Thursday, February 4, 2016

Homemade Soup Day FEBRUARY 4, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Homemade Soup Day

Soup is a common meal in many countries and probably dates back to the invention of the earliest cooking pots. Today it’s easy to open a can and heat some premade soup, but soup is even better when it’s made at home. Soup is easy, cheap and usually quick to make and can be stuffed full of healthy vegetables. When better to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup than Homemade Soup Day?
The origins of Homemade Soup Day are lost in time but you don’t need to know how it started to celebrate the day. Certain soups are traditional to particular areas, such as Borsht in Eastern Europe or the well-known Italian soup, Minestrone. Unusually, the famous Spanish dish Gazpacho, is generally eaten cold, making it perfect for summer.
The internet is full of recipes for soup so find one you like the sound of and get cooking!

thanks, helen, for the hilarious vintage ads, part 1

Word of the Day


Definition:(verb) To give vent to angry disapproval; protest vehemently.
Usage:The detective had, indeed, good reasons to inveigh against the bad luck which pursued him.

Idiom of the Day

15 minutes of fame

 — A brief period of celebrity or notoriety. The term was coined by artist Andy Warhol


St. Agatha Festival

Sant' Agata (St. Agatha) is especially revered in Catania, Sicily, where her relicsare preserved in a silver casket. On February 3, 4, and 5 each year, a silver bust of St. Agatha wearing a jewel-encrusted crown is carried in procession from the cathedral to Catania's various churches. Included in the procession are the ceri, huge wooden replicas of candlesticks that are carved with episodes from the saint's martyrdom. The streets are lined with streamers and flowers, and illuminated by strings of colored lights after dark. The festival ends with a fireworks display in the piazza.

Rebecca Gratz

Rebecca Gratz and a dedicated group of Philadelphia Jewish women established the first Jewish Sunday School. 

Did Humans' Appetite for Eggs Drive this Giant Bird to Extinction?

The daily ritual of preparing eggs for breakfast may date back almost 50,000 years. New research out of Australia lead by University of Colorado Boulder geology professor Gifford Miller may provide some of the first direct evidence that humans in Australia preyed on megafauna before they went extinct.

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1789 - Electoral unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States. 

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1824 - J.W. Goodrich introduced rubber galoshes to the public. 

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1932 - The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY

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1936 - Radium E. became the first radioactive substance to be produced synthetically.

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1941 - The United Service Organizations (USO) was created.

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1957 - Smith-Corona Manufacturing Inc., of New York, began selling portable electric typewriters. The first machine weighed 19 pounds. 

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1999 - Freddy Fender received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was the 2,129th star to be dedicated. 

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2002 - Stevie Wonder sang "Happy Birthday" to Rosa Parks on her 89th birthday at the premiere of the made-for-TV movie "Ride to Freedom: The Rosa Parks Story." 

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2004 - The social networking website was launched. 


If You Were Born Today, February 4

You are one of the most hard-working and productive of birthdays. Your attention to detail is excellent, and your ability to organize and prioritize is admirable. Determined and practical, others love your reliability as well as your sound advice. You are proactive, and procrastination only makes you nervous. You seem to have to work harder than others, not because you are undeserving of lucky breaks, but perhaps because you don't ask for much help. That's fine because you are perfectly capable of methodically and determinedly going after what you want. Famous people born today: Rosa Parks, Charles Lindbergh, Alice Cooper.

Picture of the day
Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous
A plate from Urania's Mirror depicting the constellations Delphinus (the dolphin),Sagitta (the arrow), and Aquila (the eagle), as well as the former constellation Antinous (according to legend, a young man who saved Hadrian from drowning).

Picture of fish in the Andaman Sea in Thailand

A Wash of Color

Photograph by Eduard Paravyan, National Geographic
While engaged in a prosaic activity—waiting—Eduard Paravyan took a moment to examine his surroundings. "One bright, sunny day, we arrived at Ko Phi Phi in Thailand," he writes. "While waiting [for] a long-tail boat at the pier, I noticed the extraordinary transparency of the water. In the depths I saw the fish and enchanting reflections of sunlight." Realizing the photo-worthiness of the moment, he snapped this image of colorful fish swimming in the Andaman Sea.





My Precious Puppy







Malted Chocolate Honeycomb Marshmallows


Making marshmallows is something I’ve wanted to try for quite some time, but I’ve always been reluctant to do so as I thought they would turn out a disappointment. This surprise book from Kim really inspired me, especially when I saw there was Malted Chocolate Honeycomb Marshmallow to be had!
To make a batch of these, you’ll need to make a batch of plain marshmallows and add all the flavouring towards the end:

Plain Marshmallow Ingredients: 
8 sheets leaf gelatine, 2 egg whites, 500g granulated sugar, 250ml cold water
Malted Chocolate Honeycomb Ingredients:
6 tablespoons malted chocolate powder (like Ovaltine), 6 tablespoons boiling water, 250g chocolate covered honeycomb sweets (eg: Maltesers or Whoppers)

You’ll also need:
a good electric whisk, a heavy-based pan, a small baking tin, parchment paper (cut so you will be able to lift the marshmallows out of the tin), 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornflower.

How To:
Begin by prepping your baking tin, by lining it with the parchment paper. To make sure the marshmallows don’t stick, mix the icing sugar with the cornflower in a bowl. Spoon this into the made up tin and tap it around the base and sides so the dust is sticking evenly. This combination is what’s dusted over all marshmallows ��

Once that’s done we can get stuck in! 

Add the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water, one at a time so they don’t stick, and set aside to soften.

Pour the egg whites into a clean bowl and using your mixer, whisk on high until they hold stiff peaks. Set aside.

Put the sugar and water into the pan and warm over a low heat and stir till the sugar has completely dissolved. I don’t have a sugar thermometer, but if you do you’ll want to add it in now, then bring the sugar to the boil. Allow it to bubble away undisturbed for around 10-15 minutes (until the temp reads 122 degrees Celsius).  I didn’t have that luxury, but the way to check if the sugar syrup is ready is to take a small teaspoon of the liquid out of the pot and pour it into a glass of cold water. If the syrup forms a firm “toffee-ish” ball that holds its shape, it’s done �� Start doing this test after 10 minutes of boiling. And, just so you know, the sugar should be clear, not brown – you don’t want burnt marshmallows! Once it’ ready, take the thermometer out of the pan and pop it somewhere safe to cool down. 

Whilst the sugar is cooking, you’ll have time to make the flavouring. Do this by mixing the malted chocolate powder with the hot water so it forms a thick paste and set it aside. Smash up your chocolate sweets with a rolling pin, making sure you leave lots of big chunks. Yum yum!
Ok, now everything is ready to go… Hold onto your hats!

Start mixing up your eggs again on a low speed again and slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup, mixing continuously as you pour. As soon as it’s all added, increase the speed to maximum.

Remove the gelatine from the cold water, give them a squeeze dry, and drop them into the mixer. Combine them in and whisk on high speed for 10 minutes. It’s ready when it’s thick, shiny and almost pourable.

At this stage you can pour in your malted paste and whisk on high speed til it’s fully combined. Pour in just over half of the smashed candy and gently fold it into the mixture. When you’re ready, pour it all into your tin and tap the sides a couple of times so it’s all level. 

Sprinkle on the rest of the candies and lightly press them a little into the marshmallow.

The last thing you need to do is pop them in the fridge and wait 4 – 6 hours (or overnight if you can stand it!) till they’re set


Halibut Stew


Make Your Own Cookies Cutters


These cookie cutters will not last forever, but if you hand wash them, and store them carefully you can use them more then once. If you want a cookie cutter you can make and use right now with items you probably already have in your house, then this DIY is for you!
You will need:
-Aluminum foil
-paper and something to draw with
That’s it!
1. Draw a design that you would like to make into a cookie. Remember that small thin areas will be harder and simple designs work best. We made a tree stump, mushroom, and ghost.
2. Roll out a sheet of foil, mine was about 24 inches (this will make a 12 inch strip to work with and I have a link to a drawn chart if this seems confusing)
3. fold your foil in half lengthwise, then you are going to fold it in half 3 more times till you end up with a long skinny strip. This time fold it in half height wise and you’ll end up with a thick 12 inch strip.
4. Now for your last fold, you will fold this 12 inch strip in half length wise (just like at the beginning). I like to use the edge of my scissors to get a good clean smooth line. This will be your final strip for shaping your cookie cutter and will feel easy enough to shape using your hands, but sturdy!
5. Using your drawing as a guide gently bend and shape your cookie cutter into shape. Just take your time and lay it down on the drawing to check as you go. Once you get to the ends you only want a small overlap. Trim off any extra strip with your scissors, and then staple the ends in place slightly overlapping. I like to make sure to staple so the end prongs of the staple are facing the outside of the cutter. Now you are ready to use your cookie cutters!
This is our most favorite sugar cookie recipe to use. It is vegan but you could use eggs & regular cream cheese if you didn’t have those vegan supplies. The dough turns out so perfectly, and we use it right away without any chilling. Just a little flour and its never too sticky. I also like that this recipe really holds its shape, and is not too sweet. This means they are great for a ton of sugar or frosting on top, without tasting sickeningly sweet! And decorating the tops of our cookies with sprinkles, and eye balls, and sugar crystals is really the best part, so we don’t like to skimp.

Stained Glue Heart Suncatchers
“Stained Glass” Hearts


(i guess, to write a blog you have to wear fleece pants and a sweatshirt with your hood up! lol)
You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it. - Edith Head

Istanbul, Turkey is the only major city to sit on two continents! Submitted by Dan Paulun, W. Lafayette, OH. -------------------- Far out work out!!! NASA astronaut Sunita Williams ran the Boston Marathon while aboard the International Space Station! Submitted by Dan Paulun, W. Lafayette, OH. -------------------- Since 1965, each night the blinking red light atop the Capital Records building spells out “Hollywood” in Morse code. Submitted by Richard Gibson, Lafayette, LA.

"what is your name?" in Ashaninka (Peru) - Tsika pipaitaka?


thanks, patty

1 comment:

  1. Trust me I will never be happier with a Hoover.