Food Holidays in March!

March 1, 2015

Happy March!  Here’s a list of the March food holidays, just in case you are curious.

March is . . .

  • National Celery Month
  • National Flour Month
  • National Frozen Food Month
  • National Nutrition Month
  • National Noodle Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • National Sauce Month
  • National Caffeine Awareness Month
  • National Heart Healthy Month
  • National Hot Breakfast Month
  • National Snack Food Month
  • Potato Lovers Month
  • Sweet Potato Month

Additionally specific weeks in February also have some special designations:

  •  Chocolate Chip Cookie Week (2nd week)
  • American Chocolate Week (3rd week)
  • Maple Syrup Saturday (3rd Saturday)

And then, there are the daily festivities
March 1: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
March 1: National Fruit Compote Day
March 2: National Banana Cream Pie Day
March 3: National Cold Cuts Day
March 3: National Mulled Wine Day
March 4: National Pound Cake Day
March 5: National Cheese Doodle Day
March 5: National Absinthe Day
March 6: National Frozen Food Day
March 6: National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
March 7: National Crown Roast of Pork Day
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: National Peanut Cluster Day
March 9: National Crabmeat Day
March 9: National Meatball Day
March 10: National Blueberry Popover Day
March 10: National Pack Your Lunch Day
March 11: Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day
March 12: National Baked Scallops Day
March 13: Coconut Torte Day
March 14: National Potato Chip Day
March 14: Pi Day (in Math circles)
March 15: National Pears Helene Day (with Chocolate Sauce and Brandy)
March 15: Ag Day
March 16: National Artichoke Hearts Day
March 17: Corned Beef and Cabbage Day
March 18: Oatmeal Cookie Day
March 18: Drink Wine Day
March 19: Poultry Day
March 19: National Chocolate Caramel Day
March 20: Bock Beer Day
March 20: National Ravioli Day
March 21: California Strawberry Day
March 22: Coq Au Vin Day
March 22: National Water Day
March 23: National Banana Bread Day
March 23: National Chip and Dip Day
March 23: National Melba Toast Day
March 24: National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day
March 25: National Lobster Newburg Day
March 25: National Pecan Day
March 25: Waffle Day (in Sweden)
March 26: Gourmet Mac and Cheese Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 27: National Spanish Paella Day
March 28: Something on a Stick Day
March 28: National Black Forest Cake Day
March 29: National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
March 30: Turkey Neck Soup Day
March 31: Tater Day
March 31: National Clams on the Half Shell Day
March 31: Oranges and Lemons Day


Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Thirty!

February 28, 2015

I’m sure you have all heard the phrase “superfoods” when referring to those foods that one should integrate into their diets on a regular basis.  And while no “official” definition exists, superfoods are considered to be those nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals (hmm, sounds like the beginnings of a definition to me).  These are the types of foods that can help to prevent heart disease, reduce your risk of cancer, lower your cholesterol, and lift your mood.  These “superfoods” include

  • beans
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • oats
  • oranges
  • pumpkin
  • salmon
  • soy
  • spinach
  • green tea
  • tomatoes
  • walnuts, and
  • yogurt.

What are the most nutritious foods in your diet?

Origami Cookie Cutter Dodecahedron!

February 27, 2015

With the weekend approaching, if you are looking for a project (or something to do) here’s an interesting origami creation for a five-point star cookie cutter.  Happy folding . . . then happy baking! Let me know how the cookies turn out!


February 26, 2015

Here’s the next installment of manners and etiquette (courtesy of the Goops)?

I wonder why it is polite
In shaking hands, to give your right.
I wonder why it is refined
In passing one, to go behind.
I wonder why it is well-bred,
If you must sneeze, to turn your head.
Perhaps the reason is because
The Goops, they never have such laws!

Source: Goops and How to Be Them: a Manual of Manners for Polite Infants Inculcating Many Juvenile Virtues Both by Precept and Example by Gelett Burgess.

College Basketball 2015, Week Sixteen!

February 25, 2015

127Following two impressive road victories (at Michigan and at Illinois), the Spartans remain tied for third place (with Purdue) behind the league-leading Badgers of Wisconsin and second place Terps of Maryland (who just beat Wisconsin!) in the Big Ten conference.    The Wildcats of Kentucky remain the lone undefeated team in the AP top twenty-five (25); the Big Ten Conference only has two teams ranked in the top-25: Wisconsin (#5) and Maryland (#14).  Next up for the Spartans this week: at home against Minnesota tomorrow (Thursday) and then on the road for a huge matchup against #5 Wisconsin (Sunday).  Go Green!

The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Wisconsin (#5) losing to Maryland (#14) by six (6) points.
Kansas (#8) losing to unranked Kansas State.
Notre Dame (#9) losing to unranked Syracuse by five (5) points.
Utah (#9) losing to unranked Oregon.
Louisville (#12) losing to unranked Syracuse.
North Carolina (#15) losing to unranked NC State.
Butler (#19) losing to unranked Xavier.
Oklahoma State (#22) losing to West Virginia (#23).
Ohio State (#24) losing to unranked Michigan.

The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) among the top-25 this week included:
Duke (#4) defeating North Carolina (#15) by only two (2) points in overtime.
Louisville (#12) defeating unranked Miami by only two (2) points.
Louisville (#12) defeating unranked Georgia Tech by only one (1) point.
Iowa State (#14) defeating Oklahoma State (#22) by five (5) points.
Maryland (#16) defeating unranked Nebraska by four (4) points.
Oklahoma (#17) defeating unranked Texas Tech by four (4) points.
Arkansas (#18) defeating unranked Mississippi State by four (4) points.
Arkansas (#18) defeating unranked Texas A&M by six (6) points.
VCU (#25) defeating unranked Massachusetts by six (6) points.

The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
North Carolina (#15) losing to Duke (#4) by only two (2) points.
Oklahoma State (#22) losing to Iowa State (#14) by five (5) points.
Providence (#25) losing to Villanova (#6).

Oatmeal, It’s Not Just For Breakfast!

February 24, 2015

I’m not a big “oatmeal for breakfast” fan at all.  But, I certainly like using oatmeal when baking cookies.  Here’s a tasty recipe that is sure to please.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

1/2 cup of butter or shortening
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of flour
1 cup of quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Cream together the butter or shortening and the sugars.  Add the egg, water, and vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips, cranberries, nuts, and toffee.  Drop by tablespoon on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.

Hate, Beyond Reason!

February 23, 2015

Have you ever experience the emotion of intense dislike?   A feeling of dislike so strong that it represses action?  Then you have experienced misology.


\mi-SOL-uh-jee, mahy-\, noun;

1.  distrust or hatred of reason or reasoning.
Other definitions expand beyond the hatred of reason to include the hatred (or fear) of argument, discussion or enlightenment.  Here’s an example: Because of her misology she seldom stood up for her beliefs.

Actors & Acting!

February 22, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards will air tonight . . . so allow me to poke some fun at actors and acting.  Here are some notable quotations/definitions courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  Enjoy!

“Someone who can remember his briefest notice well into senescence, long after he has forgotten his phone number or where he lives.”  (Anonymous)

“A guy who if you ain’t talking about him, he ain’t listening.”  (Marlon Brando)

“A ghost looking for a body to inhabit.” (Gall Godwin)

“The only honest hypocrites.” (William Hazlitt)

“People who should be treated like cattle.”  (Alfred Hitchcock)

“People who should keep their mouths shut and hope for the best.”  (Richard Burton)

“Someone with no ability to waits to go on alimony.”  (Jackie Stallone)

“The most minor of gifts, and not a very high class way to earn a living.  After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.”  (Katharine Hepburn)

“A good training for political life.  The only problem is the speeches are harder to learn.”  (Ronald Reagan)

“A way of living out one’s insanity.”  (Isabelle Huppert)

“Standing up naked and turning around very slowly.”  (Rosalind Russell)

“Farting about in disguise.”  (Peter O’Toole)

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Twenty-Nine!

February 21, 2015

Did you know that many of the world’s festivals are celebrations of some form of local harvest?  Some African countries hold a Yam Festival (since yams are their most important crop).  In Tuscany, they celebrate the grape harvest in September.  Germany’s main harvest festival is known as Oktoberfest.  And, the list goes on.  Here is a link to some of the world’s harvest festivals.  Is there a specific harvest festival that you or your family enjoy more than another?

Here are the top 10 harvest festivals (from the National Geographic book Sacred Places of a Lifetime):

1.  Thanksgiving, Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts
2.  Vendimia, Mendoza, Argentina
3.  Rice Harvest, Bali, Indonesia
4.  Chanthaburi Fruit Fair, Chanthaburi, Thailand
5.  Sukkot, Jerusalem, Israel
6.  Blessing of the Sea, Greece
7.  Olivagando, Magione, Italy
8.  Lammas Festival, U.K.
9.  Madeira Flower Festival, Madeira, Portugal
10. Incwala, Swaziland

Here’s a link to more detailed information about each of the above harvests.

Black and White!

February 20, 2015

Adams_The_Tetons_and_the_Snake_RiverToday marks the birthday of Ansel Adams (back in 1902), environmentalist and photographer extraordinaire.  He was most well-known and remembered for his black and white photographs, especially of the American West (and Yosemite National Park specifically).  Here is one of his more famous photographs entitled The Tetons and the Snake River (ca. 1942).   Here’s a link to the Ansel Adams Gallery documenting his many photographs, famous or otherwise. What an amazing talent . . . true artistry with a camera.


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