Flavor of the Month: Butterscotch

butterscotch fom

1. Cookie Butter Butterscotch Fudge |2.  Boozy Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream | 3. Butterscotch Eclairs |4. White Butterscotch Buddies | 5. Butterscotch Sundaes with Caramel Popcorn

Made primarily of butter and brown sugar, Butterscotch can be used for a variety of treats. The butterscotch eclairs with a plaid design are super creative and would be fantastic as a party snack. Similar to toffee with a honey color, butterscotch can be devoured as a syrup or a hard candy. October is the perfect time to whip up some butterscotch desserts and candies since it’s the designated candy month (okay, maybe that’s every month). But, you won’t go wrong with making butterscotch goodies for trick-or-treaters this coming Halloween.  Make your autumn even more special with this sweet flavor, and since it’s  simple to make as a syrup, you can pair it with pretty much anything. Nothing wrong with a little butterscotch on butterscotch!

Flavor of the Month: Corn

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FOM Corn

1. Sweet Corn and Squash Soup with Crispy Pancetta | 2. Zucchini Corn Cakes with Tarragon Remoulade | 3. Grilled Corn with Za’atar Garlic Butter | 4. Grilled Corn and Chipotle Pesto Pizza | 5. Smoked Salmon Corn Chowder

Earlier this month when I was visiting Nebraska, I found myself driving past miles and miles of cornfields. I had never seen so much corn in my entire life. Since I couldn’t escape the cornfields, I started daydreaming about all of the different ways to use corn in recipes. September’s Flavor of the Month is inspired by those daydreams. The Smoked Salmon Corn Chowder and Grilled Corn with Za’atar Garlic Butter are at the top of my list.

{Top photo by Lauren, corn}

Flavor of the Month: Plum

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1. Plum Frangipan Tarts | 2. Vanilla Scented Plum Puree with Toasted Nuts 
3. Spiced Oat Cake with Ginger Plum Buttercream |4. Plum Fruit Leather

Plums are not a consistent part of my diet so it is easy for me to forget about how delicious they can be when they are ripe and in-season. The great thing about plums is that they can be both sweet and tart, providing a variety of flavors for your taste buds. The benefits from eating plums are awesome – plums help manage high blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and improves bone health, to name a few. These plum recipes are for both the sweet and sour lovers, so whether you are a fan of sweet dried fruit leathers or fruit tarts that have a bit of a tangy kick, August’s Flavor of the Month has you covered.

P.S. August 2012’s Flavor of the Month

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Flavor of the Month: Cherry

cherry fom

1. Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake) | 2. Raw Cherry Brownie Hearts | 3. Stone Fruit Salsa | 4. Cherry Frozen Yogurt | 5. Cherry Ricotta Tart

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with ripe red cherries? And I’m not talking about those neon red Maraschino cherries. Not only are fresh cherries a perfect tasty summer fruit, but they are filled with antioxidants, contain melatonin, aid in brain health, and are a good source of fiber. With the stems and pits, cherries are certainly not the most glamorous fruit to eat. For these recipes, it may take some time to pit the cherries, but the end result will be worth the hassle. When you’re watching the fireworks on Thursday, do so while enjoying one of these treats.

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Flavor of the Month: Watermelon

FOM Watermelon

1. Watermelon Salsa | 2. Watermelon Lamburger | 3. Watermelon Fruit Bowl 
4. Watermelon Salad with Feta and Avocado | 5. Watermelon Breeze

I’ve already cut into my first watermelon of the season, which in my book means it is officially summer. While I am quick to just grab a few slices to enjoy, I have to remind myself that there are so many great things to do with watermelon. Whether it is squeezing fresh watermelon juice, making it into a salad, including it in a juicy burger, or even using the watermelon shell as a bowl, watermelon is a diverse fruit with a sweet taste. To usher in the summer, include June’s flavor of the month into as many recipes as you can for a healthy and fruity twist.

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Flavor of the Month: Chai

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1. Chai Coconut Ice Cream | 2. Chai Latte Cupcakes with Honey Icing | 3. Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea | 4. Chai Spiced Granola | 5. Chai Spice Donuts

I tried an iced chai latte for the first time in October. It has now grown to be one of my favorite drinks, and even though it reminds me of fall, when it is iced or mixed into donuts, granola, or cupcakes, I find that it transitions quite well into the spring and summer. Chai is one of those ingredients that never goes out of season. What’s great about chai is that you can make it mild or strong, and that kind of flexibility is convenient for when you want to try recipes over and over. Mild chai ice cream one day, strong chai ice cream the next. A blend of tea, herbs, and spices, chai is a unique flavor that will soon become a favorite, no matter what you put it in.

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Flavor of the Month: Lime

Lime FoM

1. Lime Poppy Seed Muffins with Citrus Glaze | 2. Chocolate Lime Cake | 3. Lemon and Lime Tart | 4. Brussel Sprouts with Sriracha Honey and Lime | 5. Zucchini and Coconut Bread with Coconut Rum Lime Glaze

Limes are an interesting fruit because they aren’t necessarily meant to be eaten by itself like an apple or a pear. Like a lemon, lime is zesty and refreshing, and it is an important ingredient in food and drink recipes such as guacamole and margaritas. However, lime is unique because you commonly use it by the teaspoon or tablespoon, yet it provides a subtle kick to the dish you are making. A popular ingredient during the spring and summer, lime is incredibly versatile and can be used in a surprising amount of dishes you wouldn’t normally expect it to work with, like chocolate or zucchini and coconut bread. This month, let’s try incorporating lime into more of our recipes for an unexpected citrus flavor.

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Flavor of the Month: Basil

Basil FOM

1. Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Salad | 2. Creamy Lemon Basil Pasta | 3. Brie & Basil Grilled Cheese on Chocolate Bread | 4. Pineapple Basil Sorbet | 5. Basil & Cucumber Martini

When it comes to herbs, you can’t go wrong with basil. Whether you are seasoning sauces, making pesto, or simply using basil as a garnish, the versatility of this herb is seriously impressive. Not only is basil delicious, but it has incredible health benefits, some of which include: protecting the body from premature aging, strong antibacterial capabilities that could help prevent bacterial infections, and improving blood flow because of its high source of magnesium. As if you need more convincing, basil also helps with indigestion and stomach cramps. Next time you want to top off a pasta dish or salad, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a couple more basil leaves on top.

*P.S. Follow my Twitter for ways to include more film and food into your life – #ADashofMarch.

Flavor of the Month: Pomegranate

Pom FOM

1. Pomegranate Salsa | 2. Cucumber Pomegranate Cocktail | 3. Pomegranate Kiwi Ice Cream  4. Citrus, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Pizza | 5. Double Chocolate Pomegranate Cupcakes
6. Coconut, Pomegranate, and Lime Kanten

While there are many exciting events in February, Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world. In honor of love, one of the major associations of Valentine’s Day, pomegranate is February’s Flavor of the Month.

Did you know that in certain cultures, pomegranates symbolize love and fertility? In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the pomegranate fruit is referenced. In Act 3, Scene 5, Juliet says to Romeo, “Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day. / It was the nightingale, and not the lark, / That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear. / Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree. / Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.” In this section, pomegranate symbolizes love – from true love to innocent love to forbidden love.

Pomegranates are not only delicious, but they have a beautiful red color that makes the seeds stand out in meals and desserts. If you’re looking to make a treat for yourself, to cook a meal for a loved one, or just to eat this sweet fruit’s seeds on its own, pomegranates provide diverse and tasty flavors that you’ll absolutely loveWill you eat pomegranate this month?

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Flavor of the Month: Champagne

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1. Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes | 2. Champagne Jello Shots | 3. Champagne Risotto 
4. Champagne Brownies | 5. Champagne Panna Cotta with Sugared Grapes

Happy New Year! I hope you celebrated 2013 with loved ones and welcomed the coming year with open arms. One flavor that I’m sure many of you enjoyed a couple of nights ago was the taste of champagne. However, instead of just imbibing this fizzy liquid, champagne is also delicious in many meal and dessert recipes. At the top of my list: Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes. While I’ve used wine in my dishes, cooking and baking with champagne will be new for me…but isn’t that what the new year is all about anyways?