If you can make it, then I bet there is a day reserved on the calendar to celebrate it. Every once in a while I like to peek at the holidays and special recognitions assigned to the current month. Many of the days are filled with celebrations of a particular food. What better way to surprise your friends, family, or coworkers than to treat them to a platter of goodies to celebrate the unique holiday?

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Egg Day: November 2 – My taste buds do not understand the satisfaction and joy that is invoked by this tiny smelly yellow thing, but I must admit this side dish shows up at nearly every function I attend that includes food. Therefore, I must be in the minority. Even my children have succumbed to the powers of this egg, mustard, and mayonnaise thing. For the egg lovers out there check out D’lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey. I might even find a twist on this that I enjoy. For a few quick ideas, check out Huffpost Taste by the Huffington Post.


sandwich recipes Sandwich Day: November 3 – We all have our favorite sandwiches. Asking someone their Hungry Hobo number is a fun way to get to know someone. Try it with a friend or family member, you might be completely surprised by the answer. Eventually you will meet your sandwich twin! But I tend to get bored eating the same sandwich; I need to change it up. Chef Tom Colicchio’s book wichcraft includes sandwich recipes from the New York restaurant chain of the same name. These sandwiches are very unique and full of flavor. Cooking Light has 102 Super Sandwiches you can sink your teeth into right now!


bold recipesCook Something Bold Day: November 8 – Sure, why not? The idea behind this holiday is to create a dish that will fill your home with amazing flavors. It works well this time of year as many parts of the country are locking up windows for the winter to keep the heat in. Asian Grill by Corinne Trang has over 80 recipes for dressings, breads, desserts, vegetables, and meats bursting with bold Asian flavors. For more tips, recipes and Asian flavor, click Cooking By Feel.


 bread cookbookHomemade Bread Day: November 17 – Nothing beats bread fresh out of the oven, so how about you make it fresh out of your own oven! Thanks to authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois making bread is quick and easy. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is fully revised and updated from the 2007 edition. New additions include 30 additional recipes and a gluten free chapter! For more gluten free bread ideas, visit Allrecipes. 



perfect eggEggs are one of the world’s superstar foods: inexpensive, protein-rich, versatile, and easily renewable. Every food culture has its own take on eggs – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and the dazzling variety of dishes in The Perfect Egg is not to be missed.

The ladies behind the popular blog Spoon Fork Bacon challenge us to set aside our usual over-easy assumptions and reimagine eggs: from Beet Fettuccine Carbonara to Spicy Korean Bibimbap, and from Baked Egg Boats to Tea Eggs. Along the way, they unscramble the history of egg cultivation and consumption, and crack open the story on egg anatomy, egg types, and what the grading system really means. Additionally, they cover the do’s and don’ts of important techniques from boiling to aerating to pickling eggs.

The Perfect Egg is a fresh, unique, and singularly modern take on the most humble of foods. (description from publisher)

farmstead eggNo matter where you live, you can have farmstead fresh eggs! From the cities to the suburbs, backyards are filled with the sounds of clucking like never before as more people invest in having a closer connection to the food they eat and discover the rewards (and challenges) of raising chickens and cultivating their own fresh eggs.

Whether you’ve embraced the local food movement or just love that farm-fresh flavor, The Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook is the perfect book for you and your flock. Inside, you’ll find expert advice on caring for your chickens, along with 100 delicious and diverse recipes. You’ll notice a difference in your scrambled eggs, omelets, and quiches, as well as in savory and sweet soufflés, tarts, puddings, and pies. With The Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook, you’ll never run out of delectable ways to enjoy your eggs for any meal of the day. This book will inspire you so that you to have the freshest and best eggs on your table and, if you’re game, the experience of keeping hens in your backyard. (description from publisher)

d'lish deviled eggsDeviled eggs are always a party favorite, and the first thing to fly off the table. D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey both pays homage to the classic deviled egg and dishes up creative, modern takes on tradition.

This isn’t just a recipe book; its pages are packed full with everything from how to make superb hard-cooked eggs every time, to filling and garnishing picture-perfect stuffed eggs. Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Deviled Eggs are sure to bring back fond memories of family gatherings, while inspired offerings like “California Roll” Deviled Eggs and Two-Bite “Carbonara” Deviled Duck Eggs add a delicious start to any dinner party. Kicky Devilish Green Eggs & Ham or Dirty Martini Deviled Eggs make perfect cocktail cohorts.

With recipe suggestions for tasty parties and seasonal and holiday pairings, D’Lish Deviled Eggs is the ultimate kitchen companion for dishing up America’s favorite appetizer. Chock-full of fab tips, from the history of deviled eggs to collecting vintage plateware, this book will definitely “egg you on” to head to the kitchen and get crackin’! A classy little guide to a classy little dish, D’Lish Deviled Eggs will open up a whole new world of ways to jazz up these one-bite wonders! (description from publisher)

My Mother often tells stories about her father and the everyday adventures he had as a rural postal carrier during the Great Depression – the horse and wagon he used during the winter and when the roads were impassable, the cat they acquired because the cat hitched a ride in the mail truck one day, and how every spring he would deliver boxes of baby chicks, their busy peeps filling the truck – stories about events that now seem strange and distant to our modern world. In those days, raising chickens was commonplace both for eggs and for meat and nearly every farm – and many households in the small towns of Iowa – had a pen for chickens. As small farms and towns disappeared, so did the backyard pens and raising chickens became exotic and unusual. Thanks to the growing interest in eating local and fresh, chickens are cool again.

If you’re thinking about raising your own chickens, take a look at Chick Days: an Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Jenna Woginrich. You’ll learn a lot and have fun while you’re at it. Arranged scrapbook style with lots of photos and tips, Woginrich takes you through the first year of raising three chicks to laying hens. Along the way you’ll learn all kinds of trivia and practical information, all presented with humor and encouragement. There’s even a recipe (for quiche! not fried chicken!) These are fancy chickens that produce beautiful eggs and Woginrich makes no bones about the fact that these chickens are being raised as pets (although they’re also good egg producers) Even if you have no intention of adding chickens to your garden, you’ll have fun imagining the possibilities with this book.

chickensCity officials in Davenport, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids aren’t the only ones to be considering how to deal with the recent vogue of urban chickens. The locovore movement and a struggling economy have combined to produce the “It” Bird, as Susan Orlean calls chickens. There are those that say that the Obamas should have a few at the White House. You can even find plans on the internet for building a coop out of Ikea furniture.

Orlean, author of the Orchid Thief, turns her eye to small-time chicken raising  in the September 28th  New Yorker. She traces the history of keeping fowl  in America, how they went out of favor in the fifties and  how they were gentrified by Martha Stewart’s gourmet chickens and pastel eggs. You may or may not know that Iowa is the home to the “largest rare-breed poultry hatchery in the world.”

Orlean herself finds the perfect solution for her needs…just a few chickens (guaranteed to be hens) and a small plastic coop. ( A British company called Omlet manufactures the Eglu).

If the subject intrigues you, check out The Joy of Keeping Chickens by Jennifer Megyesi, Living with Chickens: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock by Jay Rossier, and, of course, Raising Chickens for Dummies.

s-brunch“Brunch” always means something special – a celebration or gathering. Now you can make any occassion – like “it’s the weekend” – special with the help of  Gale Gand’s Brunch.

Gale includes the standards – eggs, pancakes, scones and muffins – but she also throws in some unexpected entries such as potstickers, lemony wheatberry salad and pretzles. Basic recipes for classic brunch dishes – omelets, waffles, pancakes, crepes, strata, quiche – are outlined, then fun and interesting variations for each are suggested. Recipes are straightforward and simple – because who wants to spend time in the kitchen during brunch? There’s  something for every taste from Peanut Butter and Jelly Turnovers to Almond Ciabatta French Toast to Apricot Chicken Salad. Now any day – and any meal – can be special.