Leap Year Word Game

In celebration of Leap Year, here is the following quiz.  Do you know all the answers?

  1. What word means to spring or bound upward?  
  2. What is the name of the year with 366 days instead of the normal 365?  
  3. What is February 29th called?  
  4. These are added or omitted from official timekeeping systems as needed (usually on June 30 or December 31) to compensate for changes in the rotation of the Earth.  
  5. Name the phrase that means very quickly. 
  6. Name the phrase that means an act whose consequences cannot be predicted.  
  7. This is the act of believing or trusting in something that can’t be proved.  
  8. Name of a children’s game in which one player kneels or bends over and the next person in line jumps over him.   
  9. This is computer science method for checking the internal operations of a computer by performing operations on one section, transferring the new information to another section, repeating the operations, and crosschecking the results.  
  10. Name the 10th day of Christmas from the song, 12 Days of Christmas.  
  11. Name the phrase that means to jump at the chance.  
  12. This phrase means to judge or decide something without having all the facts. 
  13. Name the phrase that means to be careful.  
  14. This is an expression of surprise. 

Chocolate Cheesecake Factory-Inspired Cheesecake

Yield: 10 servings

Chocolate Cheesecake Factory-Inspired Cheesecake

Photo by Recipe4Living

Ingredients:
Cake:

  • 1 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/2 Tbs softened butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs plus 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs plus 1 C Baking Cocoa
  • 2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C sour cream

Topping:

  • 1 C Chocolate Chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Butter the bottom of a large springform pan. To make the cake crust, mix cracker crumbs, butter, one and a half tablespoons of baking cocoa and one and a half tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pans and bake in the oven until browned to make crust. After pan cools, butter its sides.
  3. Lower oven temperature to 350º.
  4. To make cake filling, combine cream cheese, 1 and a half cups of sugar, the remaining cocoa, zests, and vanilla extract in a bowl, beating with a mixer until it becomes light and creamy. Thicken by mixing in flour, and then mixing in eggs and additional egg yolks. Finally, mix in sour cream until filling is smooth, then pour over the crust in the pan.
  5. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours. Then let cake cool and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Before serving, soften 1 C of chocolate chips in microwave, then ladle over cheesecake.

 

 

Chocolate Sour Cream with Fudgy Frosting

Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 recipe Fudgy Frosting

Directions:

  1. Let eggs stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl beat shortening and sugar on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in melted chocolate and sour cream. Alternately add flour mixture and milk; beat on low after each addition just until combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Using a small offset spatula or rubber spatula, smooth the top of batter in each pan.
  3. Bake 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using a small metal spatula, loosen sides of each cake layer. Place a wire rack on top of one pan; carefully invert pan with rack. Lift pan off cake layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layer. Cool cake layers on wire racks about 2 hours or until completely cool.
  4. Prepare Fudgy Frosting. Place one layer flat side down on plate. Spread top with 1 cup frosting. Stack second layer flat side down. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Makes 16 servings.

Fudgy Frosting
Ingredients:

  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 lb.) sifted powdered sugar

Directions:
In large pan over low heat melt and stir semisweet chocolate pieces and butter. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Stir in powdered sugar; stir until smooth. Makes 4 cups.
Nutrition Facts (Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudgy Frosting)
Per serving: 555 kcal cal., 27 g fat (14 g sat. fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 9 g monounsatured fat), 56 mg chol., 201 mg sodium, 77 g carb., 2 g fiber, 63 g sugar, 4 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Uncommon Goods – Love Natural Style

Uncommon Goods points out how romantic the Animal Kingdom is.  Read on to find out more.

So romantic.  Welcome to the Valentine’s Day edition of Uncommon Knowledge—a place where we can talk about all the romantic things animals do for each other. For one, sea otters hold hands when they sleep. They do this mostly so they don’t drift away from their pals while they snooze on their backs in the water, but the result is true intimacy.

Another romantic gesture? Penguins will propose to new mates with a pebble. Many penguins assemble their nests out of pebbles, so really, it’s a way of offering their beloved a promise to build a home with them. Maybe we can follow suit and start replacing engagement rings with a nice adjustable rate mortgage?

Brolgas cranes, like most cranes, are monogamous and will mate with the same partner every year, typically at the same nesting spot. However, the brolgas know a thing or two about keeping the romance alive—no matter how many years they’ve been together, the brolgas will still court their mate with an intricate mating dance. Ooh la la!

Okay, let’s do some rapid-fire romance: Ready for a puppy fact? Male puppies will intentionally let female puppies win when they play-fight so they can get to know them better. Like seahorses? They’re monogamous and will hold each other’s tails when traveling.

Ain’t love grand?

Penguins in Love

 

 
Written by Kate B
Kate is a copywriter. Strangers would describe her as that very tall girl with glasses, as would her friends. She is pretty good at needlepointing, surprisingly good at bocce ball, and very bad at choosing between sweet and savory at brunch. She is well-liked by most dogs.

 

Extra-Large Rosé Sbagliato

Yield: 10 plus servings

Extra-Large Rosé Sbagliato

Photo by J Muckle; Styling: Rebekah Peppler

  • 4 cups (32 oz.) Campari, chilled
  • 4 cups (32 oz.) sweet vermouth, chilled
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle sparkling rosé, chilled
  • Several large ice cubes or an ice ring, optional

Directions: 

  1. Combine the chilled Campari, vermouth, and rosé in a large pitcher or bowl. To serve, pour or ladle into champagne coupes or punch glasses.
  2. If the punch begins to warm, you may want to add large ice cubes or an ice ring to chill it. (The larger the cubes or the ring, the slower they will melt, and the less they will dilute the drink.)

 

By Rebekah Peppler

Easy Mini Pizzas

Fast, easy and kid-friendly.

Mini French roll pizzas

Feel free to add various toppings to your mini pizzas. (Photo by A. Jones)

Ingredients: 

  • 4 English muffins, split (or mini French bread rolls)
  • 1/2 cup canned pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 16 slices of pepperoni sausage

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place the English muffin (or French bread roll) halves cut side up onto a baking sheet. Spoon some of the pizza sauce onto each one. Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese is melted and browned on the edges.

 

Nigella Lawson’s Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Consider this recipe from Nigella Lawson for a romantic dinner.

Yield: 4 Servings

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Photo by Craig Lee for The New York Times

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Maldon or other sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey

 

Directions:

  1. Butterfly chicken by placing breast side down and using heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut along both sides of backbone. Discard backbone, turn chicken over and open it like a book. Press gently to flatten it.
  2. Place chicken in a large freezer bag. Add buttermilk, 1/4 cup oil, garlic, peppercorns, salt, rosemary and honey. Seal bag securely and refrigerate overnight or up to two days.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees.Remove chicken from marinade and place on a rack so excess can drip off. Line a roasting pan with foil and place chicken in pan. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Roast for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue roasting until well browned and until juices run clear when chicken is pierced where leg joins thigh,about another 20 minutes.
  4. Place chicken on a carving board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Place a portion on each of four plates, and drizzle each serving with pan juices.