[FHCx299] National Greasy Foods Day/World Pasta Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL GREASY FOODS DAY AND WORLD PASTA DAY!

Your doctor warned you against today. If you go in asking how to lower your cholesterol, your diet expert definitely won’t say, “Have more greasy things and pasta.” But here we are. Just minimize how much of it you’re gonna have.

So why are the greasiest foods so damn good? Basically, we just had to pack as many of the dense fats into one place as possible. Deep fry some stuff in oil and all is tasty. Today we mix grease and pasta.

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Call it a salad and that makes it better, right?

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You have to admit this is a hell of a greasy looking pasta.

It tastes like bacon and cheese and grease. Perfect.

Tomorrow is National Pumpkin Day and National Mince Meat Day!

-SPAK

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[FHCx291] National Pasta Day

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Notice the mushrooms for mushroom day?

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

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Along with dinner was some red wine…

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

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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.

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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

[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

[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

[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:

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Frenchy: Caramelized onion with a sweet balsamic reduction

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

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

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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!

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2 cups part-skim cheese

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Mix with 1 container of part-skim Ricotta

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93% lean ground beef and some hot italian sausage

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Lay down about a cup of sauce first

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A few lasagna sheets

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Spread on more sauce

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

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Some meat…

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

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Bake at 375. Boom.

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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

[FHCx44] National Tortellini Day

What do you get when you shrink tortelloni?

TORTELLINI DAY!

Y’know, those stuffed pasta things that are like ravioli, except round and like a tiny edible belly button. As much as Italian dining is a favorite, we took this one to the streets. By that, I mean the aisles of Lunds & Byerlys (the aisles there are named for streets in the area).

We went with Three Bridges spinach/cheese stuffed tortellini, which looks like this:

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Artificial shadow and all.

This stuff is available all over the United States. You can get it in most regions, except for most of North and South Dakota. Or a bunch of Georgia, or most of Maine. Or the Mojave Desert.

Pretty simple to make. Boil it, sauce it, plate it. We used the leftover sauce from our bagel pizza and added frozen chicken breast for some extra protein (the pre-cooked grilled strip kind that’s meant to be added to salads).

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Deeee-lish.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day Cream-filled Chocolate Day, and boy do we have plans. Until then!

-SPAK