National Armed Forces Day

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense.

Coq au Vin Recipe

The family prefers white meat so this is a definite variation from the normal CaV!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb bacon, sliced
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 or 4 chicken breasts
6 carrots, sliced
16oz of white mushrooms, sliced or whole
1 lbs of baby dutch potatoes
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups zinfandel
2 bay leaves
Several fresh thyme sprigs
Several fresh rosemary sprigs
1/2 cube of butter

METHOD

Fry up the bacon so it’s firm but not done. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon drippings in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer.

Transfer to crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Saute the mushrooms and potatoes in the drippings left over and here is where I like to flambe some brandy into the finish, to give it some sweetness, and it’s fun to light things on fire.

Remove chicken and veggies to a separate platter, cover and let rest. Remove the bay leaves and sprigs.

Transfer the liquid to the saute pan. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. I usually add some corn starch mixed with cream to assist with the thickening. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Plate the chicken and veggies over rice and coat with the sauce. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day before the Saint

In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman “lottery” system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed.

Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Not this week, but next week…Bachelor Menu:

Mole Sauce

9 Ancho Chilies (stemmed)/or
9 New Mexico Chilies
(Ancho will be sweeter than New Mexico)
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tbs Peanut Butter
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Medium Tomato
1/4 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Almonds
1 Tablet Mexican Chocolate
1 Slice of Bread
1 1/4 Tbs Salt
6 Cups Water

Directions
Place water in a sauce pan, along with chilies, place on medium heat and steep until chilies are softened. Place chilies, and the remainder of ingredients in a blender along with the steeping water, you may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender. Blend until pureed thoroughly. Return mixture to the sauce pan and simmer for approximately 30 minutes without the lid.

Enchiladas
Vegetable oil (for frying)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
12 Corn Tortillas
2 Cups Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
2 Cups Shredded Rotisserie Chicken

Directions

Place oil in skillet about 1 inch high. Once heated pass each tortilla through the warm oil just enough to fry the top layer, but not crispy. You just want the tortillas to be pliable. Once all the tortillas are fried, place about 2 tablespoons of chicken on each and roll into a taco. Place olive oil and about 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a pan or skillet, cook for about 5 minutes. Lay the rolled enchiladas in a single layer in the pan. Pour another generous helping of sauce on the top and finally sprinkle with the grated cheese. Place in a preheated 425 degree oven just until the cheese is melted and golden brown (approximately 20 minutes). Top with more sauce, and enjoy!

Harvest Moon Tonight

Prepare for the Harvest Moon! For the first time in two decades, the Sun will sink as the full Moon rises exactly opposite to it on the day the summer ends, creating in a strange 360-degree twilight show.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, today is the autumnal equinox and a Super Harvest Moon will cross the sky after almost 20 years since the last time it happened. When the Sun starts to set on the Western horizon, a full moon will rise opposite to it on the East, reflecting the light of our home star.

Being close to the horizon, the orange Moon will be gigantic thanks to a psychological effect called the Moon illusion. The sky will be illuminated by the Sun and the Moon at the same time, creating a weird 360-degree effect that is rarely seen.

You don’t need to do anything special to enjoy the show, just get ready for the sunset. Make sure to have a clear view to both East and West.

You can check the time in your city here.

And as an added bonus, when the summer ends at 11:09pm Eastern Time, Jupiter will appear right next to the Moon.

What is Flag Day?

On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.

Rib Eye Steak Marinade

  • 1 can of Coke
  • 1 tsp. instant minced garlic or 1 clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 sm. onion, chopped fine

Place steaks in a ziploc bag. Combine ingredients and pour over steaks. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Texas Brisket Sauce

Here’s the sauce that goes with the Brisket.  It is the most amazing sauce, you will compare every sauce to this one from now on.

  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Stir together all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over the brisket!  Enjoy! (makes about 1 cup)