National truffle day
May 2nd, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Do the truffle shuffle! May 2 is National Truffle Day.

A little more rare than your average pack of button mushrooms at the grocery store, these underground beauties that seem to magically surface at the foot of trees are definitely special enough to get their own day.

There are plenty of species of truffles, but only a few are prized as edible. White and black truffles are the favorites, with white being a little more dense and pungent. While they are difficult to cultivate, it is possible - and folks still use their specially trained truffle hogs, or even dogs, to help sniff them out among the acorns. If you've got a passion for it, you could turn it into quite a business like this Jack Czarnecki in Oregon.
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National chocolate parfait day
May 1st, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

A parfait way to begin May, May 1 is National Chocolate Parfait Day!

Depending on how you parfait, you can spend this perfect day celebrating one or two wonderful ways. Because parfait literally means "perfect" in French, you'll be sure to enjoy this dessert in at least one of its forms.

In 1894, parfait began to describe a frozen French dessert made with sugar syrup, eggs and cream. When the dessert migrated to the U.S., we naturally had to put our own spin on things.
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National raisin day
April 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

We heard it through the grapevine - April 30 is National Raisin Day!

When grapes spend a little too much time in the sun, they cross the border into dried fruit and become raisins. But these little beauties are chewy, sweet and a great snack to have on hand.

Because there is already so much naturally occurring fructose and glucose in grapes, the flavor amps up even more after the grapes are dried. Largely, the sugar remains - so much so that if you keep raisins for a while, the sugar begins to crystallize.
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National prime rib day
April 27th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Get primed and ready because April 27 is National Prime Rib Day!

Prime rib, or standing rib roast, is a choice beef cut from one of the eight primal cuts of beef. And if you slice the standing rib roast, so called because it is roasted standing up with the ribs stacked up vertically, you can remove the bones and get a nice number of ribeye steaks (hence the above photo). So either way, you win!

This cut contains the "eye" of the rib and is well-marbeled with fatty muscle. Rubbing the outside of this roast with salt and seasonings and slow-roasting yields a tender, tasty meal.

If you're thinking about barbecue (which you should), take a tip from the professionals and smoke it for a few hours before dry roasting.

If the phrase prime rib brings to mind memories of the Sunday roast, make some gravy on the side, and if you're feeling fancy, whip up some Yorkshire Puddings as well. But if you want to know the best way to prepare prime rib, be sure and check out this marvelous primer.



April 26th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes perfecting pineapple upside down cake, tackling English toffee, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soupcajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.

I’ll always remember the summer of 2008 as a dream come true, full of rock concerts and soft pretzels.

Like many other families across the country, we were perfecting the art of the “staycation.” People were rediscovering the glory of their own cities, neighboring towns, and even their backyards.

But perhaps the greatest gift of that season was our summer tour of concerts. For two music lovers like my mom and me, concerts were manna from heaven.

Not wanting to indulge in a heavy meal before we danced around and sang along with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Keith Urban, Foreigner, Bryan Adams or the Steve Miller Band, one snack emerged as our concert-day favorite.

But we ignored the chemical-laden, overpriced food at the snack bar and tailgated beforehand with homemade salty soft pretzels.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Food Holidays • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


National pretzel day
April 26th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Are these pretzels makin' you thirsty? April 26 is National Pretzel Day!

Whether you're a serial hard pretzel snacker or a Pretzelphyte that noshes on soft pretzels for dinner, this knot-shaped dough with salt on top more than deserves its own day. Which is why it's lucky that in addition to today, April is also National Soft Pretzel Month.

Pretzels came to the U.S. with German immigrants during the 19th century. These folks became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, and handmade pretzel bakeries began popping up all over the state.
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National zucchini bread day
April 25th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

April 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day! Knead we say more?

When you're craving a quick snack, shredding up some zucchini may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but zucchini bread is just the treat to satisfy your taste buds.

Like banana bread, this dish is classified as a quick bread. These breads don't use yeast as a leavening agent; there is no fermentation period so the dough can be immediately baked as soon as it's created. Before their creation, all baked goods used yeast or mixed dough with eggs to get their lift.
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National pigs in a blanket day
April 24th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Get your mini hotdogs in a row because April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket Day!

Pigs in a blanket, that favorite party appetizer and the answer to "What can I bring?" everywhere, have become a simple American staple. A product of convenience cooking, these little pigs are as tasty as they are easy to make.

The "pigs" can be anything from hot dogs to Vienna sausages to link or cocktail sausages and the "blanket" is often biscuit or croissant dough. Kids love this treat that's easy on the palate because it's like a baked corn dog, and party-goers like it as an appetizer because it's a classic finger food. But if you're considering pigs in a blanket for breakfast, that usually means sausage links wrapped in pancakes.
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National cherry cheesecake day
April 23rd, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Pretty please, with lots of cherries on top - April 23 is National Cherry Cheesecake Day!

What's creamy, tangy and sweet all over? Ah, yes, that would be one of the best food marriages in dessert: cherry cheesecake. The pure flavors of cherries mingling with the unique, smooth taste of cheesecake is something you'll be asking for beyond today.

Now, this can mean one of two things: You either like your regular cheesecake drowning in cherry compote or sauce, or you bake the cheerful cherry flavor right into your cheesecake. The best part is that cheesecake pairs well either way. Whether you use a ricotta or cream cheese base on your graham cracker crust, cheesecake can be a blank canvas or shine with a little embellishment.
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