[FHCx366] National Champagne Day



366 days straight of food holiday challenges. No retrospective in this post. No “here’s our favorites.” Nah, we’ll save that for another time. We have to get to the NYE partying!

And in true SPAK spirit, we want to avoid the actual alcohol (and fizziness for AK specifically) and circumvent the process. Not only that, but we’d probably have people arguing over what’s “real” champagne anyway. So we got these two things from Sugarfina – thanks looking out, SPom!


Champagne gummi bears and Champagne Marshmallows! The gummi bears tasted like gummi bears.


The marshmallows had actual gold on them which made them kind of expensive. They were also super squishy and delicate. Not your Stay Puft kind of mallow.

Well that’s it! A full trip around the food holiday calendar. Tomorrow is National Bloody Mary Day, but you probably already knew that!

Happy New Year, and thanks for all the support in our Food Holiday Challenge! Stay tuned in 2017 for further blog posts.


[FHCx355] National Sangria Day



We’ve made it to the last alcoholiday, with the exception of Champagne Day on 12/31.

When SP hears the word “Sangria,” he thinks white people with boxed wine.


In reality, Sangria is a little bit more classy. The Spanish give us this wine kind of thing that they just call “blood” and we accept it. Alright. Well we weren’t going to try to make ours at home, but we could certainly buy a bottle of a “REAL” sangria from Total Wine.



Yep. Tastes like wine.

Moving on… Tomorrow is National Fried Shrimp Day!


[FHCx345] National Lager Day

“Sure is Lager. I’ll tell ya that.”


Lager. The one word used to describe the nondescript-est beer ever. Ya know, Miller, Budweiser, Beck’s, and so on. All of the types that are basically carbonated water that once maybe had a hint of beer and are now just weird and kinda yucky. No offense to lager lovers. There must be a market for it, otherwise there wouldn’t be so damn many kinds.

Lager is the Kristen Stewart of beers. We’ll put it that way.

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Yep, real warm and festive…

Wish we could say we were done with the alcoholidays but we still have more ahead!

Tomorrow is National Noodle Ring 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!


[FHCx201] National Daiquiri Day

Hey! How come I didn’t get a little umbrella?


Here in Minnesota we have moved up from Excessive Heat Watch to Excessive Heat Warning for the next two days. When the air temperature is over 100 and the humidity/dew point/air pressure makes it feel more like 115, it gets very unpleasant. Don’t go outside. Usually, they’ll tell people if they don’t have AC to go to a place like the mall.

Even though we have AC, we wanted to get some activity in today, so we went to the Mall of America to cool off and have a daiquiri.

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Strawberry Island Daiquiri!

Cold and refreshing, and not too boozy. Super sugary to make you feel like you’ve got a little more energy.

Tomorrow is National Lollipop Day!


[FHCx192] National Pina Colada Day/National Pick Blueberries Day

We got caught in no rain today.


There aren’t many places to pick blueberries around here. AK is able to pick them out at the grocery store…

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We also found things that look kinda like blueberries while out on a Pokemon Go safari today. We didn’t actually pick these because we would probably die.

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Delicious but deadly? We may never know!

The day didn’t specifically say to eat the blueberries… soooo… whatever.


We went to the Mall of America today since we knew this picture would be appropriate. Margaritaville has been under construction for several years. And every time we pass by, we imagine what could have been: dudes with visor tan lines sitting at a bar with their backs to many drunk women on a bachelorette party night.

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It was also appropriate to go to the MoA because of the Corona-owned Cantina #1. We had no idea that this pina colada was going to be a big spectacle! The “Eroticolada” is “Cruzan coconut rum and Dekuyper Luscious Melon schnapps” mixed with creme de coconut. Well that’s neat. HOW ABOUT SERVING IT IN A COCONUT?!

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That probably took some effort…

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Needless to say, we didn’t get through it all. It tasted hardly boozy, which probably means that it was incredibly boozy. A nice cool breeze of a drink on a hot Minnesota afternoon.

Tomorrow is National Blueberry Muffin Day and National Mojito Day!



[FHCx151] National Mint Julep Day

Happy Memorial Day!


Mint Julep was one of those alcoholic beverages that we knew very little about. Hey! I see you there, judging us! Stop thinking that we’re party-poopers just because we aren’t alcoholics!

AK figured that it was basically lemonade but mint instead of lemon. SP thought it involved gin of some sort and that old, rich people in the South drank it. They’re kind of right. Basically, it’s a mojito with bourbon instead of rum. Hooray, Kentucky. We used Wikipedia’s Recipe.

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Powdered sugar, spearmint, water, and bourbon

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1 tsp of sugar, 2 tsp water, and four mint leaves.

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Crushed ice!

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Add 4 tbsp of bourbon and stir.

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Garnish with a mint leaf!

Big surprise: it wasn’t our favorite. We’re sure you bourbon-lovers out there would really enjoy it, though!

Tomorrow is National Macaroon Day. Macaron? Macaroon?



[FHCx17] Hot Buttered Rum Day

It’s still negative degrees outside! What a perfect time for…


After the Hot Toddy debacle last week, we were a teeny bit scared of hot buttered rum. Neither of us drink very often so, before looking at any recipes, we were intimidated by the potential of a huge rum-to-everything-else ratio. But, it turns out the “butter” portion of the name rings incredibly true! Besides, rum is a lot easier to handle than whiskey. Most of the time.

Our original plan was to make grog, but then we found out that it’s not supposed to contain butter, thereby disqualifying it from Hot Buttered Rum Day. So, onto the next plan. First, there was the challenge of picking a recipe from probably thousands floating around on the internet. At first we were leaning toward an Emeril Lagasse recipe, but his called for an entire bottle of rum and we didn’t want to commit to that. In the end, we went with Rachael Ray’s recipe.



We followed the recipe for the most part, except for a few minor changes — we left out the cloves and cinnamon sticks because we didn’t have any and they seemed fairly nonessential, and rather than using regular unsalted butter we used the Land O’ Lakes light butter that we tend to use for most things.

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Pretty decadent stuff.

SURPRISE, it’s delicious. With all that sugar and butter, though, how could it not be? They are still pretty boozy but the rum itself is in the background compared to all the sugar and spice. While the recipe says it yields four servings, we just split it into two because we have really big mugs. We only ended up drinking about half, anyway, because it was just so sweet. Actually, thinking back on it, it tasted a lot like how I (AK) imagined butterbeer would taste. I know that butterbeer exists now because of Harry Potter World and whatever, but I always conceived of it as more of a smooth cocktail since beer is weird and carbonation hurts. Yeah yeah, I’m wrong and weird.

Tomorrow is Peking Duck Day!



[FHCx11] Hot Toddy Day/Milk Day

WELL, it turns out Hot Toddies are kind of gross. In any case:


Recently it’s been hovering around -Nope°F here in the Twin Cities and, since we have both been having various otorhinolaryngological (gezundheit) ailments over the last few days, Hot Toddy Day seemed a welcome friend to us in our time of need. With a cute name like Toddy, who can resist? And it’s hot, too?!! Lemme at ’em!

Our research told us that we needed some water, bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Luckily we have it all. (H/T to Mirror Lake Beeworks for our favorite local honey! What’s about to happen was not your fault!)

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If the measuring cup looks empty, it’s because the recipe called for very little water. Like a quarter cup.

SP likes whiskeys well enough, but you must have to either really like whiskey or be in it for the lemon in order to enjoy this thing. AK likes neither and is the less-ill of the two of us, so SP stepped up as the guinea pig. AK tried some, too, but her reaction was a lot less entertaining.

And there you have it. Groundbreaking journalism, right from the source.

Since today is also Milk Day, we drank some as a post-trauma comfort.

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 AK has a cookies ‘n’ cream milk-flavoring straw, just for fun.

Tomorrow is Curried Chicken Day/Marzipan Day, so it should be significantly less disgusting.

Have any favorite marzipan brands/sources/recipes? Please, let us know in the comments or via Facebook/Twitter!