National Blonde Brownie Day on January 22nd recognizes a treat often referred to as blondies.
Blonde brownies are similar to the traditional brownies known almost everyone. In place of cocoa, brown sugar is used, giving it a sweet-tooth-satisfying molasses flavor!
Most people like to add white chocolate or chocolate chips to their blonde brownies or other things like nuts, toffee or butterscotch. Blonde brownies are usually prepared unfrosted as the brown sugar flavor tends to be sweet enough. These blondies are sometimes served in sundaes, often topped with caramel sauce.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBlondeBrownieDay
While enjoying a blonde brownie would count toward celebrating the day, that may be much too simple. Blonde brownies also make a delicious addition to a layered trifle dessert. Add a scoop of ice cream to a freshly baked blonde brownie and top with your favorite syrup. If you prefer the lighter side, serve a blonde brownie with a serving of fresh fruit. Pineapple, cherries or apricots seem appropriate.
Serve your blondies with tea, coffee or hot cocoa. And of course, you can’t enjoy them alone. You must extend an invitation to a friend or two. They’ll happily help you finish off a few blondies while catching up on the new year. You can make them for church, school or work occasions, too.
Use #BlondeBrownieDay to post on social media.
Enjoy combining a blonde brownie with your favorite book in honor of #NationalLibraryShelfieDay and #CelebrationofLifeDay
NATIONAL BLONDE BROWNIE DAY HISTORY
There is no found documentation of the beginning of National Blonde Brownie Day. It is known, however, that this light-colored treat was actually invented in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Recipes for blonde brownies can be found in recipe books dating back into the 1940s and maybe even earlier.
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21st and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday.
The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two.
Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. From the day we are born, hugs or touch improve our sleep. Hugging, like cuddling, releases oxytocin. On its own, this hormone provides tremendous health benefits. Not only does it gives us feel-good hormones, but it reduces pain. Receiving a hug helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also eases anxiety.
In my research to help my husband, I came across the benefits of these marvelous creations. The weighted blanket feels like a hug and quiets things like anxiety, helps reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, and helps you get a deeper, better nights sleep. So I got him one for Christmas. He uses it every night. Instead of waking 10 times a night, he sleeps through the night. The Restless leg syndrome has quieted, he is no longer jerked awake by overactive nerve activity in his legs and feet.
I was skeptical that this would work, but after months and months of interrupted sleep and medical avenues not providing any relief, we were getting desperate. I figured what have we got to lose? I highly recommend this especially to anyone dealing with similar symptoms or issues.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHuggingDay
Give someone a big hug. Or, if you need one, ask for a hug and reap the benefits. Use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY HISTORY
The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan.
Each year on January 6th, National Cuddle Up Day encourages us to snuggle up with someone for the health benefits and more!
January is typically some of the coldest days of the year, so what better way to stay warm and reap the health benefits of cuddling on National Cuddle Up Day? Whether it’s a three dog night (a night so cold it takes three dogs to cuddle up with to stay warm) or only slightly chilly, there are multiple benefits to cuddling with human or canine or other pet.
Cuddling releases oxytocin. This hormone alone has tremendous health benefits. Besides giving us warm and fuzzy feelings, oxytocin reduces pain. So when the cold has made those muscles and joints ache, cuddling can help reduce those aches and pains.
Oxytocin also helps reduce heart disease, lowers blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. If it weren’t free, insurance carriers would probably cover cuddling since it’s such a huge health benefit!
Communication is more than just e-mails, texts, or conversation. Physical touch can communicate trust, commitment, safety, and reassurance. This goes for human to human contact as well as human to pet contact. Cuddling expresses all these things, which are vital to a healthy relationship.
Cuddling also boosts sexual desire. Dopamine is released, stimulating the brain to seek pleasure. But dopamine also can improve memory and focus as well.
Don’t have someone to cuddle up with? Make an appointment for a massage. Studies show massage provides similar benefits.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCuddleUpDay
Cuddle up with someone you love. Invite your pet up on the sofa for a snuggle session. Schedule a massage. Use #NationalCuddleUpDay
What National Day on January 4th celebrates those who accumulate and hoard tidbits of useless trivia? National Trivia Day, of course!
Each year, the holiday recognizes the collectors of unconnected, irrelevant data, facts, history, and quotes in the recesses of their brains. They are the ones who usually proffer these sometimes astounding bits of history when friends and family least expect it.
In keeping with fun trulivia facts today is also National Missouri Day, and National Spaghetti Day.
The word trivia is plural for the word trivium.
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Nostalgic college students in the 1960s, along with others, began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth. After writing trivia columns, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally (and emotionally) significant, yet virtually useless information, which they dubbed trivia contests. Trivia (Dell, 1966) was the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense, authored by Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky. This book achieved a ranking on the New York Times bestseller list.
- Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
- In North America, the game Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, when consumers bought over 20 million games.
- Steven Point, Wisconsin, holds the largest current trivia contest at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM. During the April 2013 event, the university hosted the 44th annual contest. Typically, 400 teams participate, ranging from 1 to 150 players. The competition, which is open to anyone, spans 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour.
- The first season of the popular television trivia show Jeopardy! premiered on March 30, 1964.
HOW TO OBSERVED #NationalTriviaDay
Are you into trivia? Challenge someone to a trivia contest. Attend a trivia night or host one at home. Show off your trivia savvy. While you’re at it find out how much you know about the National Days. See if you can answer these questions. Some of them, we aren’t even sure of the answers.
- How many days are listed on National Day Calendar?
- Is there a food holiday on every day of the year?
- How many chocolate holidays are there?
- We love our pets. Do you know how many pet holidays there are?
- What’s the oldest National Day on the calendar?
- How many technology days are on the calendar?
Check out the National Day Calendar® Trivia page and see if you can answer all the questions correctly. Use #NationalTriviaDay to share on social media.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for ways to use trivia in the classroom and resources.
NATIONAL TRIVIA DAY HISTORY
Robert L Birch of Puns Corps. founded National Trivia Day. The first celebration took place as early as 1980, a year before the popular board game, Trivial Pursuit, debuted.
While these do take a bit of work, you will be rewarded with each bite of these delicious Wellingtons. I usually do these as a labor of love on special occasions like New Year’s Eve or an Anniversary. They also work well for a special dinner for 2. Just add candlelight, and a salad. A great pairing is my Winter Arugula Pear Salad. It makes for a really good dinning experience. Add a decadent desert and anyone dinning will be very impressed. See Loaded Brownie recipe.
- 3 packages frozen puff pastry, Pepperidge Farm brand
- Flour for rolling
- 2 eggs Whisked with 2 Tbsp water
- 1 – 8oz pkg Baby Bellas chopped
- 6 Tbs. olive oil; more for cooking
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 medium onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- Salt and Black pepper
Spinach and Blue Cheese
- 2 – 10oz pkg fresh spinach blanched
- Pinch Black pepper (optional)
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- Crumbled Blue cheese about 6 oz
For the Steaks
- 4 – 7oz Ribeye or Eye of Round steaks
- Salt and Black pepper
- About 4 Tbsp butter, more as needed
- Roll out and cut the pastry—Roll out each pastry sheets to about 3/16-inch thick, with a sharp knife, cut out a 9-inch round. From the scraps, cut out leaves or other shapes to use as decoration. Layer the pastry rounds (and the decorations) between pieces of waxed paper or parchment, lay on baking sheet and store in freezer until ready to assemble.
- Cook the mushrooms—In a bowl, toss the chopped Baby Bellas with olive oil, garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours overnight is better. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add a thin film of oil, and sear mushrooms until they’ve softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to paper towels. When cool, set aside till ready to use.
- Caramelize the onions— Melt butter, add the onions, cooking over medium heat, slowly, stirring occasionally, until well browned, and soft, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the pan is dry. Set aside to cool. Put the cooled onions in a bowl; cover and refrigerate.
- Prepare the spinach and cheese
- Wash spinach well and remove any stems. Prepare an ice-water bath. Put half of the spinach in a large sauté pan with a touch of water, and 1 Tbs. of the butter. Cook over medium-high heat, until justbwilted and immediately put it in the water bath to shock the color and stop the cooking. Scoop it from the ice water and put it in a colander to drain. Squeeze the spinach, in a clean kitchen towel, as much as you can and set it aside on paper towels to continue draining. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. Stir in blue cheese, salt and Black pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Sear Steaks—Season each portion of meat with salt and pepper. Rub the seasoning into the meat to keep it in place. Add butter and dash of olive oil to a heavy sauté pan. Sear the steaks over high heat for 2 minutes on each side until brown and crisp on the outside. Be sure your pan is very hot for searing the meat. Do not overcook it, or crowd the pan. It will cause the meat to steam instead of sear. (Check the sides to be sure the filets are still red in the middle.) Work in batches if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
Searing the steaks makes for a nice crust but a still-red center—once wrapped in pastry and baked, they’ll cook to medium rare.
Some Assembly Required
- Arrange your mushrooms, onions, spinach, and steaks within easy reach. Divide mushrooms, onions into four portions. Spinach into 8 portions.
- Make sure the caramelized onions are well drained (they tend to collect liquid as they sit).
- Cover a large rimmed baking sheet (that fits in your freezer) with kitchen parchment or silicon baking mat.
- Have a ruler, a small sharp knife, a pastry brush, and the egg wash on hand. Lightly flour one area to lay pastry, (the cooler the area the better).
- Pull a pastry round from the freezer and lay on the floured surface. Working quickly lightly score a 4×3-inch rectangle in the center of the round; don’t cut through the pastry. Extend the lines of the rectangle and cut out the corners of the round created by the line extensions, leaving a cross of pastry with a 4×3-inch center.
Cut a cross shape out of the pastry round. Save the scraps to cut out decorations.
- Spread Spinach in thin layer on the rectangle of pastry. Follow with a layer of onions, the steak, a layer of mushrooms and second layer of spinach. Spread each layer as evenly as possible. Brush a light coating of the egg wash on each of the four panels of dough.
- Check to be sure that the pastry is now pliable enough to fold without breaking (wait a minute or two if necessary). Fold up the longer sides first and then the end Fold each side panel onto the top, stretching the dough a bit if necessary to make the ends meet, or slightly overlapping if necessary. Follow suit with the top and bottom panels. Seal the panels together by pressing in the top panel where it meets the bottom panel and by pinching each of the four sides together where the panels meet. It’s important that pastry iswell sealed so the juices don’t leak out.
- Hold upright in your hands, securing all the seals and smoothing any rough spots to make the package into a neat, rounded block. Set it seam side down and gently press the top and sides to make them as even all the way around as possible. Brush the top and all sides with egg wash. If desired puut decorations on top and brush with egg wash. Set the Wellingtons on the lined baking sheet. Set in freezer to set and chill the pastry. Repeat with the 5 remaining Wellingtons, adding each to the pan in the freezer as you go. Allow 1 hour in freezer.
Cook the Wellingtons:
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Make another egg wash. Remove the Wellingtons from the freezer (do not thaw) and brush them with a fresh coat of egg wash. Cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and cook another 35 to 40 minutes. Set them aside to rest for no longer than 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Since 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. Now occurring on the third Friday of December, the celebration gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters.
In 2014, they partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign.
Each year, ugly Christmas sweater wearers, decorate, shop, and do their darndest to out ugly last year’s ugliest sweater. Whether they sport the most lights or colors, bells or characters, ugly sweater wearers find the most ribbon and felt ladened sweaters and festoon them with glitter so blinding no Dustbuster invented will capture the wave left behind. The sweaters serve as beacons of light so bright, Rudolph himself will someday be out of a job.
However, don’t be sad. So often Rudolph is featured on many of the sweaters. Elfs, donkeys, snowmen, and many other holiday characters we love and adore find their way to these ugly monstrosities. It’s all part of the fascination with the holiday. So, join in the fun. Celebrate and donate, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UglyChristmasSweaterDay
Try these tips to take the prize:
- Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme give sweaters a kitsch feel. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
- Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
- Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsel, or any other glittery, jingly items lying around the house.
- Add a collar, dickey, or ruffle.
- Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
- Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.
Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. Use #UglyChristmasSweaterDay or #ChristmasSweaterDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER DAY HISTORY
In 2011, ugly Christmas sweater lovers created National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. The day has grown in popularity and is celebrated worldwide.
National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day on November 15 encourages us to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Get together a soap and hot water filled bucket, disinfectant, a sponge and a garbage bag. Then you will be ready for the day!
With family gathering and a large turkey waiting to be roasted, cleaning out the refrigerator makes sense. Not only will we need room before the meals, but we also need space for all of the upcoming leftovers. Many dread this job. However, it is an important task none the less.
Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected. hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.
Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International found that the meat and vegetable drawers were the dirtiest spots in our kitchens – well with regards to causing disease.
However, those who clean their fridges more often tend to waste more food. There’s plenty of advice available on the frequency of fridge cleaning. Understanding food labels and the meanings behind “sell by” and “best by” dates are also important. These labels don’t necessarily mean a product has gone bad, but that the quality is best by the date on the label. However, “use by” leaves some of us wondering.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay
Some suggestions for your refrigeration cleaning are:
- Empty each shelf.
- Completely wipe down the inside of the refrigerator.
- Wash drawers and underneath the drawers.
- Throw away all expired food.
- Throw away any moldy food.
- Get rid of anything that you do not use.
- Vacuum condenser coils.
- Vacuum out under the refrigerator.
- Restock shelves and drawers with good food.
- Enjoy your nice, clean, organized refrigerator.
Use #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY HISTORY
The home economists at Whirlpool Home Appliances created National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day in 1999 to encourage people to clean out their refrigerator in advance of the upcoming holidays. At that time, the company even had a toll-free hotline that people could call into for cleaning tips.