Armed Forces Day – May 20, 2018

 

 

Armed Forces Day

Date When Celebrated : Third Saturday in May

This is simply a day to salute sharply all of the men and women in all branches of military, who protect you and our country. They can be called upon at a moment’s notice to perform a risky and perilous mission for freedom and country. They train diligently both physically and mentally, so they will be prepared to prevail in any mission they face.

Just how did it all begin? Well, each branch of the military had their own day of celebration. But, on August 31, 1949 then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. President Harry Truman also announced the holiday in a presidential proclamation on February 20, 1950. All branches of the military were asked to celebrate on this day and they complied on the first Armed Forces Day which was held the following year on May 20, 1950.

 

President Harry Truman signs a proclamation creating Armed Forces Day

United States President Harry Truman signs a proclamation making May 19 Armed Forces Day, April 2, 1951. At the time of this photograph, the Army had been operating the nation’s railroads for over seven months. Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr., stands directly behind Truman, fourth from the left. Other notables in the image: Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall sits to the right of Truman; Gen. of the Army Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stands second from the right; and Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, stands at the far right. (Photo Credit: USAMHI)

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Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

Hearts, flowers and chocolates are all part of the holiday we celebrate as Valentine’s Day.  Find out more about the Legend of St. Valentine and the origins of the Day of Love by clicking here: History.com

 

Here’s 10 Trivia questions (answers given below) about Valentine’s Day: 

 

  1. Who is the winged child shooting the lovers arrow?
  2. Is Valentines Day the #1 card giving holiday?
  3. What does the word ‘valentine” stand for in Latin?
  4. On Valentines Day 1876 who received a patent for what important invention?
  5. What percent of women send roses to themselves on Valentines Day?
  6. Who will receive the most Valentines cards this year:  Mom, wife, girlfriend, or neither?
  7. In Old Ireland a heart was carved into what as a Valentines gift?
  8. The Farmers Almanac says “If a woman sees a robin on Valentines Day she will marry a ..???”
  9. Which state produces the majority of America’s roses?
  10. Name the actress who was nominated for an astounding SIX Academy Awards and was born on Valentines Day?

 

 

 

Trivia Answers: 

  1. Cupid
  2. No, Christmas is.
  3. Valor
  4. Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone
  5. 15%
  6. Neither.  Teachers get the most!
  7. A wooden spoon.
  8. Sailor
  9. California
  10. Thelma Ritter was born Feb. 14, 1902.  She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All About Eve (1950), The Mating Season (1951), With a Song in my Heart (1952), Pickup on South Street (1953), Pillow Talk (1959), and Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).  She never won! 

 

 

Besides Frederick Douglas, Carl Bernstein and Jimmy Hoffa,  click HERE for a list of other famous people born on February 14th.

 

Did you know?

The heart shape wasn’t always a romantic symbol. 

Gil Elvgren Vintage Pin up - Happy Valentine's Day

Artist Gil Elvgren‘s pinup girl wishes you a happy holiday!

Prior to the 14th century, the shape we call a heart symbolized the anatomical heart, widely believed to be humans’ center of memory, according to Time. It wasn’t until Italian and French artists began championing the idea of romantic love that the St. Valentine heart became synonymous with love.

“Wearing your heart on your sleeve” is more than just a phrase.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.

 

Find out more trivia about Valentine’s Day from Woman’s Day.com

 

 

 

Hilda, Won’t You be My Valentine?

Hilda wants you as her Valentine

Meet Hilda, the creation of illustrator Duane Bryers and pin-up art’s best kept secret. Voluptuous in all the right places, a little clumsy but not at all shy about her figure, Hilda was one of the only atypical plus-sized pin-up queens to grace the pages of American calendars from the 1950s up until the early 1980s, and achieved moderate notoriety in the 1960s.

Martha Stewart’s Easy Basic Pancakes

Yield: 12 to 15 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon saltMartha Stewart’s
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners’ sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).
  3. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.
  4. For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
  5. Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12 to 15 pancakes.)
  6. Serve warm, with desired toppings.

 

Pancake Variations:

  • BUTTERMILK: In step 1, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to dry mixture. In step 2, replace the milk with low-fat buttermilk.
  • YOGURT: In step 1, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to dry mixture. In step 2, replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.
  • WHOLE-GRAIN WITH YOGURT: In step 1, replace the all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup each cornmeal and wheat germ, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. In step 2, replace the milk with 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

Cheesecake Layered Red Velvet Cake

“I love both red velvet cake and cheesecake. So why not combine them into one stunning dessert? It’s best when served chilled, right out of the fridge”. —Melissa Gaines, Knoxville, Tennessee

Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

 

CAKE:

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

FROSTING:

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottom of a 9-in. springform pan with parchment paper; grease paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, flour and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate until ready to assemble, covering when completely cooled.
  4. For cake, increase oven setting to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  5. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture.
  6. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  7. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Carefully place cheesecake over frosting.
  8. Spread cheesecake with another 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Originally published as Cheesecake Layered Red Velvet Cake in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2016, p168

National Coffee Day – Sept. 29, 2017

NATIONAL COFFEE DAY

Whether getting one to go or lingering over a second cup, on September 29 be sure to observe National Coffee Day!

Ah, the perfect cup of java.  According to an expert cupper (a professional coffee taster), there are four components of a perfect cup: aroma, body, acidity, and flavor.

From the moment the average coffee lover opens a fresh bag of coffee beans, the aroma beckons, percolating the senses. Even those who don’t drink coffee tend to enjoy the fragrance a roasted bean casts.

 

When determining the body of a coffee, the bean, the roast, and the brew are all factors. The bean affects the texture of the coffee, whether its silky, creamy, thick or thin on the tongue and throat. However, the darker the roast and how it is brewed will alter the feel of a coffee’s body, too. Grandpa’s motor oil blend versus the coffee shop around the corner’s silky smooth, well-practiced grind have entirely different bodies.

The region a coffee is grown determines its acidity. The higher the elevation the coffee grows, the higher the quality and the acidity. These coffees are considered brighter, dryer, even sparkling by cuppers.

When it comes down to it, coffee lovers cherish the flavor as well as the caffeinated boost this roasted bean gives morning or night, black or with cream and sugar. Hot or cold it provides enjoyment even when decaffeinated!

 

There are many legendary accounts of how coffee first came to be, but the earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or the knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen.  It was here coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, much like they are prepared today. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and began to cultivate the seed.

In 1670, coffee seeds were smuggled out of the Middle East by Baba Budan, as he strapped seven coffee seeds onto his chest.  The first plants grown from these smuggled seeds were planted in Mysore.  It was then that coffee spread to Italy, to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and the Americas.

Brazil produces more coffee in the world than any other country followed by Colombia.  More than 50 countries around the world grow coffee, providing a delicious variety for the indulgence of steamy cups of the black drink for connoisseurs to consume.

 

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HOW TO OBSERVE.

Enjoy a cup or two of your favorite coffee. Use #NationalCoffeeDay to post on social media.  Here is a list of National Coffee Day Specials.