Friday Favs #2

Happy happy weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for a break :)

Before I’m off to happy hour, here are a few of my favs from the week.

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire!!

1.Total Wine. Have you been? To the Mecca of wine and bewilderment. Yes. After a rough work day, a day of brain shutting-down-ness, I finally made it here. I wandered the aisles in awe. Wine, aka god’s grapes, everywhere. Its walls of unending eye (wine) candy.

I walked those aisles in awe, bewilderment and wonder.

Ok…. I might have a wine problem.

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2.  This bench in South Minneapolis. It reminds me, 18 months ago I wasn’t here. I was in a different city, state and stage. I’m thrilled to be in Minneapolis now, but who knows where in another 18 months I could be…

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3. The new passport arrived. My last ten months with an expired passport made me feel naked. But its here! And this just means our Vietnam trip is that much closer

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4. These vegan double chocolate cookies. Yes I said vegan, and they’re from Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar. How did I not know about this place? If you didn’t tell me these were vegan, I wouldn’t have known…

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5.These stuffed pork chops. Pretty sure more than one person was disappointed they didn’t make it over for dinner Tuesday night.. chops stuffed with bacon, apples, onions and walnuts. Yum.

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Spread the Love

If I am passionate about something…

And then all of a sudden, you are too….

I’ve sucessfully spread the love.

Shared my joy, my fun, my enthusiasim for something…

That has, over time, been aquired by you..

We are both enjoying, both having fun, both being enthusiastic.

What makes spreading the love even more successful?!

When you are actually enjoying something you previously teased me mercilessly for. Beware of the teasing…. specifically of my food photos :)  You may just find yourself taking all the photos for me… sending me food photos… saying out loud, “Wait, Christina needs to photograph this first!”

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So for our holiday work party, I”ll let D and D take the credit for these photos :) Have you been to Brasserie Zentral yet?

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Think Austria, comfort food, flavor and history. A perfect, hearty holiday meal.

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Just a smidgen of what was at our table :)

I’d say we treated ourselves, so I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.

Because it is a Classic

What does classic mean to you?

A place that’s been around for forever?

A place that holds a slot of your childhood?

Perhaps somewhere you could picture your parents or grandparents frequenting as they grew up?

A throwback of how things were? Perhaps how they should have stayed?

Does anything really stay as it was? Are things just as you remember them?

One thing that has stayed the same…. or at least as close to same as possible…. Convention Grill in Edina.

This place has been on my list to try for quite some time. Just to say I’ve been.

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Convention Grill has been flipping burgers and satisfying that craving since 1934.

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This guy, after lunch, totally put me in a coma for the rest of the day. And yes, I was utterly teased for taking food pictures at a work lunch.

At least I’m entertaining??

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What is your favorite classic burger place?

Not Dazzling

A couple phrases you probably don’t want to say just prior to walking to a first date…

“Off I go, bleeding zit and all!”

Word to the wise, don’t play with your skin 30 minutes prior to running out the door…

Or “Just noticed some sticky white stuff on my sweater….”

These are not dazzling.

 I did attempt to find some “dazzle” at the Minneapolis Holidazzle Christmas Village over the weekend….

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My croissant eating skills may need some finesse..

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I may be a Grinch, but I did not feel transported back to the German holiday markets I’ve experienced in my past…

It was more about the company, the exploration… and perhaps the cider beer at the bar across the street?!

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Tis the season though, to search for the dazzle, to enjoy your company, to experience. Perhaps as we get older, we need to remember, search a bit harder for the meaning, the magic, the feeling, the excitement.

So I will be over here, remembering not to pick at my face, prior to a date, and working on my croissant face shoving skills.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

Woodrow Wilson

As cheesy as it may sound, honesty is the best policy. If I’m feeling something, not feeling it, you should know.

The last couple of months, dating for me has been defined by honest communication. Not the crazy, did this really happen, I should have thrown a drink in your face, type of dates.

While receiving the communication can hurt, sometime the bearer can feel even worse.

While my dating stories may not be as entertaining lately, lucky for you, and me, my roommate’s are :) And she has given me full permission to share.

I mean, imagine it is your second date. You are sliding down the cafeteria style line at Kramarczuk’s and suddenly your date is singing the Looney tunes song….

And he is serious. Full on, serenading you with looney tunes.

He then walks you through the four different ways to pronoun pecan, in a, I’m enriching your life immensely sort of tone.

And while pecans and looney toons may be odd…. then his intense rage over former President Woodrow Wilson surfaces. Hes yelling and professing his hatred for Woodrow. Fists are pounding on the table. Pounding!

CHECK PLEASE!

A place I suggest for non-Woodrow rage dates:

Grand Café. I’m having a love affair with South Minneapolis lately, and Grand Café just continues it.

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Go to Grand Café. Just leave your personal presidential rage at home.

Do you struggle with honest communication?

Ever been on a table pounding date?

Friday Favs #1

 Happy Friday! Today I’m trying out something new and linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire for Friday Favs. 

Here is a roundup of my favorite things from this week.

1) My new favorite boutique Primrose Park, that just so happens to be down the street from my place.  I’ve popped in a few times now and treated myself to a dainty bar necklace by Sbg Designs. I literally have not taken off my new necklace. Seriously, I wear it with everything, alone, layered, with my pajamas.. without pajamas….. and it only comes off to shower. TMI? If you haven’t been yet, head on over to Primrose Park. Let me know and I’ll meet you there, its way too close for my Mastercard’s comfort :)

2) Bryant Lake Bowl. Um somehow I’ve never been here before?! Hands down my new favorite date spot. Or brunch, or activity spot. Can I go again next week!?

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(Yes my jeans are too long and I had to roll them into my socks….AND I was wearing Christmas socks.)

3) This pasta dish: Trufled Cream with Langostine Lobster and butternut squash, Hello Broder’s Pasta Bar.

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4) Christmas table decor, because you know, its 9 degrees outside in November! I have to beat/try to enjoy winter somehow!

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Have I mentioned that Christmas does not help my ball obsession? Confused? Heres an explanation on my ball obsession…

5) This starter at Heartland. My Rainbow Trout love continues….If I could just eat about 5 more of these…

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Happy Weekend! What are your Friday Favs?

 

The Sauce Off

The office was full of talk for weeks. Good natured bantering, nonstop.

We were about to have a Bolognese sauce off!

Who would make the Bolognese sauce which would reign supreme?

The day of the sauce off arrived and I rushed to gather the essentials. Ok not rushed. I leisurely perused Whole Foods. I could spend hours there choosing ingredients. I’m available for hire, if you’d like a personal grocery shopper ;)

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My sauce sat and simmered for almost six hours. Its all about that simmer.

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Three other sauces arrived and we had quite the taste off. Every sauce was quite different. Mine swung more towards traditional. I cannot fight against my Sicilian Italian roots.

A little voting system was in order..

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Might I humbly say….. my sauce won!

Some argued Venue, that my hosting the completion had a sway. But the sauce SPOKE FOR ITSELF.

Thank you very much.

Have you ever hosted a sauce off or cooking competition?

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid ideas get sidetracked.

Inspiration that doesn’t come to fruition.

A blizzard of a storm and too much else going on.

(Side note: have I mentioned my ultimate dream is to live on a beach from December-March? Which could be why I purchased half the warm and fuzzy department of Target today….)

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Sometimes, an idea just needs to fester, grow and to develop into something more.

While that best laid plan gets put on hold, what could be better than popping into a new to me place?

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The Copper Hen.

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What do you do when plans change? How do you foster inspiration?

I Like my Eggs Pink

Sometimes it is all about the hype I create for myself.

Reading the reviews. Anticipating the opening.

Putting the place on your must try list.

Lusting after it on the list… wondering…. when will I go?

And then finally, finally being able to cross it off.

Do you make lists? And get a rediculous amount of satisfaction from crossing something off that list? I make must try restaurant lists (we know this, unless you are new to these parts :)). I make lists at work. Lists of recipies to make. Lists of furniture my new place needs. List of make up to try. Places to shop.

Please never look at the notes app in my Iphone, it is an extravaganza of lists and makes me look like a crazy list lady!

Last weekend I was finally able to cross Tiny Diner off my restaurant list. ( Yes it fell into a carve out to the challenge!)

It had that Brasa-neighborhood-like feel. It was bigger than I anticipated, more like, “Medium Diner”? The monthly city focus on thier menu begs me to go back and try another month.

November is San Francisco, one of my favorite cities! Just having the city focus on their menu brings back memories of the wharf, eating chowder out of bread bowls, the smell of the water and the brisk wind on my cheeks.  The memories necessitated a bite of my dining partner’s softshell crab sandwich.

And these deviled eggs! I will be back for these eggs.. the Lake Superior smoked white fish, golden beet puree, horseradish yogurt and dill.

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Have you been to Tiny Diner? Do you make lists?

xoxo The Crazy List Lady

Wedge of Simple, Good

Its the simple “good things”.

Like checking out a new to me cheese shop.

Learning about cheese, sampling, having the owner describe and select a few.

Sitting.. enjoying a dry cider and taste testing.

A simple, good thing.

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I would sit and eat cheese all day…. except for this lactose issue I’ve developed.

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But really, you would be hard pressed to find a better place to sit and sample than The Wedge & Wheel in dowtown Stillwater. The Wedge & Wheel holds classes, pairings and private events, should you want a group cheese sampling extravaganza.

I would also accept any platter or cheese board you might pick up for me :) I accept all gifts in the form of cheese.

(I must point out that despite my cheese sampling; I am still in line with my No Restaurant Challenge, as this sampling occured with my Aunt, who just happens to be a carve out to the rule :) )

I’ve wanted to check out the Wedge & Wheel for quite some time now, so I’m including this as a Treat Yourself Tuesday post and linking up with Becky.

Have you been to The Wedge & Wheel yet? Do you have a favorite cheese shop?

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