You asked for them, so you got 'em. As I post the tasty creations that accompany some of these zany holidays, I will post them right here in one spot for your viewing (and, hopefully, preparing) pleasure.

February 24th - Tortilla Chip Day (or Holy Guacamole!)

Mark Bittman's Guacamole from How to Cook Everything
(makes 2-4 servings)

1 large or 2 small avocado(s)
1 tablespoon minced onion or shallot
1/4 teaspoon garlic (he says it's optional; in this house it's required)
1 teaspoon stemmed, seeded and minced jalapeƱo or other fresh chile, or 1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime joice, or to taste
Minced cilantro leaves for garnish

NOTE: Add one-half cup peeled, cored, seeded and diced tomato only if the tomato is perfectly ripe. (Try to find a nice ripe tomato, it's so good in this.)

February 2nd - Crepe Day


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil


  1. In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.

This recipe makes about 8 crepes.

January 22nd - Blonde Brownie Day

This is the blonde brownie recipe my mom used to make. It originally came from A World of Baking by Dolores Casella. I googled it and cannot find the actual recipe. The book is available, used, through Amazon and other booksellers.

Here is the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (I just use no-stick cooking spray) a 10x15x1 inch jelly roll pan.

Combine, sift and set aside:
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2tsp. baking powder

Beat 5 large eggs until foamy

Add the following to the eggs and beat to blend:
1tsp vanilla extract
1 lb. brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, melted  (NOTE: you can substitute 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup butter for the cream & butter)

Add sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients

Add 1-1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I don't add them for my non-nut lovin' hubby)
Add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (the recipe says "optional" but they are a must for us!)

Turn batter into prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares. (You can freeze them at this point.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

January 12th - Feast of Fabulous Wild Men

Not the most appetizing picture, perhaps. But don't you wish people ate your food with this much
enthusiasm all the time? Ooh, those short ribs were yummy!

Chinese Braised Short Ribs (you can also find the recipe here):


  • 1 large onion
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • Lemon pepper, to taste
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 packet beefy onion soup mix
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes with green pepper, celery and onion
  • 2 tablespoons five-spice powder


Slice the onion and put it into a slow cooker.
Season the short ribs with lemon pepper and garlic salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown all sides of the short ribs. When browned, place in slow cooker on top of sliced onions.
In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over the top of short ribs. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours.
Cook's Note: Five-spice powder is a blend of ground spices used extensively in Chinese cooking. It usually consists of cloves, cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. It can be found in the spice section of the grocery store.

(A note on this recipe: It only received three stars in the ratings. Most people raved about it. The folks that scored it lower thought the five spice seasoning was overpowering. I like five spice but used only half to make sure it would be more crowd pleasing around here. Everyone thought it was delicious, even my youngest, picky food critic loved it.)

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (you can also find the recipe here)


  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons prepared wasabi
  • Salt and white pepper
  • green onions, sliced for garnish


Put peeled and quartered potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and put potatoes in a large mixing bowl. With a handheld mixer on low speed, break up potatoes. Add sour cream, butter, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and 2 teaspoons prepared wasabi and whip potatoes on medium speed. Add more buttermilk until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining wasabi and green onions.

January 3rd - Three Kings Day 

Three King's Cake (you can also find the recipe here)


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

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