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Archive for the ‘personality post’ Category

I may have grown up on a farm but this summer is going to be a new adventure with my first garden…

Baby Spinach

Yeah, I know that I’m in my mid-twenties and having a garden may have just moved me from “hip” to “geriatric” but after spending time at the Farmer’s Market in Minneapolis, I can’t resist wanting to plant things!

Baby Radishes

It all started when I told the BF that for my birthday I wanted a raised garden.  I mean, what more could a girl ask for besides some treated lumber, a huge pile of dirt and seeds…right?

So a raised garden it was!

Luckily for me, the BF has the handiest dad in the world so when his parents came to visit over Memorial Day weekend the raised garden box and new water source was constructed.  Yes, I said water source.

How to Build a Raised Garden

These instructions are for a raised garden that measures 16 feet long by 5 feet wide by 20 inches deep.  This a pretty deep garden box but it is what we decided upon.  For a smaller garden box, see this link.

Materials

  • 4 – 16 foot long 10×2 treated boards
  • 2  – 10 foot long 10×2 treated boards
  • 2 – 6 foot long 4×4 treated board
  • Medium sized box of deck screws

Additional Materials

  • Table or power saw
  • Automatic drill
  • 2.5 cubic yards of dirt
  • Level

Cut 6 foot 4×4 into (6) 24 inch posts.  Cut both 10 foot long 10×2 treated boards in half.  Assemble like the picture below, and use the deck screws to screw the 2 inch boards together, and then anchor them with the 4×4’s.  Since our garden bed was so deep we decided to add the 2 additional posts in the middle of the bed for support to prevent bowing.

Then drag this over to the spot where you want to have it planted, dig 4 inch holes where the posts are, then use a level to make sure everything is flush.  Use dirt or take dirt to make even.

Lastly, put screen on the bottom of the garden box to keep out gophers, add dirt, and then plan out where you will be putting the rows and different varieties. For the most part I put 5 plants in each row and spaced them about 1 foot apart but I’m not sure if that is “the norm”.

Tah Dah!

The Finished Raised Garden Bed by Yog

Another great idea can be seen here on how to easily make your bed frost-proof very quickly and easily.

How to Run Water Out to Your Garden (Without the Annoying Hose)

And since the location of the garden box was clear across the yard…

See my garden WAYYYY back there?

…the dad and son duo decided that it only made sense to dig a trench under the lawn from the water source to the fence and go along the whole yard through the alternating fence posts.

While I apologize the lack of technical details on the irrigation system, this is how I saw it:

1/2 inch pipe and connector to the source

Connector where there was a 90 degree angle

Hose running through fence...and spot where we dug it underground

Where the end is mounted and the dual hoses are hooked up

Then they took it one step further.  BF and dad took 6 foot hose and ran it from my new garden water source, underneath the box and into the middle of the raised garden so that I could run a trickling hose through the rows.  Talk about a lucky girl!

Hose that is buried under garden box and comes out in the middle of the garden that is now attached to the dripping hose

I’ve even got a little tool box (alright…it’s one of the 100 gray moving boxes I own) with various gardening items out there so that everything is in one place.

Roundup, bug repellent, mini shovel, some gardening gloves....only thing missing is a beer.

There are also a few things on the brink that spice up the area but that is a whole other post and project!

First Peek of Summer Squash

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My next post is going to be about a restaurant that is my new favorite place to take people from out of town…it’s a food truck gone dive bar trio that serves among other things, a d*mn good lobster roll.

Yes, a really good lobster roll in Minneapolis…and I’m not joking.

But before I tell you about this restaurant, first you need to know what a lobster roll is.  While some of you might know  I’m guessing that a majority of us Midwesterners might not even know what to picture when you hear the term “lobster roll”.

SIDE RANT: BUT I’ve been having lobster rolls and clam strips for years and am now patiently awaiting the migration of clam strips to the Midwest.  I am very lucky to have grandparents that live on the East Coast and most years we would go up to Maine and dine on these local treats at little roadside stands or picnic tables overlooking the ocean (or highway).  

Summary: if you’ve never been to Maine then you need to put it on your bucket list.  Now back to your regularly scheduled program.  

What is a Lobster Roll?

  • Is it a lobster flavored dinner roll?
  • Is it a lobster tail rolled into a ball of some kind?
  • Is it a lobster that has been specially trained to do somersaults?

You’re completely wrong but that was a nice thought.

First of all, you need to know that there are two different variations of lobster rolls; one with mayo and one with butter.

  • The mayo version contains chunks of fresh lobster with mayonnaise and sometimes celery and a light seasoning.  Then the mixture is cooled in the fridge for a bit before serving.

MAYO version of the lobster roll

  • The butter one I’ve never seen but essentially it’s hot lobster rolling in butter on top of a roll and apparently is referred to as “Connecticut style”.  (One one-way ticket to Connecticut please!)

BUTTER lobster roll version

What’s With the Bun?

Now to the bun….this is special and is what gives the lobster it’s “roll” title as you probably already figured out.  The lobster and seasoning are served on a buttered and crunchy-fied hot dog bun (or some kind of hot dog bun looking cousin).

While that might sound weird, if you ever try eating a lobster sandwich you’ll quickly understand why it’s a hot dog bun that is used for this application.  But how boring are hot dog buns?

Thus the New England split-top hot dog rolls (with flat surfaces on each side) was born.

It was created when a very nice piece of sliced bread fell madly in love with a hot dog bun.  As you know, the next step is clearly marriage so they took the plunge.  But hot dog bun was pushing 30 and he didn’t want to be an “old dad” so they decided to put a bun in the oven and add to their Carb family.  Then a little bundle of joy came into the kitchen and they had a child named “New England split-top hot dog roll”.

Genius!

This Still Doesn’t Sound That Great

If this doesn’t sound good then you’re doing methamphetamines or something. Check yourself into rehab.

Next up, where to find these treats locally and save yourself a $400 plane ticket to Coastal Maine!

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There were snow flurries on my way to work this morning, and it was about 34 degrees.  Mind you that today is May 2nd, 2011.

Mother Nature has been especially cruel this year to the Midwest and has had the nerve to sprinkle in nice days into our lives only to turn around and slap another few weeks of disgusting weather on us.

It’s almost as though we’re stuck in the first part of “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” where the Queen has the spell on Narnia  that promises 100 years of “always winter, but no Christmas”.   Now if Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy could get their fannies over here and end this thing, it would be most appreciated…

Mid April? Really?

The last time that I can even recall this kind of a “spring” was 9 years ago when it snowed a foot on our Junior Prom (which would have been last weekend).  It ended up turning out like every dad of a teenage daughter’s dream….they got to watch their daughters leave the prom in snowsuits, hats, mittens and boots instead of worrying about how long they would keep their dresses on!

I have vivid memories of smeared makeup, all of us in full on snow gear instead of our formal attire, people stuck in ditches and the school being forced to start the grand march late.

April 14th, 2011

But I digress; now back to our current weather situation and my post title.  I was telling one of my coworkers today that I feel like a killer whale in captivity when we were talking about this weather and the lack of Spring.  While he probably thinks I’m crazy and looked slightly confused (which I’ll give him that), there are two reasons that I feel this way:

  1. Because if I did randomly sprout a dorsal fin right now, it would be a limp one that would lay across the water
  2. I’m feeling about the size of a baby killer whale from being cooped up
I’m a broken soul just squeaking my whale songs for Spring to come soon.  Thus my anthem for this Spring is…”Free Willy”!

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Girl’s nights are the best and for a lot more reasons than just seeing your girlfriends and drinking your legal capacity of cheap wine and watching this year’s train wreck finale of “The Bachelor”.

This week’s #1 reason to be a girl was the Ganache Infused Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting, drizzled with caramel and topped with a Caramel Salted Cashew and Black Lava Salt.

Anyone Care for a Piece of Heaven?

Yeah, that was all on and up in dat….and holy h*ll it was something out of this world.

This was Emily’s “copycat” version of a “Salted Caramel Dream” from Sweet Retreat in Edina that Emily had been given to her as  gift from a client.  SIDENOTE: I WILL be going there in the near future if this is what their cupcakes tasted like.

Ms. Emily, Just Baking Up a Storm

These cupcakes were so amazing that I actually took two of them to my female coworkers that I knew would appreciate this labor of love….oh and did they, just like the rest of the crew.  The girls at work have been waiting for these recipes so here are the ones that Emily re purposed to bring this work of art together:

Caramel
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/fleur-de-sel-caramels-recipe/index.html
(for swirling into the cupcake batter and for drizzling over the top)

Cupcakes
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/heavenly-white-cake/Detail.aspx

Frosting

  • 3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 7 1/2 TBS white sugar
  • 7 1/2 TBS sweet ground white chocolate
Instructions: Blend on medium to high speed with immersion blender or mixer until correct consistency for frosting.  Add sea salt or fresh ground lava salt and your favorite nut (caramel salted cashews were used here but you could use any of your favorites!).
Since you’re probably not familiar with ground white chocolate powder, here is the secret weapon that you can find for purchase online for just under $20:

Could have eaten this by the tablespoon, I actually might have.

 But let us not forget the other costars of the night:

Cheese Ravioli Tossed with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto...in the largest Wok in North America

Fiesta Artichoke Dip by Shae....It might not look like much in the this picture but this is now my "go to" party appetizers after tasting it. Served with Pita Chips and Nann.

Fiesta Artichoke Dip Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4  package (1 oz.) Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Packet
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cans (14 oz. ea.) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (optional)

Directions

 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except 1/4 cup green onions. In 2-quart baking dish, spoon artichoke mixture.

2. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve, if desired, with tortilla chips and/or assorted fresh vegetables.

The Whole Buffet Style Spread

Thoughts on the Bachelor Finale (Better Late Than Never?)

Emily has a kid.  Brad owns three bars with his brothers….the same brothers that kept questioning if he was ready for a kid right away and making statements to him that he couldn’t just “go home and watch football” whenever he wanted with a family.  I knew that it was a joke from the start and to be honest…..I’m not even sure why he picked her since we all knew he wanted someone that would move back to Austin.  NEWS FLASH BRAD: Emily’s husband’s parents live down the street and “Little Ricky” is all they have left of their son.

Also as an “after the show” reflection, turns out that Emily figured out what a shallow idiot Brad is while watching the Bachelor on Monday nights just like we did!  The tabloids all said that he spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday apologizing about how sorry he was for kissing and sharing feelings with other women.  But here’s the deal…

Dear Emily,

This is what you signed up for you dumb blond.  

xoxox,

Bachelor fans across the globe

PS: You got to go to like 3 countries and vacation while on the show so suck it up sweetheart….

Who goes on the Bachelor and doesn’t know that these things are happening?  Did she think that just because she’s innocent and  hot that she was invincible to the crappy parts of being on the Bachelor?  Probably not but it was a romantic notion.  My bets are that she’s going to be better with someone who waits on her hand and foot and will live with her in South Carolina.

Who will Brad be best with?  Probably the college girls in Austin that go to his bars are my bet since that sounds like JUST the right level of commitment for a guy that has a shrink on call.

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Since the snow is now melting… Well, it was when I started this post…d*mn you winter, d*mn you for snowing 6 more inches.

I feel as though I’m thought that was finally in a place where I can could reflect on winter and one of my favorite parts of it, Pickerel Days.

But I’ve often wondered when looking at scenes like this and thought, “where did this thing all start?”.

Ahhh the smell of exhaust...feels like home

Believe it or not, Pickerel Days began as a few drunk guys hopping in the lake over 25 years ago at Jerry Schuh’s Bar.

Once upon a time…there was a gentleman named “Bucky” that had a cabin up in the area.  Him and his friends were so rowdy that him and his buddies were dubbed a team name, “The Menasha Boys”.  This crew would come up in two cars, tear through the bars of downtown Antigo, terrorize the bartenders through Neva (including the Windbreaker) and then finally make their way up to Pickerel Lake and Jerry Schuh’s bar.

Me and my sister Diane; photographer for the day!

Well, one winter a long time ago (over 25 years ago) this dirty dozen decided that they were going to jump into the open water that was naturally there from the spring, near the tunnel that connects Pickerel and Crane lakes after “a couple of beers”.  Then they just kept doing it every year after that…

And thus they started the tradition of the Pickerel Lake Jump In!

Yup, even planes there

I have to thank my grandma, grandpa, and dad for this story as they were the ones that experienced the wrath of “The Menasha Boys” when they stopped by our potato farm like crazy bats out of h*ll (as my dad put it) multiple times throughout the year as one of their stops.

The girls; Steph, Leah, and Kelly

Well, after seeing what I saw at the event this year I took it upon myself to set up a YouTube page in order to showcase a theory that I’ve been pondering about since that day.  On this day every single year I get vividly reminded about the fact that women mature more quickly than men. See below for direct video and photo evidence by clicking on the separate links:

Exhibit A: Beer + Boys + Open Water + Snowmobile = Good Idea?

Exhibit B: Beer + Boys + Open Water + Snowmobile + Waterski Rope + Snowboard = Better Idea?  Maybe?

Exhibit C: Beer + Boys + (Meth?) + Open Water + Snowmobile + Plain Rope + Shopping Cart – Helmet = Bestest Idea?  Maybe? No, Definitely.

Oh no he didn't is what you're thinking....but oh yes, he did my friend.

Exhibit D: Boys standing in freezing cold water.  Boys….you know who you.

Cold feet?

Exhibit E: Boy that was just tripped by his friend and fell over backwards that now has a concussion.  Boys…you also know who you are.

The birthday boy, post concussion

Exhibit F: You’re probably wondering what happens when they don’t make it over…let’s find out:

How emasculating

Exhibit G: Where did this all equate from you’re asking?

The Guilty Culprit

But even though boys are silly, the overall verdict every year still remains….

Yay for Pickerel Days!!

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Where?

Shreveport, Louisiana, through a 4.6 mile route that typically rolls at 4:30 pm, leaving from in front of Sci-Port on Clyde Fant Parkway, running south to Shreveport-Barksdale Hwy, turning west and running to E. Kings Hwy., turning south, and ending BEFORE Preston St. and goes past about 9:00 pm.

When?

First Saturday of the Mardi Gras season

Why?

Well, I haven’t really figured out Mardi Gras yet, I did provide a link that can help you learn more about Mardi Gras in the United States.  From what I can tell there are these “krewes” that put in a pretty significant amount of money to be in this monstrous parade and that it’s viewed as a social or elite status if you are in one of these parades or are seen as being part of the planning committees.

Who?

The Krewe of Centaur put this parade on but there are other “krewes” in town that throw other parades including the Gemini parade which is the largest in Shreveport.

Overall Impression

The part of town that Leah brought me to was “the real deal”, as can be seen in the pictures below.  I couldn’t believe how many floats there were (40 total) and we stood at the same spot for about 2 hours watching the parade go by…I couldn’t believe how big of an event it was!  But enough talk…I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here on out:

Bubba this is a first date, don't get ahead of yourself. How about you show me yours first?

 

Look at this little guy! How adorable is that?

 

Spiked Apple Cider! YUM!

 

C'mon kids, we're going to the parade to play in the highway runoff! Look closely...

 

The man-horse behind it all

 

Does that not look like a bucket of chicken? Some of the floats had those and it was making me hungry for the Coronal's orginal recipe.

 

Beef. It's what's in the parade.

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Was looking through Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine at the dishes that they picked as “50 Great Plates” in the Twin Cities and guess what I ran across?  A hometown favorite from Northern Wisconsin!

When you go to the link, click on box #32: http://www.mspmag.com/dining/bestrestaurants2011/181904.asp

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