Included In The Demonstrations Are How To Make Chocolate Macarons And Chocolate Mousse.

(Posted by Mary Jane Maharry, Community Contributor) Community Contributor Mary Jane Maharry The Village of Homewood proudly hosts the 14th annual Homewood Chocolate Fest on Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s festival features baking demonstrations,children’s activities, science demonstration, vendor booths and a variety of sweets, desserts and gourmet baked goods. Back by popular demand is the annual Chocolate Bake-Off Contest for professional and amateur bakers as they compete for title of “Home Sweet Homewood’s Master Pastry Chef”. This free event is located in the H-F Park District Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road. For additional information visitwww.HomeSweetHomewood.com or call 708-798-3000. “Hands down, this is the sweetest festival Homewood hosts” said mayor Rich Hofeld. “The community really comes together for chocolate. It’s always exciting to see and sample all the amateur and professional bakers’ treats as they compete for the Master Pastry Chef award.” 2016 Homewood Chocolate Festival features cooking demonstrations by La Voute Bistro + Bar. Included in the demonstrations are how to make chocolate macarons and chocolate mousse. The future Homewood Science Center is also participating with a demonstration on the science behind chocolate. In addition, kids get the opportunity to decorate a complimentary take-home cooking apron at any time during the festival. Another popular event at the Homewood Chocolate Fest is the Chocolate Bake-Off Contest for both amateur and professional bakers. The Bake-Off, hosted by The Community Relations Commission, is a spirited contest for bakers and confectioners to compete for recognition as “Home Sweet Homewood’s Master Pastry Chef”. A panel of judges sample each entry and select three winners. Once the winners are recognized, the public samples each entry in exchange for a small donation to benefit an area service group. The public tasting begins at 12:45 p.m. and the winner is announced at 1:30 p.m. The deadline for Bake-Off applications is Monday, February 15.

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The Store Is At 107 Main St.

Gurney’s epistolary romance “Love Letters,” which had its first production in 1988 at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre. The tour visits… Love Renewed Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal , who starred in the film version of Erich Segal’s “Love Story” 45 years ago, have found another “Love” project together: A.R. Gurney’s epistolary romance “Love Letters,” which had its first production in 1988 at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre. The tour visits… (Courant Staff Writers) Select Valentine’s Day decor, ribbon, paper, stamps, stickers and kids’ crafts are 50 percent off at Michaels stores from Sunday, Feb. 7, through Saturday, Feb. 13. Valentine’s Day decor, floral and ribbon are 60 percent off at Jo-Ann stores Feb. 7 through 10. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, gift certificates are discounted at whiteflowerfarm.com . Purchase a gift certificate of $50 and you’ll get 10 percent off. At Swag, 117 Main St., Old Saybrook, Valentine’s Day cards are $1 to $2 each, (regularly $3.95 to $12.95); heart-shaped soaps, are $1.48 to $4.98 (regularly $2.95 to $8.95); and high-end spa products are 50 percent off retail prices. (LEEANNE GRIFFIN) Other Sales >>Toy Chest, 975 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, is holding its annual February furniture sale with savings of 10 to 40 percent on furniture, car seats, strollers, high chairs and more. Information: 860-233-5559 or toychestwh.com . >>Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us stores are hosting a Great Trade-In event. Bring in your used cribs, car seats, strollers, high chairs and other baby gear and you’ll get 25 percent off the purchase of a new item. (Use your Toys “R” Us credit card and you’ll get 30 percent off.) Discount on in-store purchases only; no limit on the number of items you can trade; and new purchases can be from different categories from what you’ve swapped in. Some restrictions apply; check website for details. Information: Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn . >>Collinsville’s Carol & Company, a craft, jewelry and home decor shop, has a sale featuring savings of 10 to 50 percent on a variety of merchandise. The store is at 107 Main St. in the Collinsville section of Canton. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Sale ends Feb. 13. Information: 860-693-1088 or carolandcompany.us . >>Clothing, household items, jewelry, books, toys, linens, craft items and more are 50 percent off at Coventry’s Thrift and Gift Shop, 1363 Main St., on Friday and Saturday, Feb.

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But We Tested Them And, In Fact, They Did.

electronic cigarette flavors Diacetyl was first recognized as a respiratory hazard more than 10years ago after it appeared in workers who breathed in artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn plants. The illness came to be known as Popcorn Lung. It can be severe and irreversible, with some sufferers requiring lung transplants. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which oversees workplace safety, have worked to raise awareness of the potential for harm, which is strongest when the chemical is heated. You have a similar pathway, saidJoseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the federally funded study. You have heated, flavored chemicals that are directly inhaled. Diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and, as we learned in our study, candy flavored e-cigarettes. There are more than7,000 flavors available for e-cigarettes. Most are mixed with nicotine and sold in cartridges. The mixture isheated, turned into a vapor, then inhaled.The emission from e-cigarettes includes a vapor and aerosol component. Getty Images/Spencer PlattDifferent flavors for electronic cigarettes are viewed for sale. Many of the flavors seem designed to appeal to children and young adults with names like Cupcake, Fruit Squirts, Waikiki Watermelon, Tutti Frutti, Oatmeal Cookie, and Alien Blood. Their popularity is growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this year that in a survey, 2million high-school students reported using e-cigarettes at least once in the month before the survey. The World Health Organization reported that in 2013, more than $3 billion was spent on e-cigarettes in the United States alone. Itpredicts that sales will increase seventeenfold in 15 years. Allen and his colleagues selected 51 flavors from a variety of manufacturers and distributors. Each e-cigarette was put in a sealed chamber and attached to a device that drew air through the e-cigarette for eight seconds at a time, with a resting period of 15 or 30 seconds between each draw. The researchers then analyzed the air stream. They found that diacetyl was present in 39 of the 51 flavors, even those made by the companies that researchers had called before the test. We specifically looked at the packaging and at the website to see if any of the sellers were providing warnings, Allen said. We asked two companies specifically, and they said No, they did not have diacetyl in it. But we tested them and, in fact, they did. Two other chemicals of concern, acetoin and 2,3-pentanedoine, were detected in some of the flavors, as well.

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It Wasn’t Until A Couple Years Ago That I Finally Settled On Something That Not Only Was Easy, But Also Felt Celebratory.

Associated Press Ham or lamb. And Fourth of July is all burgers and dogs all the time. But Christmas doesn’t enjoy a similar food association that presets the menu as happens with so many other holidays. (And Christmas goose doesn’t count because that only happens in Dickens’ novels.) All of which tends to leave us scrambling. When I was a kid, my mother often did ham. Not because we loved it or it felt special, but because my mother is vegan and it was easy for her to cook. When I was a teenager, we switched to mountains of shrimp with butter. Also easy, and because why not? After I got married, we started eating Italian. Not because we’re Italian, but because pasta and meatballs is a quick and easy meal to assemble in the midst of the gifting and visiting chaos. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I finally settled on something that not only was easy, but also felt celebratory. A massive beef roast. Not earth shattering, of course. But for some reason it took nearly 40 years for me to reach this point. Tender and juicy, a roast feels indulgent. And when treated right, it can pack tons of flavor. But it also is utterly simple to prepare. So I’m sharing my Christmas beef roast recipe, which gets intense savory flavors from a rub of fresh rosemary and cracked peppercorns. All you need to do is rub it on the meat, pop it in the oven, then head back to the festivities. This recipe even makes its own side dish butter-roasted potatoes that bathe in the juices of the meat. ___ This Nov. 2, 2015 photo shows rosemary pepper roast beef with butter potatoes in Concord, NH. Add in ROSEMARY-PEPPER ROAST BEEF WITH BUTTER POTATOES Start to finish: 2 hours 15 minutes (15 minutes active) Servings: 10 2 pounds new or other small potatoes 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted This Nov. 2, 2015 photo shows rosemary pepper roast beef with butter potatoes in Concord, NH.

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12 Bidis Can Come In Flavors Including Chocolate, Mango, Vanilla, Cherry And Cinnamon.

It’s something rarely present in the comfort of air conditioned rooms. The scent of the bidi swirls around you when stepping into an auto rickshaw flavors include chocolate, cherry and cinnamon or walking through an alley, past a group of day laborers.More than four million Indians make bidi cigarettes for a living, some 90 percent of them in homes or small workshops. Photographs byUdit Kulshrestha for Bloomberg A woman rolls tobacco for a bidi cigarette at her home in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh. 2 Bidi (also spelled beedi) cigarettes are usually wrapped with leaves from the Coromandel ebony tree known as tendu leaves which are left to dry for several days before being rolled and tied at one end with a piece of string.   3 Bidi-making is a cottage industry across India, with the slim cigarettes often rolled, roasted and packaged in small workshops adjacent to or within homes. There are at least three Indian labor lawsthat apply directly to bidi workers, including employment conditions and welfare measures. But serious concernsremain about child and bonded labor.   4 Once they have been bundled together the bidis are stacked on their ends and roasted to remove moisture, stiffen the cigarettes and add flavor. 5 Smoking in public places is illegal in India. Still, the prevalence of bidis is staggering. One 2010 survey estimated that while on average a daily cigarette smoker in India and there are more than 100 million smokers in the nation goes through 6.2 cigarettes a day. For a bidi user the figure is 11.6 bidi sticks daily. 6 An extensive examinationof the bidi, published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, cited a description of its use as early as 1711: “The description referred to a product the size of the little finger, containing a small quantity of tobacco wrapped in the leaf of a tree and sold in bundles.” 7 The same reportsaid there was no definitive account of when the manufacture of bidis began in India. It pointed, though, to a 1946 government finding that merchants from the western state of Gujarat introduced the trade in the first decade of the 20th century. 8 Cancer rates in India are much lower than in Western Europe, but they are predictedto rise by 70 percent to 1.7 million new cases a year over the next two decades, according to a report in British journal The Lancet, published in 2014. It noted “many cancer cases in India are associated with tobacco use.” 9 Taxes on bidis are much lower than on cigarettes. As a World Health Organization reportsaid, “the tax structure favors products that are consumed by the poor.” 10 Many people believe bidisare less harmful than regular cigarettes but they can actually contain higher levels of nicotine. 11 Efforts by the government to discourage smoking including higher duties, health warnings and the banning of smoking scenes in films have largely focused on regular cigarettes, while bidis have been left alone. 12 Bidis can come in flavors including chocolate, mango, vanilla, cherry and cinnamon. Their sweet aroma and colorful packaging can make them appealing to younger smokers.

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Twist The Dough To Form The Shape Of A Candy Cane.

And We. Don’t. Care.” ALMOND CANDY CANE COOKIES Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus chilling time for the dough | Makes about 4 dozen cookies Note: Adapted from a recipe by Kristen Johnson. COOKIES 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter 1 1/2 cups shortening 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons almond extract 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 1/2 teaspoons salt Scant 9 cups (38 ounces) flour Red food coloring See the most-read stories in Life & Style this hour >> Open link 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add the almond and vanilla extracts. Add the salt, then slowly add the flour, a little at a time, until completely incorporated to form the dough. 2. Divide the dough in half. Cover and refrigerate half. To the other half, add enough food coloring to turn the dough a rich pink. Cover the other half; and refrigerate both pieces of dough about 30 minutes. 3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. 4. Form the cookies: Take a heaping tablespoon each of the pink and white dough. Roll each piece into a strip, then take the two strips and place them side by side so they are touching each other. Roll them together so you have one uniform piece, red on one side and white on the other, then twist to swirl. Twist the dough to form the shape of a candy cane. Continue forming the cookies with all of the dough. 5. Bake the cookies on a cookie sheet until set, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the hot cookies from the sheet carefully, as the “hook” of the cane can break easily; allowing them to sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or so after baking makes the removal a bit easier. Glaze while hot. GLAZE AND DECORATING 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, softened 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted 2 to 3 teaspoons almond extract 1/4 cup milk, more as needed Cookies 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the softened butter with the powdered sugar. Beat in the almond extract, then slowly add the milk. Add enough milk to create a glaze-like consistency (not as thick as frosting, but thick enough to coat the cookie). Glaze the cookies generously while hot. Feel free to add a second coating of glaze if you’d like! 2.

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Who Wouldn’t Want To Escape Baddies On A Flying Skateboard ?

Gift anything other than this year’s hottest gift : A Costco tub of candy corn, or a collection of 58 knives and swords bought off late night television, are both fine alternatives. You can even give an Apple Watch . Just dont buy a hoverboard this season. Youll thank me later. QVC Hoverboards have been on every kid’s Christmas list since 1989 when they figured in Back to the Future Part II. They weren’t real, but because of the one-two punch of Robert Zemeckis’s movie magic and penchant for pranks , many people thought they were. Kids and parents alike called stores asking if the Mattel-branded hoverboards from the movie were in stock. And why not? The hoverboard was the perfect toy: gimmicky, optimistic, and most of all, wondrous. Who wouldn’t want to escape baddies on a flying skateboard ? Twenty-five years later, the hoverboard has been bludgeoned to death by marketing departments . The hoverboards on sale today are just the latest, and most egregious, example. They don’t even attempt to do the foundational thing that hoverboards are meant to do: hover. Instead, a company called Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd (since shortened to Chic Robotics) started building two-wheeled scooters balanced by gyroscope. Somewhere along the line, companies that were white-labeling these scooters coming off Chinese factory lines stole the term “hoverboard” for themselves, deeming the term as meaningless as “literally .” 1000 Words via Shutterstock None of this would matter if the hoverboard in its current state were something born from an innate desire within us all. The two wheels of a motorcycle symbolize freedom, exploration, and recklessness. The two wheels of this hoverboard mean nothing but that you spent $300 (or more) on something that moves you slower than you can run.

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He Loves Leftovers Too.

You name it, said Lisa Leigh Bennett, marketing and public relations. We grow acorn, delicata, carnival, spaghetti, butternut and kabocha squash, which people think is a pumpkin, and they buy it for decoration. I tell them, When youre done, you can cook it with it. Squash recipes abound in the farms own cookbook filled with family favorites. A lot of people are very intimidated by squash, but its so easy to do, she stressed. Its just comfort food, Bennett described. The summer squash is great because its fresh and light, but when the temperatures get cooler, you want something more substantial. Its the taste of fall, agreed Dan Heckler of Jacks Farm in Pottstown. Its good for you. It fills you up. It looks good sitting on your counter. He grows five varieties because each one is distinctive, different in texture and flavor, ranging from kabocha with its super squash flavor to mild delicata. I actually like the delicatas, Heckler revealed. My wife will cut them in half and shell stuff them with whatevers in the fridge at the time. He loves leftovers too. We eat them cold like sandwiches, Heckler said. Ill eat them for breakfast. Another delicata fan: Larry Tse of Longview Farm in Collegeville. Its super easy, he explained. It has really sweet flavor too. Delicatas seem to be becoming a lot more popular, added the farm manager, who shared a recipe for Northern Spy kale salad with delicata squash from his restaurant days in New York City. The lemon juice in the vinaigrette breaks down the kale and makes it really tender, Tse noted. Its one of these kale salads that converts you if you dont like kale salad Trust me on that one. One last thing when talking squash this time of year: Ever notice some people say, winter squash and some call them fall? A squash by any other name is still the same, right? Heckler said with a laugh. Spaghetti Squash Alfredo 1 cups freshly grated Parmesan cup chopped fresh parsley leaves Fresh basil leaves Grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half Instructions Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and clean as you would a pumpkin. Completely submerge at a time in a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes until the inside is just tender to a fork and pulls apart in strands. (Cooks note: It is better to undercook if youre not sure.) Remove, drain and cool with cold water or ice bath to stop the cooking. Scoop out the cooked squash from its skin with a spoon. Use a fork to fluff and separate the squash into spaghetti-like strands. Reserve the separated cooked squash and dip with a strainer into boiling water to reheat just before serving. Melt half the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

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In All, They Plan To Use About 150 Pounds Of Candy For The Piece.

“We’re using brown Twizzlers for the trunk and green apple flavor for the needles, which will be sparse,” she said. In all, they plan to use about 150 pounds of candy for the piece. Visitors can also expect to see Snoopy as the Flying Ace, Lucy’s “The Doctor Is In” stand and Schroeder’s piano. Macy’s isn’t the only Salt Lake City business offering a window display. Grand America Hotel will depict 17 Christmas carols for its “Songs of the Season” installation created by Utah artists and designers. That display will be unveiled Nov. 24. After the opening, guests can take a holiday stroll through the hotel Sundays-Thursdays, 4 to 9 p.m., and Fridays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Once the Macy’s unveiling takes place, visitors can see the display any time although most families prefer evenings when the twinkling lights are at their best. This will be the fourth year that Macy’s has created the candy window display, part of a tradition that dates to the 1970s, when the Main Street spot housed ZCMI. When Macy’s opened as part of City Creek Center, store officials “heard over and over about the candy window displays,” said Chad Young, the store’s visual manager. “We thought it was important to bring it back.” This year, Utah artists were asked to follow the Charlie Brown theme, Young said, adding that Macy’s stores across the country are featuring Peanuts displays as part of the 65th anniversary of the Charles M. Schulz characters. Brian Johnson is the only repeat artist. One ornament will be created by students in Salt Lake Community College’s Visual Merchandising Program. They are led by instructor Matt Monson. Zach Albrecht, a graphic designer and interior design student at The Arts Institute, is excited to create one of the candy ornaments for the Macy’s display.

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No Mention Of Thanksgiving.

Louise Plachta I have heard that several communities in Michigan have put Halloween leftover treats to good use. In one downstate community, the police department collects the goodies, packages them and sends them to our troops overseas. Greenville High School students do the same thing. I propose that those gifts make an unexpected good day for those away from home and Halloween. I thought that Thanksgiving is (should be) the next holiday to be celebrated but apparently it isnt. Instead, advertisements already urge us to consider Black Friday sales. No mention of Thanksgiving. What happened to the festive get-togethers we once enjoyed? The holiday that didnt demand gift-giving or elaborate decorating, but invited simple, pleasurable companionship around a table that engendered happy, sometimes loud, conversation, sibling teasing, turkey and all the trimmings (or other entrees), around the dining-room table? Have we become so busy, so materialistic that we dont take time to stop and smell the apple or pumpkin pie? Instead, stores are open and employees are stacking holiday merchandise, getting for the 4 a.m. or earlier rush of bargain hunters on the day after Thanksgiving. I ask again: What happened to Thanksgiving? About this time in November I re-read, for the nth time, O. Henrys Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen, a short story of misdirected charity, with an unexpected ending. Written in the style of the 1930s, it is still for me, on the level of Gift of the Magi or Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus that I resurrect from my collection and read during the Christmas season. 11, Veterans Day, is what certain-agers remember as Armistice Day. As youngsters, we stood, or sat quietly at our classroom desks, at 11 a.m. on Armistice Day, for a moment of silence. This was our way of commemorating the signing of the armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compienge, France, for cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. We continue to observe the day, now known as Veterans Day, to honor members of our armed forces who have been killed during and since The War to end all Wars. With your indulgence, I offer an excerpt of a prayer, written by Father Austin Fleming (Give Us this Day November 2015): Prayer for Veterans We pray for those who have served our nation and who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harms way. Shield them from danger Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. I suggest that displaying our flags Wednesday would be a visible demonstration of honor, remembrance, and thanksgiving that are due to those who have fought, and who continue to fight, for our freedoms. The trees, for the most part, have shed their fall finery and have laid for us a multi-colored carpet of rusts, golds, and reds. As we commence the season of sweatshirts, jackets and gloves, lets help make a good day for someone who could use an extra hand raking the remnants of a beautiful autumn.

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