I have spent all day watching TV with Hubby, looking up recipes and generally enjoying a do-nothing day. Tomorrow will have to be different since I have a bunch of things I need to do and haven’t touched. There’s something pretty wonderful about relaxing and just having a completely down day. Except for preparing meals, I really haven’t done anything productive, and I love it!
Verse of the Day
January 5, 2019
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
My dad would never let me walk slouched over with my head down. “Remember son, you are a Ware. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even on your worst day you are still my son and a child of God!” God is our protector and our proud Father. He gives us glory because he loves us. Because he is our Father who gives us such gracious gifts, we don’t walk with our head bowed low and our spirits slumped over. He gives us ultimate victory! Even on those dark days when victory is hard to find, we are still God’s children. Our Father paints the sunsets and holds the stars in their orbits. He guarantees our future. How can we walk dejectedly when we remember this?
January 6, 2019
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
What do you see most clearly today? Is it what is seen or what is unseen? No matter our belief system, we ultimately have to trust what we can’t see. Even the most atheistic scientist trusts gravity, breathes air, and depends upon principles s/he cannot see until they produce results in the tangible world of human perception. But as Christians, we don’t believe the seen world is as real as the unseen world. The seen world is subject to disease, disaster, decay, disorder, and death. I don’t know about you, but if it isn’t any more permanent than that, it’s not very real. I want something to hang on to. That requires I look past the seen to find my Father who is unseen. He is the one who guarantees the unseen!
Saturday – January 5
Bird Day – This one is celebrated on January 5th, but it isn’t the only day of the year that we honor our feathered friends. We also have International Migratory Bird Day on the 2nd Saturday in May, and Bird Day on May 4th. People love birds. So much so that bird watching is a favorite pastime of millions of people. It is a very popular hobby because it can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their age. Bird Day is the oldest of these days, started in 1894. National Bird Day – which is today – was started by bird activists. They started it to encourage people to recognize the plight of captive birds and bring attention to the exploitation of birds in the pet industry. International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the amazing journey that migratory birds make every year, traveling thousands of miles between breeding grounds in North America and where they winter in Central and South America. A great way to celebrate this one is to fill those bird feeders in the back yard and make sure our little bird buddies who stay around all winter long have something to eat. Here are some pictures of some of the birds that visit our feeders throughout the year . . . and some critters who also visit who AREN’T feathered.
National Keto Day – Today is the 1st National Keto Day, an eating plan which is taking the internet by storm. The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a high-fat, low-carb approach to eating with a number of benefits, which include weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. Other benefits may also include healthy blood pressure and cholesterol; and may be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. The diet works by eliminating carbohydrates, which allows the body to use up its store of glycogen first, which will then allow the system to move into ketosis and start burning fat. The diet consists of healthy fats like eggs, olive oil, avocados, and grass-fed meats. Nuts, seeds, dairy and low-carb vegetables like asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower are easy additions for rounding out delicious meals. One of the awesome things about this diet is that bacon, butter, coconut oil and other delicious fat filled options are included with the recipes, in reasonable amounts of course. Eliminating sugars and traditional baked treats isn’t easy, but there are so many delicious alternatives that after a bit, you won’t even miss the high-carb treats. Check out these books for delicious keto treats from one of the most amazing keto bloggers/authors out there. Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen, Easy Keto Desserts, Easy Keto Dinners and Keto Soup and Stews. The same author, Carolyn Ketchum, has a blog, www.alldayidreamaboutfood.com. All of the foods in this picture are from her blog, and are treats we had when my daughter’s family came for Christmas. Well, all except for the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. I did those on my own.
National Screenwriters Day – Do you pay any attention when the credits roll on your favorite television show or movie? The names of the big-time directors and producers are very well known, but in most cases these famous directors or producers did NOT write any of these movies or shows. They were most likely written by screenwriters. In the entertainment industry screenwriters are known for how ell they can create a story, come up with awesome roles for actors and write dialogue that we all will remember and even quote long after the movie is over. There are people all over the world, with their computers in front of them, writing away at the story spinning in their heads who could actually end up bringing us the next movie that everyone will be talking about. Today, take the time to think about the genius behind the movie. It was pretty impressive when Ryan Reynolds was receiving the award for Best Actor for the movie Deadpool rather than take all of the credit for what he’d done as the actor, he gave the credit to the writers, and that’s pretty awesome. It shows true class and a great character. Next time you see the credits roll, if you REALLY liked the movie, make note of who the screenwriter was and look them up. They may have done other works that you would enjoy also and wouldn’t have known about if you didn’t take a few moments of your time.
Sunday – January 6
Cuddle Up Day – Isn’t cuddling wonderful? It is! Snuggling up to someone you love is one of the best feelings in the world. Of course, you don’t have to cuddle with a person. You can cuddle with a pet! I know Moose is always thrilled to get snuggles from one of us. Every creature is entitled to being cuddled if they want – well except maybe porcupines or skunks. OR SNAKES!! You can cuddle up in a chair with a blanket and a good book. You can cuddle up by the fire. The best though is cuddling with someone special, if you can. When she was alive, my Pepsi cat was in my lap for snuggles when I was in my chair typing away. Right now, I have Moose near my feet and Itty Bitty Kitty snuggled up ON my feet. Close enough.
Feast of the Epiphany/Twelfth Night/Three Kings Day –The Feast of the Epiphany marks the end of the 12 Days of Christmas and is always observed on January 6th. Epiphany, which is also known as Theophany, Three Kings Day and El Dia de los Tres Reyes, is a Christian celebration of the revelation of the birth of Jesus to the world. This is heard most commonly in the story of the three wise men who visited the newborn Jesus with gifts, found in the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. We all know the story, and I discussed it at length throughout the Christmas season. Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity focus on the story of the Magi, but Eastern Christians – such as Greek Orthodox – celebrate the baptism of Jesus on Epiphany and consider the day to be more important than Christmas. Traditionally Epiphany is observed by blessing the home (recalling the Magi’s visit to Jesus’ family), blessing water (especially the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized), exchanging gifts while performing “Magi plays”, to tell the story of Jesus’ childhood, and feasting, which always must include “King Cake”. So, what is King Cake? Well, it is a festive American bread that is a traditional part of the carnival season, and most known for Mardi Gras celebrations. The first French settlers brought the tradition of King Cake with them when they arrived in New Orleans, and it has remained a tradition to this day. It is baked in the shape of a circle to represent the unity of Christianity. The bread is decorated with icing and colored sugars, which represents the three Kings who visited baby Jesus. A small figure of the baby Jesus is placed inside the bread and the person receiving the piece of bread with the figure is the one who is responsible for making the King Cake the following year. According to tradition, the King Cake can only be prepared between Epiphany on January 6th, when the carnival begins, until the first day of Lent. Over time, people have made their own variations of this bread to include different fillings and toppings, but the colors are always purple, green and gold, which represent justice, faith and power, respectively.
This Day in History –
January 6, 1838 – Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph.
Food Celebrations of the Day –
National Whipped Cream Day – Shouldn’t every day celebrate whipped cream? It’s hard to come up with any dessert (and the occasional savory soup) that doesn’t improve with a dollop. Some of us are trying to reduce the amount of sugar and fats that we eat, and though I didn’t think there was a great substitute for whipped cream, I did run across something that I enjoy very much. It’s not whipped cream, but it is delicious and feels more decadent than it really is. Take a can of coconut milk – not coconut cream. Put it into the refrigerator for awhile, I do mine overnight. When you take it out, turn the can upside down, open it and drain the milky liquid to use later in something else. Scoop out the thick coconut solids and whip it with an electric mixer. I whip in some sweetener of choice to get the sweet taste that I am looking for in a whipped cream. Put a dollop on scones, waffles, in cocoa . . . wherever you’d use whipped cream.
- Whipped Cream
- Hot Chocolate with Cayenne Whipped Cream
- Simple Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- Austrian Walnut Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream
- Vegan Whipped Cream
- Berries Salad with Ricotta Whipped Cream
Five Facts About Whipping Cream
- Mainly the heavy cream that makes whipped cream out of is in reality a milk product.
- Normal creams consist of 30 percent of milk fat but heavy cream, on the other hand, consists of 36 percent fat.
- The fatty milk product ensures the production of cream, if whipped more than the required time the cream may turn into butter.
- Chilled cream whips better than warm cream, at times if not chilled properly the cream may not whip. Also, it renders a deeper taste.
- Whipping your own cream with an electric beater is a simple process, and it tastes fantastic.
National Bean Day – Beans are awesome! Seriously, they are! They are a wonderful source of protein and energy. You can store dried beans for months, or even years if stored properly, and they don’t go bad. You can use them in soups, casseroles, or for seeds for the garden. I’ve read several sources that listed that there are around 76 kinds of beans, but I think they must be speaking of 76 kinds of beans we currently eat in the society and around the world. Wikipedia says that the world gene banks hold the seeds for over 40,000 different varieties of beans! The mind just boggles at that number! It also makes me wonder why we only have the few varieties that are in the stores!? I couldn’t find a complete list of all 76 reported varieties, but I found THIS list which shows quite a few. How many have YOU eaten?
List of Commonly Used Legumes
|· asparagus bean or snake bean
· asparagus pea
· baby lima bean
· black bean
· black turtle bean
· Boston bean
· Boston navy bean
· broad bean
· cannellini bean
· chili bean
· coco bean
· cranberry bean
· Egyptian bean
· Egyptian white broad bean
· English bean
· fava bean
· field pea
· French green beans
· frijo bola roja
· frijole negro
· great Northern bean
· green beans
· green and yellow peas
|· kidney beans
· lima bean
· Madagascar bean
· Mexican black bean
· Mexican red bean
· molasses face bean
· mung bean
· mung pea
· mungo bean
· navy bean
· pea bean
· Peruvian bean
· pinto bean
· red bean
· red eye bean
· red kidney bean
· rice bean
· runner bean
· scarlet runner bean
· small red bean
· small white bean
· soy bean or soybean
· wax bean
· white kidney bean
· white pea bean
And don’t forget beans that won’t be on the eating list! How about Vanilla beans? or coffee beans? ooooh jelly beans! (ok, that last one is a stretch, but I know we were all thinking of them.) Hm? You wouldn’t put them in your soup, but they are bean products that we use all the time! This makes me a bit hungry for a pot of ham and bean soup!
Epiphany – Make an Epiphany Cake –
Brioche Dough: 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 110 to 115 degrees 2 packages dry yeast 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 C sifted flour 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 1/2 cup lukewarm milk 3 eggs 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk dime, dried bean, or miniature doll Sugars: green, purple, and yellow food coloring, pastes 3/4 cup granulated sugar (12 tablespoons) Icing: 3 cups confectioner’s sugar 1/4 cup lemon juice, strained 3 to 6 tablespoons water 2 candied cherries, halved Soften yeast in water. Combine flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl. Stir in lemon peel. Make a well in center and pour into it the yeast mixture and milk. Add eggs and egg yolks, and with a large wooden spoon gradually incorporate dry ingredients into liquid ones. Beat in butter and continue beating until dough forms ball. (Mixing of the dough can be done in a food processor.) Place ball on floured board and incorporate more flour if necessary, by sprinkling it over ball by the tablespoon. Knead until smooth and elastic. Brush inside of large bowl with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Set dough in bowl and turn it so as to butter entire surface. (At this point you can refrigerate dough overnight.) Cover bowl and set aside for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Brush a large baking sheet with remaining butter. Punch dough down on lightly floured surface. Knead, then pat and shape dough into a cylinder about 14 inches long. Place on baking sheet and form into a ring. Press bean or doll into dough so that it is hidden. Set aside again to rise. When ready to bake brush the top and sides of the ring with the egg-milk mixture. Bake King’s Cake in middle of oven at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Slide cake onto wire rack to cool. Prepare the colored sugars by squeezing a dab of green paste into the palm of one hand. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the paste and rub your hands together to color the sugars evenly. Set aside and repeat process with green, then twice with purple and yellow. (Do not mix sugars.) When the cake has cooled prepare the icing. Combine the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water in a deep bowl and stir until the icing mixture is smooth. If too stiff to spread, beat in 1 teaspoonful water at a time, until desired consistency is reached. With a small metal spatula, spread the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Sprinkle the colored sugars over the icing immediately, forming a row of purple, yellow, and green strips, each about 2 inches wide, on both sides of the ring. Arrange 2 cherry halves at each end of the cake, pressing them gently into the icing.
National Shortbread Day – Named for its “short” (or crumbly) texture, shortbread is practically an ambassador for Scotland. Flour, butter and sugar are all you need, but feel free to add a pinch of any flavor you love. I have to say that shortbread cookies are divine – melt in your mouth goodness in every bite. I love the traditional ones made with sugar and all-purpose flour, but I needed to find a good recipe for them that would be low-carb. Well, thanks to the blogger/food author at www.ibreatheimhungry.com I found one. Here’s the recipe. I’ll add extra lemon flavor next time, since we love lemon so much. Yum!
- Rich Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Cheddar Shortbread Bites
- Chocolate Shortbread
- Orange-Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
- Millionaire Shortbread
- Lemon Cheesecake with Shortbread Cookie Crust
- Baked Shortbread Apple Dessert
I guess now that this is so late, I’d better get busy and make some dinner. Not that I’m hungry – we had such a huge lunch that nothing really sounds good. I plan on making enough food that we end up with leftovers for lunch tomorrow, which is always a good thing. God bless you, have a great rest of your weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!
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Celebration list sources: