11 Things You Didn’t Know About 7-Eleven
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If you were to look up “convenience store” in the dictionary, you’d most likely find a photo of a 7-Eleven. They’re all over the world, and are one of those places where you can find whatever you’re looking for in a hurry. But did you know that the United States isn’t the country with the most 7-Eleven locations?
11 Things You Didn’t Know About 7-Eleven (Slideshow)
If you spent any time as a teenager in suburbia, you most likely spent some time hanging out in front of the local 7-Eleven. Because hey, what else was there to do? You most likely bought your first beer there, too. When you’re a kid a Slurpee is the best thing in the world, and when you’re an adult it’s an indispensable place to stock up on just about anything. But behind those red, green, and yellow stripes, there’s quite an interesting history.
7-Eleven was founded by an employee of Southland Ice Company, John Jefferson Green, back in 1927, when he started selling milk, eggs, and bread from an ice house that he converted into a storefront. It was such a success that the plant’s manager, Joe C. Thompson Jr., eventually bought the whole company and changed the name to Southland Corporation, and this remained the company’s corporate name until it was officially changed to 7-Eleven Inc. in 1999.
The chain has had its ups and downs, but it’s truly become a part of the American landscape, as well as the landscape of the 16 countries that it has locations in, including Malaysia, Singapore, The United Arab Emirates, Norway, Sweden, and Mexico. So grab your big gulp and your Doritos Loaded, and read on to learn 11 things you didn’t know about 7-Eleven.
Their Early Name Was Tot'em Stores
In 1928, a manager placed a totem pole in front of his store after taking a trip to Alaska, and it got such positive feedback that not only was an additional totem pole placed in front of every store, the name was changed to “Tot’em Stores.” The play on words (you also toted away your items) worked.
Ice Was the Key to Their Success
It was a brilliant move to open sell convenience items directly out of the ice house itself, because their refrigeration needs were already taken care of.
Click here for 9 more things you didn't know about 7-Eleven.
7 (heck, let's make it 11) things you didn't know about 7-Eleven
Donald Trump might confuse 7-Eleven with the 9/11 terror attacks, but the convenience store has a history dating back almost 90 years. Here are 11 things you didn't know about the chain, because we couldn't stop at just 7.
7-Eleven Inc. is the world's largest convenience store chain operating, franchising and licensing more than 56,600 stores in 18 countries, of which nearly 10,500 are in North America. The company has more outlets than any other retailer or food service provider, according to its website.
7-Eleven claims many "firsts"
According to its website, it was the first convenience store to:
- Sell gas.
- Air a convenience store TV commercial, featuring a singing owl and rooster, in 1949.
- Operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Offer ATM services (1984).
- Sell coffee to go.
- Have a self-serve soda fountain.
- Sell pre-paid phone cards.
The name is 70 years old, and it refers to something basic
The company dates to 1927, but the name is from 1946. Tote'm Stores becomes 7-Eleven to reflect the new extended hours - 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. In the mid-1960s, stores started to stay open 24 hours a day.
Not trying to brag or anything but… #TBT #GPOY
A post shared by 7-Eleven (@7eleven) on Jan 22, 2015 at 6:46pm PST
Before the Great Depression .
“Uncle Johnny” Jefferson Green starts selling everyday staples - milk, eggs and bread - from the dock of a local icehouse in Dallas, Texas, in 1927. This is the world’s first convenience store, according to 7-Eleven. After Prohibition ends, beer and liquor are added. By 1937, the new “convenience stops” are called Tote’m Stores.
Coming to Pennsylvania
In the 1950s, new stores open in Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
11 Things You Didn't Know About Alex Guarnaschelli
Photo by: Heidi Gutman ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.
Heidi Gutman, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.
You've seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there's a lot you don't know about the judges of Chopped. Here's your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.
Alex Guarnaschelli is a regular judge on Chopped and most recently won the title of Iron Chef on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. She is also the executive chef of Butter restaurant and The Darby in New York City. Alex began her culinary career in France, studied at La Varenne Cooking School in Burgundy and worked under the tutelage of many French restaurateurs before moving to New York. Her first cookbook, Old School Comfort: The Way I Learned to Cook, was released earlier this year. But did you know Alex has a special appreciation for the sea that goes beyond just eating seafood? In fact, if she hadn't become a chef, she would have become a marine biologist. Find out more about Alex in her Q&A below.
What's your Achilles' heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else's dish?
Alex Guarnaschelli: Hot dogs are tough! Simple, but a real killer. And chicken feet.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
AG: My mother cooked me a birthday dinner at home when I was 11 or 12. Scallops in their shells and my favorite chocolate caramel cake. All the recipes are in my new cookbook. Best meal I can ever remember eating.
AG: I have many! But I really love an In-N-Out Burger the most.
Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
AG: I would say fried squid and/or clam. Love it. Tastes like deep fried ocean!
If you weren't in food, what career would you like to have tried?
AG: I would have embarked on the search for those giant squid as a marine biologist.
AG: Polite answer: uh . ice water!! Real answer: cold spaghetti and meatballs.
Burger or hot dog? Burger and hot dog. Oh, ok … burger
Sprinkles or jimmies? Jimmies. My mom's a New England gal.
11 Things You Didn't Know About Nadia G. — Chopped All-Stars
Chef Nadia Giosa and basket, as seen on Food Network’s Chopped All Stars, Season 14.
Photo by: Janet Rhodes ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.
Janet Rhodes, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.
FN Dish is counting down to the Season 3 premiere of Chopped All-Stars by introducing a competitor every day. Sixteen competitors including Food Network and Cooking Channel talent, renowned chefs, Chopped judges and celebrities are competing for a chance to win the title of All-Stars Champion and a $50,000 donation to charity. Watch the premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.
Nadia G. hosts Nadia G.'s Bitchin' Kitchen on Cooking Channel. Trained at the Culinary Institute of Hard Wooden Spoon Whacks, Nadia G. grew up in a boisterous Italian family that never quite gave up the belief that Casalinga-style cuisine is the center of the universe. Her recipes are influenced by the food she grew up eating and the local cuisine of her hometown, Montreal, Canada. But did you know that she can't live without a certain appliance in the kitchen? In fact, it even contributes to her personality. Find out more about Nadia in her Q&A below.
What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
NG: Gizzards of any kind. My family emigrated from Italy specifically so we didn’t have to dine on goat testicles, so….
What was your most memorable meal? What, Where, Who? Details, please.
NG: I recently ate at Yardbird (in Miami) with my mom. Highlights included mini fried chicken and biscuits drizzled with Tabasco honey, fried green tomato BLT and a chocolate-mint sundae.
NG: Buffalo jerky. Sure it’s high in protein and low in fat, but it’s also a freakin’ salt lick. One time I ate so much jerky I couldn’t get my rings off. Oh, the shame.
Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
NG: Vegan food — I love it, but couldn’t be bothered to learn how to make it properly.
NG: A good chef’s knife is all I really need. When it comes to contraptions though, I can’t live without my touch espresso machine. Those easy espressos keep me sprightly (and extremely neurotic).
If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
NG: Straight-up comedy or a singer in a rock band. I live out my fantasy by writing comedy songs, such as “I’m Never Drinking Like That Again,” “B1tch, Nobody Cares About Your Wedding Blog” and “Die Brooklyn Hipster, Die.”
NG: I don’t have just one, but if I really had to choose, I’d say it’s a tie between New York City and Los Angeles.
NG: I love me some Chicago mix – caramel and cheddar popcorn TOGETHER. Since it’s hard to find I make my own by mixing a bag each of cheddar and caramel popcorn.
NG: Candied bacon and a bottle of Radikon 2001 amber wine. Make that two bottles — dying sucks.
NG: I love cooking with Manouschka Guerrier (from Private Chefs of Beverly Hills) she helped me practice for Chopped — brought me a secret ingredient basket and everything. Warning: Whatever you do, DO NOT make abalone Paste’ Fazul. Ever.
Sprinkles or jimmies? Sprinkles jimmies can never be trusted.
Cooking the rice with coconut milk instead of water will not only impart amazing flavor to your grains, it will also give the rice a creamy texture. This sweet and savory rice is now easy to make just combine the ingredients in your rice cooker and let them steam.
Quinoa in your rice cooker is just as easy as cooking rice! The result will yield fluffy, chewy grains that are perfect alongside grilled vegetables or to use in grain bowls or salads.
11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pimm’s
A fruity gin-based spirit, Pimm’s — or Pimm’s No. 1 Cup — is a liqueur that’s at once somewhat familiar and somewhat mysterious the world over. There are probably a lot more than 11 things you don’t know about Pimm’s, since many folks outside of the U.K. don’t know a ton about Pimm’s in the first place. (Well, some of us do, but we’ll get to that.)
And whether you’re new to Pimm’s or the sweet-spiced herbal concoction is a staple on your bar, when warm weather hits, there really is nothing more appropriate than kicking back on a stoop or hammock, or wherever you do your kicking back, and sipping a tall, cool Pimm’s Cup. Read on for 11 things to know about Pimm’s.
There Was A Dude Named Pimm.
Just like there is a dude named Charles Walgreen and a town called Prosecco, there was a dude named Pimm. James Pimm ran an oyster bar in mid 19th Century London, where he created the liquid in question. The bar gained so much popularity following the creation of the cocktail that it became an English chain.
Pimm’s Was Marketed In The 19th Century As A Health Drink.
Pimm’s was the 1800’s equivalent of green juice or Kombucha. James Pimm sold the gin-based, herbal fruity liqueur as a “health tonic” and a “digestive aid.” Just imagine your yogi friends knocking one back in the name of wellness.
Pimm’s Contains Anti-malaria Medicine.
As if we needed any more convincing that Pimm’s is the perfect summer drink, it’s a mosquito’s worst nightmare. Like tonic water, Pimm’s contains a chemical called quinine, which is commonly used to treat malaria.
It Has More To Do With Oysters Than You’d Think.
Yes, Pimm’s tastes like fruit and spice and no, it has nothing remotely to do with bivalves. But Pimm’s was originally blended to aid in the digestion of oysters.
The “Cup” Aspect Of Pimm’s Is Very Appropriately Literal.
The No. 1 in “Pimm’s No. 1 Cup” isn’t shameless self promotion (“we’re number one, drink our stuff!”). Pimm actually tried other formulas, based on other spirits like rum and brandy (and even absinthe), but apparently hit it out of the park the first time with the gin liqueur, hence the No. 1 Cup. In 2005, most of the less successful Pimm’s formulas were phased out, with just No. 6 (made with vodka) sticking around in addition to No. 1.
When Wimbledon Hits, So Does A Temporary Craze With Pimm’s.
Pimm’s is basically the official beverage of the tennis tournament. In 2016, fans consumed 320,000 glasses of the stuff in the span of two weeks, an amount that’s just about become the standard estimate for consumption during the tourney. The tradition of imbibing Pimm’s is so tied to Wimbledon that you can even find red-and-white Pimm’s themed bars at the tournament — the first one opened up in 1971.
London Loves Its Pimm’s, But So Does Louisiana.
It’s not entirely clear how the Pimm’s tradition made its way to New Orleans, but the locals have their own Pimm’s obsession. About a hundred years after Pimm’s was invented, it somehow crossed an ocean and landed at The Napoleon House Bar in 1940. However it got there, the light and fruity drink does make a lot of sense for the New Orleans climate — more sense than the delicious but high ABV Sazerac.
London And New Orleans Serve It Differently.
In England, Pimm’s is typically made with sparkling lemonade or even lemon lime soda, then garnished with a cottage garden’s worth of summer fruit and fresh herbs. In NOLA, the most popular recipe has Pimm’s, lemonade, a splash of lemon lime soda, and cucumber. (Ginger ale is also a popular mixer.) For some reason, no heated rivalry exists about this — possibly because everyone’s too relaxed sippin’ on Pimm’s.
Photo courtesy of FoodsofEngland.co.uk
Speaking Of Recipes, You Can Muck With A Classic.
Or we did, anyway. Even though per this old timey advertisement, “there is only one,” you can do a lot more than one recipe with Pimm’s, as it lends itself to a variety of flavors. (That’s kind of the beauty of creating an herbaceous, fruity liqueur—lots to play with there.) We had a real Englishwoman and friend of the site share her authentic Pimm’s Cup, and then, being Americans, we lovingly bastardized it (even upped the ABV with some bourbon). All of it tasted like summertime delight.
We’re Not The Only Ones Who Like To Play With Pimm’s.
Turns out professional bartenders have been tweaking their Pimm’s Cups for years, adding things like tequila, red wine, and different garnishes (not all in the same cup).
Even The Queen Of England Lets Loose With Some Pimm’s.
Should we be surprised? The drink is quintessentially British (though it’s not typically consumed with tea and crumpets.) Apparently, Queen Elizabeth II has a taste for Pimm’s, and occasionally orders it to Buckingham Palace. (Rumor has it that she’s also a Bacardi fan…)
11 Things You Didn't Know About 'Fight Club'
If you're a super fan who does not talk about "Fight Club," you might as well read about it.
You probably already know that there's a Starbucks cup in almost every scene, Tyler Durden had a split second FBI warning parody and that author Chuck Palahniuk prefers the movie to his own book. But we went deep into forgotten interviews and profiles, pulling words right from the cast, crew and writers, to find those trivia facts you truly did not know about the movie "Fight Club."
1. The Narrator was filmed to look like he was turning into "Gollum" as the movie progresses and the power of Tyler Durden takes hold.
In an interview with The Yale Herald in 1999, Edward Norton explained the two different transformations of Tyler Durden and his Narrator character:
We decided together that I was going to get very thin. It's almost a junkie metaphor. This guy is an unreliable narrator in the sense that he's saying "you became carved out of wood and you felt powerful" and yet his body's disintegrating and he's bruised and shattered. And Brad made the decision to go the opposite way because Tyler is the way my character sees himself. Brad got progressively bigger throughout the movie, he bulked up and got huge and tan and beautiful while I became Gollum.
According to Norton, the Narrator was also based off of Holden Caulfield. As Norton told Interview magazine in 1999: "We tried to set up a mournful, almost Holden Caulfield-like inner narrative in the film as my character talks about his life of travel and hotel rooms with mouthwash and toothbrushes and single servings and mini-everythings."
2. Both men and women begged author Chuck Palahniuk to show them where they could find real fight clubs to join.
Chuck Palahniuk told Premiere Magazine in 1999 that people would come up to him at book signings and beg him to tell them of real locations for fight clubs. Palahniuk remarked, "You'd be really surprised at the number of women."
As the interview notes, although Palahniuk had heard rumors of actual fight clubs existing in places such as New Jersey and London, the author wouldn't give these hopefuls any useful information. Palahniuk explained, "I'll be like, 'No, it's made up it's fake.' It just breaks people's hearts."
3. The sex scene was modeled after Mt. Rushmore "fucking the Statue of Liberty." It was done with CGI and many days of Helena Bonham Carter recording orgasm sounds.
Visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug gave a special commentary about the movie's sex sequence where he talked about how CGI was used to create the action. Haug remembered director David Fincher explaining one position: "I think David said it was as though one of the statues from Mt. Rushmore was fucking the Statue of Liberty." In this commentary, Haug also recalled Brad Pitt's intended approach for researching the mechanics of his acting in the scene:
I remember Brad coming in at one point and saying he wanted to see a pile of pornography so he could pick positions out of that. But basically, pornography was boring in terms of like, different positions. They're all the same positions. We actually pulled positions out of the Kama Sutra.
The other actor in the sex scene, Helena Bonham Carter, said that filming all the positions really wasn't as sexy as it appeared on camera. Marla's breasts in the film are even just CGI. Her original 1999 interview with The Mirror seems to be lost, but at the time Salon aggregated a quote by Carter from the interview where she said: "Brad had white dots all over his body . On the count of three we had to, ah, orgasm." As an ESPN article from 2003 recounts, Carter is quoted on the DVD commentary saying:
I spent so many days coming in and basically doing voice-off orgasm sounds on this film. The first time was a bit embarrassing, but I got used to it. And David [Fincher] would say, 'And roll. And Edward: Act. And Helena: Orgasm.' It can make you quite dizzy, because you can tend to hyperventilate. But I think I got that technique down. That was one major thing I learned on this film: faking orgasms repeatedly.
4. Brad Pitt's stomach was so strong at the time that Edward Norton cracked his thumb.
In the interview with Premiere magazine, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt joked about the various fighting they had to do onscreen and how sometimes the moves couldn't really be faked. Norton specifically recalled, "I cracked my thumb on Brad one time, on his stomach."
The author of the Premiere article, Johanna Schneller, wrote as an aside: "(This is too good to be true. Have you seen Pitt's stomach?)"
Further in this discussion about fighting, Norton recalled, "We both caught knees in the chest. Cracked ribs. Just had the wind knocked out." To this, Pitt responded, "That's how cool we are."
5. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt learned how to make soap from someone named Auntie Godmother.
Auntie Godmother's is a Californian boutique soap company that was founded in 1995. Founder Cheryle-Anne Townsend, who goes by Auntie Godmother, taught both Edward Norton and Brad Pitt how to make soap for their roles.
On a Facebook post about a farmer market back in 2010, Townsend commented about her business, "We are professional soap makers and made all the soaps for the movie 'Fight Club.' They actually discovered us at a farmer's market!"
Image Left & Top Right: Fight Club Facebook. Image Bottom Right: Auntie Godmother's Facebook.
6. Tyler Durden and Marla are actually based off real people. Chuck Palahniuk wrote six of his friends into the story.
Johanna Schneller wrote in the Premiere profile about the Tyler from the real world: "'Tyler' is a carpenter with a penchant for trespassing he leads forays into condemned buildings to salvage marble and fixtures."
Palahniuk is quoted as saying that his friend Tyler is "one of those neo-romantic people who think if the Y2K bug happens, we'll all be better off."
The friend that provided inspiration for Marla apparently had a wish back before Palahniuk was an acclaimed author, that if he ever got famous then he'd take her to meet Brad Pitt. Years later, Brad Pitt was cast in this movie and Palahniuk was able to bring all six of his friends that inspired characters to the set. He recalled, "So I was able to say, 'Tyler, this is Tyler' 'Marla, this is Marla,' and everyone was really fascinated by one another."
In a 2014 interview with TOR, Palahniuk further described what his friends Tyler and Marla look like in real life while explaining the basis for "new looks" the characters will have in the forthcoming sequel. Tyler apparently has "shoulder-length-Jesus blond hair" and Marla isn't "very much like Helena Bonham Carter's character."
Image: Chuck Palahniuk Facebook. Art by Carlos Martz.
7. David Fincher said the movie's lighting is based on being inside a 7-Eleven in the middle of the night.
David Fincher gave an in depth description to Film Comment in 1999, about what inspirations went into creating the "Fight Club" look, most of which involved making things dirtier. One popular convenience store was specifically named by the director:
We didn't want to be afraid of color, we wanted to control the color palette. You go into 7-Eleven in the middle of the night and there's all that green-fluorescent. And like what green light does to cellophane packages, we wanted to make people sort of shiny.
8. There's a good chance Leonardo DiCaprio's dying breaths from "Titanic" were reused for the ice cave scene.
As a 2000 profile in Cinefex recounts, Blue Sky Studios did CGI for the movie and since they were formerly associated with a company called VIFX that worked on "Titanic," Blue Sky had a "library of generic breath elements created for 'Titanic'" at their disposal. It is unclear whether Leonardo DiCaprio's breath is exactly what was used in the ice cave scene.
That said, this Cinefex article did explicitly say "existing breath elements" from "Titanic" were used in "Fight Club" however and digital artist John Siczewicz is quoted as saying:
After starting with those existing breath elements [from "Titanic"] we cut and pasted and dissolved until we had some animated breath that worked with the wind action within this ice tunnel. Since either the camera or the actor was in motion for all of these shots, I had to track in the origin point for each breath. Once these swirly breaths blended in, the whole scene dropped sixty degrees.
9. Edward Norton and David Fincher thought of "Fight Club" as an inverse version of "The Graduate."
In a 1999 interview with Film Comment, David Fincher explained how his movie relates to the pursuit of Mrs. Robinson:
"The Graduate" is a good parallel. It was talking about that moment in time when you have this world of possibilities, all these expectations, and you don't know who it is you're supposed to be. And you choose this one path, Mrs. Robinson, and it turns out to be bleak, but it's part of your initiation, your trial by fire. And then, by choosing the wrong path, you find your way onto the right path, but you've created this mess. "Fight Club" is the '90s inverse of that: a guy who does not have a world a possibilities in front of him, he had no possibilities, he literally cannot imagine a way to change his life.
Edward Norton also mentions the relationship of "Fight Club" and "The Graduate" in the DVD commentary, saying, "It’s the story of youthful dislocation and of the feeling of entering the adult world and feeling out of sync with the value system that you’re expected to engage in and trying to figure out the answer to the question of how to be happy."
Image Top Left & Right: Getty. Image Bottom Left: Fight Club Facebook
10. And going along with that, the two saw "Fight Club" as a Buddhist movie.
In a Premiere profile from 1999, Norton talks about how he thinks his character's trajectory is grounded in Buddhism:
In Buddhism there's Nirvana, and then there's Samsara, the world of confusion and disharmony. That world is our testing ground, where we have the experiences that help us become enlightened. I'm not saying "Fight Club" is The Book of Living and Dying, but it was kind of that idea: You're challenging yourself to break out of the world.
Also, within a Film Comment interview, David Fincher talks about how the Narrator's journey through the movie is Buddhist (although he doesn't know which Buddhist school of thought the philosophy comes from):
I don't know if it's Buddhism, but there's the idea that on the path to enlightenment you have to kill your parents, your god, and your teacher . The movie introduces [Norton's character] at the point when he's killed off his parents and he realizes that they're wrong. But he's still caught up, trapped in this world he's created for himself. And then he meets Tyler Durden, and they fly in the face of God - they do all these things that they're not supposed to do, all the things that you do in your twenties when you're no longer being watched over by your parents, and end up being, in hindsight, very dangerous. And then finally, he has to kill off this teacher, Tyler Durden. So the movie is really about that process of maturing.
The idea of "killing mentors" is Linji Yixuan's Linji school of Chán Buddhism.
11. During press, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton tried to not talk about "Fight Club" . the movie.
Johanna Schneller writes in her Premiere profile of the movie that when talking to Pitt and Norton, the two actively tried to avoid talking about "Fight Club." She explained, "They resist. Eventually they tell me that, yes, they're here to talk about 'Fight Club,' but they don't actually want to talk about it."
As an aside, Schneller wrote, "(Oh, I get it -- in the subversive spirit of 'Fight Club,' they've decided to deconstruct the magazine interview.)"
Eventually, after the two actors and her go back and forth for awhile about whether they should talk about "Fight Club," Pitt challenges Schneller, saying, "You tell us what ["Fight Club's"] about."
BONUS: It may be hard to say "Fight Club" is about any one specific thing, but as a joke, Norton and Pitt would give it this super simple description:
"A story about two friends who start an amateur boxing club for disadvantaged young men and the woman who comes between them."
In her profile for Premiere, Johanna Schneller writes that the first time Norton fully smiles during the interview is when he starts recounting the ridiculous simplification him and Pitt would use to describe "Fight Club." As the actor sat up in his chair and affected a "glib, oily voice," Norton began saying, "For a while we were describing it as a story about two friends who start an amateur boxing club for disadvantaged young men . "
At this point, Brad Pitt jumped in and finished Norton's description saying, ". and the woman who comes between them." Pitt continued, "Which is the best explanation I've heard."
11 Things You Didn’t Know Your Instant Pot Could Do
If you believe the hype of Instant Pot owners—and we do—you’d know how magical these multi-purpose countertop cooking appliances can be. Sure, they make quick work of tenderizing a dense pork shoulder. They can have beef chunks, carrots, and potatoes soft and simmering in a delicious sauce in a matter of minutes. Instant Pots can even turn hearty whole grains that typically need more than 30 minutes of simmering into fluffy pieces in less time than it takes to boil instant rice.
However, as curious home cooks experiment with their Instant Pots, the Internet’s collection of unusual but totally legit ways to use the pressure-cooking device continues to grow. Some are a little out there—cough syrup, for example. Some are downright genius—keep reading. But all are a sign that you don’t have to think of your Instant Pot as just a glorified slow cooker anymore.
#1 You can reheat leftovers.
People living without a microwave have likely created a series of genius alternatives to nuking their day-old ziti, from baking in the oven to simmering in a saucepan or skillet. Using an Instant Pot to heat up those leftovers might be the most efficient way you can warm them, however.
How to do it: Pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot insert. Place the metal rack in the insert. If the leftovers are not in heat-proof containers (like Pyrex bowls or mason jars), you need to transfer the food to those safer containers. If the food is likely to dry out in reheating (rice or pasta, for example), consider adding stock, water, or another liquid.
When the food is ready to be heated, cover the container with foil, and place it in the Instant Pot. Turn the pressure cooker to Steam, and set a five-minute timer. That’s typically enough time to get pasta, lasagnas, soups, or stews warm.
When the time is up, let the machine release the pressure naturally. Then open the vent and lid, and use pot holders to lift the container out of the Instant Pot. If you need more time, repeat the steps, but decrease the amount of time you steam the food.
#2 You can make applesauce.
Before you dismiss this idea for the cloyingly sweet muck that is passed off as applesauce in many grocery stores these days, know the beauty of making your own applesauce in an Instant Pot is that you get to control the sweetness. Indeed, you also get to control the spices and the texture. Basically, you can make applesauce just how you like it, as thin or as lumpy as you like with as much or as little cinnamon as you can stand.
How to do it: When picking out apples for sauce, select the ones you’d normally avoid for apple pie because of their tendency to fall apart under heat and pressure. Those are precisely the apples you want for this recipe. Fuji and Golden Delicious come to mind.
Then, core the apples and slice them in two-inch wedges. You can remove the peel before you slice the apple if you want, but the skin is a great source of nutrients and fiber. Plus, you can pulverize it with a blender later.
Add the apples, one cup of water, and your spices of choice (cardamom, vanilla extract, and cinnamon are common). Don’t forget a sprinkle of salt. Stir to coat the apples, then put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to seal.
Next, set the pressure cooker to cook on High with a timer of five to seven minutes. After the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally. Remove the lid, and then use an immersion blender to turn the lumpy apple mixture into silky, delicious apple sauce. Store the apple sauce in mason jars for up to 10 days in your fridge.
#3 Hard boil eggs for the week.
If you’re a big fan of hard-boiled eggs for breakfasts or snacks, you may have mastered the art of cooking eggs on the stovetop, but if you need to make more (several dozen, perhaps), you can use your Instant Pot to cook them more efficiently.
How to do it: Place a basket or
in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add one cup of water. Place as many or as few eggs as you want to cook in the Instant Pot, and put the lid on the cooker. For a soft-boiled egg, cook on high for four minutes. For a more hard-boiled egg, cook on high for five minutes. Let the steam release naturally, then move the eggs into ice-cold water.
The total time comes out to about 15 minutes (five minutes to pressurize, five minutes to cook, and five minutes to release the pressure), but that’s still faster than stovetop boiling, and you’ll get a lot more eggs cooked at once.
#4 Make homemade bread.
You will still cook your no-knead bread in your cast-iron pan, but the Instant Pot can shave off hours of rising, punching, and waiting. For people who love homemade bread (and who doesn’t?), the Instant Pot is perhaps the best method to get the dough to rise quickly without stressing the yeast and proteins.
How to do it: Turn to your Instant Pot’s handy-dandy Yogurt setting for this trick. This setting provides a constant source of low heat, which is just enough to make a bread dough rise faster. Make your dough with any no-knead recipe of your choice. When the dough is sticky, move it to a piece of parchment paper, and lower that parchment paper into an Instant Pot. Set the timer on your pressure cooker for Yogurt and four hours and 30 minutes. (Typically, the bread dough would need 24 hours to rise.)
When the time is up, use the parchment paper to life the inflated dough out of the Instant Pot. Reshape it into a ball, punching down to remove some air. Then put the dough once more into the pressure cooker on the Yogurt setting. This time, you’ll only need 30 minutes.
While the dough rises one last time, preheat your cast-iron pan and oven to 450°F. When the 30 minutes has elapsed, slip the dough into your hot skillet, place the lid on it, and slide the pan into your oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until a golden crust forms.
#5 Pop plenty of popcorn.
If you don’t have a large saucepan or tall pot, you can use your Instant Pot as your go-to popcorn popper. It’s actually so simple you may soon bid farewell to anything that comes in a microwavable bag.
How to do it: Turn your Instant Pot to the Saute feature, selecting “More” to get the pan a bit hotter. When the surface of the pot is hot, add an oil of your choice (canola oil is good, as is coconut oil). When it begins to sizzle, pour in popcorn kernels. Cover with a lid. Listen for the popcorn to pop, and turn off when about two-thirds of the kernels are popped so you can prevent scorched kernels. Before serving, sprinkle with your preferred seasoning, and gently toss.
#6 Make homemade vanilla extract.
You can DIY this baking necessity if you have time and patience to wait. (The process typically takes several weeks) But you can also speed it up with your Instant Pot. This particularly comes in handy if you forget to make favors for your bridal shower or a thank-you gift for your neighbors and need something pronto.
How to do it: Using the pot-in-pot method, pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot, and place the
in the bottom of the pot. In pint-sized mason jars, combine two cups of high-quality vodka and vanilla beans that have been split with a knife. (One bean per jar is fine.) Leave at least one inch of space between the vodka and the jar lid. Seal with jar tightly, but not firmly, and place each jar in the Instant Pot. Close the Instant Pot, and cook on high for 30 minutes to one hour. After the end of a natural release, remove the jars from the Instant Pot, and let them cool naturally. Swirl each jar a few times while they’re cooling.
The extract is likely ready to use right now. However, before you do, smell the extract. If it is still predominantly vodka, let the jars sit for a few more days with the vanilla beans in the liquor, swirling daily. You can remove the vanilla beans from the extract if you wish, but they’re OK to leave, too. However, they will begin to disintegrate and may leave particles behind in your extract.
#7 Share some bottles of homemade Limoncello.
In theory, you could drink the vanilla extract, but it wouldn’t be nearly as delicious as you might imagine. What is seriously good for sipping, however, is limoncello, a sugary lemon liqueur that’s great as an aperitif or after-dinner dessert beverage.
How to do it: You’ll need the same equipment for limoncello as you did for vanilla extract: your Instant Pot, trivet, and mason jars. For ingredients, you’ll need lemon peels, vodka, water, and sugar.
For the first step of this process, you need to infuse the vodka with lemon. Pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot, and place the metal trivet in the bottom. In each pint-sized mason jar, add vodka and lemon peels, leaving about an inch between the top of the liquid and the jar lid. Place two big strips of lemon peel in each jar, and seal the lid tightly but not firmly. Use the Instant Pot’s manual function to cook on high 30 minutes. Then let the machine release the pressure naturally. Remove the jars, and set them aside to cool overnight.
The next day, strain the lemon peel out of the vodka, and combine the lemon-infused liquor in a larger jar. Add simple syrup to the vodka mix to taste. Cool, then pour into bottles, and enjoy.
#8 Turn a fruit bounty into quick preserves.
If your strawberry patch was more generous than you had expected, you can use your Instant Pot to make quick jam or preserves. This procedure doesn’t sterilize the fruit spread for long-term use, but you can store the preserves in jars and use up to a week later. (Or share with your friends and neighbors, with the caveat that they too need to use them quickly.)
How to do it: Wash, clean, and slice three to four pounds of strawberries. Add the juice of one orange, and a few tablespoons of sugar. Set the Instant Pot to Manual mode, and cook four to five minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. If the fruit isn’t falling apart when it’s stirred, you may need a minute or two more.
When you like the texture, remove the strawberry mix to a blender or food processor, and gently combine to make more smooth. Pour into prepared jam jars, and enjoy using on everything from biscuits and toast to ice cream and oatmeal.
#9 Melt chocolate with ease.
You’ve never seen the point in investing in a double boiler for the one or two times a year you really need to dip a lot of fruit in chocolate. However, now that you have an Instant Pot, you’ve basically got everything you need to engineer your own fancy double boiler at home.
How to do it: Fill your Instant Pot with water, almost to the top. Turn on the machine’s Sauté function, and heat to Normal. Place a glass bowl that is slightly larger than the opening of the Instant Pot into the appliance, being sure to not overflow the water. Pour chocolate chips or chopped melting chocolate into the bowl. Wait five to 10 minutes for the water to heat through and begin to melt the chocolate. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir occasionally until smooth and uniform. Turn off the Instant Pot. Then turn it back on to Keep Warm. This will keep the water from cooling quickly, so you have smoother chocolate longer for lots of dipping.
#10 Bake a whole cheesecake.
You didn’t know you wanted to make a cheesecake in your Instant Pot, but I bet as soon as you see how easy it is, you’ll be finding many reasons to make this creamy dessert.
How to do it: Pour one cup of water in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Place the wire trivet in the pot. Next, fill the bottom and sides of a
with a graham cracker crust, and pour in your preferred cheesecake mixture. (You’ll need to look for a recipe that makes a smaller cheesecake, as most are written for nine-inch pans.) Cover the cheesecake with foil.
Transfer the springform pan with unbaked cheesecake to the Instant Pot, and seal the pressure cooker. Cook on Manual Low for one hour, or until the cheesecake’s center jiggles but isn’t still liquid. Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack, and then refrigerate overnight. (Those quick strawberry preserves would be a great topper—hint, hint.)
#11 Roast a whole chicken.
You already knew you could cook big cuts of meat like pork shoulder and beef roast in a fraction of the time you’d need in a slow cooker or oven braiser. But the same magic that helps break down those dense proteins can cook whole chickens perfectly while still keeping them juicy.
How to do it: Sprinkle a fresh or thawed whole chicken with salt and pepper. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté, and brown the chicken breasts and sides in the Instant Pot for three to four minutes on each point. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, and deglaze the pan with stock or broth. Place the metal trivet in the Instant Pot. Before returning the whole chicken to the pressure cooker, add any seasonings to the skin or cavity, then put the chicken in the Instant Pot. Seal the cooker, and cook on high. The time depends on the size of the chicken. Plan for six minutes per pound of chicken, plus three additional minutes. For example, a four-pound chicken would need 27 minutes.
When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally. Check the internal temperature of the chicken, and cook for several more minutes if it’s not done at the centermost point.
The US military took these incredible photos this week
Posted On April 02, 2018 09:37:33
The military has very talented photographers in its ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. This is the best of what they shot this week:
Soldiers, assigned to 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, Idaho Army National Guard, calibrate a M109A6 Paladin howitzer during Decisive Action Rotation 15-09 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug. 16, 2015.
Photo by: Spc. Christopher Blanton/National Guard
Engineers, assigned to the Arkansas National Guard, fire a Mine Clearing Line Charge during Decisive Action Rotation 15-09 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. Aug. 16, 2015.
Photo by: Spc. Ashley Marble/US Army
An F-35B joint strike fighter jet conducts aerial maneuvers during aerial refueling training over the Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 13, 2015. The mission of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 is to conduct effective training and operations in the F-35B in coordination with joint and coalition partners in order to successfully attain the annual pilot training requirement.
Photo by: Cpl. N.W. Huertas/USMC
Marines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force conduct external lifts during helicopter support team training in Okinawa, Japan. The training helps increase proficiency in logistics tasks and enhance the ability to execute potential contingency missions.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Sean M. Evans/USMC
Marines use green smoke to provide concealment as they move through the simulated town during a Military Operation on Urban Terrain exercise aboard The Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California.
Photo by: Cpl. Joshua Murray/USMC
(Aug. 20, 2015) Navy chief petty officers and chief petty officer selects stand at parade rest during a Pearl Harbor honors and heritage “morning colors” ceremony at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Visitor Center on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ceremony was the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific.
Photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Johans Chavarro/USN
(Aug. 19, 2015) – Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Travis Weirich, from Gresham, Ore., and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Juan Dominguez, from Santa Clara, Calif., clean an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Tophatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard/USN
Crew chiefs assigned to the 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepare to launch a B-2 Spirit at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 12, 2015. Three B-2s and about 225 Airmen from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, deployed to Guam to conduct familiarization training activities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Photo by: Senior Airman Joseph A. Pagán Jr./USAF
Airmen with the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron move a tree to avoid contact with the tail of an AC-130H Spectre on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Aug. 15, 2015. More than 40 personnel from eight base organizations were on site during the tow process. The AC-130H will be displayed at the north end of the Air Park.
Photo by: Senior Airman Meagan Schutter/USAF
Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, a retired American mixed martial artist, tightens a bolt on a guided bomb unit-31 on Osan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 5, 2015. Liddell visited various units across the base during a morale trip. Liddell is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion. He has an extensive striking background in Kempo, Koei-Kan karate, and kickboxing, as well as a grappling background in collegiate wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Photo by: Senior Airman Kristin High/USAF
A blur of seabags and lots of excitement were seen early this morning as Officer Candidates from OCS 1-16 and NOAA’s BOTC 126 leave the Chase Hall Barracks for an underway trip on USCGC EAGLE.
Photo by: USCG
Have a fun and safe weekend! We have the watch rain, shine or fog!
Photo by: USCG
NOW: More awesome military photos
OR: The 13 funniest military memes of the week
11 Things You Didn't Know About Lucille Ball
Take a wild guess how old she was when I Love Lucy first aired.
We all know her as America's favorite redhead, but did you know Lucille Ball's hair wasn't really red? Along with that surprising tidbit, here are few more facts you might not know about the Queen of Comedy.
1. At 12, she auditioned for her first role.
After being encouraged by her stepfather, Lucille auditioned for a spot in the chorus line of a local stage production. Naturally, she won the role, and that experience led her to seek a career in showbiz.
2. She was the first female to run a major Hollywood studio.
Desilu Productions &mdash named for its founders, Lucille and Desi &mdash was formed in 1950. And until its reincorporation into Paramount Television in 1967, it not only produced I Love Lucy, but it also brought Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and The Untouchables to the small screen.
3. She celebrated her 40th birthday before I Love Lucy began airing.
In an industry where women are all too often tossed to the side after 35, Lucy got her biggest break when she was already 40 years old.
4. Desi and Lucy were TV's first interracial couple.
Before her show began production, Lucy insisted that her then-husband, Cuban-American actor Desi Arnaz, be cast as her onscreen husband.
5. Her natural hair color was brown.
Before she made a big splash in the comedy world, Lucy appeared as a brunette in her earlier head shots.
6. . And it wasn't actually all that red on I Love Lucy.
Lucy originally dyed her locks for a role in Du Barry Was a Lady, then kept it that way for I Love Lucy. But rather than the vibrant red we all envisioned it to be, her hairstylist Irma Kusely described it as more of a "golden apricot" shade.
7. She was an avid gardener.
Just look at these gorgeous, lush plants in this photo taken of Lucy at her Hollywood home in 1950.
8. She nearly drowned during the famous grape-stomping scene.
Apparently, the other actress involved didn't speak English and some direction was lost in translation, so one actually held Lucy's head underneath the grape juice.
9. Lucy was the first pregnant actress to play a pregnant woman on television.
When Lucy was expecting her second child, son Desi Arnaz, Jr., writers wrote the pregnancy into the show instead of hiding it. Of course, they used the word "expecting" rather than "pregnant" to keep everyone happy.
10. She actually had both of her children later in life.
Her first baby, daughter Lucie Désirée Arnaz, was born when she was 40. And her second was born when she was nearly 42. And clearly, she and Desi were so inspired by their own names that they gave them to their children, too.
11. She kept her trademark hair color for more than four decades.
Some prefer to go gray as they get older, but Lucy kept her stunning hue all the way until 1989.
There's a petition to rename Fieri's hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to Flavortown — and the chef is honored.
In 2020 Tyler Woodbridge started a Change.org petition to rename Columbus, Ohio, to Flavortown, and he quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of signatures.
In the description of the petition, Woodbridge said his reasoning for the name change was twofold: to detach the city from Christopher Columbus and honor a Columbus native, and to highlight "Central Ohio's proud heritage as a culinary crossroads" in America.
When asked what he thought of the petition, Fieri told Insider, "The residents of Flavortown definitely have some power, you know, they definitely are a motley crew. And I, of course, was honored."
But he continued, "There are so many amazing people in this country that would so much more deserve having something named after them than me or Flavortown."