[FHCx298] National Bologna Day/National Good and Plenty Day

Plenty of bologna.

IT’S NATIONAL BOLOGNA DAY AND NATIONAL GOOD AND PLENTY DAY!

Licorice candies don’t frequently go over well with people. Many actively discard the black Jelly Belly beans when they spot them in a pack. While there is no specific gene that we’ve found that indicates a like or dislike for black licorice, like there is for cilantro, it seems to be something we’re born with. SP is cool with it, AK is less a fan. There would be good reason not to like black licorice, as high amounts of glycyrrhizin can lead to heart arrhythmia. So don’t eat a whole box every day.

What we really should be talking about regarding Good & Plenty isn’t the flavor, it’s the color. The candy is dyed with Red 40 and K-Carmine. K-Carmine is actually a dye that is produced from crushed scale insects. In the US, there’s been a push from the FDA that requires companies to list the actual ingredient on the label instead of just “coloring,” but the food industries fought back against having to write “insect-based” on labels. The FDA backed down on that one. So now you just have to know what food ingredients specifically comes from insects… ya know, if that bothers you.

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These look like suppositories. Not that we’d know. They don’t taste like suppositories, though. Not that we’d know that, either.

Bug-eating aside, we had to get around to another food that many consider gross. That’s right.

Bologna sausage is a real thing that isn’t typically gross. It’s just an Italian sausage, like a salami or mortadella. But because it’s finely ground, without visible pieces of lard, that smooth shape makes it look mass-produced and kind of… artificial. It’s still tasty, though! But why “baloney?”

There are a few theories. The top two seem to be:

  1. Bologna in Italian is pronounced with that “nya” ending, and that got confused when people’s ears didn’t work in the rest of Europe.
  2. The sausage got mixed up with some other thing from Poland, or as the Brits called it, “Polony.”

Either way, here we are. Oscar Mayer sandwich. Try not to get the song stuck in your head.

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Anyway, it’s great to be home! Tomorrow is National Greasy Foods Day and WORLD Pasta Day.

-SPAK

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[FHCx285] National Sausage Pizza Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL SAUSAGE PIZZA DAY!

We’ll make this quick, as talking about food already makes us weary. See, tonight is the beginning of Yom Kippur, which is a fasting holiday. Sigh.

When we think of pizza with sausage, our first thought is not some delicious pizza with artisan Italian sausage. It’s the opposite of classy, with just hunks of sausage on a plain old pizza. We don’t want to offend those who love it as a topping, but really, our food holiday was epitomized by getting our pizza from AK‘s school cafeteria.

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And that’s that.

Tomorrow is National Gumbo Day! …when we can eat again.

-SPAK

[FHCx229] National Rum Day/National Bratwurst Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL BRATWURST DAY AND NATIONAL RUM DAY!

AK isn’t so much a fan of sausages, but SP could probably get his heart in trouble after downing a number of these cholesterol-laden German wursts. So because of both of those reasons, we don’t keep them in the house. (We don’t even own a grill yet after owning the house for a year. It’s a shame, really.)

But we did get these quintessential Midwestern brats thanks to Sheboygan, WI-based Johnsonville.

The “brat” in bratwurst refers to the fine chopped meat inside the casing

Pretty tasty. The smoked flavor goes a long way. We would have loved to get our hands on some Butcher & The Boar sausages today but it wasn’t in the cards.

Today also celebrates a pirate favorite. Used to be that rum was favored on ships because you couldn’t guarantee the water was safe to drink! What a time to be alive, scurvy and all that. Tonight for dinner we went to Forepaugh’s to celebrate a SPAKiversary, and the bartender made us this delicious Caribbean rum martini thing.


And now to really celebrate bratwurst day, we are going to subject ourselves to seeing the movie, Sausage Party. Oy.

Tomorrow is National Vanilla Custard 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

[FHCx165] National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Baste your gizzards, for

IT IS NATIONAL KITCHEN KLUTZES OF AMERICA DAY!

There’s the old cliche which can be used in reference to quality cuisine: “Just like mom used to make.” SPom, as you may have seen over the past half-year of blog, is a font of cooking knowledge/experience with a large library of “greatest hits” recipes that have made (and will continue to make) many appearances during this Food Holiday Challenge. This day is not for her.

Rubbery potatoes au gratin.
Sahara-dry meat.
Burnt cookies.
A whole chicken cooked with the plastic bag of giblets still in it.

These are the feats of a true Kitchen Klutz, and there is no prouder Kitchen Klutz than AKma. Some people don’t care for the process of cooking because it doesn’t interest them, or they haven’t the time. Others (like AKmawould cook, but are admittedly not the best at it and, thus, do not enjoy it. So, as this day approached, we thought to ourselves: WWAD (what would AKma do)? Have someone else cook instead, of course!

Hide those oven mitts, because we’re going to Butcher and the Boar tonight!

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The Sausage Sampler. Wild Boar Hotlink, Texas Beef Link, and Berkshire Pork and Cheddar. Also pictured: a puddle each of barbecue sauce and mustard, some coleslaw, and pickled veggies.

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A lovely shareable side of Creole Cauliflower.

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Thick and buttery Texas Toast.

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And the main attraction… a beautiful Smoked Beef Long Rib with a Tabasco-molasses sauce. Also, more coleslaw.

Meat. Meat everywhere. And we didn’t have to make any of it! Kitchen Klutzes unite!

Tomorrow: National Strawberry Shortcake Day and National Bourbon Day.

SPAK

 

 

 

[FHCx115] National Pigs in a Blanket Day

Rolled tastiness.

TODAY IS NATIONAL PIGS IN A BLANKET DAY!

For many of these food holidays, there is a moment of wonder when we can’t be sure how something came to be. I mean, yeah, we get deep dish pizza’s evolution and such. But how did someone get so tired of pancakes/crescents and sausage that they had to roll them up into one bite?

Since it’s currently Passover, and we mostly observe the no-leavened-bread thing, dealing with days that have a bread item as the main focus is difficult. But thanks to ingenious Jews, we have a pancake mix that is kosher for Passover. (Honestly, that’s something we can’t understand. It’s like vegetarian things that look and taste like meat. If the whole point was not to do that, why do we spend so much effort to get the real thing that’s not the real thing?)

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Hooray! Rolled and eaten.

Tomorrow is Zucchini Bread day! Yeah. This one actually has “bread” in the name!

-SPAK

[FHCx28] Blueberry Pancake Day

Not like we really needed an excuse to have breakfast for dinner, but hey,

TODAY IS BLUEBERRY PANCAKE DAY!

We typically have eggy breakfasts, so this was a nice occasion to do it up a bit. There’s a Facebook group that we found through our Weight Watchers meeting and it’s proven to be a great resource for ideas on low-calorie/low-point foods. Recently somebody posted a tip about a brand of pancake mixes called Kodiak that is quite a bit lower in “cost” than your average mix. We found that it’s available at Target, so it became part of our blueberry pancake plan. Blueberry plancake!

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There are other varieties of Kodiak that are just about as low as this one, but protein is our friend.

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Mix the stuff (it’s a just-add-water mix), pan the cake, blue the berries, and there you have it:

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None of the others were this attractive.

AK did successfully try her hand at a pan-flip. You had to be there.

As many of you have undoubtedly seen, there are lots of step-by-step instructional recipe videos floating around the internet. One such video caught our attention as a good companion for our flappyjacks, so we gave it a go. Presenting: cauliflower hash browns!

Here’s the recipe we followed:

In the end, ours came out a little differently but still very yummy. We currently have one grater and it has really small holes, so the cauliflower shreds came out a lot tinier. We also unwittingly used up all our onion on dinner yesterday, so we used onion powder to try and make up for the flavor loss. Those things in combination with the heat on the frying pan probably being too high, each batch being a bit too big, and maybe not quite enough egg to keep it all together, it got reeeeeaaal crumbly. But it was delicious anyway.

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See how tiny? It was almost more like a powder.

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Egg ‘n’ stuff

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We swear it didn’t taste nearly as burnt as it looks!

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Throw in some Morningstar farms sausage and you’ve got yourself a kickass breakfast! FOR DINNER! Without going too nuts!

Tomorrow is Corn Chip Day, so we’ll try to keep it at least a little bit interesting. Seeya then!

SPAK