Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mediterranean Dip

I love love love Greek/Mediterranean food!
We don't go out to eat it much so I'm always recreating dishes at home.
Tzatziki, Gyros, hummus and now this fantastic dip!
Great refreshing flavors, and easy to make always a bonus!
Hope you like it :)

What you need:
4oz cream cheese, softened
6oz feta, crumbled (I found a Mediterranean seasoned feta @ Trader Joe's)
2 scallions, chopped
4 leaves basil, chopped
6 ex-large kalamata olives, chopped
4 chives, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons, sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons cucumber, chopped
1 teaspoon, honey

How to make it:

Look who went to Trader Joe's :)
Make sure your cream cheese is softened or room temperature, easier to work with.
In a bowl mix the cream cheese with feta cheese, use the back of a spoon to break down feta or simply mix it with spoon.
Chop the remaining ingredients and stir into cheese mixture.

Be Careful chopping that jalapeno, I am very sensitive to them and boy it hurts!
If I'm working with a lot of jalapenos I wear gloves but in this case I just was chopping the one.
I found this cool tool, Target I think.  It just scoops those nasty seeds out! 

Next add a teaspoon of honey, combine well.

Now it's time to dig in!

Serve with pita chips or sliced cucumbers
It's deliciously light and fresh!

*I adapted this from The Mediterranean Dish 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bar 209

Don't let the outside scare you away, I thought at night it looked pretty shady, we had our 14 year old with us, lots of smokers hanging outside the door.
But I'm so glad we went in!
You're greeted by a monstrous buffalo head on the wall, wouldn't want to run into him!

Seat your self, it was hoppin we sat at the bar.
Absolutely excellent service! Total team work vib.
You can see into the kitchen, watch them work their magic.
Food & prices were excellent! Beer selection awesome.
We shared this amazing dip - ugh wish I got a better photo for you :(

This is the Sante Fe Cheese Dip - Roasted chicken, pepper jack cheese, fontina, poblano peppers, sour cream, cream cheese, jalapenos, black beans & tortilla chips- they topped it with guacamole.
Really Really good!

We shared the B Squared - a burger encrusted with blue cheese, prosciutto, bacon & finished with roasted garlic balsamic aioli. On the side beer battered onion rings.
Just - WOW!  

Awesome menu, made it hard to choose!!!

The selection of beers were awesome!
Happy Hour 4-6PM & 10-11 PM - 2 for 1s | Half Priced APPETIZERS
Happy hour 4- 6 & 10 -11, 2 for 1  &  Half priced appetizers

So if you're ever in the area of Bemidji, MN - swing on in!  

*Forgive the terrible photos, it was dark, and the bar lights......  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Everything Bagel Pizza Crackers

Have you heard Trader Joe's carries an everything bagel seasoning?!  My FAVORITE bagel ever!
Oh the options of uses for this fabulous flavor combination!
I was reading a library book I just borrowed, ya thats right people still go to the library :)
In that book was a recipe for fennel crackers, I am not a huge fan of fennel, so I adapted and made it my own.
I just made this for watching our first football game at home this season.
They are super easy!
You can totally change this up to your flavor liking.  Add different seasonings, fresh herbs, cheese.
Next time I'm SO putting cheese on this!
I mean right?!  Cheese makes everything better in my opinion.
Also this would be a great one to get the kiddos involved in, really easy to make.

What you need:
1 pre-made refrigerator pizza dough (you can find in the dairy section)
1 egg
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons of each of your choice toppings, I used TJ Everything Bagel seasoning, sunflower seeds, fresh rosemary chopped)
*Not necessary, but I sprayed the top with I can't believe it's not butter

How to make it:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Using a non stick baking sheet, roll out your pizza dough.
Try to get that dough as thin as you can, reaching the edges of your pan.
Whisk together 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water.
Brush this mixture over the top of your pizza dough.
Next sprinkle your seasonings of choice evenly over your pizza crackers.

Not necessary like I mentioned before I gave mine a quick spray of butter spray.
Pop this into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes.
**** I baked for 15 pulled them out gave them another spray of the butter spray and popped the tray back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
Once done slide your pizza onto a large cutting board, cut into cracker squares.

Now enjoy!  
We loved these!

*A few more options for toppings, I mean you can just go crazy here!
Slivered almonds, parmesan cheese, poppy seeds, chives, red pepper flakes, caraway seeds

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cucumber Feta Roll-Up's

Summa Summa Time.......
I tend to want to eat lighter in the summer, veggies are at their best, gotta shed some of the winter weight, and most of the time it's just too hot out, don't you agree?!
I will have an abundance of cucumbers this summer as always, and I like to be clever in how to eat them so we don't get tired of them.
Pickling, in a salad, in sandwich or why not try out these fun little roll-ups!
It works best if you have a vegetable peeler or a mandolin.  Be careful those mandolins are sharp!
These are really great for those hot summer days, you know you don't want to be heating up your house by turning on the oven!
So simple to make, get the kids involved, they like playing with food right?!

Here is what you're going to need:
Greek yogurt, 5 oz
Feta cheese, 1/4 cup
Dill, 2 sprigs
Kalamata olives, 4- 5 chopped up
Sun dried tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon
The juice from 1/2 lemon

How to make them:
Start by mixing all ingredients in a bowl together, pop into fridge to keep cool
Peel the skin off your cucumber
Using the vegetable peeler or mandoline, carefully peel long thin strips of cucumber
Place approximately a tablespoon of ingredients on the end of the cucumber, roll them up and secure with a toothpick.
Ready to serve!

Enjoy & have a wonderful summer!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mango Goat Cheese Crostini

This little hors d'oeuvre screams summer to me!
It is a great fresh combination of flavors.  Umm and easy peasy!
You have better things to do beside sweating over a hot stove in the summer, get out there and live!
Can you tell I'm excited that spring/summer is here!?
Getting fresh air, gardening, eating outdoors, grilling, summer vacations, YES!

OK let's get to it, this is insanely easy!

What you need:
Goat Cheese
Mango Salsa - if you don't want to use salsa, cut up a mango use that!
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

How to make it:
Set oven to broil
Slice up your baguette into person sized pieces
Brush with olive oil
Sprinkle with a bit of salt & pepper
Pop onto a baking sheet & place in oven cook until toasty brown/tan.
Keep an eye on them, you don't want them to burn!
Let them cool a bit, because you do not want to put the goat cheese on immediately it will be to runny.
Whip together honey and goat cheese
1 Tablespoon of honey per 6 oz goat cheese, depending on how much you're going to make
Spread on goat cheese and top with mango salsa.  I found mine at Sam's club.  Took the easy way out & didn't make it from scratch.

You better make a bunch because they go fast!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Southern Minnesota Trippin'

Well hello there!
Come along with me as I show you around some parts of southern Minnesota.
I'll give you the lowdown on some good spots to hit up.

Spam Museum Austin, MN : Recently remodeled.  And wait for it.......... FREE!
Lots of great photo ops here.
Fun for all ages.
Food samples.
A shop, with fun souvenirs @ great prices.

Maya Taqueria: Austin, MN autistic Mexican food.  Great prices, food is delish!
We ordered the lunch special 2 tacos, beef with sour cream, 2 sides beans and rice.
Also the Beef nachos, off the appetizer menu - HUGE!

Kinney Creek Brewery: From the outside, it looks like a dive, but on the inside a kick butt brewery!
Plenty of seating, really cool steel sculptures, a humongous wooden connect 4 game in the center of the brewery!
We shared a flight, that includes 5 samples of your choice, not a bad beer in the bunch.  And I even liked the IPA, I am not a fan usually.
Nice employees, tvs, free popcorn & games.

Hormels Historic Home: Austin MN, we did not plan or know about this museum, but I'm glad we came across it. It's a $5 self guided tour, you enter the beautiful home, get a bit of info from the hosts & a pamphlet with info on each room.

Signature Bar & Grill: This bar is hoppin'!!!  It's a little sketchy on the outside, but nicer on the inside.  There is a bar area, and then a more "dining" area in the back, with live music.
We split a reuben and tater tots, OMG that reuben is amazing!!!  Located in Faribault.

The Cheese Cave: I freaking love this cheese shop!  We came here twice in a weekend, I felt like we knew these employees forever!  So kind.  The cheese was amazing!  They serve beer & wine.
Pizzas, grilled cheese, homemade soups, and more!
In the center of downtown Faribault.

F-Town Brewery: Right on the outskirts of Faribault, MN.
Nice little brewery.  The Moon Boot beer, was fantastic!
They were holding an event at the time we were there, The Flannel Formal.
Fun event, free beer and glass with entrance into the event for $20.  I believe the beers are $5 each after that.

Faribault Woolen Mill: I'm sure you all have hear of Faribault Woolen Mill's?!  They supply 80 % of all wool blankets to the US!  Wonderful quality and you do need to pay for that quality.
I bought some remnants, at a steal!  Not sure what I'm doing with them yet.
The storefront is stunning, unfortunately we did not get to tour the mill that day.  But I do think you can schedule a tour from time to time.

Historic Hutchinson House: This is the B & B that we stayed at.  A very beautiful home.  It is very warm and inviting, with so many pieces of vintage furniture.  Your eyes will wander with delight!
Our room was so classy, the bed was super cozy!
Breakfast was scrumptious!

Now these are just a handful of places we stopped at, there is much more to do!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ely Baby!

My home away from home!
Seriously, I don't even know who I have become?!
I went to get my youngest son new snow pants cause this guy won't stop growing!  I mean 14 and he's already 6'2 and size 15 shoes!  Come on now!
Anyhow, I was at Dick's, Dick's Sporting Goods you pervs.....
And I realized I was taking pictures of new life jackets and kayaks, because I don't seem to think that we have enough.  Who am I??
Right now we have 2 vacations booked in Ely, and we are thinking of a third.  Call me crazy but I crave it.
If you are new to reading my blog, Ely is in our 4 year plan.
Pack it up, sell the house & get out of dodge!
I have a game plan all set for our future there and I'm just sayin' it's gonna be EPIC!
We rented an Air B and B in Ely, from school teachers from Mankato who too want to set anchor in Ely when they retire.  Great people, awesome communication.  And the place! ? ! Awesome!
It even comes with snow shows!  If you come in the summer, kayaks at your disposal!
While we are in Ely this winter, there is a snowmobile run and a dogsled race.
How cool is that!? (literally, it's freezing!)
And our next vacation is planned later this summer and I'm already counting the days!

*Bummer dogsled race was canceled due to extreme wind, boy was it chilly!  I could insert a chilly dog joke here but.....
The drive up HWY 1 is seriously breath taking, the snow on the boughs of the trees. They just glissen.
I love how "up north" people are generally so friendly, they wave to you as you drive by!  Hey in the city, you get the finger.
We drove straight there, stopped into the Gator's Grilled Cheese Emporium, grabbed a quick sandwich & soup.  Kiddo had mac n' cheese.
Yummy as always.
Headed over to get some groceries at Zup's, pronounced Zoop's.
Now onto the cabin!
It's So nice!  This is a new home, so beautiful!
Fun artwork throughout the home.

Light wood work, vaulted ceilings, amazing windows with stunning views!

An Alexia came equipped with the cabin, I was a fan until the 14 year old over used her towards the end of the visit.  She had some good jokes and new some fun songs.

The kitchen was beautiful and well equipped, I enjoyed cooking meals there.
Afterwards we would play a game or turn on the fire place (gas, hubbie loves a good wood fire place) & pick out a good flick to watch.
Some days were just spend reading.

One day we adventured out onto the frozen lake.  Took lots of beautiful photos.  Saw all sorts of animal tracks.

(can you see the boys way out on the lake?!)

One evening we went to town for dinner, had great food and beer at The Boathouse, local brewery.  They had the blueberry beer back, OMG SO GOOD!!!!

Our first and last night 7 deer came strolling through the yard, with not a care in the world.  So beautiful.

And the sun sets! So beautiful!  Brings a tear to your eye. 😭😭

So hard to leave, I'm already counting the days till we go back.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spinach Artichoke Wonton

What - What!?
Spin dip in a wonton?! Yes the best of both worlds here, the creamy-cheesiness with the crunchy crust of a wonton!
Ok wipe that drool up and read on.
Hum I might have a problem, side note I'm watching a cooking video as I write this.
I was just telling someone when I wake up I'm thinking about what to make for dinner.
That reminds me, I need to workout today.  YUGH....... I'd rather eat cheese.
I'm rambling aren't I???

Alrighty here is what you're going to need:
Package of wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
8oz artichoke, drained & chopped
10oz spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
dash of salt & pepper
1/4 tsp tabasco
1 egg, just the whites
oil for frying

How to make them:
Get your oil warming up for frying these crunchy babies.
You can put the tip of a wooden spoon handle in the oil (very carefully!) if it forms bubbles around it.  The oil is ready.
Mix together, cream cheese, sour cream, chopped artichokes, spinach,parmesan,mozzarella, garlic salt, onion powder, salt, pepper, dash of hot sauce.
Lay out your won ton wrapper.
Spoon up about a tablespoon of the mixture, place in the center of the wrap.
Fold over, so sides are matching up.
Seal edges with egg whites.
Carefully drop into oil, frying until won tons are golden brown.
Lay onto a paper towel so the oil drains off.

Let them cool a little - then ENJOY!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mushroom Madness!

It's been awhile, hello my hungry little minions.
I wish I had some minions!
Is anyone ready for winter to be over yet?!  I'am!
It's Sunday and I am SO board!  Husband is working in garage, youngest is gaming with his online friends and they are debating who says words in correctly, they live all over the place.
Don't worry I'm always checking in on him, I say are you sure thats a kid and not a 30 year old weirdo in his underwear living in his mom's basement!?  Yes mom, here he is on skype.  Oh, ok keep playing :)
Again I'm SO bored, what do I do?  Put on a full face of my new makeup, like I'm going out.  Straighten my hair, put on a new top then I make mushrooms while drinking lots and lots of coffee so I don't fall asleep.
Awh now this is the life!  HAHA!!
Ok anyhow, now that you know I'm totally losing my marbles!
Appetizers are my favorite food ever, but I have been trying to back off them a bit, I mean coming up with new ones, I just haven't felt like blogging.  And I'm not sure how often I will be popping in to do one of these but, here is a new one for ya all!
When I get a craving I usually need to satisfy it asap, I don't hold back, why torture yourself!
I have not made stuffed mushrooms for a long time, I stumbled across a YouTube video of someone making these & I knew I just had to try them out.
The original recipe calls for cashews, I was feeling cheap the day I went to the store for the ingredients, so I opted for pecans.
I remember the first time I made stuffed mushrooms they were my basic ones, mix cream cheese with bacon bits, stuff and bake!  They are delicious.
But, here's the thing, they end up swimming in mushroom juice, not a terrible thing but not super pleasant looking.
My then boss had me bring them to an open house photo shoot for this fancy pants couple, I was a little embarrassed that they were soggy.  But delicious!
A lightbulb went off in my head after I watched this video, put them on a baking rack over the baking sheet! Then the little fellas are not swimming in their own juice.

Here is what you're going to need:
Parsley from my garden, Kidding - go get your own :) about a half a cup
Baby Bella mushrooms, approximately 15, washed & cored
Reserve some of the stems of the mushrooms, finely chop
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Cup shredded parmesan
1/2 Cup blue cheese crumbs
1 oz pecan bits
1 egg, whites only
1/4 teaspoon tabasco
A dash of salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup panko bread crumbs

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 375
Wash and core the mushrooms, place on a paper towel to dry
Get a bowl ready and toss all these ingredients in !
Chop up a few of those mushroom stems, I used 4
Mince garlic, add to bowl, toss in the parmesan, blue cheese, pecans, egg whites, parsley, tabasco, dash of salt dash of pepper.
Mix well and start stuffing those mushrooms, pack them well!
Take out a baking sheet, top with a baking rack, place mushrooms on the rack.
In a pan melt butter add panko bread crumbs, let them toast a bit.
Turn the heat off, take your mushrooms and dip into bread crumbs place back onto rack.
Bake for 15 minutes.

These little fellas are great!

*here is another one of my favorite stuffed mushrooms Stuffed Jalapeno Mushrooms