November 7th Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day

This is a bitter-sweet day… literally! Don’t you just love things that are conflicted with each other! I mean, really… how can something be both bitter and sweet at the same time!?! Sweet and salty I understand but, bitter and sweet at the same time?

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And even more confusing… chocolate is a vegetable! It’s a bean and beans are vegetables. When served with almonds, which are good for you are well, then is a bittersweet chocolate almond bar a health food? Well, if not for all the sugar it might be. So maybe that’s the bittersweet part of it, it could be healthy but it’s not!

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In my day, it was a part of a thing called bridge mix and of course, you had to be playing cards to even bring that out! Of course there were those pesky raisins mixed in, and other kinds of nuts… maybe that’s why they called it a mix!

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Back in 2013 somebody was smart enough to make November 7th Men Make Dinner Day, Gin Day and Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day all on the same day. (It probably still is) So let’s take a wild guess what was for dinner that night! By the by, gin and bittersweet chocolate almonds do not go well together, I should know!

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It’s a good day when bittersweet chocolate with almonds is something to celebrate… well, maybe not if you are allergic to nuts but maybe that’s what truly makes it, bittersweet!

How to celebrate – Enjoy some bittersweet chocolate almonds. If you are a man, make dinner tonight. Have a gin tonic.

October 22nd National Nut Day

Okay, so I know there are all kinds of jokes I could make about today but seriously… nuts are our friends! Well, maybe not friends but they are good for us! That is unless you are allergic to them. In which case they aren’t our friends or good for us. This could get very confusing!

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Almonds, cashews, Brazilian, pine. I wonder if Mr. Peanut knows he is not really a nut? He’s a legume, in the pea family. So that peanut butter you eat is actually pea butter. Think your kids would still like peanut butter if they knew the truth!?! And beer nuts are just another story altogether! Peas soaked in beer… hum…

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There are also people who are nuts! I think we all know a few of those. Maybe because they’ve had a few too many beer nuts! The truth of the matter is, however, that nuts are good for us and we should use them as snacks rather than the ice cream we eat of candy bars we consume. Of course, some of those candy bars have nuts in them and a lot of ice cream is flavored with nuts so, maybe ice cream and candy bars are good for us!

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But then, you’d really have to be nuts to think that! However, acorn-ing to squirrels… nuts are really good. Using that theory, I am a squirrel because I like nuts too!

How to celebrate – Have some nuts today! Go crazy if you like. See how many nuts you can list.

 

June 2nd National Rocky Road Day

Our path in life is not always smooth, we will hit a few bumps here and there, and maybe it will get a little rocky from time to time. So celebrate that by having some rocky road ice cream… you owe it to yourself, your family and your country!

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The blend of chocolate, marshmallow and nuts (Primarily almonds or pecans and sometimes both!) and semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Now you can make your own rocky road ice cream but, why? It’s available in nearly every grocery store you go in to.

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Now most ice creams are good enough for the every day affair. Vanilla goes great with cake, strawberry makes a wonderful shake, and chocolate is really sweet and tempting. But when you take pecans, or almonds, marshmallows and even more chocolate it’s… it’s… it’s Rocky Road!

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No one who knows who created Rocky Road Day and it isn’t really National, or an official holiday designated by Congress.  In fact, it probably isn’t even a real holiday but that’s okay, we can celebrate it anyway… and honestly, any day. But, if you like celebrating with others, then you will have to celebrate National Rocky Road Day today!

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How to celebrate – Have a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream. Make your own Rocky Road ice cream. Make a Rocky Road flag to fly outside your house.

October 22nd National Nut Day

There are all sorts of nuts in the world. Crazy people, the type that goes on bolts and those we can’t mention. But today we are going to talk about the editable type. And Peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes!

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However, things like pumpkin seeds and squash seeds are actually considered nuts. In part because all nuts are seeds. I can honestly say there isn’t a nut I do not like, and what’s even better, they are good for you! Now there are some nuts you should not eat, like Candlenuts that are crushed and their oil used but it got me wondering how many nuts I could name.

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I got, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecan, pistachio, Brazil, pine, acorn and Macadamia… my all time favorite. And nuts are very versatile as well. They can be used in salads, in syrups, in all sorts of desserts, as meat tenderizers, drinks, coffee creamers.. well yu name it, and it probably contains nuts!

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Of course, a lot of people are allergic to nuts, but primarily the peanut which again, is not a nut! The nut has been with us since the beginning of time and it will probably be there long after man has disappeared from the face of the earth.

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Nuts are definately good for your heart. They contain unsaturated fats, Omega 3 fatty acids and lots of Vitamin E. You should make njuts a part of every meal and snack, you’ll feel better and look better.

How to celebrate – Gather up some nuts for winter! Bake a pecan pie! Make some trail mix with lots of nuts in it.

 

 

August 3rd Grab Some Nuts Day

No, it’s not what you think (shame on you – really?)!  The nut is possibly one of the most healthful foods you can munch on. Most contain linoleic acid, amino acids, vitamins E and B2, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, and antioxidants. Chances are, if it comes in a shell, and it’s not a taco, it’s a nut, which is actually a seed.

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Though the peanut is actually a legume, we won’t leave it out (baseball would never forgive us). Among the nut family are almonds, acorns, Brazil, cacao, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecans, pile, pine, pinon, pistachios, soy, sunflower, tiger, walnuts, and my cousin Vinnie – but I digress…

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While nuts are best for us served raw, they also come roasted, salted, seasoned, unsalted, and in every form of butter you can imagine. George Washington Carver, the Forest Gump of the peanut world, came up with hundreds of uses for nuts including plastics, paint, dyes, and gasoline.

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Different kinds of nuts grow all over the world and are a part of nearly every diet. My favorite is the macadamia from Hawaii. It is fabulous in it’s natural state but can also be covered in chocolate, dipped in ice cream, used to flavor a coffee creamer, and used in dishes that like to mix crunch into the blend. The same can be said for the hazelnut, as well as pecans, walnuts, and nearly every kind of nut variety.

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So grab your nuts and munch away… but remember to take small bites and make them last longer.

How to celebrate – Buy a can of mixed nuts and sample a variety for yourself. Make sure you are not allergic to the type of nuts you are eating. Most allergies seem to be in the legume family but can vary. Find different dishes you can include nuts in.

June 2nd National Rocky Road Day

What is more refreshing on a lazy summer afternoon than a nice cool bowl of ice cream?  What is more fun than roasting a marshmallow over an open fire on a warm summer evening?  What snack goes better than crunching on walnuts or almonds any time you want?  How about putting them altogether and serving them at the same time!?!

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Well that’s exactly what William Dreyer did in 1929 when he took his wife’s scissors and cut up marshmallows and nuts and mixed them into his ice cream. Some say he used a new candy bar his partner had come up with containing chocolate, marshmallows and walnuts. Either way, Rocky Road ice cream was invented – although it wasn’t called that yet.

Fenton Creamery claims that Dreyer stole the idea from George Farren, one of their employees who had apparently come up with his own candy bar with the same ingredients. They claimed the only difference was that Dreyer and Edy had used almonds instead of walnuts. Perhaps had I been around back then, I would have come up with that candy bar since it wasn’t exactly rocket science.

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Anyway, Dreyer’s Ice Cream caught on, particularly right after Wall Street crashed later in 1929. That was when Dreyer became inspired and called his invention, Rocky Road ice cream. The thing I find odd is that history goes on to show that Dreyer and Edy became two different ice cream companies and both make Rocky Road!  Go figure.

How to celebrate: Go enjoy a bowl of ice cream, guess it better be Rocky Road for the sake of this holiday. Try making your own flavor of ice cream from last night’s left-overs – Say, steamed broccoli and meatloaf ice cream. Start your own ice cream company, seems like everybody else back then did.