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Archive for May, 2008

My morning commute yesterday took me to Southeast Minneapolis, a neighborhood I rarely get to. But I’ve been dying to try a new-ish place on East University Avenue so I left a few minutes early and made a quick stop at Cupcake. To begin with, this coffee shop/bakery has a great name, don’t you think? And better yet, they have a great big huge large coffee cup above their door. Now that’s appealing, and eye catching. That stretch of University Ave is not known for its aesthetics, so this blue teacup really goes a long way.

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It’s a Friday night in early May, it’s sunny and warm and you’re hungry. So you grill. You’ve got fresh wild rice brats from the Farmers Market last weekend, and a few big Yukon potatoes you grabbed at the co-op the other day when you stopped for lunch. There’s a meal here, somewhere. Next, you go online and figure out how to boil the brats, and you grab the Cooking Light that’s been collecting dust on the table and find a recipe for homemade fries. While husband is outside grilling the brats, and Dog is looking out the window, you whip together a salad, the chipotle ketchup and set the table. Poof, dinner is served.

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We spent this Mother’s Day with Husband’s side of the family, and went to Brunch at Cue at the Guthrie. Husband and I went there a couple years ago, shortly after they opened and had a really delicious lunch. We hoped it would be just as good as we remembered it. Maybe it was the crowds, or the new chef, or that it was a Sunday, but it just wasn’t as good as the first time. Overall, the meal, and the company, were enjoyable. But the service seemed frazzled and extremely slow. When we sat down they asked if we were going to the show and maybe we should have said Yes, because everything just crawled after that.

Our starters came out promptly and were a surprise. The crepes with ricotta, strawberries and balsamic were light and airy and really nice. The terrine (which I didn’t try) looked rather unappetizing. Husband said there was little flavor in the meat, and not enough bread to eat it with. A disappointment.

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Top Chef Wedding Guest

Okay, so I’m addicted to Top Chef. But this past episode was even more exciting, because a friend and teammate of mine attended the wedding that the Top Chefs catered! We watched with much anticipation and she didn’t let us down. That’s her in the photo above, with the champagne. (Yep, it’s another photo of our television) There was another clip of her telling Spike how much her table liked his Sea Bass. But Spike didn’t win, and was actually on the losing team. Nice Job Amy, we knew you’d get your moment.

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It was really beautiful out the other day and we wanted to grill a pair of pork chops with our new ginger-wasabi marinade. But I was puzzled as to what I should serve with the chops. I nosed around a bit online and found a recipe for Roasted Spring Vegetables. How appropriate! I didn’t follow it exactly, but did use the white balsamic vinegar, which gave the vegetables a distinct, but delicious flavor. I’m really glad they turned out well, because that new bottle of sauce? Not too exciting. Can’t win ’em all, eh?

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K and I went to the Minnesota Orchestra to see Sir James Galway perform with his wife and the orchestra. I recently started flute lessons from K, who is quite a flutist in her own right. I played until I was about 15, so giving away my age, it’s been around 20 years. It’s coming slowly, but the basics have flooded back. So to inspire us, we went to see Sir James, and it was nothing less than spectacular. Not only is he probably the most accomplished flutist in the world, he has a great Irish sense of humor. His little anecdotes between pieces were hilarious and from the heart. And of course there was good. During halftime we split a delicious piece of sponge cake with lemon icing. Yum. (tSorry about the photo quality, the lighting was just terrible).

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Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary. The sun was shining and it was actually warm. To celebrate, we headed over to one of our favorite (and most dangerous) stores, Cooks of Crocus Hill.

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