[FHCx302] National Chocolate Day/National Wild Foods Day/National Breadstick Day

IT’S NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY, NATIONAL WILD FOODS DAY, AND NATIONAL BREADSTICK DAY!

We’ll make this quick.

Bread is great in many forms. In stick form, especially, bread can absorb a great deal of butter and has low volume to surface area ratio, which makes it have a great crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside. You do have to watch out for the popping can on these puppies.

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Dusted with a little bit of garlic bread spread.

Alright, let’s talk wild foods.

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Does this count? It says “wild.”

Okay, just kidding. Really, SPom made us some wonderful wild rice this evening to go with our kabob dinner. There’s something that’s really fun and different about wild rice. If you haven’t had it, or it’s been a while, do yourself a favor and try some.

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Uncooked.

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Cooked. Very tasty and hearty.

For chocolate day, and this time it’s national instead of international, we decided to finally put together this beautiful set that AK bought at Target.

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We demolished this house pretty quickly and set the ghosts free. It was chocolatey.

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Bonus family pumpkin picture! Of course AK‘s looks better than everybody else’s…

Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx260] National Guacamole Day/National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

Holy guacamole!

TODAY IS NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY AND NATIONAL CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD DAY!

It’s Friday night, and so we made cinnamon raisin bread a special moment. Thanks to Lund’s & Byerly’s, we got ourselves a cinnamon raisin challah! Challah is the traditional Shabbat (Friday night/Saturday) food: a braided bread. And theirs is very tasty.

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Dinner itself had to involve some guacamole. Both SP and AK are fans of getting guac on their Chipotle bowls, and we like recreating that at home. We’ve shown you a whole bunch of SP‘s steak bowls over the last year. Tonight was no different.

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Steak in a pan, cooked a la AK (rare, with lots of garlic, onion, and pepper)

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Steak on rice is step one.

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Next up is to take one of these amazing guacamole pouches…

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And plop it on!

We really like Wholly Guacamole‘s minis. Their spicy guacamole is the real deal. Since avocados are running out of season in September, it’s hard to find good ones. And we are certainly happy to have these pre-portioned minis around to help us out.

Tomorrow is National Apple Dumpling 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

[FHCx222] National Rice Pudding Day

Rice… pudding?

IT’S NATIONAL RICE PUDDING DAY!

Rice pudding is made differently all over the world. Sweet, savory, porridgey, thick, thin, etc. It goes on and on. Made with coconut milk? Could be. Have some saffron in it? Whatevs.

Over the weekend we went out to dinner for SPad’s birthday at Gorkha Palace. It’s a really lovely Indian/Nepali/Tibetan restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. And while their specialties lie in their momo, they also have rice pudding! We made sure to get some to-go so we could have some today.

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Eat warm or cold! Do what you wanna do. Rice pudding is as varied as people.

Tomorrow is National S’Mores Day! (Oh boy oh boy)

-SPAK

[FHCx185] National Eat Your Beans Day/National Chocolate Wafer Day

Eat ’em!

IT’S NATIONAL EAT YOUR BEANS DAY AND CHOCOLATE WAFER DAY!

Beans, beans… the musical fruitSP loves beans: black beans, refried beans, jelly beans. AK likes baked beans, too. Why are beans so good? And good for you? All that fiber just helping you get your digestive system going! Yeah! Pair it with rice and you can create a complete protein. It’ll keep you full and it’s one of the best pairs in fooddom. Today, SP made a homemade Chipotle-style bowl.

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8 oz cooked rice, 4 oz black beans

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8 oz lean sirloin steak

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A bit of salsa and a Wholly Guacamole mini

There was much tooting in House SPAK today.

It’s also National Chocolate Wafer day and we nearly forgot. So we booked it over to the nearby gas station to pick these up:

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Like a Reese’s version of a nutty buddy!

Tomorrow is National Caesar Salad Day and National Barbecued Spareribs 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

[FHCx120] National Shrimp Scampi Day

Everybody scamper!

IT’S NATIONAL SHRIMP SCAMPI DAY!

And oh man what a day it was. It’s nice to have something that’s easy and fun to make at home. It’s also nice to have something where SP can triple the amount of garlic for. We used this Food Network recipe to make our scampi.

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A pound of shrimp with some salt and pepper

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Parsley and garlic. The more garlic, the better.

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2 Tbsp of butter in a hot skillet.

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Toss in the shrimp, and then the garlic. Let it all foam for a while. Not pictured is the “sauce” made afterwards of sherry, parsley, and lemon juice.

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Scampi!

It was really, really good. We had fun!

Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Cookie Day and National Raisin Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx87] National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day/National Spanish Paella Day

No bunnies and eggs…

IT’S NATIONAL BAKED HAM WITH PINEAPPLE DAY AND NATIONAL SPANISH PAELLA DAY!

There’s something about the time of Easter that coincides with a spike in Ham sales. If there’s one dish that should celebrate the resurrection of one’s deity-person, wouldn’t you think that you would pick something that isn’t blatantly against that deity-person’s religion? Well the Christians are at it again, picking holidays to celebrate with seemingly randomly decided foods.

We got our baked ham from Honeybaked Ham. They have a storefront pretty close to our house, so SP waited in line patiently for a pound of meat. On Friday, that line was out the door with people gearing up for their Sunday holiday. And while it was just a Sunday for us, it was still tasty. AK peeled, cored, and chopped the pineapple for us and we had a quaint lunch.

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Nothing says sacred like this combo, am I right?

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Just look at how well this resembles the Easter holiday!

Well in another area where there’s a wealth of Christianity, there was another dish that was decided for March 27th completely unrelated to Easter. Spanish Paella, invented by the Valencians, is basically a Spanish Jambalaya. Or maybe Jambalaya is the Creole Paella. Rice, saffron, and some sort of meat. Apparently it takes you back to your childhood. It’s really hard to go wrong with that combination, especially when SPom offered to make it for today’s holiday.

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Recipe was courtesy of my cousin’s wife’s father.

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Look at this beautiful Paella pan!

It was just so good. AK pretty much melted. It’s got the multitude of textures between chicken and shrimp, creamy rice, peppers… Every bite you get a whole bunch of flavor and your mouth initially just POPS. As you chew down, your tastebuds start to decode what is going on. That saffron smell that floats into your nostrils and the heartiness of the Spanish rice… Man! We want more! Thanks, SPom.

Tomorrow is Something-on-a-Stick Day and Black Forest Cake Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx48] National Cabbage Day/National Café Au Lait Day

Don’t mix these two together…

IT’S NATIONAL CABBAGE DAY AND CAFÉ AU LAIT DAY!

Cabbage is pretty awesome, and often takes second fiddle to lettuce (sometimes third to spinach, but who’s counting). The major downside to cabbage is that it smells pretty rank when you cook it. So I think most people generally avoid it. But it’s very good! One of SP‘s favorite Japanese foods involves cabbage: Okonomiyaki.

Tonight we celebrated our Eastern European heritage by making Cabbage Rolls. These particular cabbage rolls are of the Ashkenazi variety, and we call them Holishkes. You make a meat filling with rice, egg, onion, garlic, and ground meat, wrap it up in boiled cabbage leaves, and then cook with a tomato sauce. Recipe included!

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1 lb 93% lean ground beef, 1/2 large onion (diced), 5 cloves garlic (minced), 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 cup cooked rice. Some salt and pepper to taste.

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AK boils the cabbage and tongs out some leaves.

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Take 1/4 cup of the meat filling at a time and form a log on a lettuce leaf. Cut off the fibrous corner of the cabbage to maximize edibility.

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And it makes a wittle cabbage!

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The sauce is 16oz tomato sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp worcestershire. Pack the rolls into a slow cooker and let them go on super-low for 10 hours.

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Dinner is served!

The stuffing was fantastic. It’s hard to go wrong with onions, garlic, meat, and rice. The cabbage was cooked perfectly. It’s just a coating to keep things together and doesn’t annoy with little shreds of inedible weirdness. The flavor of the cabbage itself is really awesome, as all of the weird soapiness of raw cabbage dissipates. We weren’t as much a fan of the sauce, as it reminded us too much of Spaghetti-Os. So maybe next time we’d change that. Otherwise, an amazing dinner!

Well, as you know, neither of us really like coffee. So Café Au Lait day was brought to us by our friends at Lund’s & Byerly’s Bakery section. They make these amazing desserts and we had to pick one up. It’s coffee, it has milk, and… it’s in a cup! So I guess that’s how we’ll observe the holiday.

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Behold: The Café Au Lait of SPAK – Tiramisu chocolate cup

It was a great way to ingest coffee without succumbing to normal coffee. Yes, yes, we know. It’s not the same. However, we might get bored with our FHC if we don’t go for some interpretations here and there!

Tomorrow is crab-stuffed flounder day! You read read that last sentence right. You read that last sentence wrong.

-SPAK