February 9th National Pizza Day

This is one of my favorite holidays of the entire year! Well, maybe it’s not really a real holiday, but of the not so real holidays this is may favorite. I love pizza! I am one of the national average American’s when it comes to eating pizza, that’s 23 pounds of pizza a year. Over 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the US, the most coming at Superbowl Sunday and second, oddly, Halloween!

No one knows exactly when pizza was invented. I have heard it was the Greek soldiers with Alexander who used to bake cheese and herbs on pita bread on top of their shields. Maybe true, but like most everything else, it was probably first served up by the Chinese.

Chow Mein pizza, yum. And yes I know chow mein is actually an American dish. I wonder how you use the chopsticks!?!

How to celebrate – Order pizza today. Make your own pizza today. Try a white pizza for a change.

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December 6th St. Nicholas Day

Santa Claus hasn’t always been Santa Claus…Santa Claus hasn’t always been Santa Claus… well he has but originally he was St. Nicholas. Well, he wasn’t a Saint until he died  in either 345 or 352 A.D.. But he did get around to it eventually. And he didn’t come from the North Pole, he came from Greece.

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He started as a Priest and then became a Bishop. He tried to help people and loved to help children. At times he was noted for throwing small bags of coins out to the streets and when some accidentally ended up in a child’s stocking we got the tradition of hanging stockings on Christmas Eve.

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And he wasn’t fat back then. In fact he was rather skinny but sometimes all the robes and clothing he wore made him look larger than he was. He did not become Santa Claus until sometime in the 1800’s. And even then he wasn’t the chunky hunk we all know and love today.

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When Coke decided to put him on a soda bottle he appeared as we know him today, maybe because he started drinking the Coke! Anyway, he has become one of the most beloved characters in history. And the next time tells you that Santa Claus isn’t real… you tell them about St. Nicolas.

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How to celebrate – Read about St. Nicholas. Be Santa Claus in your neighborhood. Remember what Christmas is really all about.

September 5th National Cheese Pizza Day

Doesn’t all pizza start out as cheese pizza? Well, most I guess. I have never met anyone who said, “Ewe, its cheese pizza, I don’t want any!” Unless of course they didn’t like pizza in the first place, which seems kind of rare.

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To me, the more cheese the better so, bring it on! Three cheese, ten cheese, fifty cheese… well, maybe fifty is a bit much. There is nothing like pulling that first piece of pizza out of the box and watch the strings of cheese try to pull it back. Of course it never wins.

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We all know the story of how pizza got it’s start… Greece… Italy… New York City… No real need of covering that story again, for like the tenth time. Naturally children seem to love cheese pizza best. The older you get the more open you get to new and different flavors. Adding ingredients becomes a challenge and yet it all starts with the cheese pizza.

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And if everyone else wants meat or vegetables, or both, on their pizza, there is always the individual cheese pizza. You can always pick off things like pepperoni from the pizza and it instantly becomes a cheese pizza once again! Chopped vegetables take a little more effort to remove.

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But since today is National Cheese Pizza Day, it really should be celebrated by having only cheese pizza! If you want, you can add all that extra stuff afterwards.

How to celebrate – Have cheese pizza today. Try making your own pizza with a different type of cheese. Share your personal pan pizza with someone you love.

February 9th National Pizza Day

Americans, on average, eat 23 pounds of pizza per person a year. Over 3 billion pizzas are sold per year in America. So do you think we Americans like pizza??!?

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We find new and different ways to indulge, such as taking a cheeseburger and fries and turning it into all things – a pizza, of course. Some even make fruit covered pizzas, dipped in chocolate for a different kind of dessert. Some people try to make it healthier by covering it in vegetables, while others don’t care and add every type of meat they can think of.

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No one is exactly sure where pizza came from, but it was probably not Italian to start with. There is a theory that pizza came from the Greek soldiers traveling with Alexander the Great. Given their daily ration of a flat bread they would spread it out over their shield and put whatever seasoning and vegetables they could find on it. Oil was added to keep the bread soft and soak in the seasoning.

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The 2 most popular days for eating pizza are Super Bowl Sunday and Halloween. (after the last Super Bowl I can only imagine it is also the most popular day for antacid too!) 17% of all restaurants in the US sell pizza. The first original pizza was sold in Naples, Italy in 1738.

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So do like the Roman’s do, eat pizza!

How to celebrate – Have a pizza today! Share a pizza with a friend today! Make up your own special type of pizza.

October 7th National Frappe Day

Wouldn’t a Frappe taste good right now? There are three different types of frappes. The one most of us know is the blended coffee, or espresso, drink topped with Whipped Cream. One of a fruit type dessert than is frozen and serves with shaved ice. And the third just in general, a milkshake.

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Though the word is actually French, the drink itself comes to us from Greece where it was accidentally invented by Dimitris Vakondious in 1957 in Thessaloniki. It is defined as something between a Slushes and a Iced Coffee.

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Of course your local coffee shops have made this a part of your regular daily choice for a beverage. They have added many flavors, styles and shapes to an already enormous selection.

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Here are a few recipes for you to try. Take note though, this is not a drink you want to down quickly.  This is adrink you will want ot take your time with, savor and relax with.

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How to celebrate – Either make yourself a frappe this morning or visit your ocal coffe shop and buy one. Wait until your work is done for the day and then sit and listen to some cool jazz, or your favorite, and sip your drink. Try your own combinations to make a totally original frappe that maybe someday will be named for you!

July 30th National Cheesecake Day

Cheesecake has been around longer than you may think. It is thought to date back to at least 2,000 B.C. in ancient Greece. There is mention that it was served to athletes in Greece during the Olympics in 776 B.C. because it gave the athlete energy to perform. Made out of flour, wheat, honey, and cheese, it was considered a Greek Wedding Cake. Athenaeus wrote of cheesecake in 230 A.D., professing even then that it had been around for nearly 2,000 years. When the Romans invaded Greece, they brought back recipes that they adapted themselves. They were called “Libuma” as noted in a recipe left behind by Marcus Cato in the 1st Century B.C.

In 1545, Henry VIII’s chef made his own version of cheesecake, soaking cheese in milk for three hours, straining it, and adding butter, eggs, and sugar to the King’s liking. In 1872, a farmer in New York, who has not been named, accidentally created cream cheese which was eventually packaged and sold to customers. The Phoenix Cream Cheese company purchased the rights and began to widely sell cream cheese. By 1912, James Kraft, learned how to pasteurize cream cheese making it easier to sell, not to mention safer! In 1928, he acquired the name”Philadelphia” and the rest is history.

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Nowadays cheesecakes come in many flavors and styles. Among the more favorite flavors added to or topping the cake include blueberries, strawberries, fruit sauce flavors, chocolate, raspberry, pumpkin, key lime, lemon, orange, cherry, whipped cream, and toffee.

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Styles come in New York, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Country, Lactose Free, Chicago, Cheesecake Kludys, and Savory. The difference seems to be in the heaviness, or lightness, of the filling and the make of the crust. Crust comes in crumbled graham cracker, crumbled cookie, or sponge cake.

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The filling itself is generally made of cheese, cream cheese or cottage cheese, mixed with eggs, and sugar or honey.

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Practically everybody likes some form of cheesecake. It can be baked, or it doesn’t have to be cooked at all. It can be a dessert for any type of meal or even a mid-day snack. It doesn’t even have to come in cake style at all, with crumbs and filling just plopped in a cup.

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Here’s a cheesecake recipe for you to try. Just be aware there are hundreds of them to choose from.

How to celebrate – Make a cheesecake you, and your family, can enjoy. Have a cheesecake party where everyone makes a different style of cheesecake so you can sample a little of each. Or just sell out and go to the Cheesecake Factory and buy a pie!