Six Fun Facts About Hot Chocolate

That sweet, chocolaty treat you enjoy on cold days has a lot of history behind it. It’s been on the frontline of wars, stirred up controversy with the Catholic Church, and seen empires rise and fall. Here are a few tasty morsels about hot chocolate.

1. IT DATES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Long before people nibbled on bars and brownies, chocolate was consumed in liquid form. Historians credit the Olmec civilization of southern Mexico as being the first to roast the fruit from the cacao tree, then grind it down and mix it with water and other ingredients. Archaeologists have discovered Olmec pottery with trace amounts of chocolate dating back to around 1700 BCE.

2. IT WASN’T ALWAYS HOT—OR SWEET.

The Mayans and Aztecs, who picked up the habit from the Olmecs, drank a bitter brew they called “xocoatl,” typically made with chilies, water and toasted corn, and served lukewarm and frothy. The Spanish, who were introduced to cacao drinks after conquistadors brought them home, sweetened things up by adding cinnamon, sugar and other spices to the mix. This, however, was still nothing like the sweet concoction that characterizes hot chocolate today.

3. IT WAS THE SOURCE OF RELIGIOUS CONTROVERSY.

As chocolate drinks became widely consumed during the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly amongst the moneyed class, a debate emerged: Was it a drink or was it food? The distinction would dictate whether Europe’s Roman Catholics could imbibe during religious fasting, which occurred numerous times throughout the year. The argument went all the way to Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1588), who decreed that drinkable chocolate was fine to consume while fasting. Future popes would agree. Yet the debate raged on, with many clerics banning chocolate drinks during fasting time.

4. IT WAS SERVED IN FANCY PITCHERS.

In 17th-century England, so-called “chocolate houses” became all the rage. Establishments like White’s, which is still in business today, served up hot chocolate to go along with the political banter, gambling and general debauchery. And they served the drink in pitchers made out of gold, silver and porcelain. Limoges porcelain, which was elegantly designed and often featured floral patterns, was a popular choice. Needless to say, these were very elite gatherings.

5. REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIERS HAD IT IN THEIR RATIONS.

The belief in chocolate’s restorative qualities extended well past the reign of the Mayans and the Aztecs. During the Revolutionary War, medics would often dole out cups of hot chocolate to wounded and dying soldiers. Hot chocolate mixes were also given out monthly to soldiers, and sometimes offered in lieu of wages.

6. IT FUELED POLAR EXPLORERS.

British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his men subsisted off hot cocoa and stew during their yearlong trek to the South Pole. The expedition made it to the pole in January 1912, only to find that a Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had gotten there a month prior. Tragically, Scott’s team ran out of provisions on the return journey and perished, while Amundsen, who had packed five times as much cocoa, returned a hero. Decades later, in 1989, the six members of a sled-dog expedition across Antarctica consumed nearly 2100 packets of Swiss Miss hot cocoa.

Seven Foods To Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

1. Salmon : Salmon is a popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or 66% of the DV. Whether the salmon is wild or farmed can make a big difference in the vitamin D content. On average, wild-caught salmon has more vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D will vary depending on where the salmon is caught and the time of year.

2. Herring and sardines : Herring is a fish eaten around the world. It is often smoked or pickled. This small fish is also a great source of vitamin D. Fresh Atlantic herring provides 214 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the DV. If fresh fish isn’t your thing, pickled herring is also a good source of vitamin D, providing 113 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 14% of the DV. Pickled herring also contains a high amount of sodium, at 870 mg per serving unless you are trying to lower your salt intake. Canned sardines are a good source of vitamin D as well. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides 193 IU or 24% of the DV.

3. Cod liver oil : Cod liver oil is a popular supplement. If you don’t like fish, taking cod liver oil is another way to get nutrients that are hard to get otherwise.  It’s an excellent source of vitamin D. At about 450 IU per teaspoon (4.9 mL), it clocks in at a massive 56% of the DV. It has been used for many years to treat vitamin D deficiency. It also has a history of being used as part of treating rickets, psoriasis, and tuberculosis.

4. Canned tuna : Many people enjoy canned tuna because of its flavor and easy storage methods. It is typically cheaper than buying fresh fish. Canned light tuna packs up to 269 IU of vitamin D in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 34% of the DV. Mercury is a heavy metal found in many types of fish. Bigger types of fish contain more mercury than smaller ones. The amount of mercury in canned tuna depends on the type of tuna. Light canned tuna comes from smaller fish and is lower in mercury.

5. Egg yolks : Fish are not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food. Most of the protein in an egg is found in the white, and the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly in the yolk. The yolk from one large egg contains 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the DV.

6. Mushrooms : Other than fortified foods, mushrooms are the only sufficient non-animal source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to UV light. However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3. Though vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as vitamin D3.

7. Vitamin D fortified foods : Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you’re vegetarian or don’t like fish. Cow’s milk is a naturally good source of many nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, and riboflavin. In several countries, cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D. Since vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, vegetarians and vegans may find it trickier to get enough.

For this reason, plant-based milk substitutes such as soy milk are often fortified with vitamin D, along with other nutrients usually found in cow’s milk.

Cocktail : Sloe Gin Fizz Recipe

Sloes are tiny berries that grow wild in hedgerows around England. Unpleasantly astringent on their own, they are popular in sweetened jams and preserves, and they develop a rich, tart flavor when infused in gin. Naturally, enterprising distillers have been incorporating them into liquor since the 17th century. The spirit takes on the essence and bright color of the berries, and then sugar is typically added to counter the fruit’s tartness. What’s left is not technically gin, but actually a gin-based liqueur. A sloe gin fizz is refreshing and delightfully balances sweet against tart. It begins with Sloe Gin then we add fresh lemon, a little sugar and club soda.

For 1 Drink You Will Need

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sloe gin
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin
  • 1 to 1 1/2 ounce (2 to 3 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) club soda
  • Lemon slice for serving
  • Ice

DIRECTIONS

Add sloe gin, regular gin, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and simple syrup (or sugar) to a cocktail shaker filled half way with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Taste then adjust with additional lemon or simple syrup/sugar. Shake. Strain cocktail into a glass filled with ice then top with club soda and garnish with lemon wedge.

Share Your Favorite Holiday Traditions

Share your favorite holiday traditions

To be honest, there isn’t anything we do special during this time of the year. We are not Christians and neither do we have any traditional links to the festival/holiday as we do not live in a predominantly Christian country. Only the Christians here will actually do a lot of the stuff that you expect to be done during this time. However over the years a lot of non-Christians have done the Christmas tree, hanging lighted stars and getting cakes and treats during the eve & day of X-mas.

If you work in an office or are a student in a college/school you will have some games, some activities and get to taste cakes (and wine in case of offices) and sing silly carols. Sometimes if you have close Christian friends, they might gift you a bottle of homemade wine (to be honest most of the stuff is not that good) and some cakes. This is what we are used to getting and sometimes I buy a couple just to give to our neighbours as well. I am glad to say that unlike an old post I did about these cakes, the taste has improved a whole lot in the last 10 years or so.

Aside from that the only thing we do is order some good food on Christmas eve or on the 25th and enjoy the evening. The following day, Boxing Day, isn’t really acknowledged much here in India and aside from some businesses and stores that may have ongoing sales for the week or 10 days, nothing much special will be going on. Maybe some event in a top hotel or maybe the malls but other than that, nothing!

Prompt from 31 DECEMBER BLOG POST IDEAS at Blogging Her Way

Fun Facts About Beaver Tails

Tasty dollops of gooey dough dropped into hot oil, deep fried to golden deliciousness, then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served to you warm? That is the Beaver tail! It is said that every nationality has its own version of fried dough. New Orleans has beignets, Spain has churros, Italy has zeppole, Canada has, well, BeaverTails (Queues de Castor in French). A true Canadian culinary treat, they are batches of dough that are stretched by hand to resemble the tail of a beaver. Then these deliciously addictive, traditional whole-wheat pastries are deep-fried in canola oil and served piping hot, drizzled with butter and your choice of toppings.

Fun facts about beaver tails:

  • The Barenaked Ladies change the lyrics of their song If I Had A Million Dollars to If I Had A Million BeaverTails during a music festival.
  • A question about BeaverTails makes it into the Canadian version of Trivial Pursuit.
  • “What is a BeaverTail?” is the answer to a Jeopardy question, the U.S.-television show hosted by Canadian-born Alex Trebek.
  • During an interview with The Globe and Mail, Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams states that his most Canadian trait is his ability to differentiate a BeaverTail from a Tim Hortons Timbit. Now, that’s Canadian.
  • BeaverTails uses 21.1 tons of chocolate hazelnut spread per year. That’s the equivalent weight of five elephants and 12 beavers.
  • Since BeaverTails’ debut in 1978, enough BeaverTails have been sold to make a straight line of tails, end-to-end, from the BeaverTails store in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, to the store in Whistler, British Columbia.
  • Since 1981 more than 8,000 young Canadians have worked at the BeaverTails operations in the Ottawa stores alone.
  • Along with the 80 franchised operations spread across Canada, there are now two stores in Saudi Arabia and two stores in Colorado’s ski country, spreading Canadian pride around the world.

When Did You Know You Needed To Start A Blog

When did you know you needed to start a blog

Back in the early 2000s when I started going to internet cafes a lot (like 3 times a week), as broadband at home was unheard of at the time, I would try to make friends online with people from the UK, rest of Europe, the US & Canada in particular. Soon I noticed that several of these people had blogs. Now, as someone who has maintained journals in physical diaries for a few year in my teens, I was intrigued about making them digital and starting a blog.

The blogs I read kept me entertained and I was finding myself spending more and more time reading them. At the time I started to only read sports news/articles and blogs. But when did I know that I just needed to start a blog? By October of 2002 I had decided to create one even if it was sporadically at first that I could enter posts. Moving to a new city back in July of that year also meant that I would have new experiences to share as I was living on my own in a lodge.

And initially it was more like updates of what I did, how the work was going, how living on a very tiny budget was like and how I was basically getting along. I would come back home most weekends so that was usually the time that I would find time to enter a few lines of a post on my blog. That developed to what it is now, something that I can’t live without doing.

Prompt from 30 {DIFFERENT} BLOG POST IDEAS at Helen In Between

Looking For Reliable Windows Installation Services?

The average cost to replace windows in your home as of 2022 is $450 to $960 per window. This cost includes the price of each window, plus the cost of professional labor and installation. You can expect to pay an average of $420 to $840 per window in material costs, and $30 to $60 per window in installation costs. However the first thing is to find a reliable window installers in Brampton.

How to Find a Window Installer Near You

  • Ask friends and neighbors about the company that performed their recent window installations.
  • Check online listed companies for local offices. Local installers are better equipped to meet location-specific needs than are non-local companies.
  • Check their reviews. Good ratings are important, but reading a few of their reviews will give you more insight into the company.
  • Look for affiliations with reputable window manufacturers.
  • Obtain and check referrals.
  • Confirm that the warranties they offer cover both materials and labor.
  • Confirm that they’re licensed and insured to the extent that your locality requires.

Once you’ve determined which installation company is the best candidate for the job, they will provide project pricing. If the window installer did not take each window’s measurements at the initial meeting, the company will send a representative to compile a detailed materials list.

One of two kinds of window installation cost quotes will be provided.

  1. A binding quote is an absolute cost to provide the work. They’re usually the more expensive type of quote because the installer will need to cover the cost should unexpected issues arise. Binding quotes are less common than the second type.
  2. An estimated quote is an educated guess of the cost to perform the service. This is the more common type of quote and is exactly what it sounds like. There is a chance that you will be charged more than the quote if unexpected situations occur. Reputable window installers are very good at providing accurate estimates, and in general, the final price you pay will be very close to, or precisely, the dollar amount stated.

Sleep Study Done For My Obstructive Sleep Apnea

So as stated before I had to have a sleep study done to measure and analyze my obstructive sleep apnea. They booked it for Monday, yesterday and I was told to come by 7:30 pm to the sleep labe in the hospital, as the booking was done from 8pm. I was quite nervous and anxious. However I waited till 5 pm, had a cup of coffee and then took a shave and a shower. I had a light dinner/supper as I couldn’t eat once I reach the lab. I then got ready and booked an Uber and reached the hospital by 4 past 7 pm.

My cousin Raakhee, who was to be my bystander, reached there at the same time and we went to register. This took a very long time and we went to pay for the study and get antigen tests done. By 9:30 pm we were guided to the 7th floor and went to find the lab. I changed to a lungi and relaxed for a little bit. Then the technician attached all the probes & sensors to be and tied the sensor belt around me. She tested it out and then told me to get to bed and sleep. Better said than done. My cousin and I ended up talking for an hour and then we started snoozing off. She fell asleep much before I did. I tossed and turned for a while before falling asleep.

The technician woke me up for trying to get me to wear a mask for pressurized air flow but I felt very uncomfortable with it. I then went back to sleep getting much better sleep till a little after 6 am. We both woke up and the sensors were removed from me. I freshened up in the washroom for a tiny bit and then went down. We caught separate Ubers and I came home for some coffee. By 9 am I was very hungry and had buns with peanut butter for breakfast. And now I am chilling!

Four Weird & Strict Laws In Monaco

Money rules Monaco : But if you happen to be a local, the Monte Carlo Casino is off-limits. The citizens of Monaco are prohibited from playing here. In fact, you’ll be asked to show your passport at the door. Unlike American gambling locales, Monaco keeps a close watch over her citizens. Despite its current lean towards luxury, the principality has struggled financially over the years.

Cannot be barefoot or shirtless in public : Of the most bizarre laws ever: walking down the street barefoot can get you into serious trouble, as well as walking without a shirt.

Citizenship : There are only two ways to live in Monaco either be extremely rich or be a citizen. For those without a MonĂ©gasque baron the only way to gain citizenship and its benefits including no income tax is to be married to a citizen for 10 years or to request it directly from the prince, but he doesn’t grant it often and how he decides remains something of a mystery.

Travel restrictions : Those who holiday cross-country via camper vans can forget about visiting the wealthy location too. Monaco Police’s Lieutenant Guillaume Deken explained: “Caravans are forbidden driving through or parking in Monaco. “It’s an old law, I don’t know it’s origins.”

And, with 577 police officers – one officer per every seventy inhabitants – offenders will almost always get caught.

Argentina Wins The 2022 FIFA World Cup

In what is being considered as the best World Cup Final and match ever, Argentina won their third World Cup in an extraordinary final on Sunday as they beat France 4-2 on penalties after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-3 draw and Kylian Mbappe grabbed a hat-trick to bring the holders back from 2-0 and 3-2 down. It was an incredible night of drama, high emotion and fluctuating fortunes, delivering one of the all-time great finals to cap a wonderful tournament as its two star players delivered command performances on the biggest stage of all.

Argentina had looked to be cruising to a one-sided victory after Messi’s penalty and a brilliant goal by Angel Di Maria in the first half put them in total control but Mbappe converted an 80th-minute penalty and volleyed in a sublime equaliser a minute later to take the game to extra time. Messi put Argentina ahead again but Mbappe levelled with another penalty, becoming the second man to score a World Cup final hat-trick after England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966.

In the shootout, Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s effort and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide. That gave substitute full back Gonzalo Montiel, who gave away the penalty for France’s third goal, the chance for the ultimate redemption, which he duly took by calmly sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way. It meant that after his record 26th World Cup match, at the fifth and final time of asking, the 35-year-old Messi claimed the trophy his talent and commitment to his country demanded, elevating him alongside Diego Maradona, Argentina’s first football god, who carried them to their emotional second triumph in 1986 following the first in 1978.

Once Again Admitted To Hospital & Just Back Home

So, if you frequent this blog you would have noticed an unusual gap in the last week. I usually post once or more in a day and everyday. The exception has been this week much like last year around the end of September. Read that post before moving forward.

I had a re-occurance of the same issue. I was suffering a bad cold throughout the day and I felt very dehydrated. At night while trying to get up from my bed to go to the loo I started getting cramps on my legs. At first it was a bit ok but it wasn’t going away. Since the last incident that I had, I haven’t had cramps that continued for more than say 10-15 minutes. I tried to walk it off and drank a lot of water but I was getting dehydrated. I bore it for a long while until at 6 I tried to sit down and the pain shot up throughout my two legs – thighs, calfs and hamstring.

I woke up my parents, and we called my sister and got ready. With the help of a couple of my neighbours I was able to get into an ambulance with a lot of pain. Getting down was even more painful. I went to casualty and then later taken to the ICU. My sister had come to the hospital by then. I was in so much pain but when I had to lie down, with help from some staff, it hurt even more. I was crying and in so much pain. They gave me heavy dosages of pain killers but it took a long time for me to get some relief. I even swore out loud a lot. My doctor came and tried to ease my pain and give me a drip. Finally I fell asleep. They were able to get me to eat some lunch and then I went to the loo.

I was lying in a nice bed and soon fell asleep waking up only to eat a light dinner and go to the toilet a couple of times. They gave me meds, took my blood for testing and kept monitoring me. The next day was the same thing. Drip, medicines, light meals, lots of water and getting up only to go the loo and a change of clothes. On Wednesday night just after 8 pm I was moved to a private room with my sister as my bystander. The next two days was pretty much the same with more rest, medicines, blood tests and lots of drinking of water. I had a doppler test and an Ultrascan test done as well.

On Saturday I was told I could leave but the blood test results got delayed and we also had to sort out the payment of my stay and treatment there by way of insurance. That took most of the day and by the time we booked an Uber and came back home it was 8pm. My sister then went back to her home, which is nearby, and I had my dinner and took my medicines. I watched tv for a while before I went to sleep. Today I just took it easy, took my meds, had some tea and watched some Youtube and some tv and I am currently watching the World Cup final. On Monday I will go for an overnight stay at the hospital’s sleep study lab as it turns out that I also have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Facts About The Brownie

A brownie is a dense chocolate-flavored baked good traditionally served in small squares. Brownies often contain ingredients like nuts or extracts to give them a distinct flavor other than pure chocolate. Either way, they are ideally crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The first brownies were made by the chefs at Chicago’s Palmer Hotel in 1893. The World Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago that year, and the people running it asked the chefs to create an all-new baked good recipe to include in the boxed lunches sold at the fair’s Women’s Pavillion. You can add almost anything to brownies to give them a distinct flavor! Nuts, dried fruit, even candies like M&Ms… the possibilities really are endless.

60% of people go nutless
Whether it be a nut allergy, an aversion to nuts, or simply being a brownie purest, 60% of brownie lovers prefer their brownies nut free. The magical thing about brownies is no matter how you eat them, they’re always delicious. So if you like it purely gooey and chewy, or if you prefer a little crunch in your munch, you’re doing the right thing already just by eating a brownie. The only way you can be wrong is by not liking brownies at all! But those people don’t exist…right?

36% of love those corners
A little resistance in your brownie doesn’t hurt, and what better way to get that magical texture than by biting into a deliciously baked end piece? Of course, we don’t want the entire brownie to have that texture, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. But saving that small bit of something special for the end of your brownie consumption is definitely the way to go!

National Brownie Day
Brownies have two of their own holidays. National Brownie Day is on December 8 and National Have a Brownie Day is on February 10. I’m not clear on the difference, but I guess one is for making your own brownies and the other is more about getting them from someone else?

Man Of The Match Fifa 2022

Whilst many big teams crashed out, some players performed consistently and won various MOTM awards (Man Of The Match). The Man Of The Match award is presented to a player who usually scores a crucial goal or overall has a direct contribution in winning the match. Let’s take a look at the top 5 players with Most Man Of The Match awards in FIFA World Cup 2022:

5. Yassine Bounou

4. Dominik Livakovic

3. Luka Modric

2. Kylian Mbappe

1. Lionel Messi

No surprise that the 1 & 2 spots are by key players for the two finalists.