Tag Archives: Minneapolis

A Foodie Post!

Chris and I eat out a lot.

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Nupa is a favorite on a day off
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Hefe Rojo on 2/1 – our attempt to have date nights on the 1st!
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In NH we hit an Italian favorite – Bertucci’s
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And another NH favorite, delicious sandwiches at Christopher’s!
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We brought some Fluff back with us from NH – I see fudge in the future! 

I told Chris that in our 3rd year of marriage I wanted to eat at home more – it’s healthier, it’s cheaper, and it could be fun to cook together!

But it isn’t easy. When we work our long days, we don’t eat much at home except fast breakfasty foods – poached eggs, yogurt, frozen waffles. I’m terribly out of practice with meal planning and prepping. And on days we aren’t working , we are recuperating and don’t want to plan meals or clean up after cooking. (Excuses, excuses.)  So in an effort to try, I signed up for a few food subscription services!  I also heard about a meat counter in a little grocery in Minneapolis that has the best meatloaf, so we picked some of that up and cooked it at Marissa’s for her birthday (read about it here – http://heavytable.com/meatloaf-everetts-foods-meats/)!  Easy peasy!

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Wow. Meatloaf from Everett’s Foods with Lingonberry sauce from Ingebretson’s – a delightful combination! Let’s do it again! 

The first subscription service arrived this week. I tried Martha Stewart’s Marley Spoon. Had a great coupon and received 3 recipes in my first shipment.  See below for packaging.

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The shipments arrive in Rochester on Tuesdays by FedEx.
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Each recipe is packaged in a brown paper bag.
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The meats and cold items were under a false floor with ice packs.
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The ice packs in question. Anyone need ice packs? Otherwise they are recyclable and I’ll dispose.
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The box is lined with this batting material.

The first recipe I made was a Parmesan crusted chicken breast with basmati rice. We didn’t eat the lettuce salad that came with that day but saved it. The second recipe we made was for a Vietnamese style turkey burger with quick carrot and cucumber slaw.

Yum. The prep time was longer than stated, but I am out of practice in the kitchen. It took about an hour for the turkey burgers but that really isn’t too long.  Sunday we will make a broiled beef stir-fry with broccoli and sweet onion.

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Portions of butter and parmesan!
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The parmesan crusted chicken with rice. Pretty good – a little dry, but could have been the preparer!
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The recipe card – it’s important to read before starting!
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The bag with fresh carrots, jalepeno, ginger, and cilantro!
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The items ready for preparation.
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I did get lots of help! He’s not as excited as I am – it’s not his goal, after all!
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The finished product – oh my! This was delicious!
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Garnishing his sandwich. Delicious quick pickle.

I look forward to more Marley Spoon recipes next week and Hello Fresh! in March.

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Delicious!

Book: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed
Nickel and Dimed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s really so much to think about and discuss in this book.  We chose to read this for group supervision at work and I am sad that I will miss the discussion.  In the book, Ms. Ehrenreich touches on so many things without hitting you over the head with any of them.

The author faced housing, nutrition, and safety concerns, language and communication differences, and the difficulty and run-around with obtaining services or applying for jobs.  She went into the experiment acknowledging that she would not suffer; she refused to go hungry or be homeless during the experiment.   She had a debit card at the ready and a reserve of cash she started with.  She also acknowledges the privilege she comes from and was often amazed that her employers did not recognize it in her.

Because of the book, I reviewed my Ruby Payne book “A Framework to Understand Poverty,” found a website with a “game” about living at the poverty level (http://playspent.org/) and tuned into some Ted Talks about “The Quest to End Poverty.”  It’s always good when a book leads you down a path to explore and learn more.

Have you read this book?  What parts of it will you remember?

my Goodreads review:

Very engaging writing and interesting subject. I was worried that this book would be “dated,” since it was published in 2001 with her social experiment taking place in 1999/2000. But the information is still relevant, maybe even more so, as we are no longer in those same economic times.

Things I will remember:

  • The difficulty in finding housing, especially housing near the job. Especially in Minneapolis. Living in substandard hotels/motels and paying by the week would be frustrating. Common sense would say that living near where you work would be most cost effective, but where the jobs are tends to have more expensive housing costs. So then there is dependence on your own vehicle or public transportation.
  • The hard, backbreaking work without break. Or if not backbreaking, the monotonous work while standing on your feet.
  • The personality tests required by most minimum wage jobs she applied for. And the rule about not talking to each other while working at Walmart.
  • The second to last paragraph of the book:

    “When someone works for less pay than she can live on – when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently – then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The “working poor,” as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else. …”

    That was a powerful paragraph for me.

I am glad I read this book – it was easy and light with an impactful message.

Written at the end of a 12-hour overnight shift… hopefully it is coherent and sensical! 

What’s Making Me Happy, July Edition!

Apartment Hunting!

  • We make apartment hunting fun!  
  • Stops for coffee (Dunn Bros)
  • Stops for mid-afternoon sustenance (Salut Bar)
  • Rooftop dining with Deadra (Louie’s Ristorante)
  • Looking forward to more Minneapolis adventures!

Co-workers!

  • Book talks at Binkies
  • Happy hours after supervision
  • Celebrations of LICSW after work
  • Strolling along the river in Red Wing

Summer fun and celebrations!

  • Rolling River Music Festival in Red Wing (late June)
  • Fourth of July
  • Rooftop meals
  • Binkies on the Lake
  • Thursdays on First
  • Bonfires
  • RASA’s “Leaving Iowa”
  • Using my kitchen to create deliciousness
  • FAIR FOOD!  One funnel cake per year
  • Walks on beautiful days
  • Planning Ferragosto Fun

Movies! Books! Music!

  • The Heat
  • Playing for Keeps
  • 21 Jump Street
  • The Promise of Provence
  • 11/22/63
  • The Night Circus for book club
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: Rob Lowe
  • Emails filled with songs for each day of the week
  • My favorite song of the week: Thursday (Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today) http://youtu.be/ciz_C3xiuN0
  • Cancelled cable = Netflix fests
  • Planning a party for fellow book lovers

What is making you happy this July??

40 Things (37)

Bel Canto (novel)
Image via Wikipedia

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, Day 37 –

37) A book that I still think about years after having read it

Gosh, there are a lot of books that I still think about, years later.  I’d like to re-read “Tale of Two Cities” sometime, as I remember loving it in high school and have vivid pictures in my head relating to the story.  I also was amazed by “Death of a Salesmen” when I read it in college.  Just blown away.  And “The Color Purple” was beautifully vivid, and I can also see those pictures in my head.  More recent books that I still think about include: “Those Who Save Us,” “Bel Canto,” “Peace Like a River,” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

#37 on my list was: Road trips with Kitschy Side Trips.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken many road trips that allow for scenic stops along the way.  I’m usually purposeful in my travel, trying to get from Point A to Point B in a timely fashion.  But in October of 2007 my friend Beth and I took a mid-week road trip from our SE corner of the state of Minnesota to Pierre, SD.  Beth’s sister lives there and works in a bookstore that was hosting a Lorna Landvik book signing and discussion.

The Corn Palace

So we took off one Tuesday morning, stopping at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD – yes, a building and gymnasium decorated with corn.

We also stopped at cute restaurants for our meals.  It was a blast getting there, and the adventures continued when we met Lorna. She was promoting her book, “The View from Mount Joy,” which we read in preparation of meeting her.  We had photos taken with her, drank wine with her, and eventually took her site seeing around Pierre with Beth’s sister in the lead!  We went to the Veteran’s Memorial in Pierre and lit the flaming fountain.  We had such a good time with many well-needed laughs.  I need to do this more often!

We have met with Lorna twice since this first trip: once at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, where she has a stand up routine in January, and she joined us for dessert afterwards, and once in our hometown where we bid and won dinner with her for a library fundraiser.  Good stuff.

at Bryant Lake Bowl

Off to read!

40 Things (32) – and my BiRtHdAy

Cover of "What Is the What: The Autobiogr...
Cover via Amazon

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, day 32 (MY BIRTHDAY!)

32) A book that has been on my shelf unread for more than 5 years

Five years ago I lived in a different house and had different book shelves.  I lost a lot of books, although I did have some book shelves that were safe from the water and I still have those books.  I now have bookshelves from IKEA – the 25 squares kind – and only one square is devoted to unread books (although I do have a big pile by my bed, too).

One book that I know I’ve had a LONG time (maybe not five years, but it was written in 2006) and haven’t read yet is Dave Egger’s “What is the What.”  I loved Dave’s first book, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and I know that I will love this too, but it seems a little heavy, and those are the books that it’s easy to put off reading.  I know I will read this because Sarah has it and we’re going to discuss it in the Walkie Talkie style.

Have you read it?  Why do you think people put off reading certain books?

#32 on my list of 40 things was: Go to the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapollis with Inna.  Inna was our foreign exchange student from the Ukraine in 2002/2003 and she came back as an adult in the summer of 2007 to work for a few weeks and she lived with us again.  We had intended to spend a few days in Minneapolis before she flew home at the end of August, but that durn flood changed a lot of plans, so I never got to go with her.  We did get the chance to spend one night in the Cities before she left and ate a fun dinner at Moscow on the Hill – a Russian restaurant – with good good friends.  So we partook in shots of vodka with dill pickles.  Crazy, fun.  And needed after that crazy week.  🙂

I did make it to the museum the following summer (6/27/08) with my cousin Emily, who lives very close to it.  It’s a great museum and I especially loved the photography exhibit.

Off to read!  And party!  Because, it’s my birthday, after all!