National Bologna Day

October 24, 2016

National Bologna Day


Bologna. My brothers love the stuff (or at least they used to) but I’ve never been a fan. It’s basically a hotdog with a larger surface area, right? I wasn’t quite sure how to celebrate National Bologna Day other than throwing a single slice of the pink processed meat on some white bread along with mayo and mustard and calling it a day. And then I found out that there is a somewhat fancier version of bologna known as Mortadella. I conducted a google search for mortadella sandwiches in the San Diego area and found Grab & Go.


They specialize in Italian subs and I’ve come to realize that the best way to mask the taste of bologna is by smothering it in salty Italian flavors like capocolla and genoa salami and olive salad and pepperoncinis. That totally did the trick! I detected no bologna flavor whatsoever while that olive salad lit up my tongue like a Christmas tree.


I can, without a doubt, say that I will never eat this sandwich again. I liked it so little that I may go as far as claiming that I will never eat at this sub shop again. It doesn’t help that I love Which Wich with an undying love that burns stronger than the flames of Hades. I don’t actually know what that means, so hopefully it’s not offensive or inappropriate in nature. But seriously, have you had their turkey reuben? Get one and get back to me. I hope you’ve just been introduced to your new favorite sandwich too!


Tomorrow is National Greasy Food Day! Doesn’t that sound fun? I’m trying to think of the greasiest food I can and all I’m coming up with is nachos. Not a bad option! How will you be splurging?


National Boston Cream Pie Day

October 23, 2016

National Boston Cream Pie Day


Having no prior experience with Boston Cream Pie, I thought that I was totally cheating by buying the Milano version of the famous dessert. Once I really started thinking about what Boston Cream Pie is though, I realized that it’s actually a cake, rather than a pie and I didn’t feel so bad about popping back a cookie or two or three… It turns out that the Boston Cream Pie was named a pie rather than a cake because pie tins were more common to come by than cake pans back in the day. There’s also some silly talk of the cake being cut like a pie, but I have a hard time with that little factoid as there is only one way to cut a circle shaped cake too – like a pie…or a pizza… I guess they didn’t have pizza back then though. How confusing would that have been if they called it Boston Cream Pizza simply because it was sliced into triangle shapes? Now I’m envisioning a Boston Cream Pizza dessert pizza…is it possible…?


I remember being a kid and thinking that Milano cookies were a decadent dessert meant for adults only. I guess Pepperidge Farms really did a great job on their advertising campaigns of my youth. I was probably a teenager by the time I finally had the opportunity to eat one. It was love at first bite. I felt so grown up. I am willing to bet that I felt more grown up eating my first Milano than drinking my first beer. I expected these cookies to be the same as the Milanos I’ve loved so much for the past decade of my life, but they were quite different. Rather than a flat cookie dipped in chocolate, they are more of the Twinkie version of a cookie. They’re a cookie outside but they’re injected with cream and chocolate in the middle. Once I drew that connection, this newest version of the previously sophisticated Milano just seemed less desirable.


Tomorrow is National Bologna Day and I’m planning on trying out a new sub shop just for this occasion. Wish me luck! I’ll need it…who likes bologna?!?!

National Nut Day

October 22, 2016

National Nut Day


I’m really struggling with what to come up with in terms of the celebration of today’s food holiday. National Nut Day seems so general but also a little on the boring side, if I do say so myself. Please feel free to disagree with me. I’ve already shared a few different ways I’ve used some of the more popular nuts in recipes. Just check out the amazing Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken I made last month or the homemade Peanut Clusters I threw together in no time back in March. I even celebrated the nut with trail mix and my (almost) famous spring salad.


So it got me thinking. How about I just share with you some things that drive me nuts and some things that I’m just nuts about. Yes, I know this is totally corny, but how else am I supposed to keep my content new and entertaining if I’m not getting personal and real?

Things that drive me nuts:
Hearing others chew their food
Slow drivers in the left lane
When Joseph doesn’t listen to me
Finding random bruises on my legs and not being able to remember what I ran into

Things I’m nuts about:
Cooking at home
Guacamole & Cupcakes
Being surrounded by friends & family
Spending time outside


Obviously, that’s just a small list of the things I’m nuts about. I could go on and on, but I did have a hard time thinking of the things that drive me nuts. I guess that means I’m a glass half full kind of gal. I’ll take it. Tomorrow is National Boston Cream Pie Day and I left it open to interpretation. What do I mean? Guess you’ll have to check back in tomorrow to find out.


National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

October 21, 2016

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day


One of the girls at Stroller Strides kept telling me she had a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe but we never got around to getting it passed to me. To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie or cheesecake, so I wanted to do something easy that required little prep time and even fewer ingredients. And then I stumbled upon this at the grocery store. Pumpkin everything is everywhere. We all know that. Just walk down the seasonal aisle of Target or Walmart. It’s almost overwhelming. I do still admit that the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds were out of this world though! So you should totally snag up some of those before the season ends.


So the instructions for this pumpkin cheesecake kit indicate that the dessert should be made in a cake pan. I thought about what a colossally bad idea that was, once the time came to remove the cheesecake from the pan. I really think it would only work in a springform pan and seeing as I only have a very small one, I opted to make individual cheesecakes in a muffin tin using cupcake liners. I only made a dozen so I got to jam-pack them full of graham cracker crust. Let’s be honest, the crust continues to be my favorite part of just about any dessert, and that was true once again with the celebration of today’s made-up food holiday.


Then I took things a step further. What is that little brown dot in the pan? It’s a piece of chocolate. Yes, that happened. I placed a single Guittard chocolate on top of the crust prior to pouring in the cheesecake filling and then letting these little guys bake in the oven and cool in the fridge overnight. It turns out that the chocolate wasn’t an amazing idea since cheesecake is eaten cold, rather than hot. That little chocolate gem in the middle was pretty solid and hard to sink my teeth into. Oops. Best laid plans, right?


Tomorrow is National Nut Day. I purchased a bag of trail mix for one reason alone – it was called “Nuts & Things” and it made me laugh. I know, I know, I’m such a child!

National Brandied Fruit Day

October 20, 2016

National Brandied Fruit Day


Since it’s apparently frowned upon to get tipsy on alcohol-infused fruit while responsibly parenting, I went ahead and enjoyed an undisclosed amount of these drunken cherries during Joseph’s nap today. I had to do it. Today is National Brandied Fruit Day after all.


OK, OK, so it might seem like I’m just throwing back boozy chocolate-covered cherries for no reason whatsoever. Not the case. I’ve said on several occasions that I have to plan ahead on this blog thing quite a bit in advance sometimes. I thought making turkey neck soup was difficult. Nope. Brandied fruit is even more difficult, in terms of planning ahead. It requires infusion of fruit in liquor for approximately 3-6 weeks. What the what, right?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!


So what did I do to celebrate today’s made-up food holiday? I bought a bottle of brandy, because let’s be honest, who just keeps that stuff on hand…? Not this girl. What is brandy for primarily? I’m operating under the assumption it’s an after dinner drink that’s typically served in a snifter. Anyway, I planned on using fresh cherries but it turns out that cherries just aren’t in season right now. Kind of reminds me of National Blueberry Picking Day… And I used only the highest quality chocolate to dip my brandy-infused maraschino cherries in – Guittard.


So how were these? OMG, they were a smack in the face! I think my tongue is still numb! I don’t think these are a good idea for anyone other than sorority girls, but seriously, they might fancy up a sorority party. I don’t find them acceptable to offer up as a gift for the holidays, as tempting as that might be. I think I let the cherries sit in the brandy for 4-5 hours before draining them and refrigerating them and then melting the chocolate and dipping them in for their necessary coating. Believe me, the chocolate is highly necessary! I kind of wish I’d done a double dipping of the chocolate! They were that potent!


Tomorrow is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and I once again got a little help from my friends to get this one made at home. And having experienced making cheesecake at home previously, I know that it must be made the day before, to be properly enjoyed since the overnight refrigeration step is kind of a big deal.

National Seafood Bisque Day

October 19, 2016

National Seafood Bisque Day


You ever have that moment where you go to bed and realize you forgot something major to do? Yeah that just happened to me. And now here is my blog post for the day…


Today’s obligatory food of the day was seafood bisque. Seeing as I couldn’t find any “seafood bisque” I opted for a lobster bisque by the famous Soupman of Seinfeld fame. Not gonna lie, I had pretty high expectations for this soup. I guess that’s because I figured that if a pretty iconic television series created a character around someone who cooks and dishes out soup all day, I thought the stuff was going to be the best I’ve ever had.


The best lobster bisques I’ve had in the past were always more of a creamy broth. There’s usually not much lobster in there, which I’ve never honestly minded. This soup was very different from that. It was fully loaded with all sorts of things you would typically find in a chowder. There were small pieces of carrot and onion and potato in there. I almost mistakenly grabbed a crab and shrimp chowder before seeing this boxed soup of lobster bisque. Good thing that didn’t happen, thereby ruining today’s food holiday. I found this at Ralph’s but then I remembered that Vons has an amazing soup selection in their deli area. I almost wished I had gone there instead and picked up their lobster bisque. It’s actually quite good. My favorite lobster bisque though is from a restaurant that I worked in, a Brazilian steakhouse by the name of Texas de Brazil. At the end of our shift, we always got to eat a meal afterwards. It consisted of anything off of the hot salad area because they had to dump that at the end of the night so we ate our fill of rice and lobster bisque and cheesy potatoes and sauteed mushrooms and bread every single night, along with whatever meats were already cooked and unserved. It was an awesome benefit to the job. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t been serving and running my butt off and sweating I would have also gained a tremendous amount of weight at that time in my life. Along with my seafood bisque today, oops I meant lobster bisque today, I also had a salad. So I was doing a soup and salad lunch at home. I preferred the salad over the soup. And then I may or may not have eaten a serving of my leftover chili mac & cheese from a couple days ago. OK let’s go ahead and admit that I did eat a serving of the pasta. And I quite preferred it to the soup.


Tomorrow is National Brandied Fruit Day and seeing as I didn’t give myself 3 to 6 weeks to make brandied fruit I went ahead and made some drunken cherries instead. Check back in tomorrow to see how they turned out.

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 18, 2016

National Chocolate Cupcake Day


If you know me (and if you’re one of my 7 subscribers, I’m pretty sure you do), then you know that I am a lover of baked goods but few things come close to dessert perfection like a cupcake does. Sure, that’s just my opinion, but I think it’s a valid one. I absolutely LOVE frosting cupcakes! I know I mentioned that before, but it really is my favorite part about making cupcakes at home. I always worry I’m going to cut the hole in my frosting bag a little too big so I err on the side of caution and then end up wishing my frosting swirls were a little larger. I know, I know, yes, these are the things my simple mind has to concern itself with, poor me…


Funny thing is that I didn’t even come halfway close to considering baking a batch of chocolate cupcakes from scratch at all! I had zero interest in accomplishing that. I knew that Betty had a good thing ready for me in a box already and all I had to do was add some eggs and oil and water. The other, mildly even funnier thing is that when I took the cupcakes out of the oven to cool down, I was surprised by just how bouncy and fluffy they were and the exact phrase I used was “These are super moist,” just like the box says… I couldn’t help but pounce on the Pillsbury Fluffy Frost in the Chocolate Marshmallow flavor. I am a big fan of chocolate marshmallow malts from DQ, so this flavor combo just had to happen.


I couldn’t help but snag up these cupcake liners at TJ Maxx the other day! They were sitting in the Halloween display area, just begging to be taken, or rather, purchased. For the record, I paid for these. I have a slight fascination with sugar skulls and it took everything in me not to buy all the stuff when I was in World Market a couple weeks ago.


Just like I relied on Betty to help me out with baking today’s obligatory food, I also relied on some other friends to make today worth celebrating. I brought the pan of cupcakes to Stroller Strides today in an effort to get them out of my house without having to simply throw them in the trash. I hate wasting food, but I refuse to eat a dozen cupcakes myself! I had to twist a few arms to get them to take a cupcake, but they eventually caved in and helped a girl out.



Tomorrow is National Seafood Bisque Day and I’m cheating only slightly because I couldn’t find “seafood bisque” per se and had to settle for a lobster bisque at the store. I don’t consider that settling by any means though! I love me some lobster bisque!

National Pasta Day

October 17, 2016

National Pasta Day


Let me just start by saying that I thought I was going to make this for dinner. If you don’t know this about me yet, here’s a little inside on the blog – I hate having to wait til dinner to get the blog done. Ideally, I consume my food of the day during breakfast or lunch and then have the rest of the evening to GSD (get $hit done). So when I devoured two big pumpkin spice muffins from Healthy Momma this morning after the Stroller Strides Grand Opening of our new location at Bayside Park, and after already eating half a breakfast sandwich (why half? because Joseph asked for the other half. duh…) and a banana, I thought I’d eaten my lunch for the day. Then when we got home from the Grand Opening event, I found myself ravenously hungry.


I found this recipe via Pinterest a few days ago when I did a search for “pasta.” It’s a Damn Delicious recipe so I knew it had to be good. How did I know? First of all, her photos are amazing on her website. Second, who doesn’t love the fact her blog is called Damn Delicious?! And finally, I’ve made a handful of her recipes already, like the Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana I whipped up for National Homemade Soup Day.


One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese (from Damn Delicious)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
8 ounces ground beef
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces elbows pasta
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


I love the fact that this is a one pot dish! It was so incredibly easy to prepare and I even got to do a little slicing and dicing and you know how much I love that! It only took me about 30 minutes to go from ravenously hungry to fully satisfied. I was so satisfied that I went back for seconds. And then I just started sneaking spoonfuls out of the the entire pot itself… Be warned, it’s addictive!


Tomorrow is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. I’m telling you because I love you, my dear 7 subscribers, and I want you to be happy. So go all out and eat a chocolate cupcake! If not for you, then do it for me.

National Liqueur Day

October 16, 2016

National Liqueur Day


Let’s be honest – I’m always down with calling a random Sunday in October a national treasure, in order to have an adult beverage. I didn’t have to come up with a bogus reason to celebrate today though, that was done for me, thanks to my celebration of the food calendar. Happy National Liqueur Day! Go ahead and join me for a drink! You’re welcome. Dust off that bottle of liqueur you’ve got in the back of your liquor cabinet, just begging to get used today. I think a White Russian is calling your name…


As for me, I went with an apple martini. Why? Good question. Here’s how that decision was made: I perused the liquor aisle of Walmart two days ago and hunted for the word “liqueur” on every bottle imaginable. Immediately, I thought I’d end up with a White Russian myself, and I even grabbed a cheap bottle of Carolan’s Irish Cream, but I had to look a little harder than necessary for the obligatory word’s appearance on the bottle and I got distracted by the neon green hue of the sour apple liqueur bottle below it.


Having several years of bartending experience under my belt, I felt confident in my ability to shake up an apple martini at home. I consulted the Pinterest gods for a little guidance and after confirming my thoughts, went with the following recipe:

Sour Apple Martini
1 1/4 ounces vodka
1 ounce sour apple liqueur
1/4 ounce lemon juice

Fill martini shaker with ice. Add ingredients. Cover tight and shake until mixed. Pour into glass and sip like the delicate flower you are.

Don’t have a martini shaker? Neither do I. So I improvised and used a protein shaker bottle instead. Genius, right?


I also got super fancy and decided to slice up a green apple real thin to add to the appeal of my cocktail. We used to do that at a couple of the places where I got to show off my bartending skills back in the day. Those were some fun days! The hours flew by because we were constantly busy and then we’d all go out for drinks together in a pack after we got out of work. I only miss it occasionally, but then I remember the 13 hours shifts on my feet in water-soaked socks and shoes after cleaning up the bar and I don’t miss it all that much. It was good money though…


As the shirt states, coffee was consumed prior to the consumption of this alcoholic beverage. Actually, two coffees were consumed. There are very few days in the calendar I am mentally prepared to combat without my first cup of coffee to start things off. If having a caffeine addiction is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


Tomorrow is National Pasta Day and I’m trying out a chili mac & cheese recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers. Check back in to see how it turns out. I can guarantee you my photos won’t be as pretty as hers. Must I remind you I only have 7 subscribers…?

National Chicken Cacciatore Day

October 15, 2016

National Chicken Cacciatore Day


And National Mushroom Day. And National Red Wine Day. Turns out that both of those ingredients are in chicken cacciatore though, so two birds, one stone! Sweet! Today I prepared chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker, so I put everything in around 9am, knowing that it would be ready to eat around 5pm. I had a good time preparing this dish because I love chopping and dicing vegetables so much. If you don’t love that as much as me, you might want to pass on this recipe since it took me a solid hour to get everything prepped.


Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (from Cafe Delites)
6 skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
Salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced medium
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
½ cup pitted kalamata olives
8 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons each freshly chopped parsley and basil, plus more to garnish
1 teaspoon dried oregano
150 ml red wine
2 x 14 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
7 ounces mini Roma tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker (no cooking is necessary, but you can sear the chicken beforehand if you prefer). Stir to combine; cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours, until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone. Add in the mushrooms in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Season to your tastes and serve.


Slow cooker recipes are usually amazing because of their ease. Not so much in this case, but once I got my taste buds on that combo of fresh roma tomatoes mixed with tender chicken and salty kalamata olives, all was forgotten. Obviously, I also had to have a glass of red wine with dinner, just to properly celebrate all of today’s food holidays. And it was the perfect complement. It also helped me forget all about the house I’m trying to get cleaned and organized and the preschooler who refused to nap today after an outing at the pumpkin patch. I might have a second glass…


Tomorrow is National Liqueur Day. It’s about time that I’ve mixed up an apple martini at home, so stay tuned!