Happy Chinese New Year!

2014 is the Year of the Horse according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Horse starts from Jan. 31, 2014 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Feb. 18, 2015.

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as ‘Qianli Ma’, a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).

Strengths
People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

 

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Weaknesses
They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. They are independent and rarely listen to advice. Failure may result in pessimism. They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper. Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency. Some of those who are born in the horse like to move in glamorous circles while pursuing high profile careers. They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own.

Click here to find your Chinese Zodiac.

Garlic and Herb Flatbread

Frugal Feeding.com offers another great recipe

Yield: 4

Ingredients:

garlic and herb flatbread

Another great recipe from Frugal Feeding.com

• 175ml warm or tepid water
• 7g sachet of fast-action yeast
• 1 tsp honey
• A generous pinch of salt
• 200g plain flour
• 50g rye or spelt flour
• 3-4 tbsp chopped herbs of your choice
• 1 clove of garlic, mashed
• 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
In a jug, mix together the water, honey and yeast. Set this aside until frothy. Tip the flours, herbs and salt into a large bowl and mix. Tip in the frothy water mixture and bring together at first with a spoon and then by hand. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

Photo and recipe from FrugalFeeding.com

Celebrate Groundhog Day

What is Groundhog Day?   Groundhog Day is celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2nd.

chocolate treat shaped as  a groundhog

Shop Punxsutawney Phil’s website for groundhog gifts.

The day involves weather prognostication by a furry creature, namely the Groundhog.  The most famous and the biggest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000.  Since 1886, people have gathered here to celebrate the holiday, which is based on when winter is going to end.

The tradition holds that if the groundhog (Marmota monax) pops his head out but sees a shadow when emerging from its burrow, and pops back down, winter will go on for another six weeks. But, if it doesn’t see its shadow, and the groundhog comes out of its burrow, then it is thought that winter will be over soon.

What you should know is… that National Climatic Data Center has described the forecasts as “on average, inaccurate” and stated that “the groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years.”

Although Punxsutawney Phil’s weather predictions have been correct 39% of the time, accordingto the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, he is still considered the Number 1 prognosticator in the United States. 

Looking for gifts and/or party favors to celebrate Groundhog Day?  Click on Punxsutawney Phil’s website to find chocolate treats and more….

Also check out the Recipes page.

groundhog poop _ chocolate candy

A fun gift for Feb. 2nd, give “groundhog poop,” which is really chocolate candy.

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches

Eat Like a King

Live it up even more by adding bacon to these sandwiches. Click here to see the recipe in larger print: Recipes.

Elvis Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Eat like “The King”

 

Click out Spatula Dad to receive the recipe for TCB Elvis Pancakes.   (TCB = Taking Care of Bacon…. er… Business)

Name that Elvis Tune

Test your Knowledge of Elvis Music

Name the song title with these clues…

  1. Violet Fuzzy Footwear
  2. Be Nice to Me
  3. Melancholy Motel
  4. I’m having Tremors all over my Body
  5. Prison Pebble
  6. Fire Feelings
  7. “Sin City” Forever!
Name that Elvis Tune

Elvis will be remembered for his music. Long Live the King!

See how many Elvis song titles you got right.

Answers:

  1. Violet Fuzzy Footwear   =  Blue Suede Shoes
  2. Be Nice to Me = Don’t Be Cruel
  3. Melancholy Motel = Heartbreak Hotel
  4. I’m having Tremors all over my Body = All Shook Up
  5. Prison Pebble = Jailhouse Rock
  6. Fire Feelings = Burning Love
  7. “Sin City” Forever! = Viva Las Vegas