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 Although originally made with the liqueur, cordials, or chocolate-covered cherries are more commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries.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.
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 nationaldaycalendar.com)
Well, today is September 30th. It is amazing to me how quickly this year has gone by. I swear it was the beginning of summer yesterday… Well this day is always melancholy for me. My mother passed 6 years ago today. I miss her very much. She was such an inspiration and I have to credit her for the best parts of who I am today. It is also because of her that I love all the various things that I do.
On to other things… I learned last week that I have been picked to receive the book lovers cravebox. I can’t wait. It should arrive this week. I will let you know what I think after I read the book. They were giving away hints on twitter, so I think I know what the book is and I have a feeling I am going to like it. They also send a long a few other products to enjoy while reading the book. All the products they send are new to the market, so I will get to be one of the first to test them. If this kind of thing interests you, you should look into it.
As always I have been busy cooking and trying many of the new recipes I find on pinterest. I love that site, if you don’t belong, you should. I also like to try the recipes that I find in People Magazine. Yes I said People magazine.
I tried this recipe by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It was delicious. It was made with arugula, ribbons of zucchini, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and an oil & lemon vinaigrette. I can’t seem to find the recipe online – but here is a scanned version.
Mine doesn’t look quite the same, but be assured, it tasted delicious. Try it while you can still get fresh local zucchini.
I think I will spend the rest of this rainy day working on a few craft projects and watching football. Happy end of September.
I have recently returned from vacation in Cancun. My husband and I went there to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We had a great time. I must say that Cancun surpassed my expectations. I was expecting it to be like Fort Myers during Spring Break… You know, loud rowdy college students, drinking too much. That was not the case. I can’t mention the fabulous weather enough. One of my favorite pictures – taken from my beach chair at about 9 am.
The other great thing about Cancun was the food. I love Mexican food and you can’t really get it any more authentic. I tried everything I could. One of my favorite things, which I am going to have to try to figure out the recipe for, was Red Snapper Ceviche. I had this on the last day. We were on the way to the airport and stopped at the Ritz Carlton for lunch. It was so fresh and delicious. From the title of the dish I know it had red snapper, mango, jicima, as well as the obvious citrus flavors. I also believe it had pepper of some kind – not hot, as the dish was not spicy. Anyone out there have a good ceviche recipe to share?
Anyway – back to the real world of work and all the rest. I know the memories will keep me going and last a little while longer…
Hey – I mentioned ziplist in a previous post, well they are having an Oscar Party contest on Pinterest. I entered and surprise, surprise, I am a finalist. The thing I need though, repins or likes. I have selected some recipes and games etc. that I would do, if I were having an Oscar Party.
Visit my board here and like or repin please. If you don’t do anything else – go to ziplist and see what I was talking about in my previous post!
Last night I tried a recipe I found on Pinterest. I changed it a little to work with what I had on hand.
On the note of recipes, if you are a collector like I am, you might be interested in Ziplist. It is a service that allows you to save recipes you find online, to a recipe box. From the recipe box you can select recipes you are interested in and create a shopping list from them. I have folders and files of recipes I cut out from magazines. The only problem with that, I can never find the one I want when I am looking for it. I will admit, I am really unorganized when it comes to my recipe collection. One day…
Anyway, Ziplist keeps my recipes in one place and I can search for the one I want in multiple ways. I can do this from any place that I can access the internet. Sure beats carrying my recipe folders with me everywhere! The one downside (if you want to call it that) is the website you are getting the recipe from, also needs to belong to Ziplist. I think it is getting more popular as I am finding more blogs and sites that offer the ability to save the recipe to Ziplist.
Pictures from Ziplist 1st one is the grocery list section, the 2nd is the recipe section. Check it out, you’ll like it.
OK now onto the recipe for Taco Salad that I made for dinner last night.
1 lb ground beef
1 can ranch style beans (I used Bush’s Grillin’ Beans – Black Bean Fiesta)
1 pkt Taco Seasoning
The key to this recipe is the dressing.
1 cup mayo
4 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder (instead of the above seasonings I used 1 1/2 tsp of Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, it is a blend of the same seasonings)
For the dressing – put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Then let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the meat – brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain. Add the taco seasoning, stir to make sure it is well absorbed. Add the canned beans and simmer for about 10 mins or until the beans are heated through.
To serve – I heated up 2 tortillas, in a 375 degree oven for about 5 mins, in the shell pans (picture below). I added lettuce, chopped tomatoes and the ground beef mix, sprinkled some cheese (I used a shredded Mexican cheese mix, found in most grocery stores) and topped with the dressing. That is all there is to it. Really easy and delicious.