50 States of Grocery Stores: The Best Store in Every State

Everyone has a favorite grocery store. But is your go-to supermarket the best one that your state has to offer? From budget-friendly warehouse stores to family owned grocery stores that have served communities for more than 100 years, there are so many stores across the US worth noting and adding to your list of places to visit for all your food-related needs. Ahead, see the best grocery store in all 50 US states and see if your favorites made the cut.

Jeff Mauro Puts a Nostalgic Spin on Your Favorite Childhood Cereal

If anyone can come up with ways to think outside of the box when it comes to cereal, it’s Jeff Mauro. The Food Network star and The Kitchen cohost has teamed up with Cinnamon Toast Crunch to create inventive recipes using the nostalgic breakfast staple from your childhood, and POPSUGAR caught up with the chef to get the scoop about his favorite cereal hacks. And yes, staying true to his Sandwich King title, a sandwich is involved.

Jeff made a Cinnamon Toast Crunch PB&J; a chocolate-, bacon-, and banana-stuffed Cinnamon “French Toast” Crunch; and a sweet and salty Cinnamon Toast Crunch Road Mix. “There are two things that create nostalgia in any person’s mind: cereal and the summertime road trip,” Jeff said of his inspiration behind the recipes. “We used to drive to the Jersey Shore from Chicago every Summer to visit our cousins, and for us it was never about the destination. It was always about that 18-hour journey and, of course, all the snacks that my parents threw back there to us to keep us occupied.”

Besides the snack mix for summertime road trips, Jeff said the one recipe everyone should try at home is hands down the PB&J, pictured above. “It’s nostalgic. It’s crazy because it’s a coated, fried PB&J stuffed with a bunch of good stuff. Once you take a bite, it’s the greatest peanut butter and jelly sandwich you’ve ever had.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a chat with Jeff without some serious sandwich investigation. Jeff revealed his opinion on the best sandwich for Summer, saying, “You can’t go wrong with a good steak sandwich. Let’s say you’ve got a family of four. Two rib-eyes could make at least six sandwiches. Grill it perfectly, let it rest, thinly slice it, serve it on a fresh baguette with a little dressed arugula, a little horseradish cream sauce. Something simple and bright – not a big, overstuffed sandwich.”

Last year, Jeff told POPSUGAR the one thing you should never add to a sandwich: mealy tomatoes. So we needed to know the one thing you should always add to a sandwich, too. Jeff responded confidently by saying, “Good bread – fresh bread. And if it’s not fresh bread, treat it right: butter and griddle it so you reactivate it.” The quality of the bread is just as important as the quality of what you’re putting in it. “You could have the most hand-ground wagyu burger on a crappy bun, and it’s gonna taste like a hockey puck no matter what.”

ICYMI, Trader Joe’s Has Salted Caramel Gelato That You Must Try ASAP

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Another day, another frozen Trader Joe’s dessert to try! A Trader Joe’s fan shared a photo of Salted Caramel Gelato on Instagram, and it serves a reminder that this is one of the best summery snacks to pick up at Trader Joe’s. The TJ’s Salted Caramel Gelato was first released in 2014, and unlike plenty of other products that come and go because of fluctuating popularity, this fan favorite is so popular that it remains in the freezer aisle today. We know Trader Joe’s has an extensive ice cream selection – Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream, anyone? – but this is a reminder that the gelato options are impressive, too, and we’re left wanting to head to our nearest Trader Joe’s ASAP.

Disneyland’s Watermelon Cherry Cotton Candy Is the Ideal Summer Treat

Disney does not mess around when it comes to cotton candy. In recent years, the beloved theme park franchise has introduced pineapple cotton candy, cotton candy cocktails, and even a glowing, light-up variation. Now, Disneyland’s California Adventure has introduced a new flavor that combines two classic Summer fruits: watermelon and cherry!

On Instagram, devoted Disney food blogger KT the Disneybear shared a picture of the brand-new flavor. Based on the bright picture, you can see that a pink piece of cotton candy sits atop a green chunk – kind of resembling an actual watermelon! According to a comment, the watermelon cherry cotton candy can be found near the Carthay Circle Restaurant on Buena Vista Street inside California Adventure.

The 1 Frozen Trader Joe’s Dish That Tastes Best If Microwaved

The next time you go to Trader Joe’s, stock up on this frozen bag of Japanese Style Fried Rice with edamame, tofu, hijiki seaweed, and carrots. We received this tip from Tara Block, our editorial director, who swears by this microwaveable meal as a quick-fix dinner. After months of talking it up to us anytime Trader Joe’s came up in conversation (which, around here, is nearly every day), we finally took her advice and tried it ourselves. Tara says she accidentally stumbled upon this meal, which has since become a weekly staple. She has challenged herself to buy one new thing at TJ’s every visit (what sage advice!), and when she discovered the Japanese Style Fried Rice, she couldn’t believe how good it tasted. Having tried stir-frying the rice and steaming it in the microwave, she said, frankly, it tastes the same. Save yourself the dishes and effort and pop the bag in the microwave for four minutes, and boom – dinner is served.

The flavor of this fried rice tastes shockingly fresh. The edamame and carrots are vibrantly colored and crisp, as if they have just been steamed. The slightly sticky white rice resembles what you’d find at an Japanese restaurant. The tofu skin is just like flavorful inari sushi – you won’t miss the scrambled egg one bit. And the sauce? Mirin, sugar, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, and hijiki seaweed combine for one perfectly seasoned bowl, no additions needed. The package claims that this serves 3.5 people, but Tara warned me she’s been known to finish the whole bag in one sitting. No shame! I would do the same. I split the bowl with another coworker and found myself still hungry, so that’s the only downside of this dish. If you plan on picking up a bag, be sure to stock up on one per person!

A Flag Cake Has Never Looked So Simply Spectacular

Swedish pastry chef Roy Fares reimagines American pastries in his latest cookbook, United States of Cakes ($25). Ice cream sandwiches, Nutella Pop-Tarts, and peanut butter cake pops are just a few of many all-American recipes I’ve flagged in this page-turner of a cookbook. But the first recipe I just had to try is this American flag cake. It’s a buttermilk-lemon cake with a lemon cream cheese frosting. I mean, come on.

The recipe is totally doable for most home bakers, as most home cooks have a standard casserole dish lying around. And as for the decorating, I found applying berry after berry very meditative and something that just about anyone can accomplish. I especially love that Roy uses powdered sugar to form the white stars and stripes of the flag. How creative!

This cake goes quickly – not just because it looks spectacular. The cake tastes like Summer – it’s bright from the lemon and superlight. The cream cheese icing complements the slightly sour cake. And who doesn’t clamor for a cake covered in fresh, ripe berries? It’s the easiest excuse to get a serving of fresh fruit. After its wild success, I plan on making this cake for every Summer gathering and look forward to discovering more winning recipes within the pages of United States of Cakes.

Flag Cake

From United States of Cakes by Roy Fares

Notes

The Fourth of July is a national holiday, celebrated with pomp and circumstance. Everyone really goes all out, adorning American flags everywhere and devoting the entire day to celebrating. During my travels, I’ve experienced this holiday several times, and I’m always happy when I see how proud people are of their country. I think my fellow Swedes ought to take this as an example and celebrate our national holiday. After all, we have much to be proud of.

Ingredients

  1. Cake Bottom
  2. 2 cups (450 grams) room temperature whole milk
  3. 2 tbsp (20 grams) white distilled vinegar
  4. 3 1/4 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
  5. 1/3 cup (40 grams) cornstarch
  6. 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon (7 grams) salt
  9. 1 cup (230 grams) room temperature salted butter
  10. 1 teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla extract
  11. 1 3/4 cups (380 grams) sugar
  12. 4 (220 grams) eggs, room temperature
  13. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  1. Frosting
  2. 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) cream cheese
  3. 1/4 cup (50 grams) room temperature unsalted butter
  4. 1/2 teaspoon (2 1/2 grams) vanilla extract
  5. 1 2/3 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
  6. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  7. 1/4 cup (50 g) whipping cream
  1. Garnish
  2. Fresh berries (for example, raspberries and blueberries)
  3. Powdered sugar

Directions

  1. For cake bottom: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), convection function. Grease and lightly flour the edges of a baking pan, 13 × 9 inches, and line the base with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the milk and vinegar in a bowl. Sift all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Beat the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar in a separate bowl until fluffy. Mix in 1 egg at a time. Stir in the dry ingredients little by little.
  3. Finally, add the milk mixture and lemon zest and mix well. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake in middle of the oven for about 40 minutes. Use a toothpick to check that the cake is baked through. Let cool and then turn it out of the form. Optionally, even the sides using a sharp knife.
  4. Frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, icing sugar, and lemon zest. Add the cream and whisk together into a fine and firm frosting.
  5. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Decorate with berries of your choice, or do as I have done and use raspberries and blueberries. For white berries, set dry berries onto the cake first and dust with powdered sugar (through a fine mesh sieve), then add the rest of the berries.

Excerpted with permission from United States of Cakes: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Baked Goods by Roy Fares. Copyright 2015, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

When You Buy This Ice Cream at Disney Springs, You’ll Get a Free Flower Crown

Picture this: it’s the Summer of Love in 1967 and you’re eating a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae while wearing a flower crown. Fast forward to now, and that’s exactly what you could be doing, because Ghirardelli is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Summer with its limited-edition Haight Ashberry Sundae (get it?). The decadent hot fudge sundae has seasonal berries and is topped with whipped cream and a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Blueberry Square, and each sundae comes with a flower crown and heart-shaped sunglasses. The sundae’s punny name plays tribute to Haight-Ashbury, the San Francisco neighborhood known for its hippy influence and where the historic Summer of Love occurred in ’67. Ghirardelli isn’t the only San Francisco-based company offering a themed treat in celebration. Beloved ice cream shop Bi-Rite Creamery has introduced a Summer of Love ice cream flavor made with fennel pollen, blackberries, and hemp oil.

The Haight Ashberry Sundae is available at all Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shops nationwide, including the Ghirardelli Disney Springs location, for a limited time starting on June 19, so get it – and its summery accessories – while you can.

Are You Committing This Cardinal Meat-Cookery Sin?

What do a roast leg of lamb, braised beef brisket, and broiled chicken thighs all have in common, besides that a vegetarian won’t go near them? They all need to rest after cooking, unless you relish tucking into dry, stringy meat. The why is a little complicated, but basically, if you cut into a piece of meat right after pulling it from the heat source it’ll expel much more of its flavorful juices onto the cutting board (not into your mouth) than if you allow it to rest five to 30 minutes, depending on the cut.

The specifics:

  • Let smaller cuts of meat like a chicken breast or thigh, a lamb chop, or a thin steak like hangar or skirt rest for five to 10 minutes.
  • Let medium cuts of meat like a porterhouse steak or a thick-cut pork chop rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let large cuts of meat like a leg of lamb, pork shoulder, brisket, crown roast, whole chicken, duck, or turkey rest 15 to 30 minutes (longer for larger cuts).

One of These Crazy Flavors Could Be the Next Oreo Cookie in Stores

Oreo has been listening closely to its fans with its popular My Oreo Creation Contest, which allows anyone to submit new flavor ideas. The contest has been going strong since May and will close on July 14, and if Oreo picks your idea as the next new flavor to be sold in stores across the US, you could win $500,000. And regardless of the final winner, Oreo has been hard at work bringing lots of people’s submissions to life and surprising people with real samples.

It’s safe to say people got really creative with their ideas, and the new flavor will surely live up to the standards of Oreo’s already-outrageous existing flavors, like Key Lime Pie, Waffles & Syrup, and Swedish Fish.

What’s even more exciting is that Oreo is asking for Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar flavor ideas in addition to the cookie ideas. Take a look at some of Oreo’s never-before-released prototypes of some of the My Oreo Creation Contest flavors from the Oreo Wonder Vault and vote on the ones you’d actually like to see available in stores!