Archive | April, 2011

Happy National Oatmeal Cookie Day!

30 Apr

Not to be confused with National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day on March 18th, which celebrates the crunchy thing version of this Mrs. Fields staple.  Today is about the thick and delicious Oatmeal Cookie.

My favorite kind of oatmeal cookie is oatmeal chocolate chip, since my moderate dislike of raisins steers me away from the more traditional oatmeal raisin.  Last Christmas, I went on a cookie baking spree and ended up making these Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies from Martha Stewart.  They are the perfect chewy consistency and the cranberries give them a unique taste.  They were a big hit in my house.

My Christmas cookie plate. The Martha Stewart Oatmeal Cranberry are the ones in the middle.

If you’re on a diet, you can still celebrate!  Check out’s recipe for a No Cholesterol Low Fat Oatmeal Cookie.


Happy Birthday Zipper!

29 Apr

On this day in 1913, the zipper was patented.

Zippers are pretty awesome.  If we didn’t have zippers, we would live in a world of perpetually-down flys, loud Velcro noises and snaps.  Not cool.  Zippers may not be perfect–snagging fabric and nearly impossible to zip with gloves on–but they’re as close as we get.

Something I’ve always wondered is why all zippers say YKK on them.  According to TLC Home, YKK is a company based on Japan that was founded in 1934.  However, the USA is home to the largest zipper factory in the world in Macon, Georgia.  This factory produces 7 million zippers a day in 1500 styles and 427 colors.

Happy Great Poetry Reading Day!

28 Apr

Today is going to be another “my favorite” day.  To make sure that everyone reads great poetry today, here is a link to my favorite poem, My Last Duchess by Robert Browning.

I generally dislike poetry.  I thought it was only because I didn’t know enough about it, but after taking a poetry class in undergrad, I can conclude that I still dislike it.  However, I love this poem.  The first time I read it, I thought it was a love poem.  Then once we discussed it in class, a lightbulb went off: he had her killed because he was jealous!  Treachery in verse is my favorite.

Kings killing their lovers, then immortalizing them in paint–let’s hope for a happier ending for the Royal Couple of the moment!

Happy Tell a Story Day!

27 Apr

This morning, in my Advanced Health and Science Reporting class, we learned how to become great story tellers by weaving narrative structure and personal details with scientific fact.  I feel like lots of people think journalism is all about reporting facts or explaining things, but if it was, people wouldn’t read it.  Journalism is all about telling people’s stories.  In honor of this holiday, I am going to highlight a couple great journalists who tell beautiful stories.

1) David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster: This piece is well reported AND beautifully written.  Brings real personality to a boring, touristy festival.

2) Leigh Montville: This writer for Sports Illustrated and Boston sports guy totally captures the feel of every sports events, sitting you right down in the bleachers to see it through his eyes.  My favorite piece of his is a wrap-up of Boston sports through the ages in a Sports Illustrated special Boston edition, but unfortunately, I can’t find it online.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

3) William Nack: Another sports guy like whom I aspire to write.  He can be describing horse crap, literally, and the language will still be lyrical.  I read his novel, Secretariat, and loved how he let me see the world through the horse’s eyes, humanizing him.  Here is his tribute to George Steinbrenner.

Of course, there are many more, but there are a few favorites that I’ve been exposed to at j-school.  Anyone else have favorites that have to be on the list?

Happy National Pretzel Day!

26 Apr

Today is the day to enjoy pretzels.  What’s your favorite kind?  Hard or soft, twisted or straight, with salt or without?

I think the best thing about pretzels is how many things you can dip them in.  While I was home for Easter break, my mom made this awesome white bean, spinach and artichoke dip that we dipped Pretzel Chips in.  I also dip them in hummus all the time.  If it’s a soft pretzel, there’s nothing quite like nacho cheese.


If you’re looking to make it a meal, why not dive into a pretzel dog?

Happy World Penguin Day!

25 Apr

Since penguins are my favorite animal, this day is almost better than Christmas for me.

They’re adorable, they waddle, they always look like they’re wearing tuxedos and they vomit into each others mouths to feed their young.  What’s not to love?

According to Holiday Insights, this date marks the annual migration North for penguins.  So as you’re commuting to work, remember that penguins are skidding around on their bellies on icebergs right now on their commute.

Some ways to celebrate this holiday:

1) Go to a local aquarium or zoo.  If you’re in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo has a great Penguin House and it’s totally free!  Off the brown line at Armitage and walk towards the lake.  There, you can visit this adorable guy, who showed me some attitude last week.

2) Watch a penguin movie, like March of the Penguins or, my personal favorite, Happy Feet.  I can’t think of anything better than a dancing fluffball falling in love and fighting global warming.  Watch a clip of the movie here.

3) Wear a penguin costume–or just black and white!

Today is also ANZAC Day in Australia.  I don’t remember what it celebrates, but I know that it involves drinking and gambling.  To all my Aussie friends, Happy ANZAC Day!

Happy Pigs in a Blanket Day!

24 Apr

…Because pigs get cold too.

Oh, wait, is this actually supposed to be about the awesome little cocktail hotdogs wrapped in delicious pastry?  Well those are almost as awesome as pigs.

From the recipie at

It’s pretty easy to celebrate this holiday, which is listed in the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s Dates to Celebrate Agriculture calender according to Wikipedia.  Simply heat and eat a pig in a blanket, sold in the frozen section of any grocery store.  Or make your own with this recipe here.  The ingredients don’t get much more American: hot dogs, processed cheese and biscuit dough.  And according to this blog, you can even make them vegetarian by using Smart Dogs or Tofu Pups.  So no one has an excuse.

As an alternate way to celebrate, find your favorite pig and wrap him up in a blanket so he’s all warm and cozy as he reflects on the fact that he made it yet another year without becoming the Easter ham.