Aside from the obvious Night of Fright (aka Halloween), there are tons of reasons to celebrate during the month of October. It is officially autumn, which means cute, cozy fall apparel, your favorite chilly weather recipes, and beautiful foliage! October is jam-packed with fun, foodie holidays, international celebrations, and some weird, wonderful reasons to smile.
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October 1: World Vegetarian Day
Here's some good news for the whopping 375 million vegetarians around the world: Veggie-friendly food has come a long way since the bland tofu and homemade granola bites from days of old. These days, you can find a veggie version of nearly any dish, from classic shepherds pies to totally stacked burgers and cozy casseroles. Often times, the veggie versions are healthier than the originals. Try some of these recipes and we promise you won't even miss the meat!
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October 2: National Kale Day
Some people think of kale as a kind of bland, bitter, crunchy, cruciferous green that used to only be used as a garnish. With the right ingredients, this super healthy green can be totally delicious. Whether you add it to your favorite veggie soup, sautee it with ground sausage, pasta, and Parmesan cheese, or even blend it into a morning smoothie, kale will deliver a major dose of vitamins K and E, and gut-healthy fiber. It doesn't hurt that it tastes pretty darn good, either.
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October 3: Mean Girls Appreciation Day
A mid-2000s comedy classic, "Mean Girls" is more than just a movie, it's basically a way of life for some. Not only did "Mean Girls" give us old adages like, "On Wednesdays, we wear pink," or "Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen!" but it also solidified Tina Fey, the film's writer, as a comedic genius.
To celebrate Mean Girls Appreciation Day, start with an extra-large, pink polo shirt from your dad and make amends with anyone in your own personal Burn Book.
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October 4: Cinnamon Roll Day
Ooey, gooey, and best served warm with fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls are the definitive breakfast for those chilly, fall weekends. You can find store-bought cinnamon rolls anywhere, but this month, try prepping your own with homemade dough. If you really want to take your cinnamon rolls to the next level, layer pieces of lightly baked bacon into your strips of dough before baking. You won't be sorry.Continue to 5 of 31 below.
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October 5: World Card Making Day
Between work, endless household chores, and your kids' busy schedules, it can be tough to keep in touch with friends and family. On this day, dedicate a few minutes to crafting a handmade card for a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in a while. It doesn't have to be fancy; try an easy, DIYable idea. It's guaranteed to make your recipient's entire week.
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October 6: Garlic Lovers Day
Any garlic lover will tell you: When it comes to adding fresh garlic to food, don't let a recipe tell you how much to add; let your heart tell you. Then maybe just double up on the mouthwash after dinner. If you're not a total garlic lover, try roasting a bulb of garlic with olive oil and spreading the soft garlic over fresh, crusty bread.
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October 7: National Flower Day
Believe it or not, National Flower Day isn't in the springtime. It's a full-on fall festivity! If you want to save a few bucks on fresh flowers and give Mother Earth a bit of a break, opt for in-season blooms, like Russian sage, goldenrod, or Chrysanthemums. They're just as beautiful as more popular flowers but require fewer resources to grow and harvest during their peak season.
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October 8: National Pierogi DayContinue to 9 of 31 below.
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October 9: International Beer and Pizza Day
Chocolate and peanut butter. Lucy and Ethel. Macaroni and cheese. Some duos that are just so good, they basically demand celebration. Pizza and beer are just that!
Forget about your diet and dig into the cheesiest, greasiest pizza you can get your hands on, then wash it down with an ice cold beer. Looking for the perfect pairing? Opt for a crisp, hoppy brew to sip with your 'za. The bitterness of the beer will cut the richness of the pizza, leaving you with a perfectly balanced palate.
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October 11: Southern Food Heritage Day
Southern cooking has undergone a bit of a renaissance in the last few years, with chefs like Sean Brock blending classic, southern cooking with fine dining experiences.
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October 12: National Gumbo Day
This southern staple, which is actually the state food of Louisiana, is the definition of southern comfort food. With ingredients like fresh shellfish or meat, super strong stock, and the "Holy Trinity" (otherwise known as bell peppers, onions, and celery) homemade gumbo is packed with flavor. Add your favorite hot sauce or Cajun seasoning for an extra kick.Continue to 13 of 31 below.
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October 15: National Cheese Curd Day
No one ever said "cheese curd" was the most appealing name for a dish, but these deep-fried blobs of cheese are so ridiculously good, most of us can overlook their less-than-appetizing name. Whether you nom on some cheese curds in a classically Canadian poutine or eat them as a side, there's no wrong way to enjoy these bites.
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October 16: National Liqueur Day
Grab your cocktail glass and raise your pinkies: It's time to toast to National Liqueur Day. Sipped straight or mixed into a cocktail, liqueurs can add richness, sweetness, and warmth to nearly any cocktail hour.Continue to 17 of 31 below.
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October 17: National Pasta Day
Some say that pasta is the perfect food. Not only is it packed with super tasty gluten, but it's delicious hot or cold, with tomato sauce, olive oil, cheese, mayonnaise, or butter, and you can serve it with meat, veggies, or on its own.
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October 19: I Love Yarn Day
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October 20: National Brandied Fruit Day
Finding fresh peaches or strawberries in the middle of winter is no easy (or cheap) task. Preserving your fruits in alcohol makes it possible to enjoy seasonal flavors all year long. All you need is the fruit of your choice, white sugar, brown sugar, high-quality brandy, and one month or more.Continue to 21 of 31 below.
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October 22: Eat a Pretzel Day
Although they're incredibly simple to make, requiring only a handful of common ingredients, pretzels have an incredibly varied history around the world. It's said that they were invented by an Italian monk in 610 AD, then, helped prevent the Ottoman takeover of Vienna, Austria, in 1510, and eventually made it to America on the Mayflower. Honor its amazing history by digging into a hot, soft pretzel.
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October 24: National Bologna Day
Love it or hate it, this polarizing, bagged lunch staple has its very own day in October. If you're still not over the cold, slimy bologna of school lunches past, try a more grown-up version of a classic bologna sandwich.Continue to 25 of 31 below.
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October 25: National Breadstick Day
Carb lovers agree: The breadsticks in the bread basket are one of the best parts of going out to dinner. Fortunately, it's easy to recreate the bread basket experience at home. You only need a few pantry staples to bake your own garlicky, chewy breadsticks.
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October 26: National Pumpkin Day
With Halloween only five days away, it's pumpkin time! The uses for the season's favorite gourd are almost limitless. Create an amazing carved pumpkin for your doorstep, create an equally amazing uncarved pumpkin, make tasty pumpkin seeds with your favorite seasonings, or blend your pumpkins' flesh into muffins, pies, or carrot cake for a fresh, seasonal flavor.
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October 27: American Beer Day
There's much more to American beers than the bitter, flavorless brews bartenders sling by the thousands. In fact, the American craft beer movement has ushered in the Golden Age of Beer. With over 6,500 independent breweries operating in the United States, there's no shortage of creative, inventive, and totally unique beers. Check out your local brewery for a couple new-to-you beers, or try your hand at making your own beer at home.
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October 28: National Chocolate DayContinue to 29 of 31 below.
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October 29: National Cat Day
If you're a kitty parent, you know cats have so many characteristics to love and celebrate. They're absolutely adorable, cuddly (sometimes!), and incredibly judgmental. Today, give your kitty a little extra love by extending playtime, treating it to a fun, new toy, or maybe even letting your cat sample a little bit of catnip.
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October 30: Haunted Refrigerator Night
Old tuna salad. Spoiled milk. Some mystery blob wrapped up in tinfoil. Your refrigerator can be a scary place. Today's the day to conquer your fears and banish the ghosts of foods past by cleaning and organizing the fridge. Start by tossing any old, spoiled food, then, clean the interior surfaces and produce bins. Finally, reorganize your food.
Put your healthy food in the front and center of the fridge, so it's the first thing you see (and reach for) when you sneak a midnight snack.
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