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Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween. We’ll be handing out candy, nothing fancy, and then making this awesome Tilapia Dish. The spicy curry sounded right for a spooky night. Enjoy!

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I love Thai Food. We have two favorite Thai restaurants near our home; True Thai on Franklin in Minneapolis and Pad Thai on Grand in St. Paul. Last week a friend and I went to Pad Thai on Grand after a quick workout. She had never been to a Thai restaurant before, so I explained the menu as best I could and she went with the classic, Chicken Pad Thai. She loved it and cleaned her plate.

I went with something new (see above) and ordered number 501. I can not remember what the official name was, but that wasn’t the important part. What mattered were the tender slices of beef, crisp carrots and green beans and a lucious, but light red curry coconut sauce. The spice level was perfect, just enough to wake up my tongue, but not enough to send me packing. I loved it, and no matter the name, I’ll remember 501.

I’ve tried about half, okay, maybe a third, of the items on the menu and I’ve loved everything I’ve tried. Some favorites are the Papaya salad and the Sweet Green Curry. But really, 501 has earned top spot.

Oh, and we started with the fresh spring rolls, because, well, I had to. I can’t wait to go back on a cold winter night and load up on some more beef curry.

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A couple of years ago I read about a restaurant in Bayfield, WI and knew I had to try it. I did, and I wish I could go back every year, or every few months. A friend of mine, K, was fortunate enough to celebrate her 40th birthday in Bayfield and had a lovely dinner at Wild Rice. I was so jealous, I asked her to write a guest post. Enjoy! (and then drive to Bayfield immediately)

Wild Rice – A Birthday Treat

A few weeks back, my friend R and I headed to Bayfield, Wisconsin for a girl’s weekend getaway. Upon hearing of my planned adventure, the creative force behind The Write Ingredients promptly informed me that a meal at Wild Rice was a critical element to a successful trip – and to make reservations immediately. So it was, that R and I found ourselves at this treasure of a restaurant tucked into the Wisconsin woods on the shores of Lake Superior. The menu rotates with the seasons and the stunning open architecture of the building blends beautifully into this slice of north woods.

Our evening of gastronomic delights began at the bar with a glass of NV Kenwood Yulupa Cuvee Brut Sparking Wine paired with wood fire grilled Moroccan spiced freshwater shrimp with avocado mousse, prosciutto, and mango-orange-ginger salsa. The flavor was just right and the hint of spice balanced the smoky flavor of the prosciutto. If you make it to Wild Rice, I highly recommend having a drink at the bar – the gorgeous glasswork complements the views of the private glass-enclosed dining room and surrounding woods.

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A couple of months ago the In-Laws drove 7 hours to the Lake of the Woods to go fishing. The Lake of the Woods is in way, way northern Minnesota and on the US-Canada border. In fact, the lake is really in both countries. They brought back their quota of Walleye and we finally had a Walleye dinner. We just pan fried the fillets and they were delicious. If you’re going to have Walleye, this is the way to do it. Start with the real thing, cook her up in some butter and serve with some homemade tarter sauce. Yum. The fish was light and flaky and full of flavor, without being at all fishy. I just wish my stomach was larger so I could have had more. (There was, however, room for a slice of homemade apple pie). Yum.

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Quote for the Weekend

“Cooking is not brain surgery –

all you need is good ingredients,

some simple equipment,

and the desire to cook

for those you love.”

– Ethan Becker

{Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking.}

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I picked up this book off the $1 cart at the Strand Bookstore in New York City. What a bargain!

From Strand Bookstore

So much is made of the “food miles” our meals travel, but did you know that shipping food across continents has been around since the earliest times? In this book, acclaimed Financial Times writer Sarah Murray has compiled the remarkable adventures behind the foods that fill our weekly grocery list. From the Romans shipping olive oil from Spain to Italy and the temperature-controlled shipping containers that allow a single salmon to travel tens of thousands of miles. “Moveable Feasts” is an eye-opening account of your food’s epic journey to the table, as well as a provocative look at the dangers and benefits of buying locally.

I’ve only made it through the first chapter, but I’m excited by what I’m reading. If I can recommend it when I’ve finished, I’ll let you know!

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I saw this recipe for Indian Cashew Chicken in the recent issue of Cooking Light and I knew I had to try it. Last week I hit the store, got everything I needed and then looked closer at the recipe and realized I had to marinate the chicken for 3 hours or overnight. Seeing it was already 530 pm, that wasn’t going to happen. So, I waited until Saturday, so i could prep the chicken in the morning and finish the dish that even. And really, it was a lot of work for the final result. If I’m spending more than an hour on a dish, I want it to be phenomenal, or at least contain chocolate. This was neither. But it was decent and it served it’s purpose, which I guess was to fill us up.

If you still want to make it, here are some suggestions. Add some spice. Add some more vegetables. I thought a red pepper or some green beans would be nice. Maybe even potatoes, but then you’d have to skip the rice. I looked for Naan at Lunds and had no luck, but that also would have improved it’s chances as a repeat recipe.

Oh well, not everything is a winner. Guess that’s how we learn, eh?

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