[FHCx259] National Linguine Day/National Creme de Menthe Day/National Double Cheeseburger Day

IT’S NATIONAL LINGUINE DAY, NATIONAL CREME DE MENTHE DAY, AND NATIONAL DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER DAY!

It’s hard to place which of these we would enjoy most. AK definitely would go for the pasta, and SP would certainly like the double serving of meat… We love both.

Linguine is the pasta that you have when you want spaghetti, but slightly flatter. These little tongues are good at carrying sauce which, let’s face it, is the real reason we’re eating pasta to begin with. Well thanks to Buca, which supplied SP with beautiful birthday coupons, we had some linguine on Tuesday and had some leftovers today.

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We built our own with linguine, marinara, mushrooms, artichokes, onions, and poached garlic. With meatballs of course.

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And look at this cute cake they made for SP! (Those aren’t actually noodles)

Alright, palette cleanser time. Let’s have a mint. A menthe.

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Lastly, we took a trip down to SParents (since we haven’t been there in a while) to have some burgers. SPom’s hamburgers are awesome. She has some kind of magic she makes them with, because she uses a 95% lean beef – not traditionally what you’d use for a juicy hamburger – and mixes in pureed… MUSHROOMS! It thickens out the patty and they are super tender. But then she gives SP all the credit because of his grilling skills. Let’s just say that SP is so badass at grilling that he did the whole thing in the rain tonight!

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Rainy burgers!

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Some cheese.

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SP‘s.

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AK made this with some sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Tomorrow is National Guacamole Day and National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx71] National Eat Your Noodles Day/National Oatmeal-Nut Waffle Day

Eat those freakin’ noodles, already!

IT’S NATIONAL EAT YOUR NOODLES DAY AND NATIONAL OATMEAL-NUT WAFFLE DAY!

Whether we are talking about Italian or East Asian foods, noodles are incredibly important. As AK has an undying love for spaghetti, and Spaghetti Day could not ever be enough, we had to acquire more. So we went to the first place that came to mind on Noodles day… Noodles & Company!

 

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AK‘s spaghetti and meatballs, with her cute Haunted Mansion nails

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SP got the pad thai with chicken.

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The face of a man who needs more noodles

Noodles are great, and to have someone say “eat your noodles” makes it sound like this holiday might be difficult to celebrate. Hopefully you’ve found a way to eat your noodles, whether via the avenue de Macaroni and Cheese or by walking up Pho street. Or maybe you took der spaetzle boulevard?

For dinner we put together Oatmeal-Nut Waffles using our favorite Kodiak mix with some Quaker oats and chopped pecans. This is now the third holiday we’ve used Kodiak (after Blueberry Pancake Day and Pancake Tuesday) and this time it’s for waffles. Same kind of mix, and they make phenomenal waffles, too!

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1 cup of mix often makes more than 1 waffle. So in total we used 2 cups of mix, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of oats and 1/4 cup of pecans. Made 2.75 waffles.

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This waffle is about to be devoured.

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Delicious, fluffy interior.

We love this mix because it’s so incredibly good for you while maintaining how good it tastes. All the protein really helps keep you full as well. 380 calories for 1.375 full-size Belgian waffles? Yes, please. For comparison, an IHOP waffle is 500 calories. Doesn’t taste as good as Kodiak, either.

Tomorrow is National Baked Scallops Day!

SPAK

 

[FHCx4] Spaghetti Day!

IT’S SPAGHETTI DAY, YOU GUYS.

This is AK. I love spaghetti more than I love most things and people. When I was a kid, one of my favorite meals was the spaghetti you could get to go in a bucket from some place called Giovanni’s that doesn’t exist anymore. I can’t handle Chef Boyardee anything because the sauce isn’t right. I’ve told SP that my ideal death would be by spaghetti. The quote “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti” referring to Sophia Loren’s incredible body is one that I relate to, except with opposite implications.

I might have been excited about today.

Spaghetti Day is one that the restaurant biz seems to have embraced quite a bit (as seen in your e-mail Promotions folder), and one of those restaurants is good ol’ Buca di Beppo. Since we are fans of Joe and his basement, it seemed prudent to take advantage of the 50% off spaghetti coupon they sent out especially for today.

As you might remember, Buca di Beppo has some monster portions. We went for the large because we like leftovers. Large is not an understatement.

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Just for reference, each one of those meatballs is like… my fist.

I personally am not a huge fan of meatballs, as they distract from my spaghetti experience, but SP likes them a whole bunch. It looks like a lot of sauce in the picture but I am an insatiable monster, so we ended up adding more sauce after it was all mixed in.

 

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This is after we ate all we could handle AND shared some with the friends who came with us.

Now it’s all in our fridge. For me, that is a danger, because I could definitely eat all of it in a sitting. The helpful tool here is accountability. SP has urged me to make it last for a minimum of 2 days, which I would not have done if left to my own devices. It’s alright to know yourself without being ashamed, and it’s amazing to partner with somebody who is aware of your tendencies and can help you curb them. I can still love spaghetti without resigning myself to situations wherein I’m guaranteed to feel bad. You can, too!

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Me, unbridled. It’s way less cute IRL.

 

Thanks for reading. Did YOU celebrate Spaghetti Day? Let us know in the comments here, or via Facebook and Twitter (links to the right under “Socialthings.”

Seeya tomorrow for Whipped Cream Day!

AK

Pizza! L-O-L-A, Lola!

It may be cliche to go to restaurants on shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but there is a reason many of these places get featured on those shows. The food is great, the atmosphere rules, or it just has an aura of hype surrounding it. Pizzeria Lola is one of the Triple D Hall-of-Famers in Minneapolis that creates funky fusion worth checking out. Not only that, but one of SP‘s friends works there.

Alright, so a Korean woman moves to Minnesota and decides that she loves pizza so much she’ll make a restaurant and name it after her dog. Works for us.

We started off by ordering some of Lola’s delicious roasted cauliflower. It’s slightly sour, kissed by the citrus of lemon juice, but with a kick of chili pepper rings. Eat your vegetables!

The other starter we picked was the meatballs to share around the table. Any place that has a kind of Italian red sauce should have meatballs to show you they mean business. And boy does Lola mean business. These meatballs come out in a baked dish overflowing with sauce and parmesan cheese, and served alongside some crostini to balance the chew with some crunch. The meatballs are so tender that they crumple when they reach your tongue. So you take a crostino, a chunk of a meatball (or the whole thing at once, we won’t judge) and scoop some extra sauce and cheese before placing it carefully in your mouth. It’ll get on your shirt, but instead of using your napkin, you’ll unconsciously lean over, pick up your shirt, and lick it off. Awesome meatballs.

There will be plenty of extra sauce to scoop on. Don't let it go to waste!

There will be plenty of extra sauce to scoop on. Don’t let it go to waste!

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Let’s get to the pies, shall we? The first feature here is a favorite on the menu called The Xerxes, named after the street on which the restaurant stands, and has a flavor that takes after the namesake’s downfall (Greek, that is). Spinach, feta, mozzarella, kalamata olives, and almonds top this Mediterranean style flatbread. No red sauce here? Blasphemy! Tasty, tasty blasphemy.

Tonight we dine in Minneapolis!

Tonight we dine in Minneapolis!

One with more fusion style is the Lady Zaza, one of chef Ann Kim’s Korean-inspired pizzas. Who puts kimchi on a pizza?! Lola does. Red sauce, Korean sausage, spicy serrano peppers (one of SP‘s favorite for use in cooking), scallions, sesame seeds, and this crazy glaze that reminds you of bulgogi with elements of soy and chili paste. In each bite, you get some of the soft chew of baked kimchi (which normally is a strong pickly crunch) and spicy sausage with the scallions on top. It’s a remarkable foray into mixing styles of two very different cuisines.

This pizza will kim-cheer you up!

This pizza will kim-cheer you up!

Lack of red sauce is hardly blasphemy compared to one of SP‘s favorite pizzas on the menu and AK now agrees: The Marinara, which has no cheese. Instead, you get the robust red sauce with olive oil, oregano, and garlic confit. The best trick is to order this pie with extra garlic. For us, olive oil will never be overrated. It brings out so much in Italian cooking that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. And even without cheese, the soft, mushy garlic makes up for that missing flavor. Garlic is king on this amazing pizza.

All hail King Garlic!

All hail King Garlic!

Now for a little bit of dessert. How about some ice cream with olive oil?

Sweet and Salty.

Sweet and Salty.

SP