Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 23, 2015

Food fun 365 days a year!

Kay's Cooking Corner

Kay Bona

Well, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day gone for another year, (or at least 10 more months), most of the partying is over. Except for a few holidays, Easter and July 4th, the heavy duty stuff is gone for a while. However, if you find yourself still longing for a reason to have yet another party, I’ve found a solution to your problem. Have a food party! Did you know there’s a food honored just about every day of the year? The answer to your dilemma is to celebrate the day based on the national food holiday.

Here are some examples: Jan. 15 is Strawberry Ice Cream Day; Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day; May 13 is National Apple Pie Day – have everyone bring their favorite apple dessert; and Oct. 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. On National Cupcake Day, maybe visit a cupcake store and purchase several kinds. This idea is getting yummier as I write!

I’m not sure who’s responsible for naming these particular days. If you search the Internet for national food holidays, there are plenty of website hits, but some of them are contradictory. I found one website that listed National Cupcake Day on Oct. 18, but then another listed it on Dec. 15. I’ll go with the one in October. Although, I might eat a few cupcakes between now and then.

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day is coming up soon. Hubby and I love hot pastrami sandwiches. In fact, we might have those for dinner tonight. Just as a “pre-celebration” type thing.

Anyway, here are some of the remaining January food holidays you might enjoy:

Jan. 23:  Pie Day

Jan. 24:  Peanut Butter Day 

Jan. 25:  Irish Coffee Day

Jan. 25: Burns Night

Jan. 26:  Pistachio Day 

Jan. 27: Chocolate Cake Day 

Jan. 28:  Blueberry Pancake Day 

Jan. 29: Corn Chip Day 

Jan. 30: Croissant Day 

Jan. 31: Brandy Alexander Day

See? There are several reasons listed above to party on! Especially Jan. 27 – National Chocolate Day! Of course, you don’t even have to wait. Celebrate chocolate tonight!

National Soup Day was Jan. 15, and even though I’ve posted these soup recipes before, they are favorites of our family, so in honor of the soup holiday, I’m repeating them. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Lasagna Soup

2-3 roasted sweet red peppers, chopped, 

   or one small jar roasted peppers

1 one-pound package Italian Sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

3-4 carrots, sliced into one-inch chunks

2 cups sliced mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 large can stewed Italian tomatoes, chopped

1 small can tomato sauce

1 cup curly pasta (I used Campenelle)

2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup skim milk mozzarella cheese, diced

Parmesan cheese, shredded

Fresh basil, sliced thin

Roast peppers by placing them on an oiled cookie sheet under the oven broiler for about five minutes, or until skin is black. Remove and allow to cool. Peel skin off peppers and chop. Brown sausage, add carrots, garlic, and onions; sauté three minutes. Drain well. Add mushrooms and sauté four to five minutes longer. Add roasted peppers, broth, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta. Simmer until cooked; stir in spinach. Add pepper to taste. Place some of the cubed Mozzarella cheese on bottom of each bowl. Ladle in soup. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.

Pork and Potato Soup

4 boneless pork chops, cubed

6 ounces pancetta. finely diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cloves garlic, diced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried sage

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box chicken broth

2 cups red potatoes, cubed into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup diced carrots

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 cans Cannellini beans (20 ounces each)

Freshly grated Parmesan/Romano cheese

 In large pot, sauté the pancetta and pork in olive oil; add onion and garlic. Sauté about five minutes, add sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and chicken broth; bring to a boil, and boil about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots and parsley; cook until pork and vegetables are tender. Add beans to pot; cover and simmer until heated through. Serve with grated cheese.

Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.