On January 7th you can remember the warm, cuddle ups from yesterday. Today you can add even more of those warm memories. January is National Soup Month, National Slow Cooker Month, and National Sunday Supper Month.
You can enjoy soups, stews and many other great dishes by doing some meal prep and slow cooker days. Nothing is better at the end of a long day in the cold than coming home to comfort foods like Beef Stew, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Everyday Beef Stew, Beef Pepper steak, Minestrone, White Chicken Chili, and even regular Chili. Did I mention lots of these are good for game days as well.
Best of all you can do the prep ahead of time and put it in your Crockpot. Imagine a warm hearty comfort food hot and ready to eat after a long day.
Freezer meals and a crockpot should be among some of your best friends. Any of these family-friendly meals will definitely make National Sunday Supper something to look forward to. These are some of the favorites at our house….
The options to this one are many depending on diet and health needs. Along with the steak you can have Zoodles as featured below (I get mine ready to go from Walmart produce). You can also use a regular or pasta of your choice. Potatoes are also great. If you need another vegetable try a fresh leafy salad or steamed Asparagus. All options are simply delicious.
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6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 2-Piece Set (10-Inch and 12-Inch) Oven Safe Cookware – 2 Heat-Resistant Holders – Indoor and Outdoor Use – Grill, Stovetop, Induction Safe
DirectionsCut steak into 1 inch bite size pieces.
In saucepan heat butter and garlic.
Cook until butter is melted and garlic starts to brown.
In medium skillet or cast iron add olive oil.
Heat on high.
When oil is hot and shimmering add cut steak bites.
Cook 1 – 2 minutes letting them sear on all sides. Should be golden in color.
Add 2/3 of butter mixture and toss to coat well.
Stir well until fully cooked and coated evenly in sauce.
Microwave Zoodles as directed on package.
Add Zoodles to pan and remaining sauce.
Stir well together.
Featured image provided by: https://chefshamy.com/recipes/garlic-butter-steak-bites-with-zucchini-noodles/
December 5 is the Day of the Ninja, a day to honor and celebrate the sneaky and stealthy masked warriors in black garb from ancient Japan.
Legend has it that this unofficial holiday was created in 2003 to commemorate the release of Tom Cruise’s movie, The Last Samurai. We loved this movie!
Ninjas were professional spies in Japan. Active between the 13th and the 19th century, a ninja’s job included infiltration, sabotage, espionage, and even assassination.
While popular culture is full of stories about ninjas, usually featured as cunning, secretive, brave, and skillful fighters, there are very few historical accounts of them. Historians believe that in the Japanese society ninjas were not considered to be part of an elite class of fighters – that place was reserved for the samurais. Because of this, ninjas were often recruited to do unsavory tasks like arson and terrorism.
Did Not Dress in Black
In those days, a ninja, also known as a shinobi, did not wear the all black outfit ninjas are depicted wearing today in films, TV shows, and comic books. After all, one of the main tasks of a ninja as a spy was to infiltrate by blending into his surroundings. They would often dress as the locals to do their job.
The secrecy surrounding ninjas led to the rise of legends about their skills and powers – something that has now become a part of popular culture. Modern day depictions of ninjas show them having superhuman powers such as invisibility, ability to walk on water and shape shift.
How to Celebrate?
- Watch ninja movies or have a Teenage Mutant Ninja marathon.
- Have a ninja themed party. Everyone dresses like a ninja.
- Go to work dressed as a ninja and sneak up on your coworkers and friends.
Did You Know…
…that contrary to popular belief, ninjas were not all men? Women ninjas were known as Kunoichi.
We like the blender set so much this is on our Christmas list.Mary B.
This treat for Thanksgiving will need 2 days of space in your refrigerator to infuse before serving. We prefer the jellied style for our Thanksgiving. You can use the whole berry or any recipe you prefer. I used a shallow glass dish big enough to keep the jelly whole. Using a lidded container also gave a great use of the space in my fridge as we stocked it with other treats for our Thanksgiving holiday meal. This is an adult twist on a classic so make sure you have some plain for the kids.
1/2 cup whisky
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cans jellied cranberry
DirectionsMix whisky and cinnamon together. Add whole cans of jellied cranberry careful to keep intact.
Seal in glass container with lid and refrigerate for 2 days.
Slice into 1/4 slices and serve well chilled.
Save any leftover whiskey mixture to add to hot chocolate for a unique treat that reminds you of home.
This yummy, soft, flavorful bread is something special we grew up with. If you want a special treat share the with your family and friends. There was nothing better than getting off the school bus, and walking into our home filled with this fragrance.
2 pkg active dry yeast or cakes
1 1/2 cups warm water (105°-115°)
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 tsp iodized salt
2 eggs large eggs
6 Tbsp Crisco shortening
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
4 – 5 cups all-purpose flour divided
Extra softened butter and cornmeal for the top after baking (2 or 3 tsp of each)
DirectionsIn a large mixer bowl (we love our Kitchen Aid) dissolve the dry yeast in warm water. The temperature must be in the range listed above. To hot or to hold and the dough will not rise.
Add sugar, salt, Crisco, yellow cornmeal, and eggs. ( I still crack mine in a separate dish to ensure no shell pieces. )
Blend on low speed. Scraping bowl several times to make sure everything is incorporated. About 30 seconds.
Increase mixer to medium for about 2 minutes scraping as needed.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
Knead about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Place in well greased bowl. Grease top of dough with a little more Crisco.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Dough ready if indentation remains when touched.
Punch down dough and divide into 18″ x 9″ rectangle.
Fold crosswise into thirds, overlapping 2 sides
Roll beginning at open sides, seal with the side of your hand.
Place in well buttered or greased loaf pan.
Butter top and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Let rise again till doubled in size
Bake in preheated 400° oven for 25 – 30 min.
Remove to wire rack to cool.
Try it while still warm and buttered. You will not be disappointed.
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.
Feel like your life sometimes spirals into a chaotic mess? Then Chaos Never Dies Day on November 9 is the holiday for you.
This made-up holiday encourages people to realize that chaos is part of life and that it will never die. So instead of getting hassled by it, just take a deep breath and let go of things that create chaos in your life on this day.
How fitting that this made up holiday is settled in November, just before the chaos of holiday, planning, eating, parties, shopping, and gifting begin in earnest. So much so that many started gift shopping for the next year on December 26th. For those who didn’t start that early or at all I can promise it is easier and a lot less chaotic when not scrunched into a limited two month time period.
If you are someone who thrives on chaos, you will find yourself firmly in your element as holiday events ensue. While I can quite happily join the holiday hustle, starting early gives me more time for personal gifting and enduring memory making.
Chaos Never Dies Day is also known as National Chaos Never Dies Day in the United States.
How to Celebrate?
- Take the day for yourself and do things that de-stress you. Pack your lunch and go for a picnic in the park with your loved ones.
- Watch a feel good movie or read a book.
- Take a nap in the middle of the day and remember chaos never dies, so it can wait to hassle you for one more day.
Information on this and many more fun holidays go to https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/chaos-never-dies-day