[FHCx349] National Bouillabaisse Day

Say that three times fast.

IT’S NATIONAL BOUILLABAISSE DAY!

It’s even tough to spell it! It’s basically a portmanteau of the words “boil” and “simmer.” Kind of vague for what this thing is: a fish stew. A really tasty fish stew. But there’s all sorts of tradition surrounding this thing that you have to adhere to:

-The ingredients have to be added one by one rather than all at once. Talk about inefficiency for the sake of taste.

-You have to make a rouille, a garlic egg-yolk mayonnaise, and serve it on toast with the soup.

-Serve the soup really hot, with the fish on a separate platter.

Whew!

We went to one of the only remaining restaurants of the Twin Cities that still serves Bouillabaisse (now that Vincent is closed), Sea Change. It’s a pretty lovely restaurant connected to the historic Guthrie Theater.

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Needs no explanation on this menu. Only for the enlightened.

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The rouille is on the bottom of the left piece of toast because SP was clumsy and knocked it over.

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A view with the toast removed.

Really hearty and delicious. If you like seafood, this is definitely a winner.

Tomorrow is National Cupcake Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx301] National American Beer Day

Leave it to the Americans to have a redundant sounding holiday.

IT’S NATIONAL AMERICAN BEER DAY!

Beer! YEAH! America! RED WHITE AND BLUE!

We’re gonna one-up this whole “American” beer thing and have a Minnesotan beer, courtesy of Lift Bridge. It’s a well-known name around these parts as their headquarters are just a few miles away in Stillwater. They’re particularly well known for their Farm Girl Saison. We aren’t beer aficionados, but we know that when people latch onto local breweries and make them extremely successful, there’s a good reason.

So here’s to American beer that hasn’t sold out to InBev.

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Tomorrow is National Breadstick Day, National Chocolate Day, and National Wild Foods Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx290] World Food Day/National Liqueur Day

Around the world!

TODAY IS WORLD FOOD DAY AND NATIONAL LIQUEUR DAY!

Liqueur is what you have when you want alcohol but you want it to taste like something completely unrelated. Coffee liqueur, orange liqueur, etc. In the true American spirit, they are frequently sweetened to all hell. If we had to pick one liqueur for today, we would pick Grand Marnier. It’s boss.

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World Food Day you ask? Celebrate the world’s food? The day was established in 1979 as the anniversary of the creation of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Basically, it’s all about becoming aware of the world’s food and agriculture in both its pride and challenges. Every year has a theme, and 2016’s is climate change. “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

But to celebrate, we took a trip to Minneapolis’s World Street Kitchen, to have some worldly food.

Pita with Hummus, Olive Tapenade, and Smoky Feta

These brussels sprouts are some of the best on the planet.

The Korean Yum Yum Bowl. Korean bbq beef short rib with peanuts, kimchi, onions, and secret sauce, served over rice.

 

We also stopped by next door to Milk Jam to get some ice cream. Look at the kinds of flavors they have here.

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Whew. Thanks for the food, world!

Tomorrow is National Pasta Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx288] National Dessert Day/World Egg Day

Today is two gross.

IT’S NATIONAL DESSERT DAY AND WORLD EGG DAY!

What better way to wake up than eggs AK-style? Make a couple super-runny over-easy eggs and serve on toast. Eggs around the world may be served differently, but this is SPAKhouse.

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Gooooooooooooooooooooo

Ok. What to do for dessert… Well we left it up to chance actually. For SP‘s birthday, AK bought us tickets to go to a first-ever event held at St. Paul College, this thing they call their “Chef’s Dinner.” They brought the chefs from Revival and Surly, both restaurants of great repute in SPAK history, to oversee the culinary program students in creating a beautiful dinner. So we left it to them to provide us with dessert. But on the journey there, we have to share the following as well.

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Oh there’s dessert! This cheesecake had mini sopapillas on top, and a fudge sauce made with cayenne pepper. SO good.

We loved it. It was super fun. We were glad to be part of it!

Tomorrow is… too much. National Cheese Curds Day, National Red Wine Day, National Mushroom Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Roast Pheasant Day. Oy.

-SPAK

[FHCx287] National Yorkshire Pudding Day

Another national holiday celebrating another nation’s food…

IT’S NATIONAL YORKSHIRE PUDDING DAY!

Picture pudding. You probably just thought of some chocolatey or vanillay goo that can be gobbled up with a spoon pretty easily.

Not that kind of pudding today.

In the UK, pudding is really just a word for what happens when you mix eggs, flour, and milk, and make a popover-y pastry kind of thing. And usually that means with MEAT. None of this namby pamby sweet stuff. Meat.

Luckily for us we have a pub in town (a few actually) that serves food of the British Isles. It’s called Merlin’s Rest, and it’s very fun.

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If you’re gonna go British, grab a cider.

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Yeeeeeah, pudding!

Meaty and potatoy. The way life should be.

Tomorrow is National Dessert Day and World Egg Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx282] National Pierogi Day/National Fluffernutter Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY AND NATIONAL FLUFFERNUTTER DAY!

The PBJ, as a sandwich, is not boring. It’s not even outlived its awesomeness. But sometimes what could really go well with peanut butter on bread is some marshmallow fluff. It’s a different kind of sweet to balance out the savory, salty peanut flavor. It’s better than bad; it’s good!

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PB. Fluff.

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Some like to have a thickness ratio that the fluff/PB is equal to the thickness of the bread. We’re ok with just a bit on each side.

We also have to pay respects to the pierogi today. While many cultures have their own dumplings – Chinese have bao, Japanese have gyoza, America has… dumplings – Eastern Europe’s dumplings are high on the chart of tasty starch. Whether you call them piroshok, varenyky, pelmeni, or pierogi, we’re all talking about something very similar – dough wrapping some tasty potato-y, onion-y, possibly cheesy stuff.

We got our pierogi courtesy of the Highland Grill, whose Steak and Pierogies entree is one of SP‘s favorites.

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Fried to perfection.

Yummy!

Tomorrow is National Moldy Cheese Day and National Submarine-Hoagy-Hero-Grinder Day, because we needed a third day to celebrate hoagies.

-SPAK

[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

[FHCx278] National Taco Day/National Vodka Day

TACO TUESDAY!

IT’S NATIONAL TACO DAY AND NATIONAL VODKA DAY!

I think earlier in the year we picked this up for one of the alcoholidays. We’ve had it sitting around. It’s easy enough. Dan Aykroyd would be happy that we drank it and thought of UFOs or something.

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The real star of today is the taco. Oh, glorious taco. What deliciousness have you brought us? Whether you are a fan of the gringo-style ground beef with super-yellow cheese, the au natural tortilla filled with meat, or the gourmet style with all sorts of experimental fun, you should probably know that tacos are like little miracles for your mouth.

We opted for special tacos at one of our favorite local places, Tacocat. It’s located in the Midtown Global Market, like a lot of great Minneapolitan foods.

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Their chips and salsa are to die for.

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AK ordered two of The Larry: Chicken, chorizo, and cheese. Plus onions, cilantro, crema, and salsa.

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SP also got a Larry (middle) but also a special (left) with corned beef, cabbage, and mustard, and the Ruckus (right) with angus beef, pickled radish, onions, mint chimichurri, and salsa.

We could probably each eat a few dozen more, but you really have to limit yourself if you want to be able to wake up in the morning. If Marco Gutierrez says that voting against Trump means a taco truck on every corner, we’re in.

Tomorrow is National Apple Betty Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx262] National Cheeseburger Day

Deja vu…

IT’S NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY!

Well on Thursday we celebrated double cheeseburger day. Today celebrates the singular. The original. But we aren’t going to do your regular old McDonald’s.

We’re Minnesotans. We believe in the Juicy Lucy. We went to Blue Door Pub.

The Juicy Lucy is a Minnesota invention, where cheese is stuffed into the burger. Techniques vary, and there is dispute regarding what restaurant actually created it. But Blue Door has one of SP‘s favorite burgers, so we had to do it.

Behold, the Merriam Park burger. Burger stuffed with blue cheese, bacon, and garlic, and topped with a red currant jelly.

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STUFF IT INTO DA FACE

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Look at all that good stuff inside.

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Oh, and here’s AK‘s burger, the NeuFrenchy: swiss cheese, prime rib, mushrooms, swiss mornay sauce, and onion jam. Served with au jus!

Horribly unkosher and horribly delicious. It’s like we’ve taken everything we can from the cow and made it tasty together.

Tomorrow is National Butterscotch Pudding Day!

-SPAK

[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