30 Memorial Day Desserts Everyone Will Love

Make sweets the star of your get-together with these treats that feature lots of red, white and blue!

Showstopping Summer Sweets

The first backyard barbecue of the season calls for a spread of all your cookout favorites — including desserts! Whether you’re a fan of ice cream, fruity cobblers and crumbles or something else entirely, it never hurts to give your Memorial Day dessert a patriotic twist. That’s why we’ve rounded up these easy and delicious desserts that feature plenty of red, white and blue — starting with Ina’s impressive citrus cake. She spreads generous Spoonfuls of whipped cream between the layers before adding fresh strawberries, resulting in a decorative treat that easily doubles as the centerpiece of your dessert table.

 Strawberry Country Cake

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Country Cake

Source: 30 Best Memorial Day Dessert Recipes | Recipes, Dinners and Easy Meal Ideas | Food Network

5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts

Aside from their smell, Brussels sprouts have a handful of side effects—and they might not all be positive.

Of course, any time we can get extra veggies in our diet, the better! However, not everyone reacts the same. Some people may even have a negative experience after eating high-fiber veggies like Brussels sprouts.

My favorite way to cook them up with lots of flavors and roasted on a sheet pan similar to these recipes. They get slightly crispy and caramelized, which is totally different from the mushy steamed sprouts we all remember from childhood.

So, what gives? Keep reading for the surprising side effects of this crunchy veggie.

1. They may worsen tummy troubles.

Cruciferous veggies are particularly hard to digest if you already have trouble with proper digestion. Folks with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, are often steered away from foods with certain fibers that can produce gas and bloating during digestion.

These fibers, also known as FODMAPs, are high in the cruciferous veggie family of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

If you have IBS, you might still be able to consume these vegetables. I would recommend a trial-and-error approach here to see how your body responds.

2. You’ll have regular GI movement.

Conversely, if you don’t notice any tummy trouble after eating Brussels sprouts, then you may actually experience the opposite effect: better digestion!

Brussels sprouts contain four grams of fiber per cup. This adds more bulk to our digestive tract and may help move things along faster as a result.

When adding a new source of fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water to help aid in the movement of your GI tract.

3. They may improve your blood pressure.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium has many functions, including managing heart health and blood pressure.

The DASH diet, a proven program designed to lower blood pressure, emphasizes fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium to protect your cardiovascular system.

One of the main mechanisms for lowering blood pressure involves the way potassium counter-balances sodium in the body. Thus, since sodium can raise blood pressure in some cases, an emphasis on potassium-rich foods can help offset the potential rise.

4. They may help manage your cholesterol.

High cholesterol can be improved with diet changes, but it might look a little different than you think!

Cholesterol is metabolized through the liver after digestion. Foods that are high in fiber can actually improve absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract before they even make it to the bloodstream circulation.

Choosing high-fiber foods for your meals can help lower the amount of cholesterol that gets absorbed and excrete it all together.

5. They may boost your immune health.

Brussels sprouts are a sneaky source of vitamin C in our diet. One cup of raw Brussels sprouts—when cooked turns into about a half cup—packs more than our daily recommended dose of vitamin C!

Vitamin C helps fight sickness, improves inflammation, and contributes to skin health.

Incorporate shaved Brussels sprouts in your salads, or roast them on a sheet pan as a side dish for an immune system boost this summer!

Article by Caroline Thomason, RDN for eat this, not that©

Source: 5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts (msn.com)

60 Easy Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Fact: Brunch is *really* what your mom wants for Mother’s Day. Moms are so cute, with their whole, “Oh, I don’t need anything, sweetie” attitude, but we know what that really means: pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, and maybe even a mimosa. So, celebrate Mother’s Day with a decadent, well-deserved brunch.

Cheesy Croissant Casserole

Meet one of our favorite holiday-worthy breakfast bakes. The contrast between the crispy, flaky edges of the croissant and the soft, cheesy middle is very special. If you’re able to, assemble everything the night before and bake it the next morning.

Get the Cheesy Croissant Casserole recipe.

parkerfeierbach

Best-Ever Frittata

There is no limit to what you can add to a frittata. It’s a versatile dish that can handle most things you throw at it, and our recipe has all the tips and tricks to getting a fluffy-centered, crispy-edged frittata every time.

Get the Easy Frittata recipe.

French Toast Casserole

Not too sweet, not too heavy, and amazing with powdered sugar or maple syrup. (Or both, we won’t judge.) This French toast is perfect for a crowd — with no dirty pans in sight.

Get the French Toast Casserole recipe.

Article by Mackenzie Filson for delish©

Source: 60 Easy Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes and Ideas (delish.com)

Click the above link to see all 60 recipes.

5 Caffeine-Free Coffee Alternatives

Enjoying a deliciously brewed cup of coffee (or several) is a daily pleasure for many people, but some simply can’t tolerate coffee. If you find yourself jittery after consuming it, coffee upsets your stomach, or you simply want to cut back on your coffee intake, there are plenty of caffeine-free (and low-caffeine) alternatives, points out Dr. Jeffrey Bland, a biochemist and nutritional medicine specialist based in Seattle. He suggests looking for an alternative that’s lower in caffeine but still contains theobromine. “It’s milder and provides a sustained boost in metabolism,” Bland says. You can find theobromine in most teas and green coffee beans. Ahead, some delicious coffee alternatives to consider for your morning wake-up routine.

© Provided by Martha Stewart Living

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is a South American tea that’s made by steeping the leaves and twigs of an indigenous plant. It has a distinctive taste that is “strong, bitter, and vegetal.”

Cacao

Speaking of theobromine, it also happens to be in brewed cacao. While it won’t taste like a cup of hot chocolate, brewed cacao is packed with antioxidants, magnesium, and phenylethylamine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine expands your blood vessels rather than constricting them and the energy boost it provides lasts longer.

Herbal “Coffee”

Zoey Gong—a Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapist, registered dietitian, and co-founder of Five Seasons TCM—gets her energy from Better Than Coffee Tonic, a drink she developed using an assortment of Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs.

“These herbs tonify Qi and blood and have a refreshing, aromatic flavor to wake you up while giving you energy in a gentle yet long lasting way,” she says. Ingredients include American ginseng, goji berries, mint, and du zhong (eucommia ulmoides). To make it, steep a bag with two to three cups of water for 10 minutes and drink it hot or iced.

RASA is another adaptogenic coffee alternative that gets its boost from herbs. Some of their bestselling drinks include Bold, a blend of nine adaptogenic herbs, and Original, a rich, roasty blend. If you want to try a few flavors before committing to a full bag, they sell sample packs of their entire collection as well as bestsellers.

Chicory Root

When roasted, chicory root takes on a coffee-like aroma and has a strong taste that’s toasty and nutty. It’s like a smoother, less acidic version of coffee that for many is easier on the taste buds and tummy. It’s a key ingredient in Teeccino as it adds body and a deep, rich color to their herbal tea blends and is featured in their herbal coffee blends in flavors like Caramel Nut and Coconut.

Mushrooms

If you’re not ready to give up caffeine completely, there are companies making mushroom coffee blends for a more balanced drink that won’t give you the jitters.

Four Sigmatic’s Ground Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane, for example, combines coffee, lion’s mane, and chaga to create a smooth, dark brew that is meant to prevent mid-morning crashing.

MUDWTR, another mushroom blend that’s made with masala chai, cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, sea salt, and mushrooms (lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, cordyceps), has one-seventh the amount of caffeine as a traditional cup of coffee (about 100 milligrams of caffeine), and is meant to energize those who consume it without the jitters, crash, or dependency. Their Morning Ritual Starter Kit contains a 30-serving tin of product, a frother, guidebook, creamer sample, and sweetener sample.

Article by Abigail Abesamis Demarest for Martha Stewart Living©

Source: 5 Caffeine-Free Coffee Alternatives That Actually Taste Good (msn.com)

Make Your Own Epic Easter Appetizer or Dessert Board

With Easter around the corner, Instagram is filled with tons of gorgeous, abundant appetizer and dessert boards, perfect for entertaining. You may be thinking that all these stunning spreads are only attainable by the professional food stylist. Well, your viral post prayers have been answered by food stylist, Meg Quinn (@ainttooproudtomeg). She is sharing her best secrets and tips for making an Epic Easter Board at home.

Meg has divided the boards into three main groups:

  1. Vegetables and Hummus
  2. Meats and Cheeses
  3. Dessert

Let’s start with Vegetables and Hummus.

Meg color-blocks the hummus and vegetables on the board to create a rainbow effect. She starts each board by placing the bowls of hummus down. This helps to visualize where to position the vegetables. For the hummus, Meg uses store-bought plain hummus, a store-bought beet hummus, and, for green hummus, she blends some spinach with plain hummus.

Now it’s time to start filling in the board. Start at one end and work your way across from color to color. Below are a list of veggies Meg uses:

Multi-colored carrots, radishes, red and yellow endive, snap peas, broccolini, green and white cauliflower, orange and yellow cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Make sure that all stems for vegetables like the broccolini face inward to give the board a heartier appearance.

If you’re assembling now and serving later, wrap the produce with damp paper towels to prevent them from drying out and wilting.

For a finishing touch, stud the beet hummus with pomegranate seeds and black sesame seeds, sprinkle the spinach hummus with fresh cilantro and dried basil, and top the plain hummus with pine nuts and olive oil. And for a gorgeous nod to spring, sprinkle the entire board with a few food-safe chamomile flowers.

On to the second board… the Meats and Cheeses.

Here, Meg uses the same prepping technique and places all of the bowls and jars down first. She includes a bowl of cornichons, a bowl of green olives and a jar of honey. Next, she adds the big-ticket items like large wedges and rounds of cheese.

Meg uses:

Pesto gouda, Mimolette (a French hard cow’s-milk cheese), aged Gouda, aged goat cheese and a small wheel of Brie.

Begin filling out the board around the bowls and cheeses by fanning out the crackers and sliced fruits along its perimeter. This adds visual flare and makes the board really look like a pro put it together. Slice fruits like apples and pears very thin. Here are the fruits Meg uses on this board:

Clementines, green grapes, candied orange slices, dried persimmons, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, green pears and Fuji apples.

You can find an array of artisanal crackers at your local grocery or health food store that would be perfect for this spread. Marcona almonds and walnuts can fill in the bald spots and give it a fuller look.

For the meat, Meg adds a trifecta of Calabrese salami, Italian dry salami and salami secchi. To really take this board to the next level, fold the slices of salami into quarters and stand them vertically, edge-side up, to give the appearance of a bouquet of flowers.

For the finishing touches, spring herbs like lavender and thyme give the board a seasonal splash. Sprinkle with chamomile flowers to create continuity among all three boards.

Finally, we have the Dessert Board!

Meg places the bowl of candy-coated chocolates down first and builds out around it. Here is a list of the candy she uses:

Chocolate tear drops, waffle cookies, marshmallow bunnies, marshmallow ducks, creme-filled eggs, chocolate bunnies, green and yellow rock candy, gummy eggs, yogurt covered pretzels, Belgian chocolate flowers, sour fruit leather ribbons, marshmallow carrots, marshmallow chicks, white peanut butter-chocolate cups, chocolate-covered matzo and sugar cookies.

Finish the board with an Easter egg nest made of green grass candy and fill with candy and chocolate eggs. (The trick to unifying this board is to make sure that all the candies have bright pastel colors to match the color scheme of the holiday.) Again, garnish with chamomile flowers.

Take inspiration from Meg, but remember, there are no rules when it comes to building boards. Get creative and have fun with it.

And that, my friends, is how you build an Epic Easter Board!

Thanks to Meg Quinn for putting these boards together!

Source: Make Your Own Epic Easter Appetizer or Dessert Board | The Kitchen: Food Network | Food Network

The Surprisingly Genius Reason You Should Add Water To Scrambled Eggs

Of the many ways to prepare eggs, scrambled is one I’ve yet to perfect. I can make a mean over-easy egg, perfectly hard boiling and making deviled eggs are my specialty, and my eggs in a blanket are *chef’s kiss*. But, when it comes to scrambled, I have much to learn.

© Suggest

I don’t make them often, but when I do, they’re not the fluffy, moist, light scrambled eggs I know are possible. They tend to be rubbery, unevenly cooked, and have a brownish tinge. Yum? 

So what’s the secret to the perfect scramble?

The Secret Ingredient You’ve Been Missing

Lots of people like to add a liquid to their scrambled eggs, most often whole milk or cream. This is the way I was taught, but since I’m lactose intolerant, I stopped using milk a long time ago. Adding milk tends to make eggs creamier, softer, and heavy, and they typically have a richer flavor. If you’re looking for a fluffy egg, this isn’t it.

On the other hand, adding water will steam the eggs while cooking, leaving a lighter, fluffier scramble. However, it’s a delicate balance. Adding too much water will dilute the “eggy” flavor, leaving you with a fluffy but tasteless meal. So, adding in just enough water is essential. Typically, about one teaspoon of water for every large egg is the appropriate amount to make a light and delicious scrambled egg.

Other Things To Consider

Before you cook your eggs, make sure to whisk them well. Whisking them vigorously will also contribute to a fluffy scramble. Add butter or oil to the pan to keep the eggs from sticking, and remember that it’s easy to burn your eggs if you cook them at too high a temperature. Medium to low heat is a better option for scrambled eggs.

While they’re cooking, use a rubber spatula to pull them into the middle from the edges. Turn off the heat when the eggs are almost completely cooked and continue to break up the eggs to finish cooking the underdone pieces. Then, finish with salt and pepper, and add herbs to your scrambled eggs for color and flavor, if desired. Chives, rosemary, parsley, and tarragon are many people’s go-to herbs.

So, next time I make scrambled eggs, I’ll know what to do to ensure my eggs come out perfectly. Wish me luck!

(Have you tried this water thing?)

Article by Dana Hopkins for Suggest©

Source: The Surprisingly Genius Reason You Should Add Water To Scrambled Eggs (msn.com)

Ham, Egg & Asparagus Bake For Easter Brunch

Recipes to add a little sunshine to your Easter morning or any morning!

Ham, Egg, and Asparagus Bake

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 ½ cups cooked ham, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow (or red) bell peppers, chopped
  • 10 oz pkg. frozen cut asparagus, thawed, or 10 fresh stalks, cut
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Preheat oven to 425º F (220 degrees C).
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Mix ham, onion, peppers, and asparagus in the prepared baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, flour, Parmesan, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Pour over ham mixture.
  • Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Continue baking 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  • Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

by Beth Herman for Old Farmer’s Almanac

Source: Ham, Egg & Asparagus Bake for Easter Brunch – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

Read This Before Eating Brown Guacamole

Besides depending on the avocado as its main ingredient, guacamole has another thing in common with the fruit from which it is made: Both seem fresh and bright green at first, but look away for a second and they turn an unappetizing brown color. While this hue that both avocados and guacamole quickly take on may make it seem like they have gone bad, that is not actually the case.

According to Food Network, if the guacamole has been stored in a refrigerator for no more than three days, the dip — even if brown in color — is absolutely safe to eat. The site explains that the brown color comes from a process called oxidization. Much like an apple, when an avocado is sliced into, its enzymes react with oxygen in a way that the surface area exposed to it becomes brown. This is perhaps why you’ll only ever see the top layer of the guacamole turn brown whereas the dip beneath it is usually still a vibrant green color.

While the hue certainly changes, oxidization affects neither the flavor of the food nor its nutritional value, which is why it’s perfectly safe to eat. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that the mucky color is not a particularly pleasant sight to dig into, and so, with the help of a few tricks, you can stop your guacamole from oxidizing and turning brown.

How To Prevent Guacamole From Turning Brown

© Provided by Mashed

Some, like food site Eat This, Not That! suggest placing an avocado pit on top of homemade or store-bought guacamole to prevent it from turning brown. Others, however, argue that there are far better and more foolproof ways to do this. Pure Wow claims that using lemons and limes is the preferred way — the acidity will react with browning enzymes much before oxygen does to prevent the guacamole from browning. They suggest brushing the citrus juice over the guacamole before storing it

A layer of olive oil, cooking spray, or water on top of the guacamole can also act as a barrier between the dip and oxygen. Tightly wrapping the dip in plastic wrap so that no oxygen gets trapped in between the two layers is another option. Real Simple cautions that citrus juices greatly change the taste of the dip, plastic seals are hard to wrap tight, and avocado pits are quite frankly useless in this situation. Instead, they found that a layer of water works best and leaves behind little to no discoloration without affecting the taste and texture of the creamy dip. Today also vouches for the water method and deems it the “most effective” of all to stop guacamole from oxidizing and changing its color.

Article by Khyati Dand for Mashed©

Source: Read This Before Eating Brown Guacamole (msn.com)

St. Patrick’s Day Desserts

Here are recipes for green cookies, cake and muffins. I think you are ready for St. Patrick’s Day! Have a happy one!

St Patrick’s day cake mix cookie – leprechaun cake mix cookies (dessertsonadime.com)

St. Patrick’s (Jell-O Poke) Cake! | The Gingham Apron

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes Recipe: How to Make It (tasteofhome.com)

The Truth About the Five-Second Rule for Food

According to the so-called five-second rule, it’s safe to eat food after it’s dropped on the floor—at least as long as you do so within five seconds. It’s one of those “rules” that has stood the test of time, as proven by its steadfast presence in everyday culture. In fact, you’ve probably seen your fair share of people swear by the rule. But is it real? Here’s what you should know about the five-second rule for food, according to experts and science.

CactuSoup / Getty Images

The Origin of the Five-Second Rule

The rule mostly stems from urban legends. One such story can be traced back to Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. Allegedly, Khan established the “Khan Rule” at banquets: If food dropped on the floor, it could stay there as long as he permitted. Several centuries later, chef and television personality Julia Child may have further contributed to the myth. In a 1960s episode of The French Chef, Child flipped a pancake only to have it land on the stovetop. She then returned the pancake to the pan, noting that you can always pick it up if you’re alone in the kitchen.

Although these stories don’t explain why five seconds became the magic number, they do shed light on how people may have learned to handle dropped food. But when it comes to safety and the risk of germs, does five seconds actually make a difference?

Ultimately, the Five-Second Rule Is a Myth

Unfortunately, there’s no truth to the five-second rule. When food falls on the floor (or any surface, for that matter), its level of contamination is mainly determined by the “dirtiness” of the floor, rather than the length of contact. In other words, food that falls on a germ-ridden floor will pick up germs, regardless of how long it stays there. Food scientist, Paul Dawson, has even tested the five-second rule in a lab. To do this, he and his team contaminated tile, wood, and carpet with Salmonella bacteria, one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Next, they dropped bologna (moist food) and white bread (dry food) onto the surfaces, then waited for five, 30, and 60 seconds. The team then measured the number of bacteria on each food for each time frame. According to Dawson, high levels of bacteria were found on both the bologna and white bread, regardless of the surface and contact time. And while there were some differences (like less bacteria on dry foods or foods that touched the carpet, for example), there was still a noteworthy degree of contamination across the board.

Bottom line: If food drops onto a surface, it will pick up germs from said surface. The length of contact time doesn’t influence whether or not this happens, and ultimately, the risk of food poisoning.

Article by Kirsten Nunez Kirsten Nunez for Martha Stewart Living©

Source: The Truth About the Five-Second Rule for Food: Here’s What Science Says About the Popular Maxim (msn.com)