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Celebrating April National Food Holidays

Some foods just mean so much to a lot of people that they’ve been given a day or even a month to be appreciated. Though some find it weird and even hilarious to have a special date dedicated to a specific vegetable, fruit, pie or sandwich, it actually makes sense.

Our favorite foods make our celebrations more festive, give us comfort when we’re down or feeling under the weather, and make the most ordinary day special. Every bite not only excites the palate, but also fills our heart with pleasure and happy memories.

Let’s look back at the food celebrations we’ve featured this week and review a few easy recipes that you can make right in your own kitchens.
National Zucchini Day 
April 25 is National Zucchini Day and aside from putting the green squash on your salads, there are also plenty of ways to bake it right into your bread. Lemon Zucchini Bread or Chocolate Zucchini Bread will be a hit on your next tea party. Or bake a bunch of Zucchini Cheddar Drop Biscuits if you're in the mood for something savory.
Zucchini Cheddar Drop Biscuits (from A Cozy Kitchen)
3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup grated cheddar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 stick butter, cold and cubed
1 cup milk 
Zucchini Cheddar Drop Biscuits. Courtesy: A Cozy Kitchen
National Pretzel Day
Who doesn't love to snack on good ol' pretzels? Thankfully, there's a day dedicated to appreciating pretzels of all kinds - April 26. Why not try your hand at Homemade Hard Pretzel Rods or chocolatey Pretzel Turtles? Of course, baking a batch of classic pretzels with a matching cheesy dip is never a bad idea.
Homemade Soft Pretzels with Spicy Beer Cheese Sauce (from Cooking and Beer)
1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more as needed)
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (more as needed)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water to make an egg wash

Soft Pretzels with Spicy Beer Cheese Sauce. Courtesy: Cooking and Beer
Grilled Cheese Month
Gooey melted cheese enveloped in buttery toasted bread. So simple, yet so comforting. No wonder grilled cheese is one of the most popular sandwiches in many parts of the globe. Before April - also hailed as Grilled Cheese Month - ends, why not make a Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich?  If you're in the mood for something sweeter, Roasted Sweet Potato & Fig Grilled Cheese or Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon may also tickle your fancy. But if you want something with earthy flavors, a sandwich with mushrooms and asparagus could be your best bet.
Mushroom Duxelles & Asparagus Grilled Cheese
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 shallots, peeled and halved
12 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel; halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio
1 tablespoon heavy cream
12 medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed; cut crosswise in half
Nonstick cooking spray
8 slices crusty bread
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
National Blueberry Pie Day
In the US, fruits in season are used to fill pies. And as US domestic blueberry harvest usually runs from April to September, the National Blueberry Pie day is aptly plotted at April 28. Desserts like Blueberry and Goat Cheese Hand Pies and Blueberry Pie Oatmeal Crumble Bars and colorful twists to the dessert, but a classic blueberry pie will certainly satisfy your craving.
Easy Blueberry Pie Recipe (from Amy Johnson of She Wears Many Hats)
all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
pie dough for double 9-inch pie crust, chilled
2½ pints (5 cups) fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk or cream
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
Easy Blueberry Pie. Courtesy: She Wears Many Hats
National Garlic Month
Garlic has been around for 6,000 years now and has been used as a seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe, before eventually being known worldwide. With its uniquely spicy, pungent taste, it's no wonder that it's one of the most loved seasonings all over the globe! Snacks like Roasted Garlic Pure with Rosemary and Sea Salt, as well as Garlic Knots can bring a foodie to a garlic high. If you're in the mood for something crunchy, garlic-flavored healthy chips will certainly hit the spot.
Garlic Rosemary Baked Sweet Potato Chips (from Oh My Veggies)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium sweet potato, very thinly sliced
1 tsp. rosemary, minced
coarsely ground sea salt
Garlic Rosemary Baked Sweet Potato Chips. Courtesy: Oh My Veggies