children

NATIONAL SOUP IT FORWARD DAY


National Soup it Forward Day on March 3rd encourages us to deliver love and kindness by the bowlful because a warm cup of kindness comes in many forms.

My recipes page

When I make a pot of soup, it’s nearly always enough to feed an army. Those time-worn recipes grow over time, and love seasons it to perfection. I make it to warm my home, to cure a cold and warm a soul.

Just as the recipes grow and provide a nourishing warmth, so can National Soup it Forward Day. When making one of your favorite soups at home, Soup it Forward. Deliver a healing pot of your delicious chicken noodle or split pea to a family or friend you know is in need. Perhaps they have been ill or down on their luck. Whatever the situation, a little of your home cooking and visit will be a nice change.

Find my families favorites below and find other recipes on my recipe page.

White Chicken Chili
Jen’s Easy Chili
Loaded Potato Soup
Minestrone

Jen’s Chicken Noodle
Vegetable Beef
Slow Cooker French Onion
Loaded Noodle Bowls
My Beef Pho

What soup will you be making on National Soup it Forward Day?

HOW TO OBSERVE #SoupItForwardDay & #HugInABowl

Make up your favorite soup and deliver it to someone you know who could use the warmth of kindness in their life. Use #HugInABowl and #SoupItForwardDay to share on social media.

 

NATIONAL SOUP IT FORWARD DAY HISTORY

Soup Sisters founded National Soup it Forward Day to encourage everyone to make a difference in each other’s lives through the warm, healing kindness of sharing a bowl of soup.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the National Soup it Forward Day to be observed annually beginning in 2018.    
Soup Sisters is an award-winning National non-profit organization Founded March 3, 2009. Since that time more than 1 million servings of nurturing and nourishing soup made by community people has been delivered monthly to 40 emergency shelters in North America for women and children fleeing family violence and domestic abuse. The organization’s Founder, Sharon Hapton launched Soup Sisters by celebrating a milestone birthday with a soup-making birthday party that provided the first delivery of soup to the Calgary Women’s Emergency shelter. That is the simplicity of Sharon’s vision: to give people a way to give back to their community by doing something tangible – getting into the kitchen, spending a night with friends, rolling up their sleeves and creating something heartwarming, heartfelt and with it a message of support to women and kids in crisis. Now operating in over 25 cities Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers deliver the gift of soup by providing a much needed ‘Hug in a Bowl’. Soup it forward with the universal comfort food and for added inspiration, you can find over 300 soup recipes in the Soup Sisters trilogy of cookbooks.

Soul Sisters website

NATIONAL PIG DAY

National Pig Day, observed annually on the 1st of March, recognizes the domesticated pig. This holiday includes events and celebrations at zoos, schools, nursing homes and sporting events around the United States.  Pig parties, pig parades, and gatherings with pig collectibles are a few of the other events that have commemorated National Pig Day.

Pigs are a clever and intelligent animal, however, most people are not aware of their high level of intelligence.  They are a household pet to some that can be trained and taught tricks.

In Dublin in 1772, a trained swine called the Learned Pig told time, counted and other such tricks to entertain crowds in the streets. 

There was a famous, if fictitious, Learned Pig in London in the late 1700s which seemed to gain his learnedness from his mother. She ate an entire volume of Sir Robert Filmer’s manuscripts and “Saobeverel’s Sermons” before she delivered him into the world. He was born with an intelligence that seemed obvious just by looking. When one day he feasted upon the garden of the great Milton himself he began waxing poetic.

Charlotte's Web Hardcover – May 9, 2006

by E. B White  (Author), Garth Williams  (Illustrator
Charlotte’s Web Hardcover – May 9, 2006

by E. B White  (Author), Garth Williams  (Illustrator

Pigs have been popular storybook characters for generations. From A.A. Milne’s Piglet to E.B. White’s Wilbur, pigs have an endearing and flavorful quality about them that makes us love them.

Babe [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray

James Cromwell (Actor), Magda Szubanski (Actor)
Babe [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray

James Cromwell (Actor), Magda Szubanski (Actor)

There are hundreds of different breeds, most of which are descended from the Eurasian Wild Boar. The female is called a gilt or sow and can produce 10 piglets in a single litter. They also produce bacon, ham, baby back ribs, spare ribs, sirloin, pork belly and oh, so many more delectable barbecue items it would be a shame to not honor the swine on this day of all days.

Don’t forget today is also National Minnesota Day.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPigDay

Cuddle up with one, read about one, or eat one.  Use #NationalPigDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL PIG DAY HISTORY

Our research has found that this day was created in 1972 by two sisters, Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave. Ellen was a school teacher in Lubbock, Texas and Mary was from Beaufort, North Carolina.  According to Mary Lynne Rave, the purpose of National Pig Day is “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”

Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)
Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

NATIONAL SKIP THE STRAW DAY Feb 28

On the fourth Friday in February, The Coral Keepers ask you to consider a different way on National Skip the Straw Day! For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed slurping a refreshing beverage through a cylindrical tube. If Marvin Stone (the inventor of the first paper straw in 1888) were alive today, he might be shocked to know of the five large areas of the ocean, called gyres, where plastic garbage collects. The sea’s currents create vortexes trapping plastics, and in the collection are plastic drinking straws.

Straws and other plastics cause harm to marine life in many ways.  Birds, fish and other sea life consume plastics accidentally or when they mistake it for food. Plastics don’t biodegrade.  They break down into smaller and finer, microscopic pieces. When plastics break down, they produce bisphenol A (BPA) which interferes with reproductive systems in marine life. It also produces styrene monomer which is a suspected carcinogen.

Stainless Steel Straws,Set of 16 10.5
Stainless Steel Straws,Set of 16 10.5″ FDA-Approved Reusable Drinking Straws for 30oz&20oz Tumblers Cups Mugs,Metal Straws with 24 Soft Food-Grade Silicone Tips,4 Cleaning Brushes (16 bent)

by MUTNITT

According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws daily! So, on National Skip the Straw Day that’s potentially 500 million fewer straws that don’t end up in landfills or the ocean.

We can give you all sorts of other statistics to convince you to Skip the Straw on National Skip the Straw Day (and on other days), but we would rather show you how.

HOW TO OBSERVE #SkipTheStrawDay

For most of us, the easiest way is to pick up the glass and tip it back like our parents taught us to do when we four or five. It may take some practice and maybe both hands.  There are other fun, eco-friendly, healthy options.

  • Bamboo straws are a renewable, reusable and biodegradable.
  • Paper straws, while still disposable, are biodegradable and from a renewable source.
  • Glass straws are coming in durable, colorful designs fit for a variety of beverages.
  • Stainless steel straws are an option for those of us who like our cold drinks really cold!

Other Ways to Observe:

  • Volunteer to help clean up your local beaches, parks or neighborhoods.  Take note of how many straws are included in all the litter.
  • Plan ahead. Do you frequent fast-food restaurants or get beverages to go?  You will often receive the straw before you have the chance to say no.  Be prepared when you order to request your drink without a straw.

Share your solutions and use #SkipTheStrawDay on social media.

by Jungle Straws  Jungle Straws | 12 Reusable Bamboo Drinking Straws | Eco Friendly Alternative to Plastic | 8
by Jungle Straws

Jungle Straws | 12 Reusable Bamboo Drinking Straws | Eco Friendly Alternative to Plastic | 8″ Handmade Natural Straws | BPA Free, Biodegradable & Organic | Cleaning Brush, Straw Pouch & Storage Bag

NATIONAL SKIP THE STRAW DAY HISTORY

The Coral Keepers, students at Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI, along with their advisor, Susan Tate, founded National Skip the Straw Day in 2017 to encourage Americans to give up the straw habit and help spread awareness about the damage caused by disposable plastics.  The Registrar at National Day Calendar® declared the day to be observed. See also National Drinking Straw Day in January


Shop Amazon - Top Rated Products
Shop Amazon – Top Rated Products

NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY


February 23rd annually recognizes a well-known food holiday, National Banana Bread Day.
A moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread, banana bread is made with fully ripe, mashed bananas.  Some recipes call for yeast, and then the finished banana bread is sliced, toasted and spread with butter. 


With the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks. It appeared in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook, too. Banana bread later gained further acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950. 

KitchenAid KC448BXERA 17-piece Tools and Gadget Set, Red

by KitchenAid
KitchenAid KC448BXERA 17-piece Tools and Gadget Set, Red

by KitchenAid



Despite the banana’s arrival in the United States in the 1870s, it took a while before they appeared as an ingredient in desserts.

Early Banana Bread

One early recipe came from The Vienna Model Bakery. It advertised banana bread as something new in the April 21, 1893, edition of St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  A new restaurant/bakery chain owned by Gaff, Fleischmann & Company, The Viena Model Bakery was known for its baked goods and was likely one of the first to produce banana bread in the United States. The recipe was made with banana flour, which is made by drying strips of the fruit, then grinding it to a powder. This process had long been used in the West Indies.


In Hawaii during World War I, a surplus of bananas resulted from very few ships available to export the fruit.  To prevent waste, alternative uses for bananas were developed. For example, bakeries started incorporating the fruit into their bread.


This recipe was printed in The Maui News on April 12, 1918, for banana bread:
2/3 banana
1/3 flour
Yeast, coconut milk or water
There was also rationing of staple food items such as flour.  Banana flour was a suggested substitute.  It was touted as a health food and recommended for a vegetarian diet.

Meatloaf and Bread Pan | Gourmet Non-Stick Silicone Loaf Pan by Boxiki Kitchen | for Baking Banana Bread, Meat Loaf, Pound Cake | 8.5” FDA-Approved BPA-free Silicone, Steel Frame + Handles

by Boxiki Kitchen
Meatloaf and Bread Pan | Gourmet Non-Stick Silicone Loaf Pan by Boxiki Kitchen | for Baking Banana Bread, Meat Loaf, Pound Cake | 8.5” FDA-Approved BPA-free Silicone, Steel Frame + Handles

by Boxiki Kitchen


This, of course, is not the quick bread we know today.  A recipe submitted by Mrs. Dean in the February 18, 1918, issue of The Garden Island paper for a banana muffin might more closely resemble the quick bread we think of today.


1 cup cornmeal
3-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 sifted banana
3/4 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon Crisco
Mix dry ingredients, add banana, milk and egg and Crisco.

Quick Bread and Muffin

The difference between a quick bread and a muffin in baking has a lot to do with the type of fat and how it is mixed creating a different crumb or texture to the bread.


In 1927, Unifruit (a wholesale produce company) offered a free cookbook called From the Tropics to Your Table. The book offered recipes full of bananas as ingredients including banana muffins and breads. This little cookbook would have been handy during the Great Depression which was just around the corner. At the time, families utilized every scrap of food, including overripe bananas. They cooked overripe bananas, as well as other fruits and vegetables, into breads, stews and other dishes when flavor and texture were not as appealing raw.

KitchenAid KL26M1XOB Professional 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer - Onyx Black

by KitchenAid

KitchenAid KL26M1XOB Professional 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer – Onyx Black

by KitchenAid
We use this for breads, cakes, cookies, frosting and anything else we create in the kitchen. My mother has had this same mixer for over 40 years. It still does the job like we bought it yesterday. This experience has taught us to look for this brand for it’s features and durability.



HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBananaBreadDay

Bake your favorite version of banana bread to celebrate. With so many varieties to try – banana nut, chocolate banana and more – you can make more than one! Invite someone to join you or give a loaf or two away. The celebration is just too good not to share! We like ours warm from the oven with butter!

Use #NationalBananaBreadDay to post on social media.

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.
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 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.

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.  

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.
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.

International Book Giving Day, February 14, 2020

Devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need, Book Giving Day calls on volunteers to share their favourite book with a young reader. Although the holiday originated in the UK, book lovers around the world now join in the celebrations every year.

Book Giving Day has few organised events. Instead, individual volunteers are encouraged to give a favourite book or books to children. This can take many forms; some people give books as gifts to their own children or to those of friends. Others donate books to children’s libraries, schools or charities. Still others leave books in places where they’ll be found, such as doctors’ waiting rooms or coach stations.

The organisers of Book Giving Day support the holiday by sharing participants’ stories and offering bonuses such as downloadable holiday bookplates to use in gifts.

#BookGivingDay

https://bookgivingday.com/

Don’t miss these book holidays.
World read Aloud Day, February 5
National Library Lovers Day February 12.
International Book Giving Day, February 14

Support These Literacy Organisations

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.
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.
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