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Kraft Singles Is First Food Allowed to Display ‘Kids Eat Right’ Logo

Kraft Singles Is First Food Allowed to Display ‘Kids Eat Right’ Logo

xfzsy/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Kraft Singles will soon display the "Kids Eat Right" logo from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics -- and some observers worry consumers will get the wrong idea and view it as an endorsement. The academy, the world's largest organization of registered dietitians and nutrition professionals, said the appearance of the logo on the processed cheese product is not an endorsement or seal of approval. It's more like an ad for Kids Eat Right, according to the academy, though, in a reversal of how most ads work, Kraft paid the advertiser -- the academy -- an undisclosed amount to place the logo. "Kraft is putting the Kids Eat Right logo [on its packaging and] saying Kraft is a proud supporter of Kids Eat Right, not vice versa," Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesman Ryan O'Malley said. "The academy has never once endorsed any product, brand or service, and we never will." He said he hopes the logo will help direct people who buy Kraft Singles to the Kids Eat Right website. Only products the academy collaborates with can display the Kids Eat Right logo, and there are no plans for a second product in the works, O'Malley said. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU Langone Medical Center, said he was "99.9 percent" sure consumers would read the logo as an endorsement from nutritionists and dietitians. Because he knows people don't read the fine print on labels such as this one, Caplan said he's not comfortable with logos such as the academy's appearing on food. "I have nothing against eating Kraft Singles," Caplan said, adding that he would feel the same way if the Eat Right Logo appeared on broccoli. "The notion here is that they're more nutritious or better for you. Or it could be understood to mean that you can eat an unlimited supply." Jessica Bennett, a registered dietitian at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said many consumers don't read labels at all, but she expected those who do will now think Kraft Singles are a health food. She said when General Mills added whole grain labels to sugary cereals, it led some parents to think those cereals were healthy. Yes, they have whole grain, she said, but they're also loaded with sugar. "I think it can be confusing for a consumer," she said of the Kids Eat Right logos. "It could be taken for a healthy product." Still, the product is fine, she said. "It's high in calcium. There is a protein component," she said. "In moderation, it's perfectly fine, especially if you have a kid that doesn't drink milk or doesn't like to eat broccoli or other green vegetables." In a statement to ABC News, Kraft spokeswoman Jody Moore said Kraft and Kids Eat Right will collaborate on a "nutrition education campaign" for three years "to raise awareness that the diets of America’s kids are lacking in three important components -- dairy, calcium and vitamin D." She said the logo will drive traffic to a new website that will stress the importance of dairy and cheese. Proceeds of Kraft Singles sales will not go to the academy or its foundation. Although the singles contain calcium and vitamin D, they also contain 200 milligrams of sodium per slice, according to the Kraft website. Cheese was named the eighth-leading source of protein among U.S. children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stressed that diets high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to Kraft's website, a grilled cheese sandwich with two of its single slices contain 870 milligrams of sodium, or 40 percent of a child's daily allowance.

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Average Cost of Weddings Jumps to New All Time High

Average Cost of Weddings Jumps to New All Time High

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Smaller, personalized weddings may be on trend, but bridal budgets have ballooned, according to new data.The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study surveyed nearly 16,000 U.S. brides and grooms over the last year and findings revealed that while most couples trimmed their guest list in comparison to years past, the total price tag of the event is as plump as ever.On average, couples spent $31,213 on their big day in 2014 -- an all-time record high."Couples are focusing on putting their money towards the celebratory part of the day for a couple of reasons," said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of The Knot. "For one, more and more couples have friends and family coming from out of town and they want to show them a great time and make it worth their travels."Costs to achieve this feat fluctuate from region to region. Five of the six most expensive areas to get married were located in the New York/Tri-State area, with Manhattan topping the list at $76,328. Chicago ranked fifth at $50,934.Meanwhile, the least expensive places to get married, by a significant gap, were Arkansas ($18,031) and Utah ($15,257) in 2014.To make ends meet, typically the bride’s parents contribute 43 percent toward the total wedding bill, "the bride and groom contribute 43%, and the groom’s parents contribute 12% of the total wedding budget (others account for the remaining 2%)," noted the survey. A scant 12 percent of couples in 2014 paid for the entire affair themselves.But despite the effluence of matrimonial monies, the size of weddings are actually getting smaller, revealed the data.“While wedding budgets continue to rise, guest lists are shrinking,” said Rebecca Dolgin, Editor-in-Chief of The Knot. "The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009."So where do the funds go? Survey results indicated that couples are skimping on ceremony costs and funneling as much cash as possible into the reception party.“Couples are focusing on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details, including finding unique venues to reflect their personality," said Dolgin.Popular alternate venues in 2014 include historic buildings/homes (14 %) and farms (6 %). While banquet halls (22 %), country clubs (11 %) and hotels (11 %) are still common options for couples, "about 40% are looking for unusual venues that better reflect their personality," noted the survey.Cooper confirmed that couples were looking to make a statement with their celebration."The reception is a place for couples to show their personality and interests -- so they may spend more on food and entertainment that reflect those, like an oyster bar if they love seafood or a pricey 80s cover band if they're music enthusiasts," said Cooper. "Cocktail hours are on the rise, up to 76% in 2014 from 69% 2010."The national average spent in 2014 on wedding venues was $14,006, with the engagement ring at $5,855, reception band at $3,587, photographer at $2,556, florist at $2,141, wedding planner at $1,973, ceremony site at $1,901 and the big white dress at $1,357.If those figures seem like they'd break the bank even before you sent out invitations, your prediction is correct -- at least, when it comes to almost half of all newlyweds. The Knot's survey revealed that in 2014, roughly 45 percent of couples went over budget."It's usually what we call "hidden fees" or fees and extra costs that couples don't think of that put them over budget," said Cooper. "These are things like tips, tax, service fees and overtime fees. Also little things like postage, hair and makeup trials and decorative items like ribbon for favors. We recommend couples to set aside 5% of their overall budget for unexpected costs that come up."

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What Apple Would Get If It Bought Tesla

What Apple Would Get If It Bought Tesla

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Some Apple shareholders want the world's most valuable company to buy Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla.While Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't directly answer questions at this week's shareholders meeting on whether bidding on Tesla was in the iPhone maker's future, there are plenty of reasons why analysts say it could be a smart move for Apple if the company has ambitions to dive deeper into the automotive world."Tesla has gone a long way toward being a real car company in such a short time. This is a timely and very expensive process to get that far along," Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told ABC News. "If Apple was interested in going that route they could shortcut things tremendously if they purchased Tesla."Apple announced earlier this week that every major car brand has committed to delivering Car Play, Apple's system that lets drivers sync up their iOS devices with infotainment systems in their cars. Cook dodged a question about purchasing Tesla, according to the Wall Street Journal, by saying he hoped Musk's company would get on board with Car Play.The questions come as Apple has been reported to quietly be exploring automotive technologies, leading some to wonder if an Apple Car could be in the pipeline.A lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court last month by A123 Systems alleges Apple poached five of the lithium-ion battery maker's employees, fueling speculation the iPhone maker could be working on an electric car. Apple has declined to comment on the pending litigation.Apple is sitting on a mountain of $178 billion in cash, which would be more than enough for the Cupertino, California, company to acquire Tesla. While it may just be a pipe dream for Apple and Tesla fanatics to see their two favorite brands unite, Brauer said Apple's history of innovation makes the move a real possibility.Not only will Apple's worth give it a competitive edge, but the company also has the advantage of employing a brain trust of some of the best designers and user experience experts in the world. Couple that with Tesla's employee base and it could be a winning combination."It would be fascinating if Apple went this direction because it's such a leap from anything they done," Brauer said. "I think they could still just be investigating. But ultimately, I think the fact they didn't have anything like an iPad or Apple Watch ten years ago says something. They have a history of breaking out of their wheelhouse."

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California Man Loses $1 Million Powerball Ticket, Can’t Claim Prize

California Man Loses $1 Million Powerball Ticket, Can’t Claim Prize

California Lottery(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- This Friday the 13th is indeed an unlucky day for one California man who could have been more than $1 million richer.The man went to a California Lottery office Thursday to claim his winning $1,098,674 Powerball ticket but realized he had lost it, a California Lottery spokesman told ABC News Friday.The prize money, now expired, is being donated to California public schools, he said."We believe the man who came forward yesterday was the actual guy in the surveillance footage," the spokesman said," but unfortunately, in Powerball rules, you have to have a physical ticket to win."The man's name is not being revealed at this time, the spokesman said.Lottery officials released surveillance video on Wednesday of the man, who they believed was the winner, purchasing the winning ticket at Rosemead Supermarket last year, the spokesman said.They had been looking for the mystery man for 180 days since Sept. 13 of last year when his winning numbers were drawn, the spokesman added.The man came forward when a retailer at the supermarket recognized him and informed him of his unclaimed prize, the spokesman said.The winner's ticket matched the numbers 37, 6,1, 53 and 16, missing only the Powerball number 27 to win the big prize, the spokesman added.Rosemead Supermarket received a bonus of $5,493, half of one percent of the winning amount, the spokesman said, adding that retailers receive the bonus just for selling the winning ticket regardless of whether the winner comes forward or not.On the bright side, at least the man didn't lose a winning ticket worth $28.5 million in 2003. It remains the largest California Lottery prize unclaimed in the state's history.

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Cash-Conscious Bridesmaids Have Options to Save

Cash-Conscious Bridesmaids Have Options to Save

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For brides-to-be, finding the right wedding dress is a magical moment. For many bridesmaids, the experience is not as joyous. Nowadays, being a bridesmaid can be very costly, including spending for the wedding gift, the bachelorette party, and the dress."A lot of mall brands have dresses that fall between $175 and $300," said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of TheKnot.com.A bridesmaid spends about $1,700, on average, in connection with a wedding, according to a 2011 estimate from Mint.com.Aware of the difficulties, some brides are getting creative in order to save their bridesmaids some cash.Amanda Walsh, of Philadelphia, will be a bridesmaid for Nicole Morello, of Westchester, New York. Walsh told ABC's Good Morning America that Morello's wedding, scheduled for 2016, will be her fifth time as a bridesmaid.Morello and Walsh, both 27, are checking out Gather & Gown, a new online service that allows brides and their bridesmaids to shop together on the site and choose from 33 different dress styles in more than a dozen colors. The dresses, which range in size from zero to 20, cost under $200 each.“We've eliminated the 45-minute appointment,” Michael Shettell, Gather & Gown's design director, told ABC News. “You can order them online, try on the dresses, take several days and return them if they don't work.”Shipping is free, and the dresses arrive in three to five days.In Manhattan, Little Borrowed Dress has another cost-saving approach. The store rents bridal dresses for an average of $75. The only downside is that those dresses cannot be altered.

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All the Details on Starbucks’ New Cold Brew Coffee

All the Details on Starbucks’ New Cold Brew Coffee

Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks has been introducing lots of drinks to its menu in the past few months (the flat white, chestnut praline latte and more), and the latest to join the roster is the coffee chain’s new cold brew coffee.Don’t know what a cold brew coffee is? Just make sense of the name: coffee that’s brewed cold instead of hot, making for a different flavor than hot coffee that’s cooled down and iced, which is what Starbucks currently serves.“Iced coffee and espresso beverages have a stronger, roastier flavor with a bit of nuttiness that comes from brewing with hot water,” Michelle Sundquist, a member of Starbucks’ research and development team, said in a statement. “Our cold brew is smooth and rich; it’s very refreshing with chocolate and light citrus notes.”To make cold brew, coffee beans are steeped with cool water, so the drink is already cold when done and isn’t diluted with ice. Traditional iced coffee -- the kind you’re drinking now -- is brewed at double strength to accommodate for watering down when it’s poured over ice.

The beans for this new offering are being sourced from Latin America and Africa and will steep for 20 hours, according to Starbucks.The chain won’t be getting rid of its standard iced coffee, instead offering both beverages in more than 2,800 stores in the United States and Canada.

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Auction for the Real-Life “Up” House Starts at $216K

Auction for the Real-Life “Up” House Starts at $216K

iStock/Thinkstock(BALLARD, Wash.) -- The real-life house that has drawn parallels to the animated film Up is set to be auctioned Friday in Washington state.Edith Macefield, the home's previous owner before she died in 2008, had famously refused an offer of $1 million to real estate developers who ultimately built around her home. She stayed in the home for about 50 years until she died of pancreatic cancer at age 86."I don't want to move. I don't need the money. Money doesn't mean anything," she told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in October 2007.The concrete walls of the Ballard Blocks retail and commercial development surrounded Macefield's home in Ballard, Washington, much like the home that belonged to balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 animated Disney movie.Macefield left her home to the superintendent of the development project, Barry Martin, after befriending him over time. She had no family, her obituary noted."I think we were a lot alike," Martin said in her obituary in the Seattle P-I. "I am stubborn and so was she. We had some incredible arguments. She was amazingly smart."He sold it to a company called Reach Returns, which wanted to offer a space beneath it where people could buy tiles to write their own credos, according to the Seattle P-I. The new owners defaulted on their loans and the home went into foreclosure.The auction for the home will start at 10 a.m. local time Friday, with bidding starting at $216,270.70, according to Northwest Trustee Services, which is conducting the foreclosure. The auction will take place at the King County Administration Building. The notice of sale indicates the property had debt that totaled $185,956.04, as of Dec. 4, 2014.The director of the Disney/Pixar film, Pete Docter, previously said that script writing for the film began in 2004, years before Macefield's famous refusal was publicized. To promote the 2009 animated film, balloons were placed outside Macefield's home.The Walt Disney Company is the parent of ABC News.When she died, local tattoo artist Curtis James created a house stencil for local residents to get tattooed, said Ballard resident Michael Stephens."I have the house on my forearm and over 25 other people have it on various body parts," Stephens told ABC News.Macefield inspired Stephens and others to create the Macefield Music Festival, which she describes as a local music festival that was "inspired by her independent spirit."Ballard Blocks did not respond to a request for comment by ABC News. Pixar did not respond to a request for comment.Gerard Wirz, a community organizer for the Eat Ballard group, called the home a "community treasure.""Because Ballard is growing so rapidly, a lot of neighbors have complained about houses that are important to them disappearing overnight," he said. "I think that’s the key message that a lot of people want to get out. They would like to be a part of the decision making process and have some sort of input on this."

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Tax Tip: Pros and Cons of Filing an Extension

Tax Tip: Pros and Cons of Filing an Extension

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you don't have time to file your taxes by the April 15 deadline, you can file for an extension.“If you’re rushed during the winter tax season, it gives you more time to put your paperwork in order,” says New York-based accountant Janice Hayman. “It gives you more time to make a retirement contribution if you are self-employed.”Tom Wheelwright, CEO and founder of the CPA firm ProVision, says you may also have a lower chance of being audited if you file an extension.But there could be a downside: “The con would be only if you think you owe money. An extension does not extend the time to pay,” Hayman says. “So my recommendation is always, 'let’s do our best guess-timate and pay something with the extension by April 15.'"With form 4868, you have six more months to file your return.If the Internal Revenue Service owes you money, the sooner you file your return, the sooner you'll get your money.

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Chick-Fil-A to Open First NYC Location

Chick-Fil-A to Open First NYC Location

ljhimages/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Chick-Fil-A will open its first New York City location this summer, the company said on its Twitter account Thursday.

 

Guess who’s coming to New York this summer? https://t.co/V2OlLDXgvj

— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) March 11, 2015

First reported by Crain's New York Business earlier this week, the nation's top fast food chicken chain will enter into the New York market. The chain already has a number of locations in New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as a limited location in a dining hall at New York University, but the new location will be its first free-standing restaurant in New York City.Chick-Fil-A has more than 1,800 locations, most of which are in the Southeastern United States. Following the protocol of its other restaurants, Crain's New York Business says the New York restaurant will not be open on Sundays.

 

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Wall Street Bounces Back with Gains, Unemployment Claims Down

Wall Street Bounces Back with Gains, Unemployment Claims Down

tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street bounced back from consecutive days in the red on Thursday, as unemployment claims dropped from last week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 259.83 to a close of 17,895.22.The Nasdaq jumped 43.35 to end the session at 4,893.29, while the S&P 500 closed at 2,065.95, up 25.71 from its open.With Thursday's gains, the Dow and the S&P have wiped out the losses they had racked up for the year to date.The Department of Labor released its weekly unemployment data on Thursday morning, showing that 36,000 fewer Americans claimed unemployment insurance as compared to last week. The most recent claims data showed 289,000 Americans filing for unemployment benefits.

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Google Chromebook Pixel 2: How Laptop Stands Out from the Pack

Google Chromebook Pixel 2: How Laptop Stands Out from the Pack

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Would you pay $1,000 for a laptop that only lets you surf the Internet?Google's new Chromebook Pixel starts at $999, making it one of the costliest laptops on the company's Cloud operating system. An LS version (that stands for "ludicrous speed," according to Google) is priced at $1,299.Chromebooks are typically priced in the $200 range and appeal to users for their price and bare-bones features.The updated Chromebook Pixel looks a lot like its predecessor, which was introduced at a price of $1,299. Despite the sticker shock, there's plenty of new features that make Google's latest premium computer appealing.ChargingNo more cable clutter.The updated Chromebook Pixel uses the USB Type-C charging standard that many electronics companies have began adopting this year. The cable plugging into the port and a connected device has ends that are the same size, meaning there is no need to have to worry about plugging something in upside down. It's also reversible, allowing both peripheral and host devices to share their juice.

The new MacBook that Apple announced earlier this week also uses the USB Type-C port.Battery LifeWith a turbo charger, it's easy to get two hours of battery life in just 15 minutes, according to Google, which noted that a full charge lasts up to 12 hours.SpeedThe base Chromebook Pixel has a 2.2 GHz Broadwell-based Intel Core i5 processor. Comparing that to the 1.8 GHz Ivy Bridge Core i5 in the original Chromebook Pixel, Google is working to make its hardware even faster.The LS version has a 2.4 GHz Broadwell Core i7.

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Twitter Cracks Down on Revenge Porn

Twitter Cracks Down on Revenge Porn

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Twitter is stepping up its game when it comes to dealing with revenge porn.The company's updated terms of service states that users are prohibited from posting "intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent."Twitter users can report any unauthorized explicit photos of themselves to the company, which will then review and remove the items in question if it is determined they are unauthorized. Users are allowed to appeal if they feel the removal is unwarranted.After coming under fire for letting trolls flood Twitter, the company affirmed its commitment last year to improving the abuse reporting process. In December, a set of tools for the Twitter app were rolled out, allowing users to easily report abusive behavior and keep track of people they have blocked.Twitter's crackdown on revenge porn comes as Reddit implemented a new policy on Tuesday banning sexually explicit photos that are posted without the subject's consent. Anyone with an issue can now flag a photo to expedite its removal."No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on Reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on Reddit," the company's executive team wrote in a post announcing the change. "We also recognize that violent personalized images are a form of harassment that we do not tolerate and we will remove them when notified."

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How ‘Blurred Lines’ Case Could Change Music Industry — or Not

How ‘Blurred Lines’ Case Could Change Music Industry — or Not

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- After a jury ruled Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied elements of a Marvin Gaye song for their hit, "Blurred Lines," the artists jointly said the ruling "sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward" -- and their opinion seems to have struck a chord."If this constitutes copyright infringement, then there's gonna be so many lawsuits," said Michael Harrington, chairman of the Music Business Program at the SAE Institute Nashville. "Because there's no melody in common, no matter what anyone wants to say. There are no chord changes, there's no rhythm issue, there are no lyrics. So I've never seen anything like that.""I hope they appeal it 'cause this is just really absurd," Harrington told ABC News' Andrea Dresdale.The lawyer for the "Blurred Lines" performers, Howard King, insisted they did not copy Gaye's hit "Got to Give It Up," but merely let an artist and vibe inspire them. He said the jury's decision might make record companies reluctant to release music that draws on similar inspiration.On the other hand, a lawyer for the Gaye family said that's not what the case was about at all."They made comments about how this was about a groove and how this was about an era and how this was about a genre," Richard Busch told reporters after the verdict. "It wasn't. It was about the copying of 'Got to Give it Up.'"Many seem to disagree.Bob Stanley of the pop group Saint Etienne wrote in The Guardian that it was a "terrible shame, and an absolute disaster for music," that Gaye’s family couldn't see that being inspired by Gaye was an "honorable thing.""If anyone has ever compared a new band to Saint Etienne, I’ve been flattered that we might be an influence," Stanley wrote.Bryan Vaughan, founder of Brooklyn's independent record label Paper Garden Records, told ABC News that artists should be encouraged to be inspired by the "vibe" of their idols "in order for music to progress.""This verdict does appear to potentially stifle future creative freedom and expression in a big way, though, and could certainly cause a wave of new legal battles," he said.A pair of copyright experts disagreed on how the jury verdict will affect the industry.Leigh Ann Lindquist, intellectual property attorney with Sughrue Mion in Washington, D.C., said it may have a chilling effect, and "artists will need to consider whether or not they need to obtain a license from a copyright owner."However, Kevin Parks, a partner at Leydig, Voit and Mayer's Chicago office, and author of Music & Copyright in America: Toward the Celestial Jukebox, didn't believe that the verdict would chill creativity. The question in this case, he added, has clear ground rules in copyright law, centering on whether there was "substantial similarity” between two works.Having celebrities involved, though, made it a bigger deal, because, "It takes what’s otherwise a routine issue in copyright matters and makes it a cause célèbre for the moment," Parks said.Harrington, on the other hand, seemed to buy the "Blurred Lines" performers' argument that a vibe or style cannot be copyrighted."If it sounds like something -- like, they both have cow bell or Coke bottle, whatever it is, virtually in the same speed," he said, "[or] you hear people in the background having a good time. I think it's that vibe and that, you know -- he sings a falsetto, you hear that in both songs. ...That's what [the jury] fell for."

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DIY Restaurants on the Rise

DIY Restaurants on the Rise

Parker & Quinn restaurant at the Refinery Hotel(NEW YORK) -- The option to make your own food -- at a restaurant -- seems to defeat the purpose of going out.But a growing number of restaurants are going DIY -- at least in part. It's a practice that's long been commonplace at Korean barbecue restaurants, but is now making its way into other cuisines and even cocktails.In New York, the Parker & Quinn restaurant at the Refinery Hotel recently introduced a “build your own” brunch beverage experience where guests mix their own drinks. The Bloody Board includes a carafe of Bloody Mary, accompanied by pickled vegetables, pimento olives, pepper jack cheese, bacon, celery, horseradish, beef bouillon and assorted hot sauces. The "Bubbly Board" is DIY mimosas and bellinis, with a bottle of Prosecco, and sides of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, along with mixers."Since people are generally decompressing from the night before or preparing for the day ahead during brunch, through our Brunch Boards they’re able to skip the hassles of cooking at home and creating cocktails from start to finish, but can still enjoy playing with their food," said Rob McGovern, Food & Beverage Director at In Good Company Hospitality. He added guests are looking for "Instagram-able” brunch experiences.Slappy Cakes delivers batter and topping to tables equipped with a grill in the center so breakfast goers can DIY pancakes in both Portland, Oregon and Maui. The first Slappy Cakes opened in 2009 in Oregon and the Maui location debuted in 2013. Several international locations are opening this year including London, Bangkok, Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Slappy Cakes founder Adam Fuderer said DIY cooking brings families and friends closer together.

"At our restaurant we do all the prep and cleaning, leaving the fun part of actually cooking to the guests," he said.The Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House in De Leon Springs, Florida has a similar make-your-own pancakes concept.In San Diego, the Gaslamp Strip Club has diners order a cut of meat, which is then served uncooked; customers bring the meat to a grill station in the middle of the restaurant to cook the meat to their liking. At the grill stations, there are instructions for recommended cooking times for different cuts, seasoning suggestions and sauce/condiment options. A restaurant spokesperson said it's a popular feature for tourists looking for something out of the ordinary, as well as locals.The Grill House in Allegan, Michigan is built around the grill-your-own concept. Guests are escorted to the grill room where they select a cut from the meat case and then, under the guidance of restaurant staff, are directed to the part of the grill they should use depending on how well done they want their meat.Food expert Alanna Stang of The Daily Meal said the burgeoning trend is really just an extension of the DIY culture that's become so popular in recent years.

"You have more people brining, pickling, jarring, etc. than in previous decades. People are into understanding how things are made -- from their broth to their bitters," Stang said.

And while she said the idea of cooking your own food at a restaurant is "counterintuitive" it can be an enjoyable experience."At a restaurant people have access to all kind of ingredients and cooking methods that they may not have at home, plus you can cook together with lots of friends," Stang said.

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Tax Tip: Most Commonly-Overlooked Deductions

Tax Tip: Most Commonly-Overlooked Deductions

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of preparing taxes, there are many common things people forget they can claim as deductions.One of the biggest deductions people overlook is the home office deduction, according to Tom Wheelwright with the CPA firm ProVision.  "You may have an office in your home that is strictly for what you do in your investing. There's a lot of deductions available there,” says Wheelwright.Deductions can include an air conditioning bill, heating bill and even a water bill, according to Wheelwright.“You even get to depreciate a part of your house,” he says.If you're drowning in student debt, you can also deduct your loan interest. Tax experts say that’s often overlooked by people who don't itemize their returns.Tobie Stanger, a senior editor at Consumer Reports, said there are also some costly medical procedures that can be deducted."Laser eye surgery can be written off as a medical deduction. Invitro fertilization treatments also can be written off. That's a very expensive treatment,” said Stanger.There’s also never been a better time to kick the habit. Smoking cessation programs and patches can be deducted.

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Jobless Claims Down by 36,000

Jobless Claims Down by 36,000

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims were slightly lower last week, decreasing by 36,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending March 7, the number of people filing for benefits dropped to 289,000. The previous week, claims stood at 325,000.The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.The four-week moving average also declined by 3,750, to 306,000.

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Americans Will Spend a Lot of Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Americans Will Spend a Lot of Green for St. Patrick’s Day

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — One of the biggest holiday shopping days of the year is coming up. Well, at least the biggest one in March anyway.With St. Patrick’s Day celebrated next Tuesday, Americans will get into the swing of things by spending as much as $4.6 billion to celebrate the wearin’ of the green.That’s the estimate from the National Retail Federation, which says that the average spent per consumer will be $36.52, just under 75 cents more than they did in 2014.By far, the most popular way to commemorate St. Paddy’s Day is at a restaurant or bar with 31 percent of survey respondents planning to do so on or about the 17th.It’s a day when everyone’s Irish, apparently, since just over eight in ten said they’ll wear something green and about a quarter plan on adorning their homes with various decorations.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Luck Is the Key to Winning March Madness Office Pools

Luck Is the Key to Winning March Madness Office Pools

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — We’re on the verge again of March Madness.Part of the insanity has to do with NCAA basketball pools at work and filling out brackets for the chance to win some big money, although nearly everyone who plays comes away empty-handed.Dae Hee Kwak, who teaches sports management at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, was curious to find out why people keep selecting brackets year after year even as many bettors go down in flames before the first round of games is even over.It’s something called control theory and overestimation, which basically means that certain people have a high degree of confidence based on their knowledge and research.But here’s where it gets interesting. Kwak says you have just as much of a chance of winning your office pool even if you know nothing about men’s college basketball by merely flipping a coin as he did one year against a control group.Kwak did three sets of brackets, picking winners by a coin flip and each time outperformed those who made their picks through the control theory and overestimation.So why do perennial losers keep doing it? Kwak explains that “high confidence drives winning expectations, which drives the greatest enjoyment.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Shake Shack: Company Says Loss Won’t Stop ‘Shack-Attack’

Shake Shack: Company Says Loss Won’t Stop ‘Shack-Attack’Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  A "Shack"-attack is hitting the country since Shake Shack went public in January, as the food chain aims to triple its presence in the U.S.After a successful IPO, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said...

IRS Estimates $1 Billion Could Be Waiting for Taxpayers Who Didn’t File 2011 Income Tax Returns

IRS Estimates $1 Billion Could Be Waiting for Taxpayers Who Didn’t File 2011 Income Tax Returns

jim pruitt/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal income tax refunds totaling $1 billion could be awaiting an estimated one million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2011, the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday."Time is running out for people who didn't file a 2011 federal income tax return to claim their refund," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. "People could be missing out on a substantial refund, especially students or part-time workers." He also noted that "some people may not have filed because they didn't make much money, but they still may be entitled to a refund."The IRS estimates that half of the potential 2011 refunds would exceed $698.Federal law allows a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund if they had not filed a tax return. That window for 2011 tax returns closes on April 15, 2015.

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