Beverages / Weeknight Dinner

Belated International Hot & Spicy Foods Day

So I was browsing through news articles on my phone this evening, when I saw that today is International Hot & Spicy Foods Day. (Update: I just did some google searching and apparently it was yesterday, but since it’s not even a real holiday, anyways, and I never know what day it is, let’s pretend it’s actually today).

Of course, I panicked a bit. Like all fun white girls, I love spicy foods! I immediately had images of Thai Tom floating in my head…I could get 3 stars, just for the occasion! But then again, I already got my Thai fix earlier this week (best red curry I’ve had in a while, for the record), and I’ll probably end up trekking to Thai Tom this weekend. So, feeling mildly defeated, I decided I’d have to just make do with the hodgepodge of foods at home and add spice to whatever I whipped up.

My fridge supply right now is…interesting. I’ve got enough ingredients to make meals, but it would require opening up new things as well, which I then feel obliged to use up as fast as possible before they go bad. So, I did something that always makes me feel like a semi-failure… I used leftovers.

I have this big hunk of ground turkey I cooked up a few days ago. It had been sitting in my freezer, and I decided to just cook it all at once. Oh yeah, and I didn’t wait for it to defrost, which is probably a health hazard. I’ve just been adding it to meals this week, when I feel like eating a meal that looks like dog food.

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I also had some canned tomatoes in the fridge that I used for something yesterday. They’re bland and liquidy and sad, like most canned vegetables are.

So, I chopped up some green pepper, some onion, and a clove of garlic and let it all simmer on medium for a few minutes with some vegetable broth and seasoning.

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When all the liquid was gone, I dumped in the meat and tomatoes. Then I remembered that I needed to CELEBRATE SPICE, so I added a teaspoon of Sriracha.

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It was pretty lame. It probably tasted like something most college students make on a daily basis, but my taste buds are too snobby for this crap, clearly. It probably would have been a lot better if I’d tossed in some ramen.

Oh, and adding the Sriracha was an awful idea. I should have just caved in and opened my prized jar of Harissa and made some awesome shrimp dish with it. Never settle for leftovers. Or at least not if the leftovers involve a hunk of ground turkey and canned tomatoes.

In a desperate attempt to find some way to better spice up my life, I set out to make a spicy something for dessert. Which went far better, thank god.

I’m a big fan of Mexican Hot Cocoa, so I basically just did my usual recipe for that, but added a bit more chili powder than usual, and a bit of cayenne.

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SO GOOD. And easy! All you do is add 1 cup of milk (I used soy milk) in a saucepan on medium heat.

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Let the milk get warm, then add about 3/4 tsp cocoa powder (I only had Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa, not any of that fancy schmancy overpriced stuff, sorry cocoa purists), sugar (I used a Truvia packet), a dash of nutmeg, a dash of cloves, a pinch of cayenne, about 1/4 tsp chili powder, and about 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Honestly, I didn’t measure anything except the cocoa, I just eyeballed it. Just add more of the chili and cinnamon, and less of the other stuff.

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Anyways, turn up the heat to medium-high and whisk everything together. Once it’s about to boil, remove from the heat and drink it.

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Ah, delicious. And spicy.

Here’s the original article on Bon Appetit’s website about the probably-fake spice driven holiday. They have some pretty good looking recipes listed, which all sound far better than the crap I put together for my dinner.

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