[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

[FHCx333] National French Toast Day

In France it’s just called, “toast,” right?

IT’S NATIONAL FRENCH TOAST DAY!

Actually in French it’s called pain perdu, because you use “lost” (i.e., stale) bread to make this delicious treat. But considering how ancient the recipe is, over time we’ve learned that we can still use decent bread.

If we had our way, we would have made a special trip to The Buttered Tin in St. Paul because they make an unbelievably good Bananas Foster French Toast. Heck, SP would have settled for having his Jimmy Dean French Toast Griddler at breakfast like olden times before stores stopped carrying it. Instead, AK was kind enough to demonstrate the basics of making french toast.

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Add in the milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

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Bread into egg mixture. The word AK used was “plorp.”

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Plorp the other side.

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Fry it up!

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Delicious eggy sweet bread.

In the scheme of things, most breakfast foods are equal in our minds. That is, pancakes/waffles/french toast. But depending on the quality, french toast can really be amazing.

Tomorrow is National Lemon Creme Pie 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

[FHCx302] National Chocolate Day/National Wild Foods Day/National Breadstick Day

IT’S NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY, NATIONAL WILD FOODS DAY, AND NATIONAL BREADSTICK DAY!

We’ll make this quick.

Bread is great in many forms. In stick form, especially, bread can absorb a great deal of butter and has low volume to surface area ratio, which makes it have a great crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside. You do have to watch out for the popping can on these puppies.

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Dusted with a little bit of garlic bread spread.

Alright, let’s talk wild foods.

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Does this count? It says “wild.”

Okay, just kidding. Really, SPom made us some wonderful wild rice this evening to go with our kabob dinner. There’s something that’s really fun and different about wild rice. If you haven’t had it, or it’s been a while, do yourself a favor and try some.

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Uncooked.

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Cooked. Very tasty and hearty.

For chocolate day, and this time it’s national instead of international, we decided to finally put together this beautiful set that AK bought at Target.

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We demolished this house pretty quickly and set the ghosts free. It was chocolatey.

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Bonus family pumpkin picture! Of course AK‘s looks better than everybody else’s…

Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx260] National Guacamole Day/National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

Holy guacamole!

TODAY IS NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY AND NATIONAL CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD DAY!

It’s Friday night, and so we made cinnamon raisin bread a special moment. Thanks to Lund’s & Byerly’s, we got ourselves a cinnamon raisin challah! Challah is the traditional Shabbat (Friday night/Saturday) food: a braided bread. And theirs is very tasty.

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Dinner itself had to involve some guacamole. Both SP and AK are fans of getting guac on their Chipotle bowls, and we like recreating that at home. We’ve shown you a whole bunch of SP‘s steak bowls over the last year. Tonight was no different.

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Steak in a pan, cooked a la AK (rare, with lots of garlic, onion, and pepper)

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Steak on rice is step one.

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Next up is to take one of these amazing guacamole pouches…

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And plop it on!

We really like Wholly Guacamole‘s minis. Their spicy guacamole is the real deal. Since avocados are running out of season in September, it’s hard to find good ones. And we are certainly happy to have these pre-portioned minis around to help us out.

Tomorrow is National Apple Dumpling Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx221] National Zucchini Day/National Frozen Custard Day

One of these you grow in a garden…

TODAY IS NATIONAL ZUCCHINI DAY AND NATIONAL FROZEN CUSTARD DAY!

Zucchini is that vegetable that you plant in your garden because it’s easy to tend to and then this happens:

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From the SParents

And of all the things you can do with vegetables larger than baseball bats, making a sweet bread dessert (not sweetbread) is often the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to zucchini. That’s exactly what happened with this holiday! SPom baked a delicious zucchini bread. Last time we had zucchini bread, it was Passover-y and not very exciting.

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But as if we didn’t like dessert enough, we also managed to find some frozen custard that wasn’t just Culver’s. Thanks, Edy’s!

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Mmmmm. Super creamy. Some people can’t tell the difference between frozen custard and ice cream, but we sure can. And one isn’t necessarily “better” than the other. Just different.

Tomorrow is National Rice Pudding Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx134] National Apple Pie Day/National Crouton Day/National Fruit Cocktail Day/International Hummus Day

That’s too long a title.

TODAY IS NATIONAL APPLE PIE DAY AND NATIONAL CROUTON DAY AND NATIONAL FRUIT COCKTAIL DAY AND INTERNATIONAL HUMMUS DAY!

My goodness. Look at all that. We did it. And thankfully we didn’t stuff ourselves!

First up: Hummus.

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Hummus is a gem of the middle-east. One of the things that could easily be overeaten and overeaten and overeaten. Whether you dip with carrots or pita or anything else, there is something very addictive about that chickpea and sesame flavor. What’s the difference between a chickpea and a garbanzo bean? I would be okay to have a garbanzo bean on my face.

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Phoenician makes a great hummus, as does the local Kowalski’s. Really good stuff.

That was our appetizer for dinner at SPamily’s house tonight. Next up was our salad course, with croutons! Not able to let bread go to waste, someone thought, “let’s just keep eating this until it breaks our teeth.” And so we did, and the delicious crouton was born! Now, we may have preferred our croutons in French Onion Soup form, but we wanted to stay modest with our calorie consumption.

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Slad!

After our wonderful dinner of Chipotle Chicken (a Weight Watchers recipe), we had some dessert of Fruit Cocktail and Apple Pie. Fruit Cocktail is an interesting food, considering the strict stipulations set by the USDA (All hail USDA overlords!):

  • 30% to 50% diced peaches, any yellow variety
  • 25% to 45% diced pears, any variety
  • 6% to 16% diced pineapple, any variety
  • 6% to 20% whole grapes, any seedless variety
  • Few to no cherry halves, any light sweet or artificial red variety

Who decided that we should limit the cherries? Probably communists.

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Dibs on the nibs.

And, of course, some apple pie that was heated from a Sara Lee container SPom baked (All hail SPom overlord!)

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No better way to feel American than to eat Apple Pie when most apples aren’t even close to being in season!

And that brings our quadholiday (qualiday? quaaludes?) to a close. Great work, everyone! Pat yourselves on the back.

Tomorrow is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day.

-SPAK