National Pie Day

collage of fruit pies - National Pie DayNational Pie Day is celebrated yearly on January 23, and has been sponsored since 1986 by the American Pie Council. National Pie Day was launched in the ’70s by a man who loved pie so much he wanted to celebrate, and he chose January 23 because that was his birthday the American Pie Council declares.

According to The Dallas Morning News, pie has been around since the ancient EgyptiansThe Romans published the first pie recipe — a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were made with meat, and during the 1500’s, fruit pies were invented.

The American Pie Council is an organization committed to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with pies.

What’s more American than apple pie? How about…

Even though apple pie is an all American dessert, it was actually brought to the eastern shore’s of what is now the United States, by the Dutch.

Here’s our offering for National Pie Day, what’s yours?

Cottage Cheese Apple Pie Cottage Cheese Apple Pie

1 egg

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup cottage cheese, small curd

1 cup sugar

3 apples, peeled and cored, thinly sliced

1 pie crust – store bought or your favorite recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add cottage cheese, egg, cream, flour, and sugar. Mix until combined. Line the pie crust with mixture.

Layer the apple slices around the outer edge of the pie. Then layer apples circling the center of the pie.

Before baking pie, it is optional to sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Do not under bake.

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National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Bicarbonate of Soda with a wooden spoon In the Food section of the New York Times, they printed an article in May of 2007 entitled, “Having a Snack? Make It a Holiday,” and in that article they wrote that December 31st is, “National Bicarbonate of Soda Day” (The New York Times).

That same article stated that the United States has over 175 days related to awareness of food and drink. According to The Wall Street Journal, none of the food days in the United States are federal holidays.

Since today has been dedicated to baking soda, another name for bicarbonate of soda, let’s examine the many uses for the fine white powder.

Baking soda used to keep fridge order freeThe Many Uses Of Bicarbonate of Soda

We all know the principle use for bicarbonate of soda, that is using for baking. Another is placing a 8 to 16 ounce box of it in the refrigerator to absorb odors, and is replace about every three months (be sure to discard in your garden or compost bind, and do not use for baking).

Like myself, many individuals will use baking soda in the laundry. We use an all natural laundry cleaner, or as it is said a “Green Product” along with the soda.

using baking soda in the wash

Image Credit: Butter Bin

About 1/2 cap full of liquid laundry detergent with 2 cap fulls of baking soda.

By using bicarbonate of soda as a detergent booster, you will use less detergent, and baking soda helps get your colored cloths brighter, and the whites even whiter.

sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a toothbrushBefore tooth pasta was invented, bicarbonate of soda was the go to for cleaning a person’s teeth, and many still prefer using it today for such purposes.

Do you have a clogged sink? Either in the kitchen or bathroom? Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. Cover the drain tightly until bubbling stops and flush with hot water.

You could eliminate odors in your dishwasher by running a cycle without any dishes once a week with bicarbonate of soda in the soap dispenser and vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment, and shake a handful in the bottom of the dishwasher between loads, as it will reduce odors and act as an additional cleanser for the next wash.

Lemon slices with baking soda will get the stains out from the bottom of your coffee pot. When I worked as a waiter in Chula Vista, California, while living in Rosarito, Mexico – we would would put some ice in the bottom of the coffee pots with a few slices of lemon and 1/8 cup of baking soda. We hardly ever had to scrub the inside bottoms of the pots.

Sodium bicarbonate can also be sprinkled on carpets, and left left to sit for about 10 or 15 minutes, then vacuum as usual to help eliminate odors in the carpet, keeping the rooms order free. This can also work on your pets bedding and even the upholstery of your car. Soda Blasting 

Sodium bicarbonate can even be used to get greasy equipment cleaned like new (video demonstrates use).

If you live in an area were it snows, you can also use baking soda for deicing your walk ways. Just open a box, and sprinkle it over the snow or ice, and within about 5 minutes, your walk way is safer to walk on. 

Baking soda also helps for cleaning brass door knobs, window handles and ornaments. We even mixed vinegar with baking soda to remove hard water stains from the car wind shield, and windows on the home.

Common Toxic Chemicals

      Baking Soda Is Naturally Chemical Free

It may seem like a lot of baking soda to use, and it can be.

But consider, when buying baking soda in the bulk section of your store, it will only coast you around 25 to 35 cents a pound, and if you use about, say 3 or 4 pounds a week, that would cost you around $5.00 a month, compared to all the other products on the market that cost you even more.

Baking soda is an all natural and earth friendly cleaning agent.

The most popular brand that sells baking soda is “Arm and Hammer” and the name describes how powerful a household cleaner bicarbonate of soda can be, and no added non earth friendly chemicals.

There are many more uses for bicarbonate of soda around the home. How do you use it other than in baking? Tell us by leaving a comment below, we would all be glad to know.

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Buttermilk Pecan Pie for National Pie Day

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is an American dessert that is native to the southern states  (USA). The history of the pecan pie is not very clear, though pecan pie took off in popularity in the early 20th century. The pie has its place as a dessert at most American dinner tables.

Pecan pie has a sweet, nutty flavor and a custard texture that no other pie can claim. Pecan pie is one of the most frequently eaten pies in the country, next to Apple pie.

The pecan tree is indigenous to North America and grows throughout much of the southern United States. With such wide spread growth of the pecan trees , the early French settlers in the then known Louisiana territory had invented the pecan pie.

Today the southern states harvest over 250 million pounds of pecans each year, with Texas and Georgia pecan groves claiming the majority of that amount.

Pecan trees drop the nuts or shed the pecans from September to December, and ripen on the ground. The pecans are then harvested from the base of the trees, and are either shelled and sold as packaged nuts to make pecan pies or sold shelled for later use.

We bought some pecans, in the bulk section of the Whole Foods Market, to make our favorite Buttermilk Pecan Pie in honor of National Pie Day January. 23, 2015.

If you would like to prepare one, then here is what you will need:

Buttermilk Pecan Pie

½ cup butter, melted

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

5 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 or 10 inches)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in flour, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir in buttermilk and pecans. Pour into the pie shell. Bake 55 minutes or until set.

Let cool. Plate and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerated.

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If Buttermilk Pecan Pie is not a favorite of yours, then try these pies for National Pie Day: Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie.

 

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National Popcorn Day 2015

National Popcorn Day 2015The Washington Post say, “The powers that pop have decreed that Monday is National Popcorn Day. Though the origins of the “holiday” are unclear…”

Popcorn also called by popping corn, is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up or pops when heated. The kernel can pop because it has a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. As it is heated, pressure builds up within the kernel, and a small explosion is the result. Some varieties of corn are now cultivated specifically as popping corns, and we say Ya!! The more popcorn, the more we can eat on this day National Popcorn Day.

During the Great Depression, popcorn was really cheap at about 5 cents a bag. While other businesses failed during the Depression, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, candy production went down because of sugar rations, and Americans compensated by eating three times as much popcorn as they had before.

national-popcorn-day-2015-popcorn-served-at-the-movies-since-1912Popcorn is a popular snack food at sporting events and in cinemas, where it has been served since 1912 (USA).

Depending on how popcorn is prepared or cooked, it can be considered a health food. Make sure though, if possible to use non GMO popcorn. You can find some non GMO popcorn here on-line at Tropical Traditions.

Bob’s Red Mill (a national famous organic food brand) also offers packaged organic non GMO popcorn.

Our favorite popcorn is Caramel Popcorn. We found this recipe that goes a bit further and adds apples. We found this recipe at Cookies and Cups .

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Makes about 14 cups caramel corn

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Photo Credit: Cookies and Cups

1 cup unpopped corn kernels

2 (2.5 oz) bags of apple chips

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

1 (14 oz ) can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 250°

In an air popper, pop your kernels into a large bowl. Pick out any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Heat until melted and begins to boil. Once boiling, pour in your can of sweetened condensed milk and stir continuously for 5 minutes, to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and pour directly over popcorn and apples, stirring until coated evenly.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to cook evenly.

Remove from oven, break into pieces and allow to cool.

Notes from Cookies and Cups:

Store in an airtight container for about a week.

You don’t have to bake this caramel corn if you prefer it softer and chewier. But if you don’t bake it, it will remain fairly sticky.

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