Two years ago, it was brunch time. Matt and I decided to venture outside the Northeast and went to Edina for eggs and bloodies. It was just ok. Our bloodies were just glorified V8s with a mini pickle. I left disappointed and thirsty. After living within a mile from a bar with the Helen of Troy of bloodies for four years, I had yet to find a replacement since I moved to the Twin Cities.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying. My google history was riddled with “best Bloody Marys in Minneapolis.” And I dragged Matt to try every single one of the proclaimed best bloodies. Each one fell short.
“Seriously, how hard is it to find the best Bloody Mary in Minneapolis!” I complained on our drive home from brunch. “I’m starting to think the Twin Cities just doesn’t have one.”
And that’s how this blog started. “Why don’t you rate all the bloodies we’ve tried on a blog so other people in the cities can rely on your expertise,” Matt suggested.
This blog has now transformed from rating bloodies into my outlet to learn to cook. Nevertheless, my original idea behind this blog hasn’t completely been lost. And as it turns out, I sleep next to the mixologist who has created the world’s best bloody–Matt. It took several years of trial and error, but we finally have perfected what we believe to be the greatest bloody recipe. And it would be a sin not to share that recipe with the world.
It’s been a while. Again. Still been making new recipes. Still forgetting to take pictures. I’ve been lazy.
But there is something I have been spending my time taking pictures of. Surprise! There is a new addition to our family. Three weeks ago, a little French bulldog moved into our house. Her name is Pancake.
It’s been an adventure. Neither of us have owned or trained a dog before so we enrolled into a puppy class. Pancake is becoming proficient at playing fetch, and she’s great at sitting, but now that she has learned that sitting equals treats, walking on a leash has become more difficult. She will walk a few steps, sit, and wait for a treat. It’s only been three weeks so hopefully she will get the hang of it soon.
Our kitchen also has experienced a new milestone. I finally made something using yeast! I’ve been saying for months that I wanted to learn how to make dough, but every time the opportunity arose, I opted for Pillsbury’s.
This lazy streak has come to an end! Matt is an avid woodworker (the best if you ask me!) and he subscribes to every woodworking show, blog, youtube channel. One of the woodworkers he follows had a post about making a pizza peel with a recipe for tomato pie which included a homemade crust. Matt took it as a sign that it was time for me to finally learn to work with yeast. Clever guy 🙂
I love this tomato pie recipe because of the simplicity of it. While I love a pizza piled with toppings, sometimes you crave the bare necessities. Plus, you make this pizza up-side-down. The cheese is the first topping with the sauce on top. This unique structure and simple ingredients enhances the flavor of the pizza. It was the perfect recipe for me to start my journey working with yeast. And we’ve now made this pizza over 10 times. I’d say it’s a keeper! And I now consider myself a “yeast expert.” Well, as long as it involves this recipe…
Remember when I disappeared for a couple months. Well, I kept cooking but stopped taking pictures. In case it isn’t obvious, I’m not big on the staging portion of the photography part of this whole blogging thing. Eh. Instragram is about as good as it gets for me.
Instead of learning how to take killer photographs, I’ve been getting the most out of summer now that Minnesota weather is finally cooperative. Exhibit A: dancing on the boat on the way from dinner.
And I’ve had my fair share of meals made for me.
It’s been great. How can you not love Minnesota summers! With the fresh herbs growing in our garden, guacamole has been my go-to side dish. While I LOVE guac, I wanted to mix it up. After seeing a guacamole with goat cheese on a menu at a local restaurant, I had to try to recreate it.
This guacamole is far richer than traditional guacamole. The kind of guacamole you’d have at a fancy restaurant. A fun twist. The goat cheese makes it much thicker and not really cheesy. I really loved it, but I personally prefer traditional guac. Matt likes them both the same. Try it for yourself and let me know which you prefer!
When it comes to holidays, I love the ones that aren’t hyper commercialized. So yes, that means I LOVE April Fools Day. Playing tricks on people is something I live for. And no, I do not need a holiday for that. But when our nation decides to celebrate it–yeah, sure. I’m in.
My co-worker Amber and I spent our April Fools Day playing tricks on our co-workers. Sure, it was fun switching our boss’s diet coke for lemon juice and creamer. But it only made my thirst for mayhem stronger. I needed more.
So, this year I decide that Matt would be the perfect target for a fake cake. I told Matt that I made him his favorite cake–a black forest cake.
But in reality, I took a balloon–blew it up and covered it with homemade icing. Matt was psyched that I made him a cake out of the blue. I gave him a knife and asked him to cut us both a piece of cake. And then….bam! The “cake” exploded in his face and icing went everywhere. It was awesome. I laughed hysterically, and Matt looked at me and said, “So, there is no cake?” And that was the best part. He was all excited for cake. And there none. Bahahaa.
All and all, it was a good April Fools Day. Messing with our co-workers with Amber was fun. Messing with Matt only made the day better. And really, what is was was a reminder that there is no need to take life so seriously. Sure, I definitely get stressed. I have mini-panic attacks at work over nothing. I freak out over little things. But at the end of the day, I need to remind myself that I need to just laugh it all off. And that’s why I love April Fools Day.
Besides making an exploding cake, I made this delicious eggplant dish! I watched this Italian tv show with my father-in-law and memorized the ingredients as well as I could. This recipe is easy to make and delicious to eat. Try it. You will thank me.
Remember picture day back in high school? It was such a big ordeal. Picking out the perfect outfit, applying gobs of makeup, and finding a hair-style that’s just right. Yes, very similar to Goldilock’s adventure. Unfortunately for me, every year my pictures turned out the same. Eyes mid-blink. Uncomfortable smile. Messy hair.
Today, we had picture day at work. Well, kinda. See, our firm hired two new employees who needed photos for our website. Since the photographer was already going to be around taking their pictures, I thought, “hey, this is a great opportunity for me to get a better picture.” Maybe I can just sneak in and get a new pic. [no worries. I got the thumbs up from our marketing coordinator].
Why did I need a new picture you ask? Yeah–I’m not the most photographic of individuals. It wasn’t my best work. Meaning I’m that girl who has been complaining about her work picture ever since it was taken.
Today was the third time I’ve had my picture professionally taken for work. Move over, Beyonce. There’s a new diva running this town. But, channeling my inner celebrity paid off. I got to look at my new work pictures, and while I won’t be auditioning for America’s Next Top Model anytime soon, I no longer looked frazzled.
Photographing soup has always been a bit of a challenge for me. If it isn’t full of chunky ingredients, a creamy soup looks bland. What I should do is buy some cute, unique bowls from Goodwill to jazz it up. But its so easy to get lazy when it comes laying out colorful and eye-catching backdrops for my website. Thankfully, this recipe is full of delicious chunky ingredients, so my fiestaware bowls sufficed. This spicy soup was delicious, easy to make, and can be ready in twenty minutes. The perfect meal after a long day of work!
I had my first kiss when I was 14. It was on the second day of a bike tour in a high school gym. He asked if he could kiss me and then proceeded to count down from three. I held my breath, and we kissed.
My first kiss when my husband was far less innocent. After too many tequila shots and a full night of dancing, Matt and I finally kissed. We had been friends for a year at that point. And in the first month of our friendship, Matt came over for Chinese and tv. Apparently, Matt considered that a date, and I considered it just two friends hanging out. One year later, the timing was finally right. And thanks to tequila and daylight savings time, Matt and I were finally on the same page. Six years later, we are still together.
This recipe was another first. I’ve never made anything with Rice Krispies. I know. That’s insane. Rice Krispie treats are a baking staple. You’d think that sometime I would have made this. But between having a sister who kicks my ass at all things baking and having no desire to learn to bake, I never made anything with Rice Krispies. Matt loves cherries and marshmallows. When I saw this recipe, I realized it was time to try something new. No tequila required.
Whenever my parents came to visit me in college, the first thing we would do is go out to eat. As a freshman, I always wanted to go to the same place–Friday’s–so we could eat loaded potato skins. After reaching the freshman 15, my choice of appetizers had to change, and I haven’t had restaurant potato skins since.
My love of the saltiness hasn’t died. And with my lack of desire to ever make side dishes aside, this weekend I decided to try to recreate an old college favorite. I am proud to say I only ate two potatoes–letting Matt devour the rest of the plate. The two were just enough nostalgia for my taste buds. Although, I suddenly had the urge to play some good old fashion beer pong…
It only took six months, but I finally feel like I have a real handle on my job. Instead of being perpetually on defense, I finally feel like I am on offense. Now, I can anticipate what needs to be done, understand where I am in a file, and no longer feel like I am constantly asking my boss questions (although, he may not agree. haha). It’s a good feeling. Unfortunately, I am not infallible. So I am not in the clear yet. I still spend a good amount of time reading statutes and learning something new about banking law. But, that’s the whole reason why I went into law. Everyday, there is something new to learn. (wow, yes. that is correct. i am that nerdy. gross). So, I’m in a good place.
In that some vein, I am getting far more comfortable with my cooking skills. I no longer stay clear of recipes that require multiple tools, crazy ingredients, and complicated steps. This recipe is not hella complicated but it is amazing delicious. It is a bit time consuming, but it is worth the extra time and effort. After making this, I felt on top of the world. Trust me, it’s a recipe you do not want to miss.
It’s that time of the year where everyone is either sick, getting over a sickness, or is about to be sick. No gusta. This sickness cloud sat over our house for a couple days last week. Matt couldn’t get out of bed. I went home from work early (a true sign of sickness–I’ve never called in sick or went home early from work since I was 16). Now that we can stomach food again, I had the urge to make some comfort food.
With my health back, I was ready for a challenge. I’ve been wanting to make homemade tomato pesto soup for quite some time after having a delicious tomato pesto at Crave, a local restaurant. And this recipe not only met my expectations, it surpassed it. To my surprise, this recipe isn’t as challenging as I thought it was going to be. Sure, there are multiple steps. You need a hand blender. And lots of tomatoes. But most of the work involving waiting rather than mincing and chopping.
Honestly, this soup may be the best thing I’ve made thus far. It tasted like Italy. So natural, fresh, and basily. Perfect. I couldn’t stop bragging about it. I texted pictures to family and friends. Blabbed about it at work. But it was so fucking good.
Ok, enough of my shameless face shoving. Go make your own batch so you can do the same!
Matt is a big snacker. This snacking habit has only been encouraged by my particular “house rules” when it comes to dishes in the wood shop. No glass, no fiestaware, and no silverware near the power tools. So Matt made his own wood bowls that he fills with chips (that later become full of wood chips. somehow that doesn’t deter him from eating his potato chips).
Periodically, I like to surprise Matt with new dips for his chip addiction. Last week was Matt’s half-birthday so I decided to try this olive pesto. I know, I know. Who celebrates half-birthdays? But it all started several years ago when Matt went out to his friends for a couple beers. It just so happened to be his actual half-birthday. Somehow, the guys started saying it was Matt’s actual birthday and despite the reality that bartenders look at your ID–the bartenders bought it. He had a night of free drinks, dancing on the bar, and running around ringing the birthday bell. Ever since, we celebrate Matt’s half-birthday. Complete with a half-cake and special dips.
This olive pesto was a fun twist on the traditional pesto that I love so much. It was quick and easy to make, and it would probably taste delicious mixed with pasta.