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VOL. 37 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 04, 2013

Food craving? Have I got a day for you

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Well, Christmas is past, as is New Year’s Day. That’s a whole lot of partying going on. However, if (unlike me) you find yourself still longing for a reason to have yet another party, I have found a solution to your problem. Have a food party. Did you know that there is a food honored just about every day of the year? Seriously. The answer to your dilemma is to celebrate the day based on the National Food Holiday.

Here are some examples of what I am talking about: Jan. 15 is Strawberry Ice Cream Day. Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day, so have a popcorn party. May 13 is National Apple Pie Day – have everyone bring their favorite apple dessert. Oct. 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. On National Cupcake Day, you could visit one of the newest raves in town, a cupcake store, and purchase several different kinds of cupcakes. This idea is getting yummier as I write.

I’m not sure who is responsible for naming these particular days as a specific food day. If you search the Internet for national food holidays, there are plenty of hits, but some of them are contradictory. I found one website that listed National Cupcake Day on Oct. 18, but then another listed it on Dec. 15.

I’ll go with the one in October, though I might eat a few cupcakes between now and then.

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day is coming up soon. Hubby and I love hot pastrami sandwiches. In fact, we may have those for dinner tonight. Just as a “pre-celebration” type thing.

Anyway, here is a list of some of the other January Food Holidays you might enjoy:

January 10: Bittersweet Chocolate Day

January 11: Milk Day

January 12: Curried Chicken Day

January 13: National Peach Melba Day

January 14: National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

January 15: Strawberry Ice Cream Day

January 16: National Fig Newton Day

January 16: International Hot & Spicy Food Day

January 17: Hot-Buttered Rum Day

January 18: Peking Duck Day

January 19: National Popcorn Day

January 20: National Buttercrunch Day

January 20: National Cheese Lover’s Day

January 20: National Granola Bar Day

January 20: National Coffee Break Day

January 21: New England Clam Chowder Day

January 22: National Blonde Brownie Day

January 23: National Pie Day

January 24: National Peanut Butter Day

January 25: National Irish Coffee Day

January 25: Burns Night

January 26: National Pistachio Day

January 27: Chocolate Cake Day (Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Chocolate!)

January 28: National Blueberry Pancake Day

January 29: National Corn Chip Day

January 30: National Croissant Day

January 31: Brandy Alexander Day

So, see? There are several reasons listed above to party on. Especially Jan. 27, National Chocolate Day. I have a great recipe I’ll share with you when that day gets closer. You can also use it in February to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Or better yet, you don’t have to wait. Celebrate chocolate tonight!

National Soup Day happens to be Jan. 15, and even though I have posted this soup recipe before, it is a favorite of our family. So in honor of the soup holiday, I decided to use it again.

I hope you enjoy it!

Lasagne Soup

2-3 roasted sweet red peppers, chopped, or 1 small jar roasted peppers
1 lb. pkg. Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, sliced into 1” chunks
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 large can stewed Italian  tomatoes, chopped
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup curly pasta (I used Campenelle)
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup skim milk mozzarella cheese, diced
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Fresh basil, sliced thin

Roast peppers by placing them on an oiled cookie sheet under the oven broiler for about 5 minutes, or until skin is black. Remove and allow to cool. Peel skin off peppers, and chop. Brown sausage, add carrots, garlic and onions; sauté 3 minutes. Drain well. Add mushrooms and sauté 4-5 minutes longer. Add roasted peppers, broth, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta. Simmer until cooked; stir in spinach. Add pepper to taste. Place some of the cubed mozzarella cheese on the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in soup. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.