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Meghan Rodgers

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Pumpkin Spice Latte sauce now at Starbucks

Much of the United States is still experiencing sweltering temperatures, but that isn’t stopping Starbucks from preparing for the fall onslaught of Pumpkin Spice Latte orders that are right around the corner. According to several posts from Starbucks employees on Reddit’s r/Starbucks board, the coffee giant has started to send shipments of the sauce used in making the iconic fall beverage to stores around the country. On Friday, one user posted a giant jug of the pumpkin flavored sauce and captioned it, “It’s coming. God help us all.” Others questioned how it can be PSL time already when Halloween is still weeks away. But not all coffee drinkers feel the same. The Pumpkin Spice Latte has a die-hard fan-base who wish away the weeks of summer, so they can pull out their sweaters and head to the nearest Starbucks for an whipped-cream topped pumpkin dream. While you may be getting excited for your favorite fall tradition,…

California drought sends avocado prices soaring

Guacamole and avocado toast are about to cost you a lot more green. Between an intense heat wave, summer drought and heavy winter rains, California, the nation’s leading avocado producer, has suffered a significant shortfall of fruits this year. Forecasts expect production to plunge as much as 46% to 215 million pounds, down from 401 million pounds in 2016. “We lost fruit that would have have sized up to be this year’s crop,”  Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, a trade group for avocado growers, told the Los Angeles Times. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of an avocado jumped to $1.25 last week — up from $1.14 last year at the same time and just 94 cents at the start of summer 2016. Mexico, the leading international avocado supplier to the U.S., suffered similar weather this year and is able to send fewer boxes across the border, adding…

Tomato, zucchini, goat cheese and thyme tart recipe

Any recipe that uses up a good amount of veggies is a hit with me. I tend to go overboard at the farmers market — this time of year everything looks so delicious! — but it’s important not to let food go to waste. According to a Guardian report, roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away amounting to $1,600 in annual food waste for every family of four. With this staggering number in mind, I’ve made it a point recently to keep recipes on hand that use unusual vegetables, vegetables in bulk, or difficult herbs sometimes delivered in the CSA. Juices and stews are great for this task, but sometimes your veggies are just too darn pretty to hide. Tarts and galettes are a great option for showcasing those shiny vegetables, while also allowing plenty of space for layering and packing in leftover produce. You could easily throw in another layer of zucchini to…

A third of Americans have missed a football game due to heavy tailgating

On bright and brisk falls mornings all over the country, you’ll find Americans gearing up for their favorite pastime — tailgating. While football, of course, is the main event, the tailgating subculture has become just as much of a mainstay of Saturday or Sunday mornings as the game itself. New research from YouGov revels an inside look at what Americans are drinking, their habits and how many participate. About 77% of respondents said they drink alcohol before the event, but 21% said they preferred to stay sober. One third of Americans said they drink alcohol at every tailgate they attend a game. College fans said that Bud Light, Samuel Adams, Blue Moon and Corona are the beers most likely to make an appearance in their game day coolers, while Jack Daniels, Baileys and Smirnoff are the preferred tailgating liquors. Frito-Lay’s chips, grilled Johnsonville sausages and cans of Campbells soup are the preferred snacks…

This one dietary change could help America reach greenhouse-gas emission goals

For many Americans, the idea of giving up meat is unfathomable or even alien. What’s the 4th of July without a hamburger? But a new analysis of beef consumption in the States shows that our carnivorous habit is holding us back from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Conducted by a team of scientists from Oregon State University, the study states that if more people switched to a plant-based diet, America could still come close to meeting the greenhouse gas goals set by former President Barack Obama in 2009 — even in the face of current president Donald Trump backing the nation out of the Paris Climate Accord. If every American were to replace the beef in their diets with beans — even while continuing to eat chicken, pork and dairy products — the country could reach 46 to 74 percent of the previously set 2020 target. This is true even without any changes to the current energy infrastructure…

10 recipes for when it’s too hot out to cook

Maybe it’s too hot outside to fire up the skillet, or maybe it’s busy back to school season — either way, there seems to always be a reason not to cook. But don’t fret. Here are a few incredible recipes for when time is at a premium, but taste is still what you crave. No cook dinner recipes: Easy Vegan Spring Rolls A big dose of veggies in your diet goes down easy along with the perfect peanut dipping sauce. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/145241156707084471/ Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps A simple, no heat recipe perfect for long summer days. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/271201208787853399/ AVOCADO STRAWBERRY SPINACH WRAPS WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING There is nothing not to love about this incredible ingredient combo. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4574037104887733/ Zucchini Noodles and Veggies Keep it light with these raw zucchini noodles. The vegetable packs tons of hydration so you’ll be sneaking more water into your diet — always a good thing in the heat. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/144115256804496683/…

Caprese garlic bread, a can’t miss

Garlic bread and sauce can be a meal in my house. But what do you do to give an upgrade to this basic bread staple? Add melty mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and green basil, of course. Serve as a side with pasta, or eat all on its own. Caprese Garlic Bread Serves 6-8  Ingredients 1 loaf Italian bread, halved 1 stick butter, softened 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 cup balsamic reduction 6-8 fresh basil leaves, sliced Himalayan cooking and table salt Directions  Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, add butter, garlic and salt. Mash together until soft and blended. Spread mixture on both halves of bread. Place bread halves on a baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and just barely brown. Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella over both halves of the loaf. Top with tomato slices, and bake…

5 watermelon recipes to try before the end of summer

What would warm weather be without big, sloppy slices of watermelon? Given that this summer essential is more than 90 percent water, it’d be easy to assume that it has little or no nutritional value. But the low-calorie fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that soothe sore muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and pack about one-third of the daily recommended vitamins A and C, and lycopene that can even combat cancer. August through October is watermelon harvest in most of the country, so there are usually lots of great, local picks at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. But how can you be sure you’re selecting the perfect melon? To avoid mushy melons, a good rule of thumb states that you should choose the one heaviest for its size. The melon should also have a deeply colored cream spot on the bottom — the color signifying the watermelon had plenty of time to…

College campuses with the best food

Every year the Princeton Review ranks America’s 382 best colleges, but students say, one category compiled for the list is becoming increasingly important. “In researching our guides to help high school students determine the best college for them, we have learned that food is becoming an increasingly important factor in their decision-making process,” said Rob Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review. Students are more health conscious then ever before, and they want to know that when they move to their new environment, they can continue to eat the diet they’re nutritionally and morally accustomed to — or looking to upgrade to. Many schools are committed to offering students healthy food options, but a few have gone above and beyond to offer sustainable and sometimes locally-sourced foods, nutrition classes, and extensive recycling and composting programs. Here are the top 10 ranked colleges for food, according to the students who dine there. University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA…

America’s most horribly unhealthy chain restaurant meals announced by watchdog group

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a national nutritional watchdog group, just released their annual list of the most shamefully caloric items on menus across American chain restaurants. Titled the Xtreme Eating Awards, the list aims to inform Americans of the amount of calories, cholesterol, fats, sodium and sugars they consume when eating out. Top honors went to The Cheesecake Factory — no stranger to lists of culinary shockers. It’s Pasta Napoletana took the “Worst Adapted Pasta” award for its 2,310 calories and 79 grams of saturated fat and shocking 4,370 milligrams of sodium — a full three days worth of the daily recommended salt intake. The dish was the brain child of Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer at TCF who asked in a Facebook Live video in March, “How can we turn a meat lover’s pizza into a pasta?” Moore and TCF might have been successful in their…