Archive | July, 2011

National Blueberry Muffin Day

Muffin - NCI Visuals OnlineJuly 11 is National Blueberry Muffin Day!

National Blueberry Muffin Day isn’t just a day to celebrate America’s favorite muffin, but it’s another way to celebrate the blueberry for National Blueberry Month. (July was first established as National Blueberry Month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1999 and again in 2003).

Muffins may not be the healthiest breakfast food, but when you add blueberries, you’ll reap the superfruit’s astounding health benefits. To make your blueberry muffins even healthier, reduce the sugar or swap it for honey and use applesauce in place of butter.

Half the fun of eating a blueberry muffin is baking it yourself, so bake a batch yourself instead of heading to the bakery. However, you are excused from baking your own blueberry muffins if you and your kitchen have trouble getting along. We certainly wouldn’t want you to ruin this delicious day with a kitchen mishap!

Blueberry Muffins – It may not seem like it, but the yogurt and grated lemon peel in this recipe make a huge difference.

To Die for Blueberry Muffins – Large, bakery-style muffins with a sugar and cinnamon crumb topping.

Morning Glory Blueberry Muffins – A hearty breakfast muffin with the added ingredient of mashed sweet potatoes.

 

Sources: theultimateholidaysite.com, nabcblues.org

 

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National Pina Colada Day

July 10 is National Pina Colada Day!Piña Colada

A pina colada, which translates into “strained pineapple” in Spanish, is a rum-based cocktail that originated from Puerto Rico. Other core ingredients include cream of coconut and pineapple juice.

There’s no better time to celebrate this refreshing, tropical beverage than smack dab in the middle of the summertime. Whip up a blended or shaken pina colada, garnish with a tropically fragrant pineapple slice, lounge next to the pool and pretend the splash of water is the rush of waves on a secluded beach. Check out one of the recipes below!

Pina Colada

Pina Colada (made with vanilla ice cream…yum!)

Slimmed Pina Coladas (aka the healthier version)

And if you’re feeling really festive – or just really like pineapple and coconut flavored foods and drinks – bake a Pina Colada Cake!

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, wikipedia.com

 

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National Sugar Cookie Day

Snowflake Christmas sugar cookies (2), December 2008July 9 is National Sugar Cookie Day!

The sugar cookie may not get as much attention as the chocolate chip cookie, but it’s just as yummy, and with a simple mixture of sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and baking powder, it’s certainly more versatile. You can dress up sugar cookies with frosting (any flavor works great!), sugar, cinnamon, chocolate candies or sprinkles. That kind of versatility along with sugar cookie dough’s friendly relationship with cookie cutters make sugar cookies the perfect sweet treat for holidays and special occasions – and they’re fun for the kids to make! But the best part about sugar cookies is that they hit your sweet spot all on their own anytime.

Celebrate the overlooked yet delicious sugar cookie by making a batch for family, friends or the kids. Better yet, have them help! We’ll even share a couple recipes we found:

Easy Sugar Cookies (A quick and simple recipe for plain, sugared or candy-filled sugar cookies.)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies (Use this recipe to make easy drop sugar cookies or to roll out and shape with cookie cutters. It also comes with a sugar cookie icing recipe and tips for making the perfect sugar cookie).

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com

Photo Source:Kristin Ausk via Wikimedia Commons
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Video Game Day

July 8 is Video Game Day!

For all the gamers out there, celebrate Video Game Day by spending the day parked on the couch playing your favorite video games, either alone or competing with your gamer friends. If that’s already a typical day for you, celebrate by treating yourself to a new video game or by throwing a video game-themed party and having everyone dress up as their favorite video game character.

Sources: punchbowl.com, theultimateholidaysite.com, holidayinsights.com

 

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Chocolate Day

Chocolate1July 7 is one of the best days of the year. Why? It’s Chocolate Day!

Chocolate Day is easy to celebrate: eat chocolate! Want to know how you can incorporate chocolate into every meal? Meet your Chocolate Day menu:

Breakfast: Whip up some chocolate chip pancakes or chocolate french toast. Or simply  pair your usual breakfast with a glass of chocolate milk.

Lunch: Toss a chocolate pudding pack, dark chocolate, or a mini chocolate candy bar in with your lunch for a post-lunch treat. You can also incorporate chocolate into your actual meal. Try some chocolate chili!

Mid-Morning and Afternoon Snacks: Chocolate at snack time? No problem! Try chocolate covered raisins, fruit or nuts. Or you can add a piece of dark chocolate to your regular snack.

Dinner: Experiment with chocolate infused dishes at dinner time by making a dish with mole sauce, such as Women’s Health Magazine’s  Poached (or grilled or baked) Chicken with Chocolate Mole or Hershey’s Cocoa-Coffee Spiced Chicken with Salsa Mole.

Post-Dinner Dessert: Not tired of chocolate yet? Follow dinner with a bowl of chocolate ice cream, a cup of hot chocolate,  a piece (or two) of your favorite chocolate, or chocolate cake. The possibilities are endless! Browse through the dessert recipes on Hershey’s website for ideas.

Sources: holidayinsights.com, womenshealthmag.com
Photo Source: Mariluna via Wikimedia Commons
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National Fried Chicken Day

July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day!

We all know that fried chicken isn’t the healthiest food, but everyone gets a free pass to indulge in its crispy, juicy goodness on National Fried Chicken Day.  Tonight, serve your family the traditional American meal of fried chicken, complete with your choice of rice, corn, biscuits, mashed potatoes,  coleslaw, green beans or potato salad.

New to frying? Learn how to make the perfect fried chickenHome-Made-Fried-Chicken-Wings-2008 – tender and juicy on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside – at Allrecipes.com. Once you’re a master fryer, try out one of these fried chicken recipes:

Southern Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken Tenders

Chicken Fried Chicken

Japanese-Style Deep Fried Chicken

Did You Know…fried chicken originated in Europe? The idea of fried chicken came from Scottish immigrants, who deep-fried chicken in fat. However, African slaves who worked as cooks enhanced the flavor of the Scots’ deep-fried chicken with seasonings and spices, creating the southern-style fried chicken that remains a staple meal in America, particularly in the south.

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, theultimateholidaysite.com, wikipedia.com
Photo Source: Kham Tran - www.khamtran.com, via Wikimedia Commons
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Workaholics Day

July 5 is Workaholics Day!

Alright, workaholics, since today is your day, we’ll let you work. However, that won’t stop us from luring you into the break you deserve! We admire your hard work and dedication, but a little rest every now and then never hurt anyone.

Not sure what to do with the time?

Take an hour lunch (yes, a full hour!) and go eat with a friend, read a book, take an afternoon walk, or leave work early to see a movie, hit up happy hour, attend a sports event, or simply relax at home.

Are you a workaholic? Find out at Workaholics Anonymous. If you answer “yes” to three or more of site’s 20 questions (aka you find out you are a workaholic) explore the site for tips on how relax.

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, workaholics-anonymous.org
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World UFO Day

PurportedUFO2What is World UFO Day?

Founded in 2001, World UFO Day was created to raise awareness about the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and, thus, aliens. Because many people believe that governments have been covering up UFO sightings and possess classified information that UFOs exist, World UFO Day also seeks to encourage governments to fess up and reveal all UFO-related knowledge to the public.

Learn more about World UFO Day by clicking here.

When is World UFO Day?

July 2 of each year. World UFO Day commemorates the anniversary of the highly controversial Roswell incident – an object believed to be a UFO crashed near the New Mexico city in July 1947.

Read more about the Roswell UFO incident by clicking here.

How do people celebrate World UFO Day?

People celebrate by gathering together to look at the sky, meditate on the subject and participate in other UFO-themed activities. The hope is that with so many people collectively opening their minds to the subject at once, we can mentally let extraterrestrials know that UFOs (and aliens) are welcome on  Earth.

Or you can just watch a bunch of alien flicks, alone or with friends. Check out some of our faves:

E.T.
Signs
War of the Worlds
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Alien
Mac and Me
Star Wars

Sources: worldufoday.com, punchbowl.com, holidayinsights.com
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Independence Day

Fourth of July fireworks behind the Washington Monument, 1986What is Independence Day?

Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday that honors the birth of American independence from Great Britain and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Learn more about the history behind Independence Day by clicking here.

When is Independence Day?

July 4 of each year. Because Independence Day is a federal holiday, it is observed on Friday, July 3 if the 4th falls on a Saturday or on Monday, July 5 if the 4th falls on a Sunday.

How do people celebrate Independence Day?

Government offices, schools and some stores and businesses close for the day. Fourth of July celebrations include firework displays, concerts, parades, barbecues and picnics, swimming, boating and other outdoor activities.

For fun and historical Fourth of July facts and safety regulations and tips regarding barbecues, boating, swimming and travel, click here.

Sources: usa.gov, history.com, timeanddate.com
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Canada Day

US Navy 100701-N-8539M-013 Leading Seaman Richard Glasbergen, from Grimsby, Ontario, raises the Canadian flag aboard the Royal Canadian Navy destroyer HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283) during the morning colors ceremony for Canada DayWhat is Canada Day?

Canada Day, a statutory (public) holiday often referred to as “Canada’s Birthday,” marks the anniversary of the date that Canada became a self-governing country. The holiday was first established in 1879 under the name Dominion Day but has been officially celebrated as Canada Day since 1982.

Learn more about the history of Canada Day by clicking here.

When is Canada Day?

July 1 of each year. If July 1 falls on a Sunday, July 2 is Canada Day and a statutory holiday, under the Holidays Act.

How do people celebrate Canada Day?

Post offices and some businesses, stores and other organizations close for the day. Canada Day celebrations include nationwide events organized by municipal governments. Canada  Day events include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals and festivals, firework displays and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens.

Sources: timeanddate.com, pch.gc.ca
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