Blog Posts by Lauren Torrisi

  • 7-Eleven Celebrates Birthday With Free Slurpees

    (Image credit: 7-Eleven, Inc/PRNewsFoto) It's no coincidence that 7-Eleven is celebrating its birthday on none other than 7/11. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, you can grab a free 7.11 oz Slurpee from one of the participating locations. Celebrate the chain's 85th birthday with over 70 flavors like Fanta Lemon Creme or Coca Cola Classic.

    Frozen soft drinks were discovered by accident in the 1950's when a soda fountain broke down, forcing Omar Knedlik to put the drinks in the freezer. The slushy-like drinks were a hit with customers and Knedlik later invented the first frozen soda machine.

    7-Eleven agency director Bob Stanford coined the term "Slurpee" in 1967. The carbonated drinks were initially served behind the counter in stores where clerks would serve the drinks to customers.

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  • The World's Most Expensive Cupcake

    Behold "The Golden Phoenix." Hailed as the world's most expensive cupcake, the pricey dessert costs a whopping £645 ($1,000) at Dubai's Bloomsbury's Cupcakes.

    Served on a covered Villari 24-carat gold empire cake stand, the cupcake is adorned with edible gold and chocolate. It was unveiled at the opening of the new Bloomsbury's location in the Dubai Mall.

    A YouTube video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Golden Phoenix." The chocolate cupcake is baked with premium Amedei Porcelana chocolate and premium Ugandan vanilla beans and covered in 23-carat edible gold sheets. The cake is frosted with chocolate icing and dusted with edible gold dust. It's then garnished with chocolate decor that's dusted in more gold dust. Organic chocolate-covered strawberries and a golden spoon complete the dish. In June, Bloomsbury cupcake founder Shafeena Yusuff Ali announced she wanted to create the pricey

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  • Recipes for National Pina Colada Day

    The expression "it's five o'clock somewhere" might hold more weight today in honor of this national holiday. The official drink of Puerto Rico, a pina colada is made with rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice. The drink is believed to have been created by Ramón Marrero for the customers of the Caribe Hilton's Beachcomber Bar.

    While the drink is delicious, it can pack a punch of up to 425 calories. Instead, opt for this lighter version at only 125 calories from Cooking Light.

    Recipe: Lighter Pina Coladas

    2 cups flaked sweetened coconut 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple 2 1/2 cups ice cubes 3/4 cup gold rum (such as Bacardi Gold) 1/4 cup pineapple juice 2 tablespoons light agave nectar 8 fresh pineapple slices

    Combine 2 cups coconut and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or

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  • How to Make a Big Mac at Home


    McDonald's Canada has continued answering those tough questions you were starting to lose sleep over.

    This week, executive chef Dan Coudreaut demonstrates how to make a Big Mac at home on the company's YouTube channel. 

    SLIDESHOW: Fast Food Ads vs. Reality: How Do They Size Up?

    Customer Christine H. posed the question, "What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?"

    Coudreaut takes off his chef's coat and begins the demonstration. Mayonnaise, mustard and pickled relish are placed in a bowl. White wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika are added to the bowl and whisked- creating the "secret sauce."


    Coudreaut dices onions and slices iceberg lettuce to add a textural crunch. He toasts the signature sesame bun in a hot pan. Then he forms the beef patties in a ring using 100 percent beef, confirming that the same beef is used in their restaurants.

    The patties are cooked on a sizzling hot pan and then seasoned with salt and pepper. The sauce, onions,

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  • STK's $30,000 Pink Sapphire and Diamond Steak Knives

    Celebrity guests and VIP's of a popular Las Vegas steakhouse can now eat their meat with a very sparkly, expensive knife.

    "Female friendly" steakhouse STK has collaborated with celebrity jewelry designer Jason of Beverly Hills on a set of diamond- and pink sapphire-encrusted knives. The set, which includes one $18,000 diamond knife and a new $12,000 pink sapphire knife, is only available at the restaurant's location in the Cosmopolitan hotel.

    Jesse Mancha, general manager at the Jason of Beverly Hills location in the hotel, said the new knife contains "300 full-cut pink sapphires set into a signature steak knife." The 6.5 carats of sapphires took a craftsman 20 hours to hand set into the stainless steel knife.

    "The original idea came about over drinks with Jason, myself and Tyra Bell-Holland, director of marketing and events," said Mancha.

    Jason had created a whole dinnerware set for the royal family of Saudi Arabia as a wedding gift. The dinnerware set included

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  • Low-Cal Peanut Butter Is a Dream for Dieters

    If eating peanut butter straight from the jar is wreaking havoc on your waistline, a new low-cal powdered option might be worth a try.

    Two new powdered peanut butters on the market are offering the same delicious taste of peanut butter at a fraction of the calories and fat.

    The new products, Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter and PB2, both contain 45 calories and zero saturated fat in a 2-tablespoon portion. The products are free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

    Traditional peanut butter weighs in at about 190 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat for a 2-tablespoon portion. But regular peanut butter contains more protein and fiber, compared with the powdered substitute.

    The company website states that PB2 removes over "85% of the fat from premium quality peanuts."

    "Essentially, the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is our famous powdered peanut butter - all natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives."

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  • California Restaurant Offers 100 Percent Bacon Burger

    Slater's 50/50, a California chain made famous for its half-bacon, half-beef burger, has gone bacon-crazy.

    The 'Merica, the restaurant's July burger of the month, is a 100 percent ground bacon burger topped with more bacon, a sunny-side-up egg, bacon island dressing and bacon cheddar cheese.

    SLIDESHOW: Baconfest 2012

    "The concept for Slater's 50/50 Burgers by Design came out of a dare at a Charger's tailgate party between owner Scott Slater and some of his San Diego State University buddies. Could a 100 percent ground bacon burger work? After some tweaking and perfecting (and a few small grease fires), the answer was yes," a release from the restaurant said.

    The response to the burger on Facebook has been overwhelming, with fans commenting, "The gods have answered our prayers!" and "Must have one soon!!!"

    The burger costs $10.95 and is available until the end of July. Slater's 50/50 has three locations in Southern California.

    Not

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  • Beer Made With Gold

    This isn't your average tailgating beer. A brewery in Ostrava, Czech Republic, has released a gold-flecked lager that's fit for a king.

    The beer contains 0.018 grams of gold leaf and is packaged in a champagne bottle. It is called "Re" after the Egyptian sun god and took 18 months to develop.

    "Gold is an inert metallic element so it doesn't taste like anything," said Marek Pieton, Chief Brewer, in a video by Diagonal View, "But it has a very impressive effect and it also may have a good effect on health later."

    Thirsting for the taste of gold? The brewery has only produced 500 bottles of the gold-flecked drink. The price of the product was not disclosed.

    "This product is not designed for a wider market. It is produced for special clients upon request. These beers go through a highly rigorous process before distribution and we produce them only if customers order them," said Pieton.

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  • Maine Teen Wins Battle Against Seventeen on Photoshopped Images

    A Maine teen won the battle against digitally altered images in Seventeen magazine.

    "I hoped that Seventeen would do this but I guess I didn't think it would actually happen," , 14, said. "It's been really exciting for me."

    In the August issue of the magazine, editor Ann Shoket included a letter and body peace treaty that states Seventeen will "never change girls' body or face shapes," and "celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages."

    The treaty also promises to include behind-the-scenes photos on the magazine's Tumblr page to show what goes into a photo shoot. The entire staff signed the pact.

    Julia's campaign for change started in April when the eighth-grader from Waterville, Maine, became tired of seeing the unrealistic images of women on the pages of the magazine.

    She interviewed students in her school's cafeteria about digitally altered images in magazines. She then began a petition on Change.org titled "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls."

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  • World's Largest Ice Cream Cone

    World's Largest Ice Cream Cone (ABC News)The world's largest ice cream cone was revealed in Gloucester, U.K., this weekend.

    A forklift carried the ice cream, which weighed 2,204 pounds, and placed it on top of the cone. The cone stood about 13 feet tall, surpassing the previous 9-foot record that was set last year by Mirco Della Vecchia and Andrea Andrighetti.

    Wall's, a U.K. ice cream company known for brands like Magnum and Carte D'Or, donated the ice cream that took more than a month to freeze.

    Sprinkles and strawberry sauce toppings were catapulted on the cone but most failed to stick

    Heston Blumenthal arrived at the event in a vintage ice cream truck to unveil the cone. Blumenthal is the chef and owner of the three-Michelin starred restaurant The Fat Duck. The unveiling was part of his new show, "Heston's Big Idea."

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