Category Archives: Celebrate the Small Things

Reasons to Celebrate December

Genies Note:  I have moved this post up a bit to allow for something special in December.  I hope you have enjoyed the Reason to Celebrate series this year.  Don’t forget every day is a reason to celebrate!

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During November there are obvious holidays we all know about on my calendar including,  Pearl Harbor Day (US) (7), Chanukah (7), Winter Equinox (21), Christmas (25) and Boxing Day (26). Kwanzaa (26) and New Year’s Eve (31).

But did you know that December is:

  • Bingo Month
  • Write a Friend Month

 

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate  December include:

4 Santas’ List Day  Have you been naughty or nice?

8 National Brownie Day Who doesn’t love a good brownie?

13 Violin Day   If you play, get out your violin and play something nice.  If you don’t, enjoy a recording or go to a violin recital or an orchestra concert.

20 Go Caroling Day Get a group together and go out caroling.

27 Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day  A nice way to spend an afternoon.  Get the entire family involved.

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

Reasons to Celebrate October

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During October are obvious holidays we all know about on my calendar including Thanksgiving (Canada) (12) and Halloween (31).

But did you know that October is:

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month

 

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate  October include:

2 Name Your Car Day  We once had a little red car called Debbie Debt.

5 Do Something Nice Day  Shouldn’t this be everyday?

14 National Dessert Day   YES!

21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day   Yes, please.

31 Carve a Pumpkin Day What better day to carve a pumpkin?

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

National Waffle Day

Genies Note:  In honor of National Waffle Day I decided to dust off an old post from my food blogger days.  It’s a little longer than I write now, but I think you’ll like it.  Enjoy!

Waffles: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Please take a moment to consider the waffle, that lowly dimpled bread often relegated to the breakfast table smothered in syrup. Does the waffle perhaps have a higher calling? Could the waffle be on its way to becoming the new flat bread?

Pizza Waffle with Spinach and Chicken Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Pizza Waffle with Spinach and Chicken
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I have to admit I never have been a big fan of bread with the one exception of my mom’s homemade rolls at the holidays. I put away more than my share of those over the years. Pancakes and waffles never were one of my favorites so I didn’t work very hard at finding a replacement when we began the gluten-free life. Every once in a while I would get out the waffle iron and make waffles for Bob. The traditional syrups and other sweet waffle toppings throw off my blood sugar and get my whole day off to a bad start and I hadn’t thought of other things that could be done with a waffle.

Taco Waffle  Copyright 2015 by RA Robbins
Taco Waffle
Copyright 2015 by RA Robbins

But then one day I got a hankerin’ for Sloppy Joes. My mom’s barbecue hamburger recipe makes the best Sloppy Joes and I hadn’t had one in the first four years of being gluten-free. I even made sloppy Joes when we were vegetarians using soy protein, but I really don’t care for the big mouthful of bread that comes along with a bun. While I was trying to figure out what to do Bob suggested waffles. Okay, when he first said it I thought it was the craziest think I had ever heard. I was thinking more along the lines of putting the meat in a casserole dish and going for a biscuit or cornbread topping of some sort.

After I stopped laughing I realized he might just have something there. So I made the Sloppy Joe meat and I also made a batch of waffles. And it worked. They were delicious. We could even pick them up and eat them like open face sandwiches. I have a Belgian waffle maker and the large deep indentations are perfect for holding loose meat, sauce or gravy types of toppings.

Then I got to thinking about some of the other ways waffles could be used as a flat bread. Waffles and gravy (instead of biscuits), pizza, tacos (perhaps on a cornmeal waffle?), peanut butter and jelly, ice cream sundaes (instead of a waffle cone you have a waffle raft), chicken salad or tuna salad, even a green salad or a thick beef stew (think edible plate) can all be served on a waffle. I’m sure if you put your mind to it you could come up with a really great idea of your own.

Waffle Sundae Copyright 2015 by RA Robbins
Waffle Sundae
Copyright 2015 by RA Robbins

Of course you can buy gluten-free toaster waffles, but I prefer to just make a few extra and keep them in the freezer. That way you have a waffle square waiting for you if you want a peanut butter sandwich or an individual pizza for a quick snack. I don’t have a toaster, but they warm up nicely from frozen in a skillet sprayed with pan spray over a low heat or in a warm oven.

Don’t forget you can also do all kinds of nifty things with the waffle itself. You can add cheese, herbs or spices, nuts, fruit, finely chopped meat, chocolate, even pumpkin to the batter.

Whenever I make desserts or bread I like to make sure I am using a flour or blend with good nutritional values including flours like buckwheat, sorghum, teff, quinoa or amaranth. You can use your favorite flour, four blend or even gluten-free pancake and waffle mix.

I use my regular old waffle recipe I used in my before gluten-free days with a few changes to make them gluten-free. Waffles are very forgiving and easy to make substitutions in ingredients but you might not need as much liquid as your regular recipe calls for. I like to add the liquid last, a little at a time. The batter needs to be fairly thick so it doesn’t just run out of the waffle maker. After you make enough waffles you will learn to judge when the batter is just right. I let my batter sit for a minute and if it gets too stiff then I might add a bit more liquid before I start adding it to the waffle iron.

So how do you take the waffle beyond breakfast? Please share your ideas.

 

Reasons to Celebrate July

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During July  we have the obvious holidays we all know about, like Canada Day (1) American Independence Day (4).

But did you know that July is also:

  • National Anti-Boredom Month
  • National Blueberry Month
  • National Cell Phone Courtesy Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • National Ice Cream Month

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate July include:

4 Sidewalk Egg Frying Day– Is the sidewalk really hot enough to fry an egg?  Give it a try.

10 Teddy Bear Picnic Day  When’s the last time you took Teddy out?

19 National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday of the month)  Ice cream social anyone?

24 Amelia Earhart Day  Celebrate my childhood hero and Kansas girl Amelia Earhart.

30 Father-in-Law Day  Give your “Pop” (or whatever you call your father-in-law) a hug and let him know you appreciate him.

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

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For more information on July holidays, activities and recipes these are a few of the books available through Espirational Books:

July & August Monthly Idea Book: Ready-to-Use Templates, Activities, Management Tools, and More – for Every Day of the Month

Fourth of July Greats: Delicious Fourth of July Recipes, The Top 79 Fourth of July Recipes

 

Reasons to Celebrate June

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During June we have the obvious holidays we all know about, Flag Day, The Summer Equinox  and Fathers Day

But did you know that June is also:

  • Candy Month
  • Dairy Month
  • National Accordion Awareness Month
  • National Adopt a Cat Month
  • National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
  • Rose Month
  • Turkey Lovers Month

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate June include:

6 National Trails Day  First Saturday in June   Get out there and hit the trail!

17 Eat Your Vegetables Day   You’ve got to know this would be a favorite of mine.

20 World Juggler’s DaySaturday closest to June 17th  I know you’ve always wanted to try it.

29 Camera Day  Don’t go anywhere without your camera.

29 Hug Holiday  The world definitely needs more hugs.

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

Reasons to Celebrate May

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During May we have the obvious holidays we all know about, May Day (1), Cinco de Mayo (5), Mother’s Day (10), Ascension Day (14), Armed Forces Day (US), Victoria Day (Canada) Shauot (Jewish holiday marking the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai) and Memorial Day.

But did you know that May is also:

  • Date Your Mate Month
  • Foster Care Month
  • National Barbecue Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Blood Pressure Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • National Photograph Month
  • National Salad Month
  • Older Americans Month

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate May include:

1 Mother Goose Day  Read a nursery rhyme to the children in your life.

14 Dance Like a Chicken Day   Come on, it will be fun.

31 Save Your Hearing Day  You will need it later.

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

National Picnic Day — A Day Late

 

 

Picnic shelter overlooking Platte River  Copyright R.A. Robbins 2012 Image copyright 2011 by R.O & R.A. Robbins
Picnic shelter overlooking Platte River
Image copyright 2011 by R.O & R.A. Robbins

Yesterday was National Picnic Day and yes, I found it too late.  But better late than never, right?  I am a big fan of eating outside.   Actually I am a big fan of getting outside any way possible, but eating outside in nature is special.  Breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, just makes food taste better.  Plus you have the added benefit of feeling like there’s no hurry, you can just relax and enjoy your meal.

We just had our deck stained and we are using it much more than we did last summer.  While we still enjoy packing a picnic and going somewhere we are also enjoying taking our lunch or dinner out on the patio and enjoying the fresh air and being serenaded by bird song.

So on this glorious spring day here in Oklahoma, I encourage you to get outside.  While you’re at it pack a lunch and make a day of it.

Reasons to Celebrate April

There are always reasons to celebrate life if you just look around you.

During April we have the obvious holidays we all know about, April Fool’s Day, Easter, Passover and Earth Day.

But did you know that April is also:

* National Humor Month
• International Guitar Month
• Keep America Beautiful Month
• Lawn and Garden Month
• National Poetry Month
• National Pecan Month
• Stress Awareness Month

Some of the more unique and fun ways to celebrate April include:

International Tatting Day  Learn to tat and make some beautiful lace.

10 National Siblings Day Give your brothers and sisters a call.

14 Look up at the Sky Day  People will wonder what you are doing and you could have a beautiful view.

25 World Penguin Day   Let’s not forget those cute birds in tuxedos.

This collection of holidays was put together with help from http://holidayinsights.com

For more information on April holidays and celebrations you might be interested in these selections from Espirational Books:
April Fool’s Day – Fool Me Once, Feed Me Twice – April Fool’s Day Recipes For Frolicking Family Fun

April Holidays Booklet

Celery Recipes: 30 Celery Recipes for National Celery Month