Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I know, I know my next blog post was suppose to be my Whole Foods Haul!
I just don't have time for that before my trip though, I will have to do it after I return.
So I thought I would do a quick review, my daughter and I had a date day the other week and went to this gorgeous restaurant in Lakeville, MN named Vivo.
It is very large and very beautiful, lots of brick work, a huge "sunroom" for indoor seating, a grand bar.  Lovely seating areas outdoors over looking a man-made pond.

Sort of an Italian feel to it.
Service was excellent.
Liked the menu very much, items you don't always find. Original.  I hear they have an awesome Sunday brunch!

                                                                     Free Bread!

My daughter ordered the 1/2 turkey sandwich that came with fries and a salad, she gave me a little bit of the sandwich, it was really good, I really liked the apricot mustard on it.

I had the Wild Mushroom Flatbread, it came out and it was huge!  I discovered I am not a fan of truffle oil, and it was doused in it!  The crust was great, the mushrooms were great but I could not get over that overwhelming flavor of the truffle oil.

They were so kind to take it off the check, without me even asking. That is good customer service!
I would for sure come back here!
Great place to have a large party too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Coming Soon!

Well I'm super pumped!  Garden is starting to grow, Cucumbers and green beans are climbing the ropes, yellow flowers are popping up on the tomato plants.  Speaking of starting to grow so are the weeds!!  We have gotten a lot of rain and the weeds love that, so this is what we do to keep them down.

This is not my photo just one I found off the internet.  What we do is pull the big weeds, lay down newspaper around the plants then a layer of compost.  Keeps the weeds out wonderfully!  

On another note I got to borrow my Grandmas recipe box, mostly sweets recipes, she keeps most of them in her head.  I scanned those and will be putting together a book of them, sort of a cookbook for the ladies in my family. That might take me a bit but I thought it would be really nice to have, Grandma is 90!

I'm getting super excited for my "Girls Week" vacation in just over a week!  I will be bringing along to share my Rosemary Cashews, we love to munch on them while having cocktails!

One last update, did you catch my last blog post where I did a haul at Trader Joe's? (thats where I buy the cashew's to make this!).

I'll give you a heads up to what's going to be my next blog post, Whole Foods party haul!  

Happy Summer to you all!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Trader Joe's Favorite Party Staples

Trader Joe's Haul!  I totally procrastinated getting groceries this week.  Just a busy week and we really needed to work on cleaning out our fridge of all the leftovers, ya know what I'm sayin?
I typically do not do my main grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, there are a few favs I can only get there though and party foods are at the top!
So I wanted to share with you my fav quick picks at Trader Joe's.
Please forgive my terrible photography today!  Its not easy taking pictures with 30 people staring at you, I'm sure they are not all staring at me but that is how I felt haha!!

                                            First off, what up Yoda - he graduated I guess!

You want to put together a party easily and quickly I suggest a cheese tray, you just can't go wrong and it is so simple.  Just throw a few other things along with it and bam instant party!
Here are a few of my favs.

The Italian Truffle Cheese and Cotswald are my favorites!
Pair that with TJ's Salami, cashews, olives, fruit and Baguettes! 

The mozzarella balls you can simple skewer along with a grape tomato, drizzle with a balsamic vinegar and fresh shredded basil!  Your guest will think you worked on it all day!

Now all of these pictured above are not party foods but some of my have to always pick up while I am at TJ's.
The cheese sticks are great nibbles and the pita chips pair well with one of their many hummus.
Artichokes are a great price, and who doesn't like artichoke dip!?
In the center is my #1 favorite in the appetizer case in the frozen food section (top left) flakey pastry bites with caramelized onions and feta cheese!
A quick breakfast or out and about bite are my fav, the peanut butter dark chocolate protein bars by Kind.
The kettle corn is for my son.
There are several types of salmon in the meat section, those go well with cheese.
Almost every week day I have a salad for lunch and Trader Joe's croutons are the best around!

Next to the produce are tons of pre made dips and spreads, all good I'm sure!

Have you ever noticed that there is a "New Product" section?  Thats fun to check out, not sure how often they update it but ours is on an end cap.

Fresh flowers are beautiful for a centerpiece for your party and at a great price.

So go have fun and check out your local Trader Joe's !

Listen for the bell while there - at my TJ's that means a child located the hidden eagle in the store now they get a candy!  Ding Ding!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chicken Dip

In honor of my Mom (she's not dead!), let's revisit my chicken dip recipe that she just loves!
Mom is moving away to go take care of my Grandma and Step Grandpa in a couple days, so my daughter, my sisters and nieces and I had a girl's only party, basically the whole weekend!
We ate Moms favorite foods.  BLT's, Lipton french onion dip, taco dip and her fav Chicken Dip!
Oh and dont forget some cocktails!
We shopped, played silly games, did face masks and watched a scary movie!
It was a great time!
Alright well here is that delicious Chicken Dip Recipe that was given to me by my neighbor Kim years ago on Halloween.

Silly Pic I took of Mom last summer

What you need:
3 large chicken breast, boiled and shredded
2 4oz cans diced green chilis
2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic salt, a large pinch
1/2 juice of one lemon

How to make it:
Really simple!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Take a baking dish fill it with water, place chicken in the water, squeeze a half of a lemon and a dash of garlic into the water, bake for 1 hour
Remove, drain and once cool enough to touch shred the chicken
Add the cream cheese, shredded cheese and diced green chilis to the shredded chicken.
Bake covered for 45 minutes, stirring frequently
For the last 15 minutes uncover and continue to bake

Mom likes this with Wheat Thins
Usually I serve this with tortilla chips

Really good!  Hope you enjoy!

                                                    My gorgeous nieces and daughter!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sweet Potato Bites

Lately I'm totally obsessed with sweet potatoes!
I had a few laying around the kitchen and thought I would whip up a simple appetizer with them.
They were very good, total party food.  Super simple finger food your guests can just pop into their mouth!
I wanted to keep them simple, those are the best aps not too complicated so you can make other nummies for your party!

Here is what you're going to need:
3-4 Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Colby Cheese, shredded
Parmesan Cheese, grated

How to make them:
Heat your oven to 375 degrees
Wash and cut your potatoes into thin sliced, about a 1/4 thick
Lay out parchment paper onto a cooking sheet 
Brush your potato slices with olive oil
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake for 30 minutes
Flip your potato rounds and brush with butter
Again sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake for another 20 minutes
Remove and sprinkle half your potatoes with Colby cheese and chopped basil

And the other half with Parmesan cheese and chopped rosemary

Bake for another 5 minutes
Serve warm!