Archive for August, 2010


Jen hosted pARTy the other night (more about that on the other blog in a couple days), and Jess from Fifth Lamp Down brought the most amazing Plum Tartlets. They were delicious and now I’m really craving more… I found this recipe for Plum Puff Dumplings on Food & Wine today and I think I’ll have to make it. Soon. Isn’t the photo beautiful?

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Thanks for all your favorite Fair Foods last week! There was such a huge variety of favorites, most notably Cheese Curds, Cotton Candy and Mini-Donuts. This year we tried many things, including the cheese curds shown above. But in case you still haven’t gone, there are a couple new things you must try. The wine ice cream (we tried the Red Raspberry) is really, really good. They’re selling it in the wine section of the agriculture building. We also shared the Peaches and Cream from the Salty Tart. Wow. I only wanted a bite, but ended up eating about half of it. Wow. Fresh Peaches and I’m not sure what else, but I’m sure there was a scoop of heaven in the there somewhere.

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It’s time for another Friday Five. These posts have been so popular, I’ve decided to do them every month, on the Final Friday. And fortunately, this Final Friday is just in time for the Minnesota State Fair. It opened yesterday (Yay!) and I’m going tomorrow (Yippee). So, in honor of the fair, I’m asking you, what are your Five Favorite Fair Foods.

Mine are:

1. Deep-Fried Pickles

2. Cotton Candy

3. Foot-long Hot Dog with Fried Onions

4. Any Form of Taco

5. Real Root Beer

Now it’s your turn….

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Salmon with Thai Rice Salad

Here’s another easy weeknight meal. We followed this recipe from Food & Wine for Salmon with Thai Rice Salad. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s really, truly delicious. With just a few simple and fresh ingredients, the rice takes on a whole new personality. We’ll be using this recipe for rice all winter. It woudl work well for Pork, Chicken, Shrimp or even with a stir-fry. Try it. Yum.

Oh, and don’t forget that the Minnesota State Fair starts today! Yippee! More on that tomorrow…

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Frozen Tomatoes

My mother-in-law keeps giving me tomatoes. And they just sit there on the counter. Waiting. So finally, I grabbed one of my many books on the local harvest and figured out what to do. Freeze ’em! I can freeze them? Yep. Apparently, if you wash and dry them thoroughly, core them , freeze them on a cookie sheet until frozen solid and then put them in freezer bags, they’ll thaw very nicely in the refrigerator months later. Huh. The book says the skins will just peel right off as they thaw, leaving you with a bag full of fresh tomatoes to be used wherever canned tomatoes would work. Splendid! So easy, so quick. And I have a full size freezer in the basement to store ’em. I just hope the book is right….

On a side note, the frozen tomatoes took on the most amazing, smooth texture. Cool.

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After last’s week post about the very mediocre Bean Burritos we made for Meatless Monday, Bree from meandmy2guys sent me a couple other meatless options. We made the first one last night. Tomatoes with Feta over Potato Gnocchi. It came together really quickly and was really, wonderfully, seasonally delicious.

Here are Bree’s instructions:

the pasta sauce:

a can of tomatoes and a spoon of tomato paste, or a bottle of passata
garlic clove chopped up
onion chopped up (red onion)

sautee the onion and garlic until softened, pour in the tomato puree/paste

simmer, stir in a spoonful of pesto (if desired).

(when you start to simmer it down, after you’ve put in the tomatoes – put in a generous lug of balsamic vinegar)

once it has reduced a bit toss in a handful of black olives (i leave the stones in)
and crumble in a good handful of feta.

simmer for a bit longer

cook your gnocchi (potato gnocchi is best)

once the gnocchi is cooked, drain and stir gently thru the sauce and add another handful of crumbled feta and stir (big crumbly bits not fine).  the feta should just be starting to melt when you serve it.

(and it’s really good the next day for lunch).

I changed things up just a bit. I used fresh tomatoes because, well, it’s that time of year and I had a big bowl staring me down. I also skipped the black olives. They’re not my favorite and thought there was enough going on. I also added some fresh basil, since again, it’s that time of year. It turned out a big runnier than expected, but I think that’s due to the fresh tomatoes.

So make this. On a monday or any day. We’re adding this to the make again pile. The sauce is delicious, and would work well on pasta or with slices of chicken sausage mixed in. Yum. Thanks, Bree,  A Huge Success!

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Dessert this weekend at the In-Laws. The blackberries were local, really local, like on their property local. And the whole thing was delicious. Yum.

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Anna and I have been waiting for the Tea House to open their Minneapolis location for nearly a year. And so finally last week, after a quick stop at the Textile Center, we stopped in for a delightful lunch.

We both ordered lunch specials and were treated to  a simple soup loaded with pork and tofu.

We then moved onto an order of the Juicy Buns. These were very similar to the first dumplings I had in NYC’s Chinatown. Our blonde, blue-eyed server gave us a quick lesson on how to eat them and for that I was grateful. Basically, you bite off the top (the twisty part), pour in some of the ginger sauce served on the side, and  then try to eat it as gracefully as possible without it slipping from your chopsticks and into the soup spoon you’re hopefully holding right underneath it. They were delightful and oh, such a mess.

Not that I was still hungry, but the Kung Poa Chicken I ordered was delicious and a huge serving. It was loaded with peanuts and some vegetables and became my lunch the following day as well.

I can’t wait to go back. Every time I think of the Juicy Buns my mouth waters. Yummmmmm……. who’s got time for a lunch date?

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Not Real Simple

I saw this photo in the latest issue of Real Simple. It’s a chocolate cupcake with a marshmellow melted on top. Simple. Three minutes before the cupcakes are done, place a marshmellow on top and continue baking. Got it. So, three minutes before my cupcakes were done I placed marshmellows on top. Not so good.

Not one of my dozen cupcakes looking anything like this. Instead, two or three looked to be wearing little white berets cocked on the side of their heads. The other nine marshmellows had slid off and melted all over the muffin pan. Marshmellows are sticky. Especially when they’ve melted. Guess I’ll stick with regular frosting next time.

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For dinner last night we made these Bean Burritos from Cooking Light in honor of Meatless Monday. Great idea, not so great recipe. The beans were just boring, even with double the garlic, double the chipotle powder and HOT salsa. Oh well, it came together really quickly (about 15 minutes) and it filled us up. I’ll need to look around for a better meatless option next week…

(if you’re confused, I ate mine like tacos, just because)

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