Tag Archives: food

National Junk Food Day

Potato-ChipsJuly 21 is National Junk Food Day!

For those of you who stick to a healthy diet and stay away from food with little to no nutritional value (like foods high in salt, fat, sugar and empty calories) on a daily basis, National Junk Food Day is your chance to give in to the temptation of some of your guilty pleasures. Whether you have a tamed sweet tooth for chocolate candy bars or have to constantly curb your craving for salty french fries, take advantage of National Junk Food Day by eating one (or two…) of your favorite junk foods.

We all need a cheat day every now and then, no matter how clean your diet. Just don’t get too attached to your junk food guilty pleasures…The healthy diet resumes tomorrow!

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com
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Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

Slice-of-Lemon-Chiffon-Cake-2-e1363107867246March 29 is Lemon Chiffon Cake Day! This tasty dessert has a lighter-than-air texture not found in most cakes with the addition of zesty lemon flavor – yum!

Chiffon cake was the invention of a former insurance salesman named Harry Baker, who turned to catering and concocted the cake recipe in 1927. He began selling his chiffon-like creations to the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, and pretty soon all of Hollywood was swooning over his cakes and their fluffy texture. Baker kept the recipe a secret for 20 years before finally selling it to General Mills, who own the Betty Crocker brand. General Mills then published the recipe for the newly named “Chiffon Cake” in Better Homes & Gardens in 1948, marketing it as “the first new cake in 100 years.”

The cake skyrocketed in popularity and it’s secret to fluffiness was finally revealed – Baker had used vegetable oil instead of butter to get the light airy texture everyone loved. Using vegetable oil, combined with eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder, chiffon cake takes on a structure which is a combination of batter and foam cakes. It is left with a moist texture that stays at it’s best when refrigerated, meaning you can amp up the flavor with the addition of fresh fruit, ice cream, or pastry cream.

Because of their lack of butter, chiffon cakes are inherently lower in saturated fat than regular batter cakes. The lack of butter also contributes to chiffon cakes being less rich in flavor, so compensations are usually made by the addition of icings and other toppings and fillings.

If you would like to celebrate today, here are a few recipes we found for some deliciously tart and fluffy lemon chiffon cakes:

Sources: CNN’s Eatocracy, Punchbowl, Foodimentary

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Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

loose_raisins_600_2March 24 is Chocolate Covered Raisin Day! Chocolate covered raisins combine sundried grape morsels with milk, dark, or white chocolate to make a seemingly healthy and sweet snack treat.

The discovery of raisins is believed by culinary historians to have come about when people noticed grapes drying out while they were on the vine. They soon became the second most popular food sweetener after honey. Exactly when these sundried sweet fruits were combined with chocolate is unknown, but a popular German folk tale referencing a ”wenig Schokolade Ball,” or little chocolate ball is thought to be the first reference to the treat.

In 1927, the Blumenthal Chocolate Company created Raisinets, which were the earliest and most popular brands of chocolate-covered raisins. The brand was acquired by Nestle in 1984, and became a popular movie theater snack and the number one bestselling candy in United States history.

Raisins are an excellent source fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and certain B vitamins. By adding a layer of dark chocolate to the outside of the raisin, you can add to the sweet treats health benefits because dark chocolate contains antioxidants and important minerals. Since there is also a fair amount of sugar in these treats though, be careful with how many consume! Unless you want a mouth full of cavities as well…

Don’t worry about those pesky side effects today though. Indulge and celebrate today by eating a handful (or two) of delicious chocolate covered raisins!

Sources: Punchbowl, National Day Calendar, Wikipedia

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Bock Beer Day

shiner bockMarch 20 is Bock Beer Day! A bock is a type of strong lager that originated in Germany. There now are many different types of bocks of different strengths in existence including maibocks or heller bocks, doppelbocks, and eisbocks.

Though we couldn’t find out why Bock Beer Day is celebrated on this day, we did find out that bock beers were first brewed by Germans in the town of Einbeck in the 14th century. Upon its first brews, bocks were dark, malty, and lightly hopped. It wasn’t until the 17th century when brewers in Munich adopted this style and changed the bock to be brewed in a lager style. There are a few varying stories as to why the name “bock” was adopted for the beer. Some say because the people of Munich had heavy Bavarian accents, they pronounced the town Einbeck like “ein Bock,” which literally translates to “a billy goat.” Soon it was shortened to just “bock.” As a visual pun, most bock manufacturers put pictures of goats on the labels. Others say that the beer was only brewed during the sign of the Capricorn goat and thus goats were always associated with the beer. The beer became a symbol of the end of winter and the beginning of better times. Doppelbocks were first created to sustain German monks during Lent’s 46 days of fasting, and it soon became known as “liquid bread.” The hearty beer had enough carbohydrates and calories to keep the monks alive, and drunk!

beer calendarBock beers have become popular around the world. Bock beers are stronger than other modern-day lagers, and are known for their dark amber brown hue. Bocks are bottom fermenting lagers, and their strong brew is usually smoothed out by being lagered (kept in cold storage) for a few extra months. They are usually lightly hopped so as not to mask the malty flavor. Several different subcategories of bocks also exist today. The first of these are known as maibocks or heller bocks and are paler and more hopped than normal bocks. Doppelbocks, like those similar to what monks used to drink, are stronger and maltier. The last kind is known as an eisbock, and it is made by partially freezing the beer and then removing the frozen water, making the beer stronger.

Wherever you are in the world, you can celebrate today by tossing back a cold bock beer! Click here to find all the different variations of bocks found in the world.

Sources: Wikipedia, Beer Advocate, Bayou City Sipping

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National Coconut Torte Day

coconut torteMarch 13 is National Coconut Torte Day! A torte is a luscious multi-layered cake dessert filled with heavy creams or fruits. You can deduce then that a coconut torte is a multi-layered creamy treat topped with coconut goodness. Yum!

What makes a torte different from a regular cake, you say? Tortes differ from cakes in that they are usually made with very little or no flour. Instead, breadcrumbs or ground nuts take the place of flour as the base and sugar, eggs, and other flavorings are added as well. In between the spongey layers of the torte, you will usually find buttercream, whipped cream, mousse, jam, icing, or fruit. The torte is then typically cooled, glazed and garnished. Because today is National Coconut Torte Day, be sure to top your torte with coconut, and maybe add some to the layers in between for good measure.

To celebrate, try one of these coconut torte recipes below, and add a scoop of ice cream on the side if the torte itself is not enough indulgence for you!

Sources: CNN’s Eatocracy, Examiner.com, Wikipedia

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National Cereal Day

cerealMarch 7 is National Cereal Day! Cereal is a breakfast food that comes in all flavors, shapes, and sizes and is usually served with milk.

The word cereal was derived from Cerealia. This was an ancient Roman celebration that celebrated the goddess of grain, Ceres. In the late 1800s, Americans’ diets were mostly high-protein meat-based ones. The unhealthy effects of this were noticeable – laziness, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems abounded. Cereal was created as a healthy breakfast alternative.

If you’re skeptical of the health benefits of cereal and why our ancestors chose this alternative, you should know that when cereal was first created it was not the sugar-filled food it has since become. Older versions of cereal were dense and bran-packed. They often had to be soaked overnight so that digestion would not be difficult. The fiber rich food was much healthier than meaty meals that were the norm then.

Dr. James Caleb Jackson created these bran nuggets for visitors to his sanitarium, which we liken these days to a health resort. At his sanitarium, he provided healthy food options and treatments for those looking to improve upon themselves. John Kellogg, who was a surgeon and fellow health food nut, took Jackson’s idea and began to experiment. John Kellogg and his brother, Keith Kellogg, began to test out new foods made from boiled wheat. As a sheer accident, the two left out some of their creations overnight. When they returned the next morning, they found the batch had gone stale. Rather than throwing the batch out, they decided to experiment more. They rolled out the batch and noticed that each wheat berry turned into its very own flake. Taking the idea and using corn instead, they created one of the most well-known cereals of all time – Corn Flakes!

Over the years, others began to experiment with cereal making and brands like Grape Nuts, Post Toasties, and Cheerios were created. In 1939, the addition of sugar began to change cereal’s previous status as a health food. The first sweetened cereal to hit the shelves was Ranger Joe Popped Wheat Honnie. Statistics say that 49% of Americans today have cereal for breakfast.

You can celebrate today by chowing down on your favorite cereal. Healthy or not – make sure to have a bowl!

Sources: Punchbowl, National Cereal Day, Al.com

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Drink Wine Day

winelovers calendarFebruary 18 is Drink Wine Day! Whether you’re a fan of red, white, or sparkling wines, today is the day to pop the cork and enjoy.

Made from fermented grapes and other fruits, wine is an alcoholic beverage that has been made and consumed for thousands of years. The earliest appearance of wine was in about 6000 B.C. Legends and stories abound with ancient humans becoming intoxicated off of fermented grapes, so it wasn’t long before people began to toy with the fermentation process, eventually creating wine. The first wine was created in the Eurasian state of Georgia, and soon spread to the Balkans and Ancient Greece and Rome. It wasn’t long before the rest of Europe began to catch up, and wine was eventually brought to the New World. Grapes grown for wine now cover about 20 million acres across the world. The top two wine producers in the world are typically Italy and France.

vineyards calendarThe health benefits of wine have been promoted for years. When consumed in moderation, some experts have said that red wine can improve heart health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, and inhibit the development of certain cancers. It can also boost immunity and increase bone density. Too much alcohol consumption is dangerous for your health, but a glass of wine now and then never hurt anyone!

You can celebrate today any way you like just as long as you’ve got a glass of wine in your hand. We suggest going to a local wine bar for a tasting or sampling of several different wines. If you’ve got a lot of free time today, you could even travel to a nearby winery and become educated on how wine is made from start to finish. Another excellent way to celebrate is to stop at a grocery or liquor store, pick up a few bottles, and host your very own wine tasting party at home!

Happy Drink Wine Day!

Sources: World’s Special Days, Examiner.com, Punchbowl

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National Café au Lait Day

coffee calendarFebruary 17 is National Café au Lait Day! Café au lait is a French coffee drink, consisting of coffee with hot milk added. The name is literally translated from French as “coffee with milk.”

We’re not sure why this day was chosen to honor this delicious coffee beverage, but if you need a pick-me-up, then today is the perfect day to celebrate! In Europe, café au lait is usually prepared using an espresso machine, mixing espresso with steamed milk. To contrast, in the United States, café au lait is usually made using a dark roasted drip or French press prepared coffee with steamed milk added.

The beverage gained a significant amount of popularity in New Orleans, where the well-known cafe, Café du Monde, located in the French Quarter, serves a popular version which includes the addition of chicory to their coffee. The chicory has a slightly bitter flavor that offsets the taste of beignets, which are deep-fried pastries covered in powdered sugar. Though café au lait has become a favored coffee drink for many, there are some who think adding milk to your coffee detracts from the flavor of the coffee too much. French author Honoré de Balzac once called café au laits a “ludicrous” drink.

While we suggest going to your favorite coffee shop to get a café au lait today, you can also make this caffeinated drink at home. Here are a few recipes for you to try out:

Sources: Wikipedia, Food.com, Examiner.com

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National Cream Cheese Brownie Day

creamcheesebrowniesFebruary 10 is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day! Regular brownies are already a delicious chocolate baked confection loved by many, but the addition of the somewhat savory and tangy cream cheese takes the popular dessert to an even more delectable level.

Desserts going by the name “brownie” have been around since the 1800s, but brownies as we enjoy them today can be traced back to 1906. The cake-like treat made its debut in 1906 in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. This first recipe, however, was much less sweet than brownie recipes that exist today as it only called for two squares of baking chocolate. As our sweet tooth has evolved over the years, so has the brownie, going from just a simple semi-sweet chocolate cake to elaborate chocolate confections loaded with extras. Popular additions include nuts, caramel, peanut butter, peppermint, fruit, and that extra something that makes this day so special – cream cheese.

Cream cheese is a very soft and mild cheese that is often known for its more savory qualities, but it is often used in other desserts. It is most often used in cheesecake, but when added to brownies, it gives the dessert an extra tart taste and makes the texture slightly more squishy. In addition to giving regular brownies another complementary flavor, when swirled in with brownie mix, it makes the treats have an attractive “marble” pattern.

To celebrate this sweet holiday, try out some of these various cream cheese brownie recipes!

Sources: Bubblenews, Punchbowl, Examiner.com

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National Frozen Yogurt Day

February 6 is National Frozen Yogurt Day! Frozen yogurt, or “FroYo” as it is often shortened to, is a frozen dessert made out of yogurt and other dairy products. It has a lower amount of fat than its sister dessert, ice cream, because it is made with milk instead of cream. It is also known for being slightly more tart than ice cream and sometimes contains live and active bacteria cultures.

In the 1970s, frozen yogurt was first put on the American market, but consumers found the tart yogurt taste to be unfavorable. It wasn’t until 1981 when the first TCBY opened featuring a sweeter version of the dessert that frozen yogurt’s popularity began to incline. TCBY differed from previous frozen yogurt sellers because they dispensed their yogurt in soft serve form through machines rather than selling it pre-packaged.

By the mid-90s, several other frozen yogurt chains had opened and frozen yogurt had accrued over $300 million in sales. In the late 1990s, however, Americans’ favored diets turned to higher protein and higher fat foods, causing the frozen yogurt trend to fall off as ice cream regained its previous popularity.

As quickly as frozen yogurt went out of style in the ‘90s, it made a resurgence in the mid 2000s with the invention of live probiotic powder-based mixes. This mix made frozen yogurt available in countries outside the United States for the first time. The tart flavors that were unpopular in the ‘70s suddenly began attracting a new crowd of frozen dessert aficionados and new frozen yogurt chains began popping up all over the world.

To celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day, stop by your favorite FroYo shop – you might even find that some stores have special discounts today on this tasty frozen treat!

Sources: WikipediaExaminer.comPunchbowl

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