Archive for October, 2010

One of my favorite parts of living in the Cities is the access to all of the different food experiences, whether they be cooking or eating, and the Minneapolis Farmers Market is a place for all of that and more! 


After my first visit to the Farmer’s Market this spring (after getting lost for about 40 minutes with my whole family), I knew that I would be obsessed.  I am one of those people that if I like a song, I play it about 293 times in a matter of a week (until I know all of the words – which is saying something since I’m TERRIBLE with verses) and then still like it after that somehow.  So, the Farmer’s Market has become a weekly event on my calendar.  The people, the cultures, the talented artists, and uniqueness of the whole experience all keep bringing me back every weekend.  

Even though it’s started to slow down at the Farmer’s Market, I wanted to blog about it and highlight a couple of my all time and recent favorites and because I feel as though it’s misunderstood.  For starters, it’s not just vegetables there.  They have many of the SAME EXACT food vendors as the Minnesota State Fair including the Mini Donut people, the cinnamon roasted nuts, tacos on the grill, tamales, hotdogs, brats, incredible flower arrangements, and small bakeries with all kinds of tasty treats.  But enough about food, let’s start it off with a coffee on the way in….

Almond Joy Espresso at a little coffee stand on the farthest North strip.  I couldn’t get the name because they weren’t there this week…boo.  This little drink is sometimes the highlight of my entire weekend!  Here’s the recipe that I found online and based on watching him make them, it’s spot on:

Almond Joy (Hot Drink)
1/4 oz oz Almond Syrup
1/4 oz Chocolate Syrup
1/4 oz Coconut Syrup
Espresso (your choice of number of shots)
Whipped Cream 

Measure out 1/4 oz of Almond syrup, 1/4 oz Chocolate syrup, and 1/4 oz of Coconut syrup and pour into your favorite mug.  Add espresso – one to two shots, depending on your taste.  Fill the rest of the way with steamy, foamed milk. Top with whipped cream.

Next up is the Tolefson’s Family Pork.  The Tolefson’s (as I recently found out) are there are there yearlong, but, go down to a “two man operation” after Halloween.  They are a family that raises pigs in rural Minnesota, loads up their truck at 2:30 in the morning every weekend, and then the father heads down to Minneapolis with one, two, or sometimes three of his sons.  The dad that runs the show is an ultimate BS-er (in an AWESOME way) and it definitely runs in the family – they are just the nicest group of country boys that you could ever meet and going to their stand for lunch is one of my favorite new things about Minneapolis!  Here is their website and I will be the first to tell you that the products are top of the line.  As I found out, they actually have a unique feeding process that is much healthier than any store product you’ll find.  Tolefson’s Website Here.

The rock star crafts that have started to pop up have also been a highlight.  Here is a Christmas ornament that I just purchase, along with a kilned Corona that they made into a lime cutting board!  Honestly, how cute is that?!  They also had wine bottles that came with a matching cheese spreader…I went back to buy one this week and of course they weren’t there…luckily I have their email address for Christmas!

There were also some beautiful and unique autumn wreaths along with some alcohol bottles that were all cutesied up to look like Christmas ornaments or decorations. 

So here’s my summary on it.  If you’re coming to Minneapolis during the summer or fall and don’t make time to stop at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market…you’re wasting a trip.  Everyone that I’ve recommended this experience to has absolutely loved it and I know that you would too!

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Rochester.  What is there not to love about it?  You want small town feel when you feel like it?  You got it.  You want the advantages of being in a big city?  You got it.  Want to live in a place where you can find a tasty, fresh, and reasonably priced meal?  We found it!

On a break from the trade show today, I did some internet digging and thought that the City Café on 1st Street in Rochester sounded quite tasty…especially after being served dog treat tasting cuisine all day at the convention center.  Upon walking through the doors of City Café, my “dealer buddy” Cailee and I knew that we had made the right decision.  The inviting scone lighting, seeing the restaurant owner (featured online and in the magazine on the wall) working right there behind the bar, and the enticing smell of fresh fish cooking couldn’t lie…sometimes you just know when you walk into a place that you’ll like everything about it and this was one of those gems for me.

 When I looked over the menu, I thought that I wanted the scallop and greens dish.  WELL, that was until the word “cilantro” was mentioned when the waitress was describing what was also on Cailee’s noodle dish.  I was an immediate flip-flopper.  Here are the details on the dish that we both had: Thai Noodle Bowl- Fresh East Coast scallops, gulf shrimp and julienned fresh vegetables in a Thai inspired sauce, lemon grass, ginger, garlic and Thai red curry paste. Served over rice noodles.

Cailee mentioned that this meal should be described as AWESOM-E!  I can’t remember why we decided that the “e” should be hyphenated, but, dangit…this is my blog and I’ll do what I want!  Now back to the food.  The scallops were cooked correctly, the Thai sauce was spicy (but not overly spicy) and the ingredients were all fresh.  We also had a great waitress; she had awesome recommendations, had good timing on when to stop by and when not to bug us, and got us our food in about 3 minutes flat!


SO, if you’re ever in Rochester and you’re looking for a reasonably priced place with fresh ingredients and fresh seafood I would recommend looking no further than City Café.  Here is the restaurant group’s website and as you’ll see, they also own other very successful restaurants in Rochester.


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This Ain’t No Soup Kitchen

Boots that are actually made for walkin'...

Soup.  While it might sound like something so simple, it is one of the most favor packed, economic, and trouble-free weapons that you can have in your recipe arsenal.  So, while we’re still having a beautiful Indian summer here in Minnesota, I’ve already taken out the knee-high boots and am starting to gather new soup recipes for this fall and winter that you’ll be able to see over the next couple weeks. 

While we’re talking about the boots…I need to get off my chest that I’m OBSESSED with my new Jessica Simpson boots that I’ve been tracking down for the last year and a half (yes boots is plural..I bought both the black and brown…naughty).  I’m very picky when it comes to shoes since I feel like if I’m going to wear it, it sure as heck better have a decent base of heel and not one of those ridiculous stilettos.  Girls that say those are comfortable are either: a.) lying b.) on drugs or c.) only wear them for photo shoots.  Unfortunately for us rationally minded woman, the new craze over the last two years has been stiletto boots and it’s been SUPER difficult for me to find what I was desperately seeking.  BUT, I finally found them when I wasn’t even looking.  I owe Herbergers and the nice shoe lady who gave me her extra 20% off coupons during the Goodwill sale a big “thank you”!  Express Fashion also owes that lady a big “thank you” because since my new boots were acquired, I of course had to have things to match them with!  You know, give a mouse a cookie and it will want some milk…same theory…  

Whew, it circled back to food somehow…  Now back to the soup.  I recently went to a Mexican restaurant and had the best Sopa de Pollo that I’ve ever had, which is what started the soup craze!  I’ll be trying to find a recipe this week that matches it, but, in the meantime, I found an awesome recipe for Meatball soup that I “healthy-fied”.  Yes, that is an official term used by the American Medical Association, google it ; )

Gobbler Meatball Soup
This soup is a great alternative for spaghetti and meatballs in case you can’t have it because you’re on a lowerBF's thoughts: "57 degrees = too warm for soup" cal diet.  Since Adam was craving something else and it was unofficially decided that 67 is too warm for soup (see picture to right for the divine cuisine) I froze the remaining soup into lunch portions that I could easily bring to work.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (can use 3 egg whites for lower cals)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley (otherwise dried)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes (crushed with your hands, with juice)
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste – don’t overdo it at first…
  • 1 cup small pasta, uncooked (don’t add for lower calories)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients under the “meatball” category in a large bowl.  Make sure that the meat mixture is still wet, but, still able to hold a meatball form.  Form into meat into 2 inch balls (make sure that they will be able to fit on a spoon or smaller) and place them on the cookie sheet and cook until the bottoms are getting brown (about 20 minutes).  They won’t have to be fully cooked since you’ll be putting them in the soup pot and simmering. 
  3. Place a soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil and heat.  Add chopped onions and celery to the pot and cook, stirring with a spoon until the veggies are soft (3-4 min).  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices, beef broth, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and stir to combine.  Simmer until meatballs are cooked.
  4. Either cook the pasta in the microwave or on the stove top, drain, and set aside.
  5. Add the meatballs and spinach to the hot soup.  Stir well and very shortly before serving, add the drained pasta.  Garnish with grated parmesan and then either fresh chopped basil or parmesan (depending on your preference).





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Well, where do I start?  Who wants to hear about another girl who has two great guys falling all over them like in the Twilight series???  NOT ME OBVISOUSLY.  I found the last book in the series disappointing, disturbing, filled with lots of morphling drug hazes, and that it lacked giving me an emotional connection with the main character along with some of the other secondary characters.

Suzanne Collins Reading Her Third Excuse for a Final Novel

Seriously, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and realize that you still have some things going for you Katniss…because this “woe is me” look just isn’t working for you.  You can nail a squirrel through the head with a bow and arrow from 50 yards away, have two fabulous and hot guys that are obsessed with you and have risked their life for you on countless occasions in the last year, have a sister and a mom that love you, OH YEAH, and you’re a national leader of a rebellion that has the power to change the future of the planet and people even less fortunate than you.  I swear that Suzanne Collins must not have taken her Prozac while she wrote this novel based on how it came out.  I now need to re-read the Chronicles of Narnia to regain hope in the art of writing a multi-novel saga.

Review: */5 stars – I would honestly give it a ½ star if I could figure out how to…

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Check out all of their CityPages awards in the background!

My boyfriend Adam took me out on Thursday night to one of my favorite places to celebrate an exciting new promotion at work and he couldn’t have picked a better place!  Fujiya is a Japanese restaurant specializing in the obvious, sushi.  As far as raw fish in Minneapolis goes, there is no place else that matters. 

Happy hour at the Minneapolis location is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7, and then Sunday from 8-10 PM and it’s the way to go if you’re a moderate sushi eater.  There are specials on nigiri, maki, and then specialty rolls including the: Dragon, Spider, Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, Butterfly, California, Avocado, and a few others.  The discount on them gives you about a 20-35% discount on the food- ie – the Dragon roll is usually $11.95 but during Happy Hour it’s $7.95.

Spicy Tuna at Fujiya

Another tip is to sit at the sushi bar versus getting a table.  If you sit at the bar, the chefs give you a complimentary appetizer (which is usually some kind of marinated/pickled vegetable mix that has a vinegar taste).  A complimentary dessert is also provided which is in most cases is a mix of the following: a pineapple wedge with chocolate or strawberry sauce, a citrus of some kind, or Japanese ice cream (ick).  But no matter what your dessert is, it’s hard to turn it down when it’s free!  Be sure to use these tips and take advantage of one of Uptown’s best restaurants!  Here is their website!

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