July is …

July Belongs To Berries Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Baked Bean Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Pickle Month
National Picnic Month

First Week – National Canned Luncheon Meat Week
July 1 – Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day
July 1 – National Gingersnap Day
July 2 – National Anisette Day
July 3 – National Chocolate Wafer Day
July 3 – Eat Beans Day
July 4 – National Barbecued Spareribs Day
July 4 – Caesar Salad Birthday
July 4 – Sidewalk Egg Frying Day
July 5 – National Apple Turnover Day
July 5 – Graham Cracker Day
July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day
July 7 – National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 7 – National Chocolate with Almonds Day
July 7 – Ice Cream Cone Day
July 8 – National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day
July 9 – National Sugar Cookie Day
July 10 – National Pina Colada Day
July 11 – National Blueberry Muffin Day
July 11 – Vegetarian Food Day
July 12 – National Pecan Pie Day
July 12 – Eat Your Jello Day (Bill Cosby’s Birthday)
July 13 – Beans ‘n’ Franks Day
July 13 – National Ice Cream Day
July 13 – National French Fries Day
July 14 – National Grand Marnier Day
July 14 – Macaroni Day
Third Wednesday – National Hot Dog Day
July 15 – National Tapioca Pudding Day
July 15 – Gummi Worm Day
July 16 – National Corn Fritters Day
July 16 – Ice Cream Sundae Day
July 16 – Fresh Spinach Day
July 16 – National Ice Cream Day
July 17 – National Peach Ice Cream Day
July 18 – National Caviar Day
Third Sunday – Sundae Sunday
July 19 – National Daiquiri Day
July 20 – National Lollipop Day
July 20 – National Ice Cream Soda Day
July 20 – National Vanilla Milkshake Day
July 20 – Fortune Cookie  Day
July 21 – National Junk Food Day
July 21 – National Ice Cream Day
July 21 – National Creme Brulee Day
July 22 – National Penuche Day
July 22 – Maple Syrup Day
July 23 – National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 23 – National Hot Dog Day
July 24 – National Tequila Day
July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
July 26 – National Coffee Milkshake Day
July 27 – National Scotch Day
July 27 – National Cream Brulee Day
July 28 – National Milk Chocolate Day
July 29 – National Lasagna Day
July 29 – Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day
July 30 – National Cheesecake Day
July 31 – National Raspberry Cake Day
July 31 – Cotton Candy Day
July 31 – Jump for Jelly Beans Day

Better late than never, right?

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Recipe: Tangy Apricot Frozen Yogurt

Homemade Tangy Apricot Fro-Yo

Homemade Tangy Apricot Fro-Yo

Schatzi: I haven’t eaten much frozen yogurt since my Eighties childhood, when the TCBY craze swept the nation. When they built the new shopping center in Mililani, the one with the Star Market and Cookie Corner, they put in a TCBY, too. As a treat, my mother would often take me to the TCBY, where I always ordered the same thing: a waffle cone sundae with hot fudge and colored jimmies, no nuts. The flavors of yogurt I picked varied with their offerings, but I never wanted anything else. Frozen yogurt is back, but with a difference; places like Pinkberry and Portlan’d own Pop Culture–among others–have ushered in a new era of frozen yogurt, one with a tangier yogurt flavor than the soft-serve TCBY standard. And that’s not a bad thing.     click here for the fro-yo recipe

What We Ate: Beast

Schatzi: In lieu of a material gift for Eli’s birthday this year, I subscribed to the notion that it is experiences–and shared ones in particular–that increase one’s happiness, so I took him to dinner at Beast. Naomi Pomeroy’s Beast was one of the Portland restaurants to which we had been longing to go, but also one for which our budget did not allow under ordinary circumstances. I made reservations for his birthday, which were a complete surprise until I ruined it the morning of at breakfast. (I hadn’t had much sleep.) He was still thrilled, and since they were in the process of redesigning their website, the menu was a complete surprise to both of us. Since he was the birthday boy, I let Eli take the seat offering a view of the kitchen space.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my pictures; I forgot to charge my camera beforehand, and it was on its last legs through the meal. I managed to snap one of all but two course on it, which did not allow for experiment. I caught two courses on my camera phone, to make up the difference.

Petite Bouillabaisse with Green Garlic Aioli, Washington Mussels, and Trout Roe

Petite Bouillabaisse with Green Garlic Aïoli, Washington Mussels, and Trout Roe

click here to see what we ate at Beast!

about serving

Elisha: Serving is a lot like stripping. You get the best jobs when you’re younger, regardless of experience or talent.

(After we discussed why an excellent server was working at a shitty restaurant.)

Recipe: Pasta with Early Summer Herb Pesto

A Marjoram & Thyme Pesto

Pasta with a Marjoram & Thyme Pesto

Eli: I made this after Schatzi complained of my bland dinner idea for making roast chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepper with rice and some vegetables. I looked around and remembered the bumper crop of herbs she had chopped and frozen in cubes just a week or so previous, and I knew what to do next. According to Saveur, there are all kinds of pestos in Liguria, where it comes from. When there isn’t quite enough basil on your summer plants for making up a batch, you can rely on other herbs to fill the gap. I used thyme and marjoram, and cooked up some rotini, sauteed a few chicken thighs, and combined it all with my mixed herb pesto. As a bonus, I topped the dish with a dollop of ricotta.

Early Summer Herb Pesto with Marjoram and Thyme

1/2 cup fresh marjoram
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (lemon thyme is great)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 – 1/4 cup Parmesan and/or Romano
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Put it all in a chopper and go. Voila. Herb pesto.

What We Ate: Elvis’ Favorite Pound Cake, redux

Elvis' Favorite Pound Cake

Elvis' Favorite Pound Cake

Schatzi: One of my beloved aunties was in town, so we had a big ol’ family grilling, with Kobe dogs and all the picnic fixins’–even deviled eggs! For my contribution, I baked Elvis’ Favorite Pound Cake, which I had been raving about since I baked it last year, but this time, I took pictures. It was a hit, as I knew it would be, because it’s an amazing pound cake. This time, I used my large Bundt pan, which it filled perfectly. It was especially tasty topped with the whipped cream and strawberries from strawberry shortcake. If you need something special for serving with your fresh summer fruits, think about this delectable cake.

It has the most delicious batter; I have a hard time not just eating it.

It has the most delicious batter; I have a hard time not just eating it.

Recipe: A Simple Banana Bread

a loaf of banana bread

a loaf of banana bread

Schatzi: The earliest banana breads seem to have developed during the Twenties and Thirties, with recipes in print by 1933. This coincided with the popularity of baking soda and powder for use in quick breads. During the Twenties and Thirties, both bananas and pineapple were wildly popular, and banana bread was a quick, simple item to bake. It had another resurgence in the Sixties, one appearing in my 1961 Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook, and another five in the 1962 Good Housekeeping Cook Book.

I think of banana bread as a very Sixties and Seventies treat, which is a bit odd because I wasn’t even born yet. But my mother baked it, and there is still a stained recipe card for Banana Bread in the recipe box, one with her younger, more childish handwriting. I can imagine her baking it in high school back in the Sixties, just as she later baked it for us when we were growing up. I remember Mom baking banana bread pretty frequently when I was little, but it seemed like she stopped almost entirely when I was older, though she never did stop saving black bananas in the freezer. We happened to have several nicely brown ones on hand, and I was possessed of a desire to bake some banana bread. click here for the Banana Bread recipe