[FHCx320] National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day/National Bundt Day/National Raisin Bran Cereal Day

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IT’S NATIONAL SPICY HERMIT COOKIE DAY, NATIONAL BUNDT DAY, AND NATIONAL RAISIN BRAN CEREAL DAY!

Raisin Bran is a polarizing cereal, as we’ve found out from conversations with friends. SP tends to like raisins, and AK doesn’t. But even the bran part is something people don’t like. Weird.

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Two Scoops for extra poops

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Just look at how fun this cereal is!

Our next task was handling some Bundt. We are proud to present it as a regional creation with Jewish roots. Can you believe it? It’s based off of Gugelhupf, which was a Eastern European cake popular in Jewish communities. And then some dudes in St. Louis Park (which used to be referred to as “St. Jewish Park” – ya know, where SParents grew up) made this company called Nordic Ware and invented the Bundt pan based off this cake thing.

Everywhere you go in Minnesota, Bundt. Believe it. And Mrs. Wonderful’s are frequently available at Target. And they are wonderful.

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When picking out which flavor to use today, AK said “Obviously Cinnamon Swirl.” So I guess there you go.

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Super duper good.

The last part of today was something we’d never heard of: Spicy Hermit? What? Like, spicy hot? Hermit like a crab, or a person hiding out somewhere? Who came up with this crap?

New Englanders in the 1880s, like half of these dang food holiday foods.

Imagine an oatmeal raisin cookie. Take out the oatmeal, but still keep the cookie soft and chewy. Then throw on a whole bunch of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc. That’s a spicy hermit. We nabbed this recipe from The Spice House to make our own.

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Dry ingredients with a bunch of spices.

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Cream butter with sugar.

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Add in some beaten eggs and mix it up. This looks super cool, doesn’t it?

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Combine with the dry stuff.

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Chewy. Could’ve had more spices in them, but likely the recipe was made “mild” so that people wouldn’t run screaming to the hills. An interesting cookie, but not our favorite.

Tomorrow is National Fast Food Day!

-SPAK

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[FHCx307] National Deviled Egg Day

IT’S NATIONAL DEVILED EGG DAY!

By “deviled” we mean, you add a bit of mustard and stuff. It used to be a term that people used to mean “make it spicy” before spicy foods were a common thing around the world. AK got to work on making these at home, which was wonderful.

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Hard boil some eggies.

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Cool ’em off.

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Crack the egg and peel the shell off.

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Dry ’em a bit.

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Cut them the long way. 

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Scoop out the yolky innards.

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Here’s the stuff you mix with.

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Yolk and other goop.

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Pour the mixture back into the empty egg halves.

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Garnish with paprika!

They’re like eggs, but spicier.

Tomorrow is National Sandwich 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

[FHCx188] National Fried Chicken Day

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IT’S NATIONAL FRIED CHICKEN DAY!

Oh boy have we been looking forward to this day for a while! Sure, we’ve had plenty of exciting food holidays along the way, but this one allows us to really sell (as if it needed it) one of the local restaurants of Minneapolis that does fried chicken bestest: REVIVAL!

Now, to the Minneapolitans, Revival needs no introduction here. This place opened up a little over a year ago and has been packed since. With no reservations, and maybe seating for 40, you can expect to wait over 60 minutes to get a table for dinner. But there is very good reason for that.

First up, SP loves these fried chicken livers. They’re super luxurious.

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Like a tower of organs.

Ok, ok, maybe we didn’t sell you on this right away. Going with livers is pretty hardcore pretty fast. So let’s bring it back to the actual fried chicken. You can get your chicken done one of 4 ways: Southern Fried (classic), Tennessee Hot (awesome spicy level), Poultrygeist (made with ghost pepper), or gluten free (why). This is some of the best damn fried chicken you can get north of St. Louis.

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The Tennessee Hot

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And Southern Fried. With room for leftovers!

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And of course some hush puppies. Yes.

What a delicious food holiday! We don’t even need to go over the merits of fried chicken for this post. You already know.

Tomorrow is Strawberry Sundae Day and Macaroni Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx16] National Fig Newton Day/International Hot and Spicy Food Day

Today we celebrate two very different holidays!

IT’S NATIONAL FIG NEWTON DAY AND INTERNATIONAL HOT AND SPICY FOOD DAY!

First up, Fig Newtons. They’re tasty. Named after Newton, Massachusetts, as opposed to Sir Isaac. You’d kind of imagine a corporate giant like Nabisco making a PR gesture with one of their less popular items – so much less popular that they’ve dropped “Fig” from the name – just so they can justify putting these out on shelves. In my (SP) classroom, I doubt you’d get 20% of the students to recognize what a Fig Newton is. Sad days we live in.

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“Made with real fruit Newtons No High Fructose Corn Syrup” just seems harder to say.

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Personally, I’d prefer a larger fig-to-cookie ratio

One thing to note is that the regular Newtons vs the reduced-fat Newtons are the same in WW points. So we went for the real thing. Currently, they are now all bagged up in small servings to have at a later time if we should so choose.

But that isn’t what today is REALLY about. To me, at least. Today is a day not recognized by the folks at the National Day Calendar (who knows why not, since they do include other international days) but is one that I could not pass up as I looked through the days of the year. Spicy food is amazing. It’s my lifeblood. Make something spicy with a hell of a lot of garlic, and you have found your way into my heart.

Today we made what we call our Banyan Beef Stir-Fry. It’s loosely based on the Banyan sauce you can get at the Bengal BBQ in Disneyland. We’ve tried many recipes of people who claim to know the actual secrets, but they’ve all been wrong. Nothing compares to a jalapeno-cheese pretzel dipped in that spicy sauce.

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When you wish upon a sauce…

So here is our stir-fry, complete with recipe! First up is the sauce, which is the most crucial part.

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1T black pepper, 2T brown Sugar, 1t crushed red pepper, 1t cayenne pepper, several cloves of fresh garlic, 1T lemon juice, 3T sesame oil, and 1 cup of soy sauce. Mix it all up and bring to a boil.

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Separately, mix up 1.5 cups of water with 3T corn starch and make a slurry. As the sauce begins to boil, slowly add the slurry. Once it’s all mixed and boiling, bring it down to a simmer and leave it alone for a while. It’ll thicken up reeeeal good.

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Hot wok, chili oil, more garlic, and 2 lbs of beef. I cook it and then set it aside in a bowl so I can…

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Cook up 1 onion, 8oz mushrooms, can of baby corn, can of bamboo shoots in the beef juice that’s in the wok. Add the beef back in.

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Steam some broccoli (I usually do two 12oz packs) and then add it to the stir fry. THEN you can add the sauce into the whole thing. We’re gonna need a bigger wok.

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Serve over rice with some sriracha. Happy International Hot and Spicy Food Day!

What’s amazing about all of this is how low in points the whole thing is, despite the 1/4 cup of oil and 1 cup of soy sauce used in making it. When you think about it, though, several pounds of veggies with a couple pounds of lean beef should make for a healthy meal. You could have 5 cups of this for the same value as a 1/2 cup serving of Beijing Beef at Panda Express. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you make food at home, for some reason, it’s healthier. The equivalent dish when you eat out is going to be at least twice the calories.

Anywho, today was weigh in day!

WEIGH IN DAY RESULTS!

SP: -3.4 pounds, total lost: 87.4

AK: +1.0 pounds, total lost: 26.2

For SP, this has been a really good week. I’ve been able to keep to my plans of what I’m going to have and, even with some dining out adventures, I managed to make some good choices. AK wasn’t too bummed about the gain, and knows exactly what she needs to kick ass for next week.

Tomorrow is Hot Buttered Rum Day! Here’s hoping it goes over better than Hot Toddy Day

-SPAK