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Happy Anniversary Smashburger: Have A Cheesy Caramelized Onion Smash

Happy Anniversary, Smashburger! The popular fast-casual better burger chain is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

Join the celebration with a Cheesy Caramelized Onion Smash, an LTO (limited time offer) burger available through August 30, 2022 (photo #1).

We love a good cheeseburger, and this one is made with two kinds of cheese, Cheddar and Swiss. The Certified Angus Beef patty is also topped with caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo, on a toasted onion bun.

Instead of a beef burger, you can substitute Smashburger’s grilled chicken, crispy chicken, turkey burger patty, or black bean patty.
 
 
WHAT IS A “SMASH” BURGER?

Smashburger was founded in 2007 by two restaurant industry veterans who focused on “smashed” burgers” that use a specialized process of cooking.

The burger patties are pressed down (“smashed”) on a flattop* grill at high heat. The method sears the burger for flavor.

The technique originated in the Great Lakes region at pressed-chuck burger restaurants, and has been a staple there for decades [source].

Check out the video to see Smashburger co-founder Tom Ryan shows the “smashing” technique.

The company customizes its burgers to local preferences. For example:

  • Smashburger’s Colorado locations serve burgers with roasted green chiles.
  • Locations in Miami serve burgers with grilled chorizo.
  • In Minneapolis, the chain has a double-cheese, double-onion variety evoking Scandinavian and Germanic cuisine.
  • In Oklahoma, the burgers feature locally popular fried pickles.
  • Boston locations serve a burger with onions and a cranberry chutney supplied locally by Ocean Spray
  • In the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids restaurants, the local burger is topped with olives, a local tradition.
  •  
    Rolls vary, too: telera rolls† are used in California restaurants, pretzel rolls are served in Chicago restaurants, onion rolls in Minnesota, and brioche rolls in New York (the difference between rolls and buns).

    > Find a Smashburger near you.

    > Discover more at Smashburger.com.
     
     
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    Cheeseburger With Caramelized Onions From Smashburger
    [1] The limited-time Cheesy Caramelized Onion Smash (all photos © Smashburger).

    Smashburger Potato Tots With Ketchup
    [2] Add some tots or fries.

    Sweet Potato Fries
    [3] How about sweet potato fries?

     
    *A flattop grill resembles a griddle but performs differently: The heating element is circular rather than straight (side to side). This variation creates an extremely hot and even cooking surface, as the heat spreads radially over the surface. Here’s more information.

    †Telera rolls are staples for Mexican sandwiches. They’re a smaller version of French bread, with a crispy crust on the outside, and a softer texture inside.

     
     

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    FOOD FUN: Banana Loca Banana Stuffing Gadget

    Banana Loca Filled Banana With Cookies & Milk
    [1] You can get very creative with the fillings (all photos © Banana Loca | NA Market Direct).

    Banana Loca Banana Filling Gadget
    [2] Here’s the gadget. It’s easy to use.

    Banana Loca Banana Filled With Chocolate
    [3] A banana filled with chocolate spread.

    Banana Loca Filled With Raspberry Preserves
    [4] This banana is stuffed with raspberry preserves.

     

    Banana Loca is an innovative kitchen gadget that lets you fill bananas with different fillings and variations on the basic fillings:

  • Chocolate or caramel sauce (photo #3)
  • Cookie pieces
  • Fresh cheese
  • Frosting
  • Honey
  • Jams, preserves, marmalade (the difference—photo #4)
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • Nutella and other sweet spreads
  • Peanut butter and other nut butters
  • Yogurt
  •  
    You can layer these flavors with mix-ins:

  • Chopped nuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried fruits
  • Syrups, and other flavorings
  • Liqueurs and spirits
  •  
    How do you do it?

    Banana Loca (photo #2) straightens a banana, cores it while still in the peel, and allows you to fill it with whatever filling you like.

    That includes the basics plus your own custom creations (see ours in the next section).
     
     
    NOT JUST FOR KIDS

    Banana Loca creates a treat that is definitely not just for kids. We adults loved it. We created these fillings:

  • Almond butter with mini chocolate chips and chopped almonds.
  • Cannoli cream with rum-soaked raisins.
  • Desiccated coconut and mini chocolate chips in vanilla yogurt.
  • Fudge sauce with Grand Marnier (orange liqueur).
  • Marshmallow Fluff, mini chocolate chips, and desiccated coconut.
  • Nutella with Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur).
  • Oatmeal cookie pieces in sweetened ricotta.
  • Peanut butter with crumbled candied bacon and separately, with mini chocolate chips.
  • Sour cream and brown sugar, and separately with added granola.
  • Whipped cream cheese and dried cranberries
  •  
    If we’d had chocolate chip cookie dough, we’d have tried that, too.

    BONUS: You can freeze the filled bananas, for a new-style fruit pop. Remove the peel and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

    If you’re really gung-ho, you can add a stick and dip the bananas in chocolate before freezing. Here’s a recipe.

    BONUS #2: You can also use the device to fill donuts.

    Here are how-to videos.
     
     
    ARE YOU READY TO GO BANANA LOCA?

    Head to BananaLoca.com.

     

     
     

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    It’s National Culinarians Day. What’s A Culinarian?

    July 25th is National Culinarians Day, celebrating the culinarians for whom we are grateful.

    What’s a culinarian?

    Culinarians are culinary experts: masters of the art and science of cooking and serving food.

    They can be restaurant and commercial kitchen chefs, pastry chefs and bakers, caterers: anyone who is involved in the preparation of and serving of good food.

    The chef, cook, or prep assistant makes not just tasty food, but food attractive to serve.

    They also pass on their culinary skills and knowledge of food to the next generation of chefs.

    Don’t forget the good cooks and bakers in our own homes. Those acclaimed family members and friends are culinarians.

    In addition to National Culinarians Day:

    > National Personal Chef Day is July 16th. If you are fortunate enough to have a personal chef, give them something extra special.

    > International Chef’s Day is October 20th.

    So take a moment to celebrate the profession and the great home cooks, even if it’s just to say, “Compliments to the chef!”
     
     
    CHEFS IN THE U.S.

    According to the 2019 U.S. Census, cooking professionals in the U.S. include:

  • 409,007 chefs and head cooks
  • 1,279,709 cooks
  • 385,969 first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving
  • 391,401 other food preparation workers
  •  
    So, thanks to all the culinarians who have enhanced our experiences for decades. Including you, Mom.

    And to all of the servers who are essential to a good dining experience but are not considered culinarians: Many thanks to you as well.

     

    Chefs In Kitchen Of Fine Restaurant
    [1] A team of chefs in a fine restaurant (photo © Louis Hansel | Unsplash).

    Home Cook With Frying Pan
    [2] A good home cook is also a culinarian (photo © Kevin McCutcheon | Unsplash).

     

     
     

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    Snowbits Nougat Bites & Jujube Dates: Delicious & Gluten Free

    Snowbits Sweet Nougat Candy
    [1] Serve Snowbits on a platter or board with after-dinner coffee (all photos © Snowbits Confections).

    Jujube Dates Candy Stuffed With Almonds
    [2] Jujube Dates in Original and Matcha.

    Snowbits Sweet & Jujube Dates Candy Collection
    [3] Snowbits All Variety Pack 30-piece assortment. The pieces arrive individually wrapped.

    Snowbits Sweet Individually Wrapped
    [4] Individually wrapped pieces maintain freshness and are easy to transport in pockets and totes.

     

    We discovered Snowbits Confections in our Facebook feed. It looked like nougat and we like nougat, so we sent for an assortment. It did not disappoint!

    It turns out that Snowbits is not exactly nougat. It’s made with egg whites, nuts, and dried fruits like nougat.

    Then, Snowbits travels beyond the borders of nougat by adding marshmallows to make it softer, and in some flavors, cookie pieces.

    Snowbits has a second product, Jujube Dates.

    Both are great for a snack, coffee break, with a cup of hot chocolate or iced drinks, or as a dessert garnish (use them to crown a scoop of ice cream or a sundae).

    Serve them on a dessert plate or board (photos #1, #2, and #3) with after-dinner coffee or tea.
     
     
    SNOWBITS TREATS

    Chewy but not sticky, Snowbits melt in your mouth—there’s no tugging at your fillings.

    They are gluten-free (they do contain milk powder).

    And, a bonus: They are inexpensive—so reasonable you can’t not try them.

    The business is a start-up founded by a mompreneur who created a soft candy with chewy mix-ins after much trial and error. The effort was worth it. As our Dad would say, these hit the spot!

    The biggest problem is choosing among the flavors, so we went for the 30-piece All Flavor Mix (there are smaller and larger sizes—the smaller sizes are great stocking stuffers or party favors).

    The candy is cut into one-inch squares and individually wrapped. You can have a few pieces without over-indulging.

    Flavors include Chocolate, Coffee, Matcha, Mint, Oreo, Strawberry, Tropic Orange, and Original (which has almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts).

    Each piece is 45 or 50 calories. One is perfectly satisfying with hot or iced coffee, tea, or by itself.
     
     
    SNOWBITS JUJUBE DATES

    For those who remember Jujubes gummy candy: It is no relation whatsoever.

    These treats are made with jujube fruit, also known as the red or Chinese date. The fruit is native to Southern Asia but has become popular around the world. Like Middle Eastern and Western dates, they are eaten fresh off the tree as well as dried.

    Small, round, sweet, and chewy, jujube dates are rich in fiber, plant protein, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Here’s more about them.

    Snowbits takes a jujube date, stuffs it with an almond, and wraps it in pillowy marshmallow. Delectable!

    Flavors are Original and Matcha, and both are 30 calories apiece.
     
     
    GET YOUR SNOWBITS & JUJUBE DATES

    The brand says that it has an over 90% customer return rate. We’re not surprised. Once you try it, you’ll be back for more, for yourself, and for gifts.

    There’s a one-time discount code for 20% off your first order: NEW20.

    Head to Snowbits.com.

    A tip: There’s a large choice of options. Go for the Snowbits All Variety Pack in either 30 pieces ($15.99) or 64 pieces ($29.99). It includes both Snowbits and Jujube Dates.
    238 reviews

    Both products are individually wrapped for grab-and-go or to keep in your backpack or bag for when you need a treat.

    Enjoy every bite!
     
     
    > The history of candy.

    > The history of nougat.

    > The history of marshmallow.

     

     
     

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    Tequila Recipes For National Tequila Day

    What’s your favorite tequila drink? Enjoy it, or try a new tequila recipe, for National Tequila Day, July 24th (also known as International Tequila Day and World Tequila Day—everybody wants in!).

    The indigenous populations didn’t know the art of distilling. It was brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors, who arrived in 1519.

    > Here’s the history of tequila.

    > There are five expressions, or types, of tequila. Can you name them? And what’s the deal with the worm?

    > Tequila trivia.

    > Non-cocktail ways to use yequila.

    > Tequila cupcakes.
     
     
    30+ TEQUILA COCKTAIL RECIPES

  • 33 Margarita Recipes
  • Añejo Tequila With Dessert
  • Award-Winning Tamarind Margarita
  • Bandera Shots
  • Bloody Maria Cocktail Recipe
  • Cranberry Tequila Cocktail Recipe
  • El Vocho Tequila Shooters
  • Flavored Tequila Cocktails
  • Mercadito Coctail
  • Mint Chocolate Tequila Cocktail
  • More Tequila Cocktails
  • Paloma Cocktail
  • Papaya Smash
  • Passionfruit Tequila Cocktail Recipe
  • Pico de Plata: Sweet & Hot Tequila Cocktail
  • Pink Tequila Cocktail Recipes
  • Smokin’ Maria Recipe
  • Spicy Thai Paloma Cocktail
  • Spicy Pineapple Cocktail
  • Spicy Tequila Cocktail Recipes
  • Sweet & Hot Tequila Cocktail
  • Tequila & Coke
  • Tequila Christmas Cocktail
  • Tequila Hot Chocolate
  • Tequila Lemonade
  • Tequila “Pie” Recipes: Caramel Apple Pie, Grandma’s Cherry Pie, & Pumpkin-tini
  • Tequila Shooters
  • Tequila With Maple Bacon Rim
  • Watermelon Tequila Fizz
  •  

    Tequila Caballito Recipe
    [1] A favorite of Ernest Hemingway: the Caballito, a shot with salt and fresh lime (photo © Sunset Royal Beach Resort | Cancun).


    [2] Bandera shots. “Bandera” means flag in Spanish; the drink comprises three shots in the colors of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red (photo © Tequila Cazadores).

    Mint Chocolate Tequila Cocktail Recipe
    [3] How about a Mint Chocolate Tequila Cocktail (photo © Hornitos)?

     

     
     

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