[FHCx322] National Baklava Day/National Homemade Bread Day

Put on your balaclava!

IT’S NATIONAL BAKLAVA DAY AND NATIONAL HOMEMADE BREAD DAY!

Baklava is a sophisticated dessert. Much of our Mediterranean friends disagree that it’s anything special, but I mean really. We’re simple people. We would eat a block of chocolate and it would be amazing. Backpedaling, we’re not saying chocolate isn’t sophisticated… just that Baklava has layers.

Layers of filo dough and chopped nuts! It’s all held together by a very particular honey-ish syrup that is characteristic of any baklava.

Our favorite restaurant that serves Baklava is Holy Land, as in, National Gyros Day Holy Land. In addition to our lovely dinner of gyro, we got to take a gander at:

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Porque no los dos? We had to try both. The chocolate drizzled one was excellent.

Another favorite thing of ours to eat is bread. Bread bread bread. All the time. It’s something about our genetics that predisposes us to a love of bread. We see bread in our dreams. We even saw a baguette in a zoo once. The sign read, “Bread in captivity.”

Today’s homemade bread was courtesy of the amazingest baker, SPad. This is the guy who used to not be able to find shirts that would fit because his arms were so huge from kneading dough all the time (back when he worked as a baker). These days he focuses on a few breads and is very modest about how amazing his bread really is. His best work is the sourdough:

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We wish you could smell this!

Tomorrow is National Vichyssoise Day.

-SPAK

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[FHCx81] California Strawberry Day/National French Bread Day

Two very geographic holidays…

IT’S CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY DAY AND NATIONAL FRENCH BREAD DAY!

Being in land-locked Minnesota means having little access to the greats of the world. To be fair, we have plenty to be produce to be proud of, such as the Honeycrisp apple which was developed at the University of Minnesota. But AK was missing home today when we had to observe California Strawberry Day without being in her home state.

At least Driscoll’s is based out of California…

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Look at ’em red beauties.

Apparently California Strawberries are quite a big thing. SP was led to believe that California was only king of dried grapes. A big festival is held in California every March in honor of their strawberry production. Pretty cool, huh?

Our other geographical mismatch today is French Bread Day. And that could mean all sorts of things: a delicious pain de chef from a bakery on Rue Mouffetard, a pain de campagne that beats any sourdough here, or, in our case, a classic baguette. Eat it plain, eat it with a bit of butter, however you’d like. Just make sure you give a hearty “oh-ho-ho” in your best beret-wearing striped-shirt Frenchy impression.

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Tomorrow is World Water Day as well as National Bavarian Crêpes Day!

SPAK

[FHCx6] Shortbread Day/Beans Day

Hopefully no one’s disappointed, but we didn’t eat any bean/shortbread sandwiches today. Heck, we didn’t even really eat any beans! In any case:

BEANS DAY AND SHORTBREAD DAY!

None of the food we had on hand for dinner would have been very good with beans, so we decided to be a little creative. Okay, it might be a bit of a stretch. Sure did taste good, though.

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Mochi! Filled with red bean paste! Close enough, right?

If you’ve never had mochi, we definitely recommend it. Don’t let the soft squishy texture unnerve you. Since it’s sweet but not crazy rich like a lot of American treats can be, it’s a good one for people who can’t usually handle the overly saccharine. If you’re too scared of the bean paste for whatever reason, you can find mochi with different filling flavors such as chocolate or PB&J (although some would argue whether that’s “authentic” mochi). All in all, yummy stuff.

The other day at Target (same day we found the cherry cordials) we came across another Christmas clearance item, which happened to be a snowflake-design Nordic Ware shortbread pan (accidentally local again!). Just in time for Shortbread Day! We especially had to get it because it came with shortbread instructions and we still don’t know what we’re doing. It ended up being easy enough!

First, cream up some butta (and suga)

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Add the floua

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Knead tha dough

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Put it in the thing

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Fork up some holes (and then sing “Fork up some holes” to the tune of Turn Down For What)

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Bake it for a while

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Et voilá!

 

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Goes great with fruit and the whipped cream you made yesterday!

Apologies to any tall breads that may have felt marginalized by today. That means you, baguette.

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SPAK