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.

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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

champagne fom

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?

Flavor of the Month: Peppermint

Peppermint FOM

1. Candy Cane Cocktail | 2. Homemade Peppermint Patties | 3. Creamy Dark Chocolate Peppermint Sorbet | 4. White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Mocha Biscotti 
5.  Peppermint Hot Chocolate

‘Tis the season to enjoy all things peppermint, hence why it is December’s Flavor of the Month. During the holidays, peppermint candy seems to be everywhere. Even though the mint might seem like an overload at times, now is the time of year to really embrace it. These peppermint recipes are too good to miss out on, especially during December. Who can resist peppermint hot chocolate or homemade peppermint patties? Get creative with this beloved candy, and maybe try to incorporate it as much as you can into your holiday meals this winter – it really is quite a treat!

Flavor of the Month: Cranberry

1. Lemon and Cranberry Muffins | 2. Almond Cranberry Creme Fraiche Bundts 
3. Cranberry-Red Wine Meatballs | 4. Cranberry and Pecan Brie En Croute
5. Cranberry Chambord Sorbet

With November comes delicious foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. However, one ingredient that is often underrated is cranberry. Besides the usual cranberry jelly spread over warm turkey, cranberry can be incorporated into many other meal and dessert recipes. For a touch of sweetness, cranberry sorbet and bundts are a great dessert alternative. Cranberry muffins are a perfect fall morning treat, and cranberry-red wine meatballs are an upgrade from your typical tomato spaghetti and meatballs. Whether you are making lunch or Thanksgiving dinner, these cranberry recipes will be an automatic flavor boost.

How will you include cranberry in your meals this month?

Flavor of the Month: Pumpkin

1. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes | 2. Pumpkin Bars with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting | 3. Pumpkin Seed Pesto | 4. Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate |
5. Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Tartlet Appetizers

Flavor of the month is here once again, which means it’s another new month! I can’t believe how quickly September flew by. I’d love for October to take its sweet time because I want to enjoy fall for as long as possible. October’s flavor of the month is pumpkin, naturally. It may seem obvious, but I wanted to feature recipes that strayed from the usual pumpkin pie. If you do want a pumpkin pie recipe, however, check out this one – so great! I find fall recipes to be incredibly warm and rich in flavor. Don’t you want to just bundle up in a blanket with that pumpkin white hot chocolate and watch a movie? That sounds like the perfect – and for me, pretty typical – Saturday night! What pumpkin recipes are you loving this month?

Flavor of the Month: Coffee

1. Java Chocolate Smoothie Cups | 2. Coffee Jelly with Cream | 3. Cappuccino Brownies |
4. Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Coffee BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe | 5. Chocolate Espresso Black Pepper Cookies

Now that September is well on its way, coffee is an appropriate flavor for the month since with September comes new jobs, new school semesters, and big changes. That being said, coffee will be a necessity in the month of September to both help wake us up and to help keep us awake. Personally, I can’t stand hot coffee, and I won’t drink it unless it is iced. Since I do not want to solely rely on drinking coffee as a way to stay caffeinated, I found some great recipes that seamlessly incorporate coffee into food. Chocolate Espresso Black Pepper Cookies are at the top of my list to make – I also did an interview with the baker herself, Jane from Buttered Up (check it out here)! Cheers to September and staying awake!

{coffee bean}