Coffee, cookies, pretzels and Cha!

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Restaurant deals: Chick-Fil-A at 902 E. Innes St. is celebrating February by offering a free chicken or sausage biscuit to customers who come in between 6-10:30 a.m. on Thursdays this month.
Romano’s at 1510 W. Innes, is celebrating the first-year anniversary of its reopening after a December 2011 fire with a special deal this week: Buy one entree, get a second entree for half price.

Finals in the S&D Culinary Challenge are coming up Feb. 18 at Johnson & Wales in Charlotte.
The Concord coffee company has challenged J&W students to come up with new recipes using S&D coffee and tea extracts in three categories: doughnuts, iced beverages and “Chef’s Choice.” The winner gets a $2,500 grand prize.
Coffee doughnuts — yum.

Kroger Co. says it will keep the Harris Teeter name, now that it has closed the $2.5 billion purchase of Matthews-based HT. Kroger officials have said initial changes the company makes will be “behind the scenes sort of things,” invisible to shoppers.

Even some Girl Scout cookies have gone gluten-free. ABC Bakers is testing Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies in 20 states as part of this year’s sale.
The local Hornets Nest Girl Scout Council is not among those trying the cookies this year. The nearest council participating in the test is Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont Council, in the western part of the state.

Snyders of Hanover is launching two new pretzel flavors to please the sweet-and-salty crowd — cinnamon sugar and salted caramel.
Texas Pete — based in North Carolina — has its answer to the growing popularity of the hot chile sauce known as sriracha. Its product, called CHA!, promises “a bold, balanced flavor.”

From Food Network’s “100 Greatest Cooking Tips of All Time”:
• After making eggs sunny-side up, deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar, then drizzle the sauce on the eggs to add another dimension to the dish. (From Didier Elena, New York City)
• After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor. (Gerard Craft, Niche and Taste, St. Louis)
• Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce. (Mario Batali, Iron Chef America)
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Choose vitamin supplements carefully. Power athletes and others looking for an edge to improve their performance should avoid taking vitamin D2, judging from research conducted at the N.C. Research Campus.
Research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab at the N.C. Research Campus showed that taking vitamin D2 supplements decreased levels of vitamin D3 in the body and resulted in higher muscle damage after intense weight lifting.