[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

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[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

[FHCx288] National Dessert Day/World Egg Day

Today is two gross.

IT’S NATIONAL DESSERT DAY AND WORLD EGG DAY!

What better way to wake up than eggs AK-style? Make a couple super-runny over-easy eggs and serve on toast. Eggs around the world may be served differently, but this is SPAKhouse.

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Gooooooooooooooooooooo

Ok. What to do for dessert… Well we left it up to chance actually. For SP‘s birthday, AK bought us tickets to go to a first-ever event held at St. Paul College, this thing they call their “Chef’s Dinner.” They brought the chefs from Revival and Surly, both restaurants of great repute in SPAK history, to oversee the culinary program students in creating a beautiful dinner. So we left it to them to provide us with dessert. But on the journey there, we have to share the following as well.

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Oh there’s dessert! This cheesecake had mini sopapillas on top, and a fudge sauce made with cayenne pepper. SO good.

We loved it. It was super fun. We were glad to be part of it!

Tomorrow is… too much. National Cheese Curds Day, National Red Wine Day, National Mushroom Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Roast Pheasant Day. Oy.

-SPAK

[FHCx270] National Pancake Lovers Day

PAAAAAANCAAAAAAKES

IT’S NATIONAL PANCAKE LOVERS’ DAY!

For the first several years of his teaching career, SP had a particular morning routine. Breakfast had to be easy, tasty, filling but not too hefty, and fast to make. He used to regularly eat these Jimmy Dean French Toast Griddlers until the number of grocery stores that carried the item dwindled to zero. So what to do? Kodiak!

So now every week, SP cooks up some pancakes, puts a bunch in the freezer, and has them ready to microwave to warmth in the morning. He is most certainly a pancake lover. We love pancakes.

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The mix!

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Containers for pancakes!

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Brefes is served.

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Milk Day and National Corned Beef Hash Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx208] National Coffee Milkshake Day/National Bagelfest Day

Ice cream ahoy!

IT’S NATIONAL COFFEE MILKSHAKE DAY AND NATIONAL BAGELFEST DAY!

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.

-SPAK

[FHCx161] National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

Fruit pie!

IT’S NATIONAL STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE DAY!

We celebrated Rhubarb Pie Day back in January at Key’s Cafe. Their rhubarb is phenomenal. It was only natural that we would make another stop there to enjoy their delicious pie. This time with strawberries!

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Sweet and tart, with an amazing crust. SP especially likes the filling and AK especially likes the crust. We’re complementary, it seems!

Tomorrow is National Iced Tea Day, National Herbs and Spice Day, and National Black Cow Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx155] National Doughnut Day/National Egg Day/National Chocolate Macaroon Day

Sweet!

IT’S NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY AND NATIONAL EGG DAY AND NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MACAROON DAY!

Let’s start this in order of our day. Breakfast!

SPAK are big fans of eggs. For the most part, we tend toward the “gooeyer-the-better” team. We like over-easy eggs that just ooze when you stab them. That’s really the best way to do it. Occasionally, when AK reeeeally likes SP, she’ll make Eggtoast in the morning. Eggs on toast. It’s the best.

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Oops, one broke.

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Eggtoast!

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Gooooooeyyyyyy

Next up! Midmorning snack. Donuts. Doughnuts. D’oh-nuts.

Everyone and their mother is talking about National Donut Day. It seems to be the most popular food holiday so far this year. But SPAK has been doing this before it was cool, and today is no exception. Why Donut Day? Started in 1938, created by the Salvation Army that would supply donuts to those who served in World War I. We don’t have many of those people left anymore, but we can still eat this sugary confection in honor of them. Whether you like cake-type (you’re wrong), yeast, glazed, long john, bear claws, apple fritter…

Happy Doughnut Day!

(^Video is also appropriate; Cousin SParles just named his new baby Nathaniel. Next one will be Superfly?)

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Lastly, we revisit the macaroon. And this time we are going full-on coconuts. This recipe, introduced by cousin SPamy, comes from SkinnyTasteSPamy makes these for Passover at the yearly gathering, and they are addictive, to say the least. You have to be very careful that you don’t end up eating the whole batch!

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What a sweet day.

Tomorrow is National Cheese Day and National Cognac Day!

-SPAK