Thursday, July 12, 2018

Grand Marais

Oh man, I am a super bad blogger!  Usually when I plan on writing up about my vacations, I'll keep notes in my phone.
100% forgot to do that, and one week later I'm trying to remember all the fun things we did.
Alright, bare with me as I try to recall all my adventures.
Hubbie and I have had this vacation planned with my cousin and her husband for a while now.  She grew up spending most of her summers in Grand Marais with her Grandparents, it was a nice little stroll down memory lane for her.
The first evening hubbie and I spent camping.


We parked loaded up the kayaks with what we needed for an evening and kayaked across the lake, set up camp and explored the area. Before we left home I made us a wonderful stuffed bread wrapped it foil and we roasted it over the campfire for dinner.


  Great time until dusk, when every bug in Minnesota came out and found us :)  And then the storm hit, hubbie slept right through it, wish I did!


I have written about our trip to GM before, we hit up a lot of the same places.
On our way there we travel through Duluth and we ALWAYS have to stop at Northern Water Smokehaus, split an amazing smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, it comes with a pickle and a mint.  Amazing!



One place we had not explored yet was the stunning Naniboujou Lodge.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner, and the french onion soup, wow!



Naniboujou opened in 1920, the interior is the original paint.  My cousin has heard that the fire place is the largest in Minnesota.



We took a short walk to the waterfront after dinner, there a river runs into Lake Superior, there were tons of people agget hunting here.


The condo we rented was right off the main beach in downtown Grand Marais.  What a great view we had, very nice place, just a little confusing on check in.  


I found it on Air B&B.  
My morning view, pretty nice huh?!


Lets see, we had dinner and drinks at The Birch Terrace Supper Club, my cousin calls the bar "The Dirty Birch". It's pretty old school and right on the main strip.

We did a little window shopping popping in and out of cute shops.

One of our favorite places to kayak is 2 fish house beach, that is up the coast a bit further.  The sun was shining, but it was cool and breezy.  We ate lunch on the shore we picked up at the grocery store. 

Another stop would be the rooftop at Gunflint Tavern, what a great view! 



Voyagers Brewery is a great place to go, rooftop seating, most weekends there is a band.  Good small plates and beers!  


There is so much more to do and see, shops, national parks, hikes, lakes galore.  
Make the trip, you won't regret it!  









Sunday, June 24, 2018

Last Minute Party Dip

My sweet daughter gave me a fantastic cookbook, as of now I have made 4 recipes from it already!
And of course I wanted to share with you the appetizer that I made.
Joanna Gaine's wrote this wonderful cookbook, just jam packed with everyday family styled recipes.

This "last minute party dip" is great for those days you don't have time to get to the store or plan food for a get together. Most of these items I have in my pantry or on hand daily.

What you need:
2 8 oz cream cheese (I used my homemade cheese, you can find on the blog)
1 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup green onions,chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper, or less "to taste"
Serve with bagel crisps, crackers, vegetable sticks (asparagus, celery, carrots, endive).

How to make it:
Pretty darn easy!
If you have a mixer, mix all ingredients well. Top with a bit of green onions and pepper if desired.
No mixer?  No prob!  Just mix manually, by hand.
Joanna said this stores in fridge for up to 3 days, and makes about 4 cups.

We very much enjoyed this dip!
This is one of those cookbooks that you will forsure go back to time and time again with "real people" recipes, I suggest you check it out!

Enjoy!

*Thanks Sam!  XOXO

Friday, April 27, 2018

Homemade Cream Cheese

SO for a long time by husband has been trying to talk me into making my own cheese.  He's kinda the self sufficient state of mind fella.
I didn't want to do it because I love cheese so much, I didn't want to get turned off by the process.
One day I just changed my mind, Pintrest is my friend so many ideas and recipes on there.
I found several cheese making ideas, I started off with ricotta.
Next was cream cheese, so dang easy!

What you need:
2 quarts of half and half
1 packet of mesophilic starter

How to make it:
Leave the cream out until it reaches room temperature.
Pour into a large enough bowl, stir on the starter.
Cover with plastic wrap. 
Let it set for 12 or more hours. 
Mine actually took 4 days to set because my house is kept so cool.

Next step would be to line a colander with a tea towel or muslin.  Not cheese cloth that is to thin.
Pour your cheese into the cloth, gather and tie shut around a wooden spoon that will suspend your cheese above the colander to drain into a large bowl.

Now let that drain for 12 more hours.
Bam you got cream cheese!

I divided mine into different containers, some I added chopped chives and others I made garden vegetable.

Store in the fridge.

It was really good, it made equivalent to 5 tubs of store bought cream cheese and it keeps for a long time! 
Do you save more money doing this, no not really but come on you just made your own cheese! 


I found this method on Chickens in the Road's website, there you can find photos of the process, sorry I did not take any photos.

* We found the starter and a brewery supply shop that carries cheese making products.  You get a pack of 5 that you store in the freezer

Monday, April 2, 2018

Avocado Fries


I love avocados!  They are my favorite color and they taste delicious! 
Avocado toast is a bg trend, but I'm not really into that.  I love to have a half an avocado filled with cottage cheese and a few almonds on it, bam you have breakfast! 
My long time friend Jenny told me she had avocado fries once at a restaurant and she really liked them. 
I never got to that restaurant with her but I did find a recipe for some amazing avocado fries that I'm going to share with you today!  Along with a couple dipping sauce's.
You can find the original recipe in Dennis the Prescotts cookbook Eat Delicious

There are a few steps to making this BUT, it is SO worth it! 

What you need:
Oil for frying

Avocado Fries:
3 firm avocados
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne powder

Pico:
4 roam tomatoes
2 tablespoons purple onion, diced
1 teaspoon red wine vinager
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro
pinch of salt


Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup prepared mayo
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika

*cilantro & feta cheese for topping


How to make them:

Let's start off with the sauces so you can get them chilling in the fridge.

Pico:
Pretty simple, chop your tomatoes, mix with the juice of a 1/2 a lime, salt, chop your onion, add to bowl. Chop up your basil & cilantro pop into the bowl, add vinegar.  Mix and pop into fridge!

Cream sauce:
Take a bowl add in all ingredients, mayo, lime juice, chili powder, paprika and chopped garlic. Combine well, pop into fridge.

Avocado Fries:
Start heating your oil, you can tell when it's ready by sticking the end of a wooden spoon in oil very carefully, do you see bubbles?  It's ready.  Usually on medium heat but all ovens are different,
While the oil in warming up start to prep.
You need 3 bowls, fill separately 1st bowl flour, the next mixed eggs and lastly panko mixed with the seasonings.



Cut your firm avocados into four slices. Peel the skins off of course. 

Ok your ready to start frying, first grab a plate line with a paper towel to drain off all that extra oil.
One slice of avocado at a time dip into flour, egg mix, finally the panko mixture.
Carefully place your avocado slices once battered into oil, frying one minute on each side.
Once finished let them rest for a minute on the paper towel.

Platting, grab a serving dish, place your avocado slices on plate, scatter on plate feta cheese crumbs and cilantro.  Pull those cups of sauces out of fridge and set on plate.



Now grub down, they are AMAZING! 






Sunday, March 18, 2018

Erik the Red

I heard of this place from my cousin Michelle who actually lives in Wisconsin.  She and her husband were looking for a place to celebrate this past Super Bowl, and she came across Eric The Red, right across from the US Bank Stadium.
What a great idea for a restaurant, Viking themed, Minnesota Vikings, Swedish, Irish, Norwegian etc.
And good thing for me, I found a Groupon for the place!
So husband and I went to check it out one evening.
Like I said it is straight across from the stadium (I keep wanting to say dome! you know what I mean if your from MN)


I did not get many photos of the interior, I didn't want to take photos of the customers.  But, the theme is nice large red & black plaid booths, antlers, deer heads.  The people working here are wearing plaid.  Plaid, Plaid, Plaid!!!  (inside joke).

We sat at the bar.


I'm guessing it was shift changing time, service was a little slow.  But not terrible.
We shared a white fish sampler, served with lefse and rye toast.  Very good! 


Hubbie had a trio of wild game brats with french fries.  He very much enjoyed this.


I had the Thor burger with a side of brussel sprouts, the bacon on the burger was fantastic so thick and the brussels YUMMY!!  My burger was a little dry, I only ate half brought the rest home for the hubster.  


I would totally go back to Erik the Red




Friday, February 2, 2018

Superbowl Party Food!

It's been awhile hasn't it!?!  Believe me I have tried to blog, I'd start a few new posts but just never finished them.  Silly me!
So I'm trying to do this Keto meal plan, well so far so good, lost a little weight & I don't mind the foods on this plan at all!
But I do have 1 cheat day a week lol, I mean I'm not going to torture myself!
Ok so one of the ideas, I was going to share with you was a tumeric cracker, awhhh lets just say a big NO to that.  First off I accidentally read the read a recipe wrong it was supposed to be 2 teaspoons, I read it as 2 Tablespoons!  YUCK!  And I found out I do not care for the flavor of almond flour whatsoever.
The other recipe I was working on was a baked goat cheese ball, again with that nasty almond flour.
So I spared you all the mistakes I made :)

Let's get ready to rumble!!!  Wait thats wrestling hahaha!  Did anyone else grow up in the 80's watching Sunday morning wrestling, maybe a little Grizzly Adams??  Yes, no?  Am I the only odd ball here??

Seriously, how about them Vikings?!!!  We were so dang close!  And to play the Super Bowl at home would have been to excellent!  Hey there's always next year guys!

Superbowl Patriots vs Eagles.  Is here in my state, in the city if Minneapolis.  And the teams are also staying less than a mile from my home, that's pretty exciting! 

So who's having a SB party??  What are you having??

These are the things my hubbie requested for our little shindig.

Spam Bites, my copycat version of one of our favorite restaurants Blu Door Pubs, classic appetizer. 

These next two are an all time favorite of my families, thanks to my uncle Bob!  We all love these dips here! 

Con Queso Dip, also a copy cat from back in the day when Uncle Bob worked at a restaurant named Chi Chi's - oh how I miss their taco salad!

Uncle Bob's garlic dip, pretty sure he just came up with this one on his own.  My husband and daughter devour this stuff, and it's so easy to make!  ERRRR put the brakes on!  I just went to link the recipe for you guys & I have never shared it!  What the heck! 
So here it is - you need a block of softened cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk, 3 cloves of garlic shaved thin, mix it all together, chill then serve with Frito Scoops!  Didn't I tell you it was easy!  SO good! 

I picked up a premade monster sized  "griller sandwich" at the grocery store.  We had one of those a couple summers ago & really liked it, took the easy way out and got it pre made :)

And that's it! 
So what are you all making?
Check out my website you will find so very many appetizer ideas for your SuperBowl party or any other party gathering!

Go team!