[FHCx354] National Hard Candy Day/National Oatmeal Muffin Day

IT’S NATIONAL HARD CANDY DAY AND NATIONAL OATMEAL MUFFIN DAY!

As children, some of us are particular about the flavors we’ll deign to ingest. That includes me, AK, to the point that I didn’t eat non-chocolate candy unless it was grape flavored. Well, really, purple flavored. We all know grapes don’t taste like that.

For years, any time I accompanied AKma to the grocery store, I’d go home with a purple thumb lollipop… pending good behavior. Some days the automatic coupon dispensers were too alluring, and a purple thumb lollipop is not always worth more than the joy of running up and down the aisles taking coupons you don’t need.

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Are these still a thing anywhere?

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This seems to be the only internet evidence of the thumb pops. What an unfortunate mold shape, in retrospect.

ANYWAY — a while back, I bought a bag of Jolly Ranchers with the intent of making stained glass window cookies. Unsurprisingly I never got around to it, so we finally cracked the bag today!

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No soft candy here!

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Whitton, frequently held candy counting contests. It wasn’t until I won a gallon jar filled with these fruity beauties that I began to understand the wonder of non-grape fruit-flavored candies. We nursed that jar of Jolly Ranchers for years.

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Green Apple is the best. Fight me.

On to the next! Finding oatmeal muffins was surprisingly difficult. Granted, we only looked in one grocery store… but THAT’S NOT THE POINT! We made some instead.

AKpa and AKma gave us a swanky new blender, so it seemed like a decent plan to use this recipe for Blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

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Don’t you love it when a recipe calls for things you already have in your kitchen? The only change I made was substituting Greek yogurt with sour cream, mostly because I was too lazy to go buy yogurt (and not because I know anything about baking). Worked out okay. Also, you can use mix-ins such as chocolate chips or nuts. We left ours plain.

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Preheat the ol’ oven and grease some cups

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All the ingredients just go in the blender! Except for the mix-ins, if you’re doing those.

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Fill ’em up 3/4 of the way

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Bake for 15 minutes!

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Behold! Muffins!

These suckers came out super moist! So moist, in fact, that we decided to refrigerate them rather than leaving them on the cute dessert stand. P.S. how do you like the glass dome? It’s a mixing bowl, because I broke the dome that came with the stand just seconds after purchasing it. Slick.

Tomorrow is National Sangria Day.

– SPAK

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[FHCx348] National Cocoa Day/National Ice Cream and Violins Day

We’re getting weird.

IT’S NATIONAL COCOA DAY AND NATIONAL ICE CREAM AND VIOLINS DAY!

Why violins? A quick google search shows that a whole bunch of people perpetuate this holiday without knowing where it even came from. We just do what we’re told when people tell us to eat ice cream. AKma and AKpa provided the soundtrack of violin music. Here were some picks.

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New flavor from Halo Top!

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On the one hand, ice cream is great. On the other hand, it’s December and…

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So really what helped us today was celebrating cocoa. Cocoa could mean a lot of things to a lot of people but the first thing that came to mind for us was a hot cup of chocolatey comfort. On a frigid day like today, it’s important to have hot cocoa.

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Tea, Cocoa, and Cider pots that we keep in our kitchen.

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Panda mug is a good mug… Wait a minute… Something’s missing.

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Aha! Perfect :3

Tomorrow is National Bouillabaisse Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx303] National Oatmeal Day

Make a meal of it!

IT’S NATIONAL OATMEAL DAY!

There are a lot of health benefits to eating oatmeal. But it must be the case that a lot of those benefits go away when you turn to instant oatmeal. Not that it’s bad, but just… you know…

We were lucky that SPom had just made these unbelievably delicious apple oatmeal bars. Though we weren’t there for the baking, we did get this image as the recipe…

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That’s right. Cups upon cups of sugar and 2 sticks of butter.

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They smell and taste amazing.

Tomorrow is National Candy Corn Day and National Buy a Doughnut Day!

-SPAK

 

[FHCx121] National Oatmeal Cookie Day/National Raisin Day

Guess what we did?

TODAY IS NATIONAL OATMEAL COOKIE DAY AND NATIONAL RAISIN DAY!

Why did the powers-that-be make this two separate holidays? It’s very obvious what we’re supposed to do.

We made oatmeal raisin cookies! SURPRISE!

We looked at a weight watchers recipe, and it wasn’t all that light. It used 3/4 cup of regular butter and a cup of sugar… It’s kind of amusing to see some of the recipes that make it through the editing floor of WW. But at the very least, it’s easy to customize. We made this a little lighter, and we are certainly glad we did. Getting someone else’s oatmeal raisin cookie would have been much more uncontrollable.

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1.5 cups of quick cook oats

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3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup light butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar

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Vroom! Add one egg and keep it going.

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Goop!

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Raisins in the goop.

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Tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet, bake at 375 for 14 minutes.

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Weeeeeeeeeeee!

WEIGH IN DAY RESULTS!

SP: -0.4 pounds, total lost: 85.0

AK: Was off at Brass practice today so she couldn’t weigh in 😦 But she will on Tuesday!

Tomorrow is Chocolate Parfait Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx78] National Sloppy Joes Day/National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

Sloppy Joe, sloppy sloppy Joe.

TODAY IS NATIONAL SLOPPY JOES DAY AND NATIONAL LACY OATMEAL COOKIE DAY!

Oh the sloppy Joe. Such an amazing food. For when you have ground beef but you’re just to lazy to shape it into something and you don’t have a box of some sort of Helper to make any major changes. Our recipe comes from this magical condiment called Ketchipotle, that we modify by adding a bit of Famous Dave’s sauce.

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Our other venture today was making Lacy Oatmeal Cookies. We weren’t sure from the outset what made an oatmeal cookie particularly “lacy.” We researched and found that while a regular oatmeal cookie may be doughy and soft, a lacy oatmeal cookie is prepared with a very wet batter and ends up making very thin wafer cookies.

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1 cup quick cook oats, 1/4 cup white flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp salt

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3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter, beaten until fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla.

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Mix the flour stuff with the wet stuff.

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Scoop out by the teaspoonful onto a sprayed cookie sheet. Make sure they’re far enough apart!

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They expand and become very thin.

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Mmmm

They are SUPER good. Normally SPAK likes softer, chewier cookies. Gooey chocolate chip kinds of things. But these, which are meant to be crispy, work perfectly. We got them while they were fresh, too, which made them leaps and bounds better. Plus, with a major reduction in sugar and butter from the recipe we found online, and using a teaspoon measure to make 36 cookies, each one was a nice low calorie especially for how big they were.

But part of saving on the calories means not eating all of them. We gave a whole bunch to our neighbor (SP‘s coworker) and his daughter. She did an impression for us in order to earn the cookies. It was adorable.

Tomorrow is our first four-holiday day. Tomorrow we celebrate: Maple Syrup Day, Poultry Day, Chocolate Caramel Day, and Corn Dog Day (the first Saturday of the NCAA tournament). Yikes.

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

 

[FHCx39] Oatmeal Monday/National Molasses Bar Day

Hearty foods upon us!

TODAY IS [OAT]MEAL MONDAY AND NATIONAL MOLASSES BAR DAY!

First up, the oatmeal. Apparently Oatmeal Monday – the second Monday in February – was a creation of the “ancient Universities of Scotland” back in the 17th century. Students were fairly poor and their diet was fairly standard, and today’s holiday is an ode to them. Nowadays, those same universities won’t afford their students an Oatmeal Monday Holiday.

SPom made us some of her famous cranberry-maple crock pot oatmeal for today! You know when you get food from mom in one of these that you’re in for the good stuff.

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Depending on how much water you use to reheat it will of course change the consistency.

Quick ‘n dirty recipe:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 2/3 cups dried cranberries (low sugar kind, please!)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Throw it all in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. It’s amazing. You can throw a little brown sugar over the top if you wanna.

As for the molasses bars, AK took care of those. Not knowing much about molasses bars going into it, we weren’t sure what to expect. Taking a recipe from the interweb, we found that we had to start by boiling molasses and shortening together. Combining all the ingredients made a thick kind of sludge. Bake ’em and you’ve got a chewy molasses treat.

AK didn’t like them, as they were too chewy and not very sweet. SP loves molasses and it was a nice departure from decadence. Go try some of your own!

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SP is gonna take the rest to work tomorrow to share with coworkers. That’s usually the best way to keep baked goods from getting devoured in the house. It’s always hard to throw it away, but way easier to give it away to people who love free food. And for those of SP‘s coworkers who are also being weight-conscious, one bar won’t make much of a dent.

Tomorrow is a TRIPLE THREAT. International Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday), Bagels and Lox Day, and Pizza Pie Day. Tune in tomorrow to find out how we’ll manage it all!

-SPAK