The Food Almanac: Friday, February 14, 2014

The Food Almanac: Friday, February 14, 2014

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Tom Fitzmorris publishes The New Orleans Menu.


Although this is St. Valentine’s Day, today has been noted as special for centuries before its namesake saint lived. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages because he was running low on soldiers. Valentine married couples in secret until he was caught and executed on the day that became his.

St. Valentine, in addition to being the patron saint of people in love, is also the patron of beekeepers. Honey. Let’s also remember that we would be bereft of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat were it not for the busyness of bees.

Nowadays, romances are more stressed than formed on Valentine’s Day. Men have a propensity to take it too lightly, while women have the opposite tendency. Despite that, it remains one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, which fill up with people who only dine out a few days of the year.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

Only eat Louisiana strawberries for the next few months. Isn’t that obvious?

Food Calendar

It is Cream-Filled Chocolate Day, says the Web. The explanation is obvious. In the course of looking up background on this, I found out why it’s nearly impossible to fill chocolates with cream or liqueur or any other liquid at home. But the explanation itself is too complex for laymen like me and you.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Choconut Center, New York is a crossroads on the road from Binghamton to its regional airport, all of which is just north of the Pennsylvania state line. “Choconut” is an Anglicized version of “Chugnut,” the Native American name for this general area. If nobody has created a candy with that name from around there, a good marketing bet has been missed. The nearest restaurants are the Oasis and Cacciatore’s, both in Johnson City, a suburb of Binghamton, a mile and a half south of Choconut Center.

Edible Dictionary

hoagie, n., adj. A hoagie sandwich is made of cold cuts and cheeses in almost any combination, on a long, soft roll. It’s usually dressed with hot or sweet pepper (or both), lettuce, tomatoes, and olive oil. They are very similar to submarine sandwiches. The hoagie first appeared in Philadelphia, where they have been traced back to the sandwiches made by Italian workers at a World War I shipyard called Hog Island. The name “hoagie” seems to have evolved from “Hog Island.” These were made with salami, cappicola ham, mortadella, provolone cheese, and olive oil. So the hoagie appears to share a common ancestor with the New Orleans muffuletta.

Wine Around The World

This is Trifon Zarezan day in Bulgaria. That’s an ancient festival marking the end of the dead months of winter and the coming of the first signs of spring. It has particular significance in the vineyards, where a ritual of pruning takes place. There’s also a sexual and intoxicating aspect to the day. It’s a long story; here it is if you’re interested.

Food Through History

In 1889 today, the first load of fresh fruit shipped by rail from the West Coast to the East Coast left Los Angeles. The cargo was oranges, almost an exotic fruit back then and much prized. Speaking of fruit, on this day in 1803 one Moses Coats won a patent for a gizmo that peeled apples. Today in 1859, Oregon joined the Union as the thirty-third state. It makes first-class wines, particularly Pinot Noir. But it also the country’s biggest producer of hazelnuts. They also pull a lot of salmon from their streams, notably the state fish, the Chinook salmon. This is also the anniversary of statehood (in 1912) for Arizona. The cuisine there is interesting, blending Mexican and West Coast cooking.

Food Namesakes

Derrick Witherspoon, a pro football running back, grabbed the ball of life and ran with it on this date in 1971. Actress Florence Rice first appeared today in 1911. . Captain James Cook, who turns up often in this department, was murdered in Hawaii (he called them the Sandwich Islands) today in 1779. He was making his third visit there. American actor Paul Butcher came to life today in 1994.

Words To Eat By

“Honey comes out of the air. At early dawn the leaves of trees are found bedewed with honey. Whether this is the perspiration of the sky or a sort of saliva of the stars, or the moisture of the air purging itself, nevertheless it brings with it the great pleasure of its heavenly nature. It is always of the best quality when it is stored in the best flowers.” — Pliny The Elder.

“I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.” — Nora Ephron.

Words To Drink By

“She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.’” — P.G. Wodehouse, British humor writer, died today in 1975.

The Food Almanac: Friday, February 14, 2014 - Recipes

As most of you know already, I have been doing the 21 Day Fix , and I am LOVING it so far!!

I will give more details about the program and how I'm doing with it next week, but right now I wanted to share a couple of delicious recipes that I have made.

The first is just a simple protein shake that I have had for breakfast the past 2 days and it was soooo yummy I just had to post it!!


HI, Can you tell me the containers that get used for this meal? I'm so new to the program that I am getting bogged down trying to figure out the containers.

Which meal are you trying to figure out? Most of the recipes have the containers listed already.

I just started 21 day fix and I love your recipes and food ideas. Please keep posting your ideas. I am also getting bogged down with the containers and trying to figure them out. Your posted recipes are really helpful. As a mom of 4 kids ages 9,8,5,and 3 I am having a really hard time trying to concentrate on this. You are really helping. Thank you,

What protein powder do you use?

What protein powder do you use?

Kelly - I really like the Six Star Whey Protein from Muscletech. I buy it at Walmart. There are better protein powders out there, but this is pretty low in carbs and with how fast I go through it, I like to keep the cost fairly low. )

The elaborate science of the confectioner.

Today, February 10th …

Victoria and Albert were married on this day in 1840, and the newspapers loved it. The 136 kg, 2.84 m. circumference wedding cake certainly inspired some effusive prose:

… it is described as consisting of the most exquisite compounds of all rich things with which the most expensive cakes can be composed, mingled, and mixed together into delightful harmony by the most elaborate science of the confectioner.

The cake had icing “of the purest white”, and was decorated with figures of Britannia, the royal couple (dressed “somewhat incongruously” in the costume of ancient Rome), a dog (to denote fidelity) a pair of turtle doves (denoting the felicities of the married state), and several Cupids – one recording the marriage date in a book, and others “sporting and enjoying themselves as such interesting little individuals generally do.”

Another newspaperman, tongue firmly in cheek commented:

We are assured that none of the cupids on the royal wedding-cake was intended to represent Lord Palmerston. The resemblance, therefore, pointed out by a correspondent must be purely accidental.

The first cookbook to give instructions for the now traditional wedding cake’s almond icing plus white icing, was Mrs Raffalds “Experienced English Housekeeper” (1769).

“The elaborate science” was hard physical work in those days.

To make Almond Icing for the Bride Cake.
Beat the whites of three eggs to a strong froth beat a pound of Jordan almonds very fine with rosewater. Mix your almonds with the eggs lightly together [with] a pound of common loaf sugar beat fine, and put it in by degrees. When your cake is enough, take it out and lay your icing on and put it to brown.

To make Sugar Icing for the Bride Cake.
Beat two pounds of double-refined sugar with two ounces of fine starch, sift through a gauze sieve. Then beat the whites of five eggs with a knife upon a pewter dish half an hour. Beat in your sugar a little at a time, or it will make the eggs fall and will not be so good a colour. When you have put in all your sugar beat it half an hour longer, then lay it on your almond icing and spread it even with a knife. If it be put on as soon as the cake comes out of the oven, it will be hard by that time the cake is cold.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Study: Why We Prefer Breathy Voices Like Denise Austin's

The study notes gender differences are key to vocal attractiveness in addition to regional dialect preference. For women, people are strongly attracted to "breathier" voices, such as those of screen legend Marilyn Monroe or health and fitness icon Denise Austin. This is compared to "creakier" voices, such as those of the Kardashian clan. Breathiness is the result of thinner, "younger" vocal cords, with attraction to breathy voices stemming from cultural fixation with youth and vitality, the researchers say, noting a "creaky" voice may indicate a health issue, such as a cold or a long history of smoking.

First impression: When she finally hangs up her spandex, Denise Austin needs to consider a second career doing voice overs for steamy imported films, and/or paid phone services. Move over Lauren Bacall. What a voice.

Kimberly Rae Miller. (January 4, 2010). "Denise Austin Makes Over Your Body with Her Voice" . SocialWorkout.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014

Some people have wondered if Denise Austin is or was a smoker because of her voice. Melisa Wells mentioned in her blog that teaching group fitness can hurt the larynx (aka voice box). The link to the study she referenced was broken so I did a little research and found a study called, " Vocal problems among aerobic instructors and aerobic participants. " (Heidel & Torgerson 1993). The book Injury Prevention for Fitness Instructors also references the study on page 87 .

If you don't like Denise's voice, her new DVDs have a music only option so you don't have to hear her instructions.

Romantic Getaway in Valencia

Happy Valentines day! The weather is finally starting to warm up in Valencia making Valentine’s weekend the perfect time to explore the romantic side of Valencia. Here are some fun activities you can do.

Take a stroll through the old town:
Starting at the Plaza de la Reina you can take a romantic horse and carriage ride through the old quarter. There you can enjoy the quietness and beautiful architecture of this part of the city. When you finish stop for a sweet treat at Valor in the plaza de la Reina. There, you and your sweetie can share a cup of Spain’s famous Chocolate con churros.

Visit the Mercado Central:
Just off the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the famous Mercado Central. You can walk through and see (and sample!) the best foods Valencia has to offer. Stop at one of the many Panaderias and buy a baguette to feed to the birds outside the market while you enjoy a coffee in the sun.

Walk in the Turia Gardens:
After all the food you enjoyed from the first two activities a nice walk in Valencia’s best park is just what you need. About a 15 minute walk from the Mercado Central is all you need to get to the gardens. Here you can walk around and watch all sorts of sports or take a blanket and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

Have dinner in Carmen:
The Carmen neighborhood is not much to look at during the day, but at night it completely changes. It is full of cozy restaurants, bars and clubs. Here you can find some delicious and romantic restaurants to have your dinner. Many even offer special set price menus for Valentine’s Day. When you finish your meal you can see a Flamenco show at Cafe del Duende, one of Valencia’s most famous Flamenco clubs.

Hit the Beach:
While it might not be warm enough to swim just yet. You can still enjoy a day at Valencia’s beach. Take the Bus 32 from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and you will arrive at the beach in about 20 minutes. There you can enjoy some drinks at one of the restaurants, or bring along a volleyball or paddleball and play in the sand.

Boat ride on La Albufera:
La Albufera is a freshwater lagoon just to the south of Valencia City. Catch a bus to the town El Palmar. You will notice on the way that you are surrounded by rice fields. That is because El Palmar is the birthplace of Valencia’s most famous dish, Paella. Here you can sample the best and most authentic paella in Spain before heading out for your romantic sunset cruise on the lagoon.

Whatever you decide to do on your Valentine’s weekend in Valencia, you are sure to discover the romantic side of this beautiful city.

The Food Almanac: Friday, February 14, 2014 - Recipes

12oz bag of your favorite good quality chocolate chips (You can used milk chocolate or semisweet)
1/2 cup up to 2/3 cup half and half

Dipping ideas: Fruit (strawberries are a must), large marshmallows, cake (I had red velvet cake), graham crackers etc..


Over a double boiler melt chocolate and half and half. When chocolate melts, stir in vanilla. Place in a fondue pot to keep warm. Serve with dipping ingredient. Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Pumpkin Flaxseed Muffins with Molasses

As the recipe came together, I wondered if even the dog would turn his nose up to these wonderful snacks!

Actually, the muffins are yummy-moist, and incredibly flavorful without being overly sweet! My secret vice is that I don't really like sugar - I prefer flavor instead!

They smelled fabulous in the oven, and even better after cooling. AND they truly are this pumpkin color!

Easy to make, too, of course.

  • 1 can plain pumpkin pie puree
  • ¾ cup coarse ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP black strap molasses
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon (use less if desired)
  • 2 eggs
  • Non-stick spray for muffin tins.
  1. Mix eggs, sugar, molasses, ground flaxseed meal, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin thoroughly.
  2. Add whole wheat flour, mix briefly.
  3. Add rolled oats, mix briefly. Allow to sit a few minutes while the oats and flour absorb moisture. If you live in a dry climate, it may be necessary to add a few tablespoons of water. We are in Florida, so that is not necessary.
  4. Finally, add the raisins and chopped walnuts.
  5. Spray non-stick spray even on coated muffin pans because the only "oil" in this recipe is from the organic ground flaxseed meal and the walnuts.
  6. Bake 30 minutes at 325 for non-stick pans, and at 350 for regular muffin pans.

These Muffins have great color and texture! They really are pumpkin colored.

The molasses and raisins provide iron, potassium and other minerals.

The combination of whole grains helps those who are hypoglycemic.

If you've never baked with ground flaxseed, it is a great way of inserting lignan phytonutrients rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals and Omega 3 oil in one's diet.

ADDENDUM one week later: A friend asked for the "stats" on this muffin.

283 calories
Total Fat is 13g*
Total Saturated Fat is less than 1.75g
Total Mono & Poly unsaturated fats = 11.25g
Total Carb 44g
Sugar 15.5g**
Fiber 10g (both soluble and insoluble)
Protein 10g (lots of amino acids)

My friend on Weight Watchers said that each muffin is 6 points (original points, not points plus) (thank you Brenda!)

*NOTE - To reduce fats:
exchange ground Flaxseed for oats or whole wheat flour
eliminate walnuts

The flaxseed and walnuts were used to provide high amounts of OMEGA 3 fats, fiber, protein and other phytonutrients. Substitutions will increase Carb/Sugar count, decrease proteins and Omega 3s.

**NOTE - To reduce sugars:
exchange raisins for frozen or fresh berries.
exchange brain sugar for Stevia (that does not contain dextrose or sucralose)
leave out Molasses

The raisins and molasses were not only added for flavor, but for nutrition.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Potential New Temples - March 2019 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference in April. Data used to identify likely locations for future temples include the number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches, age of the oldest stake, trends in church growth, distance to the nearest temple, number of endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention.

  • Angeles, Philippines
  • Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Heber City, Utah
  • Kampala Uganda
  • Pachuca, Mexico
  • Benin City, Nigeria
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Monrovia, Liberia
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Rogers, Arkansas
  • Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Tacoma, Washington
  • West Valley City, Utah

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gifts in a Jar: Easter

Coming soon. Easter. and I hope around here SPRING. so tired of the cold and snow! This second post in my Friday series will be a round up of gifts in a jar ideas for Easter

Sweet Bunny Brownies Recipe and Printable: HERE

How abut these cute bunny jars you can fill with candy. repurpose some jars, pick up some dollar store bunnies and paint for a super cute project.

You can find the step by step directions: LINK

The Food Almanac: Friday, February 14, 2014 - Recipes

  • Line and butter a 12 x 17 inch sheet pan with parchment paper
  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F


Great recipe! I've made it many, many times. Like you, I am reluctant to make any butter based fillings, and avoid them at all costs. In this case I make a chocolate ganache instead of buttercream. German buttercream mi se pare cam complicat. Sigur e bun, dar ganache-ul nu da gres. Blatul l-am facut putin diferit, asta suna mai bine si o sa-l incerc. Maine fac bagels, iti spun sum imi iasa.

G'day and wow! Your cake looks amazing, true!
Great photos and wish could come through the screen and try some now too!
Cheers! Joanne

Laura, Thanks! Yes, I agree, chocolate ganache is definitely foolproof:). I was thinking of making a whipped ganache frosting, but I wanted the amandina to be a bit special, more traditional I guess. so the German buttercream won:).
The nuts in the cake make it super special, gives it texture as well as flavor. The cakes definitely weren't heavy as other buttercream cakes tend to be. just my own observation:).

Ma bucur ca ai incercat bagels. si iti multumesc mult pentru feedback!

Joanne, Thanks a bunch:)! Wish I could give you a piece. I still have a few in the freezer:). They actually freeze VERY well!

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day!

Wow Ellie, ce frumoase sunt. Promit ca in curand am sa le incerc. Vin cu raspunsul. Salivez pe keyboard. :D

Dana, Thank you kindly:). Sper sa iti placa si tie. of course, poti sa si schimbi reteta dupa gust si experienta:).

Ma-si bucura daca iti iasa si tie. stiu ca glazura am trebuit sa astept catva timp pana sa ingrosat sa fie "pourable" ca sa nu fie prea suptire.

How much chocolate in the buttercream. Recipe says to add it, but does not state how much.

Rowena, I'm not sure why chocolate amount is missing, but I added the amount in the ingredient list. Thanks for catching that.

You can use a bit less or a bit more chocolate if you like. an ounce or so, give and take.

Watch the video: Weekend Προσφορές Παρασκευή 10 u0026 Σάββατο 11 Φεβρουαρίου (August 2022).