Archive for April, 2008

I didn’t make the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. We went to the In-laws for dinner and I suspected that MIL would be making a fabulous dessert. And I was write. From the current issue of Gourmet, she made the Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil. While not a fan of lemon, don’t ask, I do love Olive Oil. And I sure did love this tart.

To make it even better, we topped each piece with some sugared strawberries and freshly whipped cream. Even without chocolate, I licked the plate clean.

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A friend (Jen) brought me this bottle of wine as a hostess gift awhile back, and fortunately for me, Husband is not a big fan of Pinot Grigio. Good! More for me!

I opened it up the other night and enjoyed a beautiful, light but fruity wine, all while enjoying this beautiful bottle. It reminds me a bit of breakfast as a child with the cereal box propped up in front to read while I gobbled down the sugar and milk. But this tasted much, much better. And, and I drank it with cheese. Here’s a link to the winery:


It’s a fun site to nose around in. Have fun!

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For this week’s edition of Tuesdays with Dorie, Amanda of slow like honey chose Bill’s Big Carrot Cake.

What’s kind of funny, was that I intended to make this cake this weekend anyway to celebrate Husband’s birthday. He’s a fan of carrot cake, and while I do believe dessert needs chocolate, I can deal with carrot cake with no problems. (more…)

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We made the Cover Recipe from the April issue of Cooking Light the other day, and while it was an unexpected combination, I thought it was darn good. Husband loves Crab Cakes, so we thought making the Crab Cakes with Roasted Vegetables and Tangy Butter Sauce would be a great way to spend a Saturday night. (Really, we don’t get out much).

And the recipe was certainly easy, easier than finding the crab at SuperTarget. I’m not sure why I go back there, they never have anything unique or foreign, just the basics. (No crab OR sesame oil!) But anyway, I did a quick mix of ingredients for the crab cakes and let the mixture rest. The vegetables roasted for 30 minutes, the crab cakes fried up in about 15 and the sauce took all of about 6 minutes. And dinner was served.

We did add some drops of our favorite ginger hot sauce, but other than that, the menu was healthy (full of vegetables) and protein (crab).

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Last weekend we found ourselves in a suburb and decided to pick up some groceries while we were there. We stopped by one of my favorite markets, Byerlys, to pick up some treats for the weekend as well as the basics. After putzing around the store, we noticed at the front there was a table with a large basket of truffles. Not chocolate truffles, or anything common, but real, live black truffles from Italy. We were in awe.

So we stopped to chat, and since we were still celebrating Husband’s birthday that evening, he picked out two little black truffles and had them wrapped up. Meanwhile, the FoodE expert (it actually said that on her nametag) served up some scrambled eggs with shaved truffles. Let me tell you. When she shaved those truffles, I nearly fell over from the scent. Unbelievable. So incredibly intense.

Needless to say, when we got home, we made scrambled eggs and shaved those truffles right on top. And we smelled nothing. Worse yet, we tasted nothing. The eggs were bland and the truffles had a tiny flavor of rot. Yuck. And all that for $50? When Mother-in-law arrived hours later, we showed her the truffles and with her expert nose she smelled Mold. Now that’s gross. So, we’re not touching the truffles. We’ve been had.

I spoke with Byerly’s, and they promised to call back with an answer, but we’ve had no luck. At this point, I dont want another truffle. Or the money. I’d take an apology and a gift card. Come on, already.

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Before we knew we had Wild tickets and that we’d be eating Sushi on Husband’s birthday in St. Paul, we made reservations with his parents at a new french restaurant in downtown St. Paul. Meritage opened up just a few months ago in the space formerly known as Au Rebours. We had been there once and enjoyed it, but this new place really knocked my socks off.


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Well, sort of. Nothing like the photo in the book. Nothing much like any marshmallow I’ve ever had. They tasted vaguely like a marshmallow I’d had in the past. But really, do they look like marshmallows?

I joined Tuesdays with Dorie to push my baking skills. I knew this one would be a challenge, and really, I was right. My first guess is that I didn’t beat the eggs long enough. Would that be possible?

I tore off a piece (with effort) and sort of enjoyed it. Husband tore off a piece and sort of enjoyed it. A tore of another and actually asked if I would every try this again. Maybe, I think, with some help?

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It was Husband’s birthday last Friday, and we were fortunate to get two tickets to the Minnesota Wild Playoff Game from a great vendor. Now we just had to find someplace to grab a bite before the big game. And because we love it and don’t get to eat it enough, he chose Sushi. There are a couple of good sushi places in downtown St. Paul, but one really stands out above the others, and that’s Fuji-ya on 7th and Wabasha. I’ve been there a couple times, and haven’t been disappointed. And it’s withing walking distance of the Xcel center, so that’s a bonus.


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Enough of my singing.

A recipe I posted the a while ago that called for Cardamom Pods. I’ve heard of these, I’d even seen them, but at my neighborhood Lunds they were really expensive. And at my humble little Rainbow market they didn’t even have them. So Husband and went on a field trip out to the suburbs to the Indian Market. Not only did I find them, but they were oh so much cheaper than the ones at fancy Lunds.

I obviously haven’t worked with these little guys, but they really are pods and inside the little pods there are little black spices. When I first held the pod I noticed the intense citrus flavor. Later I read that the pods are similar to fresh ginger. And fresh ginger is citrusy, so I guess that makes sense. Regardless, I have a whole spice jar full of the little guys now, so I guess I’ll be cooking more indian.

I had been storing my fancy little Cardamom Pods way at the top of my spice cupboard. As I reached up to grab the bottle of crushed red pepper the container of pods flew down the shelves and crashed all over the floor. Crap. These little pods are small, and they went e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. As I swept them up and poured them into the garbage I noticed how absolutely beautiful they smelled. Like citrus. And fresh Ginger. And they smelled clean. They really should bottle that scent. Huh, an idea.

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I just finished The Tenth Muse: My Life Food, by Judith Jones. I had to wait a few months for this one from the library, but it was well worth the wait. Jones is the editor who published many amazing cookbooks, most notably, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and Simone Beck. She published many other books, including those by Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden. It’s a wonderful, quick read that takes you from one end of the food world to another. I found one thing to be curious, though. For years Jones helped cookbook authors piece together their stories to be presented in an orderly way, but I felt this book could have used some of that editing. There were few references to the year, and the chapters skipped from one topic to the next. Sometimes it was hard to keep up. Regardless, I recommend it. And at the end, she provides a number of fascinating recipes that she writes about. This woman really helped to change the way we cook at home in America. And to that I say, Thank You.

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