Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nominated for an award!

What a pleasant surprise to find out this morning that I was nominated for a blogger award by a fellow blogger Amanda with Crafty Cooking Mama, what a sweetheart!
So to be a good sport I must nominate 5 other bloggers and do a little Q & A!
Kinda fun right you get to find out a little bit more about me, some odd facts and most likely get a laugh at my expense, no problem that is what I am here for!
I might take a few great questions and info that Amanda has provided me to help me along in this blog post.  I am sure she will not mind!
And what a coincidence I just shared on my Angie's Appetizers FaceBook page today a super refreshing drink from Amanda's site!  You can find that here.

What is this Liebster business, you ask?  The Liebster Award is an award for bloggers from bloggers.  The award is for any blogger, of any genre, who has less than 1k followers.  It’s a way you can recognize, support and get to know your fellow blogging buddies.


You’ve been nominated.  Now what…
1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you with a thank you & a link to their blog.
2. Display The Liebster Award badge on your blog.
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5+ bloggers (with fewer than 1,000 followers) who you feel deserve the award.
6. Create a new list of 11 questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.
7. Make sure you notify your nominees!
Questions from Amanda: (Angie's Answers) 
1. What are your earliest cooking inspirations? My Grandma, Mom & watching and imitating Julia Child ( I still do!)
2. Where do you live?  What is wonderful about where you call home? The great state of Minnesota!  I have been a city girl my whole life, but am now ready for the country! We get all four seasons and each are amazingly beautiful!  
3. You can buy a second home (money is no object here) anywhere in the world.  Where would you be? That's tuff, I don't travel much (I should say far) well it would have to be by a body of water!
4. What has your proudest accomplishment been in life so far? My 3 wonderful children!
5. Think back to being a kid….What did you want to be when you grew up?  Seriously, I have no answer!?  I don't remember :(  
6. Open up your fridge.  What do you see most of in there?  Right now too many leftovers, jambalaya and pulled pork nachos.  But usually I would say vegetables and cheese.  
7. What makes you happy?  My family :)
8. What is your most treasured possession? Can I keep answering family?  If we are talking about material things I would say any jewelry my wonderful husband has given me
9. You could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life.  What would it be? I am an all American girl!  
10. 30 years from now – where do you see yourself in life?  Living up North MN on a lake with lots of grandchildren!  
11. What inspired you to start blogging and what inspires you to keep blogging? Oh good question, I wanted to write a cookbook but I found that process to be difficult.  I follow so many bloggers I thought why not try that!  It's fun and you meet so many people! And I love to cook!
11 Random facts about me:
1. My favorite color is green, just like my sweet Grandma
2. Yes, this is my natural hair color.  
3. I chose my 2 eldest children's names so if they were a boy or a girl it would be easy to switch, My daughter Samantha could have been Samuel & My son Alexander could have been Alexandra (and that is what I thought he was going to be according to all the ultra sounds!)  My last child not so much so, I knew he was a boy, Jackson.  I like long proper names.  
4.  I have been to so many years of nursing school but could never pass anatomy, I could only be an assistant or an aide. It was that darn heart I could not memorize.  
5. I once saved a woman's life by giving her the Heimlich maneuver in a Chinese restaurant, I was so shaken and embarrassed (shy) I ran out of there.
6. I have anxiety about a lot of things that keep me from doing them.  Like driving on the freeway, it's been at least 8 years.  That really sucks.
7. My later years of nursing led me to office work, scheduling surgeries and admitting people to urgent care, I found that I really like that and went into the corporate world and helped run 2 large well to do company's in my area.
8.  I am a freak and have had the chicken pox more than once , shingles, measles and almost choked on a sucker when I was a toddler (mom loves to tell that story)
9.  After 20 years of smoking and 2 tries I have successfully quit, it's been almost 5 years now, and I feel great!  
10. The only concert I have been to is Metallica.  
11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite season and why?
2. Where is your favoritest place to vacation?
3. What is your favorite food?
4. Morning or evening person?
5. Favorite Appetizer?
6. Drink of choice?  
7. Favorite pastime?
8. What is the oddest food you have ever tried?
9. Any nicknames?
10. What is your most embarrassing moment?  
11. What is the weirdest thing in your purse, wallet, bag etc. at the moment!?


These are all great bloggers I've had the pleasure to get to know or/and awesome blogs I enjoy reading.  Check them out!!! (ok I cheated a bit some of these bloggers have more than 1000 followers)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Where is Waldo!?

Super cute sign, kids got me for Mother's Day 

I just felt like I needed to do an update on why I am not posting so much.
The big reason for not blogging lately is it's gardening season!  And I have a huge garden, lots of work and also planting tons of flowers throughout my property.

What are you growing Angie!?  Why I thought you would never ask!
Onions - 2 types
Swiss Chard
Banana Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Tomatoes - 3 types
Bell Peppers
Green Beans
Lettuce Variety
Carrots - purple at that!
Brussel Sprouts
Herbs - Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Rosemary, Dill

Pick these radishes today!

I feel like I'm leaving something out........
Husband is growing hops for his new love of brewing, that seems to be taking over the garage, the beer not the hops, those are outside.

Besides having tomatos growing your old fashioned way, I am also trying the hay bail method, thats pretty cool.  I guess it holds the moisture in well so you don't have to water it as much.

2 plants in here, the one on the right is doing better now :)

Like I have shared before we are big into composting so that really helps my garden grow well.  We also have 3 rabbits that help provide for that compost, eewww I know right! Did someone say poop!?

Once my garden starts providing some scrumptious vegetables I will start creating some garden fresh appetizers!

Maybe even share with you my canning processes!  I know super exciting right?!

Alright enough vegetable talk.

I will be having a going away/ girls only party this weekend for my Mom.  And will be coming up with a new chicken dip recipe for that party, Moms favorite dip!  I will talk more about why Mom is moving in that blog post.

Another fun thing coming up for me is in a few weeks I will be taking a week long vacation, happens almost every year.  It's girls week, where all my cousins, aunts, Mom, Grandma, Great Aunt, daughter, niece, rent an awesome cabin on a lake and pig out, drink, shop, float on the lake and play games have bonfires, did I say eat and drink!?  It is an awesome time!

We have another fun trip planned for August too.

Hope you all have a great summer, I'll do my best to keep blogging :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Patty Wagon

Not the best night for going out last night I tell you what people, what a pain in the butt!
Our little man had karate so we were going to go grab a drink out.
Husband says lets try the Lyndale Smokehouse again, we had not been back since earlier this winter.  I say sure.  We get there, I have a bad feeling about this no one is in the restaurant and all the staff if hanging out at the front desk looking at their phones.
The loud bartender from our last visit finally notices us comes over asks, what we want.  I give her the "Really"?! Staredown, I mean seriously how rude!
Husband said we would like a table and are going to order a couple drinks, she said the hotel was sold and in the process of change over they currently do not have a liquor license.  Ok bye Felicia!!!

Not going back there again!
So on to the next place, a new restaurant opened called Patty Wagon right next to another burger joint we have frequented in the past.
Actually the story on the Patty Wagon is that for 24ish years they were a Mexican place and were not getting much business, also they say that there are far to many Mexican restaurants in the vicinity.  So they remodeled and became the Patty Wagon.
I question why a burger place when they are right next to another burger place that does well???
We get there walk in the doors are propped open, and it's hot in there no air conditioning, good thing it wasn't to hot outside.  Starting to get another bad vibe......
The server took our drink order and we decide to order food.  Ready for another drink I don't think we saw her for almost another 30 minutes,  Pretty poor service.
But the food was on point, really good.
Hubbie got the Four Alarm Burger, stuffed with pepper jack and jalapenos topped with the "danger sauce" with sweet potato tots

And I got the Speed Limit Breaker, charbroiled burger caramelized onion, bacon, chipotle mayo with a onion ring and cheese , hold the mushrooms with a waffle fries and seasoned sour cream

Would I come back?  Sure, but I might choose the neighboring burger place first.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Twin Cities Burger Battle

Like my FaceBook status said the other week, "What else do you do for your 14 year wedding anniversary but go to a Burger & Beer Festival"!
And that is exactly what we did this past Saturday.  It was a great day for it too finally the rain had stopped and the sun was out.
This was the second year that this festival has been put on.  A wonderful idea, proceeds went to the Sanneh Foundation  for inner city children.
The event was the 2015 Twin Cities Burger Battle.

To start the evening off we went to 612 Brew, that was our second time there we went right after they opened and the brewery was not even completed at the time. we had a Groupon :)

This past weekend was Art-A-Whirl basically art, drinking and music all over NE Minneapolis.
So this part of the city was hoppin'!

We only had a couple blocks to walk to get to the Burger Battle, I said to my husband "oh the line is not to bad", as we get closer we notice that is the beginning of the line.  Made me laugh pretty hard as we follow the line around the block, I didn't think that line would ever end!

Finally we get to the end of the line, it moved along pretty quickly.

And just a public service announcement people be respectful to others, always!  And DO NOT cut in line!  There were several people behind us and a couple right in front of us and oh 70 in front of them.  This very rude group of 5-7 people just cut into line.  I don't know if everyone was being Minnesota nice but no one said anything.  That got my blood boiling for a little bit but I did not want them to ruin the evening.

Ok enough of that, on to the BURGERS!

Finally we get in and there were tents of different resturant stations lined up in this field, two beer tents and one drink tent.

There was a band playing and yard jenga was happening.  Everyone gets one token and you vote for your favorite burger.  There was a people's choice winner and the judges winner at the end of the evening.

If we had a strategy at all it would be not to eat burgers from a restaurant we had already been to.

In total there were 19 burger joints participating in the festival.

Most places gave out mini burgers aka sliders, a couple were cut wedges.

I don't know how honestly fair this competition is because I could only eat 3.  My husband had 7.

I really wanted to eat more but I was so full!

There were not many tables so it was really tricky to eat with a beer in one hand and a basket with your burger in the other.  And taking pictures!? Forgetaboutit,  I only got a few.

And the winners were drum roll please!!!!!

People's Choice Award goes to St. Paul Grill! I didn't try this one :(  Boohoo I'll have to go there now see what all the hype is about!!!!

The Judges chose The Paddy Shack @ The Half Time Rec, who I wrote an article on earlier this winter!

Congrats to the winners!

Oh and my favorite of the evening (that I tried) was My Burger, and lucky for me they are opening up a location close to me soon!

3 types of beef in this scrumptious baby

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cabot Cheese Cookies

Cheese Glorious Cheese!  Can't get enough of you, moment on the lips lifetime on the hips!  Damn it!
My intention was to make cheese straws but that just did not work out, they ended up looking like big fat cheese fingers!
So I decided to make cheese cookies, they pretty much look like cookies too.  My son came home from school got excited thinking that I made actual cookies.  He unlike his mother is not a fan of cheese, what a little weird-o :)
My Auntie Margaret makes a wonderful cheese cracker that I have shared with you all on the blog a bit back, they too are wonderful.
These cheese cookies are very good, light and fluffy.

Here is what you will need:
8oz block of seriously sharp cheddar cheese made by Cabot, shredded
1 3/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, I used Land O Lakes
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce, I used Sriracha
Nuts of your choice, I had pistachios on hand & used those

How to make them:
Mix your wet ingredients in a food processor
Mix your dry ingredients in another bowl, then add to the mixture in the food processor
Once this is combined roll into a ball and wrap with saran wrap, pop that into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Divide the huge cheese ball into smaller 1 1/2 - 2 inch balls
Place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches or more apart
Press a nut into the top of your cookie and bake for 10 minutes
Lay them out on a cooling rack.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Spam Bites

I know what you're thinking, Spam!?  Trust me people I know what I'm doing here I am an experienced eater.
For years my husband and I have been going to our all time favorite burger joint Blue Door Pub, yes I talk about them to much I know.  I just can't seem to get their fabulous food out of my mind I may be addicted!
Our favorite appetizer there are the Spam Bites.  Basically Cream Cheese, Spam, Pickles and Crunch.
You may or may not want to dunk them into a Jalapeno Jelly, but I do have a recipe for that too!
Here is some Spam history for you to read ya know if you're curious haha!
I know you're dying for me to tell you how to make them to lets get to it!

What you need:

1 Cup Flour
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

10 Saltines
2 Cups kettle chips

1/2 Small can Spam
1/4 Cup Pickles, your choice of brand (I used my homemade pickles)

1 Package of cream cheese, room temperature

Vegetable Oil for frying

How to make them:

For the batter combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Next for the breading pulse the crackers and chips and set aside

Now cube up your Spam and chop up your pickles, place into a food processor, pulse again but don't over mix

Take your cream cheese form about a 1 1/2 inch ball, flatten out fill with the Spam and pickle mixture, combine with the cream cheese, keeping a ball shape.
Once all of your balls are made, pop into the fridge for a half an hour.

Start heating your oil.

Take your balls dip into the batter then the breading , now place into the hot oil.

Fry until browned, drain on a paper towel. Serve with a jalapeno jelly

Very tasty!

Thanks Blue Door Pub, you're the best!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Surly Brewery

Let's back step to Friday night date night.
We went back to Surly Brewery.  Thought we might get somewhere to sit this time because the first time we went they just opened and it was almost a 3 hour wait!
This place is huge!  They had the outdoor seating open now, really a nice place.
I'm not super hip to the farm table seating with a bunch of people you don't know but whatever I'm a pretty funny girl I got them all laughing the moment I sat down, my husband is just along for the ride ;) wink wink.
You get carded as you approach the door walk to the hostess and get a buzzer, only a 15 minute wait that turned into a 30 minute wait.
We walked over to the mammoth bar and ordered a couple beers and wandered around looking at all the distillery machinery.

Buzzer goes off we get seated in the middle (oh great) of that big farm table, speaking of farm tables I need one!
No need for an appetizer tonight, who am I??  No appetizer!?
If you follow me you know we love our burgers, I do believe there is only 1 burger on the menu and it is the, you guessed it The Surly Burger.  With fancy sauce, the girl next to me said was wonderful.
It comes medium well, that is perfect for me but not the hubbie he likes it to come out mooing.
It was a bit of a wait for the food and to get another beer but the place was super busy.
There are all walks of life there, you know some places you go have a certain crowd or a mixture of a couple types of people, this one has them all, I love to people watch!
Ok burgers come, I always start with the fries, I loved the fries just perfect and great seasoning.
The burger reminds me of a Big Mac, well what I remember because I have not had one of those in over 10 years.  But higher quality.

Double patty, special sauce mixed in with shredded lettuce and pickle. Lots of melted cheese.
A good burger, but pretty average.  Husband gave it a 5.5 out of 10.
If I had to rate I would have to agree but possible a 6.
I think this would be a cool place to bring out of town guests to.
You can also host parties upstairs a really nice room.
After the young couple left we scooted to the end of the table, another party of 4 men late 40's early 50's came, why am I telling you their ages I have no clue!  But they started off with a meat and cheese platter, it looked wonderful I will for sure be trying that when I go again.
The place is just really cool you have to check it out for yourself.  Lots of old abandoned building surrounding it and rock sculptures it's massive in size.
Hope you check them out!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Midtown Farmers Market and Food Truck Fair

What an awesome way to kick off the weekend!
It was a perfect Saturday morning, sun was shining birds were chirping, family was hungry.
We headed out to the Midtown Farmers Market bright and early this past Saturday morning. They were also having a food truck fair that day.
I have never been to the Midtown Farmers Market.  I usually go to the Bloomington or Richfield one.  Occasionally the downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul one.  
It has a good location on Hiawatha and Lake street right below the light rail.  
When we got there a band was playing and also on the far side of the market a workout session was going on with music at the YMCA.
Pretty happening place that early in the morning.
I didn't even count the number of food trucks there my guess would be 10 maybe more.  
We tried a little wood smoked pizza the kiddo was not feeling adventurous and only wanted to get pepperoni, his go to pizza.  But they had several other fun combo flavors.

We also tried wild rice bites that came with a berry dipping sauce.  I am pretty sure I have tried these before at a winters farmers market held at Bachman's Floral a year ago, really good.

We shared a freshly squeezed lemonade, a "have to" in my book, when going to the farmers market!

My son got a bag of caramel corn, he said was ok.  Not sure why just ok but whatever the little man says goes.

I saw lots of other tasty treats there.  I wish I could have tried a mini pork taco and the deep fat fried asparagus.  
Now on to the farmers booths! It is early yet in the season so not to much produce yet.  
There were lots of plants and flowers, I picked up some strawberry plants, I did not have luck with them last year the animals ate them all, I even had them covered by some tulle. So wish me luck!
I got so many things, it was fun!
I got a loaf of wild rice bread, don't ya know I'm from Minnesota we have wild rice everything here!  

It was real good, we buttered and grilled some that evening to go along with our beer can chickens, NUM!

                                                 Have you ever seen such a site!?

While the hubbie was off talking to the apple grower, I scooted over to the WI. cheese guy he was handing out samples.  I tried cheddar, garlic and pepper jack.  All super good!  
I bought a brick of cheddar.

And finally I found someone selling micro greens, jackpot!  I also got some radishes from her.  

Look at these colors!

I will definitely be coming back to this farmers market! Speaking of growing, today (Sunday) I started planting in my garden, I planted green beans, swiss chard, onions and radishes.
And for flowers blue lupine and some morning glory.  Hope they grow well!

Happy Spring to you all!