Tag Archives: food

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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Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

OutsetToday is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! This food holiday is always celebrated on the first Saturday in February, and it encourages everyone to indulge in their favorite ice cream for their first meal of the day!

This holiday came into existence in the ’60s on a dreary day in Rochester, New York. Florence Rappaport, a social worker and mother, created the holiday as a way to cheer up her kids during the boring time between New Year’s and Passover which seemed to move all too slowly and make life seem dull in up-state New York. As her children grew older and went off to college, they began to share and celebrate the holiday with their friends, and pretty soon the holiday gained loyal revelers who began partaking in it every year.

Some celebrate this holiday by enjoying a simple bowl of their favorite ice cream at home, while others (like Rappaport’s son, Joe) transform their homes into unofficial ice cream parlors, featuring ice cream buffets where friends gather to enjoy elaborate ice cream concoctions together. There are even some ice cream parlors and shops that have ice cream specials, and others have been known to donate all their profits from this special day to children’s charities.

However you decide to celebrate, make sure to toss aside those eggs and bacon and make room for your favorite icy cold ice cream treat!

Sources: itzackret.com, Democrat & Chronicle

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National Croissant Day

croissantsJanuary 30 is National Croissant Day! Croissants are flaky, buttery pastries, identified by their crescent shape.

Just as we are unsure why January 30 has been made this unofficial holiday, tales abound about the origin of the croissant itself as well. What is thought to be the precursor to the croissant, the Kipferl, dates back to 13th century Austria. The Kipferl is usually made plain in a variety of shapes or with the addition of nuts. The first of the tales about origin of the crescent-shaped treat goes back to the Battle of Tours in 732. A Frankish victory over Umayyad forces led to Islamic crescent-shaped treats being made in celebration. Another story states that when Turkish forces tried to invade Vienna in 1683 by tunneling underground, Viennese bakers who were working in a basement heard the Turks and alerted the army. In celebration of outwitting the Turks, the bakers shaped breads to look like crescent moons, which was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.

How the pastry arrived in France and received the name croissant, meaning crescent in French, also has varied origins. Some think that Marie Antoinette, the formerly Austrian princess who married Louis XVI, introduced the pastry to France from her homeland of Austria 100 years after the Turks failed to invade Vienna. Others say that the croissant came into being in France in 1839 when August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, opened a Viennese bakery (Boulangerie Viennoise) in Paris. His Viennese pastries became popular and the French began to imitate this baking style, using yeast-leavened dough. From this the French version of the Kipferl was created and named croissant for it’s crescent shape. It’s recognizable shape and name became known all over the world.

If you’re not already enjoying a delicious croissant with your breakfast, we’ve gathered up some recipes to help you celebrate!

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

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National Peanut Butter Day

peanutbutter2n-1-web January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day! The food spread made from roasted peanuts first rose up in popularity in the late 1800s. It is now considered a staple in 90% of American households, and the United States is the leading exporter of this savory and sweet spread.

Though it’s up for debate on who the original creator of peanut butter was, it started gaining popularity in the late 1800s. John Harvey Kellogg, who was a doctor and is also known for creating corn flakes cereal with his brother, patented the “Process of Preparing Nut Meal” in 1895. The holistic doctor fed peanut butter made from boiled peanuts to patients in his sanitarium. A St. Louis snack maker named George Boyle has also been credited with making peanut butter with roasted peanuts as early as 1894. George Washington Carver, who invented many other peanut-related products, is also sometimes credited with its invention. Spreadable peanut butter as we know it today was created in 1923 by the Heinz company after they homogenized peanuts.

Did you know that it takes about 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter? Or how about that the average American consumes over six pounds of peanut butter products every year? Whether it’s paired with it’s jelly counterpart in a sandwich, baked into cookies, or slathered on a stick of celery – we love peanut butter! It’s a good thing too because peanut butter has many proven health benefits. Two teaspoons of peanut butter contain 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat, making it a heart healthy snack. Peanut butter is also high in potassium, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Because of peanut butter’s richness, it can keep you full longer than other snacks, which can help prevent unwanted weight gain. A serving of peanut butter also contains about 4.3 milligrams of niacin, a nutrient that helps keep you sharp and prevents cognitive decline leading to diseases such as Alzheimer’s in older age.

Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day by trying some of these recipes including the popular snack food:

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

Sources: PunchbowlWikipedia, Babble

 

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International Hot and Spicy Food Day

OR-3-10-1710January 16 is International Hot and Spicy Food Day! Today is a red-hot day on the holiday calendar. It celebrates all foods that make your tongue burn, make your eyes water, and maybe even cause little beads of sweat to form on your forehead. Whether you’re a fan of super spicy salsa, confoundingly hot curry,  or jambalaya jam-packed with fiery flavor, today is best served with a side of heat.

Archaeologists have proven that humans have been using hot spices in recipes for over 6,000 years. Christopher Columbus discovered chili peppers in 1493 after he “discovered” America. The chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot is called capsaicin. The capsaicin oil is measured and diluted to determine the amount of “heat” in peppers and give it a place on the Scoville scale. Currently, the pepper which is highest on the Scoville scale, and thus the hottest, is called the Carolina Reaper, which is 300 times hotter than the average jalapeño pepper. People who have a palette capable of handling this kind of heat on a regular basis are known as “pyro-gourmaniacs.”

PrintHot spices are used the world over to give food that flavorful kick. Not only are spicy foods tasty, but they can also be beneficial to your health due to their medicinal and antimicrobial properties. Chiles, onions, garlic, oregeno, and allspice are known to kill bacteria and make food safer to consume.

Even if you’re not the type of person who likes to put your taste buds into a state of shock, you can still enjoy today by adding a touch of heat to whatever you’re eating. If the heat may become too much for you to handle, make sure to keep a glass of milk or some yogurt handy. While drinking tons of water is usually people’s immediate reaction to foods that are too spicy, doing this will only cause the spicy oils to be dispersed around your mouth because the oil in chili peppers will not mix with the water like milk will.

Whether you’re ready to go all-out on spicy foods today or just enjoy a small amount of spiciness on the side, make sure to add some heat to your meals today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Foodimentary, Days of the Year

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Hot Toddy Day

hot toddyJanuary 11 is Hot Toddy Day! Not familiar with hot toddies? They’re a hot alcoholic beverage typically containing honey, lemon, hot water, and whatever spirit you’d like! The most commonly used are whiskey, brandy, and dark rum.

The hot toddy is thought to have originated in Scotland sometime in the 18th century. It makes perfect sense that this warm delicious drink was invented in a country who experiences cold and damp weather throughout most of the year. Historians speculate that the recipe came about to mask the taste of Scotch whiskey to make it easier to drink. Women in the 18th century apparently weren’t very fond of the smokey, peat flavor of Scotch. The word “toddy” is thought to have come from “Todd’s Well” or Todian Spring, Edinburgh’s main water source.

Not only are hot toddies great for warming you up on a cold winter day, but they have become a popular remedy for cold and flu symptoms as well.

We’ve put together a list of hot toddy recipes for you to make in celebration of today!

Sources: Punchbowl, Grocery Headquarters

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National Spaghetti Day

esq-spaghetti-sauce-0412-lgJanuary 4 is National Spaghetti Day! Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical form of pasta, usually topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and often with vegetables or meat added to it.

Though the origin of spaghetti is debatable, the first recorded incidence of boiled noodles being prepared was in the Jerusalem Talmud, suggesting that Arabs created the food in the 5th century. Spaghetti noodles in the form we know them today have been traced back to Sicily in the 12th century when Sicilians first created the long string-like pasta. The word spaghetti comes from the Italian word spaghetto and it literally translates to “little strings.” Pasta popularity spread throughout the rest of Italy in 19th century when pasta factories began to open up across the country, allowing for mass production. Spaghetti was first served in the United States in the late 19th century, appearing on menus as Spaghetti Italienne, a dish likely served with a mild tomato sauce and simple spices and vegetables like clove, bay leaves, and garlic. Soon after its introduction to the United States, canned versions of the dish were produced along with spaghetti kits, making it easy to prepare and readily available to everyone. This simplification of this already simple meal has made it a staple dish in American diets.

"Touched by His Noodly Appendage," a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

“Touched by His Noodly Appendage,” a parody of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

Spaghetti has become such a significant meal, that many pop culture references have been made about the pasta dish. Famous Italian actress Sophia Loren was once quoted attributing her success to the dish saying, “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” In March 2010, the Guinness World Record for world’s largest serving of spaghetti was made at Buca Di Beppo’s Garden Grove in California when they filled a swimming pool with 13,780 pounds of spaghetti. Spaghetti was also a part of one of the biggest April Fool’s pranks ever pulled when the BBC convinced many of their viewers that spaghetti noodles grew on trees. Also, lest we forget about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? This guy’s got an entire religious movement centered around him.

Looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate today with? We’ve got you covered:

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl, Seamless

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Cream Puff Day

cream puffJanuary 2 is Cream Puff Day! Cream puffs are small puffy pastry desserts filled with cream. Though the origin of cream puffs are not specifically known, they are thought to have originated in France in the 1500s, and were first found on American menus in the 1800s.

The dough used to make cream puffs is called pâte à choux, and it is made differently than other dough. Instead of being made in a mixer, pâte à choux is made by adding flour to boiled water and butter. It is then cooked at a high temperature until you get hollow balls of dough. Another popular dessert made using pâte à choux is beignets. Unlike beignets however, cream puffs are baked rather than fried. After the puffed balls of dough are taken out of the oven, they are cut in half to let steam that has collected inside out. If the puffs are not cut, they will deflate when cooling. The filling is then sandwiched between the two puffed halves. Cream puffs are often filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, and sometimes even ice cream! Some enjoy their cream puffs with nothing on top, while others prefer to top them with powdered sugar, chocolate, caramel, or whatever delightful sweet topping comes to mind.

Though it is up for debate, it is thought that cream puffs got their start in France in the 1540s when the pastry chef of Catherine de Medici first created the puffed treats for Medici’s husband, Henry II of France. The dessert first appeared on American menus in 1851.

We’ve gathered up some tasty cream puffs recipes for you to try out today in celebration of this delicious dessert’s day:

Happy Cream Puff Day!

Sources: Punchbowl, CNN’s Eatocracy, Examiner.com, National Day Calendar

 

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National Sangria Day

sangria-3December 20 is National Sangria Day! Sangria is a fruity wine punch which typically consists of red wine, seasonal fruit, spirits, and simple syrup.

This beverage is usually enjoyed in the summertime in the United States, so why are we celebrating its intoxicating effects in the winter? To answer this question, we can turn to the origin of this widely popular concoction. “Sangria” is derived from the Spanish word “sangre” meaning blood, likely due to the beverage’s usual crimson color. In Spain and most other Spanish-speaking countries, where the beverage as we know it today first gained popularity, sangria is enjoyed year-round. The drink was first introduced to America in 1964 during the World’s Fair in New York.

The key to making a delicious sangria punch lies in the fruit. It’s important to use fruits that are in season, and to let the fruit marinate for several hours so your sangria will have an optimal flavor. The most commonly used spirit in sangria is brandy, but any of your favorite liquors may be substituted, depending on the flavor and how alcoholic you would like your sangria to be. Some sangria lovers opt for adding in soda water for carbonation. Sangria blanca is sangria made using white wine and complementing fruits rather than the standard red wine.

Since sangria involves many different ingredients and is often made in large batches meant for sharing, it’s a great drink to make for holiday parties or get-togethers with family and friends. Check out the following recipes we’ve found, and whip up a batch to enjoy with your loved ones!

Red Sangria

  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 orange (ends cut off), thinly sliced
  • 1 red apple, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 bottles well-chilled dry red wine, such as Rioja or red Zinfandel
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice

In a large pitcher, stir together brandy, orange and apple slices. Let stand 15 minutes. Add wine, club soda, and orange juice. Serve over ice.

Christmas Sangria

  • 2 bottles Zinfandel
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 8 oz. Orange juice
  • 8 oz. Cranberry juice
  • 12 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 bottle Cava
  • Cranberries (optional)

Muddle fruit, then combine all ingredients except Cava. Mix in the Cava at the end and serve in a wine glass over ice, garnished with cranberries.

White Sangria

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 shots Calvados or other apple liquor
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
  • 3 ripe green apples seeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 bottle white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Sparkling soda water, for topping off glasses of sangria at table

Combine sugar, Calvados, lime, lemon, peaches and apples in a large pitcher. Cover with 1 bottle of Rioja wine and chill sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh raspberries in each glass, pour wine over top of the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.

Sources: National Sangria Day, Examiner.com

 

 

 

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Bake Cookies Day

cookieDecember 18 is Bake Cookies Day!

In the midst of the holiday season, today is the perfect day to escape from your holiday stress and that winter weather, and spend your day in a warm kitchen baking sweet treats!

Though the origin of this day remains unknown, the origin of the cookie dates back to Persia in 7th century AD after the use of sugar became more prevalent. The cookie quickly spread through Europe and then to America because of the popularity of global travel, and the treat’s easy traveling capabilities.

Spend the day baking cookies and trying new recipes. Better yet, host a cookie exchange with your friends. A cookie exchange is a great way to find new recipes (and indulge in even more new delicious sweets).

Looking for new cookie recipes? Browse through the recipes below!

Or, be healthy and make over your cookies!

Sources: holidayinsights.com, Wikipedia, Examiner.com

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