The Wild and Wacky Month of March! When I started thinking about this month’s article I automatically thought about St. Patrick’s Day and of course the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread and Lamb Stew recipes. Then I thought about what other holidays occur during the month. I found a great website, www. holidayinsights.com that has all kinds of wacky holidays for every day of the year.
Did you know that March 1 is not only National Peanut Butter Day but also National Pie Day? Or that March 6th is National Frozen Food Day? Or that March 23rd is Nation- al Chip and Dip Day? With a plethora of food related holidays to choose from we are going to explore all kinds of different recipes that relate to these days. March 1 sounds like a great day to make Peanut Butter Pie. I have included two recipes for you, both very differ- ent in preparation but equally delicious in flavor. The first comes from one of my favorite celebrity Chef’s, Emeril Lagasse and the second is an old friend’s recipe.
First up, Chef Emeril Lagasse! Peanut Butter Pie Ingredients 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 6 tablespoons melted butter 1 cup smooth peanut butter 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups confectioners? sugar 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts 6 cups sweetened heavy cream, whipped until thick, in all 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts 4 ounces chocolate curls and shavings 2 cups chocolate sauce, slightly warm
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine the crumbs, but- ter and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter. Mix thoroughly. Press the mixture into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake un- til golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 min- utes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with sugar un- til smooth. Add the remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Add the milk and roasted peanuts and beat well. Fold 4 cups of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and spoon into the prepared pan. Cov- er with plastic wrap and refrigerate un- til firm, about 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and spoon the remain- ing whipped cream over the entire pie. Slice into individual servings. Garnish with the peanuts, chocolate shaving and chocolate sauce.
Second up, my dear friends – does not take as long but still has a great taste! Peanut Butter Cups Ingredients 2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter 2/3 cup whipped topping 14 peanut butter cups, divided 1 chocolate crumb crust – 9 inch Directions In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Coarsely chop half of the peanut butter cups; stir into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into crust. Quarter remaining peanut butter cups; arrange over the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.
March 6 is National Frozen Food Day. Frozen food often gets a bad rap but did you know that frozen broccoli is actually more nutritious than store bought fresh broccoli? It’s true; broccoli begins to lose its nutritional value as soon as it is cut off from its stalk, as do most vegetables, and when it is frozen the nutrients are “locked” in. Frozen vegetables are great to use when you need to make dinner in a hurry or are using a slow cooker.
Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian uses them in a variety of ways including “keeping freezer stocked with a spectrum of frozen fruits and veggies, and use them in a variety of ways. In addition to add ing frozen fruit to smoothies, I thaw or warm it as a topping for oatmeal, or whole grain toast spread with almond butter. Frozen veggies are my chief in- gredient in stir fry dishes, but I also love to sauté them in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs, toss with a lit- tle quinoa or brown rice pasta, and top with a lean protein.
For a quick and easy side dish, I keep jars of all natural, vegan pesto and tapenade, to toss with steamed frozen veggies. Some of my favorite combos are: broccoli with sundried tomato pesto; spinach with roasted red pepper pesto; and French cut green beans with green and black olive tapenade. Simple, delicious, and ready in a jiffy.
” March 23 is National Chip and Dip Day! Who doesn’t love chips and dip? They are the ultimate comfort food any time of day or night chips and dip just make you smile! But you can dress up the classic chip and dip and serve it at any cocktail event. Check out this great White Bean Dip!
White Bean Dip Ingredients 1/4 cup olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans (Great Northern, cannellini, or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons kosher salt 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, rinsed
Directions In a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir half the olive oil and the 2 cloves garlic until fragrant, being careful not to brown garlic, about 1 min ute. Pour the oil and garlic into a food processor. Wipe out the pan and set aside. Add white beans, lemon juice, and salt to the food processor and whirl until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl. Return the frying pan to medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the rosemary sprigs. Warm the rosemary in the ol- ive oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so the rosemary doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. As always, if you have an idea for an article or have any questions do not hesitate to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.