[FHCx280] National Noodle Day

IT’S NATIONAL NOODLE DAY!

So many options! And man, do we love them all! You could go Eastern Europe with Beef Stroganoff… or Italian with frankly any pasta… or how about East Asian? Yeah! Let’s do that! Let’s get some Ramen. Real, tasty ramen. Not just Maruchan.

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We took a trip to Masu, one of the Japanese delights of the Twin Cities. We would have loved to go to United Noodles today, but they’re only open 11-6 each day, and we wouldn’t have made it in time. Still, Masu really hits the spot.

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Some nikuman to start us off. Mmmm buns.

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And some very tasty duck gyoza.

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SPom and AK both ordered gyudon, which is an amazing beef and rice bowl.

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SP got the Beef Short Rib and Kimchi Ramen. That’s a poached egg in the bottom left and it simply turned to mush.

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SPad ordered Yakisoba, a really awesome Japanese noodle dish. For those not in the know, soba is a buckwheat noodle.

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Rammmmmmen.

However you spin your noodles, happy noodle day!

Tomorrow is National Frappe Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx232] National Soft Ice Cream Day/ National Hot and Spicy Food Day/National Potato Day

IT’S NATIONAL SOFT ICE CREAM DAY AND NATIONAL HOT AND SPICY FOOD DAY AND NATIONAL POTATO DAY!

We were cruising along at United Noodles earlier in the week, when SP found this staring at him from the shelf. Knowing we had two holidays coming up and both were listed on the package, we had to do it!

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That potato seems like he has something to say.

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Unfortunately, the chips weren’t hot or spicy. They tasted like regular barbecue chips. I guess Western taste in spicy is very different. We even had a zen moment where we remembered International Hot & Spicy Food Day, when we made an international dish… But just to make sure that we got something spicy, SP had a steak bowl at home with some Frontera salsa.

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After all of that hot and spicy, make sure that you have something to nullify at least a little. Thanks to Mythbusters, we know for sure that Milk (dairy) is best for neutralizing the heat. Soft serve was our way of doing that, and when we think soft serve ice cream cones, we think Conny’s. Barring that, some sort of fast food. McDougal’s McDonald’s it is!

 Tomorrow is National Lemonade Day and National Chocolate Pecan Pie 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

[FHCx72] National Baked Scallops Day

Sea creatures!

TODAY IS NATIONAL BAKED SCALLOPS DAY!

We’ve had a few seafood holidays so far. Being in the middle of a landlocked state, despite all of our lakes, the seafood challenges are often the more tough to plan. We thought about the possibility of making our own baked scallops, but wanted to consult the internet first. Googling “baked scallops twin cities” brought us to the menu of the now defunct, but formerly super-good, Kikugawa in St. Anthony Village. And then it dawned on SP that the former owners of Kikugawa are the current owners of Suishin, where the menu is mostly the same! Plus, SP‘s friend Alex works there, so that’s a plus.

Our dish for the night was the Dynamite. No, not a dynamite roll. This thing is described on the menu as, “Baked scallops with mushrooms and special sauce.” And let us tell you, it is a special sauce. It’s awesome.

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It’s this kind of saucy, buttery crust that makes this baked dish so awesome.

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Scallops and mushrooms! Mmmmm!

It’s really good. You ought to try it sometime soon!

WEIGH IN DAY RESULTS!

SP: -2.6 pounds, total lost: 88.4

AK: -3.8 pounds, total lost: 27.8

Tomorrow is National Coconut Torte Day, and SPom whipped up something really special!

SPAK

[FHCx7] Tempura Day

SP here, full of some amazing Japanese food. Wait, what? That was a food holiday?

IT’S TEMPURA DAY!

So maybe tempura isn’t exactly Japanese. My second major in college (after mathematics, of course) was Japanese Language and Literature. It was one of those things where I’d completed the majority of the major just by having taken the language classes I had already finished, so a professor told me to just get a second major. Okay.

Anyway, point being: at all of those department parties and end-of-year celebrations, the topic of going out to eat would come up. You’d get a few naysayers who don’t like raw fish or something of that sort, but most people could at least get behind Tempura. Then you’d have a smartass who would bring up how tempura isn’t really Japanese to begin with. In fact, it was brought to Japan by the Portuguese in the 1500s. But if a food has been around as a specialty in a country for 500 years, who am I to say that’s not a true Japanese food?

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This guy probably really loved tempura.

For tempura day, we decided to celebrate at a local Japanese restaurant where my buddy Alex (SPAlex?) works, Suishin. They’re right up in our neighborhood and I love their selection. To be honest, we don’t often order tempura there, but we made sure to order some for our special day!

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Light, fluffy, crispy, delicious tempura. Bonus tip: make sure to ask for tempura onion!

But where are my manners? You probably want to see the rest of the spread we ordered. 2016-01-07 18.39.012016-01-07 18.39.07

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A favorite that I introduced to AK, Oyako Donburi. Oyako means “Parent and child” and refers to the dish being made of Chicken and Egg. Dark.

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My personal favorite of any Japanese restaurant, Unaju. Eel filet with “eel sauce.” My god this is amazing.

Beautiful sushi and beautiful dishes! They also have a badass noodle menu. Worth checking out.

Look out tomorrow for National English Toffee Day! That is, National to the US. Chew on that for a while.

-SPAK