[FHCx213] National Raspberry Cake Day/National Jump for Jelly Beans Day

Blow a raspberry at someone!


Jump for Jelly Beans day is NOT Jelly Beans Day. Been there, done that. Instead, today celebrates the acting of jumping for said beans. Why? Enthusiastic leaping is just something that needs to be done. If SPAK were to invent a few holidays in this vein, only to revisit foods we love, we might include

  • Squeal for Banana Cream Pie Day
  • Making Wild Hand Gestures for Spaghetti Day
  • Do a Backflip for Baked Alaska Day

or other obnoxious titles. Still, we force ourselves to continue on the tradition of food holidays so… SP put the jelly beans on the top shelf of the cabinet.

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We jumped. Yay.

AK had a recipe handed off to her from cousin SPamy for a raspberry cake. Essentially, you take a white cake mix and infuse some frozen raspberries into it, making it very pink.

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Ooooooooooh hurts your retinas, don’t it?

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The frosting is a bit of Cool Whip and some of the raspberry sauce we froze a few months ago

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Overall, pretty good. Could be better, but we did what we had to. We’ll try again tomorrow for National Raspberry Cream Pie Day! Somebody needs to use up their raspberries we guess…


[FHCx212] National Cheesecake Day

How many cheesecakes is this? C’mon…


Some people would be happy to eat cheesecake every day. There’s not much around here that really brings the boom when it comes to cheesecake, except maybe Muddy Paws, and that’s hard to get a handle on because of the advance ordering. We have come to find that the days where we get to make stuff or go to a fabulous local place are the days we like best. That being said, cheesecake. Archer Farms.

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Triple Chocolate.


Tomorrow is National Raspberry Cake Day and National Jump for Jelly Beans Day!


[FHCx211] National Lasagna Day/National Chicken Wing Day

It is so hard to pick which of these we liked better today…


For our lunch today, we headed out to Oakdale for the undisputed king of chicken wings in the Twin Cities: D-Spot. In the past year, they moved out of their former tiny space into a really amazing new lot about a quarter mile away. These wings are capital G Good. They clock in at 85 different flavors in multiple categories, including Savory, Sweet, and Spicy (ranging from “spicy” to “death row”).

Do yourself a favor and go read their menu for a bit. It’s very difficult to make choices. Do I want something really extravagant? Maybe the “Snackers” – peanut butter, caramel, crushed nuts, chocolate, and sea salt? (Yes, it’s amazing.) Or maybe I want to burn my tongue off? Well we picked three:

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Frenchy: Caramelized onion with a sweet balsamic reduction

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SP‘s favorite, Tarantula: Soy glaze, roasted garlic, chili, dry rub, fried garlic

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Bathala’s Bliss: Ginger, honey, chili, peanut butter, lime, cilantro

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It’s hard to characterize these fries but they are SO good. Seasoned and served with a “special yellow sauce.”

We could barely walk after eating these delicious wings. SP had wing glaze all over his moustache. However, we did manage to get ourselves up enough to go bowling and push some of the calories out. That was before we got home to make Lasagna.

Picture time!

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2 cups part-skim cheese

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Mix with 1 container of part-skim Ricotta

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93% lean ground beef and some hot italian sausage

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Lay down about a cup of sauce first

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A few lasagna sheets

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Spread on more sauce

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3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and then spread it!

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Some meat…

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Repeat, repeat, repeat, and then top off with some more sauce and cheese.

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Bake at 375. Boom.

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Garfield would have a fit.

We love pasta as it is, and making stuff like this at home is a lot of fun! Next time we could lighten it up even more, but it was really tasty as is. The hot italian sausage kept things interestingly spicy, and the ricotta was smooth and creamy. Mmmm.

Tomorrow is National Cheesecake Day!


[FHCx210] National Chili Dog Day/National Milk Chocolate Day

Chocolate chili, anybody?


Chocolate is chocolate. Purists will dismiss things like milk chocolate and white chocolate. But in reality, milk chocolate isn’t all that bad! We got some chocolate from Choco Love. Pretty good stuff!

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Today is also Chili Dog Day. There are a few restaurants in the Twin Cities that do amazing dogs: Chris and Rob’s, The Wienery, and Prairie Dogs. Prairie Dogs, especially, is known for making some badass chili – you can tell they’re good on it because they serve chili cheese fries. So we made the trip down to uptown (which is south of downtown) to get our dog on. And it was absolutely amazing. You need to go to Prairie Dogs immediately.

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The “Split Open and Melt” – Chili, Hook’s cheddar spread, mustard, and raw onions. Chili Cheese Fries on the side. Messy. Delicious.

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Not a chili dog. The “Pliny the Elder” – Duck fat fried hot dog, foie gras torchon, and currant apple relish. Also messy. Also delicious.

The chili is just what you need for a dog. Super meaty. No beans. A little kick and very, very, very saucy. Gets everywhere. We will dream of these dogs tonight.

Tomorrow is National Chicken Wing Day and National Lasagna Day!


[FHCx209] National Chicken Finger Day/National Creme Brulee Day/National Scotch Day



This is not the first time that there is a “national” holiday (in the US) for a definitively non-US item. While SP‘s friend SPalex loves scotch, SPAK treats it similarly to whiskey, bourbon, etc. and files it under the “alcohol is really hit-or-miss” category. In comes some Johnnie Walker Red Label, one of the only scotches to come in a mini bottle so we don’t spend money that we wouldn’t actually use.

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Now let’s get a little sweet. Creme Brulee is not one of the desserts that we’d find ourselves ordering over, say, a chocolate cake or a BCP (banana cream pie). However, it is good in its own rite and we’d be happy to have some to celebrate the day. It’s one of those ooooold French desserts that others tried to appropriate for their own. In fact, Trinity College in the UK was so well-known for their burnt cream – with theirs having the college logo branded into the top – that they had to issue a statement saying, “we didn’t invent this.”

We know Lund’s & Byerly’s bakery section makes a pretty terrific one, so we had to get our hands on it.

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And now for the important part.

SP is getting emotional again.

Back when SP was a child, there was a restaurant in South Minneapolis called Rochelle’s. Even with a little googling, there seems to be very little record of its existence. See, Rochelle’s made what they called, “Turkey Dippers.” Flash-fried in a special fryer, this turkey dippers were the lifeforce of a young SP. But all good things must come to an end. He just didn’t understand in his young brain why a restaurant would close.

Years later, some of the same people opened up shop in Apple Valley, calling themselves Top Notch Turkey. Again, no record of this happening. And despite SP‘s concerted effort, the restaurant still closed. No one but SP wanted those delicious, uncannily amazing breaded and fried turkey “fingers.”

And so SP spent the rest of his life living out this grief with the help of Chicken Fingers to soften the blow. He had a rating system when he was about 9-10 years old of the many different places that had chicken fingers. Among the top was Doolittle’s Air Cafe (as it was once known). He wrote them fan mail to express his love for their chicken fingers and barbecue sauce. When they rebranded as Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill, they still kept chicken fingers on a secret menu just for him and they do TO THIS DAY.

When SPAK moved into this house last July, we heard notice that we’d be getting a Raising Cane’s in the area. Now it’s within walking distance. And for a place that only has 5 things on the menu, you know they have to get each of those pretty damn perfect. Though they don’t have their own barbecue sauce for chicken fingers, as is customary for SP, their Cane’s Sauce is still really good. If you like chicken fingers with honey mustard, go home and reevaluate your life.

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Oh yeah. Look at that pile of beige.

It’s no turkey dipper. But nothing really is. If former Rochelle’s employees are out there… please get in touch.

Tomorrow is Milk Chocolate Day and Chili Dog Day!


[FHCx208] National Coffee Milkshake Day/National Bagelfest Day

Ice cream ahoy!


Well, it’s not the date for Bagelfest this year. See, Lender’s Bagels moved in to Mattoon, Illinois and proclaimed the city the Bagel Capital of the World. Ridiculous. Then they started this annual festival at the end of July called Bagelfest, which has had parades and performances from the likes of 38 Special and Zac Brown Band. This year, the festival was held this past weekend, but all of our sources (we shouldn’t just trust everything we initially read, eh?) told us today was the day. Even news outlets were reporting that it was Bagelfest Day and nobody was the wiser.

Before work this morning, SP and AK took a trip to Bruegger’s to get some bagel action.

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Open-facing a bagel makes it take twice as long to get through and lets you enjoy each bite a little more. However, more cream cheese is likely to get in SP‘s moustache that way.

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Red onion and lox are also not optional for most bagel outings.

This evening we had to spoil the amazingness of today’s bagel morning with a coffee-flavored something-or-other. Neither of us like coffee very much at all. Blame our parents? Could be worse. We could be weirdos who hate bananas.

We landed our coffee milkshake thanks to Conny’s Cream Cone, which we’ve written about before. We got a mocha milkshake which we consumed about 1/3 of. Coffee. Not even once.

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They make really good ice cream, so it wasn’t all for naught.

Tomorrow is a triple day again: Chicken Finger Day, Creme Brulee Day, and Scotch Day.


[FHCx207] National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Can’t get enough sundaes…


July, a.k.a. National Ice Cream Month, powers forward with yet another ice cream celebration in the form of a sundae on a Monday. Here we spotlight hot fudge sauce in all its glory. That antipode mix of hot, molten fudge and cold, creamy ice cream is just a terrific mixture to make you feel gooey inside.

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Tomorrow is Bagelfest Day and National Coffee Milkshake Day. Had enough ice cream yet?


[FHCx205] National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Vanilla is not bland!


We still can’t believe that “vanilla” frequently means “plain.” Just because it was the most popular and frequently procured ice cream flavor led to it being the basic choice. The usual.

Well we wanted to do something unusual, and of all people, Delta and American Express helped out. They came around in food trucks to multiple cities this summer (and have more to visit) to give away ice cream sandwiches to Delta SkyMiles cardholders like SP.

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From the Delta AmEx perks site

We stood out in the pouring rain to get our hands on these suckers. Since the Pie in the Sky was the one with the vanilla base, that was our choice! The cookie was like the texture of a french macaron and the ice cream was absolutely amazing. Creamy and smooth and melty.

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Water, water, everywhere… and ice cream sandwiches!

Thanks AmEx!

Tomorrow is National Tequila Day.


[FHCx204] National Penuche Fudge Day

It’s not really fudge is it?


Panucci is kinda like a fudge. It’s got most of the ingredients like butter and milk, but it has no chocolate. Instead, you get a lot of flavor from using brown sugar and it tastes caramely. Imagine having both penuche and regular fudge together!

We got our penuche fudge from a great candy store at MoA, Northwoods Candy Emporium. They have all sorts of great fudge – you can skip the “Mountain Dude” fudge, though.

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Left: Classic penuche. Right: Penuche with caramel swirl.

Rich and buttery. Mmm mmm mmm.

Tomorrow is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!