How Pink Lemonade Got Its Color

by in News, August 30th, 2016

How Pink Lemonade Got Its ColorNothing quenches your thirst quite like a tall, icy glass of lemonade on a hot day. And somehow it feels even more delicious and treatlike when that lemonade is pink. It’s not that pink lemonade tastes different — at least, not usually. Still, something about its gently blushing, sky-at-sunrise hue makes every sip just a bit more special.

But did you ever pause to wonder how pink lemonade came to be? After all, lemon juice — even the juice from pink lemons, which do exist — is not pink.

The history-minded people at Smithsonian magazine have recently recounted the tale of pink lemonade’s origins. Or should we say “tales”? Because there are two different versions of how pink lemonade originally got its color — and they both involve the circus.

A brief timeline, with dates plucked from the Smithsonian article:

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Saving Summer Produce

by in In Season, August 30th, 2016

Refrigerator PicklesPeaches, berries, corn, zucchini…our favorite flavors of summer are oh-so-fleeting. Find the best ways to carry them into fall and beyond with these techniques for preserving, freezing, pickling and more.

Nothing tastes as good as a peach, raspberry or squash picked at the height of its season. Plus, that’s generally when produce is at its cheapest too. So it’s worth a little prep work to have frozen summer produce to use  in cooler months.

Start by washing and thoroughly drying fruit. Berries can be frozen whole, but you’ll want to slice and remove the pit of peaches, nectarines, plums and other stone fruits. Once the fruit is cleaned and prepped, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer so the pieces aren’t touching, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid (a few hours, or overnight), and then transfer to a freezer bag. (Yes, you could skip this last step and throw all your sliced peaches into one big bag, but then it would freeze together into a big brick instead of individual pieces.) Read more

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, August 30th, 2016

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

The Infinite Perfection of Taffy Pulling

by in News, August 29th, 2016

The Infinite Perfection of Taffy PullingTaking a break from the sun, the sand and the squeals of wave-jumping children to pad over to the saltwater-taffy “shoppe” and watch the complex apparatus do its pully-twisty thing is, truly, one of the great joys of summer.

It also turns out to be one of the great joys of mathematics. In fact, a professor of fluid dynamics at the University of Wisconsin, Jean-Luc Thiffeault, whose field of study mixes mathematics and physics like the air and sugar that are taffy’s chief ingredients, has written an entire research paper — “A mathematical history of taffy pullers” — about the mathematical efficiency of taffy-making machines and the innovations over the years.

In a report on Thiffeault’s research, the Washington Post highlights some interesting tidbits about taffy’s history to chew on. Among them:

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Classic Sandwiches Get a Brand-New Twist

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2016

Chicken Salad SandwichIf there comes a point during the school year when you just can’t make another PB&J, try a twist on a classic. Your favorite standbys are getting kid-friendly makeovers, which means lunchtime will be a surprise for your student — and packing will be more fun for you. Try one of these new sandwiches to add some variety to your kid’s lunchbox.  Read more

Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale Take On 12 Bumbling Bakers in the New Series Worst Bakers in America

by in Shows, August 29th, 2016

Lorraine and DuffWorst Cooks Boot Camp is getting a bakeover, as coaches Lorraine Pascale and Duff Goldman draft 12 of the most-disastrous bakers in the nation into the most-difficult culinary Boot Camp on Worst Bakers in America, premiering Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10|9c. Duff and Lorraine will attempt to mold two teams of catastrophic recruits into potential dessert impresarios, until two rise to the top to face off in one final challenge. With $25,000 on the line, these wannabe bakers better show off their sweeter side if they intend to beat the competition and survive six weeks of baking challenges.

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California Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2016

California Salad with Hard Boiled EggsMost hearty and filling salad recipes call for plenty of meaty elements, like diced turkey and ham in the traditional cobb. But you don’t have to rely on meat to guarantee a satisfying salad. The secret is using other proteins that deliver the heft you crave.

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How to Rescue Baking Flops, Plus the Recipe for a Cinnamon Roll Cake That’s Next-Level Indulgent

by in Books, August 29th, 2016

Cinnamon Roll CakeBaking can be a testy topic. Half science, half magic, it often demands precision and attention to detail that can be intimidating to even seasoned home cooks. Here’s the good news: Tessa Huff of Style Sweet CA is here with her new cookbook, Layered, to dispel baking myths and to tell us how to fix common baking mistakes. Layered will inspire even timid home bakers to fire up their ovens and create something that’s as beautiful as it is delicious.

Read on below to hear from Huff about how to prevent overbaked treats and stubborn frostings, then get her recipe for the over-the-top-indulgent Cinnamon Roll Cake pictured above.

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10 Things I Ate About You: Disneyland and California Adventure

by in Restaurants, August 28th, 2016

Mickey Waffles from Disneyland

10 Things I Ate About You finds 10 enticing bites in smaller cities from coast to coast. 

Disneyland and the neighboring California Adventure draw millions of visitors to experience thrilling rides and the chance to interact with Mickey Mouse and friends. In addition to the attractions and adventures designed to dazzle the kids (and kids at heart), the Happiest Place on Earth also entices with beyond-basic eats that put standard theme park fare to shame. Within the 150-plus acres that house both parks, you’ll find quick-serve spots offering a mix of concession stand classics (some even shaped like Mickey) and exotic treats such as chile-dusted mango slices and pineapple soft serve, along with restaurants that cater to a range of tastes, with decadent New Orleans-inspired dishes, elevated California cuisine and more. Dig in! Read more

No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, August 28th, 2016

Chocolate Peanut butter squaresSatisfy your peanut butter cup cravings with Trisha Yearwood’s simple no-bake bars, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Trisha combines crushed pretzel rods with peanut butter for a sweet-salty base, then she layers a melty chocolate-peanut butter mix over the bottom to create an indulgent topping. These crowd-pleasing bars require only an hour in the refrigerator before they’re ready to be cut and served.

For more sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares