Monday, February 6, 2012

The Superbowl: an excuse to eat lots of food

Funny how food is included in, if not the center of, almost every activity/event these days. And not just a little part of it either...take sporting events for example. There are cookbooks that are specific to tailgating food. You can't go to a baseball game without getting a hot dog. And if you can't make the sporting event--friends gather to watch while providing their own yummy goodness via potluck style--with dips of every sort, chips of all kind, and a plethora of desserts. This was my party of choice last night. I'm much more of a salty and dip kind of person, but I ended up bringing two desserts this time. And I had to share these recipes! Because not only were they dee-licious, but they were SO easy!

So I give you my two Superbowl creations, because it just simply isn't a Superbowl party without lots of food! I promised I watched the game too....well, maybe just the commercials...and the half time show.


It's impossible to start with these ingredients and not have a scrumptious outcome
Campfire Cookies (recipe found at The Girl Who Ate Everything)

That's right--you only need 3 ingredients for this melt in your mouth dip
I served it with graham cracker sticks and animal crackers--so many options!

Cake Batter Dip:
1 box of cake mix (any kind--I used yellow)
2 cups of Cool Whip
1.5 cups of Plain Yogurt

Mix in a bowl. Best served after having been chilled. Serve with any type of cookie (graham cracker, animal crackers, vanilla wafers, etc.)
*If you're always looking for ways to make your recipes a little healthier/cut back on fat/calories like myself...I used Fat Free Cool Whip and Fat Free yogurt and it still tasted great!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who is Punxsutawney Phil?

Today is Groundhog Day. Some people call it a holiday, others call it an annual tradition/legend, and many often pass through their February 2nd completely unaware of Punxsutawney Phil's big debut. I guess I've never paid a whole lot of attention to the day, but this year being a teacher; I felt it was important to share the story with my kiddos...and I knew I could find some cute groundhog themed art to accompany the legend. Anything to keep them occupied and sitting at a table for more than 5 seconds.

One of my students' dads fulfilled a lifelong dream this year of traveling to Punxsutawney, Philadelphia to greet the furry little prophet when he crawled out of his burrow to make his prediction. His longing to attend this annual ceremony sparked my interest and I did a little research. The tradition dates back to early days of Christianity in Europe and Germany; also associated with an animal, a shadow, and a prediction of weather. This tradition made its way to Pennsylvania when German immigrants settled there. Very simple really; they bring Phil out, if there is a shadow, he "becomes frightened" and returns to his burrow to sleep for another 6 weeks--which in turn means 6 more weeks of winter. If there is no shadow, Phil welcomes spring.

The tradition remains and this year was Phil's 126th prediction. My guess is there is more than one Phil. But the members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club keep the number of groundhogs that have appeared on the down low. Groundhog Day is kept alive by this 'Punxsutawney Groundhog Club'. (Yes this is a real club...imagine putting that on your resume). The members of this club take care of Phil year round and prepare for his big day. Phil lives in an enclosure in the Punxsutawney Memorial Library along with other groundhogs.

The way I see it is kind of like the North Pole. Phil is Santa Claus, and all of the other groundhogs (and members of this club that help prepare for the ceremony) are the elves. They spend all year in preparation for one day. They do their job and retire back to another year of preparation. Sounds cyclical. Speaking of cyclical...great movie: Groundhog Day.

I have no doubt this tradition will always remain, but isn't it funny that according to weather records, Phil has only been right 36% of the time, yet we still hold this large ceremony, watch it on the news on February 2nd, share the story, have countless childrens' books written about it, and even do crafts in its' honor. I guess there's just something cuter about a groundhog than a meteorologist.

Preschooler's version of Punxsutawney Phil

The real Phil. The legend himself.