Happy National Animal Crackers Day – Which is your favorite Animal Cracker?

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These fun little crackers are usually in the shape of circus or zoo animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys.

Animal-shaped crackers were first brought to the United States during the late 1800’s. The demand for these treats skyrocketed so bakers began to produce them domestically.

Stauffer’s Biscuit Company was the first company to produce animal crackers in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or “Nabisco Brands.” It was not until 1902 though that the animal cracker’s box débuted its “Barnum’s Animals” circus theme.

Did you know that since their start in 1903, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum’s Animal Crackers? Today more than 40 million packages of animal crackers are sold each year around the world. To celebrate National Animal Crackers Day, enjoy a box (or two) of some delicious Barnum’s Animal Crackers!

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Which is your favorite Animal Cracker?

LOVE WAS BURIED IN AMSTERDAM by RESTART URGENTLY NEEDED (BLW Contributor)

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My diary had her name. I wrote letters to her every night, hid them under my bed and hoped that one day, the little book would reach her. It was the summer of 1995 and I didn’t know if she was still alive.

We grew up together, she lived just two floors above me, in the same cuboid grayish building with white balconies along the front side. The stairway to her place, like a stairway to heaven, had no walls and was open to all the eyes of the passengers. 

We used to sit there on a blanket, I was Barbie and she was Ken. Jenna was older than me. When I was born she was the first to come to our place to fall in love with me. Her pale face and her blond hair had something exotic and passionate, only her blue lips and her heavy breath revealed that she was carrying something else deep inside her diseased heart. 

 She brought me little presents every day, went to the bakery with me, taught me how to read, provided me with the coolest comics and had patience with the complicated little Becky like nobody else. Every weekend we were selling our comics and books in our street and everybody who knew us would buy something. From the money we would buy new ones, better ones. We dreamt of having our own bookshop. She wanted me to be a writer, I wanted her to be a top model. She used to laugh over that, telling me she would faint after three steps on the catwalk. She could barely breathe. The disease was taking over, day by day she was worse. 

We hid in the bathroom and she took off her shirt. Her chest was full of scars, among them a big one, dividing her in two halves. She hugged me, explained what was wrong with her little heart and told me her secrets. She dreamt of falling in love. There was a boy in our street she liked but wasn’t sure if this was real love. Every day we would daydream about him and her being together, we would draw her wedding dress and giggle, we would feel disgusted when we thought about the two of them kissing, we would stop our jokes and suddenly be quiet, knowing that this was far from reality. 

She spent most of her days in a hospital. My father took care of her there and let me inside whenever possible. When she got her wheelchair we planned to destroy it and take the wheels to make two unicycles out of it. My mother would carry her in her arms when she came home, because she was too weak to move the wheels of the wheelchair. She would bring her to the stairway and put her down on our blanket where we could be alone and talk like we used to. She told me she had seen soldiers through the windows of the hospital. We made plans how she could get away in that wheelchair if they come to our street. We exchanged photos, just in case we would lose each other for a while. And we lost each other. 

It was the summer of 1995 when I got a package from the Netherlands with her mother’s name on it. Inside of it there was a letter addressed to my parents, one of my books and the pictures that I had given to Jenna. Those few pictures are the only ones which I have from my childhood. She had written messages for me on the pictures’ back and I rolled under a blanket, touched her handwriting and smelled if the photos had her perfume on. My mother opened the letter and broke down in tears. Jenna had survived the war and the terror, only to die of a heart attack in Amsterdam, during her first days of freedom.

Check out other great articles from RESTART URGENTLY NEEDED

 

Poetry & Art – The Climb

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Day of the Mushroom – Fettuccine in Creamy Mushroom and Sage Sauce Recipe

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Ingredients

8 ounces spinach fettuccine pasta

  • 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 
1 shallot, chopped
  • 
1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 
4 ounces chopped fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 
1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 
salt and pepper to taste

 PREP
10 mins

  • COOK
20 mins
  • READY IN
30 mins

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Directions

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  • Heat olive oil a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook shallots and garlic until transparent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook until tender. Mix in heavy cream and sage. Cook and stir until thickened. Toss sauce with cooked fettucine, and season with salt and pepper to serve.

Credit: All Recipes

Thankful Thursdays – Read then Stop your Complaining (Repost)

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National Eggs Benedict Day!!! – How do you like your Eggs Benedict?

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It’s National Eggs Benedict Day! Eggs Benedict is a breakfast dish made with two toasted English muffin halves topped with poached eggs, bacon or ham, and tangy Hollandaise sauce.

Many people claim that they invented Eggs Benedict. According to one story, in 1894 a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict went to the Waldorf Hotel to find a cure for his hangover. At the hotel restaurant he ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and Hollandaise. The restaurant chef Oscar Tschirky loved the dish so much that he added it to the menu and named it after Mr. Benedict.

Another account comes from a man named Edward P. Montgomery. In 1967 he wrote a letter to The New York Times Magazine claiming that he’d discovered the true inventor of Eggs Benedict. Montgomery’s note contained a recipe created by Commodore E.C. Benedict before his death in 1920. Montgomery received the recipe from his mother who was an acquaintance of the Commodore.

Picture Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org

Credit: Punchbowl

The Losers by Ryan Fu

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The Losers

Get a real job!

Parasites

D-bags

leave them alone

you assholes!

You guys are scumbags. 

I don’t know how many times

I hear it in a day

before I start to believe

it’s my name.

 But I get it

this is nation of winners

we love our false heroes. 

We put our idols high in the sky

until they fall

then we all become Chicken Little. 

We discard those

who don’t meet our expectations

then turn our backs on them

like they were bastard children.

History gets written

by the victors

as the losers

fade away in the narrative.

The forgotten ones

still on the battlefield

condemned forever 

 to remember their failures.

Why is there even

a second place?

It’s first

or

nothing

because we all want to be loved.

RYAN FU

Unknown

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National Glazed Spiral Ham Day!!! – Tangerine-Glazed Easter Ham With Baby Carrots

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Ingredients

1 (8 to 10-pound) smoked ham, bone-in, skin on

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch fresh sage leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks

2 tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed

2 cups tangerine juice

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

11/2 pounds carrots, peeled

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Chop about 8 of the sage leaves and put it in a bowl; mix with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours. Now there is plenty of time to bang-out the tangerine glaze.

For the glaze: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chunks of butter, tangerines, tangerine juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; this should take about 30 to 40 minutes.

After the ham has been going for a couple of hours, pour the tangerine glaze all over it, with the pieces of fruit and all. Scatter the remaining sage leaves on top and stick the ham back in the oven and continue to cook for 11/2 hours, basting with the juices every 30 minutes.

Scatter the carrots around the ham and coat in the tangerine glaze. Stick the ham once again back in the oven and cook for a final 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender, the ham is dark and crispy, and the whole thing is glistening with a sugary glaze.

Set the ham on a cutting board to rest before carving. Serve the carrots and tangerine glaze on the side.

Credit: Food Network

WOMEN CRUSH WEDNESDAY- THE WOMEN OF GAME OF THRONES (What are you’re thoughts on last week’s episode?

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WRITTEN BY: RYAN FU @FU_BEATZ

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and FireGeorge R. R. Martin‘s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones.  The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines. The first follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the rising threat of the impending winter and the mythical creatures of the North; the third chronicles the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed dynasty to reclaim the throne. Through its morally ambiguous characters, the series explores the issues of social hierarchy, religion, loyalty, corruption, civil war, crime, and punishment. It is the most recent big-budget work to have contributed to the popularity of the fantasy genre in mainstream media.

Game of Thrones has obtained an exceptionally broad and active international fan base. It received widespread acclaim by critics, although its use of nudity and violence has caused controversy. The series has won numerous awards and nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series in all three seasons, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in Long Form, and a Peabody Award. Among the ensemble cast, Peter Dinklage won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Tyrion Lannister. Filmed in a Belfast studio and on location elsewhere in Northern IrelandMaltaScotlandCroatiaIceland and Morocco, it premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011. The series was renewed for a fourth season, to debut in the United States on April 6, 2014.

I have loved the show since the beginning because of the great story lines but I love the women in the show because they are equally strong as the men. Plus, all of them are totally sexy even Brienne, I’m into it!

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Ygritte is a major character in the third and fourth seasons. She initially appeared as a recurring character in the second season and debuted in “The Old Gods and the New.” She is played by Rose Leslie. Ygritte is a woman of the Free Folk who lives north of the Wall. She is part of the force under the leadership of Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall.

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Sansa Stark is a major character in the firstsecondthird and fourth seasons. She is played by starring cast member Sophie Turner, and debuts in the series premiere. Sansa adopted a direwolf she named “Lady“, but Lady was executed following a dispute between Joffrey and Sansa’s sister,Arya. Sansa was once betrothed to King Joffrey Baratheon. She was initially thrilled at her betrothal, but later experienced Joffrey’s cruelty and watched the execution of her father, Eddard Stark, on his orders. Joffrey has since set aside his betrothal to her in favor of Margaery Tyrell, but Sansa remains a captive of House Lannister in King’s Landing. Sansa is now the lady wife of Lord Tyrion Lannister, following an arranged marriage by his father, Tywin.

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Cersei Lannister, rarely called Cersei Baratheon, is a major character in the firstsecondthird and fourth seasons. She is portrayed by starring cast member Lena Headey and debuts in the series premiere. Cersei is the widow of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms. She has installed her son Joffrey Baratheon on the Iron Throne under the false claim that he is a legitimate son from her marriage but he is actually the product of her incestuous relationship with her younger twin brother Ser Jaime Lannister. While acting as the regent, she has troubles controlling King Joffrey’s erratic behavior.

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Arya Stark is a major character in the firstsecondthird and fourth seasons. She is played by starring cast member Maisie Williams, and debuts in the series premiere. Arya is the younger daughter of Lord Eddard Stark. She is fiercely independent and is often mistaken for a boy. She wields a sword named Needle, a gift from her half-brother, Jon Snow, and she has been trained in the Braavos style of swordfighting. She adopted thedirewolfNymeria, but they have since been separated.

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Daenerys Targaryen, sometimes called Dany by her brother Viserys, is a major character in the firstsecondthird and fourth seasons. She is played by starring cast member Emilia Clarke, and debuts in the series premiereShe hatched three dragons by having her petrified dragon eggs placed on Drogo’s funeral pyre, before she walked into the flames to claim them. Her dragons are the first seen in the world for hundreds of years, earning her the sobriquet Mother of Dragons
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Brienne of Tarth is a major character in the fourth season. She initially appeared as a recurring character in the second and third seasons. She is played by Gwendoline Christie and debuts in “What is Dead May Never Die.” She is a warrior of House Tarth, vassals to House Baratheon. After winning a tournament melee, she is made a member of King Renly Baratheon‘s new Kingsguard, shortly before his assassination. She becomes the sworn sword of Catelyn Stark and vows to avenge Renly’s death. She is charged by Catelyn Stark to return Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing, in an attempt to exchange him for her two daughters she believes are held hostage there.
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Margaery Tyrell, legally Margaery Baratheon, is a major character in the secondthird and fourth seasons. She is played by Natalie Dormer and debuts in “What is Dead May Never Die.” Queen Margaery Tyrell is the widow of King Renly Baratheon, a claimant to the Iron Throne in the War of the Five Kings. Her father Lord Mace Tyrell is the ruler of the Reach. She is betrothed to King Joffrey Baratheon after the Battle of Blackwater.
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Melisandre, often called Melisandre of Asshai, is a major character in the secondthird and fourth seasons. She is played by starring cast member Carice van Houten and debuts in “The North Remembers.” She is an eastern priestess and a close advisor of Stannis Baratheon.

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Credit: WikiPedia