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Archive for March, 2009

The Bun is Baked…

I’ve got a bun in the oven. Not a real bun, or brioche, or baguette, but a baby that has finally decided to join us. If you’re reading this, it means that we’re busy learning all about midnight feedings, messy diapers and new parenthood. Needless to say, there will be little time for cooking or blogging about cooking. I’ll stop by as much as I can, but in the meantime, visit these other local blogs to get your fix:

Painted Fish Studio

Three Sneaky Bugs

Kleas

Fifth Lamp Down

Kate in the Kitchen

Twin Cities Eats

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We’ve lived near this burger joint for over 6 years but have never made it there. I’m not sure why. But the other day I was craving a burger and well, we were driving near The 5-8 club, so we stopped in. We were in and out in about 35 minutes. were greeted and served by a friendly and efficient server and had great burgers that were just the right size. I chose the Mushroom and Swiss with the Onion Rings, and Husband chose the American Burger with Fries.

A great burger, friendly service… i hear there’s a patio if and when summer ever gets here too! Yippee!

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I’ve posted about Salut on Grand Avenue before and have had both a horrible experience and a great experience. So we tried it again. This time it was pretty inconsistent. Service was good, some good was really good, while some was really disappointing. There were four of us, and after we ordered our server mentioned that maybe we had ordered too many dishes. It was early in the day and I guess we were hungry. We canceled one dish and probably should have canceled more, because she was right, there was way too much food. At least most of it was pretty good. Here are some highlights:

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The Tuna Tartare

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The Pommes Frites with Bernaise

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The Duet of Fish (Salmon and Sablefish)

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The Curry Chicken Salad with French Onion Soup

Obviously there were other dishes, but they were not worth posting. Those included a flat bread pizza (too much cheese), the seafood crepes (too much sauce), the Sablefish (too small and undercooked).

Another highlight I can’t forget to mention were the dessert shots. A tray of shot glasses filled with just a few bites of something delicious brought to the table after you’re done eating. The day’s options were Creme Brulee or Brownie Bite with Caramel and a Raspberry. We ordered two of each. A perfect ending to a meal that was far from perfect.

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I’ve been out to eat a number of times lately, so I’ve saved them all up for one long week of restaurant reviews. It’s an interesting mix, from Sushi to Burgers to Sage Foam. But they were all delicious. Enjoy!

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I don’t usually need an excuse to go out to dinner with the girls, but this past weekend a client of Jen’s was singing at one of my favorite restaurants, Crave, so a few of us decided to make it into a girls night. Of course we had a blast. There was lots of wine (and some lemonade) and a ton of food. We started with the Siracha Edemama and Calamari. Jen ordered the Ahi Tuna (photo above), T ordered sushi, including the crunchy tuna roll and the famous Mexican roll (with japapeno and cilantro), L and I both ordered a Salmon special that included risotto and a green bean salad. It didn’t stop there, either. We shared the coconut cake and the key lime pie. I loved them both equally, but the others preferred the coconut cake. Both were gone pretty darn quickly, so really, they were both hits.

There was good conversation (Chris Christopherson?) and fabulous live music. And of course, great food. What else does a girl need?

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I noticed my current Cooking Light sitting in a pile of magazines the other day, and realized I had only skimmed through it when it arrived. Usually I mark at least half the pages and head to the grocery store to make the many wonderful recipes I’ve found in there. Not so this month. But I finally picked it up and found a few dishes that sounded good, and quick, since my energy level is bordering on non-existent. One of those recipes was for Almond-Stuffed Chicken Breasts. They’re filled with a mixture of toasted almonds (yum) and garlic Boursin cheese (yum), so really, what could go wrong?

Very little. Husband prepped the chicken and stuffed them and did a mighty fine job, I have to say. I threw some rice and a large pinch of saffron in the rice cooker (best invention ever, besides the iphone) and dinner was on it’s way. I was worried the chicken would cook unevenly, but it didn’t and it stayed nice and tender. The combination of the cheese and almonds was delicious, though next time I’ll try to squeeze more stuffing into each little breast. Because, really, can there be too much cheese?

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We Grilled. Outside.

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Yes, it’s been so nice hear the last few days we grilled out. Outside. In the backyard. Where the snow has melted and revealed some dirty grass. But who cares, because almost all of the snow is gone. And the dog can be walked again. And the windows are open. Ahhhhh….

Oh, and if you’re interested in the food, chicken and vegetable skewers, marinated in a mixture of soy, hoison and crushed red pepper. Really delicious. And did I mention that they were grilled outside?

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My grandfather came to the US in 1917. He was 11 years old and the youngest of four when his mother came over to join his father who had been living in the States since before my grandfather was born. In his honor, and all of those that are Irish today, here is a beautiful and fun poem about what else, potatoes!

Ode to the Potato

by Barbara Hamby

“They eat a lot of French fries here,” my mother
announces after a week in Paris, and she’s right,
not only about les pommes frites but the celestial tuber
in all its forms: rotie, purée, not to mention
au gratin or boiled and oiled in la salade niçoise.
Batata edulis discovered by gold-mad conquistadors
in the West Indies, and only a 100 years later
in The Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff cries,
“Let the skie raine Potatoes,” for what would we be
without you—lost in a sea of fried turnips,
mashed beets, roasted parsnips? Mi corazón, mon coeur,
my core is not the heart but the stomach, tuber
of the body, its hollow stem the throat and esophagus,
leafing out to the nose and eyes and mouth. Hail
the conquering spud, all its names marvelous: Solanum
tuberosum, Igname, Caribe, Russian Banana, Yukon Gold.
When you turned black, Ireland mourned. O Mr. Potato Head,
how many deals can a man make before he stops being
small potatoes? How many men can a woman drop
like a hot potato? Eat it cooked or raw like an apple
with salt of the earth, apple of the earth, pomme de terre.
Tuber, tuber burning bright in a kingdom without light,
deep within the earth where the Incan potato gods rule,
forging their golden orbs for the world’s ravening gorge.

“Ode to the Potato” by Barbara Hamby, from Babel. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004. Reprinted from the Writer’s Almanac Daily Email from Minnesota Public Radio.

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