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BRRrrr- It’s National Frozen Food Month!

Folks, if you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that last week I posted that I had created a two-week menu plan and shopping list. With Little League starting up for my two sons the days of being unorganized are over. Practices and games abound and hot, timely meals are crucial to everyone’s health and satisfaction.

Well, I tell you, frozen foods are a big part of our diet here at Casa de Crawford. Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I’ll illustrate it with week one of my two week meal plan, calling out which items are frozen.

Monday: BBQ Sauce Chicken with Baked Beans (canned) and Corn (Frozen)

Tuesday: Crock Pot Clam Chowder with Rolls (in my chowder I used frozen potatoes o’brien, frozen corn, & frozen diced onions)

Wednesday: Fish (frozen fillets) with Vegetables (frozen broccoli) and Pasta side dish (Lipton)

Thursday: Baked Potatoes with Chicken Curry (in my curry I use frozen peas & carrots and frozen diced onions)

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner (BFD)= pancakes (sometimes these have frozen fruit) and eggs

Saturday- eat out

Sunday- Mini Thanksgiving= Turkey Roast (frozen), Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Peas (frozen)

Yes, I believe that is frozen food every day. And we are not even counting breakfasts and lunches.

I buy frozen foods as well as freeze lots of food (bread, milk, meats, leftovers, fruits) – so much I have always wanted my own deep freezer, but haven’t yet quite had the space.

Do you eat lots of frozen foods like me? Well, then, Happy National Frozen Food Month!

MMM-mmm-Mint Chocolate Day!

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Holy Mint Chocolate Day, Batman!

I really love these food holidays, they are the easiest and yummiest to celebrate! Last night at dinner my older son asked me which direction I am taking my blog- am I going to specialize in national holidays or historical holidays or just try to find the zaniest ones to share with my readers. I told him that the beauty of Celebrate Holiday is that it could be any of those and more. However, if I had to choose, it might very well be food holidays.

So today being Mint Chocolate Day, I have decided to share a phenomenal recipe for Chocolate Mint Cookies that I found on one of my favorite recipe websites, www.allrecipes.com.

Chocolate Mint Cookies by mckarlson

Chocolate Mint Cookies (photo by mckarlson)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 chocolate mint wafer candies (like Andes)

Directions

  1. In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
  2. At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!
Many reviewers recommend placing the tray of cookies back in the refrigerator after spreading the melted mint on top so that they can cool and harden faster. Yummy!
My Aunt used to always give me Andes Mints on St. Patrick’s Day, saying they were a gift from her ‘leprechaun friend’, but that is a story for another holiday…
Enjoy!

5 Ways to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day

January 27, 2010 2 comments
Chocolate Cake Day Icing Sign Generator via www.redkid.net

Chocolate Cake Day Icing Sign Generator via http://www.redkid.net

Here’s a delicious holiday to “sink your teeth” into, and five easy ways to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day :

1. The Obvious: Bake a chocolate cake.

I have done this. Usually from a box, substituting the oil called for with melted butter (highly recommended!). Occasionally (as in once), my best friend and I spent 13 hours trying to make a showcase cake from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s “The Cake Bible”. This cake was a chocolate Genoise with chocolate Frangelico ganache, and was to be wrapped with thin chocolate leaves made with hazelnut toffee bits. From scratch. Let’s just say it tasted great and looked nothing like the picture.

2. The Popular: Bring a box of chocolate cupcakes or cake donuts to work.

A sure-fire way to bribe your way into the hearts of your co-workers is through food. Especially chocolate-sugar-fat-bomb treats. Make sure to bring enough to leave a few available for seconds, or to give to the IT guys. Yeah, that will keep your laptop from crashing, I bet!

3. The Explosive: Take your sweetie out for a Chocolate Lava Cake at a fancy restaurant.

This is a really good idea. I can’t believe I didn’t write this first. You have to get one of those flourless (who cares, it’s so full of chocolate and butter, who needs flour anyway?) Chocolate Lava Cakes and share it. Go somewhere fancy enough that your waiter cuts the cake open when s/he serves it and shows you the oozing, melted chocolate “lava” erupting from inside. Then, pick up your utensil and give your sweetie the first bite. Now that’s LOVE!

4. The Big Spender: Buy a chocolate cake from the bakery.

Tell the bakery it is Chocolate Cake Day if they don’t have a sign up or something. Ask if you can get a discount since it’s a holiday (and they should feel sorry for you since you don’t have a sweetie or else you’d be doing #3).  Take the cake home in a big, preferably pink, bakery box. Eat it, slice by slice, and don’t share. But do pair it with nice red wines and by watching Food Network or that Matilda movie (who remembers Bruce Bogtrotter?).

5. The Weird Al Yankovich: Just Eat It

Anyhow, anyway, get yourself a slice of that dark brown, sugary chocolate heaven and put in your mouth. Rinse (milk, wine, water, your choice). Repeat. Guaranteed to add volume… to your waistline!

Categories: Food Tags: ,

Isn’t it grand? Irish Coffee Day!

Well, yesterday was beer cans and today is Irish coffee. It’s feeling wee bit Irish ’round Celebrate Holiday of late!  I am giggling 🙂

Irish Coffee is an exotic libation that is built to confuse the central nervous system: Drink a glass and let the coffee give you the jitters whilst the whiskey relaxes your nerves. At any rate, today on Irish Coffee Day you’d have perfect timing to enjoy a taste.

Tullamore Dew Irish Coffee by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Tullamore Dew Irish Coffee by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Irish coffee is made by adding a jigger of good Irish Whiskey such as Jameson or Bushmill’s or Tullamore Dew to a cup of hot coffee and topping it off with a bit of  soft whipped cream. Many folks like to substitute “cream” for the whiskey- meaning an Irish cream liquor such as Carolan’s or Baileys.

Now, Irish Coffee is nice and I’m not saying the Irish don’t like it, but it’s often on the pub menu for “blow-ins” (tourists) like myself and probably you.

So, it’s lucky for you I’ve been to have had the chance to visit  beautiful, green Eire for a month or four.  If you’re wantin’ to quench your thirst in the local brogue, let me expand your vocabulary by few Irish beverage-related terms:

cuppa = hot tea, usually sweet, can also called cuppa tea or sweet tea: “come in for a cuppa”

whiskey = what you’d call Scotch, also referred to as the “Irish”: “give us a drop of the Irish, now”

coffee, white = coffee with cream and sugar, I’d say the most popular way to order coffee at all the posh Irish coffee  shops. “I’ll take a coffee, white, please”

pint = a beer, most often a Guinness or the most popular local brew (for example Murphy’s in Cork) , although you could say ‘a pint, plain’ to specify a Guinness also.  Irish folks love their beer though, and have a huge selection of local beers, imports, and ciders  (I like Bulmers/Magners) on draft or in bottles. “I’ll have a pint of plain, thanks”

glass = half-pint of the above.

mineral = sometimes used to refer to soft drinks. “What ya got for minerals?”

And the most important vocabulary word of all: Slainte! = “slan-cha”, the most common toast, literally meaning “health!”

Got any more? Think my list is “bang-on” or a pile of “shite”? Let me know!

Categories: Food, International Tags:

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Beer Can!

January 24, 2010 4 comments

How to celebrate this holiday? Pop open a cold one and enjoy!

Read on to learn how the canned beer overcame glass bottles to become the packaging of choice for their brew to beer drinkers in America and worldwide.

Beer Can Collection photo by Chuck Starret of www.mibeercans.com

Beer Can Collection photo by Chuck Starret of http://www.mibeercans.com

American Can was the company that made the beer can a reality. Their journey to developing a can strong enough to withstand 80 PSI and make the tin non-reactive to the beer inside actually began in 1909 when an American brewery approached American Can to develop a metal can for their beer. But the journey didn’t end until 2 years after the Prohibition ended and American Can went brewery after brewery, seeking a company willing to try their product. None were willing to take the risk on a new technology.

Until they went to the Krueger family. The Krueger Brewery had nothing to lose by trying the radical new packaging: they were almost out of business after 13 years of prohibition, their patriarch and founder recently passed away, and their workers on strike, they took up American Can’s offer to install the equipment for free. As a matter of fact, the brewery would only pay American Can if the experiment was a success.

The first beer in aluminum cans was test-distributed to 2000 of its loyal drinkers by the Krueger brewery in 1933, to their general approval. In 1935 Krueger started to test the market with canned beer, previously only used to purchasing beer in glass bottles or served as draft in bars.  People loved the convenience, lighter weight, unbreakability.  By the end of the year, an additional 37 US breweries would go on to sell their beer in cans.

And the rest is history. Canned beer by far makes up the vast majority of take-home beer purchase. Cans range in size from a few ounces to “party” cans of 5L. Numerous innovations have been made to cans from their printing to their construction to their opening mechanisms. There is a huge market for collectible beer cans,  and numerous sites dedicated to their hobby, my favorites in reading up for this post were:

http://www.bcca.com/– The website of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America

http://www.beercannews.com– This site’s “History” page tells the story of how the beer can was brought to market in both the US and UK in greater detail.

http://www.mibeercans.com– Thanks for the great photo of your collection, Chuck!

It’s (not quite exactly- see update!) National Chicken Lady Day!

This was too good to pass up!

I came across this obscure holiday whilst doing my other work and had to take a minute to post an homage to The Chicken Lady in honor of her day, today, November 4th!

Dr. Marthenia “Tina” Dupree, affectionately named”The Chicken Lady” after serving 12 years as the Director of Community Relations and Training for a major fast food chain. In addition, she was honored by President Bush when he proclaimed November 4th as “National Chicken Lady Day!” to recognize Dr. Dupree’s  many efforts to raise the level of education in her community.

President Bush and Dr. Dupree  The Chicken Lady in the Oval Office

President Bush and Dr. Dupree The Chicken Lady in the Oval Office

Dr. Dupree’s nickname  is not to be confused with the character “Chicken Lady” made famous by the comedic efforts of Mark McKinney on the tv shows The Kids in the Hall and SNL.  However I am fairly sure it is.

**UPDATE** I sent an email to Dr. Dupree to let her know I posted this on my blog and she emailed me right back. Apparently, I am one of over 1,000 people to reach out to her today.

Dr. Dupree said that while President Bush did welcome her to the Oval Office, November4th was not actually declared a national holiday by him in her name.

However, so many people believe in her and her message has spread so far that she has since submitted it for inclusion in Chase’s Calendar of events!

Watch her on video here: www.youtube.com/chickenlady109

National Oatmeal Day!

October 29, 2009 1 comment

What do cholesterol, office snacks, and Wilford Brimley have in common?

I’ll bet you didn’t guess it was oatmeal.  Today is National Oatmeal Day, let’s celebrate!

National Oatmeal Day

Celebrating National Oatmeal Day with a bowl of instant oats!

 

Yes, this nutritious grain is very popular and useful. It is  ingested to combat rising cholesterol levels. Our office goes through instant oatmeal packets like they are candy- rummaging through the huge Costco box for our favorite flavors and always ending up with way more Apples ‘n Cinnamon left over. And if you can’t remember Wilford Brimley’s commercials for Quaker Oats, you should probably go ask your parents for permission to read my blog.

So go forth and indulge in a scrumptious oatmeal cookie (my favorite is from Specialty’s!), or cook up a batch of the fancy  steel cut oats (you can freeze it and reheat a serving later, you know!), run your self a soothing oatmeal bath, or join me in mixing hot water with a packet of instant in my bowl at my desk.

Oatmeal is all good, and good for you.  Enjoy!