[FHCx347] National Gingerbread House Day/National Ambrosia Day

Sweet!

IT’S NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE DAY AND NATIONAL AMBROSIA DAY!

One of these is an appropriate Decembertime food. The other is definitely a Southern USA summer dish. So Southern that we used Alton Brown’s recipe for it. Ambrosia is basically an extension of fruit salad, and not the drink of immortality of the Greek pantheon. Oh well.

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Makin’ some whipped cream.

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Mini marshmallows, fruits, coconut shavings, and chopped pecans.

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Gooey and fruity and sugary.

Because we couldn’t get enough of a sugar high off of that, we also made and ate some Gingerbread House! Gingerbread used to be restricted to professional bakers in Germany and France except on Christmas and Easter, when anyone could bake it. It got to the point where there were fierce competitions of professional gingerbread bakers. The shaping into houses made it all the more fun.

Current record for size is this dude from Texas who made a 2520-square-foot home. That’s more than 1.5 times as big as SPAK‘s house. It used up 1800 pounds of butter. And the total calorie count? Estimated at 35.8 million. That’s enough calories for an adult male to eat for 49 years.

And here we are, building ours from a kit.

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The required statement of any food-house we build together.

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It was hit by a snowcandy storm before it was disassembled and partly eaten.

All these sweets put us right in the mood for bedtime. ‘Night everybody!

Tomorrow is National Ice Cream & Violins Day and National Cocoa Day.

-SPAK

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[FHCx268] National Cherries Jubilee Day

Escoffier strikes again!

IT’S NATIONAL CHERRIES JUBILEE DAY!

Auguste Escoffier, creator of Peach Melba among other SPAK food holiday foods, created the Cherries Jubilee in honor of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. She reigned from 1837 to 1901. Secret to longevity? She really liked cherries.

So we thought to honor this day by having a recipe from the very American (non-French, non-British) chef Paula Deen.

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1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp corn starch

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Cherry water from a can of cherries

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Pour in 1/4 cup brandy/cognac and LIGHT IT ON FIRE.

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Serve over ice cream, like everything else Escoffier does.

Seriously, where would Escoffier have been without ice cream…

Tomorrow is National Crabmeat Newburg Day and National Lobster Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx245] National Gyros Day/National Cherry Popover Day

2/3 of the way through the year!

IT’S NATIONAL GYROS DAY AND NATIONAL CHERRY POPOVER DAY!

Alright, let’s get this out of the way. We made cherry popovers with the same recipe that we used for blueberry popovers and raspberry popovers. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great recipe.

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3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla

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Drop in cherries and cinnamon sugar.

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3-dimensional!

Delightful! But we know what we’re really here for. It would be foolish to say that SPAK has a favorite restaurant. However… Holy Land is one of those places that we could never get enough of. Ever. Yes, the place that was just on Triple D. Yes, the place that used to print this on their hummus.

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This Mediterranean restaurant nails everything they do, from Gyros to Schawarma to Falafel. Just awesome stuff.

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One of the few forms of shaving that SP deems reasonable.

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SP likes to get the Gyro Lovers’ Combo, which has beef/lamb gyro and the chicken gyro.

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AK loves the chicken gyro, with its delicious spices and onions.

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Stuff it in a pita and boom. You’re good to go.

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They even gave us these cakes for free this time because they love us at Holy Land!

Seriously, if you’re in the Twin Cities, go to Holy Land as soon as you can. It’s a pilgrimage worth making.

Tomorrow is National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx241] National Cherry Turnover Day

Fruit turnover > employee turnover

IT’S NATIONAL CHERRY TURNOVER DAY!

With cherry popsicle day recently, and cherry popover day coming up, we are getting our fill of cherries (or fake cherry flavor) for sure. And again, we’re repeating desserts that have been done already multiple times this year. Some originality would be nice, but we can’t complain if someone tells us we have to have a tasty bakery treat.

This one is courtesy of Lund’s & Byerly’s. Good enough to share!

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Tomorrow is More Herbs, Less Salt Day, Chop Suey Day, and Lemon Juice Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx239] National Cherry Popsicle Day

Getting specific…

IT’S NATIONAL CHERRY POPSICLE DAY!

Remember grape popsicle day? Well the Cherry Lobby must have just been counting days and going, “wait a minute…” before they invented cherry popsicle day.

Same popsicles.

Different flavor.

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It hasn’t been too hot outside here. But that makes it easier to eat! If it’s slightly cooler where you eat, you don’t get a sticky red mess all over you, making you look like you just murdered something.

Tomorrow is National Banana Lovers’ Day and National Pots De Creme Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx234] National Spumoni Day

Zamboni?

IT’S NATIONAL SPUMONI DAY!

Ice cream wasn’t good enough for the Italians. Not only did they have to add fruit and nuts to ice cream (which is fair — we’ll do similarly on Banana Split Day this Thursday) but they have to have the official spumoni flavors: cherry, pistachio, and chocolate. Not exaaaactly an Italian flag but pretty much.

To celebrate spumoni, we went to a super old school Italian joint near downtown St. Paul, DeGidio’s. It’s right over by Mancini’s where we got our filet mignon. Classic Italian food, still feels like a mafia club, and the patrons all look like Vincent Gardenia.

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You want some spumoni?

After our beautiful meal of…

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Baked goat cheese in red sauce

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Bruschetta

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Spaghetti

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and Spicy Penne Arrabiata

(The above shared with the lovely SParents of course)

We got around to our delicious dessert.

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AK was in Italian heaven. A great way to spend a Sunday night!

Tomorrow is National Pecan Torte Day and National Eat A Peach Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx170] International Sushi Day/National Cherry Tart Day/International Picnic Day

IT’S INTERNATIONAL SUSHI DAY AND NATIONAL CHERRY TART DAY AND INTERNATIONAL PICNIC DAY!

It’s 2016 and people still “won’t eat” sushi. Seriously. Not only that, but I thought that word had already spread that the word sushi doesn’t actually refer to raw fish, but to the special preparation of a sweet rice. I guess not. Some people (SPom, lookin’ at you) don’t even like nori. WHAT A WORLD WE LIVE IN!

However, SP and SPad took a class years ago on how to make sushi, so now it’s part of the SPamily repertoire. We’ve got this beat-up old recipe sheet to show for it.

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Alright, let’s check out the process!

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The juice to make the rice special.

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Fluff it up with the juice in it and you have real sushi!

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This is an egg mixture to make Tamago.

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We don’t have the special pan to make Tamago so we basically make an omelette in a pan.

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Some imitation crab, sashimi-grade tuna, carrots, asparagus, cucumbers (not pictured), shrimp, and sushi!

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Lay down a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat and spread some rice on it.

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Lay things horizontally end to end.

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Use a bit of water to wet the edge of the nori, and use that as a glue to roll it up.

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Maki!

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A picnic? I guess.

Now what is etiquette for eating sushi? Watch one of SP‘s favorite videos to understand.

We also made these lovely cherry tarts in fillo shells.

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We used some of the same pie filling as we did on Cherry Dessert Day. Very tasty!

Tomorrow is National Martini Day!

-SPAK