A New Way in 2017

Yea, 2016 is OVER!  In spite of the economic issues that may begin to plague us in 2017, there are some “big ideas” and new products, services and opportunities coming.  Check out this very cool article by Laura Lorenzetti Soper for LinkedIn that sites things like IPO markets, social media, energy, banks, health care, refugees and more.  I especially like the trend she predicts about “needing humans again”, I think you will too!

National Pepper Pot Day

On this day in 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the baker of the Continental Army Christopher Ludwick concocted a brilliant, if unorthodox for the times, thick, hearty stew to feed the near starving soldiers at Valley Forge. The soldiers were low on food because the local farmers were selling food supplies to the British for cash rather than the weak currency offered up by the Continental Army. Good chefs are always resourceful and evidently Ludwick was no exception. He scoured the countryside and was able to find scraps of tripe, meat and some peppercorn. Combining these with other seasonings to create the hot, spicy soup we now know as pepper pot or “the soup that won the war”.

Win your own war against the cold and make a pot, here is a recipe for you!!

Philadelphia Pepper Pot Recipe

Serves 6

1.5lb cleaned, precooked honeycomb tripe
3 tbsps butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
Bunch fresh thyme
Bunch fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
3 cloves
3-5 tbsps black peppercorns, crushed
1 veal knuckle
2 litres beef stock (optional)
Cayenne pepper

Wash the tripe well in cold water. Put it in a large pan, cover with cold water and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain, leave to cool, then chop into smallish cubes. Melt the butter and sauté the vegetables and garlic until soft. And the herbs and spices. Return the tripe to the pan with the veal knuckle and add the stock if using. Cover the ingredients with cold water, bring to a simmer and remove any scum. Simmer gently for 1.5-2 hours.

Remove the veal knuckle and allow to cool, then remove the meat from the bone. Chop this roughly and return it to the pan to warm through. Season to taste.

Ladle the soup into hot bowls, scatter with freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread (and with cayenne pepper for those who like it extra hot.)

Review Time

Reviews –  I’ve been very fortunate to have clients and colleagues favor me with positive feedback over the years. But today is a new day and those great referrals need to take on a digital life of their own. Please take a moment to visit one of my social platforms for review, just click on the logo to take you directly there. Thank you!!







Fruitcake and Your Pup

Today is officially fruitcake day!! As you eat your delicious cake, try and keep it to yourself, as your favorite four legged buddy should not eat it. If you are wondering why, well, not only the alcohol contained in these dense cakes can cause a problem, but if it doesn’t the raisins, currants and yeast most definitely will.

Raisins and currants can be highly toxic to your dog’s kidney. Certain breeds are more sensitive than others and since scientists have yet to figure out which toxin is the culprit, it’s best to beware. Dogs that are affected can end up with potentially fatal acute renal (kidney) failure. If you would like to read more on how fruitcake is hazardous to  your dogs health, click here.

Dog’s Need Warmth Too

We all know what heat can do to people and animals, especially dogs left in parked vehicles.  Have you considered what the cold does? Tufts University put out this handy dandy chart that helps to illustrates what type of weather is acceptable to have your dog outside. The chart is done by breed, making it easier to read and figure out. We see from this chart that sometimes it’s just too cold to have your dog outside.

If you do have to wander out in that freezing cold weather, and you must take your furry friend, make sure they are bundled up too. If you encounter a pet suffering from hypothermia while you are out in the elements, there are steps to take. First, call a vet and move the animal to a warm area, then cover the pet with warm water bottles, blankets or towels. Heating pads can burn animals, so put layers between the animal and the electric heating source. Transport the animal as soon as possible.  Read more here.

Merry Christmas

Have you ever considered why we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25? No one knows the real birthday of Jesus, a date is not given in the Bible. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25 was in 336 A.D. during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December.

There are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that the day Mary was told she would have Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th – and is still celebrated today on the 25th of March.  Nine months after is December 25th, continue reading here.

A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!!! I hope it is a joyous day for you!

“Twas The Night Before Christmas” Mock Trial

“Twas The Night Before Christmas” a popular poem heard this time of year, most of us can recite at least some of it, but did you know it is clouded by mystery. You see, the real author of the poem is unknown. One Christmas, some residents of Troy, NY decided to hold a mock trial to see if they could figure out who the real author was. The contested authors were Clement Moore and Henry Livingston. The famous line, “Twas The Night Before Christmas” actually comes from the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” The poem was first published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel Newspaper on December 23, 1823 in Albany, New York.

Here is a look at the article that talks about the mock trial, and what the outcome was. Read on for ‘trial” results, and have a Merry Christmas!

Winter Officially Begins

Today is Winter Solstice, officially the 1st Day of Winter! Hopefully you were not already complaining of the cold, we still have a ways until it is over. Today is the shortest day and longest night of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. I have found this cool website illustration and explanation.  Bundle up!!

Community Christmas Lights

Grab the kids, a thermos full of hot cocoa, some blankets and hit the town tonight and check our the BEST COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN MODESTO – Here’s the list, map and preview of the house – Sing some carols while you’re out there, and be sure to stay warm though, the weather is changing on us!

Christmas Caroling

Have you ever wondered where did the tradition of going around in the freezing cold singing songs on friend’s doorsteps began. Turns out early Christians took this once pagan tradition over. Carols (the word originally meant “to dance around something”) were first sung in Europe, they were pagan songs, sung at Winter Solstice (December 21 this year) as people danced around stone circles. The Roman Catholic church ordered a song called the “Angel’s Hymm” be sung in about 129 A.D.  Read more on the history here.