Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tex Mex Spinach Artichoke Dip



I love a classic spinach artichoke dip, but this one kicks it up baby and lets you know your alive!
Oh yeah delicious!!
You can almost trick yourself into thinking this dip is good for you with all the vegis in it :)
It is also very colorful.
Depending on your taste buds you can very the intensity of the heat you add into the ingredient.
If your a light weight and can't handle the spiciness of the peppers leave them out or don't add as many in as this recipe calls for.
I love a dip where there is not much to it but a few chops and stirring it all together, there is always something that needs to be done, gotta find time where we can right?!

Ok so this is what you need to gather for this dip:
10 oz Spinach, I used frozen (defrost and drain)
10os can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 Jalapeno, roasted and chopped
1 Plabano or Banana Pepper, roasted and chopped
1 Bell pepper, I used an orange one, roasted and chopped
2 8 oz packs softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella/parmazan cheese
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped

How to make the dip:
Start by preheating your oven and set to broil
Clean our the insides of your peppers, place on a baking sheet, rub with olive oil
Place in your oven and broil until blackened, about 5 minutes (make sure to keep an eye on them)
Remove and set aside
While your peppers are cooling a bit so you can handle them


Combine all your remaining ingredients reserving 1 cup of the mozzarella, parmazan combination


The skins on your peppers should easily peal off, chop your peppers and add to your cream cheese mixture, stir well
Place into a baking dish and top with the remaining cup of cheese

Bake at 350 degress for 40 minutes
Serve with tortilla chips

Enjoy!






Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beer Batter Cheese Curds



My youngest son LOVES when we go out to eat and the first thing he looks for on the menu are cheese curds and fried pickles.  OBSESSED!
Yes Yes I know not healthy at all, but I make sure that I shove fruits and vegetables in his mouth everyday, they even get past all of his griping about having to eat them :)
These little golden cheesy bites are very simple to make, very similar to my Fried Pickle recipe.
If your from the Midwest it's practically written in the bible that a good cheese curd has to be squeaky!

Here is what you are going to need:
 2 pound bag of fresh cheese curds, we went for the white cheddar curds
1 Cup flour
1/4 cup milk, whatever you have on hand we used 2%
3/4 cup of a beer of your chose, we used a light beer
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning, I went with my favorite Tony's
2 Eggs
Oil for frying

How to Make them:
Start by warming your oil, carefully sprinkle the oil with water to see if it bubbles. That is when it is ready.
In a mixing bowl stir together all ingredients saving the curds till last.



Add only 5 or 6 curds into the hot oil at a time otherwise they all clump together, I know from experience here.
Cook the curds approximately 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown, carefully remove the curds with a slotted spoon.
Lay them out on a plate covered my a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.

Serve warm and enjoy!!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Crooked Pint



I feel like a big fibber!  I said "I'm back"!  and then I disappear for days, weeks????  
Sorry, I have my son home for the summer, I am gardening and trying to keep the kiddo off the computer and XBox that is a chore in it's self!
I always find time for the hubbie so here is another restaurant review for ya! 
My daughter recently moved out on her own for the first time (crying on the inside) no I'm kidding, I am very proud of her and happy for her.
Anyhow.......... She went to a newer restaurant by her home called the Crooked Pint, love the name.
We have actually been there twice now (hubbies idea).  
He, as always.  Loved the food there.
Both times he tried their Hot Lips Lucy, Serrano peppers, habanero jack, sautéed onions, and spicy bistro sauce.
I ordered a lobster grilled cheese the first time we went there and a bacon burger the second time, mmmm nummmmm. 
Silly me, appetizers come first and I'm telling you about them last :)
We have tried the Tater Tots and the Spicy stuffed pickle chips.
Both super good!  Both very creative appetizers in my eyes.
The Tater Tots are like a cheesy casserole in a mini fried bite or hot dish if your from Minnesota :0
The Spicy stuffed pickle chips are a combination of fried pickles and cream cheese jalapeno poppers, say what!!!!  Num I want one now!
Now on to the atmosphere, there is a nice bar area then the restaurant has a glass retractable roof!  Shut up right!  
You can also sit out side next to bocce ball area, super fun game if you have not tried yet.
There is a Minneapolis location and another in  Apple Valley, we visited the Apple Valley restaurant.
Here is another restaurant to put on your list of places to try if your ever in the area.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Low Fat Taco Bean Dip

If you are anything like me I hear the words Low Fat I think not going to be good.
But I took a risk on this recipe and I was pleasantly surprised this Taco Bean Dip was great!
Don't get me wrong I love the loaded up Taco Dip.

This is a nice light taco dip good for a hot summer party.





What you will need:
1 16oz can re-fried beans
1 Cup Low Fat Greek yogurt
1 Cup Fat Free cottage cheese
1 Ripe Avocado
4 Teaspoons cumin
Dash of salt
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 Cup of your favorite shredded cheese, I used a Mexican blend
1 2.5oz sliced blacked olives
2 Green onions thinly sliced





How to make this:
In your food processor add the cottage cheese, yogurt, avocado, Tabasco, salt,  pepper and half of the cumin powder blend well.  It makes a beautiful shade of green!
In a pie dish spread your re-fried beans sprinkle with the remaining cumin.
Now layer your avocado mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese, olives and finally green olives.
It's ready to devour!
Serve with tortilla chips.
Delicious!





Monday, June 16, 2014

Fulton Farmers Market

Alrighty, I am back!  Well at lease I hope I can be on more of a regular basis!
Life just gets so busy!  I just moved my eldest child, planted my monstrous garden and now my youngest is on summer vacation.


About a month ago or more I visited a new (new to me) farmers market, the Fulton Farmers Market in Edina, MN.
Now it was pretty early in the season for a farmers market visit but what the heck, I had family in town and wanted to entertain them.
I will return to this market later in the summer to check out their goodies.
They were set up in a large church parking lot.
They had a couple of food trucks, fantastic canned goods, delicious cheese booth, fresh herbs and so much more!
It is so hard to decide what farmers markets to visit in my area!

Soon I will post a recipe I swear!  





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Boneyard

This is the second review I'm doing for The Boneyard in Uptown Minneapolis.
Usually I would only do one review for the restaurants I visit but, I have new pictures I had to share!
My family and I went to Boneyard over Memorial Day weekend.
I tell you Memorial Day weekend is a great time to get right into a restaurant!

Ok so here are some of the delicious items we ordered.

Deviled Eggs

Fried Green Tomato Appetizer

Watermelon, Feta, Jalapeno Salad

 Mac and Cheese


All of these dishes were well liked!
So once again Boneyard gets a great review from me and my family!







Monday, May 19, 2014

Stillwater Minnesota Eats

Stillwater Minnesota is an excellent small town vacation spot.
A beautiful strip of quaint antique and gift shops and plenty of places to chose from when you want a bite to eat.
Not to leave out the beautiful views!
This past weekend we went to Stillwater for a few days did a lot of walking and eating.

Our first lunch was at Nacho Mamas, can you stand the name!?!
I have had on my list of things to make, Mexican corn and you know what was on their menu??
You know it Mexican corn, oh my Lord that was good!!!


Another place we stopped a couple times for an afternoon pick me up would be a cute little coffee shop right off the river called The Daily Grind, pun intended :)
While making small talk with the cashier I mentioned to her that the coffee mugs hanging above the counter were really fun.
She tells me that they are the regulars mugs. The one that stuck out to me the most was the one with the shiny silver brass knuckles as a handle, she imagines to be a little old ladies coffee mug because she has never seen the owner of that mug.
I would love to see that!


Another day we decided to have a light lunch.
We stumbled upon a wine/cheese bar, enough said.
The Wedge & Wheel is so beautiful made me feel like I was just transported to France.
We went with the Cheese Mongers choice that was a trio of cheeses one from France, Italy and lastly Spain my favorite, I wish I could remember the name!
Our cheese was accompanied by a plate of vibrant green olives, figs and warm nuts.  Oh and bread.


One my my favorite new beers is the Liftbridge Farm Girl, that is brewed right here in Stillwater, MN!
I was surprised how small their operation is compared to how large their distribution is.
They hand pour every bottle, insane!  
We went there on a Friday and there are not tours that day but they have a fun bar in the front of the house.  
Hubbie and I shared a flight of beers and munched on some free popcorn while listening to the jukebox.

Now to jump back to light lunch day ( forgot another stop) 
We were still a bit hungry after that delicious cheese so we crossed the street to The Freight House, it's a fun place to party in the evening (fyi) we sat and enjoyed the warm sunshine and snacked on a basket of delicious calamari pared with a sour cream chipotle and tarter sauce for dipping.   



I'm getting full just writing this!!!
Are you still with me??  Ok almost done I have two dinners to cover.
Our first dinner was at Smalley's Caribbean Barbecue, I wanted to try this place out after I saw Guy try it out on Diners Drive Ins and Dives.
I took pictures but they did not turn out it was to dark.
I had a burger and the husband had a jerk pulled pork sandwich, he said was super spicy.  Just they way he likes it!  

Last dinner was to celebrate 13 years of marriage we choice a nice place called The Green Room.
Lovely place for any occasion, cool interior high ceilings with brick walls.
They buy ingredients from local farmers when possible.
We started with a delicious crab cake, followed by a Caesar salad.

For my main course I had Gnocchi and mushrooms, OMG that was so good!
Hubbie ordered the walleye special, again a fantastic meal.
They serve your meal with what I think is their variation of bruschetta, very fresh.


I think I was so busy eating I stopped taking pictures at the main course.  

Now that is only a few of many places to eat in the wonderful town of Stillwater!!