Halloween commences the holiday season – after a deluge of candy, the forecast calls for butterballs, stuffing and pumpkin pie. But 27 days is a while to wait for Thanksgiving. Keep the festive spirit alive with these four food fêtes:
1. National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day, November 5th
Chocolate and almonds make a marriage that’s meant to be – and not just for your tongue. Almonds are loaded with vitamin E and healthy fats, while chocolate (the darker the better) has been shown to boost cardiovascular health and improve mood. Together, they’re the perfect snack. Try these chocolate almond roca cookies if you’re looking to impress your friends. Or, this Chocolate-almond bark will certainly put you in a celebratory mood, but if you’re crunched for time (no pun intended), pop some popcorn and toss in a handful of almonds and chopped dark chocolate–or pick up a few chocolate and almond bars. However you choose to observe the day, you’re sure to become hooked on this irresistible combination.
2. National Vanilla Cupcake Day, November 10th
Cupcakes, the muffin’s cousins, have captured the minds (and stomachs) of people young and old since their invention in the early 19th century. If you haven’t the time to bake or hunt down a holiday-worthy confection, visit Georgetown Cupcakes‘ website and order a box of the delectable sweets. You’ll be thankful for the ‘vanilla’ distinction – if it wasn’t there, you’d spend from now ’til Christmas deciding between the 40+ flavors. Fill your box with classics like Vanilla, Vanilla Birthday and Sunshine Vanilla, or spice it up with vanilla-derivations like Coconut, Cookies & Crème and Strawberry. Once the 10th (and your box!) arrive, call your cupcake-loving friends and stream a few episodes of DC Cupcakes or Cupcake Wars while you savor these tiny treats. Who needs chocolate, anyways?
Want the ultimate vanilla cupcakes experience? Get it here.
3. National Eat a Cranberry Day, November 23rd
Cranberries, one of three native North American fruits cultivated today, are highly versatile snacks, especially the dried variety. You’ll find them sprinkled in trail mix, stirred into cookie dough and scooped atop salads. If you’re feeling adventurous, pick up fresh cranberries and test your taste buds on this acidic, but delicious, fruit. Or, take a swig of cranberry juice, which has a whole host of health benefits.
Check out these five ways to use cranberries for some inspiration.
4. National Parfait Day, November 25th
Though today we associate parfaits with layers of yogurt, granola and fruit, the original dish used ice or whipped cream instead of yogurt. Whichever filling you choose, parfaits make for versatile breakfasts, desserts or afternoon pick-me-ups. Since the 25th is also National “Eat with a Friend” Day, throw a Parfait Party, complete with bowls of berries, nuts, chocolate chips, cake crumbles and granola to layer between whatever parfait-medium you desire (pudding and mousse are viable options as well). Hint: use clear, tall glasses for insta-worthy treats.
Try this mini cheesecake parfait!
Grab your calendar and mark these dates – who says you have to wait till Thanksgiving to celebrate?
The Food Holiday Forecast: