[FHCx288] National Dessert Day/World Egg Day

Today is two gross.


What better way to wake up than eggs AK-style? Make a couple super-runny over-easy eggs and serve on toast. Eggs around the world may be served differently, but this is SPAKhouse.




Ok. What to do for dessert… Well we left it up to chance actually. For SP‘s birthday, AK bought us tickets to go to a first-ever event held at St. Paul College, this thing they call their “Chef’s Dinner.” They brought the chefs from Revival and Surly, both restaurants of great repute in SPAK history, to oversee the culinary program students in creating a beautiful dinner. So we left it to them to provide us with dessert. But on the journey there, we have to share the following as well.



Oh there’s dessert! This cheesecake had mini sopapillas on top, and a fudge sauce made with cayenne pepper. SO good.

We loved it. It was super fun. We were glad to be part of it!

Tomorrow is… too much. National Cheese Curds Day, National Red Wine Day, National Mushroom Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Roast Pheasant Day. Oy.


[FHCx247] National Welsh Rarebit Day/International Bacon Day


We know Harley Morenstein would probably be spending today bathing in a tub full of bacon. Bacon is amazing. If we had our way, we would be eating the bacon at Manny’s Steakhouse every day. It looks like this:

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They make it with Nueske’s pork belly. Bacon may be hyped up everywhere you go, and the words “applewood smoked” have started to just look like the word “the” as far as prevalence, but it has good reason. Today we had some at lunch at Mill Valley Kitchen.

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Alright. Raise your hand if you can name more than two Welsh foods. That’s what we thought. We don’t mean to be offensive. The UK has given us foods like Fish n Chips. Or has it? (Spoiler alert: Spanish Jews brought fried fish to England in the 17th century.)

Welsh Rarebit is one of those foods that people might know the name but not what it is. No it’s not Rabbit. Common misconception, as that was originally the name of the food. And the word “rarebit” has no other use in the English language than for Welsh Rarebit. It’s basically just a cheese sauce. It’s good! We used Alton Brown’s recipe.

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2 Tbsp butter

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Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour, then dijon mustard, worcestershire, salt, pepper, and a half cup of some Porter beer.

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Look at it go!

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Add 3/4 cup heavy cream

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Slowly whisk in some shredded cheddar (shreddar)

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Pour over toast! We ate it with steak.

A sentence that was said after dinner: “What else can we put this cheese sauce on?”


  1. Graham cracker was pretty good, actually.
  2. Marshmallow was not.
  3. Crackers were excellent, as you could imagine.

Tomorrow is National Macadamia Nut Day!



[FHCx226] National Filet Mignon Day



Filet is one of the best cuts of steak. It doesn’t have the marbling and dry age flavor of a ribeye, but its tenderness beats out all other cuts.


Right there in the tenderloin.

This evening, we went to Mancini’s in St. Paul to have this dainty steak. The Char House has some great steak and also great garlic toast, so we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight it for this particular steak holiday.

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Garlic toast, grilled on the same grill as the steaks, comes in white and pumpernickel varieties.

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Medium rare.

Happy SPAK full of steak. Tomorrow is National Creamsicle Day!


[FHCx165] National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Baste your gizzards, for


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.





[FHCx155] National Doughnut Day/National Egg Day/National Chocolate Macaroon Day



Let’s start this in order of our day. Breakfast!

SPAK are big fans of eggs. For the most part, we tend toward the “gooeyer-the-better” team. We like over-easy eggs that just ooze when you stab them. That’s really the best way to do it. Occasionally, when AK reeeeally likes SP, she’ll make Eggtoast in the morning. Eggs on toast. It’s the best.

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Oops, one broke.

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Next up! Midmorning snack. Donuts. Doughnuts. D’oh-nuts.

Everyone and their mother is talking about National Donut Day. It seems to be the most popular food holiday so far this year. But SPAK has been doing this before it was cool, and today is no exception. Why Donut Day? Started in 1938, created by the Salvation Army that would supply donuts to those who served in World War I. We don’t have many of those people left anymore, but we can still eat this sugary confection in honor of them. Whether you like cake-type (you’re wrong), yeast, glazed, long john, bear claws, apple fritter…

Happy Doughnut Day!

(^Video is also appropriate; Cousin SParles just named his new baby Nathaniel. Next one will be Superfly?)

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Lastly, we revisit the macaroon. And this time we are going full-on coconuts. This recipe, introduced by cousin SPamy, comes from SkinnyTasteSPamy makes these for Passover at the yearly gathering, and they are addictive, to say the least. You have to be very careful that you don’t end up eating the whole batch!

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What a sweet day.

Tomorrow is National Cheese Day and National Cognac Day!


[FHCx83] National Chip and Dip Day/National Melba Toast Day

It’s a chip and dip!


Oh boy are we excited for today! Chips are awesome. Dips are awesome. Let’s make a mash-up (and we’ll throw some Melba Toast in to help with the dip!).

We present: The SPAK Chip and Dip Experience, March 2016:

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Three dips represented: AK‘s Beautiful Bruschetta, SPad’s Excellent Eggplant Dip, and SPom’s Outstanding Onion Dip

Alright alright, here are the recipes…

AK‘s Beautiful Bruschetta:

  • 5 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 6 leaves basil, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

Basically you just mix it all up once everything is chopped. It’s HEAVENLY. We could eat Bruschetta day in and day out, despite the fact that neither SP nor AK typically enjoy raw tomatoes! That’s the power of this dish.

SPad’s Excellent Eggplant Dip (made by SPad himself for the holiday, thanks SPad!):

  • 3 large eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch scallions, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

First you have to “overcook” the eggplants in the microwave after drizzling with oil. Make sure to cover it in wax paper first! Alternatively you can roast or grill them in foil. Once softened and fully cooked, scoop the flesh out of the skin and let it cool. Then you can finely chop/mince the flesh of the eggplant. Blend in the remaining ingredients and let it chill in the refrigerator at least overnight.

This dish has been a hallmark of holiday hors d’oeuvres in the SPamily household. Thanksgiving, Passover, you name it, this eggplant dip is there. The recipe, handed down in SP‘s paternal family, will make you love the eggplant more than any other dish. Serve it with crackers or chips or melba toast. This dip is on point.

SPom’s Outstanding Onion Dip (made by SP for the holiday. Sorry SPom.):

  • 8 oz light sour cream
  • 5.33 oz non-fat plain greek yogurt (We used Chobani)
  • Goodman’s Onion Soup Mix – alternatively, the Lipton one is also amazing because it has bigger onion bits in it.

This is the smallest recipe represented here today, but it’s the most popular dip for chips around these parts. Whenever there are cold cuts dinners, this dip is often found sitting next to some Old Dutch Rip-L chips. It’s really up to you how much of the onion soup mix you want to put in but in this house we like to lay it on there (AK, excitedly: “Whole thing! Whole thing! Whole thing!”). Make sure you’ve got some water on hand to help counteract the saltiness of the soup mix! This dip is creamy and flavorful and leaves the most amazing taste in your mouth. Stop reading this and go make some!!

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, much to AK‘s displeasure.