set the mood with decor

Setting the right mood can make or break your party. Candles are a simple way to make your space feel warm, and cheery lights outside will let your guests know where the party is. 

For a no-worries Noel, follow these 12 holiday safety tips

November 16, 2018 (577 words)

[6 holiday safety tips]

The festive activities during the holiday season make it a favorite time of year for many people. Unfortunately, some 30 percent of all home fires and 38 percent of home fire deaths occur over December, January and February, reports the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).  

Think about these best practices for keeping you and your family safer.

1. Have GFCI protection outdoors or anywhere electricity and water may come in contact. 

2. When in bed, stash phones, computers and appliances elsewhere to rule out overheating. 

3. Install an arc-fault circuit interrupter to protect your home from potentially danger power leaks, and add shutter-protected tamper-resistant receptacles that prevent curious children from inserting objects.

4. Monitor space heaters for overheating, sparking, tipping over and/or igniting combustibles. 

5. Consider battery-operated instead of open-flame candles.

6. When decorating, check for loose or bare wires, cracked or damaged sockets, wobbly connections or other hazards.

Mexican Cheese is Hot Right Now: A Queso Primer

November 09, 2018 (692 words)

[Headline: Mexican cheese is hot right now]

Cheeses from Mexico rival anything the French can dish out, offering a wide range of tasty, savory, nutty, even sweet cheeses to tempt any palate. They're just not as well known as their French cousins.

Queso Fresco is a soft, fresh cheese similar to ricotta, but with more savory, salty and tangy notes. Use it with tacos and enchiladas.

Panela has a mild, creamy, slightly tangy flavor, with a texture that is a cross between feta and ricotta. This cheese is great for baking, grilling or frying.

Cotija is like Parmesan but creamier, with a savory flavor and crumbly texture. Use it just like you'd use Parmesan.

Manchego has a nutty, earthy flavor and thick, creamy texture. Similar to sharp English cheddar.

Oaxaca has a mellow, earthy flavor and buttery texture, similar to mozzarella with a superior melt.

How to assemble a holiday cheeseboard guaranteed to impress

November 08, 2018 (538 words)

[Headline: Holiday cheeseboards made simple]

The culinary experts at Stella Cheese provide simple tips for creating an impressive cheeseboard:

Choose cheese wisely: Select three to five varieties of cheese for your board. This provides nice variation without overwhelming guests with too many options. 

Get the right amounts: Typically 4-6 ounces of cheese per person is a good estimate, but increase or decrease that amount based on time of day and other foods being served.

Add accompaniments and garnishes: For a festive take on your cheeseboard, add quintessential holiday-themed foods such as cranberry jam, roasted chestnuts, fresh figs and even pumpkin butter. 

Consider proper preparation: Set cheese out about an hour before serving as this time allows cheese to adjust to room temperature which maximizes flavors. 

4 tips to keep pantry pests off your holiday invite list this year

November 08, 2018 (425 words)

[Headline: Tips to keep pests out of your home]

Keep your pantry pest-free with these tips from the National Pest Management Association.

* Store things properly. Plastic containers with secure lids are affordable and invaluable when it comes to protecting your pantry goods from pests. Look for plastic or glass solutions instead of other materials and always try the lid before you buy.

* Make it a total kitchen effort. Your work to protect the cleanliness of your pantry will be more successful if you are vigilant about your entire kitchen. This means routinely emptying trash receptacles, clearing crumbs from countertops, scrubbing the floors and running the dishwasher. 

* Inspect your packages closely. You can protect yourself from rolling out the red carpet for these pests by closely inspecting your food packages before tossing them in your cart. Avoid purchasing any package that shows a hint of damage.

5 ways to host a no-hassle holiday celebration this season

November 08, 2018 (586 words)

[Headline: 4 ways to host a no-hassle holiday]

1. Cater in

Companies like Boston Market specialize in preparing complete holiday spreads with classics that belong on every holiday table. You don’t have to sacrifice a quality, delicious meal to gain sanity this holiday season.

2. Host a potluck

Loved ones will be more than happy to pitch in to help you make this gathering great.

3. Make a statement with a few decorative touches

Wrap a strand of twinkle lights into garland or place the lights into glass vases to create a cozy look in any room. Place ornaments into a large vase for a pop of color at the dining table.

4. Give your guests a memorable time with games

Brainstorm lighthearted games that large groups can play, such as charades. If you don’t own many games yourself, ask around to see what your friends and family can bring. 

Deck the halls with cherry preserves! Give your holidays a healthy twist

November 07, 2018 (718 words)

[Headline: Deck the Halls with Cherry Preserves]

Cherry-Cranberry Sauce

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of fresh cranberries. Cooked together, these anthocyanin powerhouses make a great holiday staple that can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more.

Ingredients

* Equal portions fresh cranberries and dried/frozen Northwest cherries

* 1/4 cup water or pomegranate juice

* Optional: 4 –2” peels fresh ginger, 3 tbsp citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs, raspberries 

Directions

In medium-sized sauce pot, add 1/4 cup water and cranberries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the sauce begins to form. Add sweet cherries, continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat, incorporate other flavorings if desired. 

Cool for 30 mins – 1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan to speed cooling. Once cooled, refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Where does your turkey come from? It does matter

November 02, 2018 (537 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. They want to know how and where the animals were raised and how the vegetables were grown, because knowing what goes into the food you eat — and what doesn't — brings peace of mind.

At Shady Brook Farms, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. The farmers, some of whom have been raising turkeys for generations, are the company's heart and soul. 

Family farmers from across the country talk turkeys

November 02, 2018 (604 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. 

At Honeysuckle White, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. Customers in some areas can actually trace where their turkey was raised by entering a code that's on the package into a field on the Honeysuckle White website. They can learn about the farmer who raised the turkey and see the farm where it was raised.

Time-saving tips and healthy tricks for holiday baking

November 02, 2018 (786 words)

[Headline: 3 key ingredients for healthier holiday baking]

Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner shares three ingredients for better holiday baking:

High-quality eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs have double the Omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs, which are healthier for recipes and enhance emulsifying qualities during baking. Plus, they have 25 percent less saturated fat, six times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and more than double the vitamin B12, so you’ll improve the nutritional profile overall.

Dark chocolate: Skip milk or white chocolate and use dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar content and contains important antioxidants that are good for your heart.

Whole-wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour options boost fiber. For cookies with a more delicate texture, consider using a finely milled whole-wheat pastry flour.

Can too much potassium be harmful? What you need to know if you have a chronic condition

November 02, 2018 (543 words)

[Headline: Can too much potassium be harmful?]

For patients with hyperkalemia, controlling potassium levels is important. This might require replacing high-potassium foods such as bananas, melons and oranges with low-potassium foods such as apples, grapes and berries.

Here are other considerations to think about:

*Impact of salt substitutes. While salt substitutes have their appeal for many reasons, some carry very high levels of potassium. Before using such a substitute in meal preparation, it is important to thoroughly read the label.

*Various treatment options exist. Doctors can speak with you about potential treatments including water pills and potassium binders. Only your doctor will know the best choice for you.

*Supplements and remedies. Many herbal remedies or supplements could create more problems because of their high potassium content. Patients should consult their healthcare provider before taking any supplement or remedy to learn more about how the solution could impact their potassium levels.

How to Eat Like a Local in El Salvador

October 26, 2018 (534 words)

[How to Eat Like a Local in El Salvador]

Foodies with adventurous palates might be tempted to vacation in El Salvador just to enjoy its array of delectable local dishes.

Follow these tips for experiencing the destination’s top attractions and eating like a local along the way.

The capital of San Salvador: Start your trip in the capital city and explore fusion-focused restaurants representing Spanish, Mediterranean and American cuisine. On the second Sunday of November, experience the country’s largest National Pupusa Day festival.

Joya de Cerén: A visit to El Salvador’s UNESCO World Heritage archaeological park offers travelers a history lesson on Salvadoran culture and cuisine.

The Flowers Route: This roadway guides visitors through the Apaneca-llamatepec mountains, showcasing several artisan towns. Catch the weekend food festival in Juayua.  

La Libertad Coast: This internationally known surfing destination is also a favorite among seafood connoisseurs who feast on the daily catch at its top eateries.

For more information visit www.elsalvador.travel.

5 secrets to brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home

October 24, 2018 (539 words)

[Headline: The perfect cup of coffee in 4 steps]

A cup of steaming rich coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. To achieve better java at home, give these tips a try.

Step 1: Choose the freshest beans. Glossy beans are a tell-tale sign of freshness.

Step 2: Don’t scoop, but weigh your beans. A food scale will get you the most consistent results.

Step 3: Unlock the magic of spices. Before brewing, add Simply Organic Pre-Brew Spice Blends to your ground coffee beans and your coffee will be infused with a delicious, more distinctive flavor and aroma, thanks to the handcrafted blend of organic spices that goes into every jar. For information, visit SimplyOrganic.com.

Step 4: Not too hot! When using a French press, keep water between 195 and 205 degrees. If using tap water, filter it first.

Tips from an executive pastry chef for simple holiday entertaining

October 17, 2018 (651 words)

[Headline: 3 tips for simple holiday entertaining]

To save time on holiday party planning, focus your efforts on a few star desserts and cocktails, which can easily elevate any party.

1. Prepare cocktails in batches for easy serving. Look to classics like the Old-Fashioned, which features holiday flavors and warm spices.

2. Ditch the expensive holiday decor and florals, and let the desserts serve as your holiday centerpiece. Serve a variety of flavor options with different textures and colors, such as layered trifles, fluffy pies and stacks of cookies and bars.

3. Opt for eye-catching items that will leave your guests thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. A thaw-and-serve pie from Edwards Desserts can elevate any occasion, whether served straight out of the box, or deconstructed into a new holiday dish.

5 tips for staying calm, cool and collected when you're always on the go

October 16, 2018 (554 words)

Here are some tips for keeping your sanity while managing your busy lifestyle:

Sneak in a workout: Short bursts of high-intensity exercise, like interval training, can be more effective.

Plan ahead for meals and snacks: Shop for all your weekday meals at the beginning of the week and prep them in bulk ahead of time. Keep ready-made, protein-packed snacks like SeaPak’s On-the-Go Shrimp Cocktail on hand.

Make music part of your routine: If you’re feeling mentally tense or worn out, music’s always a great way to collect yourself or reinvigorate your state of mind.

Schedule some me time: In the middle of your busy schedule, don’t forget to prioritize some time for yourself.

Don't push yourself too hard: If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to evaluate the situation. You might need to ask for help. Be sure to make time for what matters most to you.

5 tips to plan the perfect game day

October 16, 2018 (625 words)

[Headline: 3 tips to plan the perfect game day]

Follow this guide and you’ll make this year your best season yet.

* Get creative with your seating. This year give your home that true game-day feel by setting up designated seating for your friends based on team affiliation. You can also build a simple stage to create a stadium seating environment.

* Upgrade your viewing experience. The LG Oled lineup features sophisticated design to complement stunning picture quality. With an Alpha 9 intelligent processor — LG’s most powerful ever — the Oled provides true-to-life images coupled with rich colors, sharpness and depth.

* Have plans for halftime. Halftime is normally downtime so put a little excitement into it. Plan a mini game to take place during halftime, get new food from the kitchen or simply go outside and throw a football around for a while.

Forget 'wine rules': 4 unconventional wine pairings for guys

October 15, 2018 (600 words)

[Headline: Forget 'wine rules': 3 unconventional pairings for guys]

The Federalist wines and Dan Dunn, author of American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites and One Man's Blues, are on a mission to take the stuffiness out of wine. Some of Dunn's unconventional wine pairings:

* With Elvis’ Christmas Album

“Here Comes Santa Claus” with a red wine blend. Like Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, this North Coast California wine is timeless, big, red and revered.

* With a big juicy burger

Think of a great hamburger like Paul Simon. Both are special on their own, but when paired with the right partner — be it a robust cabernet sauvignon or a spindly, curly-haired tenor from Queens — magic happens.

* With pork

For smoky roasted pork, you can go with a richer, heavier red — say The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon.

3 alarming places where germs are hiding in your kitchen

October 11, 2018 (562 words)

Check out three places germs like to hide, and things you can do to clean up your act.

1. Your dishwashing station: Researchers from the University of Mauritius discovered towels can develop nasty bacteria when used for a month. Grab a clean towel every few days, a new sponge every few weeks.

2. Your food prep surfaces: According to the NSF study, fecal coliform was present on 45 percent of kitchen sinks, 32 percent of countertops and 18 percent of cutting boards. Wash these areas with hot, soapy water before use.

3. Your refrigerator: These tested positive for E.coli, salmonella or listeria 36 percent of the time. Discard food that’s past its prime, and maintain a consistent temperature between 40 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s time to replace your fridge, consider the LG InstaView Door-in-Door, designed to maintain the ideal humidity and temperature levels.

How to create the perfect, four-season outdoor living space

October 09, 2018 (640 words)

[How to create the perfect, four-season outdoor living space]

Creating an outdoor living space will give you an extra "room" to enjoy in all types of weather. Here are some ideas for must-have elements in your perfect outdoor living space.

* Deck

Using real wood for your deck is the key to creating a natural, beautiful outdoor living space. One great option is Western Red Cedar.

* Fire

Choose from fire pits, chimeneas or fireplaces.

* Outdoor kitchen

It's essential to be able to cook outside so you won't be stuck in your home's kitchen preparing dinner while your family and friends chat on the deck.

* Furniture

Comfort, durability in all types of weather, and the size (not too big or too small) are prime considerations.

* Shelter

Shelter lets you enjoy it in all types of weather.

* Landscaping

The final touch is the yard beyond your deck. Pavers, flowers and shrubs are beautiful additions.

One surprising way to prevent fractures for those over age 65

September 27, 2018 (428 words)

Loss of balance, along with dehydration, attention deficits and loss of cognition are symptoms of a condition known as hyponatremia, low salt levels in the blood. The symptoms can occur even with just slight hyponatremia and can have particularly harmful effects for the elderly as the condition is difficult to diagnose. A study presented at an American Society of Nephrology meeting suggests that low-salt diets may be a contributing factor.

According to Dr. Ewout J. Hoorn, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, "Although the complications of hyponatremia are well-recognized in hospitalized patients, this is one of the first studies to show that mild hyponatremia also has important complications in the general population." He added, "Screening for a low sodium concentration in the blood, and treating it when present, may be a new strategy to prevent fractures."

The grocery store scoop: Debunking common myths

September 25, 2018 (675 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Zesty Egg Fried Rice Lettuce Wraps]

Ingredients:

4 Eggland's Best Eggs (large)

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

6 strips lean smoked bacon, chopped

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup sliced scallion greens

12 leaves Boston/Bibb lettuce

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and Sriracha together until well combined. In large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate, leaving drippings in the skillet. When cooled, chop bacon into small pieces. Drizzle the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring as you drizzle. Add bacon, black pepper, rice and soy sauce to skillet and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Stir in scallion tops. Remove from heat. Divide the mixture among the lettuce leaves and serve immediately.

National Seafood Month: 5 reasons to choose sustainable seafood

September 24, 2018 (737 words)

October is National Seafood Month. One of the best ways to keep the world’s waters full of life is to choose certified wild, sustainable seafood.

The Marine Stewardship Council’s blue fish label indicates the product meets sustainability standards. So why pick seafood with this label?

1. It’s better for the oceans. Certified sustainable seafood ensures whole ecosystems remain healthy and thriving with marine life.

2. It’s good for the whole family. Seafood provides nutrients, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. It’s a way to drive change with your shopping habits. You’re protecting jobs and preserving coastal communities.

4. It’s available at every price point. Whether you’re looking for healthy, affordable lunch options or celebrating a special occasion, sustainable seafood is a viable option.

5. It’s a way to ensure seafood for generations to come. Consumers have the power to support individuals and organizations committed to protecting our wild oceans.

This Season the Hygge Design Trend is Back and Bold

September 20, 2018 (651 words)

[Headline: 3 tips for achieving the Danish concept of hygge]

Hygge is a Danish word for the feelings of coziness and contentment often associated with cooler weather. Noa Santos of Homepolish provides three tips so you can master this trend at home.

Declutter

"There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a streamlined space," says Santos, who stresses decluttering doesn't mean de-styling. He recommends LG’s line of matte black stainless-steel appliances for a sleek yet cozy vibe.

Invite the outdoors inside

"Artfully arranged flowers and perfectly placed plants help cement your space as an indoor Eden," says Santos. "The positive psychological benefits aren’t too shabby either. Organic materials like wood and leather work like a charm as well."

Gather

It could be a cozy night in for two or a bountiful feast for a crew — togetherness is at the heart of hygge and allows you to show off your home design.

6 tips for shopping in Guadalajara

September 18, 2018 (532 words)

[Headline: Exploring Guadalajara’s Tequila Trail]

Just outside of Guadalajara are sprawling agave fields, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the world's tequila is produced. Drive past fields of the blue agave plant that stretch out over the rugged, hilly terrain, en route to the town of Tequila.  

After visiting the distilleries and purchasing bottles to serve back home, you can peruse smaller shops and stalls for necklaces and earrings crafted using blue agave leaves, agave syrup and figurines made from the obsidian of the nearby volcano. 

Guadalajara is the birthplace of tequila, as well as mariachi and charrería, the Mexican rodeo, and offers culture, cuisine and shopping. 

For more information, see www.visitguadalajara.com.

10 ways to beef up your tailgating game

September 17, 2018 (563 words)

[Headline: Tips for tailgating with beef]

Try these 5 beef-friendly tailgating tips.

1. Prep as much as possible at home. This will help you save time and pack less.

2. Check your cooking equipment. Make sure your grill or camp stove is clean and ready. Keep backup propane and stick lighters on hand.

5. Embrace the cast iron skillet. Great for cooking burgers, steaks and one-pan meals. Try a beef stir fry. Cut and marinate meat and veggies at home, toss in the skillet and enjoy!

9. Pack and store everything safely. Raw beef should be at the bottom of the cooler (or in another cooler), packed separately.

10. Serve food in creative, easy-to-hold ways. Use chip bags as a vessel for chili or beef tacos. Skewer steak chunks, veggies and meatballs on short bamboo sticks.

Find tailgating tips and recipes at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, funded by farmers and ranchers.

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