March 23rd is National Chip & Dip Day! A few weeks ago my friend Liz made Alicia Silverstone’s Cheesy Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip (from Alicia’s book The Kind Diet) for a party she was hosting. It was so good that when National Chip & Dip Day arrived I knew exactly what I wanted to make! Layered and baked refried black beans, avocados, non-dairy sour cream mixed with taco seasoning, green chiles, black olives, tomatoes, and vegan cheddar cheese! It’s delicious, quick and easy to make, and was a huge hit with my non-veg housemates! (A confession and a side note. Confession: I was so excited to eat this, I didn’t bother with trying to get too great of a photo, sorry! Side Note: I tried ‘Follow Your Heart’ vegan cheese this time instead of Daiya, and while I think I like the taste of Follow Your Heart better, it doesn’t melt and stretch and look like cheese quite like Daiya does.)
March 19th is National Chocolate Caramel Day! The options for today seemed endless, but I settled on making some vegan Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread. The caramel can’t handle room temperature and melts all over the place when you take it out of the freezer for too long, but it makes for some sticky gooey goodness, and a good excuse to lick your fingers 🙂
National Artichoke Heart Day is March 16th! Before today the only time I’ve ever really enjoyed an artichoke heart was while biking down the California coast with Dusty during my second AIDS LifeCycle. We pit stopped at a little stall off the side of the road and enjoyed some deep-fried goodness. Granted after cycling a ridiculous amount of miles just about anything tastes amazing, but I distinctly remember deep-fried artichoke hearts in a fond way. So today I attempted to recreate that happy memory with a bunch of oil in a cast iron pan and some yummy beer batter. The results were pretty awesome, and due to some leftover batter the kitchen quickly turned into a deep-frying party with the housemates and I battering and frying just about anything we could get our hands on. An overall success- especially considering the fire department didn’t have to show up, a welcome change compared to the last time a deep-frying party occurred in the kitchen!
Not only is today National Peanut Lover’s Day, but March 15th is also National Pears Helene Day. Pears what?! Don’t worry, I asked the same question. Pears Helene is a French dessert that combines warm poached pears, vanilla ice cream (almond based vegan vanilla ice cream in my case!) and warm chocolate sauce. The combination of the warm pears and chocolate and the cold ice cream is de-licious! Ten points to the French.
March 15th is National Peanut Lover’s Day! I had some extra roasted peanuts from National Peanut Cluster Day and decided to take the lazy route and make the simplest peanut recipe there is- peanut butter. Throw peanuts and some oil in the food processor and voila, you’ve got peanut butter! I like my peanut butter super creamy so I overdid it with the oil a bit, but depending on how much oil you add in and how long you process it homemade peanut butter can end up whatever consistency you’d like.
March 14th is National Potato Chip Day! A few months ago I gave into product placement and snatched a bag of Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips while waiting in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s. I came home and devoured the bag in record time. Sugar, salt, and fat- what more could a palate ask for?! Today I attempted to recreate that sugary salty fatty goodness. I don’t think they hit the spot quite like the ones from TJ’s, but attempting to turn semi-sweet chocolate chips into milk chocolate chips using nothing but soy milk definitely wasn’t my greatest idea yet. I’ll have to work on that. Didn’t matter though, the fact that they weren’t as amazing as the ones from TJ’s had no effect on my ability to make them disappear!
March 8th is National Peanut Cluster Day! Peanut butter, semi-chocolate chips (the recipe called for milk chocolate chips so I just added in a bit of soy milk and some sugar), peanuts, and potato chips. Wait, what? Potato chips? YUP. YUM. Stay tuned for more chocolate & potato chip lovin coming your way next week for National Potato Chip Day. Hey, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!
While I’m guessing most of you wouldn’t have judged me for celebrating National Cereal Day (March 7th) by busting open a box of Life and dousing a bowl full of the cereal in soy milk- I probably would have judged myself. So instead I spent an extra ten minutes today making granola cereal bars (using both Rice Krispies and Quaker Oats along with brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and some semi-sweet chocolate chips). The end result wasn’t amazing, I won’t lie to you, I probably should have gone with the Life option. Lesson learned 🙂
March 6th is National Frozen Food Day. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with this holiday, but I decided that reheating something that came out of the freezer was probably cheating my adventure a little bit, so I settled on making something that would go into the freezer instead: strawberry lemonade popsicles. Unfortunately I didn’t have popsicle molds (..or popsicle sticks) so I made some homemade lemonade, blended in some strawberries, poured it into a martini glass, stuck it in the freezer, and called it a job well done.