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How to Celebrate Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day on November 8

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We often get into a habit of sticking with almost the same rotation of foods and not straying too much from the norm. Some of it is
Photo copyright belongs to Spicy Bear via Flickr
the comfort of sticking to foods we know or that are easy to cook, while it also partly has to do with the uneasiness of trying the unknown. On November 8, it's your chance to cook something a bit different – it's Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day! Don't let the words "bold" and "pungent" intimidate you. There's varying degrees of each from the mild end of the spectrum to the incredibly strong. Regardless of your preference, there are a variety of ways to celebrate the day in NYC.

Try new recipes

There are so many delicious recipes that may be bold and pungent, but aren't overwhelming. One of the best things about cooking at home is that you can adjust the level of spices according to your preference. Three recipes you might enjoy are "Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe," "Bold Vegan Chili," and "Ginger Chili Citrus Salmon." One of my absolute favorite dishes is Pad Thai – if you want to try to make it yourself, check out the recipe on FoodNetwork.com.

Buy fresh food

There are fantastic places all over NYC to get fresh, delicious food. Two places that stand out as having a large selection are Eataly on 5th Avenue and Whole Foods, which has several locations across NYC. You may want to have something small to eat before you go to either of these places. You'll already want to eat almost everything there (fresh cheese anyone?!), and without a snack beforehand, you might be even more tempted to try to eat your way through the store.

Buy new spices

When you want spices in NYC, go to Kalustyan's on Lexington Avenue. They've been open since 1944 and carry foods and spices from absolutely everywhere – Spain, Vietnam, Italy, Tunisia, the West Indies, and more. They have over thirty types of chili powder and dried whole chilies alone including Smoked Jalapeno, Habanero, and Bird's Eye Chili. This is one must-visit spot on Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day on November 8.

Choose a wine

Choosing the right bottle of wine to complement what you're eating can make both the wine and the food taste even better. If you're not sure what to pick, Grand Wine Cellar has a fantastic and very detailed Food & Wine Pairing Guide. Chances are the type of food you're eating is on the list, so you'll easily be able to choose the right wine.

Host a pot luck

What's more fun than cooking new foods and sharing them with loved ones? Arrange to have family and friends come over for a pot luck – ask each person to bring one or two dishes, a few bold spices, or a bottle of wine that complements the food being served.

If you're not the type of person who typically tries new foods, Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day on November 8 is your excuse to do so. You can learn new recipes, discover new spices, and taste foods that could become your new favorites. After giving your palate a bit of a wake-up call, you may be even more inspired to keep it up.

Photo copyright belongs to Spicy Bear via Flickr
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Why? It's a chance to introduce yourself to bold new foods and spices.
When: November 8
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