Thursday, February 26, 2015
You know you want to eat this, Minnesota girl meets the east!
I love me some Asian food, one of my top Asian appetizers would have to been an egg roll.
I remember when I first started to make these the thought totally intimidated me, I think it was the whole wrapper thing and getting everything to stay on the inside.
I'm here to tell ya - Piece Of Cake people!
I will give you step by step pic's of how to stuff and fold these bad boys.
You know, making these at home are way healthier than getting them at an Asian fast food place. So why not try it?
When all my kids were little I made stir fry allot, an easy way to get veggies in them that they liked, I had this cheap wok that I got at Ikea (should have known, swedish making an asian product not gonna work out so well) the dang handle/grip always came off! So I just started using my huge skillet, works just as good. Why am I telling you this, I have no clue. I tend to ramble.
So when I make stir fry I usually would make either an egg roll or a cream cheese wong tong, I will share that recipe with you all soon too. Problem with them is I eat way to many while I cook them so addictive!
There are several variations on making an egg roll I'm sure you know, I tend to stick with the quick and easy route.
What you need to make your egg roll:
10 egg roll wraps
14oz bag coleslaw mix
5oz bean sprouts
5oz mushrooms, I used shiitake (fresh or frozen)
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 egg, just the whites
canola or vegetable oil
How to make them:
First you need to decide are you going to fry these or bake them
So either preheat your oven to 400 degrees or get your oil ready for frying.
I baked mine but you need to roll them well oil them and make sure to flip them half way through otherwise they will rip.
Start by heating 4 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok
Add in your garlic, ginger, green onions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sugar and sriracha
Cook that for about 4 minutes
Add in your coleslaw, sprouts and mushrooms.
Add in another 1/2 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Cook this for about 10 minutes on low, you want it to soften but still have a bit of crunch to it.
Now on a clean surface lay your your egg roll wrap out
In the middle of the wrap and approximately 2 tablespoons of your mixture
Fold in the end closest to you over the mixture while rolling under
Fold in each side inward
In a bowl mix your egg white with 1 teaspoon of water
With a pastry brush or just your fingers on that last fold of the egg roll wrap moisten the outer rim and fold over.
Now depending on how your cooking it follow these steps.
Baking - your oven should have been preheated to 400.
Coat a baking sheet with oil
Roll your egg roll well in the oil
Bake for 15 minutes on each side (30 minutes total flipping halfway through)
Frying - your oil should be heated up by now
Carefully drop a few egg rolls in the oil turning and watching it closely, when it is nice and brown you know its done
remove and place on a paper towel to drain
I did not have a store bought sweet and sour sauce on hand in case anyone wants to dip their egg rolls.
I came up with this sweet and spicy dip
You simply want to mix
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Teaspoon oil
1/2 Tablespoon sriracha
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
So this is not exactly a restaurant review it's sort of a festival, vacation spot sorta review with a restaurant review with in!
Winters are long you have to get out when you can and enjoy the great outdoors or you will just go mad, so thats what we did loaded up the truck with winter gear and headed "up north" to the EelPout Festival in Walker, MN!
The craziest ideas usually are the best ideas and this festival has been going on over over 30 years!
All sorts of events packed into a 3 day festival on Leech Lake fish races, polar plunges, helicopter rides, lots to eat and drink just to name a few.
There are hundreds of ice fishing house lined up on Leech Lake, tents, snowmobile, sleigh rides and all sorts of hooptyrides. It's just one big party!
It has been a long long time since I walked on a frozen lake but I did not chicken out, it was way too much fun to pass up on.
We have been doing a lot of weekend trips lately and I tell you the more north you go in the state the friendlier the people are, I love it "Minnesota Nice" is still alive!
Food wise we had their jalapeno cheese curds out of a food truck they were AMAZING! I would not have called this a curd because the cheese was melted, usually cheese curds are more solid or stringy. We also tried the mini donuts, really good well the couple that I pried away from my son.
We wanted to try some eelpout nuggets but could not find them. (next year!)
We had to stay in a neighboring town of Park Rapids because, Walker's hotels were booked up and I'm sure they had been for a while.
My neighbor used to live in Park Rapids and still has lots of family & friends there. I asked her where is the best place to get a burger she suggested the Royal Bar, we totally walked by it a couple times because the outside of the building did not look like a bar.
Do you remember the old Pannekoeken Restaurants? Swedish themed white & blue, thats what the exterior looks like.
The Royal Bar gives you that small town vibe where "everyone knows your name" sorta place.
We had worked up an appetite doing all that walking on the lake.
To start we ordered the battered mushrooms served with ranch, SO good!
The kiddo ordered the mini corn dogs, and gobbled them right up.
We ordered Royal California Burger, basically it's a california burger. Marc added jalapenos too his burger. We got a basket of fri's to share, the food was really good!! Really nice staff and fun people watching. Oh bring cash, no debit or credit here.
Before dinner we stopped at a few shops, I picked up a few fun things for the home. Everything was so reasonably priced too.
All the shop owners and workers were so friendly the last store we went into was a hoot!
It was a couple that owned it they were hilarious! I swear they wanted us to come visit their home to see the all the deer they have on their property! This shops name is Whatnot.
The Tin Ceiling was a shop we visited, everything in the store is donated and proceeded go to the disabled. I picked up a beautiful bedspread there for $19!!! In mint condition I may add.
The last shop I stopped in was named Rust to Roses, beautiful store, It screamed Pintrest Ideas!
In the summer there are so many activities to do in Park Rapids and Walker too, I go to Walker every summer it's a hoppin place.
On our way home we stopped at one of two family owned butcher shops. Theilen Meats, such a great selection and prices you can not beat! And the flavor - awesome!!!
Alaskan White Fish, Jalapeno Meat Stick, Beef & Turkey Jerky & Thick Cut Smoked Bacon
So hope you visit the area some day and experience some Minnesota nice!
Monday, February 23, 2015
I can not believe I have not written a review on Blue Door Pub yet!
Blue Door Pub is overall our favorite burger restaurant ever, and we are always going there!
So you know this review is going to be good.
There are 2 locations Longfellow, that is where we go. And a St Paul location.
I have mentioned it in a recipie for Spam Bites. Our favorite appetizer we get there every single time we go. There is a jelly for dipping, amazing!!!
I know your thinking Spam? Yes Spam, it's great in small quantities :) (at least that is what I think)
In Austin, MN we are home to the Spam museum! I have not been yet but I hear they are doing a total makeover on the place, that would make a fun and quirky field trip!
They have wonderful food, never ever have I ordered anything and not liked it, same goes for my man.
Blucy of the month, the chief comes up with a new burger that is not on the menu that you can order that month.
This month the Blucy was a LumberJack burger. Smoked gouda, cayenne pepper, stuffed with bacon and maple syrup, one of their more popular B.O.M, thats what Marc ordered Friday, with seasoned tater tots with dipping sauce. Yes people tater tots!
This is Minnesota, we put those tater tots on our hotdishes don't ya know?!
One of my favorite burgers at the Blue Door Pub is the Cease and Desist, you love that name right!?
This Fabulous burger is topped with Land O' Lakes White Cheddar Cheese, diced pickles, onions shredded lettuce and a 'merican sauce (humm sound familiar? WAY better then that burger!)
Recently they got a new menu, only a few changes on there, is what a server told us.
You can order sides to your burgers such as tater tots or battered green beans.
And I know everyone doesn't eat burgers there is more for you to choose from, I hear the wings are awesome.
Lots of fun local beers to choose from, I think this is the first place I had a LiftBridge, Lonely Blonde. So good!
They have cool swag to people :) We have several of their fun t-shirts.
People watching is great here, you can do that while your waiting for your table, just grab a beer and find a corner because it is well worth the wait!
I swear you will not be disappointed when you visit Blue Door!!
Friday, February 20, 2015
Mr... Mr.... Mr... Jones... Mr Jones... Mr Jones... Mr Jones , Do you know this song?! I think it's from the 60's ? I have no clue who sings it but thats what popped into my head when I thought about writing this post.
I know I'm a weird-o!
A few posts ago I mentioned I was going to do a couple new restaurant reviews but we can't even get into this new place its so booked out!! I think I need to make a reservation 2 weeks ahead of time. But we totally decide the day we go out to eat where we are going, depending on what we are hungry for.
Well any whozeal, Last Friday we went to one of our go to, can't make a decision on where to go places, we went to the good old reliable Burger Jones.
We visit the Burnsville, MN location.
We have tried lots of different items on their menu. And never have been disappointed, never.
So this visit we started with the Jalapeno Poppers, I did not try any they looked a little to spicy for this wimpy girls pallet.
But, the hubbie loved them!
So here you order your fris on the side, we used to get the fri tower, but we stopped doing that. I ordered sweet potato fris with a dipping sauce of chipotle aioli, fabulous!
Hubbie ordered parmesan waffle fris with a dipping sauce of avocado mayo.
There are lots more fri and dipping sauce to choose from people, I love dips!
On to the main dish, burgers!
There is a list of things you can put on your burgers, divided up into 2 sections.
Section 1 Free Stuff!
Section 2 Fancy Stuff!
This visit I ordered the Chubby Cheddar, that is a stuffed burger (we like to call them jucy lucys in Minnesota). It was so good I want to go back and have one now!
Husband had the Green Chili Cheeseburger, and of course he love it.
Beers I got my usual go to beer Coors Light and Hubbie tried Bent Paddle, brewed in Duluth, MN. I love Duluth!
Two Thumbs up for Burger Jones from this girl!
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Oh how I wish it was summer! This appetizer reminds me of grilling in the summer, can't wait for that day to come!
So in the mean time we will bake these meat skewers.
My daughters co-worker has developed a line of marinade sauces and that sweet girl of mine hooked her mama up with jars of his mild and hot marinades, his company name is Kansas City North LLC.
I remember helping one of my old bosses host an open house and we served peanut chicken kabobs on wood skewers, I was super impressed with them, and so were the other guest, you can walk around holding the stick of meat and nibble away at them fun food!
You can make these with metal skewers or wooden ones, I do have metal ones but I prefer the wooden ones.
What you need to do it soak the wooden skewer sticks for at least an hour so they don't start on fire, you don't want that!
I made 2 different meat kabobs.
Chicken, I used the spicy marinade. When I opened that jar, Oh baby that spicy smell went right up my nose, it's gonna warm you up!
The steak kabobs I used the mild sauce.
Pound your meat and then cut it into strips.
I marinated the meats separately in Ziplock baggies. Each I marinated for 4 hours. But I think that if you are limited on time at least an hour will do. But, I say the longer the better.
Now you want to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Lace your meat up the skewers.
Once you are done with that line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, lay your your meat kabobs on top.
Bake for 30 minutes turning them over halfway through. When your done I sprinkled the beef with cilantro and the chicken with the tops with green onion.
Enjoy and check out their website Kansas City North LLC!!!
What I used was:
1 Lean steak, fat trimmed off and pounded flat
2 Lean Chicken breast, pounded flat
12 oz total of marinade sauce, this was divided into 6 oz each mild & hot, use what ever kind of marinade you like
Skewers, metal or wood
*cilantro, green onion
*cilantro, green onion
Recap on how to make them:
If you decide to use wood skewers soak those in water for as long as you marinade your meats
Trim your steak, pound that flat,cut into strips and place in a Ziplock bag and pour in your marinade mix that well and place in the fridge to chill/marinade. For at least one hour, but I did for four hours.
Same process for the chicken.
Once your meat is done preheat your oven to 375 degrees
Lace your meat up the soaked skewers or metal ones
Lay them out on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet
Bake for 30 minutes turning halfway through.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Happy Valentines Day to you all!
Do you want to know what I got for Valentine's Day from the hubbie? A basket of meats and cheeses he knows me so well! I'm going to have to work out twice as hard this week that is for sure!
Usually on Valentines Day I make a nice steak meal, with a cesar salad and a nice french bread with chocolate covered strawberries that my kids usually have helped me with in the past.
But times are a changin! And I thought I would mix it up a little and make what I am calling a heavy appetizer.
These delicious Sticky Chicken legs!
Just making the sauce I started to salivate, it smells SO good!
I adapted this recipe from a lovely blogger you can find at Farmgirl Gourmet.
I made adjustments to suit my liking but her variation sounds wonderful also (not much different at all)!
To go along with these Sticky Chicken Legs I made a homemade Blue Cheese Dip.
For that (Blue Cheese Dip) all you need is:
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (you can use sour cream too)
2 oz Blue Cheese Crumbs
Mix it well and chill until ready to serve
What you will need for the Chicken is:
10 Chicken legs rinsed and dried
1/2 Cup Good Honey, the thick kind
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce, low sodium (I always use that, lord know I do not need any more salt in my system!)
6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 Teaspoons Sriracha Hot Sauce
How to make it:
Simply mix all your ingredients in a saucepan until the brown sugar is melted.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool a bit.
Wash and dry your chicken legs place in a crockpot.
Now pour your mixture over the chicken, mix well so you cover all the chicken legs best you can.
Set your crock pot on low and let the go for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once that is done cooking place on a serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Eat it as is or along with a dipping sauce.
Farmgirl Gourmet served her's with white rice and pea pods, that sounds amazing too!
Hope you enjoy!
Friday, February 13, 2015
Wish you were here right now my kitchen smells awesome! Bacon and fried onions amazing!
It has been awhile since I made a new appetizer , what a whole week??
This is a warm comforting dip, you can not go wrong with bacon right?
Speaking of onions, I tried to grow them last year in my garden and only 3 small ones grew :(
I'm going to give it a shot again this year, I was looking at different seed companies last night trying to plan my order, getting an itchy green thumb!
It's Friday night date night and we are going to choose from 2 new restaurants, so there will be another restaurant review in the near future :)
Ummm what was my point? I think I am rambling now. Oh my point was I think we will have some of this appetizer before date night, a nice little surprise for the hubby after a long days work.
Oh AND tomorrow is Valentines day! Usually we do the same meal every Valentines. This year I'm going to switch it up a little and make a heavy appetizer (meat) I know will win over his heart & appetite :)
Alright enough rambling on to this wonderful Warm Bacon Cheese Onion Dip!
Here is what you will need:
1 Onion, finely chopped (I used a yellow onion)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 TSP Salt
1/4 TSP Pepper
1/4 TSP Thyme
1/2 TSP Red Wine
2 Tablespoons Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (I used Cabot)
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt, Plain
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
4 Slices of Bacon
How to make it:
Melt your butter
Chop your onions, add that to the butter on the stovetop add your salt & pepper (is the song stuck in your head now too?).
Cook that for 10 minutes then add the thyme.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Continue to cook the onions for another 20 minutes on low.
Now add the wine, and cook another couple minutes.
Add your sour cream, yogurt and cheese mix this well.
Add a little extra shredded cheese to the top and pop this into the oven for 20 minutes @ 400
Serve with chips, bread, veggies - whatever tickles your fancy!
I know you will love it!
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Restaurant review time!
I have been to this Brewery twice now, it is named for the town that it resides in. Red Wing Brewery in Red Wing Minnesota.
The first time I went here it was just hubbie and I after a SUPER long bike ride that I thought I would not live through! That beer was the best beer I ever tasted! You can buy growlers of their beer but not on Sunday (stupid MN). So plan ahead people.
But, you can buy growlers of their Root Beer any day of the week :)
And that is what we did the second visit we had there, we brought home a growler of Root Beer for the little man. He came with that trip and he lovesssssss root beer, he actually has a collection of root beer bottles in his bedroom.
Both times we went there we had their wonderful pizza.
The first time we had the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Delish! If I remember correctly the chef is a pizza maker from NY. I think that is what they told us, that was a few years ago now.
The second time we had the Meat Lovers Pizza, Wonderful!
Both times someone other than our server came over to make sure everything was to our liking, they are super helpful and friendly.
They are all super knowledgeable about the brews too.
Hope you plan a visit to Red Wing, MN!
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
This is an throwback appetizer I posted back in 2013, sounds forever ago doesn't it?
I was at Trader Joes the other day and picked up some of their cashews, they have the best prices on nuts!
I have a cousin who hates nuts, but she love these (especially after an evening of drinking). They are a great munchie.
They are really simple to make only 5 ingredients. These would make a great hostess gift, throw them into a cute $1 glass container you can get at the dollar store, and bam you have a super easy gift anyone would love.
Here is where you can find the recipe Rosemary Cashews.
Hope you like them, they taste and smell amazing!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I KNOW, what!?!? Chocolate Chip Cookie on an appetizer blog?
Well I just had to share with you what I made today, it's about my 8th time making these and they are so frickin awesome!
I have told you before I am not really a baker but I am working on that.
I stumbled across this almost fail proof ( I say that because I can make it it's foolproof) chocolate chip cookie recipe a while back on my fav Pintrest.
This girl has a recipe for a moist cookie or a crunchy chocolate chip cookie, every time I go for the moist cookie.
I have been posting so many restaurant reviews lately I thought I better give you something you can make and I think just about everyone likes a chocolate chip cookie!
I do have a couple new appetizers I will be making soon so don't you fret.
And please take note of my adorable new cow towel!? DO you just love it? :) I picked that up at William Sonoma.
AND if I don't say so myself I think my pictures are greatly improving, way to keep up the New Years Eve resolution (pat on back).
So here is what you need:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 350 once you are done mixing everything together
Mix your flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a mixing bowl, set aside
In another bowl mix butter and both sugars, cream together for 4 minutes until fluffy
Next add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla beat until smooth
Now in intervals of 3 add the flour
Incorporate your chocolate chips until everything is well mixed.
Place the bowl of dough into the fridge for at least an hour.
You should have preheated your oven to 350 by now
Scoop cookie dough into tablespoon amounts onto a nonstick cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
Bake 10 to 12 minutes
Hope you enjoy them we do!
The original Recipe came from here, The Everygirl.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Surly Beerpocalypse 2015!!!! They took over the taps at Mackenzie Bar in downtown Minneapolis, MN!
Oh ya baby all the beers available on tap!
Hubbie was on cloud nine, Surly only released so many kegs of their Surly 8 beer and he only got to have 1 pint! Yes 1!
And this night they had it on tap at the Beerpocalypse, what a happy boy he was.
Until we got there errrrrr record screeching...........................
So we get there and the place is pretty mellow not very many people there at all, and that is how it stayed the whole 3 hours we were there.
And they only served beer at certain times, bummer!
We had to leave before they served 8 GGGGGRRRRRR...............
Actually a waste of our time and money getting a car to drive us all the way downtown and back.
When we can get Surly at a place closer to home or in our own fridge, just saying.
Service was ok, the place was ok old building it was pretty cold had to wear my coat the whole night but like I said it was an old building.
So we had some good beer got a couple stickers and some nachos it was an alright evening.
I drank the Surly Hell and hubbie had a smoked 2013, I had a sip of that the strangest thing it seriously tasted like it was smoked! He also had a 7. All good beers.
Well nothing else exciting to tell you.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Hey Hey time for another restaurant review!
For Christmas my Brother & Sister in-law gave us a gift certificate for a new place called Pub 819 Whiskey-Beer-Burgers.
We never go to the city of Hopkins, we really liked their downtown. Lots of little shops and places to get a drink or a bite to eat.
This was a Friday night, usually the night we go out, This place was hoppin! It was going to be an hour wait, oh lordy don't make mama wait too long for a beer I was thirsty! But luckily we got a spot at the bar within 5 minutes (seat yourself).
I'm not sure if there were lots of bartenders or if the servers (my daughter said they don't want to be called waitress) were back behind the bar but it was busy.
The bartender who help us out the most, was super nice and really informative and we never had to wait for anything she was on the ball (and she had fun purple hair)!
She had asked us what places we like to go to and one of our fav is The Blue Door Pub, we go to the Mpls. location (cause I know you wanted to know). She suggested we tried Pub 819's fried ham & cheese roll appetizer, not really a fan sorry, I'm a picky girl and they were really greasy, but maybe that was just our batch who knows :(
Marc (that is the hubbie's name) and I wanted the same burger (I wish I could only order a half a burger, I can never finish them). We went for the Blue Burger , that is made with blueberries, arugula, purple onions and blue cheese I'm pretty sure that it was on an egg bun.
If I were to change anything it would be to stuff the burger with cream cheese and 1/2 the amount of blueberries, it was just too tart of a flavor, made me pucker! Otherwise I really like the flavor combo.
The burgers came with their homemade fries, really good and fancy ketchup! Marc had me take note of what it was so we can see if we can get it at the store. You can see it behind the burger on the left. Fancy Ketchup 78.
Now on to the Beer! Sitting at the bar we got an excellent view of all the beers and whiskeys, an awesome display I may say.
I had a Excelsior Big Island Blonde Ale, that was SO good!
Husband had a Fulton Ringer and a sample of the Badger Hill - MSB, Strong Bitter.
With all those whiskey bottle staring him in the face you know he had to buy a bottle, it was a special 1 barrel brewed especially for Pub 819 by Cody Road, pretty fancy!
I would give this place another visit! Hope you decide to visit them too!
Monday, February 2, 2015
Here we are again with another fantastic recipe from Amy Thielen's cookbook.
I seem to have a trend going on here on my blog lately with smoked items, so I'm keepin' it alive with another smoked bite, Smoke Oyster Dip.
That I am sure will win over my hubbies appetite! He loves smoked oyster stew at New Years.
I made this for our Super Bowl party it was a smash. Honestly when I was reading the ingredients I wondered how they would all taste together, I really liked it!
You even make your own crackers for this dip, I didn't read the recipe that closely before I went to the grocery store I ended up buying those little cocktail Rye crackers in your grocery stores deli section. They worked just fine.
Here is what you will need:
1 3 oz tin smoked oysters
1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/3 cup finely diced summer sausage
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1 sleeve rye cocktail bread squares (28 pieces)
4 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic
How to make this dip:
Mix together with a spatula your cream cheese and sour cream.
Add in the oysters, lemon juice, soy sauce, finely chopped summer sausage, pecorino, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the parsley. Mix this well.
Ta-da you're finished with the dip!!!
How to make the bread (my version, cause I didn't follow her direction well, opps):
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
I used 28 mini squares of rye deli bread, I tried rolling them thinner with a rolling pin but that did not work. So I used them as is.
Lay the bread onto a baking sheet, using a pastry brush coat with butter.
Bake for 10 minutes
Flip them over give another coat of butter and rub with a clove of garlic that has been cut in half.
Bake another 10 minutes.
Now you are ready to eat, Enjoy!
You can buy a copy of Amy's cookbook here on Amazon, where you can read all her wonderful recipes (written correctly I may add LOL).