Root Beer Floats are the Stuff that Toasts are Made Of: Happy National Root Beer Float Day!

Root beer is a wholly American drink because colonists were the first to make it. If you want to believe this, then Charles Hires reintroduced it to America via the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. He discovered a way to mass-produce them, releasing Hires Root Tea. He likely changed the name from tea to beer to apply to the working class. Did you know that authentic Root beer is from about 16 roots and herbs? The primary ingredient was sassafras. Sassafras came to be known as a carcinogen in1960, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned its use. Root beer accounts for three percent of America’s soft drink market. The number one spot for best-selling root beer is A&W. There is a distilled version of root beer too.

DIY Root Beer Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 gallon filtered wate...
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The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating: Happy National Chocolate Pudding Day!

Kathey Jo’s Kitchen is here to tell you all about chocolate pudding. Did you know that it originated from the British Isles, and originated in the late 16th century? It’s a dish to one can make on short notice. The ingredients vary and are versatile at the same time. When introduced to discerning British tongues, it was made up of a sweetened porridge made from flour, tapioca or oatmeal, and milk.

In Colonial America, cornmeal was more readily available and cheaper to boot. It took on the name of hasty pudding and consisted of cornmeal mush (meaning the cornmeal was added to boiling water and cooked) with molasses, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup, and milk.

There are two kinds of puddings: a meat pudding is an example of a savory dish, while in America, it’s mostly known as a dessert...

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Chocolate is One of the Backbones of the Pastry Kitchen: Happy Chocolate Éclair Day!

There are many reasons to enjoy National Chocolate Éclair Day at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen. One of them is the pure deliciousness of it all.

An éclair is an oblong pastry made from choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The éclair originated during the 19th century in France. It was called pain à la Duchesse or petite Duchesse until 1850. The éclair may have gotten its name from the flash of frosting that glistens across its top. When baking the perfect chocolate éclair, steam is essential to the construction of the inner hollow that’s filled with vanilla cream. It takes some patience, but once you’ve perfected your recipe, you’ll have something you can always fall back on for sweetness.

Did you know that MasterChef India pastry experts spent three days constructing a 26-f...

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Martinis Are the Only American Invention as Perfect as a Sonnet

Happy Martini Day! A classic martini is gin or vodka, a splash of dry vermouth and an olive or a lemon twist garnish. Many stories are surrounding the history of the martini.

Did you know that Italian immigrant bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia from New York City invented the drink around World War I? Many think the name martini came from a British-made rifle called a Martini & Henry. The English army used it around the 1870s because of its kick. There is also a fun story that John D. Rockefeller brought the martini to Wall Street, establishing the three-martini lunch. It’s a dated phrase used to describe a leisurely, indulgent lunch enjoyed by business people or lawyers.

And, contrary to how James Bond likes it, a shaken martini becomes ‘bruised’ or watered down...

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Order the Lobster Tail

Eli Brown wrote in Cinnamon and Gunpowder that “it is, admittedly, a base foodstuff, but lobster, well prepared, can nevertheless be made to satisfy the distinguished gourmand.” There’s never a wrong time of year to have lobster, and if you throw the steak on the grill during your next barbecue, consider sectioning off a place to grill lobster tails. I’m Kathey Jo, and I’m going to tell you a few ways to eat lobster.

Did you know? The lobster was so inexpensive and plentiful that during colonial times, prisoners, apprentices, slaves, and children ate them. These people became tired of eating lobster!

As you’re aware, we’re all about eating healthy here at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen. It’s all about incorporating good eating habits in a natural way...

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Strawberries Always Fill My Heart with Joy: Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day!

It’s that time of year for strawberries! And today at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, I’m going to tell you all about this versatile fruit. Did you know that shortcake is a sweet biscuit? You make it with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. Today’s shortcakes use biscuit or sponge cake as the base. In early American recipes, the pie crust was in the round or broken up. This style remains in the South.

What’s great about the shortcake dessert is that you can use peaches, blueberry, chocolate, or any other filling. It’s also common to see a recipe that recommends flavoring the shortcake with coconut. The way that people know shortcake in America varies in the U.K. where it’s known as shortbread.

The most famous dessert is – obviously – strawberry shortc...

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If Summer Had One Defining Scent, It’d Be the Smell of Barbecue: Family Fun BBQ Ideas

Everybody knows the aroma of cooking meat on an open grill. It quickly reminds you of summers gone by here. But have you wondered about the other side of barbecuing? Today at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, we’re talking about food safety and how to incorporate it in your next barbecue. It’s something that’s always on our minds but do we ever stop and think about what those issues are? Between 2013 and 2017, fire departments across the nation reported an annual average of 10,200 home fires involving barbecues, grills, and hibachis per year. This figure included 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 unclassified fires. These fires caused ten civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $123 million in direct property damage on average.

Just because it’s outside doesn’t mean we should let up on what we know ...

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Brown Sugar and Butter and Pecans: Happy National Praline Day!

Praline

Welcome back to Kathey Jo’s Kitchen! The praline is a Southern tradition. You create it with sugar, corn syrup, milk, butter, and pecans. The praline was traced back to Chef Clement Lassagne, who worked for César duc de Choiseul, Comte du Plessis-Praslin around the 17th century.

Chef Lassagne’s original praline recipe brought together almonds bound by a caramelized coating. He named it for his employer, the praslin. Through the centuries in Europe, the Southern praline eventually evolved from the praslin. In France and Belgium, the recipe often features ground nuts and cocoa, instead of a halved nut.

The pralines of today’s SSouth came through New Orleans via Ursuline nuns. These French nuns taught their young charges the domestic arts, which included cooking and baking...

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Everything You See I Owe to Spaghetti: Delicious and Easy to Make Spaghetti Recipes

spaghetti

One of the best comfort foods, spaghetti is probably one of the first dishes you learned to cook. Actress Sophia Loren was known as an Italian bombshell in her day, and today’s quote is attributed to Ms. Loren: “everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” In Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, it’s a reliable dish that doesn’t need extras. No celebrity chef could ever dress this dish up to change my mind. All you need is noodles, your favorite sauce, Parmesan cheese, and meatballs. Do you know what changed it for me? A pasta maker. All you need is flour and water. Pasta is even more of a staple in Kathey Jo’s Kitchen now! What’s the secret ingredient in your spaghetti? Share it below.

One Pot Spaghetti

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 c. water
  • 15 oz...
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It Isn’t May Without a Chocolate Parfait

May 1st is National Chocolate Parfait Day, and I can’t think of a more delicious reason to celebrate! My name is Kathey Raskin, and I’d like to welcome you to my Las Vegas kitchen to learn how to whip up this easy dessert. A traditional parfait has a base of sugar syrup, egg, and cream, but you can make an easy version using ice cream, gelatins, instant pudding, whipped cream, or any other number of simple ingredients. You can also make healthy versions of this treat using fresh fruit, but we’re not here for that today, LOL!

Once you’ve tried my Ultimate Easy Chocolate Parfait recipe, you’ll understand why they chose to name this dessert after the word “perfect” in French. It really is perfection!

Ingredients

1 package instant chocolate pudding

2 cups full-fat milk

1 8 o...

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