2020 was, unfortunately, the year of closures everywhere, with major chains like McDonald’s, Dunkin’, and other big players in the food industry shuttering stores. Unfortunately, the trend seems to have continued into 2021, with Macy’s announcing the closure of 45 locations. To make things worse, Disney just let us know that there’ll be a little less magic in the world as they shut down 60 stores across the US and Canada.

Why Is Disney Store Closing?

Disney Store used to have more than 1,000 locations worldwide, but a shift away from shopping malls and the onset of the pandemic led to a pretty big drop in customers at the brick-and-mortar stores. Now, after 33 years, the Walt Disney Company has decided to dramatically downsize the Disney Stores—and according to the company, this is just the “beginning” of their efforts. The closures represent about 35% of Disney’s stores across North America, which is a significant chunk, if you ask us. It’s also likely we’ll be seeing closures among their 300 stores worldwide.

But There’s Still Hope…

While Disney may be dialing down their physical presence, they’re directing their efforts towards online shopping, which took off during the pandemic. They’re looking to expand ShopDisney, the company’s online store, and integrate it with Disney’s theme park apps and social media platforms.

Plus, you can still buy Mickey merch at theme park stores, third-party retailers and Disney shop-in-shops. You might also be able to find a Disney mini-store at Target—they opened 25 of them in 2019!

And of course, you can still get your Disney fix at other places, like all the ridiculously cute Disney-themed kitchen gear at Williams Sonoma (including Mickey pancake molds). And don’t forget to take a look at your schedule and make some room for Disney World’s magical 50th Anniversary Celebration. It’s already on our calendars!

Recipes Inspired by Disney Movies
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Succulents have become so popular because they add pops of greenery to a space without all of the hard work of maintaining them. Yes, we love these desert beauties, but now we’re ready for bright flowers, too.

Some may opt for a fresh flower subscription or arranging a bouquet at home. Nothing beats growing your own flowers from seed, though, especially when those flowers turn heads. That’s definitely the case with chocolate cherry sunflowers, which will make you look at sunflowers in a whole new light.

What Is a Chocolate Cherry Sunflower?

Everyone knows what sunflowers look like. They’re iconic with their yellow petals and dark brown center. Now, chocolate cherry sunflowers, on the other hand, look exactly how they sound. They are a gorgeous shade of deep, dark burgundy that have an even darker center. Some lean more black while others fade into a rich brown shade.

The seeds can be planted in the spring or summer ½” deep. Keep in mind this is a branching variety of sunflower, so if you pinch then you’ll have a short plant with flowering branches. Otherwise, they will grow to 8 feet tall with an 8-inch flower head. Beautiful!

Where Can I Buy Sunflower Seeds?

Seeds are available from sources like Burpee, one of our best places to buy plants and seeds online. You can also find the seeds on Etsy, carried by multiple sellers, including TomorrowSeeds. The best part of growing flowers from seeds is that it’s so economical. Most online retailers are selling chocolate cherry sunflower seeds for less than $5. Now, get growing!

Chocolate and Cherry Desserts We Love
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Let’s be honest, gefilte fish has a bad rap. Amid the many delicacies of traditional Jewish holiday foods—matzoh ball soup, brisket, honey cake—the humble gefilte fish is often left stranded and lonely on the table with no one asking for seconds.

Here’s a secret, though: That jar of gefilte fish that was brought home from the supermarket, the one filled with gelatinous broth and covered in a layer of dust from the jar from having sat there too long—that is not gefilte fish!

It’s an impostor, and it’s high time to treat yourself and your family to the real deal by learning how to make gefilte fish at home. Because the truth is that a real gefilte fish recipe, the kind made from scratch with fresh fish just for Passover, is entirely deserving of a spotlight on your table.

What Is Gefilte Fish?

Gefilte fish is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish food eaten at holidays and most often associated with the Passover Seder. Translated from the Yiddish as “stuffed fish,” it was originally prepared by stuffing a mixture of ground, boneless fish into the carcass of a whole fish. It was a humble food, prepared with inexpensive fish and made in a way that stretched the cost of the ingredients as much as possible.

Gefilte fish recipes vary by region and by family, but they include a mix of fatty fish (like carp or salmon) and lean fish (like whitefish), and may or may not include onion, carrot, horseradish, sugar and matzo meal or bread crumbs. Nowadays, these fish balls are generally prepared as either egg-shaped quenelles or pressed into a loaf pan and sliced. They’re served as a cold appetizer and best enjoyed alongside horseradish relish and slices of the carrots they were cooked with.

If you’re Jewish and of a certain age, you may remember the classic kids book The Carp in the Bathtub, which I loved getting shocked by as a kid, thinking of a fresh carp swimming inside a tiny New York apartment building’s bathtub. But this story is for more than just laughs—it reminds us of how important this dish is in Jewish cuisine, and shows how much respect our ancestors gave to it that they would give up their very limited space to keep the fish as fresh as possible until the very last minute. Today, you won’t find carp in many bathtubs, but gefilte fish remains a classic dish that deserves to be passed down through generations.

How to Make Gefilte Fish

This recipe makes about 13 gefilte fish.

Ingredients

For the broth:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, whole
  • 1 bulb fennel, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 quart white wine
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf

For the fish balls:

  • 12 ounces whitefish, rockfish or cod fillet, bones and skin removed
  • 12 ounces salmon or trout fillet, bones and skin removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal

Directions

Step 1: Make the broth

gefilte fish recipe make the broth

In a wide Dutch oven, add oil, onion, carrot, fennel and peppercorns. Saute on medium for 5 minutes. Add the salt, white wine, water and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, then remove the lid and reduce heat, simmering for 45 minutes while you work on your fish balls.

Step 2: Prepare the fish balls

gefilte fish recipe prepare the fish

Roughly chop the onion and carrot by hand and set aside. Cut both fillets of fish into medium-size cubes and set aside.

In a food processor, add garlic, onion and carrot and pulse until finely ground. Add the fish, and pulse until it’s finely ground and mixed well with the vegetables. (If you have a small food processor, do the fish in batches.) Don’t let the food processor run for a long time, though—pulsing is better to prevent it from becoming a paste.

Put the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients: egg, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar and matzo meal. Mix until just incorporated.

Step 3: Shape and cook the fish balls

gefilte fish recipe shape the balls

Wet your hands and shape the fish mixture into quenelles (the shape of an egg) about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long. Gently place the quenelles into the simmering broth—they should all be nearly submerged with broth. Cover the pot and poach on a low simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Cool down

gefilte fish recipe cool down

Gently remove the gefilte fish from the broth with a slotted spoon and place in a baking dish. Strain the broth and pour some of the liquid over the fish and allow to cool. Make sure to save the carrot! Once cooled, put the gefilte fish in the fridge for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).

Step 5: Serve

gefilte fish recipe serve

Remove the fish from the liquid and arrange neatly on a serving platter. Slice the carrot into rounds and spread them out over the gefilte fish. Enjoy with horseradish, either store-bought or homemade.

Gefilte Fish Tips

Here are a few tips to help you make the best gefilte fish you’ve ever eaten.

  • Gefilte fish is always best served cold. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them! But this one makes sense because it tastes much better chilled.

  • Don’t use a very tall pot. My first kitchen burn was caused by a very tall stock pot that had a small amount of broth and gefilte fish at the bottom, and then over a foot of steam above that. Use a wide shallow pot that all your ingredients can fit into but won’t become a steam hazard.

  • This recipe can easily be halved (or doubled) depending on your needs. If you halve it, use a smaller pot. Here are more ideas for a small-scale Passover celebration.

  • Make sure to wet your hands when forming the patties. This will keep the fish from sticking to your hands and make a smoother final product.

  • Gefilte fish is usually served as an appetizer, and goes great with spicy horseradish that is sure to clear your sinuses. It’s also a perfect precursor to all the classic Passover dishes, like matzo ball soup, brisket and these Passover sides.

  • Like most cooked proteins, gefilte fish will stay good for a week when refrigerated. It’s best prepared a day before you want to enjoy it so the flavors have time to develop.

  • If your fishmonger is willing to grind the fish, you can skip the food processing step for the fish and add it directly to the bowl with the processed carrot and onion. Where I grew up, it was common for fishmongers to grind fish for exactly this dish, but where I live now they look at me like I’m crazy when I ask! Hence the food processing method. Either way, your gefilte fish will be delicious.

So skip the infamous store-bought jar and head to the fish counter instead. Your family will thank you, and your gefilte fish will finally get its rightful spot at the table.

We can’t pass up a good sale, but sometimes the BEST deals on kitchen and home decor are difficult to find. To make it easy on you and your wallet, we researched what’s on sale this week to bring you the greatest deals from brands and retailers we love.

Some of this week’s major deals include 40% off a gorgeous mixing bowl set from the Pioneer Woman and a sale on an organizing hack for your spice jars that’s received more than 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. If you see something you like, add it to your cart quick! These deals won’t last long—especially the Le Creuset utensil set!

Looking for more spring savings? Refresh your kitchen with our picks from Overstock’s semi-annual sale, through March 22nd.

*Deals were live at press time but are subject to change.

The Pioneer Woman Traveling Vines Mixing Bowl Set

The Pioneer Woman Traveling Vines Mixing Bowl Set

This 10-piece melamine mixing bowl set from The Pioneer Woman is a must-have with over 1,200 five-star reviews! The cute bowls are decorated with floral-inspired geometric patterns in a variety of vibrant colors. The bowls come in staggered sizes—so you’ll always find the right size for your needs. The nested design makes for convenient and compact storage. It’s the next best thing to having Ree Drummond organize your cupboards!

Original price: $49.99

Sale price: $29.50 (41% savings)

Shop Now

Spice Gripper Clips Strips

Spice Gripper Clips Strips

Say goodbye to your messy spice cabinet and hello to this space-saving hack that has over 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. These strips of gripper clips let you organize your spices in neat rows without worrying that they’ll fall over or spill. Reviewers swear by these for their favorite spices of all sizes. Get six strips, which holds 30 jars, with this epic deal. The customer photos of organized spice cupboards will make you giddy!

Original price: $15.99

Sale price: $9.23 (42% savings)

Shop Now

Le Creuset Revolution Cooking Utensil Set

Revolution Utensil Set

We love Le Creuset’s dutch ovens and enamel cookware, but don’t sleep on their professional and beautiful line of utensils and kitchen gadgets. Right now, most of Le Creueset’s cooking utensils are up to 30% off! We love everything from their slotted spoon to the locking tongs to the jar scraper and spatulas. But why not go all out and save big on the Revolution utensil set with six matching silicone and wood tools in a pretty utensil crock! It comes in five colors to match your kitchen (and maybe your dutch oven).

Original price: $85

Sale price: $59.50 ($25.50 savings)

Shop Now

Bamboo Bread Slicer

Bamboo Bread Slicer

For anyone who learned to bake homemade bread this past year, check out this bamboo bread slicer. Slice three different thicknesses while keeping your fingers safe—and your kitchen clean. It has a crumb catcher underneath to avoid the mess. This slicer also folds completely flat, so it won’t take up valuable kitchen counter space.

Original price: $29.99

Sale price: $21.24 (29% savings)

Shop Now

Spring Tulip Wreath

Spring Tulip Wreath

Show the neighborhood you’re ready for spring with this beautiful tulip wreath from Sonoma Goods For Life. Tulips are the official flower of spring, but with this wreath you don’t have to wait for bulbs to bloom. The wreath is covered with artificial tulips in beautiful shades of pink, purple and white. Add a little spring color to your door, and check out these other inviting entryway decor ideas.

Original price: $79.99

Sale price: $39.99 (50% savings)

Shop Now

Rabbit Automatic Electric Corkscrew Wine Bottle Opener

Rabbit Automatic Electric Corkscrew Wine Bottle Opener

Wine fans will love this Rabbit automatic electric corkscrew in metallic red. This automatic corkscrew works on all cork types, including plastic and synthetic corks. Up to 30 bottles of wine can be opened on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about recharging the unit after each use OR cork crumbs floating in your vino. Use the $20 savings to buy another bottle of pinot grigio!

Original price: $49.95

Sale price: $29.99 (40% savings)

Shop Now

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To find the latest and greatest at Costco, we scoured the most popular fan Instagram accounts. Here’s a look at the latest and greatest Costco finds!

Japanese Wagyu Beef

If you know anything about wagyu beef, it’s probably about how expensive it can be.But man, that marbling is out of this world. This beef is imported straight from Japan, so we can’t recommend it enough. Even professional chefs can’t get enough of Costco’s amazing beef!

Shamrock 5-Cheese Ravioli


With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to whip up ideas for dinner. Well, besides your famous corned beef and cabbage, of course! These green and yellow ravioli are in the shape of lucky clovers and include five different cheeses: Irish aged cheddar, shredded mozzarella, creamy white cheddar, velvet ricotta and Parmesan. The best part? It’s less than $10.

1-Pound Reese’s Bunnies

Eating a bunch of Reese’s peanut butter cups is always in season. Luckily, though, they’re available in these adorable packs of two giant bunnies, just in time for Easter. Make sure to add one as a finishing touch to your gorgeous Easter baskets.

Turtle Chips

Turtle Chips are actually a Korean snack that have recently gained popularity in the States. Costco rolled them out at limited stores in 2019 and 2020, and we hope to see expanded distribution in 2021. You won’t be able to stop crunching once you open a bag of these chips! They have a layered, puffy texture shaped like a turtle shell, hence the name.

Crepini Egg Wraps

If you’re looking to keep your diet a little cleaner this year, than these egg wraps will be your best friend. They’re paleo and keto-friendly, include cauliflower, have zero net carbs AND are only 30 calories! Try them with a chicken Caesar wrap.

French Macarons


I am absolutely in LOVE with macarons! This 36-pack (yes, 36!) from Costco includes six different flavors: lemon, raspberry, pistachio, blood orange, blueberry and white chocolate. I know for a fact these won’t last more than an hour in my house.

Chicken & Vegetable Steamed Dumplings

Just in case you’re unsure of what to make for dinner, we recommend these delicious Korean chicken and vegetable dumplings. With six individually wrapped trays of six dumplings (that’s 36 in total), you’ll have a wonderful meal with almost zero prep. Dumplings include chicken, cabbage, onions and mushrooms. Don’t forget the dipping sauce!

Mint Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bars

As we swing around the corner into spring, there’s nothing better than the refreshing taste of mint. It really gives you that extra energy you need for the rest of the day, don’t you think? Each box comes with 15 bars in total—and the Yasso bars are gluten-free, only 100 calories apiece and infinitely creamy.

Mason Dixie Biscuits

There’s nothing better than a meal full of crunchy fried chicken, mountainous mashed potatoes and gravy and a whole lot of buttermilk biscuits. Each box includes 24 made-from-scratch biscuits and real butter. While they’re currently only available in select Northeast locations, we hope to see them travel the rest of the nation very soon.

French Mini Eclairs


Absolutely no doubt in my mind that mini eclairs are one of my favorite desserts. My friends even made me a mini eclair cake for my birthday! This pack of 24 includes four different flavors: pistachio, raspberry, mango & passion fruit and salted caramel. Step outside of your sweet treat comfort zone and grab a box of these guys for only $13.

Next: Here’s everything you can buy at Costco without a membership.

You might remember last summer when Aldi released a bright pink watermelon wine. Now, the grocery chain is back with a beverage that’s even better! Just in time for spring and summer, Aldi is set to release its legendary ready-to-pour pineapple mimosa, perfectly priced at just $8.99. (See how Aldi keeps the prices so cheap.) All you have to do is pop it and pour yourself a big glass.

Why We’re Very Excited About the Aldi Pineapple Mimosa

Alright, so making a mimosa isn’t the hardest task in the world. But when you can streamline the process and get a tropical twist at a super-reasonable price, what’s not to love?

Not only is Aldi re-releasing the coveted pineapple flavor this year, but we hear that they might also be bringing back the orange flavor that fans fell in love with in 2018. The easy-to-serve drinks clock in at 8% ABV and pair perfectly with our amazing Sunday brunch ideas. Plus, with all your ingredients in one bottle, they’re perfect for a picnic or a potluck.

The pineapple 750mL bottles sell for $8.99 each, and these are definitely worth a grocery delivery order! We’re already adding these tart and tasty drinks to our list of the many reasons to love Aldi.

When Will They Be in Stores?

This bright and bubbly mixer, which has definitely joined the ranks of Aldi’s award-winning whiskey in our book, will be released on March 17, and since there’s no word yet on how long the bottles will be in stores, we recommend placing your delivery or curbside order ASAP. The bubbly bottles will also make the perfect gift for mimosa lovers, though you might not want to part with your stash!

Enjoy Aldi's Pineapple Mimosa with These Breakfast Recipes for Two!
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To me, there a few cookies that I like to classify as after-school cookies. They’re the kind of cookies that you can make any time—think chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles or gingersnaps. These treats are always welcome but always seemed to taste best when I found them on a table when I came home from school (especially because my mom is a phenomenal baker).

I’d also add oatmeal cookies to that list of perfect after-school cookies. They’re chewy, a little crispy at the edge and full of chocolate, nuts and raisins. It hits the spot after a long day—even now after a full day of writing and editing here at Taste of Home.

And just like these other everyday cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies are super simple to make. Here’s how to do it yourself (you know, for when Mom’s kitchen is closed).

How to Make Oatmeal Cookies at Home

Oatmeal Cookies 5

This chewy oatmeal cookie recipe comes to Taste of Home from reader Janis Plageman of Lynden, Washington. It’s highly rated, and you can count on a five-star rating from me. Here’s what you need to make them:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Get Recipe

Essential Tools

  • Cookie scoop: This KitchenAid cookie scoop is one of my best baking purchases. It portions out just the right size cookies and the silicone grips keep my hands from hurting (important with this recipe that makes almost five dozen cookies!).
  • Cookie sheets: This recipe makes a lot of cookies. Make sure you have a few sheet pans ready!
  • Mixer: Whether you prefer a hand mixer or stand mixer, you’re going to want a little power behind this recipe (hand mixing is not recommended with all this cookie dough).

Directions

Step 1: Cream Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookies 1

Like with most drop cookies, you’re going to start by creaming together the softened butter and sugars. Once well combined, add in the two eggs, molasses and vanilla and beat, beat, beat. This should take about five minutes. You really want it light and fluffy!

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookies 2

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Just a quick stir to combine these ingredients will ensure they are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.

Editor’s note: Any type of cinnamon can be used in this recipe. If you’re a big fan of spicy cinnamon, look for Indonesian or Korintje cinnamon—it packs the most punch. If you prefer a more mild flavor, stick with Ceylon cinnamon.

Step 3: Combine

Oatmeal Cookies 3

Next, add the dry ingredients to your creamed mixture in a few batches. Beat until just combined—and don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through. This is a pretty big batch of cookie dough, so have patience. It will take a bit of time to get all the oats, flour, butter and more fully incorporated.

This being said, be careful not to overmix at this stage. Too much mixing here can lead to tough cookies (and not the good kind).

Step 4: Add the Mix-Ins

Finally, it’s time to add in all the tasty mix-ins; this recipe has a whopping three cups! Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the chocolate chips, raisins and chopped pecans in by hand.

Editor’s note: I like to toast the nuts before adding them to the cookie dough. This helps develop the flavor of the pecans. And if you don’t have pecans on hand, walnuts, almonds (OK, any type of nut) work well as a substitute.

Step 5: Bake

Oatmeal Cookies 4

Use a cookie scoop to portion out cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Be sure to leave about two inches between each cookie since they do spread a good bit in the oven.

Bake at 350º F for eight to ten minutes—until the edges start to turn golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. After they’ve cooled, you’ll find these cookies are crisp around the edges and perfectly chewy in the middle. And rest assured, every bit will be positively full of pecans, raisins, chocolate or all three.

How to Keep Oatmeal Cookies Fresh

Oatmeal Cookies 7

When the cookies are totally cool (and after you’ve sampled a few) store them in an airtight container or cookie jar. They should keep no problem for a week. If you find the cookies are getting a bit too crisp for your liking, using this trick I learned from my mom: pop a slice of white bread into your cookie container. This will make hard cookies soft again.

How to Customize Oatmeal Cookies

I get it, oatmeal cookies with raisins aren’t for everyone. Luckily, though, this oatmeal cookie recipe is pretty darn versatile. As long as you keep the mix-in volume at three cups or less, you should be good to go. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Chocolate-cherry: Everyone knows that chocolate and cherry is a dessert match made in heaven. Use dried cherries in place of the raisins and try toasted walnuts in lieu of pecans.
  • Coconut-almond: We all know that chocolate, coconut and almond are a great trio. So keep the chocolate chips in this recipe and substitute in toasted almonds and shredded, toasted coconut.
  • Cranberry-pistachio: This is a classic flavor combination. Skip the raisins and pecans in this recipe and include dried cranberries and chopped pistachios in their place.
  • Monster-style: You know monster cookies—the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. You can twist this classic oatmeal cookie recipe into a monster cookie by adding M&M’s, peanuts, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. Just don’t go over three total cups of all those add-ins.
  • Snickerdoodle-style: For some, the sprinkling of cinnamon in these cookies isn’t quite enough. To make them snickerdoodle-style (one of my favorite twists on this recipe), toss the warm cookies in cinnamon sugar.
  • Triple-chocolate: Love chocolate? Use a cup each of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe instead of the called for additions.

Try More Tasty Oatmeal Cookies
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The fermented tea drink kombucha has become a staple in health food stores and at farmers markets over the years. Now, “booch” is available just about anywhere. It’s a health trend that is here to stay!

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink made by placing a mixture of bacteria and yeast into sweetened black or green tea. A glassful of bacteria doesn’t exactly sound appetizing but that is where kombucha gets its nutritious punch. “The bacteria and yeast digest the sweetened tea and produce byproducts like acetic acid (as well as other healthful acids) in the process,” says Willow Jarosh, MS, RD and resident nutritionist at Health-Ade (one of the best kombucha brands we’ve tried.)

The bacteria and yeast mixture is called a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY for short) and sits in the tea for a couple of weeks before the kombucha is ready. What’s left is a slightly sweet, slightly tart bubbly tea.

Is Kombucha Good for You?

Kombucha can be a healthy part of your diet but much of the hype has yet to be proven. This tart tea drink is rich in B vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics which may benefit your health. Without large studies, it’s hard to say if kombucha is definitely good for you.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend limiting your kombucha consumption to 12 ounces per day. That is less than the 16 ounces that usually come in a single bottle.

Kombucha Health Benefits

The benefits of drinking kombucha are still being studied but seem promising. Kombucha is rich in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Because kombucha is fermented, it offers the same health benefits as other fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. The bacteria and yeast in kombucha contain probiotics to improve our gut health. “This mixture of many different strains of critters can help balance our gut bacteria if it’s lacking or out of balance,” says Willow.

The acids produced by the fermentation process may have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, as well as a positive impact on blood sugar levels after eating. These benefits are still being studied.

Drinking kombucha is a tasty way to stay hydrated too. If you have ever struggled to drink enough water throughout the day, Willow recommends adding a splash or two of kombucha to still or sparkling water for a hit of flavor.

While rare, there are a few side effects to keep in mind. According to experts at the Cleveland Clinic, drinking too much kombucha can lead to headaches, nausea and stomach upset. Use caution when drinking home-fermented kombucha, as contamination is possible. “Because we’re depending on specific bacteria and yeast being in a delicate balance with one another,” explains Willow, “anything that could break that balance could create an unsafe product.” Kombucha is not a safe choice for pregnant women, children or those with compromised immune systems.

Ready to try this bubbly beverage? Look for a professional brand that has the proper safety procedures in place. (Locally-fermented varieties at the farmers market look lovely but there is no way to know if it’s safe.) Then all you need to do is choose your favorite flavor and start sipping!

Costco is known for stocking mega-sized versions of everything we might need, from Metamucil to oversized Kirkland margaritas. It’s also known for amazing bakery items, including enormous pies and fudgy brownies. This time, though, Costco’s latest and greats treat is found in the freezer section.

What’s Are the Mini French Eclairs?

Instagrammer @costco_empties shared a photo of Costco’s newest dessert, and they look très bien! Each of the mini éclairs, which are made in France, are made with choux pastry, filled with a traditional custard cream and glazed with colorful icing. (You may remember choux pastry from The Great British Baking Show.)

This box of mini French eclairs comes with six of each delicious flavor—pistachio, raspberry, mango & passionfruit and salted caramel. They may not be traditional eclairs, but they are fun flavors!

The petite size of each eclair makes them the perfect mini snack. It also makes them perfect for something else—a sweet charcuterie board. As one Instagrammer says, “Need these for a dessert board!” We totally agree. This box of eclairs would be be a great addition to an Easter-inspired charcuterie board, alongside other colorful Easter treats like bright Peeps, cookies, chocolate eggs and pastel M&M’s.

This isn’t the first French delicacy Costco has offered to customers. Recently, they were selling strawberry-filled brioche loaves.

But How Much Do They Cost?

You’ll find these mini eclairs in the freezer case at Costco. The price for a pack of 24 varies depending on your location, we’ve seen $11.69 and $12.99. Seasonal baked goods like this are part of what make a Costco membership worth so it!

Does anything really beat leftovers? Let’s be honest, almost everything tastes better the next day (though you definitely shouldn’t be eating these items as leftovers). For most of us, the easiest way to reheat leftovers is in the microwave—and unfortunately, that never goes according to plan.

From cold spots to soggy rice, microwaves are our worst enemy when it comes to leftovers. But as per usual, TikTok has come to the rescue to show us how to properly use a microwave!

How to Reheat Leftovers in a Microwave

TikTok user @howdoesshe gave us this ingenious hack to evenly warm everything from pasta to rice dishes. Instead of dumping your leftovers in a pile in a microwave-safe container, you need to spread them out in a ring, leaving plenty of space in the middle. This prevents cold patches and uneven warming, giving you sizzling hot food in a minute or two!

@howdoessheChange the way you microwave! So simple! #lifehacks #momhacks #kitchenhacks #cookinghacks♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Reheating All Your Leftovers the Right Way

While this trick works for rice, pasta or grain-based dishes that can be spread out, you might be wondering how to reheat pizza, chicken or even egg-based dishes like quiches. We’ve got you covered with handy microwave hacks for making sure you get the most out of your reheated leftovers. And good reheating starts with good storage, so make sure you’re storing your leftovers properly, too.

If you have kids (or have had younger siblings), you know that bedtime can be a total pain. Between encouraging the kiddos to finish their dinner and hop in the bath, and doing the after-dinner dishes, you can find that a few hours have gone by. Well, let us introduce to you to something that will make them EXCITED to get into bed instead of playing run-around all night!

TikTok is always coming through for us with the hack videos, and we’re here to add another to the list.

Did somebody say clothes hanger theater?

How to Hang a Tablet in a Bunk Bed

You will need a bunk bed for this hack. That’s not to say you can’t use your own crafting skills to find a different method for a regular bed. But this hack is specifically for all the bed bunkin’ kids out there. (I was one of them myself!)

This hack is super, super simple. I really can’t stress that enough. Just grab two clothes hangers and a tablet (or whatever mobile screen your child usually watches). You take the hangers on the underside of the top bed, hang them on the wire mesh and lay the tablet screen side down between the two hangers.

Here’s a closer look:

@howdoessheThis is the coolest #bunkbed #lifehack EVER! #momhacks #kidhacks tag a mom friend, and give it a try! Might be great for college dorms! #collegehacks

♬ Up Beat (Married Life) – Kenyi


What makes this hack so great is that it works for students in college dorms, too. I wish I could’ve had this bedside setup!

Easy Fun for Everyone!

It’s a new way to watch their favorite shows, so of course the kids will want to give it a shot. Right now, we recommend streaming Bob Ross or checking out Waffles + Mochi with Michelle Obama.

If you’re a fan of TikTok hacks for all occasions, check out how to make mashed potatoes, remove chicken tendons and store eggs the right way.

Hostess is known for their wildly popular snack cakes like spongy Twinkies, chocolate Ding Dongs and even colorful Sno Balls, but when was the last time you recall the brand introducing a new treat?

That time is now—because we’ve caught wind that Hostess has a new snack cake coming to shelves. Look out for Hostess mini bundt cakes!

Welcome to the Family, Baby Bundts

Totally the Bomb had the scoop on this latest addition to the Hostess family, and it looks like the official name is Baby Bundts. They come in boxes of eight individually-wrapped cakes and will be available in two different flavors. First up is Lemon Drizzle, which consists of a sunny yellow cake that’s lemon flavored, topped with a lemon glaze. Sweet!

If for whatever reason, you’re not a fan of citrus, the other flavor is Cinnamon Swirl. The cakes appear to be full of cinnamon spice, with a vanilla drizzle. We expect these to be like a Bundt-shaped cinnamon roll.

Both flavors seem light enough for breakfast, but also perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Just add a mug of coffee or cup of tea and you’ll be good to go!

When Can I Buy Baby Bundts?

So far, Cinnamon Swirl Baby Bundts and Lemon Drizzle Baby Bundts have shown up on the Meijer site, but there’s no official info on a nationwide drop yet. Keep an eye out for the new Hostess cakes at your usual supermarket, especially if you shop at Meijer.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a Baby Bundt, experiment with baking your own using a mini Bundt pan or getting creative with one of the many differently shaped Bundt pans. Of course, we have the details on making the perfect lemon Bundt cake to get you started.

Spring is right around the corner. Along with spring cleaning and budding daffodils, it’s also the time of year for Overstock’s semi-annual spring sale! Overstock is offering big discounts in every department, and thousands of fantastic finds are marked down up to 70% off. Now is the absolute best time to refresh your kitchen and home decor. Spring cleaning decorating sounds kind of fun!

What’s on sale?

What isn’t on sale is a better question. Overstock’s semi-annual spring sale features more than a million products on sale! That’s across categories like kitchen, decor, bed and bath, dinnerware, furniture and more. Thousands of items are marked down between 5 and 70% off! There isn’t a better time to spruce up the kitchen for spring. Everything from plates to baking gear to food storage containers to spring decorations to dining room chairs and tables are on sale. Bar carts start at $99! Silpat mats are marked down! Oh, and shipping is free (Best. News. Ever.).

When’s the Overstock semi-annual spring sale?

The Overstock semi-annual spring sale begins March 5th and runs through March 22nd, offering more than a million products on sale. No matter what you need for your kitchen or home, it’s probably on sale at Overstock. But don’t delay, the best deals will go out of stock fast!

What are our favorite Overstock semi-annual spring sale deals?

FirsTime & Co. Francesca Bar Cart

Bar Cart

Spruce up your home with a bar cart! Whether you use yours for cocktail fixings, to display a wine collection or as a makeshift coffee bar, this lovely gold metal option is a solid choice at a great price. It features two shelves for storage, plus racks for holding wine glasses and wine bottles. Since it’s on wheels, you can take it wherever the party goes in your home. Nab it now while it’s 28% off during the Overstock semi-annual spring sale! Then fill it up with the best cocktail accessories.

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Silpat Baking Mats

Silpat Baking Mats

Do you know what hardly ever goes on sale? Silpat baking mats! Overstock has a two pack on sale for 10% off. This sale is sure to sell out. Eagle-eyed bakers swear by these French-made mats. Swap them in for any recipe that calls for parchment paper. A quick wash and they’re ready to use over and over and over.

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Star Wars Death Star Silicone Mold

Star Wars Death Star Silicone Mold

Hot chocolate bombs or ice cubes shaped like the Death Star from Star Wars?! You can make it happen with a 19% savings on this silicone mold that’s shaped straight out of George Lucas’ imagination. Here’s how to make hot cocoa bombs at home. Bring your own Princess Leia hairstyle.

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Stove Top Cover

Stove Top Cover

File this one under “must have”. A stove top cover hides an unsightly stove top and offers a blank slate to display something beautiful. This antique farmhouse version is available in six finishes to match your kitchen. It looks much better than a stained stove, especially when you place a candle or vintage dutch oven on top. A more organized and clean looking kitchen for 19% off? Yes, please!

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Acrylic Cake Pop Display Stand

Cake Pop Stand

Love making cake pops but don’t have a good way to serve them or show them off? Enter: the acrylic cake pop display stand. It holds 12 of your baked works of art. Order two, and you’ll have a gorgeous display for a baby shower, birthday party or just because you love cake pops! Here’s how to make homemade cake pops, if you need a recipe.

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Natural Agate Stone Coasters

Natural Agate Stone Coasters

If you’re looking for affordable ways to make your home and kitchen more modern, check out this $15 savings on natural agate stone coasters. Natural materials like crystal and stone look super fresh for 2021, and these coasters come in seven color choices to blend with your decor. This is one of the most fun Overstock semi-annual spring sale items!

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Airtight Food Storage Containers

Airtight Storage Containers

Decanting dried goods into matching airtight containers, labeling them with custom stickers and organizing the cupboards is akin to organizational therapy. Grab a 15% off deal on this set of seven food storage containers and see for yourself. They look great and extend the life of your snacks and cereal. Dry erase markers and labels included!

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Silicone Dish Scrubbing Sponge

Silicone Dish Scrubbing Sponge

Swapping from plastic sponges to silicone sponges is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste AND get cleaner dishes. Save 15% during the Overstock semi-annual spring sale and grab a few sponges to stash away. Silicone sponges can also be used to safely scrub veggies and work as makeshift pot holder when dry. Silicone sponges don’t harbor bacteria or hold odors; pop them in the dishwasher for quick cleaning. By the way, here’s how to clean every type of pan.

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Welcome Mat

Welcome Mat

Don’t forget to refresh your doorway with a new welcome mat. This traditional option is 10% off and adds a warm note of welcome to the entryway. Not to mention, it’ll keep mud and water out of your house! Looking for more welcome mats? Right this way to the best welcome mats to brighten up your entryway.

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Our Test Kitchen already loves the NutriBullet Pro 900, naming it the best blender for pureeing soups. So we’re wildly excited that NutriBullet just launched a new whiz of a blender, the NutriBullet Smart Touch blender.

Healthy smoothies with no unwelcome ice and berry chunks, here we come!

What is the NutriBullet Smart Touch blender?

NutriBullet Smart Touch Blenders

This small kitchen appliance takes the confusion out of just how long to blend frozen drinks, purees, soups and smoothies. Each category has its own pre-set button, so you’ll get the perfect consistency every time.

The Smart Touch has the high performing 1500-watt motor that NutriBullet is known for. That kind of power easily crushes ices and slices through tough ingredients like ginger and raw onion. (Don’t you hate it when homemade salsa has that one huge chunk of onion?).

Along with pulse, low, medium and high buttons for custom blending, the Smart Touch has four pre-programmed buttons that automatically create the perfect consistencies of four blender food groups: smoothies, purees, frozen drinks and soups. That means you can hit the frozen drinks button for batches of strawberry daiquiris and let the blender do all the work. No more opening the lid, stirring around the ingredients, hitting pulse and checking on repeat.

With the press of a button, you get velvety pureed soups free of floating squash chunks. Say goodbye to unblended raspberries that get stuck in your straw. Leave pausing the blender to stir up tough ingredients that sunk to the button in the past.

Additionally, the high-capacity (64 ounces to be exact) pitcher is ventilated. This feature lets steam escape, which is key for blending warm soups and purees without the top popping off. The locking lid and easy-pour spout keeps pouring clean, too. When you’re done blending, the pitcher is dishwasher safe. Easy clean up means the blender is ready when you are to blend up protein smoothies for breakfast.

Where can you buy a NutriBullet Smart Touch blender?

The NutriBullet Smart Touch blender just launched on March 1st—perfect timing to get you on track for healthy spring eating goals and meal prep.

Ready to whip up your favorite blender recipes with a NutriBullet Smart Touch blender? So are we! The Smart Touch is available at NutriBullet.com for $129.99.

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We’re big fans of Dr Pepper. Last summer, we got a taste of Dark Berry Dr Pepper—which is arguably the best flavor to date, in our humble opinion—and even indulged in Dr Pepper cake, because we just can’t get enough. Last fall, Dr Pepper & Cream Soda graced our taste buds with the flavor that’s guaranteed to have you reminiscing about long-ago afternoons sitting at your favorite soda fountain (even if you’ve never actually done that). If you haven’t had the chance to try it yet, now’s the time!

It’s the New Kid on the Block

Indulge in all 23 flavors of Dr Pepper with a splash of classic cream. Dr Pepper & Cream Soda tastes like a toned-down version of your favorite cola, but you don’t lose out on any flavor. It’s all supplemented by the not-so-subtle sweetness of, well, cream soda.

The drink initially debuted at the 2019 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual trade show, held in Atlanta in early October, where we also got news of Coca-Cola Energy. Dr Pepper & Cream Soda made its second debut on Instagram in 2020, courtesy of @SnackGator. Taste testers everywhere fell head over heels—us included.

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Dr Pepper has a pretty unique flavor of its own. But it’s also not afraid to jazz itself up and get a little funky by adding additional flavors to its own mix. This time, they went pretty classic – cream soda! Dr Pepper + Cream Soda is now out and available (we found it at Kroger)! It’s honestly surprisingly perfect. Somehow, they managed to offer the classic Dr Pepper taste in a toned-down version, plus add in the cream soda, without having them mix together awkwardly. In other words- you’ll taste both components in one sip, and it’s magical! It’s like they were meant to be together. The aftertaste is definitely that silky vanilla-y cream soda flavor, and it’s awesome! Someone, hurry up and please go grab us some vanilla ice cream, because we desperately need to make floats with this! We give this 2 claws up, for sure! 😍😋

A post shared by SnackGator (@snackgator) on

Where to Find Dr Pepper & Cream Soda

Dr Pepper & Cream Soda has rolled out at Kroger, Target and Walmart in both regular and diet varieties, and your local Mom n’ Pop grocery store is likely to carry it as well. A 12-pack will only cost you around $5 on Walmart’s website, and you can get a bottled 6-pack from Target for a little less than $4. If you’d rather sniff it out in stores, definitely keep your eyes peeled for it during your next grocery haul.

Try Dr Pepper & Cream Soda in These Soda Pop Recipes!
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