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National Chocolate Souffle Day!

Today we celebrate a delectable and delicious dessert, a Chocolate Souffle.  This day is observed annually on February 28th.

The word souffle is the past participle of the French verb “souffler”, meaning “puff up”.  A souffle is a baked egg-based dish that originated in the early 18th century in France.  It is usually made of egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with other ingredients like chocolate.  They are usually baked in individual ramekins of a few ounces or few liters.

Some preparation also sometimes include adding a coating of sugar, bread crumbs, or a grated hard cheese such parmesan inside the ramekin in addition to the butter.  Usually, a souffle puffs up after being cooked but usually falls or deflates after 5 or 10 minutes.

There are different types of souffle which include sweet and savory.  Sweet souffle’s may be based on a chocolate or fruit sauce and are often served with some dusting of powdered sugar on top.  Savory souffle’s often included cheese, and vegetables and some herbs, and sometimes include meat like chicken, bacon or ham and served as a dish.

The earliest souffle is attributed to the French master cook Vincent La Chapelle in the 18th century where the popularity of the souffle is usually traced to French chef Mari-Antoine Careme.

So, today, if you love to bake, you can make some Chocolate Souffle and have it for dessert after dinner with your family.  Share on social media some photos of your creation or recipe using #ChocolateSouffleDay.

1861 Congress creates Colorado Territory

With the region’s population booming because of the Pike’s Peak gold rush, Congress creates the new Territory of Colorado.

When the United States acquired it after the Mexican War ended in 1848, the land that would one day become Colorado was nearly unpopulated by Anglo settlers. Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Native Americans had occupied the land for centuries, but the Europeans who had made sporadic appearances there since the 17th century never stayed for long. It was not until 1851 that the first permanent non-Indian settlement was established, in the San Luis Valley.

As with many other western regions, though, the lure of gold launched the first major Anglo invasion. In July 1858, a band of prospectors working streambeds near modern-day Denver found tiny flecks of gold in their pans. Since the gold-bearing streams were located in the foothills not far from the massive mountain named for the explorer Zebulon Pike, the subsequent influx of hopeful miners was termed the Pike’s Peak gold rush. By the spring of 1859, an estimated 50,000 gold seekers had reached this latest of a long series of American El Dorados.

(excerpted from