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National Chocolate Chip Day

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In 1937, Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts was making chocolate cookies for her guests when she realized she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted a chopped Nestle chocolate bar, thinking that the chocolate would melt. Although that didn’t happen, the cookies became an instant hit with her friends and guests. The cookies became a overnight local sensation, and the recipe was published in a Boston newspaper. As the popularity of the cookies increased, sales of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bars also increased. Nestle reached an agreement with Ruth Wakefield: they would print the Toll House Cookie recipe on their packages, and Wakefield would be given a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate. The chocolate chip cookie soon became the most popular kind of cookie in America. Today, Nestle’s Toll House chocolate chips are named for the inn where Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the famous cookies.

May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day, so why not celebrate this sweet occasion with one of the following recipes? Chocolate chips are a versatile and delicious addition to cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, puddings, pies, and more. Here are a few recipes you won’t want to miss:

Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Start your day off with a delicious twist: chocolate pancakes packed with miniature chocolate chips. You can whip up a batch of these chocolatey pancakes in less than 20 minutes. They’re great served with whipped cream or maple syrup and butter.

Source: Taste of Home

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

2 cups baking/biscuit mix

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup chocolate milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Maple syrup and butter, optional

Instructions:

1.) In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix and baking powder. Combine the egg, milk and sour cream; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

2.) Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with maple syrup and butter if desired.

 

Honey Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Looking for a new twist on an old favorite? Try these cookies! Made with honey instead of brown sugar, the cookies are a chewy, rich alternative to traditional chocolate chip cookies.

Source: Saveur

Serves: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups white sugar

3 tbsp. honey

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate

Instructions:

1.) Heat oven to to 375º F. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla; gradually add the dry ingredients until a dough forms. Stir in the chocolate.

2.) Drop 1-tablespoon portions of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper; bake for 8-9 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets after 5 minutes.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

Looking for a rich, chocolatey brownie that won’t mess up your diet? These brownies have just 125 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, so you won’t have to feel bad about enjoying one (or two)!

Source: Cooking Light

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 egg white

 

Instructions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°.

2.) Coat bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pan).

3.) Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, chocolate chips, soda, and salt in a bowl.

4.) Combine sugars and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir until well-blended. Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Spread batter in bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.

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Summer Movies You Won’t Want to Miss

With summer right around the corner, studios are releasing some of the biggest, most entertaining blockbusters of the year. Some of this summer’s most anticipated movies include superhero blockbusters, musicals, and animated films. Here are a few fun movies that you won’t want to miss:

1.)     The Amazing Spider-Man 2
rs_1024x759-131205062817-1024-2amazing-spider-man-2.ls.12513If you’re a Spider-Man fan, you’ll want to check out Mark Webb’s reboot of the franchise. Starring Andrew Garfield in the titular role, the plot centers around Spider-Man battling both Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan). The film also depicts the struggle between his desire to be with girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and the promise he made to her father to protect her. Although most reviewers criticized the film for being too convoluted, they praised Garfield and Stone’s natural chemistry. (The pair are also a couple in real life.) If you enjoy action-packed superhero films, you’ll want to watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which came out on May 2.

2.)     The Fault in Our Stars

fault-in-our-stars-posterBased on the book of the same name, “The Fault in Our Stars” is a coming-of-age movie about two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. Balancing hope and heartbreak masterfully, the drama stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. The stars were on the May cover of Entertainment Weekly with the caption “How the greatest romance story of the decade made it to the big screen.” If you’re interested in a heartfelt drama, this is the perfect option for you. The film comes out on June 6.

3.)     How to Train Your Dragon 2
how-to-train-your-dragon-2-trailerIf your kids enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon, they will adore the sequel. In this film, an older Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is eager to prove himself worthy of his Viking ancestors by fighting for peace in his kingdom. Alongside his trusty dragon, Toothless, he must protect the kingdom. The film comes out on June 13. If you’ve been wanting to take your kids to the movies this summer, this is a safe bet.

4.)     The Giver
the-giver-movie-ftrBased on the 1993 children’s book by Louis Lowry, the film takes place in a seemingly tranquil world devoid of war, suffering, pain, or choice. When protagonist Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is 12 years old, he is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. He meets with an old man, The Giver (Jeff Bridges) who tells him about the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal and innocent community. Jonas is then faced with a choice: should he remain in the fragile village, or leave in order to live an authentic life? Rolling Stone reported that pop star Taylor Swift has a role in the film, along with Meryl Streep and Katie Holmes. If you enjoy dystopian films, you’ll want to watch The Giver, which hits theaters on August 15.

5.)     Million Dollar Arm

Million-Dollar-Arm-WeLiveFilm-Movie-ReviewThis inspirational sports drama follows a desperate sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who is determined to find the next great baseball pitcher. While watching cricket one evening on television, he comes up with an unconventional idea: why not scout cricket players? Although everyone thinks he’s a madman, JB heads to India to find a pitcher. He launches a nationwide competition called “Million Dollar Arm,” where 40,000 contestants compete for the chance to win. Two 18-year-olds, Rinku and Dinesh, are crowned the winners. JB brings them back to America to train with legendary pitching coach Tom House (Bill Paxton) in an effort to get the boys signed to a major league team. In December, PEOPLE magazine reported that Jon Hamm and the rest of the crew had gone to India in order to film the movie. Directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and The Real Girl”) comes out on May 16. If you enjoy sports films, you’ll want to watch Million Dollar Arm.

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Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

Are you still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Why not consider giving your wife or mom a magazine subscription? That way, she can enjoy the gift all year long. Here are a few magazines she’s sure to love:

1.) PEOPLE: With juicy gossip about Hollywood celebrities and detailed stories about real-life heroes, PEOPLE magazine is a popular option. Filled with colorful photos, interviews, and articles focused on celebrities and pop culture, it’s the perfect place to learn about Hollywood stars and societal trends. The magazine also has sections about fashion, movies, books, recipes, and events. It is famous for its annual “100 Most Beautiful People” issue, as well as “The Sexiest Man Alive” and “The Best and Worst Dressed Celebrities.” If your mom loves celebrity gossip and human interest stories, this magazine is the perfect option for her.

2.) US WEEKLY: For more celebrity news, consider giving your mom a subscription to Us Weekly. The magazine is filled with detailed interviews, numerous photos, and interesting stories about Hollywood stars. The magazine contains several columns such as the “Just Like Us” section, which shows celebrities shopping for groceries, playing with their kids, or jogging. Another popular section is the “Fashion Police,” which highlights both the best outfits and biggest flops of the week. If your mom loves staying informed about the latest Hollywood gossip, she’ll love a subscription to Us Weekly.

3.) O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE: O, The Oprah magazine is centered around helping women live the best life possible. It focuses on helping women achieve personal growth in health, career, and relationships. The magazine is filled with inspiring and empowering advice for women. Sections include “Live Your Best Life,” which offers tips about how to live a meaningful life and “May We Help You?” which features advice from trusted authorities such as Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. The sections “Love That!” and “O, Beautiful!” feature style and makeup tips. The section “Reading Room” contains book suggestions from Oprah’s Book Club guide. If your mom loves health, career, and relationship advice, she would enjoy a subscription to O magazine.

4.) FOOD NETWORK: If your mom loves to cook, get her a subscription to Food Network magazine. The magazine features recipes and tips from top celebrity chefs. Recipes are accompanied by colorful photos and step-by-step instructions so that she can easily follow along. There are also sections dedicated to the best types of food in America, new restaurants, and an insider’s view of the celebrity chefs’ kitchens. Popular sections include ”Weeknight Cooking,” which highlights a week of simple dinners, and “50 Recipes Booklets,” a tear-out booklet with advice on how to make everything from burgers to fancy dinners. If your mom loves to cook, she would benefit from a subscription to Food Network magazine.

 

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Prepare for Summer With These Magazines

With summer just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about planting gardens, planning family vacations, and perfecting the world’s best barbecue recipes. Here are several summer activities that you and your family won’t want to miss:

1.) Grilling & Barbecuing

iStock_000019533171SmallDid you know that May is National Barbecue Month? According to a poll conducted by the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, 64% of adults believe that a barbecue is the ideal way to spend time with family and friends. And 36% of adults associate barbecues with family tradition. Barbecuing is a favorite pastime for many Americans. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy quality time with friends while sharing a delicious meal. And a majority of adults polled preferred barbecuing to eating out.

“Outdoor cooking is a very popular pastime that unites friends and family with great tasting food that’s easy and affordable,” said Leslie Wheeler, HPBA Director of Communications. “Whether it’s a weekday family meal on the grill or a weekend barbecue, outdoor cooking can make preparing the meal just as easy and relaxing as enjoying the delicious food with others.” If you want to try out some great barbecue recipes, be sure to pick up a copy of one of our cooking magazines. For a wide array of trustworthy recipes, subscribe to Food Network magazine. With recipes ranging from Kansas City-style barbecue sauce to Pineapple-Ginger ribs, the magazine offers limitless options regardless of your palate. For homestyle ribs, pick up a copy of Taste of Home magazine. The simple, down-to-earth cooking will ensure you can prepare mouthwatering dishes without a lot of fuss.

2.) Baseball

baseballWhether you’re going to a Major League game or watching your grandchild play baseball, baseball is the perfect way to take advantage of the beautiful, breezy summer weather. For many Americans, summer wouldn’t be complete without concession stand hotdogs, sunflower seeds, and warm evenings spent at the baseball park. If you want to keep up with what’s happening in the world of baseball, consider subscribing to Sports Illustrated or ESPN. The sports magazines will keep you informed on the latest statistics, details, and game recaps.

3.) Gardening

gardenAre you thinking about planting a garden this summer? According to the National Gardening Association, planting a garden will reap many benefits. First, planting a garden enables individuals to eat healthier foods. If you plant a garden, you can enjoy fresh produce all summer long instead of buying it from the store. Additionally, planting a garden helps you practice practice environmental stewardship. And finally, it is a fun and rewarding activity. If you need some help planting the perfect garden, subscribe to one of our gardening magazines. They’re filled with helpful suggestions and tips that you won’t want to miss.

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Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Are you planning a festive Cinco de Mayo party for your family and friends? If so, here are a few tried-and-true recipe ideas they’re sure to love!

1.) Guacamole

guacamole-pico-de-gallo_300No Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without guacamole and chips! Serve heaping bowls of salsa alongside this guacamole recipe from Real Simple:

  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  1. In a large bowl, combine the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using the back of a fork, mash the vegetables until they begin to release their juices.
  2. Add the avocados and lime juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

2.) Pork Tacos

Soft Taco - Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera This slow cooker recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare, but the flavorful meat will make your guests think you fussed. You can easily prepare the meat a day or two in advance and refrigerate it until your party. Create a buffet with meat, tortillas, and toppings so that guests can choose what they want on their tacos.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas
  • sour cream, salsa, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork with the oregano, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add the pork to the Dutch oven and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and cayenne to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the pork to the Dutch oven and add the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender and shreds easily, 1½ to 1¾ hours.
  3. Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and, using 2 forks, shred the meat; return it to the Dutch oven and stir into the cooking liquid. (Alternatively, the pork can be made in a slow cooker: Combine the pork, oregano, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, onion, garlic, and cayenne in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add ½ cup broth and cook until very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.)
  4. Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake until warm, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve the pork with the tortillas, sour cream, salsa, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges.

3.) Margaritas

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If you’re looking for authentic margarita recipes, peruse a copy of Saveur magazine. For a  traditional recipe, try this lime margarita from Real Simple. You can create fun variations by  adding strawberries to the recipe or serving frozen margaritas.

  •  3/4 cup tequila
  •  1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4-6 limes)
  •  1/2 cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
  •  1 lime, sliced
  •  kosher salt (optional)
  1.    In a medium pitcher, combine the tequila, lime juice, Triple Sec, and 1/2 cup water.
  2. If desired, rub the rims of 4 glasses with a lime slice and dip in salt to coat. Serve the margaritas in the prepared glasses over ice and garnish with the lime slices.

 

 

4.) Dessert

SONY DSCIf you’re feeling adventurous, try making the Pinata Cake featured in the May 2014 edition of Food Network. For something easier, you can make this sopapilla recipe from Taste of Home. The light, airy fried pastries are perfect served with confectioners sugar or honey, but they’re also delicious on their own.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Oil for deep fat frying
  • Honey and confectioners’ sugar, optional
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a loose ball forms (dough will be crumbly).
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Cut into 12 squares with a knife or cut into 12 circles using a round biscuit cutter.
  3. In a deep-fat fryer, heat 2 in. of oil to 375°. Fry sopaipillas for 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep warm. Serve with honey and/or dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.
Reading together

Magazines for Mother’s Day

Reading togetherTrying to find a special Mother’s Day gift for your mom? Why not consider giving her a gift that will last all year long? Magazines are the perfect Mother’s Day gift because they are uniquely tailored to specific interests. Whether your mom’s hobby is cooking, gardening, traveling, or exercising, you can easily find a magazine that she’ll love. Additionally, the magazines will be delivered to her doorstep year round, giving her something new to look forward to and enjoy. Here are a few magazines that will make a great gift for Mother’s Day:

1.) Health and Fitness Magazines

Does your mom enjoy keeping up with health and fitness trends? Does she look forward to learning more about the latest nutrition breakthroughs? Then she’ll benefit from a subscription to Health magazine. Every issue is filled with exercise routines, healthy food options, and informative articles about heath geared specifically towards women. Another great option is Shape magazine, which focuses on food, exercise, and mental health. Both magazines are perfect options for women who take their personal health seriously.

2.) Food Magazines

Women who are connoisseurs of the finer things in life will enjoy a subscription to Wine Spectator or Saveur magazne. Wine Spectator is a lifestyle magazine with in-depth reviews of wines and wineries around the world, as well as advice on which wines to pair with various foods. Saveur is the perfect choice for foodies who are interested in authentic cuisine from various cultures.

If your mom loves creating culinary masterpieces, give her a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine. The magazine highlights culinary trends and gourmet recipes alongside beautiful photography. If she enjoys simple, down-to-earth meals, Taste of Home would be right up her alley. Featuring magazines from over 1,000 field editors, Taste of Home is filled with simple yet delicious recipe options. 

3.) Outdoor & Travel Magazines

Does planting a garden fill your mom with delight? If so, Fine Gardening or Garden & Gun will be right up her alley. Does she love arranging freshly picked bouquets of flowers from her flower garden? If so, Birds & Blooms will be the perfect option for her. The magazine is filled with colorful photos and engaging articles about the most beautiful gardens and interesting birds in the United States.

If she enjoys visiting new places, Travel + Leisure will give her plenty of great ideas for new travel destinations. Whether she’s planning a simple daytrip or an extensive overseas vacation, Travel + Leisure will give her all the information necessary to plan the perfect trip.

Does your mom have a hobby or special interest that isn’t listed here? Visit Magazines.com to see all the magazines that we offer. Whether your mom enjoys making crafts, watching soap operas, keeping up with celebrity gossip, or anything else, you can find a gift she’ll love at Magazines.com!