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Archive for May, 2008

Finally, the garden is planted. Last year I had almost everything planted by the second weekend of May. Not so this year. It’s just been so darn cold. But finally, on the 25th, I got all my little plants into the ground.

Every year I say I’m going to cut back, then I run over to my neighborhood nursery, Minnehaha Nursery, and all hell breaks loose. Again, I barely had enough space, and I think I have a large garden for a city lot.

Anyway, here’s a list of what was planted:

Herbs include basil, tarragon, parsley, cilantro, dill and sage. My chives and mint came back from last year (is mint supposed to do that?)

Vegetables include three heirloom tomatoes (Mr. Stripey and Green Zebra, because I liked the names, and Brandywine), cherry tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes and three peppers (jalapeno, anaheim and yellow wax). Oh, and carrots in the carrot box.

Because I have to do something new every year (last year it was kohlrabi and sugar snap peas), I planted Thai Eggplants, bush cucumbers and by seeds, bush green beans.

I’ll post about the garden as it (hopefully) begins to grow. We’ve got more sunlight this year since our neighbors cleared their lot of trees, now we just need some warmth! Is there such a thing is a “warmth dance”?

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Every year, the local Twin Cities paper publishes a list of 50 things to do/eat/experience, etc related to food. Last year, I made a commitment to do/eat/experience the 50 things in the next year. I think I made it a few months before becoming overwhelmed (and out of cash). This year I will make no such promise, but I will pass the list on to you. If you do/eat/experience any of these 50 things, please let me know. I’ll do as many as I can, but lets be realistic, eh?

(I’ve also included a page above in case the link breaks someday.)

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On the way home from work last Friday, I stopped at Coastal Seafoods to get a gift card for a friend, and picked up some tuna for us. The Tuna Tacos from the New Scenic Cafe were still on my mind, and I thought it would be fun to try to recreate them. A quick stop at United Noodles lead me to an Avocado, Wonton wrappers, as well as Napa Cabbage and Peanut sauce for the peanut slaw.

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By day it’s a coffee shop and bakery. Albeit, a really great coffee shop and bakery. By night, they offer table service and great meals. After our more than ample lunch at New Scenic Cafe, we walked over to the Coho Cafe for dinner.

Of course we had to start with an appetizer, and looking over Lake Superior, we ordered the fish, fruit and cheese, which of course, contained some fresh lake trout and local cheese.

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Last night, when absently watching Anthony Bourdain in A Cooks’ Tour, my ears perked up when he said, “The best food always comes from someone you know.” Okay, maybe I can’t quote him directly, but he was sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean on the island of St. Martin, eating a creole chicken that had been pecking around earlier that day. It reminded me that it’s the start of the growing season. That really the best brat or tomato or scone is one that I buy directly from the producer, from their hand to mine. No middle man, no shipping container on the Pacific, just two people exchanging goods.

Farmers markets are open and doing brisk business. CSA Delivery’s have started. And it’s time to start planting those herbs and tomatoes.

We are blessed here in the Twin Cities to be surrounded by many fabulous farmer’s markets. My three favorites are the St. Paul Farmers Market (open year-round), the Mill City Market, and the Midtown Farmers Market.

I know the Star Tribune had a list of markets at some point. I’m not finding it right now, but I did find The Farm Report, which has lots of news and tips. City Search has a fairly thorough listing here.

So get out there and support your neighbor. You’ll even save some money on your grocery bill, and who doesn’t want that?

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A weekend on the North Shore meant lots of food, lots of hiking and lots of wine. Our first stop was a favorite that we first went to last summer, the New Scenic Cafe. Eight miles north of Duluth, the Scenic relies on fresh, seasonal ingredients for their unique menu. Since there were four of us, we started with a few appetizers, including the tuna tacos, the curried mussels and the salmon plate.

Again the tacos were amazing. Just basic wonton wrappers formed into taco shells and filled with raw tuna and avocado. The sesame-soy sauce is drizzled over and they’re served with a peanut slaw. So delicious and simple.

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We made Heurvos Rancheros for dinner the other night. It’s a great, easy meal, made with ingredients that are easy to store in your kitchen. We used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking as a guide, and then took off on our own. We basically did the following:

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