lunch

VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.  February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards. 

Ancient History

Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.

Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.

Modern Celebrations

Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes. 

Here are some great ideas for couples.  Use them to make Valentine’s or any special date.

Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists. 

Check out these great gifts.
VALENTINE’S DAY

Last minute gift?

HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay

You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.

Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.

Jen’s Fettuccini Alfredo Caprese
Garlic Butter Steak bites
Winter Arugula Pear Salad
Spinach, Blue Cheese, Beef Wellingtons

Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.

Today is also National Donor Day, and

International Book Giving Day

VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY

Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.  

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Brides and grooms will receive the following key benefits: *Up to 20% completion gift off most products on Amazon *World’s largest selection, plus Amazon’s reliable fast shipping and world class customer service *It’s universal – add items from other websites with the universal button * Fast, free shipping – Free shipping on orders over $25 or fast, FREE delivery on millions of items with Prime.

Jen’s Super Sandwhich

So, as I was trying to answer the, “What’s for dinner?” question once again. I went with a super Sandwich creation, for Super Bowl Sunday. I have to satisfy some very good sized appetites and keep them diet-friendly for low-carb, keto style. With several of us needing these requirements for our health, it makes satisfying both regular and special diets a challenge. It’s an even better one when you can satisfy both, without sacrificing taste. I’ve been told by everyone who has them they are better than the sub shops and Deli’s make. So here’s my recipe for a great sandwich.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP

by Victorinox
https://www.cookscountry.com/equipment_reviews/1433-chefs-knivesVictorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch Chef’s FFP

by Victorinox

https://www.cookscountry.com/equipment_reviews/1433-chefs-knives

Ingredients

  • 1 medium purple onion sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 lg beef steak slicing tomato
  • 1 medium head Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 1 – 16oz pkg deli-sliced turkey breast
  • 1 -16oz pkg deli-sliced black forest ham ( I like the Land O Frost Brand)
  • 8 oz extra sharp sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz sliced aged swiss cheese
  • 16oz Bacon Cheddar Ranch dip
  • 12oz sliced bacon cooked extra crispy
  • Yellow mustard
  • New York-style Rye Bread Or Dark Pumpernickle or low carb alternative
  • I got 7 full-size sandwiches from 1 loaf and had meat and cheeses left over.  If your crowd is bigger plan accordingly.


Directions


  • Spread 1 tsp Bacon Cheddar Ranch dip on each slice of bread.
  • Layer on dip onion slices on one, bell pepper on the other. Sounds easy but the order is important so it doesn’t slide out of your sandwich.
  • Next comes turkey breast folded and evenly layered. (I put 4-5 on onion side to build)
  • Add 2 full slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1.5 slices of super crispy bacon
  • Thin sliced tomatoes
  • 1 slice extra sharp cheddar
  • 4-5 slices black forest ham
  • Cover with little yellow mustard
  • Add Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Top with second dip and bell pepper bread.  Cut in half to make easier to hang on to. Quarters work too, especially for made up trays.  We added whole wheat original Sunchips with a little of the dip. 
  • HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | Juice Grooves w/Easy-Grip Handles | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe | Multiple Sizes (Set of 3, Gray)

by HOMWE
    I like to prep my vegetables first for easy assembly. HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | Juice Grooves w/Easy-Grip Handles | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe | Multiple Sizes (Set of 3, Gray)

    by HOMWE


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    Don’t forget Outlander is back February 17, 2020

    NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY – January 30


    In the United States, National Croissant Day, recognizes a wonderful flaky pastry enjoyed at every meal.  Croissants are  buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  

    7Days Soft Croissant, Chocolate, Perfect Breakfast Pastry or Snack, Non-GMO (Pack of 24)

by 7 Days
    7Days Soft Croissant, Chocolate, Perfect Breakfast Pastry or Snack, Non-GMO (Pack of 24)

    by 7 Days


    The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough, also used in puff pastry, is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.

    Croissant Cutter- Roller Slices Perfect Shaped Pastry Dough for Homemade Croissants in Minutes

by Good Cooking
    Croissant Cutter- Roller Slices Perfect Shaped Pastry Dough for Homemade Croissants in Minutes

    by Good Cooking


    Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.

    Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.

    August Zang and the French Croissant: How Viennoiserie Came to France - 2nd edition Kindle Edition

by Jim Chevallier 
    August Zang and the French Croissant: How Viennoiserie Came to France – 2nd edition Kindle Edition

    by Jim Chevallier 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCroissantDay

    Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant. Be sure to give your baker a shout out, too! Of course, you can always try baking your own. This Recipe is from Allrecipes.com

    Use #NationalCroissantDay to post on social media.

    Valentines Day is coming!
    Get a head start for your Valentine.

    NATIONAL KETO DAY

    On January 5th kick off your New Year’s resolution with The Keto Diet. The easiest change, and best thing you can do for you and your family.

    Okay we’ve all made those resolutions about diet an exercise, now what? I know there are a lot of choices out there. Me I’m staying with what works the best and easiest for me. I lost over 150 lbs after back surgery. My Dr loves this diet now, as I have not only lost weight it keeps my diabetes under control. My husband also a diabetic for years has shown the clinical proof to his Dr as well.

    Introducing Prime Pantry - Everyday Essentials Delivered to You
    Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You

    While we are usually, more low carb than strict Keto but so many of the products and recipes work for both. According to the blood work it keeps our overall cholesterol down, bad cholesterol even more and good cholesterol goes up. Blood sugar numbers drop significantly and stay down. In my case it has reversed my type 2 diabetes. Not forgetting the weight loss. One quick note there is a big difference between types if diabetics so please be aware of what type you are, and consult you dr. What works for type 2 could produce bad situations for type 1.

    DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
    DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

    by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
    Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups - Try Them All - Plus Unique Magnet

by Kodiak Cakes
    Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups – Try Them All – Plus Unique Magnet

    by Kodiak Cakes


    So here’s the good news.  You can have things like chicken, steak, eggs and cheeses, some types of vegetables,  even dairy and things like Dark chocolate.  The bad news is just say “no”, to most breads, pasta, sugar, cake and cookies.  There is a small selection of convenience foods out there.  Here in the south one of the biggest complaints is no macaroni and cheese.

    With recipes like Garlic Butter Steak bites, and tons more, chances are they won’t be missed as much as you thought. Even Lasagna can be converted to low carb and Keto Friendly. Veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, take over for potatoes and pasta. Be sure to check My Recipes Page often for new culinary creations.

    As we do a none strict version we have learned to change out certain ingredients to make them more friendly. Buy Yukon gold or red potatoes instead of Idaho russets, whole wheat pasta for spaghetti, and with store like Amazon Fresh Groceries we are no longer limited to only what’s on your local shelves.

    My best secret is join some groups who share their tips and recipes. Choose the version of Keto that works best for you. Your family will join the bandwagon without major tribulations. Most children only notice the absence of sugary sodas and snacks. Best of all these changes will set them on a path to a much healthier, happier life. Try one of our family favorites and start changing your health. Check out some of the great foods now stocked at Walmart.  Zoodles, Whisps, Veggie Tots by Green Giant, Sweet Potato Fries, Kodiak Frozen Waffles and Pancakes, Crepini Egg Thins Cauliflower, Caulipower Frozen Pizza.

    I suggest these groups on social media. Some of my favorites on Facebook: Keto for Beginners, Keto for Women Only, Keto Recipes for beginners, and lots more just search for them on your favorite platform.

    Find these and other great meals on my Recipe page. They are not all Keto diet but if you just have to cheat or treat yourself you can find a great one here too.

    Mushroom Swiss Chicken
    Mushroom Swiss Chicken
    Garlic Butter Steak bites
    Garlic Butter Steak Bites
    Deviled Eggs
    Deviled Eggs
    Jen's Easy Chili
    Jen’s Easy Chili

    Information provided by National Day Calendar. Check out this and other great holidays throughout the year.

    Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

    Other health benefits of a keto diet may include healthy cholesterol and blood pressure support. It may also be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

    National Day Calendar
    Benefits

    Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

    Keto Plan

    How does the diet work? By eliminating carbohydrates, your body will use up its store of glycogen first. Then it will move into ketosis and begin burning fat.

    Primarily, a keto diet consists of healthy fats, like eggs, avocado, olive oil, and sustainably-raised meat. Nuts, seeds, dairy, and low-carbohydrate vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and green peppers are also easy to incorporate. Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee add fat and flavor to a keto diet. Occasionally, small servings of berries are added to the menu.

    Eliminate these foods if you are considering a keto diet:

    • sweets, sugar, sodas, baked goods
    • grains, whole grains, and starches
    • fruits, starchy vegetables
    • hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil
    • diet foods, including low sugar, sugar-free, low-fat foods

    BACON DAY – December 30

    On December 30th each year, bacon lovers celebrate one of nature’s favored gifts on Bacon Day!

    Everything is better with bacon. Someone said that once. And our research shows very little to dispute this assertion.

    In the United States and Canada, bacon is made from the pork belly. Elsewhere in the world, the side and back cuts of pork are used. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or in a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled, or smoked.

    Bacon is a very popular food in the USA.  You can find many items also flavored or scented with bacon, including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. While these uses are options, we suggest cooking with bacon.

    It’s not just for breakfast anymore, either. Bacon improves everything from beverages to dessert. Some cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar add bacon to the olives, pickles, and other assorted ingredients. Bacon improves the flavor of many appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. Incorporate bacon into salads as a topping or mix it into the dressing. When it comes to dessert, bacon pairs well with maple frosting or maple ice cream. Thanks to the salty, smoky flavor of bacon, it compliments sweet quite well. The possibilities are endless. 

    Bacon is both Keto and blood sugar friendly. Turkey bacon is also a good alternative. My favorite is leaf lettuce used as a wrap. Add Miracle Whip, tomatoes, and two strips of extra cripy bacon for a great tasting BLT without the carbs from bread. Two of these tucked into your lunch box with some cheese sticks and some blueberries makes for a great lunch that will give you plenty of energy till dinner without the 3:00 sleepies.

    Share your favorite recipes with us. Here are some of our favorites featuring bacon!

    Irish Skillet
    Brussels sprouts the kids will eat
    BLT Wraps

    HOW TO OBSERVE #BaconDay

    According to the founders of Bacon Day, we are encouraged to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies, or movies with bacon in the title. Since Bacon Day was created before the Discovery Channel show How It’s Made debuted, it’s safe to say, we can eat our bacon and watch those, too. Giving and receiving gifts of bacon is also recommended. Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well. Use #BaconDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL BACON DAY HISTORY

    Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together. 

    NATIONAL MICROWAVE OVEN DAY

    On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors one appliance that changed the way we use the kitchen. 

    Quite by accident, self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves. Next, he tried cooking an egg. The egg test was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one. 

    This is the closest my husband gets to cooking. If you can’t do it in the microwave, he needs extensive instruction and supervision. Try a mug treat from Betty Crocker too. They make a late more brownie only a few buttons away….

    Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Black Stainless Steel

by Toshiba
    Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Black Stainless Steel

    by Toshiba

    Spencer, employed by Raytheon, continued experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

    • Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
    • In 1947, Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called the “Radarange.”
    • An estimated 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.
    Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven with 1200 Watts of Cooking Power, Sensor Cooking, Popcorn Button, Quick 30sec and Turbo Defrost - NN-SN67KS - 1.2 cu. ft (Stainless Steel / Silver)

by Panasonic
    Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven with 1200 Watts of Cooking Power, Sensor Cooking, Popcorn Button, Quick 30sec and Turbo Defrost – NN-SN67KS – 1.2 cu. ft (Stainless Steel / Silver)

    by Panasonic

    HOW TO OBSERVE #MicrowaveOvenDay

    The microwave oven is more than an elaborate popcorn popper. Use this celebration to explore the many uses of the microwave oven. We’ve provided a few suggestions to get you started, but we also encourage you to share your favorites, too!

    • make crispy bacon (and you won’t get burned either)
    • melt chocolate for all that holiday dipping
    • heat rice or bean-filled hot pads for achy muscles
    • steam vegetables
    • soften brown sugar
    • dry herbs
    • loosen labels from jars
    Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Maker Air Popper Silicone Bowl - Use any Kernels, Salt, Oil (Blue)

by Colonel Popper
    Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Maker Air Popper Silicone Bowl – Use any Kernels, Salt, Oil (Blue)

    by Colonel Popper

    While testing these ideas out, take some time to clean your microwave, too. Steam a wet cloth for a minute on high and let stand for another minute. The steam softens any build-up. Then, wipe your microwave down with a little hot soapy water to remove any greasy splatter. 

    Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner - Microwave Oven Steam Cleaner, Angry Mom High Temperature Steamer Cleaning Equipment Easily Crud in Minutes Steam Cleans and Disinfects with Vinegar and Water for Kitchen

by mixigoo
    Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner – Microwave Oven Steam Cleaner, Angry Mom High Temperature Steamer Cleaning Equipment Easily Crud in Minutes Steam Cleans and Disinfects with Vinegar and Water for Kitchen

    by mixigoo

    Use #MicrowaveOvenDay to post on social media. 

    NATIONAL FAST FOOD DAY

    On November 16th food lovers get a dose of their favorite convenience food on National Fast Food Day. Whether they use the drive-thru, dine-in or get it to go, fast food will grill up, fry up and broil up menu staples. 

    First popularized in the United States in the 1950s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form. The meal makes for quick dine-in, take-out or take-away. Most fast-food restaurants offer drive-thru service.

    Burger King Gift Card

by Burger King
    Burger King Gift Card

    by Burger King

    Following World War I, automobiles became popular and more affordable. At that time, restaurants introduced the drive-in.

    Much like today’s food trucks, Walter Anderson first began selling hamburgers out of an old streetcar body at a Wichita intersection. While the menu was limited, the hamburgers were a crowd-pleaser. When the popularity of his hamburgers grew, he partnered with E.W. Ingram and opened the first White Castle in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. The enterprising restauranteurs were the first in the fast-food business. They sold hamburgers for five cents each.

    The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world.  American fast-food restaurants are located in over 100 countries.

    National Fast Food Day

    While fast-food began as sandwiches and sides, the menus expanded over-time. Today fast-food includes fish, a variety of fried chicken, tacos, pizza and a wide selection of sides. Sodas quench the thirst and desserts sweeten the menu. From ice cream and shakes to pies and cakes, fast food delivers.

    As times changed, restaurants added breakfast items to the menu, too. Expanding their hours increased their workforce and their menu options, as well. However, not all fast-food chains offer breakfast.

    Jack in the Box Gift Card

by Jack in the Box
    Jack in the Box Gift Card

    by Jack in the Box

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFastFoodDay

    Invite a group out to your favorite fast-food restaurant. Share some rings and a shake. Do you prefer breakfast or lunch?  

    Give a shoutout to your favorite fast-food restaurant using #NationalFastFoodDay to post on social media.

    Check out this list if deals. Click here.

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