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Have some beans and cuddle up with shortbread....

Hey ya'll Beanie here. And today is all about me. It's National Bean Day, oh I guess they don't mean me. :-( . Well that dashes my hopes of today being my day. Well I think I need to find a nice lap to cuddle in and have mom make shortbread cookies. That will make me feel better.


NATIONAL BEAN DAY

Green, red, kidney, lima, or soy are just a few of the different kinds of beans recognized on National Bean Day on January 6th.

This day celebrates the bean in all sizes, shapes, and colors. We’ve been cultivating beans (legumes) since the early seventh millennium BC. And today, just as throughout the Old and New World history, beans provide a significant source of protein. Not only are beans an exceptionally healthy meal and snack choice, but they supply an excellent source of fiber. They are low in fat and are high in complex carbohydrates, folate, and iron, too.

In one cup of cooked beans, supplies between 9 and 13 grams of fiber. Soluble fiber can help in lowering blood cholesterol.

  • There are approximately 40,000 bean varieties in the world.

  • Only a fraction of these varieties is mass-produced for regular consumption.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBeanDay

This holiday offers so many recipes to try thanks to all the varieties of beans available. Try beans you’ve never tasted before. Introduce a new variety of bean to your cooking regimen. When you do, be sure to share the recipe. Since beans are so beneficial, you’ll want to keep friends and family informed of your bean discoveries. We even provide a few recipes for you to try.

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

  • 4 eggs

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions


  • Step 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

  • Step 2Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds after the first minute, until chocolate is melted and smooth. If you have a powerful microwave, reduce the power to 50 percent.

  • Step 3Combine the beans and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the sugar and the baking powder, and pulse to blend. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until smooth, scraping down the corners to make sure chocolate is completely mixed. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.

  • Step 4Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Hearty Bean Stew

Ingredients 1-1/2 cups chopped onions

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

3 large carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1-1/4 cups beef broth

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Directions

  • In a large saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender; add the garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery, broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Stir in the beans, tomato paste, chili powder and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Use #NationalBeanDay to post on social media.


NATIONAL CUDDLE UP DAY

Each year on January 6th, National Cuddle Up Day encourages us to snuggle up with

someone for the health benefits and more!

January is typically some of the coldest days of the year, so what better way to stay warm and reap the health benefits of cuddling on National Cuddle Up Day? Whether it’s a three dog night (a night so cold it takes three dogs to cuddle up with to stay warm) or only slightly chilly, there are multiple benefits to cuddling with human or canine or other pet.

Cuddling releases oxytocin. This hormone alone has tremendous health benefits. Besides giving us warm and fuzzy feelings, oxytocin reduces pain. So when the cold has made those muscles and joints ache, cuddling can help reduce those aches and pains.

Oxytocin also helps reduce heart disease, lowers blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. If it weren’t free, insurance carriers would probably cover cuddling since it’s such a huge health benefit!

Communication is more than just e-mails, texts, or conversation. Physical touch can communicate trust, commitment, safety, and reassurance. This goes for human to human contact as well as human to pet contact. Cuddling expresses all these things, which are vital to a healthy relationship.

Cuddling also boosts sexual desire. Dopamine is released, stimulating the brain to seek pleasure. But dopamine also can improve memory and focus as well.

Don’t have someone to cuddle up with? Make an appointment for a massage. Studies show massage provides similar benefits.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCuddleUpDay

Schedule a cuddle up session with someone you love. Invite your pet up on the sofa for a snuggle session. Schedule a massage.

Before you take part in a round of snuggling, take stock of your mood. What are your aches and pains? Rate them on a scale of 1-10. Do you feel a bit like an ogre? You know, slightly moody or overly cloudy.

After you soak up the benefits of your cuddle up, re-evaluate your pain, your mood. Was there an improvement? Did you get a dose of oxytocin, a natural mood boost, and pain relief? If so, remember to use #NationalCuddleUpDay to share on social media.



NATIONAL SHORTBREAD DAY


National Shortbread Day on January 6th recognizes a classic Scottish treat enjoyed around the world.

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish dessert typically made with:

  • 1 part white sugar

  • 2 parts butter

  • 3 parts flour

Modern recipes deviate from the 3 ingredient rule by splitting the sugar portion into equal parts of granulated sugar and powdered sugar and adding salt. Plain white (wheat) flour is commonly used. However, some bakers use ground rice or corn flour to alter the texture.

Shortbread earns its name because of its crumbly texture. Its high-fat content provided by the butter results in a short-bread crumb. “Shortening” refers to any fat that may be added to produce a “short” (crumbly) texture.

Prepared often during the 12th century, Mary, Queen of Scots receives credit for the innovation of the shortbread during the 16th century. As it was expensive to make, the sweet cookie was reserved as a luxury for special occasions.

In Shetland (northeast of mainland Britain), they traditionally break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride upon the entrance of her new home.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalShortbreadDay

Shortbread cookies and bars call for sharing. Invite a friend over for tea and enjoy these delicately flavored treats while catching up. Share them with co-workers or invite nieces and nephews to help you bake up a new recipe. We supply you with four different recipes to try. If you need something a little more challenging, the internet provides many flavorful options. Be sure to share your celebration, too! We always love hearing from you when you #CelebrateEveryDay! Use #NationalShortbreadDay to post on social media.

Scottish Shortbread IV

Ingredient

  • 2 cups butter

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  • Step 1Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Step 2Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour. Mix well.

  • Step 3Sprinkle board with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3x1 inch strips. Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets.

  • Step 4Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Shortbread Cookies II

Ingredient

  • 2 cups butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  • Step 1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

  • Step 2Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla; add flour and mix well.

  • Step 3Put through cookie press and form cookies onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.

Scotch Shortbread bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

  • Spread into an ungreased 11x7-in. baking pan. Prick several times with a fork. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.


NATIONAL SHORTBREAD DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar continues to research this indulgent cookie holiday. While we do, we’re going to dunk a few freshly baked Scottish shortbreads into our coffee. We suggest you do, too!


Well now writing all of this has worn me out. I think I need to mosey outside for a few while it's not raining and then back inside to take a nap and wait for mom to make me shortbread cookies. From what I can see they don't take to long.


Until tomorrow be kind and ya'll stay safe out there. Love Queen Beanie.





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