Has Your Blue Cheese Gone Bad? Here's a Simple Way to Tell

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iStock

It's not always obvious when food has gone bad, but blue mold and a funky smell are usually clear signs that something belongs in the trash. That is unless you're dealing with blue cheese, a product that by design includes blue-green speckles of mold. So how are you to tell the difference between the tasty kind of old, moldy cheese and the kind that will get you sick?

Before cleaning out your cheese drawer, you should first familiarize with what a desirable hunk of blue cheese looks and smells like. Carie Wagner, one of Wisconsin's elite master cheesemakers, tells The Takeout that good blue cheese should have greenish-blue veins and a body that's cream to white in color. Blue cheese is also supposed to be pungent—if the smell that first hits you when you peel back the plastic is comparable to ammonia, that's not a bad thing.

But there are some living things you never want to see growing on your cheese, even if mold is the main selling point. Fuzzy gray or black patches of mold or shiny pink or yellow spots of yeast are indications that your blue cheese is past the point of no return. Cheese that is slimy or feels tough and dry has also likely spoiled.

As with most foods, the easiest way to tell if blue cheese is safe to eat is to use your senses and basic judgment. Does that last piece in the back of fridge look a little discolored? Does it smell funky in a way that tickles your gag reflex, not your taste buds? You probably shouldn't eat it.

And if all blue cheese smells equally rotten to you, perhaps you should stick to snacks that don't resemble science experiments quite so closely.

[h/t The Takeout]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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Wax Paper vs. Parchment Paper: What’s the Difference for Cooking?

Wax paper is great for keeping your counter space clean (as seen above).
Wax paper is great for keeping your counter space clean (as seen above).

When it comes to kitchen accessories, there are utensils like ladles and spatulas, bakeware like cupcake pans, and then covers and wraps like aluminum foil and plastic bags. But one kitchen item can result in some confusion—paper. Specifically, wax paper versus parchment paper. Despite similar appearances, they're not the same. What’s the difference between the two?

It’s pretty simple. Parchment paper tolerates heat and wax paper does not. Parchment paper is a sturdy, kitchen-specific item made with silicone that resists both grease and moisture. It’s perfect for cake molds or for wrapping fish. (So long as you don’t reuse it for those tasks.) You can safely use parchment paper in an oven.

Wax paper also has a non-stick surface, but it’s not intended for use around any kind of heat source. The wax on the paper could melt. It’s better to use it to cover countertops to make clean-up easier. You can also use it to roll out dough or pound chicken breasts into submission.

Though parchment paper is typically more expensive, it’s far more versatile. You should opt for wax paper only if you plan on making a mess and want to discard it easily. But don’t get the two mixed up, as wax paper near heat could require another kitchen accessory: a fire extinguisher.

[h/t MarthaStewart.com]