Hola Arepa!

So, I ventured over to the center of downtown last week to meet a friend for lunch. I work about a mile from the center, and while I can walk there and back in a lunch hour, it leaves me barely enough time to grab a bite or try on a dress. So last week I put on my thinking cap and rented one of the Nice Ride Bikes. These are great! They set up stands of bikes all over the city and you can rent one for just a few dollars. It cost me $5 to get a subscription for the day and then there was no charge for my “ride” because each leg was shorter than 30 minutes. It took about 10 minutes to get there and 10 minutes back, which left me a good 40 minutes to have lunch and wander the Farmer’s Market.

And while I had a good 40 minutes to enjoy lunch, my friend and I stopped at a food truck called Hola Arepa.(and check out their logo… love it) I had heard about it and she hadn’t tried it so we gave it a shot. Turns out an Arepa is like a corn-based bun type-o-thing. And boy is it good. I ordered one with pulled chicken and black beans, it also came loaded with pickled cabbage. She ordered the pulled pork. And turns out she went back the next day to try the black bean version, guess it was a hit! I also ordered a side of chips and salsa, which were crisp and fresh. And although both the Arepa and the chips were hard to eat on the side of a building on the side of the road, it was totally worth it.

Then we wandered the Market and talked about life and loss and thai eggplants. It was great to catch up and to get some eggplants for a stir-fry. More on that soon.



Do you see the birds? There are hundreds of them. Look again.

Enjoy the weekend. I’m heading to the zoo, the state fair and a birthday party. Fun!


For the Bathroom

screen shot from Stephanie Levy's Etsy shop

We’ve been talking about re-doing our downstairs bathroom. But we’re torn. It still has the original 1950s tile, mint green, of course, and the original tub. And it’s in great shape. But the rest of the house is modern and open with lots of wood and windows. Do we gut it or just leave it for the next people to do it on their own? Regardless, I’ve been thinking a fun print would add some life to the room either way. I was searching Etsy last week when I remembered a shop and blog that I’ve been following for awhile and found the perfect print. I love Stephanie’s work and know this would really brighten up the space. It even has that mint green in there!


Star Prairie Trout Farm

Well, we finally made it up to Star Prairie this weekend to go to their Trout Farm. What a sweet little place. There is pond after pond of trout, just waiting for your line to drop into the water. And honestly, as soon as you do there’s a fish on the line. A most of them are big. Nearly 2 lbs big. We took our time to catch them and even tried for one of the trophy fish. It didn’t work. But we caught four that totalled 7 lbs, plenty for lunch and the freezer.

Then we went back to the In-Laws and had a huge lunch with the trout, fresh local corn (!), fresh local tomatoes, homemade cole slaw with horseradish, fresh homemade biscuits and sundaes with blackberries from their property.

It was amazing.


Friday Find

I found this image on my phone the other day. I think I know when I took it. I think that’s my thumb on the right. And the shorts I was wearing on the left. That may or may not be part of the dining room table in the center. But regardless, I love the colors! Who woulda thunk?

Check this out.. I love it.

And this article is important.

I’m going fishing this weekend, here, what are you doing?


5 Minute Bread

Well, I finally tried it.

I made Bread in 5 minutes and it was delicious. For years I’ve been meaning to try the method from the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. And after hearing a few people talk about it again and again, I ran to my library and borrowed the book, again. The following day my Parents gave me a gift card for a wonderful local cooking store, called Cooks of Crocus Hill. I have nearly everything I need for my kitchen, but I didn’t have a couple tools that I needed to make this Artisan Brad. So I stopped into their Edina location, which I need to mention is just a few doors down from National Chain and best then to be avoided, Sur La Table, and picked up a storage container and some popsicle molds. Well, technically, the popsicle molds have nothing to do with baking bread except to please Daughter and Husband while I’m mixing. Turns out I already had the right kind of mixer thingy and a newer oven so I was good to go.

A few days later I mixed up the dough (took about five minutes). I left it on the counter for 2 hours then stashed it in the fridge. The next day I pulled out a hunk, shaped it and let it rise. Then I baked it and then I had bread. Fresh bread. For just pennies. And I have at least three loaves to go in the fridge. The dough still needs to rise for 40 minutes and bake for 30, so it’s tough to get it on the table on a weeknight when I get home at 5:15 and need to eat at 6:00, but still. It’s possible. I can bake it the night before. I can bake it on the weekends. Still beats buying  a loaf at Lund’s for $5.99. Yes, $5.99.



Have you heard of the Skinny Bitch Diet? Well, it’s not really a diet, but more of a way of eating. Actually, a Vegan way of eating. And no, I’m not going Vegan. I first heard about this book on Facebook. Then I requested the book from the library (or so I thought). When I went to pick it up I guess I had ordered the CDs rather than the book. Oh well, I spend a fair amount of time in my car so I popped in the first disk and started to pay attention. Basically, what the ladies are saying, is that everything but fruits, vegetables,  grains and legumes are bad for you. This includes dairy and meat. It also includes soda, sugar and white flour. Okay, I was listening. I haven’t had a Diet Coke in two weeks. I have cut back on the meat. I have cut back on the dairy. And I’ve increased the amount of fruit in my diet.

Then I went back to the library and checked out their cookbook, more out of curiosity than anything else. It’s a beautiful, well-designed, thick book full of amazing photographs and interesting recipes. I found a number of recipes that would work for our family and made the first one, Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas, over the weekend. The directions were clear and I was able to do most of it ahead of time (during Nap) and them just assembled and baked at the last minute. A few complaints…. the cooking time of 40 minutes was way too long, the whole dish was way too spicy for Daughter (and she likes spicy), and Husband thought it was spicy but had little flavor. One compliment… leftovers were much better than the first time. So, maybe make it ahead and reheat? And more vegetables? I’m not sure. I plan to make a veggie curry this week and hope to have better results. And I even bought Tofu for another recipe this week.

But don’t worry, i’m not going Vegan. No way I can give up cheese. Ever. But I can cut down on my meat intake and so far I don’t miss the Diet Coke. We’ll see!