All Posts In News

A Cotton Candy Frappuccino? Yes, and a Red Velvet Cake One Too

by in News, June 11th, 2015

A Cotton Candy Frappuccino? Yes, and a Red Velvet Cake One, TooAs the weather warms, the drinks we crave cool. It works the same every year. But this year, when we trade our steamy cappuccino for a resolve-meltingly chilly Frappuccino at our local Starbucks, we’ll have a few new options — six of them, actually.

In honor of the Frappuccino’s 20th anniversary (I know, it doesn’t look a day over 19), Starbucks is debuting six new fan-recipe-inspired flavors: Caramel Cocoa Cluster (coffee, toffee nut syrup, milk, ice, dark caramel sauce, whipped cream, mocha sauce), Cinnamon Roll (coffee, cinnamon dolce syrup, white chocolate mocha sauce, vanilla bean, milk, ice, whipped cream, cinnamon dolce topping), Cotton Candy (vanilla bean, raspberry syrup, milk, ice, whipped cream), Cupcake (vanilla bean, hazelnut syrup, milk, ice, whipped cream), Lemon Bar (lemonade, vanilla syrup, milk, ice, whipped cream, caramel sugar) and Red Velvet Cake (mocha sauce, raspberry syrup, vanilla syrup, “Frappuccino chips,” milk, ice, whipped cream).

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Meat Straw

by in News, June 10th, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Meat StrawYou probably think of straws as being made of one thing: plastic. But these days they could just as well be made of cookies, medical-grade stainless steel, pretty printed card-stock paper or meat.

A meat straw? Why, yes. You can now sip your drinks through straws made out of coiled bacon or a meat-pork blend, The Wall Street Journal recently noted in a story about unusual-straw options.

Some bars and restaurants make their own. Others, the Journal noted, just order up some meat straws made from a mixture of pork and beef from Benny’s Original Meat Straws. (At first, Benny’s straws were made only of beef, but their inventor, Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, added the pork to improve the texture.)

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Why Swiss Cheese Has Fewer Holes Than It Used To

by in News, June 9th, 2015

Swiss CheeseHoley Swiss cheese? These days, not so much. If you’ve been wondering why your Swiss cheese — your Emmentaler or Appenzeller — has fewer of its iconic “eyes,” agricultural researchers in Switzerland have finally brought you your answer: Blame cleanliness.

As far back as 1917, scientists were considering the holes in Swiss cheese and concluding that they were formed by bacteria that produced carbon dioxide, according to Agroscope, the Swiss government’s agricultural research institute. Researchers didn’t know much, however, about what the bacteria were and how they got there in the first place.

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Bank Cafes May Boost Your Mood — If Not Your Balance

by in News, June 8th, 2015

CafeBanks, traditionally, are all about the bucks. You go there to make a deposit, make a withdrawal or deal with some other money-related business. Most of the time, you’re just dropping in for a quick transaction at the ATM. Now, though, you may be as likely to stop in to visit your local banker as you do your favorite barista.

Yep, increasingly, banks are getting into the coffee game. Capital One, for instance, has opened Capital One 360 Cafés, which it insists are “not your average coffeehouse,” in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Cloud, Minn., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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New Eight-Hour Bourbon Is Not for the Old Fashioned

by in Drinks, News, June 6th, 2015

New Eight-Hour Bourbon Is Not for the Old FashionedKentucky bourbon is all the rage these days. You’d think that would be nothing but good news for distillers — but they’re finding it difficult to keep up with demand.

Because bourbon is generally given years to age in wooden barrels, even if makers were to ramp up production now, the new supply wouldn’t be available for a long time to come.

Aging in charred white oak barrels is considered essential to bourbon’s taste and hue. The liquor’s process of expansion and contraction over time, as seasons and temperatures change, imparts richness and complexity. Some whiskey experts cite five to 10 years of aging as the sweet spot for better bourbons, depending on how it has been aged.

You can’t rush flavor, the thinking has always gone. But wait … can you?

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Homemade LEGO-Shaped Gummies Are Snackable and Stackable

by in News, June 4th, 2015

Homemade LEGO-Shaped Gummies Are Snackable and StackableKids like LEGOs — and they like gummies. So do many adults. If you’re looking for something to make with the kids this summer, consider these LEGO-brick-shaped gummy candies from YouTuber Grant Thompson, who posts videos under the handle The King of Random.

Thompson writes that his homemade LEGO gummies can be made in “massive” quantities and are both “snack-able” and “stackable.” His method — which you can watch play out in the above video — is derived from an Instructable posted by SFHandyman, but Thompson says he toyed with the recipe in order to tailor the texture and flavor to his taste.

“I’ve kept experimenting off and on for the last four years, using my kids and wife for feedback,” he explains. “They gobble them up no matter what variations I use, but I’ve finally settled on 1/2 cup of very cold water, 1/4 cup of corn syrup, 2 packets of unflavored gelatin and 1 pack of Jell-O.”

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Millennials Are Big on Cocktails and Wine, but Beer Not So Much

by in Drinks, News, June 3rd, 2015

Millennials Are Big on Cocktails and Wine, but Beer Not So MuchCare for a cocktail? Perhaps a glass of wine? Way to drink like a millennial!

Millennials are increasingly turning to wine and spirits and turning their backs on beer, Business Insider reports, citing a Morgan Stanley industry analysis.

Between 2012 and 2015 alone, those who said beer was their “favorite alcoholic beverage” declined from 29 percent to 26.8 percent overall — and from 33 percent to 27.4 percent among millennials, according to Morgan Stanley’s research.

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Do You Drink Coffee Right When You Wake Up? Maybe You Should Wait

by in News, June 2nd, 2015

CoffeeMost of us probably try to suck down our first cup of joe as soon after we wake up as possible. But a new video by AsapSscience parses the research and reveals that the best time to give your body its first caffeine boost of the day is actually not when you first wake up, but about an hour later.

Why? It has to do with our circadian rhythm, the built-in biological clock that, among other things, regulates the release of cortisol, a hormone related to alertness. Cortisol levels peak around 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., AsapScience notes, as part of our natural waking process. And if we drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages during this peak cortisol production phase, the caffeine is less effective. Plus, we build up a greater tolerance to it over time, meaning we have to drink more and more for the same pick-me-up.

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Bringing the Heat to Hollywood: Bobby Flay to Receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

by in Food Network Chef, News, June 1st, 2015

Bobby FlayOn Food Network Star, premiering Sunday, June 7 at 9|8c, Bobby Flay and fellow mentor Giada De Laurentiis are on a mission to discover budding talent. But tomorrow it will be Bobby who’s recognized for superstardom, when he’s honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The first chef ever and the first Food Network personality ever to receive a star, Bobby has been in the culinary industry since he was just 17 years old, and his first appearance on Food Network was more than 20 years ago. The host of Food Network’s Bobby’s Barbecue Addiction and Beat Bobby Flay, the co-host of Food Network Star, and an acclaimed Iron Chef, Bobby’s no stranger to awards and achievements. The Walk of Fame star comes after several of his programs have earned Emmy Awards and James Beard Awards, both prestigious industry accomplishments, and he’s also at the helm of multiple restaurants from coast to coast.

At a ceremony tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, Bobby will celebrate the dedication of his star, the 2,553rd star on the Walk of Fame, during a ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST), and he’ll be joined by his close friend and fellow Iron Chef Michael Symon, as well as Brooke Johnson, the president of Food Network; both are set to speak about Bobby as the star is dedicated to him.

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Your Summer Gin and Tonic, Suitable for Scooping

by in News, May 30th, 2015

Jude's Ice CreamThere are those who consider the perfect summer refresher to be a nice, cool gin and tonic — and then there are those who would argue that it’s a big dish of ice cream.

A new product is uniquely positioned to end the debate and bring those disparate groups together: gin and tonic ice cream.

A result of a collaboration between two U.K. companies, London distillery Sipsmith and Hampshire-based Jude’s ice cream, the limited-edition summer offering combines Sipsmith London Dry Gin’s botanical elements, including juniper berries, citrus peel, licorice root and ground almonds, with tonic water and a hint of lemon, to evoke the flavor of your bartender’s best G&T, the Telegraph reports.

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