[FHCx317] National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day/National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

IT’S NATIONAL PIZZA WITH EVERYTHING (EXCEPT ANCHOVIES) DAY AND NATIONAL CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL DAY!

Everything?! Well, almost everything. For some reason, anchovies were left off of tonight’s menu by the powers that be. It wasn’t us. We’d eat anchovies.

We were able to swiftly pick up pizza at a local joint called Fresh Picked Pizza. They have all sorts of really tasty pizza, but we knew that we had one in mind to get fixed up for the evening.

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Do note the lack of anchovies.

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As a personal-size pizza, you can barely fit all those ingredients on there. Wonderful.

Today’s other holiday comes at a fortuitous time as AK is battling the Minnesotan common cold. (We’re sure SP will follow suit shortly.) Truly there is no better remedy for the insufferable symptoms quite like a homemade Chicken Soup. It warms the heart and soul and tummy. Thanks to SPom and SPad for always having the tastiest and most comforting chicken soup.

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Since SP moved out of his parents’ house, seeing a huge container of chicken soup like this is not infrequent.

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With carrots and matzo balls of course.

We feel comforted by our comfort foods.

Tomorrow is National Indian Pudding Day!

-SPAK

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[FHCx289] National Roast Pheasant Day/National Chicken Cacciatore Day/National Mushroom Day/National Red Wine Day/National Cheese Curd Day

Title too long.

IT’S NATIONAL ROAST PHEASANT DAY AND NATIONAL CHICKEN CACCIATORE DAY AND NATIONAL MUSHROOM DAY AND NATIONAL RED WINE DAY AND NATIONAL CHEESE CURD DAY!

If you thought having three food holidays in one day was difficult, welcome to the big leagues.

Cheese curds.

We picked some up from Culver’s, which is really the only choice for cheese curds when the State Fair isn’t operating. In fact, they’re having a promo right now for “Curd Nerds” and a sweepstakes to win a whole bunch of money. Here’s hoping.

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“Fried” and “cheese” do belong in the same sentence together more frequently than you’d think.

As for the main event, SParents really blew us away with all their hard work today. SPom put together a chicky-catch yesterday, that we were able to heat up and have at dinner tonight.

Basically chicken cacciatore is a kind of Italian chicken stew that has a bunch of veggies, and is usually served over noodles.

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Notice the mushrooms for mushroom day?

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In the US, we frequently use a red sauce for cacciatore.

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Along with dinner was some red wine…

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…and some sauteed mushrooms, just because you can’t ever have enough.

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We’d been really nervous with roast pheasant coming up. It’s not something that we frequently get around here, even though many of SP‘s coworkers are reveling in the opening of the pheasant hunting season this weekend. Sure you can hunt it, but can you roast it? SPad can. He got these pheasants from the grocery store on special order, and went to work with a tasty recipe.

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Hate to say it… but it tastes like chicken!

It was extra special with the juice/dip/sauce that went with the recipe.

All in all, a successful but stressful day, and we didn’t even have to do the brunt of the work. Thanks SPom and SPad! Here’s hoping we don’t have another psychotically packed day of food holidays again.

Tomorrow is National Liqueur Day and World Food Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx267] National Great American Pot Pie Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL GREAT AMERICAN POT PIE DAY!

Story goes that Paul McCartney wouldn’t let Weird Al record “Chicken Pot Pie” (from Live and Let Die) because Paul is a vegetarian and didn’t want to encourage eating meat. Weird Al is a vegan and he wanted to do the song. Go figure.

We could have gone through the trouble to make a pot pie but much of what we know of pot pies comes from Marie Callender’s. And so we honor her. She was a real person! And her legacy lives on in frozen foods.


Flaky exterior! Creamy interior! Tastes the same no matter where you get it from!

Tomorrow is National Cherries Jubilee Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx258] National Cream-Filled Donut Day/National Eat a Hoagie Day

Fill ’em up!

IT’S NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED DONUT DAY AND NATIONAL EAT A HOAGIE DAY!

Whoever made today’s hoagiebration cheated. We already did hoagie day. But today you’re specifically supposed to eat the hoagie? I don’t know. What is important is that we give a shout out to our local buddies at Davanni’s. Twin Cities folks know that Davanni’s makes the heck out of some hoagies.

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The Chicken Parmigiana – grilled chicken breast with pizza sauce and cheese.

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Roast Beef classic hoagie with onions and lettuce and tomato.

So in addition to great pizza, there’s a great sandwich. And we didn’t even know it, but they were also celebrating National Eat a Hoagie Day and gave us $2 off the sandwiches! Thanks, Davanni’s.

It’s also very-specific-kind-of-donut day. Cream filled donuts, Bismarcks, Berliners, whatever you call them, have a great idea. Why waste space with having a hole in the center of your donut? Make it a pastry all the way through, and then shove some goo in there to make it even more tasty. We think Lund’s & Byerly’s does a great job with their variety in their bakery.

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Fill yourself up on cream filled!

Tomorrow is National Linguini Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, and National Creme de Menthe 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

[FHCx211] National Lasagna Day/National Chicken Wing Day

It is so hard to pick which of these we liked better today…

IT’S NATIONAL CHICKEN WING DAY AND NATIONAL LASAGNA DAY!

For our lunch today, we headed out to Oakdale for the undisputed king of chicken wings in the Twin Cities: D-Spot. In the past year, they moved out of their former tiny space into a really amazing new lot about a quarter mile away. These wings are capital G Good. They clock in at 85 different flavors in multiple categories, including Savory, Sweet, and Spicy (ranging from “spicy” to “death row”).

Do yourself a favor and go read their menu for a bit. It’s very difficult to make choices. Do I want something really extravagant? Maybe the “Snackers” – peanut butter, caramel, crushed nuts, chocolate, and sea salt? (Yes, it’s amazing.) Or maybe I want to burn my tongue off? Well we picked three:

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Frenchy: Caramelized onion with a sweet balsamic reduction

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SP‘s favorite, Tarantula: Soy glaze, roasted garlic, chili, dry rub, fried garlic

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Bathala’s Bliss: Ginger, honey, chili, peanut butter, lime, cilantro

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It’s hard to characterize these fries but they are SO good. Seasoned and served with a “special yellow sauce.”

We could barely walk after eating these delicious wings. SP had wing glaze all over his moustache. However, we did manage to get ourselves up enough to go bowling and push some of the calories out. That was before we got home to make Lasagna.

Picture time!

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2 cups part-skim cheese

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Mix with 1 container of part-skim Ricotta

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93% lean ground beef and some hot italian sausage

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Lay down about a cup of sauce first

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A few lasagna sheets

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Spread on more sauce

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3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and then spread it!

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Some meat…

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Repeat, repeat, repeat, and then top off with some more sauce and cheese.

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Bake at 375. Boom.

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Garfield would have a fit.

We love pasta as it is, and making stuff like this at home is a lot of fun! Next time we could lighten it up even more, but it was really tasty as is. The hot italian sausage kept things interestingly spicy, and the ricotta was smooth and creamy. Mmmm.

Tomorrow is National Cheesecake Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx209] National Chicken Finger Day/National Creme Brulee Day/National Scotch Day

*Inhaaaales*

IT’S NATIONAL CHICKEN FINGER DAY, NATIONAL CREME BRULEE DAY, AND NATIONAL SCOTCH DAY!

This is not the first time that there is a “national” holiday (in the US) for a definitively non-US item. While SP‘s friend SPalex loves scotch, SPAK treats it similarly to whiskey, bourbon, etc. and files it under the “alcohol is really hit-or-miss” category. In comes some Johnnie Walker Red Label, one of the only scotches to come in a mini bottle so we don’t spend money that we wouldn’t actually use.

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Now let’s get a little sweet. Creme Brulee is not one of the desserts that we’d find ourselves ordering over, say, a chocolate cake or a BCP (banana cream pie). However, it is good in its own rite and we’d be happy to have some to celebrate the day. It’s one of those ooooold French desserts that others tried to appropriate for their own. In fact, Trinity College in the UK was so well-known for their burnt cream – with theirs having the college logo branded into the top – that they had to issue a statement saying, “we didn’t invent this.”

We know Lund’s & Byerly’s bakery section makes a pretty terrific one, so we had to get our hands on it.

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And now for the important part.

SP is getting emotional again.

Back when SP was a child, there was a restaurant in South Minneapolis called Rochelle’s. Even with a little googling, there seems to be very little record of its existence. See, Rochelle’s made what they called, “Turkey Dippers.” Flash-fried in a special fryer, this turkey dippers were the lifeforce of a young SP. But all good things must come to an end. He just didn’t understand in his young brain why a restaurant would close.

Years later, some of the same people opened up shop in Apple Valley, calling themselves Top Notch Turkey. Again, no record of this happening. And despite SP‘s concerted effort, the restaurant still closed. No one but SP wanted those delicious, uncannily amazing breaded and fried turkey “fingers.”

And so SP spent the rest of his life living out this grief with the help of Chicken Fingers to soften the blow. He had a rating system when he was about 9-10 years old of the many different places that had chicken fingers. Among the top was Doolittle’s Air Cafe (as it was once known). He wrote them fan mail to express his love for their chicken fingers and barbecue sauce. When they rebranded as Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill, they still kept chicken fingers on a secret menu just for him and they do TO THIS DAY.

When SPAK moved into this house last July, we heard notice that we’d be getting a Raising Cane’s in the area. Now it’s within walking distance. And for a place that only has 5 things on the menu, you know they have to get each of those pretty damn perfect. Though they don’t have their own barbecue sauce for chicken fingers, as is customary for SP, their Cane’s Sauce is still really good. If you like chicken fingers with honey mustard, go home and reevaluate your life.

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Oh yeah. Look at that pile of beige.

It’s no turkey dipper. But nothing really is. If former Rochelle’s employees are out there… please get in touch.

Tomorrow is Milk Chocolate Day and Chili Dog Day!

-SPAK