Editor's note: The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.
In a battle over healthier school lunches that pitted the Obama administration against school children, chalk up a point for the kids.
Students have been complaining that some of their favorite foods were taken off the plate because of the Obama administration's efforts to make school lunches healthier.
It is no accident that Hanukkah comes in the darkest time of year. The winter holidays are about light, about miracles, and about waking up to light when it is least visible to the naked eye. Food-wise, we jolt our senses alive through texture, taste and flavor with fried foods that couple warmth, crispness, and the smoothness of oil in order to reinvigorate and fine-tune us just as the sun begins to seemingly disappear altogether.
For some, Hanukkah is "the potato pancake holiday" – a holiday that takes the mundane potato and gives it a massive makeover. It is shredded and tossed and recombined, squeezed and remolded into new form and then fried up lightly so that its texture shifts, its flavor alters. The latke (pancake) itself becomes the miracle of light, of oil, and of transformation.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Cuckoo for cocoa? December 12 is National Cocoa Day!
The weather outside may be frightful, but cozying up with a mug of hot cocoa can make the day more delightful.
The Mayans are first credited with cultivating the cacao bean to brew xocoatl, an unsweetened version of modern-day hot chocolate. Much later in the 17th century, Spanish doctor Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma published the first recipe as an elixir, adding different spices to treat a number of ailments. Even President George Washington washed down his breakfast of cornmeal hoe cakes with a cup of hot chocolate.
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