One Year Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of my Rex. He became sick in November of 2019 and he went downhill fairly quickly. He died of Kidney disease. We did just about everything we could do for him, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. He had a big personality so his passing left a huge hole. In October of 2019 we got him a sibling. A little sister. Her name is Roxy. Roxy cautiously figured out how to get along with his strong personality. Eventually they would play together. Unfortunately that didn’t last very long before he got sick. She remembers playing and I am sure wishes for a playmate. Something I think we will work on in 2021.

On this 1 year anniversary I went back to what helps me work thru things – scrapbooking. The pictures below were created using templates Furry Friends by Miss Fish Templates. Rex’s page was made using the kit Rainbow Bridge by LJS Designs and Roxy’s page was made using Happiness Captured by Blagovesta Gosheva.

National Spaghetti Day

National Spaghetti Day on January 4th offers an opportunity to pick your sauce and add it to that long, thin cylindrical pasta of Italian and Sicilian origin.  There are a variety of different pasta dishes based on spaghetti, and the sauce determines most of them.

In celebration of National Spaghetti Day, here are a few fun facts about spaghetti to get you in the mood to celebrate:

  • Italians never use a spoon and fork when eating spaghetti, this is only an American habit. In Italy, you twirl a fork against the dish to eat it.
  • The world’s largest bowl of spaghetti was created in March 2010 by a restaurant outside of Los Angeles, called Buca di Beppo, who filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 lbs of pasta.
  • Believed to be one of the first times TV was used to stage an April Fools’ Day hoax, on April 1st, 1957 BBC convinced its watchers that spaghetti noodles grow on trees and that frost impairs the flavor and growth of each spaghetti strand.
  • “Spaghetti” is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, meaning “thin string” or “twine.”
  • World War II was one of the most important times for spaghetti in American history due to the American soldiers, who found spaghetti when introduced to European cuisine and began to request it when they came home.

Spaghetti Pie – Serves 8-10

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought (I like Rao’s)
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 3 to 4 minutes less than the package recommends, so that it is very al dente. Drain and reserve.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef, 5 to 8 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Transfer the beef to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel. Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the marinara, ricotta, parsley, eggs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cooked spaghetti, beef and onions and toss to evenly coat. Transfer to the prepared pan, top with the mozzarella and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Products you can use to make this: Microwave Pasta Cooker – Item #2633, 12″ Nonstick Skillet – Item # 2737, Rockcrok Everyday Pan Item # 3139

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

Celebrated on January 3rd, this is a day I can truly get behind. Both of my boy’s request Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake for their birthday’s. The National Confectioners Association has been known to recognize this day as an annual event. 

Chocolate-covered cherry lovers know how impossible it is to eat just one of these candies. Candy makers combine these two favorite flavors into one delicious treat, and it turns into something irresistible. Although originally made with the liqueur, cordials, or chocolate-covered cherries are more commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries. The pitted cherries have been cooked in sugar syrup and jarred.

Recipe courtesy of Ann Byrn’s The Cake Mix Doctor (Workman, 2000)

Welcome 2021

If ever there was a year that needed to be welcomed it is 2021. I have high hopes for 2021, though I believe it may be a few more months before we see some semblance of normal. I am looking forward to that time. In the mean time, I am going to be celebrating food holidays this year.

Today is National Buffet Day – January 2. Here is a little history that I found about how the buffet actually came about.

The all-you-can-eat restaurant was introduced in Las Vegas by Herbert “Herb” Cobb McDonald in 1946. The buffet was advertised in flyers for only one dollar, and a patron can eat “every possible variety of hot and cold entrees to appease the howling coyote in your innards”.

Many boarding schools, colleges, and universities offer optional or mandatory “meal plans”, especially in connection with dormitories for students. These are often in an “all-you-can-eat” buffet format, sometimes called “all-you-care-to-eat” to encourage dietary moderation. The format may also be used in other institutional settings, such as military bases, large factories, cruise ships, or medium-security prisons.

In 2007, the first all-you-can-eat seating section in Major League Baseball was introduced at Dodger Stadium. The trend spread to 19 of the 30 major league parks by 2010, and numerous minor league parks by 2012. The basic menu includes traditional ballpark food such as hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, and soft drinks. In 2008 all-you-can-eat seats were also inaugurated in numerous NBA and NHL arenas. (Info from Wikipedia)

Since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most buffets have been suspended. Makes you wonder if this format will ever return.

National Cream Puff Day

Fortunately January 2nd is also National Cream Puff Day. Originating in France, cream puffs are also known as profiterole and choux a la creme. Cream puffs are a French dessert pastry filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, ice cream or custard. They may be served plain or can be decorated with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or dusted with powdered sugar.

Borrowed from the French, the word “profiterole” has existed in English since 1604. The “cream puff” has been found on United States restaurant menus since around 1851.

To prepare cream puffs, a pastry chef pipes a choux paste through a pastry bag or dropped with a pair of spoons into small balls onto a pan, then baked to form hollow puffs.  After cooling, the cream puffs are injected with a filling using a pastry bag and narrow piping tip or by slicing off the top, filling the puff, and then reassembling. (Info from

Here is a link to an easy Cream Puff recipe: