Ah, April. The opening of spring. The bringing of the bunny (preferably chocolate). Flowers blooming. Bees buzzing. Put away the sweaters and break out the shorts.
It's pretty hard to make yourself want to cook at all. But thanks to all of my fellow carnies this week for giving us all some recipes that might just convince me to come inside just a few minutes before dark and start cooking.
April is Humor Month - and these entries made me laugh...
- Mostly Cajun's Cajun Breakfast (and Cajun pronunciation lesson all in one)
- Sinner at 7 Deadly Sins presents Sinner’s Asian Flank Steak Big Bowl
This week saw the wrap-up of National Volunteer Week and Wine Amateur has had no shortage of volunteers willing to sacrifice their taste buds in her quest for world domination. Her adventures - and her favorite butcher shop - bring us Lamb and Wine this week.
April is also National Poetry Month. We have some wordy offerings for you poets out there.
- Mensa Barbie gives us Salade d'Heritage (and if you pronounce it just the right wrong way, it rhymes). Besides, a perfect tomato is akin to a perfect poem - slightly sweet, slightly tangy, soft to the touch (but not so soft as to be mushy) and REALLY juicy.
April is Cancer Control Month - and A Weight Lifted brings us a Gazpacho dubbed a "delicious heart-healthy Latino recipe" from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DiseaseProof.com also offers up some Nutrient-Rich Springtime Treats, including apple pecan pudding, fudgesicles and whipped banana freeze.
April is National Home Inspection Month - and Foodies Across Borders says you may have to have your home (and your pores) inspected for excessive garlic use after making her Big Stinky Soup contribution. But it's all worth it.
April is National Smile Month. And nothing makes me smile quite like chocolate. ;) Keewee's Corner made my smile doublewide by combining my two favorite things - chocolate and peanut butter - into Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies.
The first week of April is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Week. But if you didn't do it then, not to worry. Memento Moron has found us a tasty (tastier than prairie hay, thank you very much) recipe for Bacon and Beans. (I've always found that beans are the perfect clean-out-your refrigerator staple - add broth for soup, add barbecue sauce for baked beans, good in casseroles or by themselves with a big pan of cornbread.)
Another great cleaning-out-the-refrigerator staple is rice - and The Common Room has shared an oldie but goodie from the 1969 Uncle Ben's Magic of Rice Cookbook, Golden Peanut Rice. (I was born in 1969 and always say that I was conceived in the summer of love and born in the winter of discontent...especially on the Coast, in the aftermath of Hurricane Camille.) My husband and all of his family are from Louisiana and I tell you those folks will eat anything with rice. I think a gift of a rice cooker is mandatory for every female of marriageable age in Louisiana.
To see a pro in cleaning-out-the-refrigerator cuisine, stroll on over to Booklore, where a late-night craving led to a recipe for Not a Middle Eastern Dish. (And it's a microwaveable recipe, so not only are you cleaning out the refrigerator but you're not messing any more dishes up either!)
The third week in April is Egg Salad Week - with the thought of figuring out something to do with all of those boiled eggs (kinda like the week after Thanksgiving there's always some very creative turkey recipes surfacing). Kevin at Seriously Good provides us with the Hot Cross Buns recipe that he made on Easter morning. (The recipe does take two eggs, people...I'm making this work, I promise.) It's obviously not an egg salad recipe, but since he decided on this recipe after doing an extensive search on Easter bread, it just goes to show you why I love Google (and coconut bread with pineapple butter). Kevin graciously provided us with links to several of the other contenders too.
Since we're still talking about Easter, Triticale is having a belated Easter celebration at his house and is serving pineapple-injected ham. (Mostly Cajun would be proud of him, as he used Acadian Injectors to properly plump his ham.)
April is Stress Awareness Month and there's nothing quite as calming as a potato (especially smothered in cheese and baked in a casserole dish). Riannan gives us the recipe for the delicious Potato Casserole she made for Easter dinner.
And Laura of Laura Rebecca's Kitchen, though forced to cook in a strange kitchen (we know how stress-inducing that can be), wowed Easter guests in New York City with Pepe's Key Lime Pie. She promises more lime recipes to come, so stay tuned.
And, lastly, April is Keep America Beautiful Month. I do my part by baking muffins. There's not much more beautiful than a perfect muffin. I have posted several for you to try this week, but the grand-prize-winning muffin from a recent Taste of Home magazine contest was these Berry Cheesecake Muffins.
I think I pinged everyone that asked for a trackback or had the option available, but if I missed you just let me know. (After all, I did bring my child today - for the second time in one week - to a birthday party that had actually taken place the day before. My internal Calendar is not doing well.)
Next week the Carnival will be hosted by Desert Light Journal. You can send recipes or links to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon CST on Saturday. If you wish to host a future carnival send a message to the same address with the word host in the subject line. (If you've been posting for a while but have never hosted, you are doubly encouraged to host. Variety is the spice of life. And we all get to know each other a little better if we all take turns hosting.)
Punctilious will be traveling heavily for the next month or so and I will be tending the stove in his absence. Please forgive me now for whatever it is I will inevitably mess up. ;)
As soon as I see how many hosting volunteers we have, I will post a new schedule on my blog. Riannan and Grill Maestro have already graciously volunteered, but we need more help - so volunteer!