Food & Party Snacks  &  Desserts

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    Whether you're celebrating a birthday or simply looking for a show-stopping summertime dessert, ice cream cake is always a crowd-pleaser.

    Not only is this cool and creamy homemade confection a hit with all ages, it costs approximately a third of what a store-bought cake will set you back, and it can be prepared in 10 minutes or less.  

    Another bonus: Since you're the chef, feel free to mix and match your favorite flavors and toppings. Then sit back and enjoy the rave reviews!

    Note: The most challenging thing about this recipe is not going back for seconds (or thirds!).

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    So you're in your den watching a bunch of hot men run around in little, tight-fitting shorts (I'm talking about the World Cup of course) when you eagerly unwrap your chocolate bar only to discover -- OMG, BALLS! Literally, on you candy. It would appear that the white chocolate Milkybar has a penis-like shape imprinted on it. And everyone's been oblivious until this week, when London lawyer Robin Jacobs made the discovery and was overcome with strong feelings.

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    You've seen it on elaborate cakes, and you've seen it create fantasies on the reality TV show Cake Boss: It's fondant, the pliable, dough-like decorative cake icing. When you cover a cake with this confection it gives you a beautifully smooth surface to decorate. Usually it's made of gelatin and food-grade glycerine (a kind of sugar), and it's most often sold as "rolled fondant" in soft blocks which you knead and roll out. You can buy it white and color it yourself, or you can buy colored fondant. Here's how to use fondant the most basic way, to cover a whole cake in a single color.

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    Happy July 11. It's a certain Stir staffer's birthday AND it's Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven stores! Because 7/11, that's why. Today the convenience store is giving away a free small Slurpee in any flavor to its customers. But wait, there's more! 7-Eleven is having a whole series of freebies for a week. Read on to get all the icy-cool, delicious details.

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    The idea of going on a picnic sounds lovely, doesn't it? You lay out that checkered blanket, open your perfect wicker basket, and proceed to set out your pristinely-packed lunch. Except it's never quite that perfect, is it? There's always something that spills or gets smushed or somehow smells funny by the time you sit down to eat. Well, here are our 10 best picnic lunch hacks -- what to do to make sure your food arrives safe and sound so everyone's happy!

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    Remember getting a toy surprise in your box of Cracker Jacks? If you were really lucky, you got a pretty, plastic ring. Well, one little girl made the most amazing discovery. She found a ring in her Goldfish crackers -- a real wedding ring! Or it sure looks that way. Nine-year-old Peyton Postol was snacking on the little fish crackers when she pulled out a silver-colored metal band embedded with small diamonds or white stones and asked her mom, "Is there supposed to be a ring in here?"

    The answer is no, there definitely should not be a ring in your Goldfish crackers. But what a magical find! Peyton must have felt a thrill at this amazing discovery, followed by some confusion, naturally. But when you think about it, finding a ring in your crackers is maybe not such an innocent delight.

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    Welp, that's the way the cupcake crumbles. Giant cupcake chain Crumbs is closing all its stores, the company announced Monday. As of last night, all 51 locations across 12 states have been shuttered. It's the cupcakepalypse! Abandon all hope, cupcake lovers, for this is the beginning of the end of the cupcake trend as we know it. Or is it?

    At a time like this, we all have to ask ourselves this important question: What does this mean for the future of cupcakes?

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    You will find American-style fast food in nearly every corner of the globe these days. Just yesterday a friend of mine was telling me she saw a Starbucks on her trip to Cairo, Egypt. And you're guaranteed to see a McDonald's pretty much everywhere you go ... just don't expect the exact same menu. While the appeal of US fast food is spreading, many fast food restaurants also like to cater to local tastes, often in mind-boggling ways. You have to see what they're calling a burger around the world. You'll wish some of these were sold here, too.

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    You have to check out these fantastic party treats -- "surprise inside" cupcakes. They're cakes filled with little candies or sprinkles. And here's the best part -- you don't need any special equipment to make them! We got the recipe from U.K. baking brand Dr. Oetker, which makes these cool edible cupcake liners (not for sale in the U.S., yet, boo hoo!). But you can use any liners and, for that matter, any cupcake recipe. You create the "surprise inside" after the cupcakes are finished baking. Read on to find out how!

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    Ever had one of those weird days when you pick up a delicious dinner from the drive-through and discover a bag of weed got thrown in there as a bonus? No? Well, that's what happened to Carla McFarland one fine day. And before you start thinking that must be the happiest meal ever, you should know that she had two small children in the car with her. McFarland found a plastic baggie of marijuana with her order of fries from a Sonic in Frederick, Maryland.

    She had just passed chicken strips and another order of fries to her children, ages 6 and 8, in the back seat. And the weed was actually inside a container of fries, so she wouldn't have seen it first if she'd happened to pass that one to her kids instead. Can you imagine? Not cool, fast food employee! Not cool.

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