It’s Fat Tuesday!

It’s time to party it up, and ….eat!!

Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians. In addition to fasting, Christians also give up something special that they enjoy. So, Fat Tuesday is a celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or snack that you give up for the long Lenten season.

Nowhere on the planet is Fat Tuesday celebrated more than on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The day is celebrated with festivities and parades and of course much food and drink. While in New Orleans, a big tradition is in wearing Mardi Gras beads and giving them to others. And tradition requires that if a guy gives a girl some beads, she has to do something for him… this can be just loads of fun…

Did You Know? On Bourbon street in New Orleans, store owners coat poles and columns with Vaseline to keep  wild and rowdy revelers from climbing them (and perhaps falling).

In addition to being called Mardi Gras Day and Fat Tuesday, it is also called Fastnacht Day. Pennsylvania Dutch country, and other areas with large German populations, refer to it as Fastnacht Day.




National Milk Chocolate Day

Oh, right! Like we actually wait for a special day to eat chocolate!  But no need to let a perfectly good made-up holiday go to waste! I’m having milk chocolate-covered almond clusters. What are you having?

Milk Chocolate Day banner

On average, we recognize three chocolate holidays a month.  July celebrates chocolate as often as February, and on the 28th it is the ever popular National Milk Chocolate Day!  Solid chocolate, when combined with either powdered, liquid or condensed milk, is known as milk chocolate.  The most popular of all candy bars sold contain milk chocolate.  Milk chocolate is also a popular ingredient in baking, specialty coffee drinks, and hot chocolate.

From the mid-17th century, milk was sometimes added to chocolate beverages, but in 1875 Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk developed by Henri Nestlé with the liquor.


Enjoy your favorite milk chocolate.

Post on social media using #MilkChocolateDay and encourage others to join in.


Our research has found that National Milk Chocolate Day was started by the National Confectioners Association.

Chocolate Facts banner

The average person will consume 10,000 chocolate bars in a lifetime.

In 2006, more than 6.5 million tons of chocolate was traded worldwide.

Chocolate has evolved into such a massive industry that between 40 and 50 million people depend on cacao for their livelihood.

Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate.

In the U.S., chocolate candy outsells all other types of candy combined, by 2 to 1.

There were 1,333 U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2012, employing 37,150 people. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $14.4 billion. (US Census Bureau, 2014)

17,000 people in Belgium work in the chocolate industry.

Seven billion pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year in the United States.

Americans consumed over 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate in 2001, which is almost half of the total world’s production.

Americans buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate on Valentine’s Day every year, making up 5% of sales for the entire year.

Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the world’s almonds and 20 percent of the world’s peanuts.

Chocolate manufacturers in the United States use approximately 3.5 million pounds of whole milk daily to make milk chocolate.

The chocolate industry is worth approximately $110 billion per year.

Over 50% of adults in the U.S. prefer chocolate to any other flavor.

The country whose people eat the most chocolate per capita than any other nation on earth is Switzerland, with 22 pounds eaten per person each year. Australia and Ireland follow with 20 pounds and 19 pounds per person, respectively. The United States comes in at 11th place, with approximately 12 pounds of chocolate eaten by each person every year.

Per capita, the Irish eat more chocolate than Americans, Swedes, Danes, French, and Italians.

Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate per year. Over 2,000 chocolate shops are found throughout the country, many located in Brussels, where Godiva chocolate originated.

Never give a dog chocolate, as it contains theobromine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal. As little as 2 ounces of chocolate can kill a small dog.

Theobromine can kill a human as well. You’d have to be a real glutton to go out this way, as a lethal dose of chocolate for a human being is about 22 lbs., or 40 Hershey bars.

Pet parrots can eat virtually any common “people-food” except for chocolate and avocados. Both of these are highly toxic to the parrot and can be fatal.

The biggest chocolate structure ever made was a 4,484lb, 10 foot tall Easter egg, made in Melbourne Australia.

The largest chocolate bar ever weighed just over 12,770 pounds.

The largest cuckoo clock made of chocolate can be found in Germany.

In 2002, Marshall Field’s in Chicago made the largest box of chocolate. It had 90,090 Frango mint chocolates and weighed a whopping 3,326 pounds.

The most expensive chocolate in the world is the “Madeleine”, at $2,600 per pound. It was created by Fritz Knipschildt, a chocolatier in Connecticut.

Commercial chocolate usually contains such low amounts of cacao solids that it is more likely the sugar that chocolate lovers are addicted to.

It has been observed that chocolate cravings cannot be satisfied by any sweet/candy other than chocolate itself.

When we eat chocolate:

  • 66% of chocolate is consumed between meals.
  • 22% of all chocolate consumption takes place between 8pm and midnight.
  • More chocolate is consumed in winter than any other season.


Info is from, The Chocolate Website, and Google.
Images by blogger.


Have a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Today!

Grilled Cheese

For me, today ranks right up there with my birthday and Christmas and is definitely a day to be celebrated – it’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

Who looked at bread and cheese and thought, “I’ll put the cheese between the bread and heat it in a pan until the bread’s toasty and the cheese is melted and ooey, gooey delicious?”

This is an individual to be celebrated! At the very least, their picture should appear on a postage stamp, or a day should be named after them!

Alas, no one is sure exactly whom that individual is.



National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is observed annually on April 12th.  Listed in a reader’s opinion poll, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are among one of the top comfort foods in the United States.

According to food historians, cooked bread and cheese is an ancient food, enjoyed across the world in many cultures.  The United States modern version of the grilled cheese sandwich originated in the 1920s when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became easily available. Originally it was made as an open-faced sandwich.

United States government cookbooks describe Navy cooks broiling “American cheese filling sandwiches” during World War II.

Research was unable to find the creator of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.


This just means we can concentrate more on celebrating the sandwich!

There is an art to making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Don’t choose a hard cheese. They’re usually aged longer and require higher temps to melt… which equates to burned bread! I like to mix Gouda, Havarti, and a soft, sharp cheddar.

Bread is key to the ultimate grilled cheese. Fresh bread works, day-old bread is better! The bread needs to hold up during cooking time and hold in all the wonderful, melty, cheesy goodness. Bread that is too fresh has a tendency to get mushy. Ew. Rye and pumpernickel always work for me, but sourdough is my favorite.

A light spread of butter on the outside of the bread enhances the browning effect and adds a nice crunch with a great buttery flavor. Coconut oil or truffle oil can be substituted for the butter, and also add amazing flavor!

Don’t be afraid to add fillings to your grilled cheese! Meat generally comes to mind first, but I was adding fruit and veggies to my grilled cheese long before Foodnetwork and being a foodie were the rage. (Much to the horror of my siblings!)

You also no longer have to miss you out on the grilled cheese experience if you follow a diiferent diet. Most retailers stock vegan breads and imitation cheeses, or you can make your own. My mister is a renal patient and cheese is a no-no for him. However, I can whip up a decent substitute in minutes using cashews and seasonings!

Mushrooms are my favorite grilled cheese filling, and when I came across Kevin Lynch and his Closet Cooking, I found the perfect sandwich for me! It’s also the one sandwich I don’t have to share since the mister and his minions do not like mushrooms! #WIN!

Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich (aka The Mushroom Melt)!

Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Oh, my! This sandwich is amazing on so many levels, and you do not need to be a vegetarian to enjoy its awesomeness! Make it exactly according to the recipe just once, and you’ll be hooked!

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine or broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
  • 1 cup fontina or gruyere, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  1. Melt the butter and heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the cremini mushrooms and saute until the start to caramelized and turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and remove from heat and let cool a bit.
  7. Mix the cheese into the mushrooms.
  8. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place 2 in the pan buttered side down.
  9. Top each with 1/2 of the mushroom mixture and finally the remaining slices of bread with the buttered side up.
  10. Grill until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Celebrate the grilled cheese sandwich today or any day you need some good old comfort food!

Images from Google and Closet Cooking.
It’s also National Licorice Day, but I hate licorice… so, whatever.


A Day to Celebrate!


It’s National No Housework Day (Created by Thomas and Ruth Roy at

Put down the brooms and mops!

Ignore the laundry!

Dusting! Fuhgetaboutit!

Look at the vacuum cleaner and scream, “Stranger danger!” and run away!

Celebrate today by doing anything but cleaning!

Visit with friends, read a book, take in a movie, go to the park, tour a museum, take the kids out for dinner, call a friend you haven’t talked to in ages, update your blog, or take a nap – just don’t clean anything!

Coincidentally, it’s also…


…do you see where this is going?

On April 7, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt took the first step toward ending Prohibition and signed a law that allowed people to brew and sell beer, in the United States, as long as it remained below 4.0% alcohol by volume (ABV).  Beer drinkers celebrated and were happy to be able to purchase beer again for the first time in thirteen years.

National Beer Day was created by Justin Smith, a Richmond, Virginia Craft Beer Examiner, and his friend Mike Connolly from Liverpool, England.   April 7th was chosen because the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law and became active on this day.  In 2009, Smith and Connolly created a National Beer Day Facebook page. From this page, they invited friends to join, and word has spread to many sources that April 7 is National Beer Day.

Combining these two national holidays is practical. You’re not doing housework so why not have a cold brew? On the other hand, if you do have a beer – you’re definitely not going to do any housework!

See how that works?

You’re welcome!

(If you do drink, PLEASE do so responsibly, and never drink and drive.)
Images from Google and National



Thank you!

Thank you

Those who suffer from ‘invisible” chronic illnesses like Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Joint Disease know the daily struggle. You cannot plan ahead for anything. You might feel perfectly fine the day you commit to an event, family dinner, bowling with friends, or girl’s night out. However, when the day rolls around and it’s time to go out the door you could be dealing with anything from extreme fatigue and migraines to inflammation and nausea. And pain. There’s always pain.

That’s been my life for nearly twenty years.

Family holidays, weekend getaways, church and school events, meals with friends…I’ve even had to cancel doctor’s appointments because I couldn’t function enough to get ready and get out the door to get to the person who was supposed to make me feel better!!!

But sometimes, lack of a plan is the way to go.

My son-in-law is currently stationed at Fort Huachuca – about an hour south of me, and this gives me the opportunity to see my daughter, Lin, 2-3 times a month, compared to the previous three years when they were at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Lin was here last weekend, so I was pretty sure it would be another week or so before I saw her again.


She just pops up yesterday morning, rushes me through my closet and out the door…for an amazing birthday!

After creating havoc and bedlam all over Tucson – and getting the Mani/Pedi to end all Mani/Pedis – we ran back by the house, picked up her dad and went to dinner. That’s when I found out she’d be in constant contact with her dad by text to find out what kind of morning I was having…and explains why he kept following me around the house!

What type of morning was I having? Typical, for me. Aches? Yes. Pain? Always. But life goes on, and I was determined to get my morning two thousand words written.

I didn’t make my word count.

But, it wasn’t because of writer’s block, technical issues, or aches and pains.

It was because I have an amazing family and a daughter who went to the extra effort during her day off to make sure I had a great birthday.

And I did.

Many thanks to all for your ‘Likes” and birthday greetings!

December 22nd – National Re-Gifting Day

National Re-Gifting Day banner
                                            Art and info from

Each year on the Thursday before Christmas people across the United States participate in National Re-gifting Day.  This day was chosen in honor of office parties and the unique Christmas gift exchange that they do.  This particular December Thursday appears to be the most common day for companies to hold their annual employee/company Christmas party.

As a method of recycling, approximately 14%, of those surveyed, believe that regifting is becoming more popular, for that reason alone.


While it may be an official holiday in some states, we suggest caution when deciding to re-gift something. The term does suggest, after all, that the item is unwanted, to begin with, and may be unwanted by its next recipient.

Keep in mind the following re-gifting etiquette when considering participation in this holiday.

  • Re-gift only when certain the recipient will enjoy your (unwanted) gift. If at any time you referred to it as junk, clutter or dust collector, it’s probably not re-giftable.
  • The gift is brand new (aka unused!) and in its original packaging. No, hand me downs!
  • Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. If the gift had special meaning to the original giver, don’t re-gift.
  • Don’t re-gift if the item is handmade or personalized. If Uncle Joe spent his spare hours whittling that panic whistle, you should keep it.
  • Be careful not to re-gift something to the original giver. If you aren’t sure who gave it to you, don’t re-gift.
  • On that same note, to avoid embarrassment, re-gift only when you are sure the new recipient won’t tell the original giver what they received from you. (Is it starting to feel deceitful yet?)
  • Re-wrap all gifts and remove any tags that may suggest you didn’t do the shopping for the re-gifted item.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the gift.  Questions such as “Where did you find this?  I’ve been looking everywhere for one!” may give up the secret if you aren’t able to give a convincing answer. (It should really start feeling deceitful, now.)

If at any point you find the above list exhausting, then you probably should reconsider regifting.

Use #NationalReGiftingDay to post on social media.


National Regifting Day was made official in 2008 by Colorado governor, Bill Ritter, Jr.