Archive for the ‘Twin Cities’ Category

Husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversay last night with a quick dinner at a neighborhood Bistro, Al Vento. Obviously Daughter was with us, so we ate early and we ate quickly. We started with a bruschetta of Sun-dried Tomatoe Pesto and White Beans as well as the Smoked Salmon Crostini with Marscapone and Berry Compote. Both were amazing. (Even Daughter had some of the white beans.)

For my entree I ordered the Halibut with Roasted Vegetable Salad and Tomato Vinagrette. Not so amazing. The Halibut was nicely prepared and good, but the vegetable salad was more like a pile of unchewable greens with a few cherry tomatoes mixed in. Husband ordered the Hanger Stack with Truffle Potato and Red Wine Demi. I stole a bite and it was phenomenal. Yum.

Al Vento also has great deals. They offer 1/2 price wine every day from 430 – 6pm. Every Day. And on Tuesdays they offer date night, which is 3 courses for $20. Go there. Drink wine. Eat Crostini. Enjoy.


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Family Photos

This past weekend we went out to the Landscape Arboretum and met up with Photographer Kim Monsen to shoot Daughter’s one-year photos. Kim is so talented. She took photos of my Brother and his family last summer and was able to wrangle his four kids, as well as their two cousins, and I’ve seen the photos that prove it.

We wandered through the flowers and she took dozens of photos of Daughter, Husband and I. When I downloaded the above shot from my camera, I remembered this photo my Mother took of me thirty-some years ago. Look familiar?

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I ran over to St. Paul to check out the American Craft Council Show this weekend. And WOW. I was impressed. The quality of work was just amazing.

Like this beautiful dress from EkoLogic out of Troy, NY. Check out their skirts and T-shirts too!

I also fell in love with the work of Deborah Foutch. I was so happy to find out she was local, because I’d love to spend more time gazing at her work. She paints a canvas, and then adds silk touches and sews on it. She sews on it. With a sewing machine! Sounds like something I could do.

Then there was the jewelry. The first booth I walked past had the most amazing necklaces, and bracelets. They were the work of Mary and Louann. They work with Sterling Silver, Polymers and Clay. The work is colorful and so much fun!

I also loved the work of these artists, but didn’t get a chance to chat with them.

Serena Design – Beautiful, light and airy work. Her booth was crowded the whole time I was there, I could barely get a decent look.

Ayala Jewelry – Cool and unique shapes, textures and colors.

Aaron Barr – Does amazing things with wood.

Unfortunately, I didn’t buy any amazing jewelry or a cashmere skirt,but I did buy a really fun paper flower! I pinned it to a jacket, yet forgot to take a photo. I bought it from a really fun couple from Indiana. Check out their work on their website. Woof!

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I didn’t like what I brought to work for lunch the other day. Fortunately, I have one of the Twin Cities best deli’s just one flight of stairs away from my desk. And fortunately (again) for me, they happened to be serving a new soup, Spicy Tomato with Fennel and Pepperocini. I love tomato soup. I love spicy food. I really love spicy tomato soup. So I ordered a cup, went back upstairs, and enjoyed a really amazing, fabulous cup of soup. So fabulous, that I told husband about it. And I thought about it all night. And the next morning, when I went down to Bewiched for breakfast (they have killer scones, as well) I noticed they were serving the Spicy Tomato soup. Again. Really?

This soup was spicy. Probably too spicy for some, perfect spicy for me. There were slices of the hot pepper among the thick pureed tomatoey goodness. There’s no dairy, so it’s low-fast as well. And so darn yummy!

Honestly, I wanted the recipe. But I know they wouldn’t share that. But could I get more soup? Well, yes. I bought two quarts. Yep, two quarts. We had one for dinner, the others in the freezer. For a later date. Probably tomorrow.

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It’s cold outside, so instead of bundling up and facing the elements, I wandered through the building where I work. It’s an old warehouse that once held the John Deere factory. Like about a hundred years ago. There are still a few signs of those times, and riding in the gigantic freight elevator is one of them. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, Um, Walk

It’s been really cold here lately. Really cold. Like below zero cold. Right now it’s 12 degrees, and honestly, that would feel warm compared to the -4 this morning. needless to say, I didn’t go for a walk today. I walked from my house to my garage, into daycare, back to the car, into the office, back to the car, back into the daycare, back to the car and finally into the house. Where I think I’ll stay until I do the same thing tomorrow morning. But I felt I had to show you something that I saw today, so from our 5th story windows I took the shot above.

We’re in the North Loop part of town, just North of downtown Minneapolis and the warehouse district. There’s a sweet reflection on the shot, but below I tried to clean up the photo and highlight a few landmarks.

It’s a decent view, but in a month I won’t have it anymore. We’re moving to the second floor. No more elevators, but also no more view. Oh well. Soon I hope it’s warm enough to get back outside. Soon….

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My great-aunt has moved into a nursing home. It’s a beautiful facility, she has her own room and a great view of the gardens. But she wasn’t able to bring many of her things. Specifically, this beautiful davenport. I’m not sure how old it is, but my Mom remembers it when she was a child. So I guess it’s from the late 40’s or early 50’s. It’s in great shape and is a great color. I wanted to keep it for myself, but I just don’t have the room and it won’t fit down our narrow stairs into the basement.


I’m trying to find a local consignment shop that will take it. I really just want it to go to a good home. To someone who will appreciate it’s age and beauty.

So far, no luck. Any ideas?

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