November 6th National Nachos Day

If you are like me you may have assumed that nachos have been around forever. Well, apparently they haven’t. This appetizer, snack or meal was invented in 1943 by Ignaci “Nacho” Anaya in Piedras Negras, Coshulia, Mexico.

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In an effort to serve the wives of military personnel stationed in Fort Duncan across the border in America (Texas) Anaya served them the world’s first recognized nachos. The wives apparently loved the dish and went back time and time again to partake of the treat, eventually making their own in Texas and spreading the treat all over the world.

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Nachos can be made with ground beef, chicken, pork or without any meat at all. And while it is not the heathiest meal ever it isn’t all that bad for you either. It can be as spicy or mellow as you make it. Tortilla chips covered with cheese, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, avacado and, maybe, jalapeno peppers are both light and filling. Topped off with a little sour cream, there is hardly anyone who does not enjoy some form of nachos.

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With all the heavy food served up in November, it might be a nice change of pace to serve up a nacho meal one night or for lunch. And really any topping will work still making the meal nachos, While I have never seen a breakfast nacho I do not see why it wouldn’t work, just add some bacon and scrambled eggs and you can make it for breakfast as well!

How to celebrate – Make nachos for lunch or dinner today. Create your own nacho dish. Celebrate Mexican heritage shared with the United States.

February 24th National Tortilla Chip Day

The bread of Mexico! The corn chip has become one of America’s favorite treats. It’s great by itself, even better with toppings, and nobody can eat just one! It’s sort of a mix between bread and a potato chip.

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Add a little salsa and you have a great appetizer, or even the beginning of a great meal such as nachos. Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, maybe a little beef or chicken, and now you’ve made a meal that can feed a small army.

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Did you know that Mexican food is not traditionally spicy? You have to add peppers and onion to it to make it hot, something most Mexicans do not do. It is said that businessman Elmer Doolin brought back the idea of tortilla chips and salsa from Mexico to his fellow Texans.

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You can even use tortilla chips as a dessert. Melt some chocolate and dip the chips as you would into ranch dressing or any other dip. You can even mince up some strawberries or blueberries and serve that as a type of salsa. The mix of chocolate and salt from the torilla makes a perfect combination.

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So celebrate the tortilla chip today. They are not difficult to make, just fry some torillas in oil and your done! Or buy a bag from your local grocery and begin to munch you troubles away.

How to celebrate – Discover new and different uses for your tortilla chips. Try making some artwork with your tortilla chips!  Suggest a tortilla chip party with your friends and neighbors.

May 28th National Hamburger Day

With summer coming, or in some places already here, the idea of swimming pools, lemonade, and cookouts begin to fill our thoughts. What spells summer more than an outdoor cookout while you enjoy a cool lemonade by the pool.

So where did the hamburger come from?  There are many that claim ownership of the ground beef delight. Congress recognizes Louise Lassen, a Dutch immigrant (legal), who created the treat in 1900 as reported by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. But that would not explain the reports in the Boston Journal in 1884 or the Chicago Tribune in 1896.  Others have claimed to have invented the hamburger, namely Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, Fletcher David, and Otto Kuase ,who later founded White Castle, and whose claim goes back to 1891.

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It may have even been first served in Germany, though most believe it was created in the US. The UK has its own version, generally made out of either turkey or bison.

The world’s largest hamburger is not in debate though, created by the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minnesota, in 2012 –  weighing 2014 pounds. Even Wimpie would be impressed by that.

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And lets remember that hamburger is also a part of tacos, pizza, spaghetti, meatballs, picadillo, egg rolls, chili, nachos, pot pies, stuffed potatoes, meatloaf…

So just start a cookout in your backyard and see how many neighbors are your friends!  Find kids you never knew you had. You might even discover a pet that has been missing all winter reappears.

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How to celebrate: Have a cookout this holiday weekend. Try to fix your own 2,000 pound hamburger. Go to McDonalds or any other burger joint you prefer.

 

March 23rd National Chips & Dip Day

Break out those potato chips, tortilla chips, or the chip of your choice and start dipping! This is your day!  No one knows when it began, or why it began other than as an excuse to add a few extra pounds.  We do, however, have a little history on when the potato chip got its start.

The first reference to a thinly sliced chip made of potatoes comes from William Kitchiner’s “The Cook’s Oracle” published in England in 1822, they were called Crisps. At least a little more romantic, the story goes that American Chef George Crum in Saratoga NY, in 1853 got annoyed with one of his customers who kept sending back his potato saying it was under cooked.  Crum cut the potato into very thin slices and fried it until is was burnt to a crisp.  Amused with himself, Crum sent out his joke to his customer who in turn loved the potato adding to Crum’s frustration.  Soon, everybody was asking for Crum’s potatoes and an entire new industry was begun.  His customer may have been Cornelius Vanderbilt which would explain how it caught on so fast.

Now dip has no real history.  It also means many, many different things… chewing tobacco, an unsavory character, or something that enhances the flavor of a chip.  It probably first came from ancient days when breads were dunked in herbs and oils.  Since then, people have been trying all sorts of new items to include in their “dip”.

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So somewhere along the line somebody got the bright idea that our chips and dip were not healthy enough for us.  They decided to put things like fruits and vegetables along side the dip to get us all eating better.  Okay, so it’s a good idea and is better for us but this sort of anarchy just leads us to a total meltdown of what National Chips & Dip Day is all about!

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A little less objectionable to connoisseurs of the traditional Chips and Dips  is the dessert chip & dip.  While it does leave us craving salt it satisfies other taste buds in our palate.

So raise that chip, or carrot, or cookie high in the air and with a determined, yet graceful, motion bring it down and scoop up whatever flavor dip you desire to consume, taking care that you are not close to a spittoon where you might find another sort of dip less accommodating.