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7 Recipes That Use Jelly Beans

They’re small, they’re sweet, and they come in hundreds of different flavors. It turns out jelly beans can also liven up everything from cookies to cocktails—especially if you’ve got a major sweet tooth. In honor of National Jelly Bean Day, here are a few nifty jelly bean recipes.

1. SUGAR COOKIES WITH JELLY BEANS

You can make the cookies and place jelly beans on top, or work them into the dough and bake them to an even chewier consistency (don’t worry, they’ll keep their shape). For a slightly more sophisticated take, try Dinner Impossible host Robert Irvine’s oatmeal and jellybean cookies.

2. JELLY BEAN POP-TARTS

Don’t let the name fool you: This recipe, courtesy of Serious Eats, requires some grownup skills in the kitchen, including rolling out your own pastry dough and whipping up homemade frosting made with heavy cream. But, even with the extra work, you may never go back to the packaged variety.

3. JELLY BEAN COCKTAIL

For those partial to sweet drinks, this one’s for you. A recipe from The Kitchn combines flavored vodka, Maraschino liqueur, and grenadine, with a jelly bean plopped in the bottom of the glass as a garnish. Another, from author and DIY guru Erica Domesek, involves infusing vodka with jelly beans, then combining with club soda and simple syrup.

4. JELLY BEAN BARK

If you enjoy peppermint bark around the winter holidays, there’s a good chance you’ll like this springtime bark made with jelly beans and white candy coating. Just break up a pound of candy coating inside a pan, then melt it in the oven and add jelly beans. Once the concoction has cooled, smash it up into tasty morsels.

5. JELLY BEAN ICE CREAM

You could try sticking jelly beans into a scoop of your favorite ice cream. But flavor-wise, that doesn’t compare with making your own blend from scratch. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, it should be no sweat to stir in jelly beans with a vanilla or strawberry mix. Or, you could follow food blogger Kavey Eats’s suggestion for a no-machine, no-churn jelly bean ice cream.

6. JELLY BEAN DONUTS

Call it a different take on the jelly donut. Food blogger Melanie Bauer offers an easy recipe for jelly bean-infused glazed donuts. You’ll need a donut pan, which at $10 is a worthy investment. You’ll also want to eat the donuts shortly after making them, which shouldn’t be a problem.

7. JELLY BEAN CAKE

This can be as easy as stirring jelly beans into your favorite cake batter and baking it up. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could try making Cosmopolitan UK’s "Exploding Jelly Bean Cake," which is really just an elaborate excuse to eat a pound of jelly beans.

All images via iStock.

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Food
How to Make Miles Davis’s Famous Chili Recipe
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STF/AFP/Getty Images

Miles Davis, who was born on May 26, 1926, was one of the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century, and changed the course of jazz music more times in his life than some people change their sheets. He was also pretty handy in the kitchen.

In his autobiography, Miles, Davis wrote that in the early 1960s, “I had gotten into cooking. I just loved food and hated going out to restaurants all the time, so I taught myself how to cook by reading books and practicing, just like you do on an instrument. I could cook most of the great French dishes—because I really liked French cooking—and all the black American dishes. But my favorite was a chili dish I called Miles's South Side Chicago Chili Mack. I served it with spaghetti, grated cheese, and oyster crackers."

Davis didn’t divulge what was in the dish or how to make it, but in 2007, Best Life magazine got the recipe from his first wife, Frances, who Davis said made it better than he did.

MILES'S SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO CHILIK MACK (SERVES 6)

1/4 lb. suet (beef fat)
1 large onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
salt and pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can beef consommé
1 drop red wine vinegar
3 lb. spaghetti
parmesan cheese
oyster crackers
Heineken beer

1. Melt suet in large heavy pot until liquid fat is about an inch high. Remove solid pieces of suet from pot and discard.
2. In same pot, sauté onion.
3. Combine meats in bowl; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
4. In another bowl, season kidney beans with salt and pepper.
5. Add meat to onions; sauté until brown.
6. Add kidney beans, consommé, and vinegar; simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
7. Add more seasonings to taste, if desired.
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, and then divide among six plates.
9. Spoon meat mixture over each plate of spaghetti.
10. Top with Parmesan and serve oyster crackers on the side.
11. Open a Heineken.

John Szwed’s biography of Davis, So What, mentions another chili that the trumpeter’s father taught him how to make. The book includes the ingredients, but no instructions, save for serving it over pasta. Like a jazz musician, you’ll have to improvise. 

bacon grease
3 large cloves of garlic
1 green, 1 red pepper
2 pounds ground lean chuck
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 jar of mustard
1/2 shot glass of vinegar
2 teaspoons of chili powder
dashes of salt and pepper
pinto or kidney beans
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of beef broth

serve over linguine

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Live Smarter
How to Choose the Best Watermelon
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Buying a watermelon is an experience one can grow to resent. The 92 percent moisture content of Citrullus lanatus means you're basically buying a giant ball of water. On the plus side, they're delicious and packed with enough vitamin C and D to keep you from getting scurvy.

But how to select the best of the batch? Food blogger Emma Christensen over at kitchn recently offered some advice, and it involves a little weight-training. When you examine watermelons in the produce section of your local grocery, you want to look for the heaviest one for its size. The denser the fruit, the more juice it has. That's when it's at its most ripe.

Next, check the underside of the watermelon for the "splotch." That's the yellow patch the watermelon develops by resting on the ground. If it's a creamy yellow, it's also a good indicator of being ripe.

Finally, give the underside a little smack—not aggressive enough to draw attention from grocery workers, but enough so that you can determine whether the watermelon sounds hollow. If it does, that's good. If it sounds dull, like you're hitting a solid brick of material, it's overripe; put the watermelon down and slowly back away from it.

If you're not confident in your watermelon evaluation abilities, there's another option: Local farmers markets typically have only choice product available, so any watermelon you pick up is likely to be a winner. You can also ask the merchant to pick one out for you. Pay attention to what he's doing and then try to emulate it the next time you're forced to choose your own produce.

[h/t: kitchn]

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