Sunday, August 28, 2011

A taste of Minneapolis

Hello all! [side note: sometimes I want to say ya'll but then I don't]

I hope everyone is having a magnificent weekend despite that whore Irene. Please excuse the foul language. I also hope that my east coasties are drinking many dark and stormies to celebrate the hurricane, just like my parents currently are :)

Since I'm quite backed up with posts, my next few may be a little off time-wise. Today I'll be posting a few pictures from my trip to Minneapolis a few weeks ago.

Steve and I took off after my last exam of the summer to visit Doug and Charlie for a long weekend of food and drink. We went to a fantastic farmer's market in St. Paul. It was much bigger than any farmer's market I've encountered in Milwaukee, and I was delighted to buy 10 million squash blossoms. This may have been an exaggeration and there may have been only 15. We only needed three but by the end of the day, many things are given away for free.

We picked up some goodies for the dinner we cooked that night. Steve and I wanted to make Doug and Charlie a feast for our last night in Minneapolis. We made grilled steak with a blue cheese butter (a recurring recipe in this blog), stuffed squash blossoms with artichoke dip and gouda, a heirloom tomato salad with basil and mozz, and corn salsa salad (also a familiar blog character).

---- Voila. A foodie masterpiece of epic proportions. I joked at the market when we were picking up groceries that Steve would end up eating one whole sirloin, and that Doug, Charlie, and I would end up splitting the other one. That is precisely what happened.

I am also very curious about squash blossoms. I find it very difficult to acquire them in stores and markets near me. Where are you mysterious squash blossom? I would like to do cuisine-like experimentation with you. Please join me.

The stuffed squash blossoms that Doug made were absolutely amazing. You soak the blossom, and then stuff
them very carefully with dip or cheese or what have you.
This takes much grace and finesse (of which I am lacking) because they are so delicate. Then you flour them and fry em up!

Plus, they look beautiful.

We also wined and dined our way through some great restaurants in Minneapolis. I would have never pegged it for a foodie city, but every corner you turn there is a delicious place to eat. I may or may not have gained 30 pounds.

Well that's more like a pregnancy, but still. Many food babies were born.

I would also like to take this chance to hop up on my little soapbox to discuss buying local food. Doug and Charlie take part in this food co-op in partnership with a Minnesota farm about an hour away. Each week, they receive a box of fresh produce to use. It is delicious, nutritious, and takes less energy in transportation. Our second night in Minneapolis, we had a little dinner party and used some fresh farm ingredients. The menu consisted of: grilled chilean sea bass with navy beans, zucchini and chives, a strawberry salad, scalloped potatoes, and this blue cheese/beet dip combo thing that Charlie made up. I put it on some bread and called it a day. A delicious day.

We grilled the fish, beans, zucchini, and chives in a little foiled grill packet. It's an easy and convenient way to make a pretty well-balanced dinner. We put the fish and veggies in a packet of aluminum foil along with some herbs, spices, butter, and oil. Throw that on the grill and you have yourself a meal. You can also do this in the oven. Will try soon and share.

To end this magnificent Minneapolis post, I will share with you a picture of the best Bloody Mary I've ever had. It actually may not even be the best bloody I've ever had, but it certainly had the best bacon I've ever had in my life. And I don't even like bacon. That much.

Happy eating :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

New camera, new blog title.

Hello everyone!

I know posts have been scarce this summer, but I've been consumed with thesis writing. I must remind myself that cooking = therapy.

So..the title change. My last title was created as a joke, after watching several entertaining episodes of the Jersey Shore. After awhile it wasn't sitting very well with me anymore. I wondered, if someone asked me the meaning of it, what would I say? "Oh well, I'm such a huge fan of the Jersey Shore" --No way. It began because I was making a big dinner for Kevin and Steve on Sundays, hence the family dinner part of the title.

As I searched for a new name that would represent what I want this blog to be, Kevin said something during a brainstorming session that really resonated with me. He said, "what about have food will travel?". Isn't that what my blog is about? Two things I am passionate about?

This title happened to be very similar to my uncle's blog from a few years ago. My uncle Ric is the most influential person in my life. He inspires me everyday, to travel, seek out new experiences, and embrace life. He passed away when I was a freshman in college. I think about him everyday. He was a travel writer for the majority of his life and created a blog to keep his family and friends updated while he was abroad. It was called, "have pen, will travel". So here is to you Ricky. Your channel of expression was writing....mine is peas and carrots.

For you Ric: Have food, will travel.

*Note- The heirloom tomato picture is a preview from my trip to Minneapolis. Stay tuned.