[FHCx313] National Cappuccino Day/National Harvey Wallbanger Day/National Cook Something Bold Day

IT’S NATIONAL CAPPUCCINO DAY, NATIONAL HARVEY WALLBANGER DAY, AND NATIONAL COOK SOMETHING BOLD DAY!

Coffee and alcohol. Our favorites.

Cappuccino is easy to get, thanks to the prolific nature of the coffee store. Thanks, Seattle, for making this be a thing that people can do all over the place all the time never stop drinking coffee need the caffeine or I’ll crash get my fix drip drip percolate coffee sip sip.

2016-11-08 16.18.26.jpg

And then there’s the booze. Another drink with some convoluted history where nobody actually knows what’s true. That’s just how these things seem to go.

2016-11-08-16-41-06

1.5 fl oz vodka, 4 fl oz orange juice. Stir it up.

2016-11-08-16-43-43

Float in the Galliano, an Italian liqueur of which the only use is really just to make this drink.

And then to cook something bold, we just found something with bold on the label. A sriracha topper? Mmmm..

2016-11-08 18.03.56.jpg

Tomorrow is National Scrapple Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx298] National Bologna Day/National Good and Plenty Day

Plenty of bologna.

IT’S NATIONAL BOLOGNA DAY AND NATIONAL GOOD AND PLENTY DAY!

Licorice candies don’t frequently go over well with people. Many actively discard the black Jelly Belly beans when they spot them in a pack. While there is no specific gene that we’ve found that indicates a like or dislike for black licorice, like there is for cilantro, it seems to be something we’re born with. SP is cool with it, AK is less a fan. There would be good reason not to like black licorice, as high amounts of glycyrrhizin can lead to heart arrhythmia. So don’t eat a whole box every day.

What we really should be talking about regarding Good & Plenty isn’t the flavor, it’s the color. The candy is dyed with Red 40 and K-Carmine. K-Carmine is actually a dye that is produced from crushed scale insects. In the US, there’s been a push from the FDA that requires companies to list the actual ingredient on the label instead of just “coloring,” but the food industries fought back against having to write “insect-based” on labels. The FDA backed down on that one. So now you just have to know what food ingredients specifically comes from insects… ya know, if that bothers you.

2016-10-24-19-17-41

2016-10-24-19-18-08

These look like suppositories. Not that we’d know. They don’t taste like suppositories, though. Not that we’d know that, either.

Bug-eating aside, we had to get around to another food that many consider gross. That’s right.

Bologna sausage is a real thing that isn’t typically gross. It’s just an Italian sausage, like a salami or mortadella. But because it’s finely ground, without visible pieces of lard, that smooth shape makes it look mass-produced and kind of… artificial. It’s still tasty, though! But why “baloney?”

There are a few theories. The top two seem to be:

  1. Bologna in Italian is pronounced with that “nya” ending, and that got confused when people’s ears didn’t work in the rest of Europe.
  2. The sausage got mixed up with some other thing from Poland, or as the Brits called it, “Polony.”

Either way, here we are. Oscar Mayer sandwich. Try not to get the song stuck in your head.

2016-10-24-19-55-092016-10-24-20-17-202016-10-24-20-18-022016-10-24-20-20-10

Anyway, it’s great to be home! Tomorrow is National Greasy Foods Day and WORLD Pasta Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx291] National Pasta Day

d5d

IT’S NATIONAL PASTA DAY!

How is today different from Noodle Day 11 days ago? And why are we also celebrating World Pasta Day on the 25th? Who knows.

“Pasta” evokes the thoughts of specifically Italian style noodles. You know, the noodles that Italy has been chugging out since the 12th century (or earlier, depending on who you ask). Spaghetti, Bucatini, Manicotti, Mostaciolli, Macaroni, we could eat pasta for days and days.

Some argue that pasta is just a vehicle for the more important part: sauce. But it’s a great vehicle. A spoon is also a vehicle, but there is something special about slurping up some pasta with sauce.

2016-10-17 21.05.18.jpg

We’ll revisit pasta in 8 days… so… more to come!

Tomorrow is Chocolate Cupcake Day.

-SPAK

[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.

2016-10-15-16-23-25

2016-10-15-16-23-29

“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.

2016-10-14-14-36-04

2016-10-14-14-37-33

Notice the mushrooms for mushroom day?

2016-10-14-17-29-34

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

2016-10-15-17-27-34

Along with dinner was some red wine…

2016-10-15-17-24-092016-10-15-17-28-04

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

2016-10-15 17.22.33.jpg

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.

2016-10-10 20.08.22.jpg

2016-10-15-16-51-21

2016-10-15-17-26-43

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

[FHCx251] National Napoleon Day/National Salami Day/National Beer Lovers’ Day/National Acorn Squash Day

TOO MUCH

TODAY IS NATIONAL NAPOLEON DAY, NATIONAL SALAMI DAY, NATIONAL BEER LOVERS’ DAY, AND NATIONAL ACORN SQUASH DAY!

We’ll try to be brief.

Acorn squash, and many fall/winter squashes, are great additions to most meals. Whether you want to make them savory or a little sweet (SPom uses maple pepper), just mash ’em up and you’re good to go.

2016-09-07 21.03.08.jpg

But really want we want to focus on is how we knocked out three of these food holidays at one place. It’s very dear to us: Cosetta’s in St. Paul. Imagine walking into an large building with beautiful wooden structure, delicious looking cakes in a bakery window, the smell of marinara, and the sound of Louis Prima.

2016-09-07-18-28-35

This captures about 1/3 of the cafeteria-style area

2016-09-07-18-35-36

The Italian Hero is what we’re after!

2016-09-07-18-42-53

Salami sandwich. Boom.

2016-09-07-19-17-27

Their pasticceria is also gorgeous, with some of the most elaborate looking desserts you’ve ever seen. They also have unbeatable gelato – a cioccolatto, for example, that cannot be matched anywhere.

2016-09-07-19-21-44

Napoleon!

Okay, pause here. Napoleon, yes, is very much related to Napoleon Bonaparte. Really, this dessert is a Mille-feuille, a many-many-layered pastry with cream and all sorts of goodies. Of course, French people in the 18th-19th centuries associate such a grande dessert with the grande guy himself.

So why at an Italian place? This is hands down the best Napoleon in the Twin Cities. The cream is on point. The layers are delicate and fluffy. And the top is beautiful, as you can see. Most Italian versions of the mille-feuille are actually savory with stuff like spinach and cheese, but Cosetta’s does the classic. So there you go.

2016-09-07-19-52-01

Cosetta’s also has a great beer selection of local stuff for beer lovers!

Phew, we made it! I guess this makes up for tomorrow, which doesn’t have an OFFICIAL food holiday. But we are going to MAKE ONE UP!

That’s right! We declare tomorrow… NATIONAL HONEYCRISP APPLE DAY!

-SPAK

[FHCx249] National Cheese Pizza Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL CHEESE PIZZA DAY!


You know us. We like lots of stuff on our pizza. Veggies, meat… fruit? It’s all good. We rarely find ourselves sitting down to a cheese pizza anymore. But we can make today a special occasion.

This stage is entitled, “sprinkle dinkle”


And it was still really good!

Tomorrow is National Coffee Ice Cream 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.

moonstruck_vincent_gardenia

You want some spumoni?

After our beautiful meal of…

2016-08-21 18.37.24

Baked goat cheese in red sauce

2016-08-21 18.40.04

Bruschetta

2016-08-21 18.50.30

Spaghetti

2016-08-21 18.51.15

and Spicy Penne Arrabiata

(The above shared with the lovely SParents of course)

We got around to our delicious dessert.

2016-08-21 19.21.19

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

[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:

2016-07-29 11.14.48

2016-07-29 11.14.56

Frenchy: Caramelized onion with a sweet balsamic reduction

2016-07-29 11.15.03

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

2016-07-29 11.15.09

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

2016-07-29 11.15.16

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!

2016-07-29 15.19.12

2 cups part-skim cheese

2016-07-29 15.22.53

Mix with 1 container of part-skim Ricotta

2016-07-29 15.22.50

93% lean ground beef and some hot italian sausage

2016-07-29 15.23.52

Lay down about a cup of sauce first

2016-07-29 15.24.05

A few lasagna sheets

2016-07-29 15.24.31

Spread on more sauce

2016-07-29 15.25.21

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

2016-07-29 15.26.42

Some meat…

2016-07-29 15.37.19

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

2016-07-29 16.09.36

Bake at 375. Boom.

2016-07-29 16.44.58

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

[FHCx153] National Olive Day/National Hazelnut Cake Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL OLIVE DAY AND NATIONAL HAZELNUT CAKE DAY!

Another very interesting holiday celebrating two very different foods.

First up, the olive. It’s perhaps the most Mediterranean thing we can think of. They just represent the flavors of the whole region, whether Greek or Italian or Persian… And from its amazing use as olive oil (you should always have some on hand) to stuffing them with stuff, you can do a lot with olives.

Luckily enough for us, our local Lund’s & Byerly’s has an olive bar that is uncontested in the area. Be wowed:

2016-05-29 12.02.30

Look at olive ’em!

2016-06-01 17.20.37

Here was our pick of the olives. Feta stuffed, garlic stuffed, Italian, and Kalamata. About to go sailing on a journey across the ocean to our stomachs.

After an easy dinner at home, we were able to celebrate the second part of today thanks to Target. Here’s the thing about hazelnuts. We’re fairly positive that if not for Ferrero, most of the US would not really know much about hazelnuts. Not like we know that much about the nuts, but as soon as you mention the word, people start dreaming up the flavor of Nutella. Well, Nutella or no Nutella, we had our hazelnut cake. In fact, we would recommend it. It’s very tasty and easy to share!

2016-06-01 19.36.29.jpg

Cute, right?

Tomorrow is National Rotisserie Chicken Day and National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx141] National Pizza Party Day/National Quiche Lorraine Day

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese party!

TODAY IS NATIONAL QUICHE LORRAINE DAY AND NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY!

A man goes into a restaurant and sits down at a table for one. An attractive waitress stops by and asks him what he’d like to order. He looks up at her and says, “Can I get a quickie?” The waitress slaps him and storms off. Moments later, the waitress comes back, still fuming. She asks him sternly what he is going to order from the menu and he responds, “I’m still wondering if I can get a quickie.” She slaps him and threatens to go get her manager. Meanwhile, a man at a table nearby leans over to him and says, “Hey, buddy. It’s pronounced, ‘quiche.'”

Quiche Lorraine, named after the region instead of a person (for once), is a quiche with bacon. Now, some guy once said that Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, which is simply untrue. What could possibly be wrong with a pastry crust, and then a whole bunch of eggy, custardy stuffing? Hold on a sec… my editor is telling me that Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche was a satirical novel about stereotypes of masculinity…

Anyway. Quiche. We don’t have the guts to make one at home except to bake one of Nancy’s.

2016-05-20 09.54.282016-05-20 10.00.19

Makes for a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack! Quiche.

Today, the third Friday in May, is also National Pizza Party Day! As we’ve made homemade peepza for previous food holidays, today was only made different by the extensive celebration that we were beholden to.

2016-05-20 17.36.262016-05-20 17.23.52

Happy pizza party day! A full workweek of homemade food holidays! Go SPAK!

Tomorrow is National Strawberries and Cream Day.

-SPAK