Sunday, September 25, 2016

St. Paul Food Truck Fair

Fun fact about Angie, did you know I was an Yelp Elite?!  All bow to Angie.   KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!  
No really, Yelp is pretty cool.  I do use it often, I like hearing what people think of establishments.  I found great places off of Yelp!  George the Dragon, my new nail place, Envy Nails.
You make friends, find out about cool events and so much more!  
Being an Elite I entered a contest and won free beer tickets to the upcoming St. Paul Food Truck Fair at Mears Park. 
Who doesn't like a good food truck!  There were 31 of them there!  SO many choices!
Beer, food, a band, dancing, products, games and tons of awesome people watching!  What a fun time.
Hubbie and I shared everything we ordered so we did not over do it, cause that would be really easy to do with all those wonderful choices!
Here is what we ate.

Let's start off with my favorite food truck around, I have had this meal a few times now.  The Fried Green Tomato BLT from The Moral Omnivore!  Seriously if you see this truck, get the BLT!  

Ok Hubbie's turn to pick, we tried a bourbon bacon grilled cheese, sounds great right?  Well it was pretty basic, and they totally skimped on bacon, I swear there was one piece on this sandwich. 

What a cute name for a truck Panini Pinups.  I have a friend who lives in Hawaii, so we had the Hawaiian panini in honor of her (she has no clue lol). This would include pineapple, spam and cheese, surprisingly very good!  Now all these sandwiches are just halves we are not splitting a whole sandwich over and over. I can't eat that much! 

Right next to the panini truck as an Asian truck, mama loves a good egg roll, these did not disappoint!

Hubbies choice again, he picked a pulled bbq brisket sandwich, Sorry no photo, he really liked it.  I thought it was ok.

I was hoping to find an Indian taco, I have never had one before, they look SO good!  This is a stock photo.

Also once at a food/beer festival at out local Bachman's one year we had loaded fries from a food truck, and I can't for the life of me remember what truck it was.  but they were AMAZING!!!!  
I didn't find them this day :(  

So that about wraps it up, that was a pretty great event!  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lakeville Brewing Company

It's been a long time I feel like since I wrote a date night review.
Well there was the vacation reviews in Grand Marais.  But, nothing local.
I had heard of the Lakeville Brewery coming to town last year, from my daughter while we were having a girls day downtown Lakeville (cute little town).
Finally hubbie and I made it to the brewery.

Youngest was at a birthday party for a few hours so, we took full advantage of those few hours!
Speaking of kids, this is a pretty family friendly brewery.
There is a yard with picnic tables and some yard games you can enjoy in the warmer season.
Seems to be plenty of parking too.

Dinner time!

We started off with an appetizer, shocker - right!?!?!  We ordered the bacon spinach dip, it was good but very salty for my liking.

Hubbie ordered the pressed reuben sandwich with sweet potato tots, I got to try a bite, it was really good!

I ordered the house burger basically it is a california cheese burger.  Very well cooked.  Nothing really to special.  The fries were soggy.

Now the beer that was really good!  My first beer was a heavy beer, with a lingering sweet aftertaste, Milk Stout on nitro.  I could definitely only have one of those.

Next I had their lightest beer, now those go down real easy, the Wet Hopped IPA
Hubbie had the IPA & a 210 IPA

He also ordered a growler, they do not sell growler.  This is what you get.  I'd call this a 40oz , should have come in a paper bag.  Kidding!

I'd come back here and drink the beer, seems like a fun place!  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is a very similar Mediterranean dip to hummus, made with eggplant.
I was sneaky and tricked my daughter into eating it, she loved it. But, claims to hate eggplant.  Poor kid just can't trust her sneaky Mom anymore! haha.......

The funniest thing. I was growing eggplant in the garden this year, I got about 5 eggplant then the plant stopped producing, not sure if that is normal?
I was struggling on finding ideas how to use them, or way to use them that we really liked.
Then I found this dip, sounds great but,  I had no more eggplants.  So I went out and bought one.  Checked in the garden the next day - and guess whats growing again?!  Yup more eggplant.

What you need:
1 large eggplant
1 large clove of garlic
sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon tahini
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tablespoons greek yogurt (plain)
2 tablespoons cucumber, shredded (drained of water)
1 tablespoon feta
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut your eggplant lengthwise, brush with olive oil and place face down on a tin foil lined baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour
While that is baking, mix together in a food processor garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin , cayenne, greek yogurt, cucumber and feta.
Process well and set aside.
Once your eggplant is done let it cool enough to handle then next peal away the skin.
Discard the skin , place eggplant in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.  Cover with foil and let sit for 20 minutes, uncover and drain water from egg plant.
Place eggplant in food processor with your yogurt mix and blend well.
When that is finished add to a bowl and fold in the parsley.
Chill for at least two hours
Garnish with parsley if desired.
Serve with pita bread, pita chips and or vegetables.

Hope you enjoy!

* I adapted this recipe from Little Spice Jar's original dish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Garden Update 1001

Recap on this year's garden, it's always a learning process.
This is my first year with the raised beds, that I seriously love.  It really helps cut down on the weeding. And I think it makes it more organized looking.

One thing that I learned it don't over crowd!
I don't know the exact measurements of the boxes but I put 6 tomato plants (or is it 8?) in each box, with thier cages, well when they grow to their full size it's really difficult to see and pick the tomatoes.

as you can tell they are starting to dry out & die (back fence)

Also good lord those Brussel Sprout plants get huge! I need to give them space and only plant them together.

And I am not 100% sure on this but I do not think that cucumbers like being planted with any type of squash.
I usually get a ton of cucumbers but this year just a few.  Bummer because these boys eat a ton of pickles!  And I'm totally addicted to taziki lately!

And Angie don't plant so much basil next year!  Good God I could have opened up a basil farm!
Right now my spaghetti squash is getting ready for me to pick it & I am SO excited for that!
I think I counted 17 the other day!

My FAVORITE thing to do with it is bake it with spinach, goat cheese and bacon!  OMG SO GOOD!!!!!!!
Another part of my garden I made was a seating area in the center surrounded by all the beautiful plants and 2 flower beds.

(the flowers in the back already had their day, came and went)

I never really got to experience sitting out there, due to the insane amount of bees and mosquitoes, also the direct sun light.  There is not much shade out there and dang it was hot in Minnesota this summer!  Maybe what I need to do is get a table with a little umbrella and a ton of citronella candles!  2017 GOAL!

(the spaghetti squash went crazy and escaped the garden - headed over to the rabbit hutch)

In the beginning of the summer my neighbors mulberry tree sheds in one of the corners of my garden & really contributes to that issue with the bugs.  Oh well what ya gonna do.
As I'm writing this it is mid September, at this point I basically give up on weeding.  I'm sick of it LOL!
I seriously offered my 13 year old $100 to be in charge of weeding next year, dang kid turned me down.  He hates it as much as I do hahaha!!!!

(broccoli just started!)

There were a couple new things I grew this year that I won't next year.
One being eggplant, we just don't get around to eating it much, and I'm just not a huge fan.  It's ok. There are many other veggies I would rather eat.
I would like to try my hand at asparagus and or horseradish but, I don't have the patience.  I would rather just get it at the farmers market when I needed it.

(check out that gorgeous color on the swiss chard! *tip you need to cage this - the rabbits love it)

2017 I want to try some baby potatoes, excited about that.
Also in 2017 I think I will skip on growing string beans, I like them but we just don't eat that many of them.

I am excited to experiment with new flowers and vegetables next year and see what 2017 has in store of my little suburban farm!
Stay tuned :)
And Happy Fall Y'all!

*what I grew
3 types of tomatoes - yellow pear, cherokee purple, roma
herbs - basil (2 types) chives, rosemary, oregano, dill
zucchini, winter squash, spaghetti squash
bell peppers - purple & green
swiss chard
lettuce variety
strawberries (rabbits ate them all)
banana peppers

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bloggers I follow

Food Food Food - Keeps us going right!?
People are just so creative and talented, there are just so many awesome food bloggers out there!
Not only can they cook, but most of them take their own awesome photos!
I am just blown away by some of them and I thought I would share some of my favorites, I'm sure I am leaving some out, but I just follow so many!
I pray to God that you can not gain weight by looking at food pictures!

Foodie With Family - Rebecca is an amazing mother with so many other talents besides cooking!  She finds time to do all of this amazing cooking, while homeschooling all of her boys, bringing them to their various classes, taking amazing photos and just wrote a kick butt canning cookbook (that I just had to buy)!  You can follow her blog, follow her on Instagram & Facebook.
Foodie With Family.

Grilled Cheese Social - Girl you got me at CHEESE!  I found MacKenzie on Instagram, good Lord her sandwiches are to die for!  And she pretty damn funny.  

Dennis The Prescott - My neighboring friend in Canada, this man can cook people!  He has a great story behind how became a chef, he was a musician.  Trying to cook for himself food was boring, so he taught himself how to cook, low and behold there was a chef just waiting to come out!
Dennis is featured in Wine & Food Magazine quite often.  Just took an amazing trip to Kenya.
And got a kick butt kitchen remodel this year (jealous!).
Dennis The Prescott.
My Name is Yeh - Molly is this super adorable, tiny little thing that whoop up some amazing food!
She lives on a ranch and has sweet little animals roaming all about.
Recently married Molly can also take some pretty amazing photos that will make you drool all over your computer! Oh yeah and she also just wrote a book!
My Name is Yeh

Daily Dose of Pepper - I started following Star not to long ago on Instagram, she is on a weightloss journey and cooks up some really good light food, I have tried several of her dishes now & Pinned a ton!  And OMG she has the most adorable daughter, you just want to squish her!  
Daily Dose of Pepper

Half Baked Harvest - Tieghan is a young and super talented cook!  Her family is well feed I am sure!  This girl has amazing talent at such a young age, she's definitely going place!  She also lives on a farm and has cute little baby animals :)
Half Baked Harvest.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post & I hope you enjoy checking out these talented foodies!  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Zucchini Tots

This year I am trying to be as creative as possible and make as many different thing with all these wonderful vegetable that are in my garden.
And one of those vegetables is zucchini, I love zucchini!
Usually what I do is saute it or chop it up and toss it into a salad.
But I thought up a new little side dish - appetizer for those lovely green veggies.
Zucchini Tots!
I told my sister about these she thought they looked yummy but asked if there was a dip for them, she knows me well I love me some dip!
I did not make any dip but you sure could make a dip for them, heck dip them in Ranch!
I served these to my family along side our hot dogs and brats grill out evening - they ate them right up!

This is what you need:
1 ex large zucchini, or 2 regular sized (your typical grocery store size, if you can't get from a garden or farmer's market) shredded and drained of water.
2 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, or regular if that is what you have on hand
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
hot sauce optional

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Shred your zucchini, place into a thin kitchen towel, squeeze out all water, keep squeezing until you can get no more out
Place into a bowl
Add in eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
My husband and daughter wanted a little more kick to these so I would suggest adding a few quirts of your favorite hot sauce if you like it spicey.
Mix well, and form into a tot shape
Place on cooking sheet and bake @ 400 for 23 minutes
Let them set for just a bit before serving.
Like I said you could totally make a dip for these, but I just enjoyed it as is.

Hope you like them!