Pho 2

Pho me. Stat.

It was a snowy night…

A combination of the heat pump not working… slash in the midst of repairs…

A wanderlust filled heart…

An ache for vacations past…. And a craving for those little plastic chairs and tables we so delicately perched over… slurping our broth and noodles.. allowing drops to fling this way and that.

Not a care in the world for where those drops ended up.  Just a need to demolish this concoction. The salty, spicy and flagrant bowl of warmth.

I also had free beef soup bones in need of using…

SO I MADE HOMEMADE PHO!!

Php Toppings

I LOOSELY based it off of this recipe:

I excluded what I did not have and let the broth simmer for over 9 hours…

Now it will never compare to those mornings in Hanoi we spent hunched over our bowls.. But this will do. This will more than do!

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Pho 2

What is your favorite Pho recipe?

Joys of Fall….

Remember those blanks in the calendar I once professed my love and excitement for?

Well those blanks somehow dwindled…. were too few cherished evenings.  In their place have been the joys of fall.

Joys of fall…. something I don’t normally say.

I mean.. I know what comes after fall in Minnesota. What those tumbling leaves mean. Those fire red leaves, flashing at me to book my beach vacation now!

Fall to me means winter is coming….

But this year something is different. I’m taking in all the fall activities without that grain of salt or nagging feeling of “I know you’re coming snow….”

Like Fall Funday, which friend Kbail plans every year.  This year a tour of breweries and “hop off the light rail spots.”

Like Bang Brewery.

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At Bang Brewery you can apparently find men posing in the door way…. who wouldn’t want to go there 🙂

Joking.

Like all the plaid you can wear required.

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Post Fall Funday, do you know what is required?

Um… Bacon.

Did you know all the things you can do with bacon? Or the types or meals you can add bacon to? (psst even vegan bacon :))

Like this Praline Bacon from Heyday!!

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When fall comes around, I’m over here throwing bacon in and on everything… like salads, pastas and my brussel sprouts. For other ways to use bacon, check out this article

Do you have a favorite fall ingredient?

AND Are you out there enjoying all Fall has to offer? If not, get to it!

Snow is coming…. shhhhh 🙂

Pizza “Farmin”

Have you been to a pizza farm?

If not, you are missing out.

Rolling fields, green pastures, farm to table ingredients (quite literally), scenic dining, traipsing through fields. All the many experiences of a pizza farm.

And did I mention… Pizza.

Apparently these places have been around for quite some time. A hidden gem and secret to many. Until quite recently most people I knew had never heard of one.  There were a handful of people I talked to, who had any clue what I was referring to.

Thankfully, the secret has been exposed. The crowds are headed out of the city and onto the farm.

Checking out a pizza farm has been on my list for quite some time. I just needed the perfect excuse.  And D’s birthday pizza farm wish was exactly what it took to get me there. One only turns 29 once, and if a pizza farm is what she wants, well of course that is what she is going to get!

Off we went to check out A to Z Produce and Bakery.

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I think I’ll require D to do all my table settings from now on 🙂

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Look appealing? You should check it out 🙂

Patio Obsession

As soon as I can take the dog outside, minus a coat, my patio obsession begins. This obsession is real, I’ve talked about it before, here.

When do they open? How early do they open? How many are within walking distance?

How can I decorate my patio? Where can I find that perfect outdoor rug? One with color and pattern and all the feel of spring.

I’ve been pinning patio inspiration for months. Just waiting for those sales to spring up!

I have finally acquired almost all of my new patio pieces. A side table or so may still be on their way… But an almost complete and perfect patio sits waiting to  greet our Minnesota summer.

Not much can add to my perfect patio, except the perfect snack! A simple cheese plate, enhanced by Blue Diamond Nut Thins. Have you tried these guys ? I had not previously, and they are delish! The perfect accompaniment to a wedge of double cream brie 😉

I can’t lie, I even had them for breakfast the other morning…..

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Side note: Bets on whether or not I ate that entire wedge by myself…?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

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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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

The Kenwood

Remember a time when you were let into a secret?

When details were exposed and you were in the know. When all comes together and you feel a part of the circle. And you wonder how you were in the dark for so long?

That’s how I feel about The Kenwood. Like I’ve been let into a secret, though its not really a secret…. more a beloved place by many.

I keep wondering how I was in the dark for so long.

All it took was an almost year in this neighborhood to get there…. and perhaps a quiet summer date.

On that date I fell in love.  With The Kenwood that is.

I mean, if a place can get me to try Sardines and like them…!?

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Have you been yet?

Have I convinced you to go?

A Series of unfortunate events….

Sunday blues? Have they hangovered into Monday?

Rough morning?

Well, what is the saying…. misery loves company?

How about some comedy to start off your week?

Perhaps my series of unfortunate events will elicit a Monday laugh…

First: Cue another totally awful pick up line. Like from Mr. Crazy who just won’t leave. Like cannot get the subtle hint, nor the directive to leave.

“hey you in the gray dress…. you are the queen…. your face shape turns me on. I lay hard wood for a living…. every woman likes it laid hard.”

…………….. FOR REAL.

Second: Picture your favorite work out studio/gym/whatever… you are a semi new student in this class…. class is going, sweat is flowing… you’ve got your jump on and are in crazy mode, doing those intense jump squats on the TRX bands….

And then the end of class approaches. In your head, you killed it. You are finally feeling like you’ve done a good job, adjusted to this class.

You’re stretching out and look down.

And there it is. You’ve split your yoga pants. And you are commando. HELLO. let me waddle out of here and pray to god no one noticed.

#theynoticed

Third: The worst Friday night blind date ever. Like he hadn’t matured past 17. I now know many credits he received for every single grad school class he ever attended. His pictures… so much better than in person. His online persona… 100 times different than in reality. I felt 47 talking to a 17 year old. The mismatched pairing could not have been worse.

Upon ordering the bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer… he asked if I was a vegetarian….

It got worse.

(post date, the dating app informed me that it was out of availble men.  Zero eligible bachelors left.)

Figures.

Nothing like attending the Northeast Brewers Block Party to erase the events away.

How was your weekend?

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Austin Bites

Finally, here it is. Austin food edition. I couldn’t not post on all the amazing bites I took out of the many offerings in Austin.

The city of food trucks has my heart. I truly only want to eat out of food trucks from now on.

If you had a few bites of the below…. you would too 🙂

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I could live on street tacos alone. And in Austin, you seem to never be far from a taco truck.

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And blue balls.  Who doesn’t want to eat a pile of blueberry donuts? 🙂

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Do you think we ordered enough?

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Cocktails to wash all this down was necessary…

I wanted to take a quick moment and apologize for my lack in commenting/responding lately. I’ve been a bit absent from blogland and I apologize. Summer here is so fleeting and I’m attempting to enjoy every ounce. Please forgive me 🙂

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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12 Years.. Treats.. and Confessions

Happy Tuesday! Another edition of Treat Yourself Tuesday and link up with Becky. If you are new to this series, it is all about doing at least one thing for yourself a week.

This week, my treat involves a confession.

A big one. But of course, a confession with justification 🙂

I’ve received tons of grief for this…

For the last twelve years….

I have had….

The same tennis shoes!

Yes I know I know…

A running sin! (but I’m not a runner!)

Is that strong enough justification??? 🙂

Finally Friend D took me by the hand and led me into The Running Room.

Pretty sure the salesman thought I was completely nuts. As a former pro track and field athlete, he could do nothing but shake his head.

I never knew there could be such an analysis of your feet! My feet are literally in a new world.

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Welcome to 2014 Christina.

We did trash the 12 year old ones outside the store. But not before I said a little blessing/thank you to the shoes for our last 12 years together 🙂

On a side note: Mr. Track and Field Salesman offered to train and run a marathon with me, despite the fact that he had never had any desire to do so prior to meeting me.

Was this a pick up line??? 🙂

HOW DID YOU TREAT YOURSELF THIS WEEK?