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RECIPE: Cheesecake Celery Sticks For April Fool’s Day

A plate of Cheesecake Celery Sticks
[1] Crunchy cheesecake bites (photos #1 and #2 © Duda Fresh).

A bag of Dandy celery stalks
[2] Start with celery stalks.


So…you’d think that Cheesecake Celery Sticks are an April Fool’s Day joke.

After all…can crunchy celery sticks, a savory snack, be turned into a dessert with cheesecake filling and chocolate sauce?

Well…yes. April Fools!

> The history of April Fool’s Day.

> The history of cheesecake.

> The history of celery.

> More ways to use celery.

Is it a snack? Is it a dessert? You decide!
Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Dandy® Celery sticks, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 Graham crackers, crumbled
  • Garnish: Chocolate sauce, for garnish
    1. COMBINE in a bowl the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir well.

    2. SPREAD 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture evenly down the center of each celery stick.

    3. TOP each with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbles.

    4. GARNISH with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.




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    Easter Candy Charcuterie Board For An After-Dinner Treat

    Here’s a crowd pleaser of an idea for Easter dinner: an Easter candy “charcuterie board” (platter) at the end of the meal, instead of petit fours*.

    Candies and cookies take the place of the meats on an actual charcuterie board†.

    We serve ours at the end of the meal, after dessert, with coffee.

    You can either create a platter that’s kid-friendly, or a “gourmet” version for the sophisticated foodie crowd, with artisan Easter candies.

    You can substitute Easter cookies instead, or combine cookies and candy.

    If you’re creating an elegant board for connoisseurs, head to your favorite chocolatiers and augment with petite cookies like mini macarons.

    And you can apply the same principles to a Christmas candy or Valentine candy charcuterie board. It’s an all-celebration concept.

    And because it’s arranged in advance, you can hide the board from your guests and bring it out as an after-dinner surprise.

    Thanks to the International Charcuterie Association for inspiring this article.
    STEP 1: Select a tray, platter, or cheese board as the base. It doesn’t have to be large; after eating dinner, people’s capacity for candy will be smaller. Trays with a rim are better to contain the candies after people start to dig in.

    Provide small paper or plastic cups (muffin/cupcake liners work) and serving spoons for people can help themselves.
    STEP 2: Pick Your Treats

    Focus on the color palette (as in the photos) to make your board pop.

    Check out candies in Easter colors or pastels, or gold or color-foil-wrapped:

  • Candy sticks
  • Chocolate–coated mini pretzels
  • Gum drops
  • Jelly beans
  • M&Ms
  • Marshmallows or Peeps
  • Mini chocolate bunnies (check out the foiled wrapped bunnies from Lindt, photo #4)
  • Mini chocolate/malted eggs
  • Mini cookies
  • Mini PB cups or Reese’s mini PB eggs
  • Sour lemon drops or other sour candy
  • Anything else that looks good
    Also look for

  • Candy grass (photo #3) to decorate the board and roll into nests to hold jelly beans

    These are different types of sweets served at the end of a meal with coffee. Liqueurs can also be served.

    Mignardises (min-yar-DEEZ), from the French for “preciousness,” belong to the group of after-dinner cookies called petit-fours (French for “small baked pastries”).

    Petit-fours (pronounced petty-foor) are tiny cakes or other tiny baked goods, like mini macaroons and other mini cookies. The words are French for “small ovens” but mean “small baked pastries.”

    There are many varieties of petit-four; the most familiar in the U.S. is a one-inch-square layered sponge cake, filled with butter cream and iced in a variety of colored fondants, often with tiny roses or other piped embellishments (photo #6). A truly American addition to a petit-fours plate would be mini cupcakes.

    In France, this style is not common; and there are confections that can be included on a petit-fours plate. See Friandises, below. that are not baked at all.

    There are two styles of petit-fours: glacée (iced) and sec (dry).

  • Petit-fours glacées or frais (fresh) include filled and/or iced petit-fours, miniature babas, miniature éclairs, tiny iced cakes and tartlets.
  • Petit-fours secs (i.e., they don’t have to be eaten fresh like cake) include small cookies, macaroons, madeleines, meringues, palmiers and tuiles.
    Friandises (free-yon-DEEZ), from the French for “delicate,” are another interchangeable term.

    While some people simply include them under the banner of petit-fours, friandises are actually non-baked confections such as glazed or chocolate-dipped fruit, marzipan, small truffles and other chocolates (e.g. bonbons), marzipan, and nut clusters.

    > The history of Easter candy and the Easter basket.

    > The history of Easter eggs.

    > The history of the Easter ham.
    †Charcuterie, a popular first course or board to serve with cocktails, can include ballotines, confit, galantines, pâtés, sausages, terrines, primarily made from pork. Here’s more about them.



    Easter Candy On A Platter
    [1] It’s easy to put together an Easter “charcuterie” board, substituting candy for charcuterie (photo © Taste Of Home | TMB Studio).

    An assortment of Easter Candy on a platter
    [2] A mixture of cookies and candy (photo © Lil Luna—here’s how she made it).

    A coil of Easter Candy Edible Grass filled with jelly beans
    [3] Candy grass can hold jelly beans or other candy, then eaten (photo © The Typical Mom.

    Lindt Mini Chocolate Bunny
    [4] Gold foil-wrapped mini bunnies add glimmer to the board (photo © Lindt USA).

    A tray of Easter candy and cookies
    [5] A mix of candy and cookies, with an army of chicken and bunny Peeps (photo © Galloway Grazes | Instagram).

    A platter of Easter Petit Fours on a pretty plate
    [6] Easter petit-fours (photo © Mackenzie Ltd.).

    Mini chocolate Easter eggs with a speckled candy coating
    [7] Modern mignardises: We have always loved these speckled eggs with candy exteriors and silken ganache insides from artisan chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt | Chocopologie (photo © Williams Sonoma).



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    Pinkglow Pink Pineapples For Easter & Mother’s Day

    A Del Monte Pinkglow Pineapple, sliced to show its beautiful pink color
    [1] The beautiful Pinkglow® Pineapple (all photos © Fresh Del Monte).

    Del Monte Pinkglow Pineapple in a fruit salad
    [2] A memorable tropical fruit salad.

    Del Monte Pinkglow Pineapple Arriving By FedEx
    [3] Order online and this beautiful box arrives.


    A truly delightful gift for any foodie is Fresh Del Monte’s Pinkglow® Pineapple. It looks like a regular pineapple on the outside, but the flesh is rosy pink through and through.

    Gift it for Easter, Mother’s Day, hostess gifts, or any occasion where delicious, nutritious, low-calorie* fruit is appreciated.

    This unique, exclusive gift comes with pink presentation packaging that showcases the world’s first and only fresh pink pineapple.

    Beyond its captivating appearance, the pineapple offers a juicier and less tart (sweeter) flavor than traditional varieties.

    Fresh Del Monte’s Pinkglow® Pineapple derives its unique pink color from lycopene, a natural pigment and well-known antioxidant found in red-colored produce such as cranberries, grapes, tomatoes, and watermelons.

    The pineapple was bred to produce lower levels of certain enzymes already in a conventional pineapple. These enzymes convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene that creates the color of traditional pineapple flesh. Less of those enzymes leads to pink pineapple.

    After 16 years of development, Fresh Del Monte Produce released Pinkglow pineapples in 2020: a singular, luxurious fruit.

    The pineapples grow on a select farm in the south-central region of Costa Rica, which has the ideal soil and climate to produce them.

    For more information including online purchasing and delicious recipes, head to

    The fruit is available for shipping across the U.S.† and Canada, nicely packaged.

    You also can find Del Monte’s Pinkglow Pineapple at select local retailers, starting at $14.99.

    Until the broadscale cultivation of pineapples in the 1900s, a pineapple brought to Europe from South America was very costly.

    It was a gift given to kings and nobles. Pineapples remained so uncommon and coveted that King Charles II of England posed with one in an official portrait (see the portrait).

    For lesser wealthy mortals, a pineapple centerpiece on a formal dining table said much about a family’s affluence and rank in society.

    Guests were delighted just to see a pineapple. It wasn’t eaten. The fruits were so expensive and so much in demand that confectioners would often rent them by the day!

    > Here’s more on the history of pineapple.

    *A cup of pineapple has 82 calories and delivers 131% of your daily value of vitamin C.

    †Pineapple cannot be shipped to Hawaii.




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    Riedel Tumbler Glasses, A Lovely & Calorie-Free Easter Gift

    For an Easter gift idea that isn’t chocolate, take a look at these charming Happy O tumblers.

    The set includes 4 tumblers with color insets in pink, green, yellow, and blue, which not only add color to the Easter table. The pretty pastels are perfect for spring and summer.

    The color is only in the base of the glass, so it doesn’t interfere with the appearance of your beverages while it adds a charming note.

    Happy O tumblers are ideal for all drinks from juice to water—and wine, of course.

    While you can serve wine in all-purpose Happy O’s, of course, Riedel makes tumblers—stemless glassware with bowls shaped to accommodate individual wines.

    The bowls are shaped specifically to showcase Cabernet/Merlot, Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo, Viognier/Chardonnay, white wine, whiskey, and others.

    Introduced in 2004, Riedel’s The O Wine Tumbler was the first varietal-specific wine tumbler in history—a revelation for wine drinkers who wanted an alternative to stemware (clumsy to hold, too often breakable).

    Since most people moved away from holding the stem to holding the glass by the bowl, why not just create a series of tumblers.

    O is an innovative take on the casual wine glass, based on the benchmark shapes of Riedel’s Vinum series—premium stemware with bowls to bring out the best aromas and flavors specific varietals.

    Better yet, the O Tumbler fits into every dishwasher so broken stems are a thing of the past.

    Head to Riedel.

    And while you’re there, look at all the fine glassware.

    For a wine connoisseur, the Tasting Set contains four glasses from the Riedel Veloce series: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

    These are the glasses that we use for our fine wines, and you’ll be surprised at the big difference they make.

    Just try your wines from generic wine glasses and then discover how the shape and size of a Riedel wine-specific glass enhances your perception of aroma and flavor.

    Riedel is an Austrian company that has been making fine glassware since 1756. A long-standing tradition of craftsmanship and innovation in glass-making—and their breakthrough engineering of fine wine glasses, specifically tailored to different wine varietals—have proven themselves to enhance the enjoyment of wine.

    Extensive research and development has shown wine connoisseurs that the shape and design of a glass can significantly impact the taste and aroma of wine. Each glass type is optimized for a specific wine varietal, including Champagne.

    And for people who don’t want so many different glasses, they have engineered better wine glasses for red wines and white wines.

    The company also produces spirits glasses and decanters, all crafted with the same level of precision and attention to detail.

    The brand is highly regarded by wine enthusiasts and professionals alike for its quality, craftsmanship, and ability to enhance the sensory experience of enjoying wine. It’s always a welcome gift.


    Riedel Happy O Tumblers
    [1] Riedel’s Happy O tumblers (photos #1, #2, and #4 © Riedel The Wine Glass Company).

    Riedel Happy O Tumblers
    [2] The pastel bases, in pink, green, blue, and yellow, add a happy spot of color without altering the color of the beverage.

    Riedel tumblers on a kitchen counter
    [3] Fill the perky tumblers with any beverage you like—or with desserts, too, like ice cream and pudding (photo © Dillard’s).

    Riedel Yellow-Base Tumbler
    [4] Riedel is always elegant.

    > The history of wine.

    > The different types of whiskey.


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    It’s Pi Day. How Far Would You Travel For An Iconic Pie?

    A slice of Boston Cream Pie
    [1] The winner: Boston Cream Pie. Here’s a recipe. (photo © Taste Of Home).

    A Bumbleberry Pie cut into slices
    [2] Bumbleberry, a mixed berry pie. Here’s a recipe (photo © King Arthur Baking).

    A slice of Apple Pie A La Mode, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
    [3] Sweet, tart, and crisp Honeycrisp apples are great for pie—and everything else. Here’s the history of apple pie and numerous twists on the classic recipe. (photo © Good Eggs).

    A Strawberry Balsamic Pie with a lattice top, slice removed
    [4] This strawberry pie has a touch of balsamic for an exciting layer of taste. Here’s the recipe along with how to buy strawberries (photo © The Baker Chick).

    Pecan Pie
    [5] The history of pecan pie and a delicious recipe (photo © Good Eggs).

    A slice of   Lime pie topped with whipped cream and a slice of lime
    [6] Key lime pie: light, tangy, delish. Here’s a recipe and the history of Key lime pie (photo © David Hsu | Dreamstime).

    A Peanut Butter Pie topped with peanut halves around the rim
    [7] Peanut butter pie: what could be better? Here’s a recipe (photo © King Arthur Baking).

    A pan of Wildberry Slab Pie
    [8] A pan of Wildberry Slab Pie. Here’s more about slab pie (photo © King Arthur Baking).


    National Pi Day is celebrated across the U.S. on March 14th. Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, March 14th was selected because the numerical date (3/14) represents the first three digits of the mathematical constant π (pi), which is approximately equal to 3.14.

    It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday (photo #9)!

    Pi Day is a day celebration among mathematicians, engineers, physicists, educators, and students. There are pi memorization competitions* along with discussions on the significance of pi in various fields of science and engineering.

    But what about the rest of us? Some time, somewhere, someone got the idea of baking a pie with the π symbol on top. That caught on: Today’s a day for pie-baking?

    But what about the rest of us? Well, we can find the nearest piece of pie and dig in Even though there’s an official National Pie Day on December 1st, individuals and communities find a delicious way to engage with the spirit of the day.

    Schools, bakeries, and households across the country partake in pie-making and pie-eating contests, pie bake-offs, and even educational events that incorporate pie recipes to teach mathematical concepts.

    Pies in America come in an astonishing variety, each telling a story of regional ingredients, historical traditions, and cultural influences.

    Mixbook, a #1-rated photobook company, conducted a survey of 3,000 devoted pie aficionados to discover how far they would be prepared to travel for that perfect pie experience; that is, savoring a state’s signature pie right where it belongs. Each state boasts its signature pie, an edible emblem of its culture and local produce

  • Imagine savoring a slice of authentic Key Lime Pie in the sunny climes of South Beach, Miami…
  • Delighting in the creamy richness of a Boston Cream Pie in downtown Boston, or…
  • Enjoying the juicy tang of a Marionberry Pie in the lush Pacific Northwest?
    Mixbook ran a survey of 3,000 devoted pie aficionados to discover how far they would travel for that perfect pie experience; that is, savoring a state’s signature pie in its proper state.

    Here are the pies, in order of how long survey responders would be willing to travel to the particular state for a piece of the signature pie.

    Thanks to Mixbook for these interest look at pie desirability.

    We’re not questioning the methodology are the results—which often are just a minute apart in placement.

    For example: Why these 10 pies?

    Who put Cactus Pie on the list, and why?

    Regardless of the outcome, we think it’s a fun read on Pi Day.
    1. Boston Cream Pie, Massachusetts: 2 Hours 32 Minutes.

    Boston Cream Pie emerged in first place: Pie aficionados said they would be prepared to travel for over two and a half hours to eat one of these in the Bay State (photo #1). Despite its name, Boston Cream Pie is a cake that layers custard or cream between sponge cake, and is topped with a rich chocolate glaze. Originating in Boston in 1856, the combination of moist cake, creamy filling, and chocolatey topping makes this a must-try. Here’s more about it, and a recipe.
    2. Bumbleberry Pie, North Dakota: 2 Hours 31 Minutes.

    Placing second, and just 1 minute behind, comes North Dakota’s Bumbleberry Pie (photo #2). This mixed berry pie, a combination of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, is a perfect balance of sweet and tart. The burst of flavors from various berries makes it a unique treat—not to mention all those antioxidents. Here’s a recipe.
    3. Honeycrisp Apple Pie, Minnesota: 2 Hours 28 Minutes.

    Utilizing the locally developed Honeycrisp apple, this pie is known for its juicy, flavorful filling that’s both sweet and crisp. Devotees are willing to journey just under two and a half hours for a slice that encapsulates Minnesota’s fresh take on American staple’s favorite pie. The distinctive taste of Honeycrisp apples is a fresh twist on the traditional apple pie. Here’s the history of apple pie and numerous twists on the classic recipe.
    4. Strawberry Pie, Oklahoma: 2 Hours 27 Minutes.

    With its bright, sweet filling made of fresh strawberries, often in a glaze, and topped with whipped cream, Oklahoma’s Strawberry Pie is a celebration of simplicity and flavor (photo #4). It’s a summertime favorite but you can find good strawberries year-round.
    5. Pecan Pie, Texas: 2 Hours 23 Minutes.

    This Texan staple, with its rich filling of pecans, eggs, butter, and sugar, set in a flaky crust, embodies the soul of Southern desserts (phptp #5). Often served with whipped cream, its indulgent, nutty flavor is a testament to Texas’ culinary heritage, making it a sought-after treat. The history of pecan pie and a delicious recipe.
    6. Key Lime Pie, Florida: 2 Hours 22 Minutes.

    The zesty and creamy Key Lime Pie (photo #6) is Florida’s claim to fame. With its perfect balance of tart and sweet, set in a graham cracker crust, this pie is as refreshing as a tropical breeze in the Florida Keys. It’s no wonder that pie aficionados are drawn to the Sunshine State. Here’s recipe and here’s the history of Key lime pie.
    7. Peanut Butter Pie, Virginia: 2 Hours 21 Minutes.

    With a rich filling of peanut butter, often accompanied by whipped cream and peanuts, Virginia’s Peanut Butter Pie is a smooth, nutty treat (photo #7). It’s a comforting slice of Americana that dates back to the Colonies. Here’s a recipe and here’s the history of peanut butter (photo © King Arthur Baking).
    8. Wild Berry Pie, Alaska: 2 Hours 19 Minutes.

    Alaska’s Wild Berry Pie is a berry good pie (photo #8). A mix of native berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and salmonberries†, offers a bold flavor adventure. It’s similar to, but different from, North Dakota’s bumbleberry pie (pie and photo #2). Here’s more about slab pie.
    9. Cactus Pie, Arizona: 2 Hours 16 Minutes.

    We were a bit confused about Cactus Pie, unique to Arizona. Is it nopalito cactus pie, or prickly pear cactus pie? The latter delivers a sweet and slightly tart cactus fruit filling. The taste of the fruit is almost like raspberries meet cotton candy, with a bright reddish-purplish-pink hue. Here’s a recipe.
    10. Chocolate Cream Pie, Nevada: 2 hours 14 Minutes.

    Nevada’s Chocolate Cream Pie is chocolate personified. Its luscious texture and velvety chocolate custard, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, make it a lavish indulgence.
    > If these don’t suit your fancy, Yahoo has a display of the iconic pies of all 50 states.

    > The history of pie.

    > The different types of pie: a photo glossary.
    *It seems incredible, but the most decimal places of pi memorized is 70,000!!! It was achieved by Rajveer Meena at the VIT University in Vellore, India, on 21 March 2015. Rajveer wore a blindfold throughout the entire recall, which took nearly 10 hours. He is now in the Guinness World Records book [source: Guinness World Records].

    †Salmonberries, also known as thimbleberries or Alaskan berries, are similar in size and shape to raspberries. Acording to the taxonomy developed by Carl Linnaeus, their botanical name in the family Rosaceae—the rose family, is Rubus spectabilis. Salmonberries are actually a species of rose! The plant is native to the west coast of North America.



    [9] Happy birthday, Albert Einstein: March 14, 1879 to April 18, 1955 (photo taken 1921 by F. Schmutzer | Wikipedia).
    A photo of Albert Einstein in front of a blackboard


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