Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #woofpost-all
Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #celebrations-all
NATIONAL HOT CHOCOLATE DAY
Each year on January 31st, National Hot Chocolate Day warms up people across the country by celebrating the timeless cold-weather beverage.
Hot chocolate is a warm beverage made with ground chocolate, heated milk or water, and sugar. In America, we often use the terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa interchangeably. However, the two beverages are different.
Cocoa vs Hot Chocolate
We make hot cocoa with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. We’re able to do this thanks to a process developed by father and son chemists. For the thicker, more flavorful beverage, we make hot chocolate from ground chocolate containing cocoa butter. It is also called drinking chocolate. Hot chocolate has also been around longer than hot cocoa. In the early 1800s, Casparus van Houten Sr. developed a process to separate the cocoa solids from the butter. His son, Coenraad Johannes made those fats more soluble in water. Together their processes made cocoa powder possible.
But before then, everyone drank hot chocolate. This thicker, creamier beverage often offered medicinal benefits for stomach ailments during the 19th century. In fact, long before the beverage’s popularity in Victorian times, it served in ceremonial culture.
However, humans have been drinking chocolate for a long time. The Mayans likely created the first chocolate beverage 2000 years ago. The Aztecs also included a cocoa beverage as an essential part of their culture by 1400 AD. When Europeans began exploring Central and South America, explorers brought chocolate and the beverage back with them to Europe from Mexico.
Make it and Benefit
Hot chocolate can be enjoyed in a variety of combinations, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint makes the chocolate extra special. In the United States, many people enjoy an instant form of hot chocolate. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk.
There are health benefits to drinking hot chocolate. Cocoa contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Studies have shown the flavonoids in chocolate may have a positive effect on arterial health and memory.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHotChocolateDay
Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. You can make it with dark or milk chocolate. While you’re at it, try experimenting, too. Add some cinnamon or other flavors to your chocolate. Of course, inviting a friend to join you is essential to the celebration, too. Try adding these toppings.
Take a photo and use #NationalHotChocolateDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL HOT CHOCOLATE DAY HISTORY
Hometown Hall continues researching the origins of this chocolatey beverage holiday.
Ellen Britt for (CNT) City News And Talk #foodie-all | http://CityNewsAndTalk.com
Ok so yesterday here at Hometown Foodie I was talking about sweet potatoes and how they are not yams. But I didn’t talk much about how much of a nutritional punch sweet potatoes make!
Let’s compare equal amounts of sweet potatoes and pumpkin, a cup of each, boiled. The pumpkin is a lot lower in calories, 49 calories in the cup of pumpkin versus 187 in the sweet potato. Both are very low fat with .3 grams of fat in the sweet potatoes and .2 grams in the pumpkin.
Both are low in sodium with the sweet potatoes at 3 percent and the pumpkin at too low to count. At 16% they have exactly the same amount of potassium. Both are fairly good sources of iron: sweet potatoes at 10% and pumpkin at 8%.
Now here’s where things start to differ: Sweet potatoes have more calcium… seven percent versus 4 percent. And sweet potatoes are the winner in the vitamin c department with 57% versus 20% for pumpkin.
There’s no contest when it comes to Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a big winner here with 774% versus 224% in the pumpkin, giving you an entire week’s worth of Vitamin A in just one serving. Plus they have twice as much fiber as pumpkin, 24 percent versus twelve. Now if you are low carb, you may balk at the carbs sweet potatoes contain…fifteen percent compared to four percent for the pumpkin.
But you should be aware that unlike the simple carbs found in white bread and many processed food, sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates which take longer to digest and gives you more sustained energy. Plus, their high fiber content helps to slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream so they won’t spike your blood sugar. Even the American Diabetes Association recomends them as a healthy option in place of other sweet snacks and foods. And they keep well…they can be stored unrefrigerated for up to three months in a cool, dry place.
Plus sweet potatoes are on the so called Clean 15 list, meaning even when they are grown conventionally without using organic methods, they contain very few traces of pesticides and they are usually super affordable around the holidays, so you can enjoy without guilt. So let’s eat y’all…!
By Ellen Britt #woofpost-all
If you have ever let your dog out into your backyard on a beautiful day, only to have him run over to the fence separating him from your neighbor’s yard, growling and snarling at his canine neighbor, you know exactly what we mean by “fence fighting.”
Not only is this behavior embarrassing, it’s very disruptive and can also be dangerous for the dogs involved. Many dog owners are also quite dismayed to see their dogs doing this, as the dog is likely usually quite well behaved and non-aggressive.
Before we get into how to discourage or stop this behavior, animal behaviorists are not surprised, as dogs who display a tendency to fence fight are just protecting what they naturally regard as their territory. And as much as you might now like this behavior, they are also protecting you and your family.
Here are some ways to discourage or entirely stop fence fighting behavior:
Go Back To The Basics – Work on the basic, fundamental training commands every dog needs to have mastered, such as sit, stay, come, and settle down or down. Of course if your dog has not mastered these, you need to work on them out of sight of your neighbor’s dog. These commands can be invoked at the first sign of your dog heading for the fence.
Distract and Redirect – This needs to be done quickly before your dog is fully engaged in a fence fight. Quickly engage your dog in a game such as fetching a ball or playing with a toy. This works especially well with dogs who have already mastered recall training.
Leave It! – Your dog may already know this command as many owners use it when they want to get their dog away from something in the house that shouldn’t be touched. You can teach this command as a way for your dog to leave the neighbor’s dog alone. Say “leave it!” in a firm voice, bring your dog inside and then reward him immediately. Also reward your dog when they leave the neighbor’s dog alone.
Better Together – If you get along with your neighbor, ask him or her if they would like to join you when you take your dog for a walk. This will take both dogs out of their respective territories and they are likely to become friendly and less likely to engage in fence wars in the future.
Fence Fix – If all these methods fail, you can try covering the fence or building a barrier so the dogs can’t see one another. This will likely cut down on the behavior but may not stop it altogether, as the dogs can still smell one another.
Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #celebrations-all
NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY
In the United States, National Croissant Day recognizes a flaky pastry enjoyed at every meal. Croissants are buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. You laminate the dough by folding butter into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.
Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCroissantDay
National Croissant Day is the perfect opportunity to give your bakery a shout out. Treat your friends and coworkers to fresh-baked, warm croissants. Of course, you can always try baking your own. Some other ways to celebrate include:
Take a baking class to learn to make these delicious, flaky pastries yourself!
Offer a class. That’s right! Pass on the skill to others who want to learn.
Offer a special in your bakery, restaurant, or store.
Try a new recipe. Make a soup or salad that goes well with croissants.
Use #NationalCroissantDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY HISTORY
The earliest we’ve found the observance being celebrated is in 2006.