Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

10 Tricks to Make a Really, REALLY Good Fruit Salad

How-Make-Really-Good-Fruit-Salad

It may seem as though there’s not much to a fruit salad other than tossing chopped fruit in a bowl, but a few simple tricks transform a flat fruit salad into something enticing to the eye and pleasing to the palate. From picking fruit with the same level of ripeness to spritzing fruit with lemon juice, these 10 tricks will help you make better fruit salads all year round.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

Buy Seasonal Fruit

Buy-Seasonal-Fruit

Flavor- and texture-wise, seasonal fruit always tastes better. Ever had mealy, bland blueberries or apples during their off-season? It’s a common and often accidental occurrence, but it’s best to avoid buying produce from halfway around the world during its off-season. Instead, look for seasonal produce that’s local to you — or at least originating from the continent in which you live.

 

Choose Fruit With the Same Levels of Ripeness

Choose-Fruit-Same-Levels-Ripeness

A fruit salad instantly becomes less appetizing when some bites are mushy and other bites are too tart and tough. Avoid the incongruousness by choosing fruit with even stages of ripeness. Texturally, it will taste better if all pieces of fruit are soft and ripe with a slight crunch to each bite. Additionally, overly ripe fruit can disintegrate quickly into a pulpy mush that coats all the other fruit pieces. By mixing together ripe but not mushy fruits, salads look fresh and vibrant for a longer period of time. 

 

Mix Fruits of Different Colors and Textures

Mix-Fruits-Different-Colors-Textures

Toss fruit with striking hues like green, orange, red, and purple to highlight and contrast each fruit present in the salad. In addition to varied colors, think about combining different textures, too. Some fruits are seedy; others are crispy. Some are filled with juicy pockets; others have a fibrous skin. Mix it up to keep your palate interested and engaged.

 

Remove Stems, Pits, and Skins

Remove-Stems-Pits-Skins

With fruit like cherries or strawberries, remove all stems, pits, and skins, if necessary, from the fruit before tossing it in the bowl. A fruit salad looks cleaner when every piece of fruit is prepped. If you cannot remove the pits or seeds, then warn your guests of any items that have something hard inside that is not visible. There’s nothing worse than unknowingly biting into a grape that’s full of bitter, tooth-breaking seeds.

 

Cut Uniform Dices or Slices

Cut-Uniform-Dices-Slices

One of the first tricks learned in culinary school is to cut uniform pieces. Not only is it visually attractive, but it also makes eating the fruit salad easier. Whatever the size of the dice or slice, choose one measurement and stick to it when prepping all the fruit.

 

Use Equal Parts of Each Fruit

Use-Equal-Parts-Each-Fruit

Nobody likes a spoonful of filler fruit! An attractive fruit salad is filled with equal parts of each fruit, so no one feels as though they’re left with the unwanted, bottom dregs of the bowl.

 

Season With Citrus

Season-Citrus

Amplify the flavor of fruit salads with the use of fresh citrus zest and juice from lemons or limes. The citrus juices prevent fruit from turning brown and act as the “salt” to fruit, enhancing its flavor with spritzes, to taste. For even more citrus flavor, sprinkle the zest atop the fruit salad.

 

Herbs Aren’t Just For Garnish

Herbs-Arent-Just-Garnish

Mint often finds itself garnishing fruit salads, only to be plucked up and discarded to the side. But herbs, especially mint, actually add a refreshing seasoning to fruit salads with melons, berries, and citrus.

Categories
Cravings

You’ll Want to Get Your Hands on the ‘Cruffin’ ASAP

1

I’m a social media addict with little shame and an inhumanly large appetite, and of all the popular Instagrammed food that I’ve seen, scouted, and tasted — which probably number into the hundreds — I think that the cruffin is my favorite. No, not the widely beloved Cronut . . . the cruffin. A drool-worthy croissant-muffin hybrid rolled in sugar and filled with everything from coffee crème to passion-fruit curd, the cruffin is inspiring the masses to trek to San Francisco’s Tenderloin district for a sweet taste.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, the small San Francisco bakery that has made the cruffin famous, churns out cruffins to its quickly growing fan following at an astounding rate. Every morning the bakehouse rolls them out around 9 a.m., and the pastries typically sell out within the hour. Customers line up down the block, hoping to get a taste of the newly famed cruffin before they’ve run out for the day. I’ll admit that I have made the pilgrimage to Mr. Holmes myself, braving wind, rain, and a lengthy public transit commute for the sole purpose of snagging a sugary bite of the “Fluffernutter” (peanut butter and marshmallow crème) cruffin on a cold Saturday morning.

While the entire selection of Mr. Holmes’ pastries is worthy of a spotlight, I decided to feature its two most notable offerings: the cruffin (just under $5) and the California croissant ($5). The latter is a Bay Area-inspired take on the classic croissant, filled with a salmon roll and topped with a mix of dried sesame and seaweed bits. Served with a side of soy sauce, the Cali croissant may sound strange to an outsider, but trust me . . . you’ll be hooked (ha!) on the sushi pastry. Read on for my take on the cruffin trend and the newfangled sushi pastry, and you’ll definitely want to “get baked” during your next trip to San Francisco.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

“I Got Baked in San Francisco”

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While the cruffin’s flaky layers of sticky-sweet goodness would be enough to draw a crowd, Mr. Holmes has another secret weapon that has contributed to its speedy ascent to the top of Bay Area must-visit lists: it is so damn Instagram-able. From gold-lettered boxes and a neon sign that both display the bakery’s cheeky slogan (“I got baked in San Francisco”), to the variety of delectable pastries behind the counter, the bakehouse is as pleasing to the eye as a cruffin is to taste buds. It’s no wonder that after three months of business, the owners are already looking for a larger San Francisco location and a new spot in Los Angeles.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

The Cruffin

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This particular cruffin is filled with Sightglass coffee crème and topped with a homemade marshmallow square.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

The Taste Test

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The cruffin is flaky and peels apart almost like a layered biscuit . . . it paves the way to a glorious and fluffy coffee-crème center. Despite looking rich, it’s surprisingly light and not so sweet. I could have easily eaten three.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

The California Croissant

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Imagine a sushi roll wrapped in a French pastry. The sesame seed and dried seaweed topping that graces the California croissant is as tasty as it is beautiful, but the real surprise is what’s inside the pastry.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

The Taste Test

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Filled with nori, flavorful salmon, wasabi, and ginger, the Bay Area-inspired snack is uniquely scrumptious. While sweet-toothed customers adore the cruffin, this baked good is suited for any fan of savory eats.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

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Beyond the cruffin and croissants, the bakehouse has a plethora of mouthwatering treats that can’t be missed: salted caramel-filled doughnuts, pistachio-rose kouign-amann, and more traditional pastries gone Californian.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Brinton Parker

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Categories
Sweets

16 Insane OREO Recipes

oreo-stuff-foodbeast

This college study reveals something we probably could’ve copped to all along: Oreos may be just as addictive as cocaine. Now that we’ve confirmed the uphill battle we face against these creamy sandwich cookies is definitely real, we’re just going to give in and buy a package (or three). If you, too, have an Oreo obsession, we suggest taking it to the next level with these creative spins on the cookie.

Slutty Brownies

Slutty-Brownies

Offensive name? Yes. Downright delicious? Yes! Our version of slutty brownies involves Funfetti cake.

Oreo Icebox No-Bake Cake

Oreo-Icebox--Bake-Cake

This cake is made entirely out of cookies. How, might you ask? The cookies absorb the moisture from the whipped cream, creating a sliceable, no-bake icebox cake.

Fried Oreos

Fried-Oreos

Re-create fair food at home by battering and frying Oreos in pancake mix. Make these easy homemade fried Oreos, then dust them with powdered sugar for the ultimate indulgent treat.

Oreo-Stuffed Funfetti Cupcakes

Oreo-Stuffed-Funfetti-Cupcakes

Load up your cupcakes by making these Oreo-stuffed Funfetti cupcakes, featuring a surprise Oreo in the center.

 Oreo Churros

Oreo-Churros

Experience fried Oreo churros, and you won’t be disappointed.

Slutty Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Slutty-Brownie-Ice-Cream-Sandwiches

These slutty brownie ice cream sandwiches involve chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and Oreo ice cream.

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oreo-Ice-Cream-Sandwiches

All you need is Oreo cookies, some ice cream, and sprinkles to create these mini Oreo ice cream sandwiches.

Oreo Cookies-and-Cream No-Bake Cheesecake

Oreo-Cookies--Cream--Bake-Cheesecake

With a graham-cracker crust and creamy filling, there’s no cooking required in this Oreo cookies-and-cream no-bake cheesecake.

Oreo Cookie-Dough Dip

Oreo-Cookie-Dough-Dip

Imagine cookie dough . . . in dip form. That’s exactly what’s going on with this Oreo cookie-dough dip.

Peppermint Oreo Cookie Balls

Peppermint-Oreo-Cookie-Balls

Oreo truffles are sent over the edge with these peppermint Oreo cookie balls.

Oreo Muffins

Oreo-Muffins

Oreos make another breakfast appearance in this hot chocolate Oreo muffins recipe.

Pudding-Stuffed Oreos

Pudding-Stuffed-Oreos

Stuff Oreos with Oreo-flavored pudding, and if you’re over 21, spike it with some vodka.

Oreo Milkshake

Oreo-Milkshake

Up the ante with a frothy, no-holds-barred fountain-shop treat that couldn’t be easier to make at home.

Oreo Biscotti

Oreo-Biscotti

The cookie within a cookie, dip these Oreo biscotti in milk for a heavenly pairing.

Oreo Blizzard

Oreo-Blizzard

Want to add even more fun to your Oreo drink? Blend up an ultrathick Oreo blizzard.

Oreo Pancakes

Oreo-Pancakes

These Oreo pancakes with cookies-and-cream glaze come fully loaded with Oreos in the batter and in the glaze topping — enough said.

Written by PopSugar‘s Anna Roberts

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Categories
Fast Food

10 McDonald’s Hacks to Make Your Meals Even Happier

McDonald-Hacks-Tips

When it comes to guilty-pleasure food, there are few things that best McDonald’s fries . . . or McMuffins . . . or McFlurries. If you’re a fan of the golden arches, then you’re going to love these little-known tips, tricks, and secret-menu-item hacks! Thanks to the knowledgeable fast-food experts on Quora’s “What Are Some Favorite McDonald’s Hacks?” post, your experience at the hamburger chain is about to get a whole lot happier. Read on for some of the best McDonald’s tips on the Internet.

 

1. Get Both Breakfast and Lunch During Certain Hours

Get-Both-Breakfast-Lunch-During-Certain-Hours

Matt Decuir, a two-year McDonald’s veteran, writes on Quora that the ideal time to visit the restaurant is between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. “They’re transitioning from breakfast to lunch, and you can get a little of both. It’s like brunch for your stomach,” he said, validating our desire for a McDouble alongside hash browns.

Source: Flickr user jefflen

2. There’s a Trick to Getting Real Eggs

fresh-eggs-mcdonalds

“If you want real eggs on your breakfast sandwiches instead of the liquid stuff, you can put a round egg onto any breakfast sandwich. Just ask for a ’round egg’ on it (same egg they use on McMuffins),” says Quora user and former McDonald’s employee Chuck Chan. While the bright yellow liquid eggs can definitely hit the spot, this hack is perfect for hungry patrons who desire a hint of freshness with their breakfast.

3. Adults Can Order Happy Meals

Adults-Can-Order-Happy-Meals

Quora user Julie H. Park reminds readers that adults are perfectly within their rights to order Happy Meals, which come in smaller portions and cost less than regular menu meals.

Source: Flickr user calgaryreviews

4. No Onions = Fresh Meat

Onions-Fresh-Meat

If you want fresh meat but don’t want to seem like a bother, Jay Wacker tells Quora readers to ask for no onions on McDonald’s burgers. For menu items like the McDouble or basic cheeseburgers, employees won’t scrape off the onions but instead will make a fresh patty.

Source: Flickr user happy-meal

 

5. Peak Times Means Food Is Made To Order

Peak-Times-Mean-Food-Made-Order

“If you’re going to the restaurant during even a moderately busy time, your food is gonna be fresh,” says former employee Matt Decuir. It’s the late-night slow hours that may mean preprepared patties or stale fries!

Source: Flickr user killahilda

6. You Can Order Chicken and Waffles

McDonalds-chicken-and-waffles-combo-web

If your local McDonald’s offers the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit Sandwich during breakfast hours, you’re in luck! According to Quora’s McDonald’s expert Chuck Chan, you can order a Sausage McGriddle with a chicken patty instead. The finished product is the closest thing you’ll find to chicken and waffles on the menu!

Source: BrandEating  

 

7. Order Off the Secret Menu

mcgangbang

Have you ever had trouble deciding between the McDouble and the McChicken during a Value Menu outing? You’ll never encounter that problem again thanks to a secret menu item (unfortunately dubbed the McGangBang). The item sandwiches a McChicken between a McDouble, so you can satisfy all of your cravings at once.

Picture via BurgerAddict

 

8. You Can Create a Mickey D’s Surf and Turf

mcdonalds-land-sea-and-air-burger

Another secret menu item is the McLand, Sea, and Air, which contains the components of the McDouble, Filet-O-Fish, and McChicken sandwiches. While this is no everyday sandwich, it’s definitely worth ordering at least once!

Source: Hack the Menu

 

9. Ask For Your Burgers and Fries Fresh

mcdonalds-cheers

Instead of trying to trick the staff into freshly grilling your burger or frying your french fries, McDonald’s veteran Chuck Chan tells Quora readers to simply be up-front. Ask for your meal to be made fresh, he suggests: “They might warn you it might take an extra 5 minutes to cook fresh meat, especially fried foods will take up to 7 minutes. The workers don’t mind much because that means they can take their time making your food and not be as rushed. Just don’t complain when it’s busy, and it takes 10-15 minutes to make your order!”

 

10. Big Mac Sauce Can Turn a McDouble Into a Masterpiece

bigmacsauce

Of all of Chuck Chan‘s genius McDonald’s advice, his favorite hack is the value menu Big Mac. “If you like Big Macs, but don’t want to pay the un-Godly price of up to $4-5 for the sandwich, just order a McDouble, but without ketchup/mustard, with Mac Sauce and lettuce. It will be the same minus the middle bun,” he tells Quora readers.

Source: YouTube \ Feature IMG sourceFlickr user jeepersmedia

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Categories
Recipes

How to Make OREO Churros with a Vanilla Cream Dipping Sauce

oreo-churros-high-res-thanks-nicole

You know we love a good food trend, and when we saw the announcement of Oreo Churros, we knew we had to make these for ourselves. After intense recipe developing and coating the kitchen floor in Oreo crumbs, our sweet team cracked the code. We’re happy to share this delicious recipe with you! Keep watching to learn how to make this life-changing dessert:

Click here to read Nicole Iizuka’s full printable recipe!

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Pepsi Milk Is Like a Melted Root Beer Float and You Should Make One Immediately

pepsi-milk

When I was in college, one of my pals introduced me to the weirdest concoction: Pepsi milk. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like — Pepsi and milk mixed together at last. The end result is actually way tastier than it seems (think about a Pepsi float once the ice cream has started to melt), and I surprisingly enjoyed it on more than one occasion.

Now, many years later, I was searching for references to Pepsi milk and discovered that my crazy friend did not invent this drink on her own. In fact, it was enjoyed on national television by one Penny Marshall (aka Laverne De Fazio from Laverne & Shirley). Rumor has it that Penny Marshall enjoyed them in real life and had it written into Laverne’s character.

If you want to try creating your own Pepsi milk, fill a glass with ice. Pour 1/2 cup of whole milk (the higher the fat, the higher the flavor), and top with Pepsi. Stir if desired. Once you’ve tried Pepsi, experiment with other sodas. My personal favorite is root beer milk.

Source: Anna Monette Roberts
Written by Sabrina H Eldredge
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Categories
Features

The Comeback Snacks: 7 Discontinued Foods Brought Back by Popular Demand

Discontinued-Snacks-Back-Popular-Demand

Perhaps the most depressing thing that could happen to your favorite food is a dreaded discontinuation. We all cried into a puddle of our own tears when Crispy M&M’s and the McRib were ripped away from us. But do you know what makes the death of a beloved treat so much sweeter? When it’s rereleased due to popular demand! Here are some snacks that we have recently been reunited with once again.

 

Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute Cereal

Yummy-Mummy-Frute-Brute-Cereal

Last year, these classic monster cereals joined their friends Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula on shelves for the first time in decades. Frute Brute had an eight-year run, but it was discontinued in 1982. Yummy Mummy said goodbye after five years in 1992. Both of these marshmallow-filled cereals were welcomed back last year with open arms.

Source: General Mills

 

Double Down

Double-Down

This wild mash-up is bun-less — two pieces of fried chicken hold together Monterey and Pepper Jack cheeses as well as a few slices of bacon. The Double Down was launched as a limited time offer in 2010, popping up a couple times more for monthly appearances since its first arrival. Never fear KFC enthusiasts, the breadless sandwich returned in April of this year, and it’s here to stay.

Source: KFC

 

Crispy M&Ms

Crispy-MM

After being discontinued in 2005, the brand announced that the cookie-filled M&M’s will be coming back in January 2015 after a flood of requests from fans. Who’s excited?

Source: Instagram user meganlberg

 

Twinkies

Twinkies

When the Hostess brand announced that it was going to liquidate and sell its products until it ran out, Americans totally freaked out. People raided supermarket shelves, and Twinkie enthusiasts were selling the product on eBay for staggering prices — one seller listed a box of Twinkies for $200,000. Luckily, the brand was saved by new owners, and we’re still enjoying the cream-filled cakes.

Source: Getty

 

McRib

McRib

One of McDonald’s greatest wonders, the McRib is a boneless pork sandwich molded into the shape of a rack of ribs. It was introduced in 1981 but then discontinued in 1985. It was then brought back in 1985, only to be removed from the menu once more in 2005. It has since been brought back for a limited time this year — it’s back this month until Nov. 16.

Source: McDonald’s

 

Chicken Fries

Chicken-Fries

This customer-favorite was dearly missed when the product was discontinued in 2012. When Burger King announced that it was bringing chicken fries back in August 2014, all of America rejoiced.

Source: Facebook user Burger King

Surge

Surge

Remember this lemon-lime bright soda? The nostalgic drink created in 1996 was discontinued 11 years ago, but just this year Coca-Cola Company decided to bring the fizzy green beverage back. As of September, it’s available on Amazon.

Source: Coca-Cola Company
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Categories
Features

10 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A

chick-fil-a-cover

As chicken-lovers nationwide mourn the recent passing of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, the restaurant’s 68-year legacy of fast-food greatness is yet again thrust into the spotlight. Despite controversy and an unusual business philosophy, Chick-fil-A is voted one of the nation’s top fast-food joints time and again thanks to the unwavering quality of its menu. While there are many things about the chicken chain that you’re undoubtedly familiar with, such as its famous waffle-cut fries and crispy chicken sandwiches, here are 10 fun facts that you might not know.

 

1. The chicken biscuit was the first breakfast menu item

chicken-biscuit-first-breakfast-menu-item

Added to the menu in 1968, the chicken biscuit revolutionized breakfast forever. You can thank Truett Cathy for making fried chicken a socially acceptable morning food!

Source: Instagram user brandybt

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2. The gay marriage controversy actually boosted the company’s profits

gay-marriage-controversy-actually-boosted-company-profits

After openly condemning gay marriage in 2012, the company’s founder was met with loud opposition. However, many supporters of the Christian-founded company ate chicken in solidarity, boosting the company’s profits.

Source: Instagram user seththorpe

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3. The company has sold over 3 billion sandwiches since opening

company-has-sold-over-3-billion-sandwiches-since-opening

Since the restaurant chain was founded in 1946, it has sold upward of 3 billion chicken sandwiches.

Source: Instagram user hung1lam

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4. The chicken is fried in 100 percent peanut oil.

chicken-fried-100-percent-peanut-oil

Avid food fryers know how delicious peanut oil is, and since the signature chicken at Chick-fil-A is fried in refined peanut oil, that’s probably why we love it so much. While the Peanut Institute claims refined peanut oil shouldn’t be a problem for those with nut allergies, it is something to consider before taking a bite of the fried chicken sammie.

Source: Instagram user w2e4david

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5. The chain squeezes over 200 million lemons per year.

chain-squeezes-over-200-million-lemons-per-year

In 2013 alone, 200 million lemons were made into Chick-fil-A’s refreshing lemonade. In fact, the chain is the largest buyer of Sunkist lemons!

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6. Every restaurant is closed on Sundays for religious reasons

Every-restaurant-closed-Sundays-religious-reasons

Founder Truett Cathy was a devout Christian who advocated the observance of the Sabbath, so he required that every Chick-fil-A location close on Sundays.

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7. The restaurant’s signature sauce is actually three sauces combined.

restaurant-signature-sauce-actually-three-sauces-combined

Love Chick-fil-A sauce? You might be surprised that it’s actually a mix of three staple condiments from the restaurant! Barbecue sauce, ranch, and honey mustard combine to create the sweet and tangy sauce we all know and love.

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8. The chain made history with its fruit cups.

chain-made-history-its-fruit-cups

Chick-fil-A was the first fast-food chain to offer fresh fruit cups as a side option, which were added to the menu in 2004.

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9. The chicken recipe has stayed the same for over 50 years

chicken-recipe-has-stayed-same-over-50-years

In fact, Truett Cathy’s original recipe for the chain’s signature chicken has remained locked in a company safe for half a decade.

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10. There is a secret menu for the restaurant chain

secret-menu-restaurant-chain (1)

If you educate yourself about the Chick-fil-A secret menu, you can score goodies like blueberry cheesecake milkshakes, chicken quesadillas, and free ice cream cones.

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This story was originally written by Brinton Parker.
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