Happy National Wine Day!!! – What is your favorite Reds or White wines? – Gives us your recommendations

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National Wine Day is celebrated annually on May 25.  Each year, on this day, people enjoy a glass of their favorite wine with dinner, for dessert, with friends, at a restaurant, at home or at a wine-tasting event.


Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients.  Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different types of wine. The well-known variations result from the very complex interactions between the biochemical development of the fruit, reactions involved in fermentation, and human intervention in the overall process. The final product may contain tens of thousands of chemical compounds in amounts varying from a few percent to a few parts per billion.

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Wines made from fruits besides grapes are usually named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, pomegranate  wine, apple wine and elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine. The term “wine” can also refer to starch-fermented or fortified beverages having higher alcohol content, such as barley wine or sake.” (Wikipedia)

  • In 1867, Archaeologists in Speyer, Germany discovered the oldest bottle of wine in existence while they were excavating two Roman stone sarcophaguses.  It dates back to at least 325 AD.  The bottle of wine is now on display at the History Museum of the Pfalz in Germany.

Credit: National Day Calender

Photo Credit: The Times

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Happy National Vanilla Pudding Day!!!

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Today is National Vanilla Pudding Day! The delicious, creamy pudding we know and love today has been around since the 19th century. Most culinary historians agree that our modern recipe evolved from custards, which date back to Ancient Rome.

Jell-O introduced its first line of instant pudding in the 1950s. The advertising campaign announcing the new product promoted it as a “busy-day dessert.”

 

To celebrate National Vanilla Pudding Day, make some delicious homemade vanilla pudding from scratch, or from an instant mix! For an extra special treat, pair it with fresh fruit or chocolate.

Credit: Punchbowl, Daily of the Day

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Happy National Quiche Lorraine Day!!! – Quiche Lorraine Recipe

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Ingredients

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 green onions, chopped

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided

6 large eggs

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Bake at 400° for 7 minutes; remove from oven.

Cook bacon pieces in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels, and crumble. Sprinkle bacon, green onions, and 1 cup cheese into prepared crust.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients; pour mixture into crust, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and nutmeg.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes.

Credit: My Recipes

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Happy National Devil’s Food Cake!!! – Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting Recipe

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Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

2-1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 cup water  

 FROSTING:

1/2 cup butter, cubed

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

 1/2 cup whole milk

 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and water, beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.

Credit: Taste of Home

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Happy National Cheese Soufflé Day!!! – Classic Cheese Soufflé Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)

PREPARATION

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400_F.Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides. Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyère cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375_F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes). Serve immediately.

Credit: Epicurious

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Happy Buttermilk Biscuits Day!!! – Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Photo Credit: http://secretlifeofachefswife.com

National Apple Pie Day!!! – Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling

  • 3 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Topping

  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  7. Vanilla ice cream

Directions

For crust:
  Mix flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over flour mixture; stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch; turn edge under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.

For filling:
   Mix all ingredients in large bowl to coat apples.

For topping:
   Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet sand.

Toss filling to redistribute juices; transfer to crust, mounding in center. Pack topping over and around apples. Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover top with foil if browning too quickly). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool until warm, about 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.

Credit: Epicurious

Happy Eat What You Want Day!!! – We would eat Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese – What would you eat?

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It’s Eat What You Want Day! Today is the day to ignore your diet and indulge in the foods you love most. While junk food is certainly acceptable on Eat What You Want Day, don’t forget to include your favorite meals as well. Perhaps you’d like to recreate Thanksgiving dinner, or a childhood classic like mac and cheese and pigs-in-the-blanket.

Did you know that dieting is a relatively new phenomenon? Our ancestors were concerned with getting more carbohydrates and fats into their systems, not less! The first fad diet programs appeared in the U.S. during the 19th century and today people are still trying all sorts of crazy things to lose a few pounds.

To celebrate Eat What You Want Day, eat all of your favorite healthy and not-so-healthy foods (in moderation). We hope you enjoy every bite!

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Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

3 teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 (16-oz.) package cavatappi pasta

2 tablespoons corn oil, divided

1/2 cup butter

1 small onion, diced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups half-and-half

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

3 cups freshly grated smoked Cheddar cheese

1 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper

6 cooked bacon slices, chopped

3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring 1 gal. water and 1 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a Dutch oven; add pasta. Cook 8 to 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water. Toss with 1 Tbsp. oil.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. (Do not brown flour.) Add half-and-half, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened. Gradually add cheeses, stirring until blended. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in cooked pasta. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Sauté chipotle pepper in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot corn oil in a small skillet over medium heat 30 seconds or until mixture begins to smoke. Remove from heat, and quickly stir in bacon and panko until coated. Sprinkle mixture over pasta.
  4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and crisp on top. Serve immediately.

Credit: My Recipes , Punchbowl

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Happy National Shrimp Day!!! – Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (optional)

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with onion and green peppers, undrained

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

2 (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag long-grain rice

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon hot sauce

Fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place chicken in an electric slow cooker.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add onion mixture, turkey kielbasa, and next 5 ingredients (through chicken broth) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.

3. Cook rice according to package directions. Add cooked rice and remaining ingredients except parsley garnish to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until shrimp are done. Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

Credit My Recipes

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Happy International No Diet Day!!! – If you weren’t on your Diet, what’s your favorite meal?

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International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers ofdieting and the unlikelihood of success; the Institute of Medicine summarises: “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it of five years.” The first International No Diet Day was celebrated in the UK in 1992. Feminist groups in other countries around the globe have started to celebrate International No Diet Day, especially in the USACanadaAustraliaNew Zealand,IndiaIsraelDenmark and Brazil.

If you weren’t on a Diet, what is your favorite meal? Ours would be Bacon Lasagna !!!

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