For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors. And it all started with cake.

Not just any cake — but bizcocho Dominicano, flavored with rum and vanilla extract, and layered with tropical fruit spreads and meringue.

In a deal that would create the third-largest fast-food chain, Burger King announced on Tuesday that it intended to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for about $11 billion.

The deal, reports Bloomberg, also moves the company's headquarters to Canada. Bloomberg explains:

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife, Helen, turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without.

The year before Jules left Goddard College, he and Helen built a replica of a 19th century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

Credit Renée S. Suen/flickr creative commons

Your family has a hankering--a yen for chicken tikka masala or queso fundido, for shrimp pad Thai or a Philly cheese steak--and they want it bad. So you decide to eat out at a local ethnic or roadside restaurant, or do a take-out. It's expedient, but is the food really good? Really, really good? Because Lucinda Scala Quinn's versions of all those dishes families crave will knock your socks off and prove beyond a doubt that the foods you love can be made better, faster, tastier, cheaper, and more healthfully at home. We tried her recipe for a velvety salmon using an aluminum foil packet. Fantastic! 

Chion Wolff

Here's my theory just in case I don't get a chance to say it during the show: I think food has become more like sports. People kind of root for things. Ted Allen and Anthony Bourdain are more like sport stars than people whom you would seek out for actual cooking information. People go to Chelsea Market just because they know the Food Network is somewhere upstairs. And, because of that, there's a lot more pressure on food to be exciting. When you pick up the sports pages you want news, not just the same old same old. So, driven by that pulse and a group of media engines that flow alongside it, we always have new things to cheer for. Yay bacon salt! Go gastropubs! Today on the show: where food trends come from and why they succeed, or fail. 

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Years ago in southern California, at ocean-side Montage Resort, I ordered the same thing for six lunches in a row—Thai summer roll with dipping sauce. It was a knockout, and now we can tell you how to make delicious ones at home. We can tell you how thanks to a respected chef, Gale Gand, author of Gale Gand's Lunch! As Gale told us, she learned from a Thai woman who was making them as fast as she could manage for thousands of hungry fans at the Lolllapalooza music festival. And wait till you try her watermelon gazpacho.

Discovery Channel set viewership records in 2013 as millions of people tuned in to watch sharks feed, sharks attack, extinct giant sharks and researchers catch and tag sharks. Discovery's "Shark Week" returned on Sunday, and this year, to the dismay of conservationists, restaurants and markets nationwide are feeding the frenzy with a slew of shark meat promotions.

Arnold Gatilao/flickr creative commons

There's still some summer left and we have ideas for clam bakes, grilled shrimp, and cocktails, along with plenty of kitchen tips. We also have a great recipe for a portobello mushroom po' boy.

D. Robert Wolcheck/flickr creative commons

If it is the Lord who should be praised, then praise the Lord for Lidia Bastianich, one of the great chefs in America. She is always in service to the food, not her own ego, yet there is a self-contained sureness in her as she teaches on television and in her books. 

Hungry for Variety? Hartford Has a Taste

Jul 25, 2014
Katherine Peikes / WNPR

Food lovers have a chance to savor unique culinary dishes from over 30 restaurants in the capital city as the annual Taste of Hartford continues.

wEnDy/flickr creative commons

Bánh … the name might be new to you, but we hope you'll try the sandwich that is the rage coast to coast. It has amazing, explosive flavor, the kind you want again and again. It sounds weird, we know, and you might think, how good can this be?

Michael / Flickr Creative Commons

Competitive eating has grown far beyond the popular event at local fairs where winners won blue ribbons for eating the most pies.

Today, it's a global sport with its own league, dedicated fans, and professional competitors who train to eat more food than seems humanly possible. Major League Eating, the sports governing body, is largely responsible for the change. Public relations executives Richard and George Shea professionalized the sport, attracting larger crowds every year for more than a decade. This July 4,  Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Championships, the Olympics of competitive eating, drew 40,000 fans to the Coney Island contest.

Mike McCune/flickr creative commons

Every shrimp gets a leaf of fresh basil and together they're wrapped in a slice of prosciutto and grilled; the outside gets crispy, and the shrimp is succulent. The flavor trio of basil against sweet shrimp and salty prosciutto is fantastic. Sprinkle a little sugar on fresh peach halves before grilling and you get caramelized beauties to go with your prosciutto-wrapped shrimp and basil. We adore this dish, it's so easy, and you can prep it before your guests arrive. No grill? No worries! The whole thing can be done in a cast-iron skillet indoors.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

All children look forward to summer vacation, but when they're not in class, some of these kids also miss out on free meals and snacks. To feed more children, Hartford Public Schools has expanded its summer food program to libraries.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's time for our cultural roundtable, The Nose! Insert smiling cat face with heart-shaped eyes. With 250 new emoji coming to a phone near you, we think it's time to give these tiny additions to our written language a face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye. Don't go all Hear No Evil Monkey on us!

Mike/flickr creative commons

On this fresh edition of The Food Schmooze: Ariston's Pizza-Flavored Olive Oil, and how farmers' markets are booming right now, including the full-service North End weekly market in Hartford. Cook corn on the cob in your microwave, and don't miss a recipe for mouth-watering, no-bake chocolate mousse pie. Make your salmon fantastic with a simple recipe for fresh peach-jalapeño salsa.

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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Chill with a brandy-laced sangria by Alex Province, and while you're sipping, try our lip-smacking chicken burgers, juicy from buffalo-style wing sauce and topped with crumbled blue cheese.

Check out our collection of world class potato salad recipes. Since we love brown butter everything, we discovered that it's phenomenal as a potato salad base, especially mixed with snappy fresh lemon juice and capers. And then Chris Prosperi created a crispy chorizo potato salad, which we could not stop eating, although we did pause to delight in Alex Province's favorite buttermilk, wine and radish creation inspired by Ina Garten.

Some people have had it with "natural" food.

For fifteen years, Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Yet consumers still look for that word, food companies still love to use it and the Food and Drug Administration can't or won't define it.

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This is a story about a little girl named Chelsea Wheeler, who lives in rural Oxford, the kind of small town that used to have a post office barber shop in one room. It's also the kind of town where citizens contributed at Town Hall to a giving tree set up in the Wheeler family name.

Andy Fell/flickr creative commons

The Paleo diet emphasizes the basics: meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and nuts. It's based on the foods our Paleolithic ancestors ate. The diet has also been touted as the solution for food allergy relief and better health. But healthy eating shouldn't mean you have to give up flavor. 

Loretta Hui/flickr creative commons

Mix fresh tomatoes with a touch of butter and you have a dreamy summer pasta… grilled vegetables Italian-style require only some herbs and olive oil to make them special… Lobster Landing in Clinton, Ct., is making, arguably, the best hot lobster roll in Connecticut, and they'll serve it on a gluten-free roll if you need one. Barrel-aged cocktails at Ordinary's in New Haven, to go with your BBQ.

Have you ever craved a salad, I mean really craved a salad because you've been eating a lot of freeze-dried meat and beans?

Astronauts who spend months on end in space sure do miss their greens. That's why NASA is embarking on a program to get astronauts growing their own food. First stop is the International Space Station and a vegetable production system called Veg-01, or "Veggie."

Big, bold wines have their fans. But with the arrival of summer, make room for a bumper crop of lighter, more subtle wines.

"Low-alcohol wines are super hot right now," says wine writer Katherine Cole.

There's Txakoli, or Txakolina, wines from the Basque region of Spain, Rieslings from Germany and New York state, and Vinho Verde from Portugal, to name a few.

These wines typically hover in the 9 percent to 11 percent alcohol range. This compares to about 13 percent to 14 percent in a typical California chardonnay.

Kirti Poddar/flickr creative commons

If you think only “mixologists” can create good cocktails, think again, my friend. I have always believed that any of us can make a deeply satisfying drink, with or without alcohol. In fact, I'm living proof that it can be done.

Chion Wolf

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of thoughts about food today but they won't be about how to get some. It will be about what you want for lunch and what you feel like having for dinner.

You might have an argument with yourself about whether you can afford to eat a snack or dessert, but to you the word "afford" has to do with your weight and your waistline.

Edson Hong/flickr creative commons

On this fresh edition: Grilled bread with sensational toppings is our fast, easy, fantastic snack or meal. Check out our recipes along with one for real grilled pizza covered in salad and prosciutto (from Fresh from the Farm).

Thomas Hawk/flickr creative commons

Many have blamed sugar for dieting failures, but this new book, Why Diets Fail, is the first one backed by current research from the food addiction lab at Princeton University, and it zeroes in on how dieters can get through the make-or-break withdrawal period.