So you think that November 6th was just the election day? Wrong. It was the National Nachos Day. And the day after that was the Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day. But my favorite by far is November 9th. Not only it is my mother’s birthday, it is also the National Scrapple day and, if that was not enough, the National Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day.
America seems to have a lot of national food days. Actually, if you count the national food months and national food weeks, there are over 630 national food dates, so on any give day we are likely to celebrate more than one edible item. I wonder if anyone ever tried to build a menu from such a list. Hmm… deep fried clams and vinegar, anyone? (November 1)st Or, perhaps, your taste runs to oysters and waffles? (August 1st) If you are a simple down to earth surf-and-turf aficionado , you are out of luck three years out of four (February 29th), but if you are adventurous enough, you could find solace in try tacos, vodka and cinnamon rolls (October 4th) .
If you think that the National Salad Month (May) sounds too healthy, you can always offset it by the National Egg Salad Week (second week of April) and Caesar Salad Day (the festive July 4th).
I wonder how soon we’ll need the National Lipitor Month. But you know, if we somehow make it to the National Bloody Mary Day (January 1), and then spend the next thirty days enjoying the National Oatmeal Month, aka Prune Breakfast Month, aka National Hot Tea Month, aka National Soup Month, and ignoring the fact that January is also the Bread Machine Baking Month, National Candy Month, National Egg Month, National Meat Month and National Wheat Bread Month, we may just make it to the National Irish Coffee Week (fourth week) under our own steam.
Just to unwind and to prove that I am not a health food fanatic, here’s a nice recipe that will come handy on December 15th (National Cupcake Day), courtesy of Courtesy of The Baddish Group:
Swirled Strawberry Cupcakes
1 package (16 ounces) Driscoll’s strawberries, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
12 prepared shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doone
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Swirled Strawberry Cupcake
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Remaining reserved cooked strawberry sauce
. Pulse 6 ounces hulled sliced strawberries, until pureed.
. Combine in a small saucepan pureed strawberries, cornstarch and sugar. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, boil 1 minute. Pour into a small bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool.
. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Pulse cookies in food processor until fine crumbs form.
. Combine in a bowl cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter until blended. Divide crumb mixture evenly in paper liners and press over bottom evenly. Bake 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Swirled Strawberry Cupcake
. Heat oven to 350°F.
. Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
. Combine milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.
. Beat in a electric mixing bowl on medium speed butter and sugar 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavoring blending after each addition until smooth starting and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly in prepared muffin cups. Dollop 1 ½ teaspoon cool, cooked strawberry sauce over each batter filled cup. Reserve remaining strawberry sauce for frosting. Using a knife or narrow spatula, gently swirl sauce through batter. Bake 18 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
. Beat in electric mixing bowl on medium speed butter, confectioners sugar and milk 2 minutes or until creamy. Fold in remaining strawberry sauce. Frost cupcakes and garnish each with remaining strawberries, hulled and halved.
(This recipe was developed by San Francisco food blogger Anita Chu. Anita is a Bay Area native, living and working around San Francisco, with a lifelong addiction to all things sweet. After attending a six-month professional pastry course at Tante Marie’s Cooking School and then working in a little bakery in the East Bay Anita started her blog, Dessert First, as a way to combine several of her interests: baking, photography, and writing. Anita does freelance work as a food writer, stylist, and photographer. She is also the author of two cookbooks, Field Guide to Cookies (2008) and Field Guide to Candy (2009). Anita’s Swirled Strawberry Cupcakes reflect her love for both cupcakes and strawberries.)