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Resolving to….?

The gifts are unwrapped…..

The cocktails sipped…

And the many morsels of food consumed. This year we hosted our own little Cajun Christmas Eve feast.

There were crab hush puppies, blackened alligator, red beans, jambalaya and Beignets … Yes mom perfected her Beignets leading up to Christmas and they were as delightful as ever.

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Christmas and the holidays are over. New Years Eve was spent celebrating the wedding of one of my bestests 🙂

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And a week later I was celebrating the nuptials of another!

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Now, I find myself being asked to share my new years resolutions…. and I don’t have any. I’ve never been much for them, as past experience never set a great bar. I have too many things I want to do.  I want to write more, let my creative juices flow… perhaps find myself with an actual camera and take classes?

Like the masses I want to travel.

I have finance goals… I want to be a landlord (competing interests?)… I want a number of things.

I want to rediscover my kitchen and stacks of cookbooks.

Perhaps I take 2016 as my planning year? The year I narrow it down? A year of thinking, of strategy?  A year to save, to question and decide?

What are your strategies for narrowing down your goals? Have you ever taken a “planning” year?

Last but not least, I want more brunch in my life 🙂

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Run, don’t walk to Burch, and order this crab toast! You will thank me 🙂

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Brunching Lately

I’m often asked, what is your favorite place to eat?

Makes sense right, as I blog about food, eat food, check out the new and the old “hot” places. Duh.

I read articles about food, new restaurants and local chefs’ accomplishments on the daily.

I’d rather be lost in a pile of recipes or Foodnetwork’s archives than be stuck with my daily work. (shhh)

Cookbooks are my secret pleasure… reading them. Yes I read them…. I don’t really cook with them, as following a recipe is not for me; I’m a pinch there, squirt there, cup or two here kinda girl.

For the most part, my pinches, squirts and random cups work out.

A few days ago, when asked where my favorite place to brunch was… I blanked. I’d like to blame the oodles of cold medicine I was under the influence of…. however it may also be due to the fact that I haven’t brunched in a while! Shocking.  I know.  I am the self proclaimed bruncher and would gladly wear any article of clothing, exclaiming, “But First, Brunch!” should you happen to want to send me such article of clothing… really I’ll take them 😉

The only cure to this mind fart is of course, to go BRUNCH!

So off to Birchwood Cafe we went.  Please slap my hand because it has taken me far too long to try this place out.  Birchwood’s commitment to real, local and community shines true on your plate.

The commitment is apparent in that first bite. And that first sip of an afternoon cocktail.

I had to try the Birchwood Beef Burger… with housemade ketchup, mustard and onion, pickled cucumbers, and lettuce on a birdseed bun. (I have this thing with burgers)

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To sip on the side I had the Rosemary Elderberry Mimosa. Just yum. I’ll take another and another please!

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If you are like me, and Birchwood Cafe is still on your must try list, perhaps check it off this weekend? 🙂

Other places to try: here …. here.. and here.

I Cave for Brunch…

The other day, somehow.. somebody convinced me a 6:30 am workout on a Saturday was a good idea.  I was all signed up for a later morning class, but once the words brunch and waffles were used, I caved.

I guess my willlpower is nonexistant once the word brunch is uttered.

So for furture reference, when trying to get me to do something, say brunch. And if said brunch happens to be a new location, I’ll be even easier to convince.

So post early morning, its still dark out, I raised my hand when the trainer asked if anyone was still asleep, drag me into class workout, the brunch came. Off we were to the Linden Hills area for a new to me breakfast.

Hello Zumbro Cafe.

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This was everything my muscles and rumbling stomach were screaming for. A simple, perfect, open faced steak breakfast sandwich.

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And an almond latte to round it out.

Where is your favorite brunch spot?

The Perfect Brunch

When friends at ProFlowers mentioned a series on spring brunch….. how could I not join in the fun? We all know I’m obsessed with the meal. Its a weekly blog topic for me basically. So why not join in!.

To start, check out the inspiration, ProFlowers’ post on the Spring Brunch Checklist here.

Now, what makes my perfect spring brunch?

Lets start with the table. Fresh spring flowers are a must. Last week I had fresh flowers in every room. Overkill? Never 🙂

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Next, brunch requires a cocktail. And my favorite, the Bloody Mary of course.

The perfect spring brunch would have a Bloody Mary cook off! (Drink off?!) A little FoodNetwork Chopped action at brunch? Why not! A Bloody Mary competition, who can make the best, most spicy, most outlandish Bloody Mary.

Cocktails and activities, who’s in?!

My perfect brunch meal? It would look a little something like this:

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The Side of bacon, a must.  Paired with grilled salmon and a veggie hash.

Finally the most important ingredient to my perfect spring brunch.. the perfect company. Friends who order you that second Bloody Mary, friends who cannot wait to remind you of your weekend escapades, friends who are there to support an important upcoming week at work…

Flowers, cocktails and activities, a side of bacon, and great conversation with friends. What more could you ask for?

WHAT MAKES YOUR PERFECT SPRING BRUNCH?

(this is not a sponsored post)

Milwaukee on a Cleanse

Happy Tuesday! Linking up with Becky for another round of Treat Yourself Tuesday.

If you are new to this one; it is all about doing something for yourself, once a week, that makes you happy 🙂

I think a road trip to Milwaukee to see old friends is the perfect treat.

Let me tell you though; road trips on a cleanse are rough! Especially when you are in the city of Brunch….

So brunch must change and involve a trip to my favorite grocery store.

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Metro I’ve missed you.

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Milwaukee on a cleanse also looks like dinner in. With homemade organic cocktail sauce. Cue wasabi horseradish.

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Because I had to visit to the Public Market.

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Who could pass up the chance to experience men dancing in full penguin zip up costumes?

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And finally, I treated myself by stocking up on a favorite for post cleanse 🙂

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Head over and check out some of the ways the others have treated themselves this week.

Oui, Brunch!

 And its back to the food posts, I’m sure there were a few sighs of relief 🙂

How about “A little piece of Paris in downtown St. Paul”?

We recently checked out Meritage for brunch. Having been to Paris once or twice, I felt a familiarity with the ambience and service. There was a classic feel from the moment you walked in.

Typical me, I had to test out the Bloody Mary.

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Conclusion: This is the best I have had since moving back, takes the top spot hands down. I guess I will be driving to St. Paul more often!

And like usual, I am seduced by the oyster offerings.

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My first Island Creeks. AND I will be ordering these again. And again. And again.

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Brunch had to be topped off with a bite of dessert.

I will be back. You should definitely check out Meritage.

Big plans for the weekend?

Brunch Haute Style

One of the things I miss dearly from the Brew City is its love affair with Brunch. I miss the crowded restaurants, filled with those recovering from the night before.  I miss the Bloody Mary competition, a city obssessed with the thing.  How many items could you pile on a stick, which by the way, came included with the drink…… Other cities take note.. hint hint..

It is truly an unmatched affair and a tradition I am desperately trying to maintain.  So much so, that I am considering developing my own Bloody Mary mix…. who’s coming over? 🙂

On my quest to relive my glory brunching days of Brew City, I stumbled into a pleasant surprise. A restaurant I had yet to try; one that truly lived up to my brunch expectations.

Cue Haute Dish.  A mecca of twists on Midwestern cuisine.

Up first, the obligatory Bloody test….

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AND Finally, a bloody in Minneapolis I’d come back for.

The House Bloody Mary is a must; spice and garlic, much needed on 10 degree days.

The brunch menu is divided into “Things to Nibble on”, “Sharing is Caring”, and ” Your Favorite Plates”.

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How could I not nibble on truffled potato chips and French onion dip. I barely kept myself in check with these…

We then skipped to the Favorite Plate section…

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Sweet potato hash, beef brisket, avocado. Order the Ropa Vieja. Pronto.

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And the Brunch Burger topped with an egg and bacon jam.

Bacon Jam, the password to my heart. Don’t send flowers, send Bacon Jam.

Did you try anywhere new this weekend? How does your city rank for Brunch?

MKE in MPLS

 A little piece of Milwaukee landed in Minneapolis over the weekend….

So of course I had all the brunch essentials waiting…. A little brie, fruit, an entire package of bacon, fresh flowers, and a cheese magazine.

Fresh flowers are a necessary component of hosting weekend guests.  Fresh flowers are also a necessary pick me up when the condo you rented three weeks ago goes on the market. With the way the condo market is going, I may be the only person ever who moves 4 times in 4 months…..

But I digress…

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An entire package of bacon is necessary, because its bacon. That time I gave up meat, I still craved the bacon. Nothing else, only bacon.

 Enough said.

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A little trip to Saks off 5th is also necessary. If you really need an explanation…..

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Hi G 🙂

One must try on over-sized fur hats…. Especially when the silver fox suggests it… (confession: I like a little silver fox…..)

Where do the single ones go out? Note to self: find silver fox bar…

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And French Fries. Who says no to French Fries?

G and I explored this city, more of our weekend to come.

What did you do over the weekend?

Does anyone else buy themselves fresh flowers?

Bringing Back the Weekend

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So over the weekend I found a fountain and sat by it.

I convinced my brunch partner to toss in a penny and make a wish.

A wish that I would win the lottery…

Yeah, Olive did me a favor by chewing up that losing ticket…

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I also decided to eat eggs by the fountain.

Only Eggs Benedict..

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Then I decided, what is brunch without a cocktail? or two?

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Which led to the natural debate of whether day drinking or cocktails at night is better…

Which side are you on?

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And this is probably the most boring blog post ever.  Please feel free to tell me this.  It’s ok, I know.

How was your weekend?

Brunch Class Anyone?

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If you happen to know anything about my taste buds, you know I do not eat eggs.  Well sort of.  No scrambled eggs, no hard boiled eggs (gross) no omelets, no thank you. It is a texture thing…

Possibly a foodie sin?

But I will devour Eggs Benedict and take down a tray of deviled eggs.   I will even eat a fried egg if I must.  And I’ll eat the egg in fried rice…

Despite my illogical relationship with eggs, I adore this city’s fascination with Brunch, (mainly for the alcohol)…. So attending a Brunch Cooking Demonstration is right up my alley…. and another excuse to peruse the Public Market..

We were served a Garden Frittata, Crab Quiche, Brie Strata with Fruit Salsa, Grand Marnier Croissant and French Toast.

Mom can you believe I ate some of these dishes? I know, shock… eggs.

There were suppose to be mimosas on the menu, perhaps they got lost in the back?

The speed in which these women were able to get that many plates out, over that many courses was beyond impressive.  Commendable.  (perhaps it was the over eager audience members who decided to help out?)

I am dying to try a few other of the other classes, like the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or the “Paella Party”… If anyone would be willing to buy my ticket, I’ll gladly go as your date 🙂 I’ll even allow you to say all the awful things you should never say on a date, that I talk about here… if you take me 🙂