Summertime Desserts Inspired by Delightful Cocktails

Here's a trio of tasty cocktail-like desserts to keep you cool all summer long:

Grilled Mint Julep Peaches
Nothing says summer like fresh, juicy peaches, and this decadent dessert combines them with a classic mint julep cocktail to create a deliciously Southern dessert. Four ripe peaches are glazed in Kentucky Bourbon and grilled to a golden brown, then the whole thing is topped with vanilla bean ice cream a few sprigs of mint to give them that signature minty flavor.

Pink Grapefruit, Strawberry and Champagne Granita
Whether you have something to celebrate or not, this champagne-infused dessert dish is perfectly festive. The fruits and bubbly champagne are blended with ice to create a slushy mix that’s best served in a pretty martini glass.

Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Poptails
A “poptail” is a fun way to describe a dessert that combines a cocktail with a popsicle, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular summer dessert trend. This one contains pureed strawberries, homemade peach syrup, and refreshing vodka to create its cold, fruity taste.

4 Unique Dishes to Take to Your Next Potluck

A potluck dinner is a fun way to experience a wide variety of different cooking styles, inviting every guest to bring a covered dish to contribute to the meal. Whether you’re tired of your usual potluck recipes or you’ve never brought a dish to a party before, don’t sweat it. If you’re invited to an upcoming potluck but don’t know what to bring, these four recipes will help make your dish a hit.

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart [Oprah.com]

Best Broccoli Salad [Mr. Food Test Kitchen]

Make-and-Take Potluck Dishes [Chow]

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down Cake [All Recipes]

Public Domain/Public Domain

Let Freedom Ring: 4 Fun Facts About the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of our nation’s independence, and it dates all the way back to the late 1700s. This beautiful icon is rich with American history, and even non-history buffs will appreciate its inspiring story. Here are a few key facts about the Liberty Bell.

The bell was originally cast in 1751.
The Pennsylvania colonists were so pleased that William Penn gave them the freedom to choose their own religion that the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the bell for the State House.

The original bell cracked and had to be replaced.
The first bell was cast in England, but cracked soon after arriving in Philadelphia. Two local craftsmen cast a new bell in 1753 out of metal from the original.

The Liberty Bell traveled around the country on tours.
In the late 1800s, the bell was such a symbol of freedom that it traveled around the U.S. to fairs and expositions to help unite the people after the Civil War. It returned to Philadelphia in 1915.

The bell weighs approximately 2,000 pounds.
It is made of 70% copper, 25% tin, and traces of lead, gold, silver, zinc, and arsenic. It still uses its original yoke, which is made of American elm and weighs 100 pounds.

Missing an Ingredient? Try These Common Food Substitutions!

It's happened to the best of us: You excitedly begin a recipe only to find that you're missing an ingredient. Don't scrap your recipe just yet! Chances are that you have an adequate substitute on hand. Here are three common substitutions that can prevent the hassle of last-minute runs to the grocery store.

If you're missing oil or butter:
Try applesauce in place of oil or butter. This sub-in works wonderfully in quick bread recipes (like banana bread), as it adds moistness to the bread. Mashed avocado and bananas can also be subbed for oil and butter.

If you're missing eggs:
These substitutes can replace one large egg: 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu; 2 egg whites; half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; 2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water (best used in cookie or bar recipes).

If you're missing sour cream or mayo:
Greek yogurt rivals the creamy flavor of sour cream and mayo, and bonus: It's lower in fat and calories! In some cases, Greek yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk or cream cheese.

Common Ingredient Substitutions [AllRecipes]
Emergency Substitutions [Betty Crocker]
Top 10 Food Substitutions for Healthier Cooking [TLC]

3 Unique Family Travel Ideas

Planning a family vacation doesn’t have to include life-sized cartoon characters or expensive amusement park trips. These unique family-oriented trips will help you find the perfect travel destination for everyone in your family.

  1. Park City, Utah. Full of what is commonly hailed as the best snow on earth, Park City is an ideal travel destination for the ski bunny family. Sign the little ones up for a ski lesson, set the older kids loose on the slopes, and relax at night in any one of the area’s luxurious lodges or amenity-packed cabins.
  2. Playa del Carmen, Mexico. If beach vacations are more your style, this one offers the best of the ocean for family members of all ages. Playa del Carmen is one of the top dive destinations in the world, and it also offers gorgeous golf courses, a hip downtown community, and even ancient ruins just asking to be explored.
  3. Boston, Massachusetts. For the family of sports lovers, Boston is an all-American vacation spot with some impressive teams. The kids will love going to a game at Fenway Park, and the large number of historical sites are so interesting, they might not even realize that they’re learning something along the way.

Best Family Friendly Vacations – Anywhere [Trip Advisor]
Family [Travel Channel]

Happy Presidents’ Day

Remembering the courage and vision of past and present leaders, we honor and share the spirit of Presidents' Day together as a nation.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing everyone a day filled with fun and happy memories!

Nutrition Tips for Vegetarians

Whether you want to show support for animals or simply choose to avoid meat products, becoming a vegetarian can be a very healthy lifestyle choice. Though it decreases your risk for many long-term diseases, a vegetarian diet can make it difficult to get the protein and other nutrients a person needs to stay healthy and energized.

These vegetarian eating tips can help you create a balanced, meat-free diet:

  • Make sure that you get enough protein by incorporating nuts, beans, peas and soy products into meals and snacks.
  • Keep up with your necessary iron intake to create healthy oxygen absorption in the blood by eating a lot of spinach, kidney beans, lentils, black-eyed peas and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Choose calcium-fortified soy milk to replace the calcium normally found in regular cow’s milk.
  • Consider vegetarian alternatives to traditionally meat-based foods to keep your diet exciting (for example, bean burritos, veggie lo mein, or vegetarian lasagna).

Tips for Vegetarians [USDA]

Public Domain/Public Domain

Our New Facebook Sweepstakes Has Started! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends February 28th, 2014.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

Learn Something New Right from Your iPad with These Apps

If you want to learn a new skill or become more educated about a certain subject, you don’t have to go out and take a class. These informative, visually stimulating apps provide hours of learning and entertainment right from the convenience and mobility of your iPad.

iTunes U
The iTunes U app gives you access to courses from schools and universities like Yale, MIT and Oxford, as well as the largest collection of free education content in the world. All of the courses are free, and they cover a wide range of subjects from zoology to physics.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a learning app for people of all ages, on subjects like math, science, economics, and humanities. This app is ideal for those studying for the SAT, students require a bit of extra help in a certain subject, or for adults who want to brush up on a particular lesson. Khan Academy features over 4,200 videos, interactive lessons, and a logbook to track your progress.

Learn Chess
This app is ideal for those who have always wanted to learn chess but simply didn’t have the time. With a fun, interactive e-book that describes the basic fundamentals and strategies behind this historic game, Learn Chess will have you checkmating your opponent’s king in no time.

Public Domain/Public Domain