[FHCx365] National Bacon Day/National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

If this weren’t a leap year we’d be done tonight…

IT’S BACON DAY AND NATIONAL BICARBONATE OF SODA DAY!

Truly fitting that in our last moments of the Food Holiday Challenge that we revisit some classic food holiday shenaniganry: having two holidays for the same food. That’s right, bacon’s been done before. So it wasn’t too hard to just get some bacon and make it. It went perfectly with the latkes AK made for brunch.

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Nueske’s is the business.

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Latkes being prepared.

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AK was kind of scared of the bacon in the hot pan.

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Latkes are best served with applesauce and sour cream, btw.

Bicarbonate of Soda. Sodium Bicarbonate has many uses in food as a leavening agent, like we used in our date nut bread not long ago (and ate today as part of Baking Soda day). It also has a number of non-food uses, including: pest control, disinfectants, fire extinguishers, personal hygiene, and running jokes from Groucho Marx. So thanks, science! You made food and the world better.

Tomorrow… is National Champagne Day!

-SPAK

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[FHCx357] National Date Nut Bread Day

9 days left!

TODAY IS NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!

“Bread,” they call it. Because it rises in a loaf pan and has flour and water. But it’s much more like a banana bread. Basically, you love the taste of something, so why not turn it into a cake? Dates are naturally sweet and subtle, with a honey kind of flavor. Truly lovely.

AK went all over town today trying to buy some date nut bread somewhere, to no avail. Even Wuollet’s, Grand Ave’s terrific bakery, didn’t have any in today as they gear up for the holidays. So what do we do? Make it at home! Here’s our recipe.

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Chop up some dates.

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About a cup and a half’ll do.

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Pour them into a pot of boiling water with some baking soda.

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In the meantime, cream butter and sugar and all the other stuff.

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Chopped pecans!

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Add the flour in.

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Put in the dates with their water in the mixture to make a batter.

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Bake at 300F for a little over an hour.

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So tasty. We’d happily make this one again! Add it to the repertoire!

Tomorrow is National Pfefferneuse Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx354] National Hard Candy Day/National Oatmeal Muffin Day

IT’S NATIONAL HARD CANDY DAY AND NATIONAL OATMEAL MUFFIN DAY!

As children, some of us are particular about the flavors we’ll deign to ingest. That includes me, AK, to the point that I didn’t eat non-chocolate candy unless it was grape flavored. Well, really, purple flavored. We all know grapes don’t taste like that.

For years, any time I accompanied AKma to the grocery store, I’d go home with a purple thumb lollipop… pending good behavior. Some days the automatic coupon dispensers were too alluring, and a purple thumb lollipop is not always worth more than the joy of running up and down the aisles taking coupons you don’t need.

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Are these still a thing anywhere?

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This seems to be the only internet evidence of the thumb pops. What an unfortunate mold shape, in retrospect.

ANYWAY — a while back, I bought a bag of Jolly Ranchers with the intent of making stained glass window cookies. Unsurprisingly I never got around to it, so we finally cracked the bag today!

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No soft candy here!

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Whitton, frequently held candy counting contests. It wasn’t until I won a gallon jar filled with these fruity beauties that I began to understand the wonder of non-grape fruit-flavored candies. We nursed that jar of Jolly Ranchers for years.

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Green Apple is the best. Fight me.

On to the next! Finding oatmeal muffins was surprisingly difficult. Granted, we only looked in one grocery store… but THAT’S NOT THE POINT! We made some instead.

AKpa and AKma gave us a swanky new blender, so it seemed like a decent plan to use this recipe for Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

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Don’t you love it when a recipe calls for things you already have in your kitchen? The only change I made was substituting Greek yogurt with sour cream, mostly because I was too lazy to go buy yogurt (and not because I know anything about baking). Worked out okay. Also, you can use mix-ins such as chocolate chips or nuts. We left ours plain.

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Preheat the ol’ oven and grease some cups

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All the ingredients just go in the blender! Except for the mix-ins, if you’re doing those.

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Fill ’em up 3/4 of the way

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Bake for 15 minutes!

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Behold! Muffins!

These suckers came out super moist! So moist, in fact, that we decided to refrigerate them rather than leaving them on the cute dessert stand. P.S. how do you like the glass dome? It’s a mixing bowl, because I broke the dome that came with the stand just seconds after purchasing it. Slick.

Tomorrow is National Sangria Day.

– SPAK

[FHCx344] National Pastry Day

Specific pastry days were getting too tough to come up with, so to hell with it!

IT’S NATIONAL PASTRY DAY!

ANYTHING GOES!

Anything with flour and water that’s sweet, we suppose? Ehhhh, a spanakopita could count as pastry, too. So anything with flour and water? Is bread a pastry? Hnngggg, the decisions!

Once again, the major problem that we face is that we don’t live in France, where every street has a patisserie worth checking out. Pastries and butter as far as the eye can see. We wanted to get close to the Parisian Paradise, so we bought one of SP‘s favorite pastries.

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Best by 9/1/17 as if they’ll last that long.

These are the kinds of pastries you’d have to hide or SP will go full beast-mode and devour them. Whatever your pastry choice is today, indulge!

Tomorrow is National Lager Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx343] National Brownie Day

IT’S NATIONAL BROWNIE DAY!

We want to share with you a “recipe” that is dear to SP‘s heart on this brownie day. Yes, we sure wish we could eat those triple chocolate, ultra-dense brownies that SPom makes, but those require reeeeally special occasions. And this recipe is all sorts of fun to share with people.

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Two ingredients.

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Empty the black beans in a mixing bowl, juice and everything.

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BLEND! FIERCELY BLEND! You can also do this in a food processor.

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Throw in the brownie mix.

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Stir.

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Pour into greased 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

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These brownies are dense and chocolatey and gooey. They taste nothing of the black beans, but just rich brownie flavor. You will love them. Guaranteed.

Tomorrow is National Pastry Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx339] National Cookie Day

IT’S NATIONAL COOKIE DAY!

AK bought these, so this is what we did for cookie day:

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Just kidding. Well, we did eat them, and they did taste like sugar cookies, but still! We have to bake cookies. We weren’t going to go completely from scratch, as we have on many other cookie days, because we had this mix sitting around from a long time ago.

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Delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Tomorrow is National Sacher Torte Day!

-SPAK

[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