[FHCx158] National Applesauce Cake Day

Applesauce… cake? Yes!

IT’S NATIONAL APPLESAUCE CAKE DAY!

When you get into cooking at home, and you’ve started to get a hang of it, the first real way to branch out is to look at what to substitute. If you’ve watched Chopped, you’ll know what we’re talking about. In baking, you have a hell of a lot of options. One of the more common, but still intriguing, ones is using applesauce. It creates a lot of moisture and cooks well, so you can use significantly less butter and oil and eggs. Here’s our recipe for Applesauce Cake:

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Cream together 1/3 cup light butter, 2/3 cup sugar

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1 cup of applesauce and beat it in!

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Add 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract. You can also add nuts/raisins if you like.

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Put it into a greased/sprayed pan

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Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes

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Yummy!

It turned out pretty well! As SPiel said, the smell was even better than the taste. It has a comforting apple-cinnamon scent and flavor. The inside is really fluffy because the moisture from the applesauce kept the cake from falling flat and dense in the process of baking. It’s very simple, very light, and very tasty!

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! (Yesssssssss!)

-SPAK

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

Sweet!

IT’S NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY AND NATIONAL EGG DAY AND 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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Eggtoast!

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Gooooooeyyyyyy

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!

-SPAK

[FHCx134] National Apple Pie Day/National Crouton Day/National Fruit Cocktail Day/International Hummus Day

That’s too long a title.

TODAY IS NATIONAL APPLE PIE DAY AND NATIONAL CROUTON DAY AND NATIONAL FRUIT COCKTAIL DAY AND INTERNATIONAL HUMMUS DAY!

My goodness. Look at all that. We did it. And thankfully we didn’t stuff ourselves!

First up: Hummus.

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Hummus is a gem of the middle-east. One of the things that could easily be overeaten and overeaten and overeaten. Whether you dip with carrots or pita or anything else, there is something very addictive about that chickpea and sesame flavor. What’s the difference between a chickpea and a garbanzo bean? I would be okay to have a garbanzo bean on my face.

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Phoenician makes a great hummus, as does the local Kowalski’s. Really good stuff.

That was our appetizer for dinner at SPamily’s house tonight. Next up was our salad course, with croutons! Not able to let bread go to waste, someone thought, “let’s just keep eating this until it breaks our teeth.” And so we did, and the delicious crouton was born! Now, we may have preferred our croutons in French Onion Soup form, but we wanted to stay modest with our calorie consumption.

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Slad!

After our wonderful dinner of Chipotle Chicken (a Weight Watchers recipe), we had some dessert of Fruit Cocktail and Apple Pie. Fruit Cocktail is an interesting food, considering the strict stipulations set by the USDA (All hail USDA overlords!):

  • 30% to 50% diced peaches, any yellow variety
  • 25% to 45% diced pears, any variety
  • 6% to 16% diced pineapple, any variety
  • 6% to 20% whole grapes, any seedless variety
  • Few to no cherry halves, any light sweet or artificial red variety

Who decided that we should limit the cherries? Probably communists.

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Dibs on the nibs.

And, of course, some apple pie that was heated from a Sara Lee container SPom baked (All hail SPom overlord!)

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No better way to feel American than to eat Apple Pie when most apples aren’t even close to being in season!

And that brings our quadholiday (qualiday? quaaludes?) to a close. Great work, everyone! Pat yourselves on the back.

Tomorrow is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx126] National Enchilada Day/National Hoagie Day/Totally Chipotle Day

IT’S CINCO DE MAYO NATIONAL ENCHILADA DAY AND NATIONAL HOAGIE DAY AND TOTALLY CHIPOTLE DAY!

Whether you’re of the mindset of Cinco de Mayo,

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or Cinco de Cuatro,

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we’ve got you covered. After all, what better way to celebrate an inauthentically Mexican “holiday” with inauthentically Mexican food?

Today we mashed up all three holidays into one, and we’ve made something truly beautiful. It’s also very low calorie, and VERY tasty. So have at it!

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First up, the enchilada sauce. This puppy is 5 calories for 2 Tbsp. That’s reeeeally low for sauces like this. Plus, it’s got the Chipotle we need for Totally Chipotle Day!

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Next: The “tortillas.” These 60 calorie wraps are amazing. They are really the only ones we’ve tasted that are even worthwhile substituting for regular tortillas.

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Brush very lightly with olive oil, and bake at 300F for about 3 minutes.

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This is some Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken, shredded up and mixed with a bit of the sauce.

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A little bit of Sargento 2%-milk 4-cheese Mexican Blend…

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About 1/4 cup of chicken…

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Roll it up and place it in a 9×9 pan that has 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce at the bottom.

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Cover with the rest of the sauce and the cheese.

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Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes! Enchiladas are done!

Okay. So you’re gonna think we’re crazy, but stick with us. This is about to get seriously amazing. As if those enchiladas weren’t super tasty enough…

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Fry up some onions and peppers with some salt, pepper, and cayenne first. We’ll need them.

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Toast a hoagie roll. We used Pepperidge Farms.

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These little guacs are terrific. Very tasty, preportioned, and low calorie!

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Spread some of dat on dere.

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Shredduce.

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Onions and peppers.

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Enchilada – this is one enchilada out of the 8, cut in half.

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A totally chipotle enchilada hoagie!

My god it was amazing. And we have leftovers! Enchiladas make for great leftovers. AK‘s favorite part was the chicken and cheese inside of the enchiladas. SP loved picking the whole thing up and stuffing it in his face.

Here at SPAK, we say, “You’re welcome.” Go out and enjoy your enchiladas!

Tomorrow is Crepes Suzette Day, Beverage Day, and International No Diet Day.

-SPAK

 

[FHCx96] National Deep Dish Pizza Day/National Raisin and Spice Bar Day/National Caramel Day

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for.

IT’S NATIONAL DEEP DISH PIZZA DAY AND RAISIN AND SPICE BAR DAY AND CARAMEL DAY!

When it comes to pizza, SP and AK agree that the deeper the dish, the better the pizza. Not to say that other kinds of pizza are bad. Just that if we had a choice between matzo pizza and Chicago-style, we’d be in the green-water, organized-crime, bean-art, Ferris-Bueller’s-Day-Off camp.

Now normally the first place that comes to mind when people talk about the Chicago Style Deep Dish is Giordano’s. And yes, we did just receive the holy gift of a Giordano’s in Uptown Minneapolis last summer. But since before then, we were given a bastion of pizza by the name of Pizzeria Pezzo. This gem in White Bear Lake does not get nearly the love that it should. From the same family that brought us Kowalski’s we get amazing pizza that reaffirms our love for saucedoughcheese every time we eat it. Pictures speak louder than these words.

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Our favorite small-plate appetizer: Baked Cipollini Onions and Whipped Cheese. Ughghghsoerugao;bna;eoiuenarg

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We order the Lincoln Park with pepperoni and extra garlic. It’s like a veggie works, but a million better.

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We only eat one slice each and take the rest home!

It was hard, after the amazing dinner, to bring ourselves to our other two food holidays. In order to make Raisin and Spice Bars, SP took a box of Duncan Hines spice cake mix, a can of pumpkin, a box of raisins, and put them to work!

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No extra egg, oil, or anything. The pumpkin does all the heavy lifting.

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A low-calorie baked treat!

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What’s this? A wild caramel appears!

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It’s super effective!

We had fun today.

Tomorrow we’ll take it a little easier by celebrating Caramel Corn Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx93] National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

IT’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DAY!

Last time we had PBJ was on Peanut Butter day. Frankly, there are few things that we associate more with peanut butter than the classic PBJ sandwich. There also aren’t that many sandwiches that get their own wikipedia page. It’s a glorious sandwich for kids and adults alike.

People disagree on how to make the sandwich. First, are we adhering strictly to Jelly, or does Jam also count? Second, what flavor jelly? Third, is the peanut butter crunchy or not? Fourth, triangles or rectangles? But the question people never seem to ask, and it’s actually the most important discernment between people’s PBJ ritual, is how the sandwich is assembled. You have your jelly and PB and bread out. What do you do first? The correct answer is:

  1. With one knife, spread jelly/jam on one bread slice.
  2. Wipe off knife on other bread slice.
  3. With same knife, spread PB on the other bread slice.
  4. Cut, if necessary.

For all of you monsters who spread peanut butter and then use the same knife in the jelly, shame on you. For all of you weirdos who can’t handle using the same knife for two different spreads, you’re wasting materials. Just… do it the right way, folks.

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Have a PBJ and treat yourself!

WEIGH IN DAY RESULTS! We haven’t kept up on these as horrible gastro problems have inflicted some strange fluctuations. But we’re back on the horse about posting our results today. In the upcoming weeks, we’re hoping that we’ll see regular losses again.

SP: Total lost: 85.6

AK: Total lost: 20.8

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Mousse Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx78] National Sloppy Joes Day/National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

Sloppy Joe, sloppy sloppy Joe.

TODAY IS NATIONAL SLOPPY JOES DAY AND NATIONAL LACY OATMEAL COOKIE DAY!

Oh the sloppy Joe. Such an amazing food. For when you have ground beef but you’re just to lazy to shape it into something and you don’t have a box of some sort of Helper to make any major changes. Our recipe comes from this magical condiment called Ketchipotle, that we modify by adding a bit of Famous Dave’s sauce.

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Our other venture today was making Lacy Oatmeal Cookies. We weren’t sure from the outset what made an oatmeal cookie particularly “lacy.” We researched and found that while a regular oatmeal cookie may be doughy and soft, a lacy oatmeal cookie is prepared with a very wet batter and ends up making very thin wafer cookies.

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1 cup quick cook oats, 1/4 cup white flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp salt

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3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter, beaten until fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla.

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Mix the flour stuff with the wet stuff.

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Scoop out by the teaspoonful onto a sprayed cookie sheet. Make sure they’re far enough apart!

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They expand and become very thin.

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Mmmm

They are SUPER good. Normally SPAK likes softer, chewier cookies. Gooey chocolate chip kinds of things. But these, which are meant to be crispy, work perfectly. We got them while they were fresh, too, which made them leaps and bounds better. Plus, with a major reduction in sugar and butter from the recipe we found online, and using a teaspoon measure to make 36 cookies, each one was a nice low calorie especially for how big they were.

But part of saving on the calories means not eating all of them. We gave a whole bunch to our neighbor (SP‘s coworker) and his daughter. She did an impression for us in order to earn the cookies. It was adorable.

Tomorrow is our first four-holiday day. Tomorrow we celebrate: Maple Syrup Day, Poultry Day, Chocolate Caramel Day, and Corn Dog Day (the first Saturday of the NCAA tournament). Yikes.

SPAK