appetizer

NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY

National Margarita Day on February 22nd rims a glass with salt and serves up a beverage that tastes like the summer sun.

Known to be the most common tequila-based cocktail served in the United States, the margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice.  In the United States, the most common lime is the thick-skinned Persian lime. When margaritas are made with lemons, they have a much softer taste.

When it comes to sorting out the legends associated with the origin of the margarita, there are many. Two things are certain; the cocktail included tequila, and the bartender edged the rim of the glass with salt. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila (especially if the quality was bad), the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand.

It makes sense that the salt followed the lime and the tequila to the margarita glass. Today, lime is not the only flavor of margarita, and the specialists behind the bar have gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail. 

Margaritas can be served on the rocks (shaken with ice), frozen (blended with ice), or straight up (without ice).

Libbey Colors Margarita Glass Set, 4-Piece

by Libbey
Libbey Colors Margarita Glass Set, 4-Piece

by Libbey


Legends

There are many different stories and myths, beginning as early as 1938, as to how and when the margarita was created.

In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month.”  The recipe as printed was:

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • Dash of Triple Sec
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

Pour over crushed ice, stir.  Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.  (Wikipedia)

The margarita was further popularized with the 1977 release of Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville.”

Jimmy Buffet

Margaritaville (Lost Verse) (Live)

Jimmy Buffett

From the Album Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays


HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMargaritaDay

Mix up a margarita at home or as your favorite bartender to make you one. What’s your favorite flavor? Find your Margarita Day deals by visiting our Celebration Deals page. 

Let us know using #NationalMargaritaDay to post on social media. Remember, always drink responsibly and never drink and drive

Make it a night in with Jen’s Loaded Nachos and Tres Leche cake for dessert.

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Shop Amazon Gift Cards. Any Occasion. No Expiration.

Jen’s Loaded Nachos

I These started out as a great alternative to traditional recipes of tacos, enchiladas, Doritos casserole. They make a great meal, snack, or game day favorite too.I wash mine in the dishwasher and reuse at parties, on special occasions and if it breaks it was disposable to begin with.

Ingredients

2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up.  I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle - 12 Inch, Black  by Farberware  Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black.    by Farberware

Directions

  • In medium pan, brown ground meat.
  • Drain excess fat
  • Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
  • Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help.  You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers. 
  • Spread chips or cups on big tray. 
  • Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired. 
  • Feeding a diverse crew?  Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them.  This concept also works well for parties and game days too.


Try with a virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.

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. 

Brown Butter Garlic Parmesean Mushrooms

These are insanely popular at our table. People who swear they don’t eat mushrooms eat these. These warm butter treats can be served as a snack or a side dish. The only complaint I’ve ever had is there are never enough and I usually make a double batch. See recipe below.

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Shop Amazon Devices | All-new Fire HD 10 tablet

Ingredients

1 lb whole white mushrooms
1 cup browned butter
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp thyme
Parsean cheese to top mushrooms

Directions

Separate stems from mushrooms with care not to damage caps.
Dice all stems
Add butter to pan cook on medium-high heat until it turns golden hazelnut in color.  Watch carefully as you do not want to burn.
Add stem pieces, garlic, and thyme to butter. 
Mix well to coat and distribute ingredients.
On a foil covered, well oiled baking sheet place caps about 1/2 inch apart.  Make sure stem well is facing up to make a cup in the top.
Fill with butter mixture till slightly mounding over. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Add Parmesean cheese to each, covering stem pieces. 
Broil in oven 15 minutes. 
Serve warm.

Extra tip:

You can play with this adding bacon or topping with chives.  Add more cheeses, or herbs.  This is a take on a classic mom has made for as long as I can remember.

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