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National Croissant Day, January 30th

croissant for national croissant day

National Croissant Day is celebrated by chefs, bakers and others who love fine pastry. The croissant is a French pastry enjoyed around the world.

Enjoy a croissant with a great cup of cup. May we suggest Whale Bay French Roast

Croissants were introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they began to gain popularity. French cuisine was becoming fashionable in the United States during this time, and croissants were seen as a trendy and sophisticated pastry. They were primarily served in high-end restaurants and hotels. Croissants became more widely available in the 1970s and 1980s, as specialty coffee shops and bakeries began to open and offer them. Today, croissants can be found at many types of food establishments across the United States, from coffee shops and bakeries to grocery stores and even fast food chains.

Types of Croissants

Croissants can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the context in which they are being served. Some common ways to serve croissants include:

  1. Plain: Croissants can be enjoyed plain, without any additional toppings or fillings. This is a classic way to enjoy the buttery, flaky pastry and appreciate the flavor and texture of the croissant itself.
  2. Sweet fillings: Croissants can be filled with sweet ingredients such as chocolate, almond paste, or fruit preserves. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast pastry or a dessert.
  3. Savory fillings: Croissants can also be filled with savory ingredients such as cheese, ham, and eggs. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast or lunch pastry, or as part of a brunch or picnic spread.
  4. Sandwich: Croissants can be sliced in half and used as a sandwich roll, with fillings such as meats, cheese, and vegetables.
  5. French Toast: Croissants can be used in place of bread to make French toast.
  6. As a side dish: Croissant can be served as a side dish along with soup, salad or any main course
  7. As a dessert: Croissant can be served as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or chocolate sauce

Croissants are a versatile pastry, and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Try one of these on National Croissant Day.

Interesting Facts about Croissants

Croissants have a rich history, and there are many interesting and amusing facts associated with the pastry. Here are a few:

  1. The croissant is said to have originated in Austria in the 17th century, and was called a “kipfel” or “crescent roll.” The French later adopted the pastry and named it “croissant,” which means “crescent” in French.
  2. The croissant is said to have been created as a way to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The crescent shape of the croissant is said to represent the Ottoman flag.
  3. The croissant’s flaky texture is due to the large amount of butter used in the dough. In fact, traditional French croissants are made with 83% butter!
  4. Croissants were originally considered a breakfast pastry, but in the 20th century, they became a popular snack food.
  5. In many countries, croissants are often used as a symbol of French culture, but in France, they are often seen as an example of American fast food culture.
  6. Some people has been calling croissant as a fancy bread roll due to its unique shape.

These are just a few examples of the interesting and amusing facts associated with croissants. While croissant is a beloved pastry, it also has some fun facts that make it more interesting.

Croissant Recipe to Try

Try out your talent on National Croissant Day with this recipe for traditional French croissants. Keep in mind that making croissants is a bit of a time-consuming process and requires some patience and practice.

Ingredients

  • 500g (17.6 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 7g (0.25 oz) instant yeast
  • 40g (1.4 oz) sugar
  • 10g (0.35 oz) salt
  • 250ml (8.4 oz) whole milk
  • 250g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, chilled

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. Heat the milk until lukewarm and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Take the chilled butter and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound it out with a rolling pin to create a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Place the butter rectangle on top of the dough rectangle so that it covers 2/3 of the dough. Fold the dough over the butter and seal the edges.
  8. Roll the dough out again into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.
  9. Roll the dough out again and fold it into thirds again.
  10. Place the dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 1 hour.
  11. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut it into triangles.
  12. Roll the triangles up, starting from the wide end, to form croissants.
  13. Let the croissants rise for about 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  15. Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  16. Serve warm.

As you can see, making croissants requires several steps and some time, but the result is definitely worth it. It’s a classic French pastry that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack.

Enjoy Whale Bay Coffee with your Creation

coffee and croissant

What better way to celebrate National Croissant Day than to serve your creation with a cup of “café au lait”, a delightful coffee made with steamed milk. The coffee used for café au lait is typically a medium-dark roast, such as a French roast, which has a strong, robust flavor that pairs well with the buttery, flaky texture of a croissant. The addition of steamed milk makes the coffee less bitter and more creamy, which also complements the croissant.

Another great option would be a café crème, which is a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk on top. This type of coffee is stronger than café au lait and goes well with croissant as it’s a rich buttery pastry.

A cappuccino is another great option, a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, it is a stronger coffee than café au lait and has a nice balance of the acidity and the sweetness of the milk, which pairs well with the buttery croissant.

Ultimately, the best coffee to serve with a croissant is a matter of personal preference. You can experiment with different types of coffee to find which one you prefer; enjoy!

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National Pie Day, January 23rd

apple pie on cutting board

National Pie Day is a holiday in the United States, celebrated on January 23rd. It is a day to appreciate and enjoy different types of pies, such as fruit pies, cream pies, and savory pies. The holiday is not officially recognized by the US government, but it is celebrated by pie enthusiasts and bakeries across the country. Some bakeries and restaurants offer special promotions or discounts on pie on this day, and there are also events and contests to celebrate the holiday.

It officially started in 1986 and was created by the American Pie Council, a group that promotes the baking and consumption of pies in the United States. The group chose January 23rd as the date for the holiday because it is the birthday of Crisco, a brand of shortening that is commonly used in pie crusts. Since then, the day is celebrated annually as a way to appreciate and enjoy pies.

Here are some interesting facts about pie:

  • The ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first civilization to make pies. They filled them with honey and fruit and used them as a way to preserve food.
  • The first pies in America were brought over by the English and Dutch settlers in the 17th century. These pies were often savory and filled with meat, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Pumpkin pie is the most popular pie in America during Thanksgiving.
  • Pecan pie is the most popular pie in America during Christmas.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.
  • George Washington’s wife, Martha, had a recipe for “great cream pie.”
  • The term “as American as apple pie” has been used since the late 1800s to describe something that is quintessentially American.

In the movie “Michael” staring John Travolta, pie is celebrated with a scene where pies of all types are served. I think there were apple pie, berry pie, cream pie… Let us know if you can remember them all.

Here is a recipe for a classic, flaky pie crust that can be used for a variety of sweet and savory pies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the chilled butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  5. Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the desired size and thickness.
  6. Carefully transfer the dough to a pie dish, trim the edges, and crimp the edges to your desired design.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  8. If making a pre-baked crust or blind-bake the crust before adding your desired filling.

This recipe will make a double pie crust, enough for a 9-inch pie. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking and if you need help with a specific type of pie crust let me know. Enjoy with a bold cup of coffee.

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National Blonde Brownie Day, Jan 22nd

blonde brownies

Blonde brownies, also known as blondies, are a delicious and unique variation of traditional chocolate brownies. They have been around for over 100 years, first appearing in a cookbook called “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” by Fannie Merritt Farmer in 1896. However, despite their long history, blonde brownies are still a relatively unknown treat. They are often overlooked in favor of their chocolate-based cousins, but they deserve just as much attention and appreciation.

Blonde brownies are made with brown sugar instead of cocoa powder, giving them a light golden color and a slightly different flavor profile. They are also often made with vanilla, nuts, and sometimes white chocolate chips, which give them a unique taste and texture. They are a popular treat, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, snack, or breakfast treat. They are similar to chocolate chip cookies in texture and can be made gluten-free and vegan too. They are a great option for those who are not a big fan of chocolate, but still want to enjoy the texture and taste of a brownie.

In this post, we will explore the history, ingredients, and methods of making blonde brownies, as well as some fun facts about this delicious dessert. We will also include a recipe for you to try making your own blonde brownies at home. So, whether you’re a long-time fan of blonde brownies or are just discovering them for the first time, this post is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, let’s get started

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the melted butter and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. If desired, fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake the blonde brownies in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the blonde brownies cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, cut the blonde brownies into squares and enjoy!

Note: If you want to make them gluten-free, you can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. If you want to make them vegan, you can use vegan butter and a flax egg instead of regular butter and egg.

This recipe will produce a batch of delicious blonde brownies that are perfect for a sweet treat or a dessert. You can also adjust the recipe by adding or substituting ingredients such as chocolate chips, nuts, or fruits to make them your own.

Blonde brownies pair well with coffee because the rich, buttery flavor of the brownies complements the bold and slightly bitter taste of coffee. The nuttiness of the nuts and white chocolate chips in the brownies can add a nice contrast to the coffee. Additionally, the creamy texture of the brownies is a nice contrast to the smooth and rich texture of a cup of coffee.

One way to enjoy blonde brownies with coffee is to have a warm slice of blonde brownie with a cup of coffee as a dessert after a meal. The warmth of the brownie will enhance the flavors of the coffee and the coffee will help to balance the sweetness of the brownie.

Another way to enjoy blonde brownies with coffee is to have a slice of blonde brownie as a snack with a cup of coffee in the morning. The caffeine in the coffee can give you an energy boost to start your day, while the sweetness of the brownie will make it a satisfying breakfast.

Some people also enjoy dipping their blonde brownies in their coffee, this can be a great way to enjoy the flavors of both the brownies and coffee together.

Overall, blonde brownies and coffee make a great pairing as they complement each other’s flavors and textures, making for a satisfying and enjoyable experience.

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National Coffee Break Day, Jan 20th

national coffee break day

Happy National Coffee Break Day! Today, we take a moment to celebrate the importance of taking a break and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, a coffee break is the perfect way to re-energize and boost productivity. So, grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy a well-deserved break. Cheers to coffee and the benefits it brings to our daily routine.

If you are still not convinced, drinking coffee can help to improve focus and concentration, and taking a break from work can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout. Many companies encourage their employees to take a break and have a cup of coffee together.

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Blueberry Muffin & Coffee

blueberry muffin with cup of whale bay coffee

Can you resist the warm sweetness of a blueberry muffin with a cup of dark rich coffee? It is one of our favorites. While muffins may not be the healthiest on the menu, who knows by adding blueberries a superfood, they just might have a healthy effect. Blueberries seem to be able to help with heart disease, diabetes management, mental health and maintaining healthy skin and bones. Add some coffee with it’s benefits and you may have created a healthy meal.

July 11th – National Blueberry Muffin Day

It seems that back in pilgrim times, the folks discovered blueberries as a substitute for bilberries. Not too sure what bilberries are but blueberries added to your favorite muffin recipe makes a delicious morning treat. In recognition of this delicious treat, July 11th has been name National Blueberry Muffin Day.

Pick some up at your local bakery or favorite coffee shop. You can also try your hand at baking them. There are endless recipes on the web about blueberry muffins but one of our favorites is Paula Deen’s Blueberry Muffins and the video is fun to watch. Prep and cooking is only a little over 30 minutes. Pop them out, spread some butter add coffee and enjoy!

There seems to be some debate over fresh versus dried blueberries. Paula’s recipe calls for fresh blueberries. I think I will stick with that. What do you think?

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WHALE BAY Selects Sendle as it’s Logistic Partner

In an effort to provide consistent and reliable shipping support for it’s products, WHALE BAY recently selected Sendle as it’s logistics and shipping partner. Sendle is an Australian based logistics company that has recently entered the U.S. market focusing on the western states. While Sendle supports shipments throughout the U.S. with a delivery commitment of 1-4 days, in the western U.S., using it’s Sendle Swift service, we are able to provide 2-day priority shipping to our customers.

Our customers will enjoy reliable priority shipment of their packages at no additional charge. In addition, our customers can be assured that WHALE BAY is continuing to find ways to help improve and sustain our surrounding environment. Sendle provides 100% carbon neutral delivery. For each delivery, the carbon emissions produced are offset by it’s carbon neutral projects, sustaining some of the earth’s great natural resources.

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee

pumpkin spice coffee latte

It’s October and the holiday season is starting. What’s better the than to kick it off with a great cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee. Here is our favorite for creating this holiday treat. It not only gives your coffee that special holiday taste in aroma, it is incredibly easy to make. It’s just one more small step in the coffee brewing process.

What is Pumpkin Spice?

Well it is not pumpkin. It is the spice that turns that orange bland squash into tasty and wonderful smelling things we identify with the holiday season. The spice, which is the combination of several spices has been around for more than 200 years. What would pumpkin pie taste like without it? It is incredibly easy to make and you probably already have the five spices in your cabinet to put it together.

spices for creating pumpkin spice coffee

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 3 Tablespoons (tbs) cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons (tps) nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoons (tps) ginger
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons (tps) cloves
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons (tps) allspice

If you like to weigh things out here, try this:

  • 18 Parts cinnamon
  • 4 Parts nutmeg
  • 4 Parts ginger
  • 3 Parts cloves
  • 3 Parts allspice

This should give you enough spice mix for several cups of coffee. We suggest starting with 1 teaspoon of spice mix to 20 grams of ground coffee, then adjust to your taste preference. Just mix it into the grounds before you start brewing and let the brew system take care of the rest.

Of course the most important ingredient in this is to start with a great coffee. Each of our USDA certified organic coffees are roasted to perfection. Adding the Pumpkin Spice mix to the coffee only enhances the flavor and aroma. All ingredients are natural unlike you might find at your local coffee shop. Give it a try let us know what you think.

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WHALE BAY Coffee served at the 2021 Sea Stars Brunch

humpback whale mother and calf
a group of sea stars

For the annual 2021 Monterey Bay Foundation Sea Stars Brunch, WHALE BAY is providing its Colombian Supremo coffee. The coffee is 100% Arabica USDA certified organic with a sweet tone and rich flavor.

Each year (this is the first year back since COVID-19) the Monterey Bay Foundation hosts the Sea Stars Brunch in support of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Its mission is “To inspire the public to protect Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary through participation in and support of sanctuary programs, projects, and partnerships”. We have joined this year with the Foundation in support of this mission and contribute to the efforts to protect the whales and other marine life in the Sanctuary. Join with us in supporting the Foundation’s efforts to protect this incredible resource for future generations.

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Happy WORLD OCEAN DAY for a Healthy Ocean

the power of the ocean

It’s World Ocean Day and a great reminder as to why WHALE BAY is embarking on a journey to create a company that can make meaningful contributions to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and other sanctuaries like it. These sanctuaries are amazingly beautiful and important, because they provide a safe habitat for wildlife, act as a laboratory for ocean research, are classrooms to educate the public, provide amazing recreation opportunities, and are an important part of the local economies.

At WHALE BAY, we are focused on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, because it is a relatively short drive for us, and we have enjoyed much that it has to offer over the years. We are connected to it through our history, passion for the animals that live there, and our everyday weather. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 sanctuaries and 2 national marine monuments that are managed by NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries. The National Marine Sanctuaries cover over 600,000 square miles of marine waters around the United States including the Great Lakes and reaching to America Samoa. These protected underwater parks are much like the National Park system and have a huge diversity of habitats that include kelp forests, reefs, deep sea canyons and archeological sites like shipwrecks. We feel extremely lucky to be just a short drive away from the Monterey Bay. Check out this video from Blue Ocean provides a wonderful overview and a glimpse of what is under the water at the sanctuaries.

As we continue to blog more and spotlight the amazing creatures, you will find that there is so much more down there than you can imagine! Take a look at these guys!

Creating a safe habitat for animals and maintaining biodiversity is one major reason why these sanctuaries are so important, but their importance goes well beyond:

Safe Habitat for Wildlife

The sanctuaries are protected and therefore wildlife thrives. You can encounter dolphins, orcas, humpback feeding, and gray whales migrating from a whale watching boat or even from the beach. Sea otters, elephant seals, sea lions, and harbor seals are also abundant. See the large array of critters you can find in the sanctuary. Some you can’t see like the animals in the video above, because they live thousands of feet down. Even if they are out of sight out of mind, they are also extremely important to the well-being of the sanctuary.

Place for Scientific Research

There are approximately 50 research institutions in and around the sanctuary that do extremely important research on the health of the ocean, make exciting deep sea discoveries, look for ways to protect and heal the ocean, continue technology advancements for studying the ocean and educate the public.

Education

You may not know, but underneath the water in the Monterey Bay is a canyon as deep as the Grand Canyon. The cold water upwelling from the canyon creates amazing food sources for many animals. The bay is considered the Serengeti of the ocean, because of the variety of species that come to live and feed there. Due to the accessibility, the sanctuary is an amazing classroom for kids and adults alike. Places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium are geared towards educating the public about the bay, but also are setting the foundation for the next generation of researchers and problem solvers.

Recreational Opportunities

We have always been drawn to the sanctuary. Although we live inland, we can feel the influence of the Pacific Ocean when the cool breeze and fog rolls in after scorching summer days. As often as we can, we head to the coast to cool off, take in the immense beauty, play at the beaches, go tide pooling, hiking, kayaking, visit the coastal towns, and take advantage of the myriad of wildlife viewing opportunities. If you don’t live nearby like we do, you can take advantage of the great hotels, bed and breakfasts, and camping spots to make a lifetime of memories.

Boost to Economy of Coastal Towns

With the amazing amount for recreational activities and tourism opportunities, the sanctuaries support important coastal economies. According to NOAA, $8 billion is being generated annually.

If you would like to know more about the National Marine Sanctuaries and how you can help, you can go to the NOAA Website and if you want to know more about Ocean Day, visit the World Ocean Day. Although Ocean Day is on June 8th, everyday can be ocean day. Don’t forget to limit plastics (reuse, reduce, and recycle), and next time you go to the beach, bring an extra paper bag or bucket and fill it with any garbage you find!

Lastly, we will be following up with much more information on amazing things you can do and see around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary now almost 30 years into its existence. We’ll leave you with the 25th Anniversary Video for a little history on how it came to be. While you are watching this and other sanctuary videos, enjoy a great cup of coffee. May we suggest our WHALE BAY Colombian Supremo, a bold smooth roast and a portion of each sale goes to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the local the local non-profit partner for NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

We would love to hear from you and come back soon!

Credits (NOAA)
-Blue Ocean
– NOAA

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Coffee May Reduce Heart Failure Risk by 5-30%

drinking coffee may reduce heart failure

Major Study Suggests

Increased consumption of coffee may reduce heart failure as described in a DAILY COFFEE NEWS article by Nick Brown. This article points to the meta-analysis recently published in American Heart Association journal that found “that drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day may be associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart failure”. There seems to be continued good news for coffee; is it a magic elixir?

The article describes the analysis from three major studies covering a ten year period involving more than 21,000 adults. The studies found that drinking one cup of coffee a day reduced the risk of heart failure from 5-12% and for those drinking two or more cups as much as 30%.

Heart Healthy Dietary Pattern

Even though the studies have been extensive and taken place over fairly long period of time, cause and effect has not been clearly established. However a Penn State cardiologist said that coffee in moderation can be part of a health dietary pattern with the caveat it is consumed without added sugar and cream. The potential added benefit from drinking caffeinated coffee comes in the wake of other studies indicating improved brain function, some protection against prostate and colon cancer, improved bone health, and prevention of type 2 diabetes . Check it out the for more details on the health effects of coffee.

Try That Second Cup

With the possibility that drinking coffee may reduce heart failure, give a second cup a try. Our Colombian Supremo Organic Coffee makes a delicious cup; give it a try. It also makes a great Cold-Brew.