Archive for January, 2009

Here in the “Twin Cities” there are two primary newspapers. We receive the printed version of the “Minneapolis” paper, but I’ve started to check out the “St. Paul” paper online. And it’s a nice change of pace. Last week I found a link to sign up for weekly crock-pot recipes. Not sure how it will turn out, but hopefully I’ll get a few ideas for some easy meals. This time of year, when everything is frozen and covered in snow, it’s hard to think of fresh ideas. I’ll try to post about the recipes as I get them and/or make them!

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I’ve been saving this one until it warmed up, and tomorrow (Friday) it’s finally supposed to. Okay, so for most of you a high of 6 degrees isn’t exactly warm, but when the high has been hovering around 10 below for the last three days, we’ll take what we can get. And at this point, I wouldn’t turn this dessert down. Even in negative temps.

We made these for New Years Eve, after a dinner of steak, crab legs and sesame sugar snap peas. We piled Haagan Dazs Coffee Ice Cream and Hot Fudge and sliced bananas together. Yum. Really, it doesn’t get much better that this. Except if you buy a tub of ice cream and continue to dip into it for the next week. Yum. The hot fudge helped melt the ice cream just enough and the banana added a few much needed nutrients.

That’s kind of pushing it, isn’t it…

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Ever since I had the gorgonzola gnocchi at Crave over the holidays, I’ve been craving the little dumplings. I ran across a recipe for Gnocchi with Pesto and remembered that I made pesto this fall and it’s just waiting in the freezer downstairs. I picked up a package of vacuum-packed gnocchi and pulled a bag out of the freezer. Dinner was ready almost instantaneously. The gnocchi cook in 2-3 minutes the pesto thawed while the water was coming to a boil. I added some fresh green beans and some ricotta, but really, the creamy sauce and tasty gnocchi really didn’t need it.

Next trip to the store I picked up another package. Always nice to have an option in the cupboard/freezer.


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My Popovers Didn’t Pop!


I love Popovers. And years ago I found Ina Garten’s recipe for Popovers in her Parties cookbook. I made them back them and I remember that they turned out beautifully. They literally popped and were full of flavor. That first time I used a muffin pan because I didn’t have a fancy popover pan. So, this past holiday season, I picked up a popover pan at Target because it was on sale. I hoped to make the popovers for some occasion, but never got around to it. Until last week. I followed Ina’s instructions very carefully except that I only made half a recipe. There were just two of us, and I didn’t think I needed 12 popovers lying around. I whisked the batter. I warmed up the pan. I DID NOT open the oven. And my popovers sadly didn’t pop. Husband almost through them out. But I tasted one, and while, yes, it was dense, it sure did taste right. I slathered it in butter and pulled another one out of the pan. Yep, that one tasted darn good too! In fact, a day later all six of them were gone. But I never really did get over the sadness because they didn’t pop. What did I do wrong? Guess I’ll have to try it again, and again, and again…

Here’s the recipe in case you also want to try it and invite me over to check out the results. If yours pop, you’re coming over!

Ina Garten’s POPOVERS
makes 12

1 1/2 T. unsalted butter, melted (plus softened butter for greasing pans)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 t. kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk at room temperature

Preheat oven to 425.

Grease popover pans with softened butter. Preheat pans.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek!

Serve hot or reheat before serving.

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Yes! The Market is still open. In fact, it’s open year round! We made it over there last weekend, Saturday in fact. (They are only open 9-12 on Saturdays). There were four or five vendors lined up, and most of them were selling meat. We picked up some pork and chicken from Otis Family Farm and a few pounds of ground bison from Big Woods Bison. It was about 10 degrees that morning, which really wasn’t too bad considering they winter we’ve had, but the cool thing was that the vendors trucks were turned off and they were able to display their meat on tables just like the produce vendors do all summer. It was silly, but cool. We also followed a sign to a deli across the street where a few more vendors were lined up. They were selling Cave Cheese, Honey, Soap and Apples. We picked up a bag of Honeycrisp and are going through them fast. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be stopping by the market at least once a month to load up on meat and cheese and whatever else might look good. Oh, and did I mention the Ground Bison was two dollars a pound cheaper than the stuff at the store? That’s worth hanging out in the cold.

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Tarragon Chicken


We made this really amazing Salmon dish as an appetizer for Christmas and had plenty of leftover Tarragon. (I forgot to take a picture of it, but follow the link and you WILL NOT be disappointed.) Anyway, I had all this Tarragon, which is really a lovely herb, and didn’t want it to go to waste. I googled Chicken Breasts and Tarragon and found this recipe for Grilled Tarragon Chicken. It was easy and really tasty and extremely easy. We served it with Husband’s famous mashed potatoes and some peas. Pretty and healthy!

I left you with two easy dinner options to get you through the weekend. Enjoy, and have a good one!

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I just found out, via the Star Tribune, that Scandia Bake Shop is closing.The sweet little bakery is not to far from my house, and 5 years ago, for my Great Aunt’s 90th I ordered one of their famous Kransekage Cakes. Now they’re closing and I regret not stopping there for a cookie every time I drove by. (Which was often, because they’re a block from my library). They are/were really delicious, loaded with butter and just around 50 cents each. Can’t find a deal like that anywhere anymore. In fact, the bakery reminded me of the bakeries you find in small towns. Nothing fancy, just a couple tables with folding chairs and bakery cases loaded with goodies. The sweet little place will be missed. I’ll have to swing by and pick up a few dozen cookies to freeze. Always good to have extra cookies on hand, eh?

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