Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hop to It

Bill and I had a fabulous dining experience in North Minneapolis.  We had been to a meeting near DeLaSalle and decided to stop for a late dinner at a relatively new restaurant on Hennepin Avenue called Ginger Hop.  It's described as "East meets N.E." and has a wonderful menu of asian delights.

We met one of the owners, John, who recommended the Green Curry with Shrimp and the Almond Chicken Stir Fry.  Both were great.  The curry was spicy, rich and full of tender shrimp and fresh seasonal vegetables.  The stir fry was a nice compliment with a rich garlic sauce and toasty almonds.  All this with 2 glasses of a John suggested wine, Alexander Valley Temptation Zinfandel, for $43.00 - worth every penny, and then some.

We had a nice chat with John and learned that the restaurant has been there about a year.  They also own a nightclub downstairs called Honey where they serve up food, drinks and excellent jazz

I love to find a new spot and we are looking forward to going back soon with friends and neighbors. 

Please join us or stop by if you are in the mood for a terrific asian meal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Can't "Beet" my moment of fame

I had a small (really small), yet fun, brush with fame today.  One of the cool features of my new Jetta is a free 3-month subscription to satellite radio.  I am enjoying many new music stations, especially as I drive to southern and western MN where the stations are few and far between - and let me just say not necessarily my political peference.

I am also, perhaps surprisingly, enjoying the Martha Stewart station.  It has good environmental, home and especially cooking guests and tips.  So this morning as I'm pulling into the Midway Target parking lot, the guest, Matt Jennings, executive chef from the Farmstead Restaurant in Providence, RI was speaking about farmer's market finds and recipes.  The host asked people to call in with great ideas or recipes using local farmer's market produce.  

So, in an extremely un-Maggie like moment, I called.  I have a wonderful recipe for a roasted beet and goat cheese salad that I make all the time.  I figured I would get a busy signal or be on hold forever, but in about 30 seconds I was on the air!  I shared my tip for roasting beets (see below) and using them in this terrific salad.  Matt also gave me a wonderful way to use the beet greens, which I've never done, so all in all a nifty (as my father would say) experience.

This "food" aura continues to swirl around me and I am pretty sure that in my second 50 years, I will need to incorporate it into my life in a different way.  I have no idea what that is, and I certainly have no plans to quit my day job - but the pull is getting stronger - stay tuned.

OK - now the fabulous roasted beet salad

Take a bunch or two of beets - ideally red & golden, preferably purchased at your local farmer's market. Cut the greens off and wash the beets.  Wrap them whole, separating the colors, in aluminum foil packets and roast in an oven @ 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Let them cool, and the peel them; the skin will come right off. (Remember the color is very bright, so you may want to use gloves).

Cut or slice the beets to the size you like.  Add them to your favorite greens with feta or other sharp, creamy goat cheese or blue cheese, if you'd rather.  Add a chopped handful of toasted pecans or walnuts and top with your favorite vinaigrette - I like 2/3 olive oil to 1/3 red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, a clove of garlic (smashed, whole) to sit in for a couple of hours, salt & pepper.

It's super easy, looks great, and everyone loves it - even the beet haters!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ice Cubes & Toilet Paper

Is there some kind of "guy" class I missed in high school or college?  I'm thinking in my house full of men that there is a genetic connection to the inability of anyone of them to replace water in the ice cube trays or a roll of toilet paper.

Now, of course, because it drives me crazy, I do it.  I wonder how long they would be willing to go without ice or toilet paper - probably much longer than I'd like to think about.

I am the one who needs the TP, so I do the replacing, but I complain about it every time.

I guess I could just "man up" and stop whining about it, but somehow it seems like a duty that could be shared.  I'm usually caught up in who does what in terms of chores, but I might just go on a temporary strike on this one and actually see how long they can go - I'll let you know what I find out.

Monday, August 2, 2010

That Prince Song...

OK, so it's not really a "Little Red Covette" as the song goes, but it's my fabulous "Little Red Jetta"  I went all out in my own fiscally responsible way and bought a new car  (of course, Bill and I made the decision together as with any big purchase, but it's really mine) And I love it.

I truly enjoy driving, as I've mentioned on this blog before, so I wanted to get back to a car from my Highlander SUV.  I also returned to the manual transmission I was used to driving for the first 30 years of my driving experience.  I bought a wagon to fit the needs of this almost 50 mom, and I think the red probably represents some kind of mid-life stage, so it seems like the perfect compromise.

It's sporty, fun to drive, better for the environment (clean diesel) and gets incredible gas mileage - 49.9 Average mpg on our recent trip to Chicago.  I do realize that just writing about this makes me a little bit of a car nut, but I am really thrilled with it so far.  I'm also doing a lot of driving for work now, and am I enjoy my new "ride".  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Home Stretch

Wow - it's August 1st today.  I can't believe how fast the summer has been flying by.  I know I've been delinquent on this blog and today it hit me that I only have two months left before the big 50.  I am going to try to post regularly, dare I say daily?, over the next two months.  I'd like to finish this project in strong fashion and prepare myself for what my 50's will bring.

So check back occasionally over the next couple of months, I promise to be among the bloggers once again