Sunday, May 31, 2009
Radish and Cream Cheese Bites
Any kind of bread
5-6 radishes, cut up into thin slices
Dill (fresh or dried)
Cut bread into 2inch by 2inch squares ( I actually used these really good multi-grain rolls I bought at the Mpls Farmer's Market on Thursday but any bread will do). Arrange bread slices on a plattter. Spread cream cheese on each piece of bread, top with 2-3 slices of radishes and sprinkle lightly with dill.
As simple as these sound, they were a huge hit. The radish and cream cheese taste great together and radishes have such a great refreshing flavor and awesome crunch. Best part is they are in season right now in MN. These would also be really great made into little tea sandwiches.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Fast forward a few years and we became a bit more sophisticated and began going out to eat less and when we did, it would generally be for special occasions. Some of favorite restaurants over the years are Lucias in Uptown (both of us), Cafe Lurcat (me), Manny's (Erik), El Meson (both) and Cafe Ena (both). We've actually only been to Cafe Ena twice but it holds very special meaning because it is the restaurant we ate at the night we got engaged in September 07. We had a great meal on the patio and afterwards took a walk and Erik proposed on a sidewalk on a street in South Minneapolis. It was proposal perfection.
Our date on Friday began with drinks at Figlio in Uptown and then we had an amazing meal at Cafe Ena. Cafe Ena is an adorable, small restaurant on 46th and Grand in Minneapolis. It serves latin fusion food that is delicious and bursts with flavor. I started with split pea soup with proscuitto (this might sound weird, but I LOVE split pea soup, it has a bad reputation, but in reality is velvety and delicious) and then I had proscuitto wrapped grouper. Erik had a caesar salad and jambalaya. We shared a bottle of Riesling. I'm actually not a huge fan of sweet white wine, but anytime Erik is willing to have wine with me I let him choose and he can only handle sweet whites. I have hope he will come around.
Me, a bottle of wine deep...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
My splurge: pretty flowers/decor. Photo credits to Sewell Photography.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Photo credit: Cocoa and Fig
Crappy photo credit: my blackberry
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
1/2 (8 ounce) package nonfat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen huckleberries or blueberries, unthawed
Vegetable cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Beat margarine and cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg, beat well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into margarine mixture. Stir in vanilla; fold in berries. Pour batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; springle over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; cool on a wire rack. Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
Monday, May 18, 2009
Some history, Libby and I make the guys dinner all the time, and when I say all the time, I literally mean almost every single night. So we came up with this fantastic idea that the guys should be in charge of dinner at least once a month. So March went by and nothing...then April started sneaking by and still no dinner from the guys. So I basically just told them, "hey guys, on Thursday of this week, you're making Libby and I dinner". And so they did. Finally.
To their credit (and they do deserve some), they made a great dinner. It was kind of random, but really good. They prepared:
Spinach salad with dried cranberries, almonds, mangos, starfruit with a poppyseed dressing
Steak, pepper and onion kabobs on the grill
Roasted cheesy potatoes
Potatoes (any and all kinds ) are one of my absolute favorite foods inthe entire world. So Erik had that in mind when he made this. Yum. I had this weird phase where I went around asking people, "if you had to choose one food to marry, what would it be?" Duh, potatoes for me! Kristin chose cheese, Biffer chose french toast (or was it sauerkraut?) and Erik chose steak. I can't remember what Libby chose. I'm pretty sure Amy chose chocolate...and so on. It is actually quite a fun game and you will find some people are just not willing to commit.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
We took a tour of Emily's lovely garden, ate too much and as always, had a great time. Stay tuned for recipes for the egg bake and blueberry coffee cake.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The tea is sold at Whole Foods but I'm not sure if it has distribution in MN yet, you can buy it online, check out their cool website, http://www.goldenstartea.com/.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Today I purchased basil, arugula and a couple pastries from Cocoa and Fig (they are a new, fabulous catering and confectionery company. I learned from their Twitter feed this morning that they were going to be at the market today so I had to stop down and tell them how much I adore their blog and their beautiful wedding dessert displays. I purchased a savory ham, chive and cheddar scone and a lemon and cream cheese brioche. Did I mention I am on Weight Watchers this week? I will be pawning those pastries off on my hubby or possibly Kristin if I see her soon enough. But I did sneak a bite of the savory scone and it was delish. Their stand is located on 7th and Nicollet so be sure to check them out on Thursday at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market!!
Photo from Cocoa and Fig's blog of the brioche
Second batch was much better. Best part? They were adorable! We piped tiny orange carrots with green leaves on each cupcake. And they taste great, too. We used an Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa recipe from Food Network (minus the raisins and walnuts).
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:nocoupons
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.
We celebrated Mother's day at my parent's house and my mom ooohed and aaahed over the cupcakes and didn't believe us (or did a good job pretending) that they were homemade versus store bought. Love my momma!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Kristin is a vegetarian, actually three of my close friends are vegetarians (Amy, Mel and Kristin) so I am accustom to, and really enjoy eating vegetarian when I am with them.
Our dinner club menu consisted of:
Veggies with roasted red pepper hummus (purchased at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market)
Brie cheese, pear jam and crackers
Spring green salad with berries and goat cheese
Grilled portabello mushrooms with blue cheese (amazing blue cheese Kristin got from a cheese shop in Faribault, http://www.faribaultdairy.com/), tomatoes and avocados
Kristin is a great cook and even better baker. She made this amazingly beautiful fruit tart for Mother's Day. She used a recipe from Allrecipes.com, check it out here, http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/White-Chocolate-Fruit-Tart/Detail.aspx?src=etaf. Here are some modifications and comments she sent along with the recipe, "I didn't use the pineapple or its juice. I also left out the mandarin oranges. I used kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Instead of the reserved juice from the canned pineapple, I used orange/pineapple juice. The glaze is probably unnecessary but makes the dessert prettier."
Monday, May 11, 2009
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2-1 chopped white onion
½- 1 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2-3 Jalapeño peppers and 1 serrano pepper
1-2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse. Cut tomatillos in half and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatillos for about 15-20 minutes. Put tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro and peppers in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are mixed. Season to taste with salt.
Friday, May 8, 2009
So that was my Pho adventure, very yummy and it is a budget conscious meal (about $7) and apparently healthy as well.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Send me your inspiration boards for your next party and I will post them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I can also send you instructions on how to build one, it is super easy).
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The (freaking fabulous) menu:
Homemade margaritas (translation, I squeezed juice out of 12 limes, Siobhan made symple syrup and zested lime for a lime-salted rim). They were amazing!
Tomatillo salsa (click here for the recipe, http://eatdrinkpretty.blogspot.com/2009/05/salsa-verde-recipe.html)
Chicken enchiladas verdes (with shredded chicken, tomatilla salsa and queso fresco)
I will post recipes for the tomatilla salsa (salsa verde) and chicken enchiladas verdes soon. By the way, I just love the word tomatillo, say it three times out loud and you'll love it, too.