Sure to be a hit this Sunday: Tailbacks and tail wags

Can you believe it’s Super Bowl weekend already? Man, it seems like football season flew by faster than a pass from Matt Stafford. Whether Super Bowl LI finds you cheering for Atlanta or New England, there is always one part of the experience that brings both sides together. The 13th annual Puppy Bowl. You thought I was going to say the commercials, didn’t you? Well, we’ll get to those in just a minute. But first, the “biggest game in adoption” and quite possibly a better predictor of the actual game than many of the so-called experts. The starting lineup for Team Fluff includes Alexander Hamilpup, Peanut and Stretch. Team Ruff, on the other hand, has Beebop, Puddles and Squirt to tackle any challenge that comes their way. Together, Team Fluff and Team Ruff are comprised of 39 puppies from 34 different animal shelters stretching across 22 states. With a special appearance by Punxsutawney Phil, chinchilla mascots and the Kitty Half-Time Show, this precursor to Super Bowl LI may be three hours of cuteness that will have you dialing up the local shelter. Tune in to Animal Planet at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for pregame, with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. You can also “meet” the players by visiting AnimalPlanet.com. Now, about those commercials … As with … Read More

Just add bacon …

Do you have big plans this weekend? Or perhaps you’re waiting for Memorial Day weekend? In either case, if your plans include packing up the family and heading to the lake, the beach or somewhere equally fun, try these quick, easy, make-ahead recipes that just may get the kids (and your spouse) to eat their vegetables. Easy, pea-sy summertime salad 2 cups steamed peas (or two cans of low-salt, canned peas, drained) 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 1/2 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix the dressing and sugar together until creamy. Pour over vegetable mix and gently fold together until well coated. Refrigerate in an airtight container until you’re ready to hit the road.   Irresistible broccoli salad 4 cups broccoli florets 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/3 cup raisins or cranberries 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 2/3 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing, vinegar and … Read More

Are you ready for some football?

It’s football season, y’all! Finally! Like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning, I was beginning to think it was never going to get here. With college teams officially kicking off tonight and regular-season NFL matchups right around the corner, it’s time to dust off all your favorite recipes. It’s time to tailgate! If you’re anything like me, I want to enjoy hanging out with my fellow tailgaters, not spend my entire time cooking. So, here are a few fan-favorites that can be prepared the night before, freeing you up to sit back, relax and enjoy the pre-game festivities. Never-fail buffalo chicken dip 8-ounce brick of cream cheese 1 cup shredded chicken 2 T chicken broth Frank’s RedHot® to taste Put everything into a small slow cooker the night before and then start heating it on low 2-3 hours before you want to start eating. Serve it with celery and carrots, crackers, pita chips – it’s yummy on everything! Pizza pinwheels 2 rolls of puff pastry dough Any and all of your favorite pizza toppings Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. (You can use wax paper if you don’t have parchment paper.) Unroll one of the puff pastries on the parchment paper. Cover the puff pastry with whatever pizza toppings you like, leaving ¼ to ½ inch on one … Read More

Orange is not the new black in car colors

If you have been shackled to the Internet, waiting for the Netflix-sensation “Orange is the New Black” to return, your sentence is up.  The breakout, largely inappropriate, award-winning show is launching into season three on June 12. Now that we know that orange is the hot color for correctional wear, what about cars? According to Forbes.com, white is the new black when it comes to popular colors for new cars. And this is not white’s first time at the prison rodeo. In the Forbes blog, DuPont color marketing manager Nancy Lockhart says, “white especially has been a constant top runner since really 1998.” Silver had a brief reign, in the early 2000s, but white came back with vengeance. And this is not just a trend in the U.S. Last year, white was also the most popular color in Asia, Europe and South America. There are several schools of thought on why white has remained so popular. Lockhart says that white cars “are seen as denoting status, luxury and quality.” A blog at Marketwatch.com says it has more to do with safety. The article says that darker-hued cars have up to a 12% higher crash risk than white cars. At dusk, black vehicles were found to have a 47% higher crash risk than white. The Marketwatch blog also states more practical … Read More

Sometimes getting away means staying connected

When I was a kid, preparing for a family road trip meant making sure every kid had a Sony Walkman and enough tapes (yes, cassette tapes) and battery power to cover the drive time. Today, it means smart phones, tablets, chargers and most importantly, keeping everything charged and connected. Having an easy-to-use, efficient infotainment system in your vehicle has become almost a staple these days. Not only can it get you out of a jam when you’re lost, it can make a long, boring car ride something far more enjoyable for the entire family. Uconnect is the system designed for and used in the FCA vehicle lineup. Created with safety in mind, the system is aimed at assisting drivers while keeping them focused on the road. For passengers, there are entertainment and audio options, including Wi-Fi so they can stay connected on the road. Recently, Digital Trends awarded FCA’s Uconnect system Infotainment of the Year. “With Uconnect, FCA avoided the pitfalls of option overload and distilled the essentials of infotainment into one handsome, accessible package,” wrote Digital Trends Automotive Editor Nick Jaynes. “We love Uconnect not only for its big, 8.4-inch touchscreen, few hardwired buttons, and responsiveness, but also for its clean but not overly sterile interface. Also a fan of the system, PCMag’s Doug Newcomb wrote, “… the Uconnect 8.4 system … Read More