Monday, December 19, 2011

Viva La Tea - Recent job

Recent photoshoot on Wednesday 12/15

Recent work for Viva La Tea

Peach White Tea

Glitter and Gold

American Tea

Chocolate Strawberry Tea

Lemon Souffle Tea

Passion Fruit Tea

Images from a photo shoot with Peter Strzyzykowski from Pete's food style, a Minnesota food stylist.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cranberry Apple Chutney

Image from last year's Thanksgiving fest. Why eat the stuff from the can. Fresh made cranberries relish is so good and better for you.
55 Cranberry Aplle ChutneyCranberry Aplle Chutney

Cranberry Apple Chutney


  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Carefully stir in the cranberries, apples, onion, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves.
  • Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Serve warm or cold.

Brandy and Orange-Mashed Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups

Better pictures to come - best sweet potato recipe.

Brandy and Orange-Mashed Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups - Emeril recipe


7 large sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds
4 large oranges
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brandy
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from
the oven and let rest until just cool enough to handle.
Lower the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the orange cups by cutting the oranges in half from stem to bottom and scooping out the pulp, leaving only the shell. Set aside.

While still somewhat hot, peel the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Discard the
skins and tough, stringy fibers. Add the butter, and with an electric mixer, beat out
the lumps. Add the sugar, eggs, orange juice, heavy cream, and brandy, and mix until
smooth. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix well. Re-season, to taste.

Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the orange cups, mounding and smoothing the top.
Bake until puffed and slightly golden, about 20 minutes.

Wild Mushrooms Stuffing

This will be the second year we have made this dish. This dish reminds me of my Grandpa JP's stuffing.

Wild Mushrooms Stuffing - Emeril's recipe

  • 5 cups fresh white bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 6 slices apple bacon, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ onions, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced, such as shiitake and oyster
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ¾ cup chicken broth, or as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  • Cooking Directions

    In a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the milk.
    In a saute pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp and fat has rendered. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they have released their liquid and are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside until completely cooled.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 9-inch square baking dish.
    Squeeze any excess milk from the bread and place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, mushroom mixture, chopped thyme and oregano, and enough broth to moisten the stuffing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue to cook until lightly browned on top and heated throughout, 15 to 30 minutes longer.

    Sticky and Sweet Potatoes

    Sticky and Sweet Potatoes

    • 3 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes
    • 2 avocados
    • 2 limes, juice and zest
    • 3/4 cup lite coconut milk
    • 1/4 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 scant tablespoon red curry paste
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup sweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

    Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for between 15 and 18 minutes, until tender.
    Preheat oven to oven to 300 degrees. Then place the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and stir halfway through toasting.
    Drain the potatoes and place them back in the saucepan. Begin mashing in lime juice and zest, avocados and milk. Then mix in the honey, brown sugar, curry paste, salt, pepper and half of the coconut.
    Place in serving dish and top liberally with the rest of the coconut, pistachios. Drizzle the finished dish with honey to top it off.

    Sweet Potato Hash

    picture to come

    To start the Thanksgiving day out right we are starting with eggs and hash.

    Sweet Potato Hash - The Neelys recipe


    • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch cubes
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/4 cup green onions
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


    Add the potatoes to a large saucepan of salted boiling water and simmer until tender. Drain and dry completely with paper towels.
    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, pepper and garlic, and saute until tender and lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a bowl.
    Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the skillet, and then add the drained and dried sweet potatoes. Cook in a single layer, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until they are tender, about 6 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the potatoes are golden and crisp, about 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika and gently stir in the onion mixture and parsley.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Keith Lunde's toys from when he was a kid.

    Keith is Larry my Husband father who has kept so many of his childhood toys. We were blessed to see so many wonderful he has kept toys. Keith family owned a creamer near Mitchel, South Dakota.

    The black truck was a White Company. The tank is a Louis Marx & Co World War I tank. A couple of John Deere and McCormick farm equipment was his father's toys made out of cast-iron.


    Postcard in the works. At the printer now. Soon it will be printed and then posted to the blog.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Kafe 421

    I found Dinkytown

    Kafe 421

    421 14th Ave SE

    Restaurant Week Lunch Tasting Menu

    Kafe 421 has two tasting menus; Lunch for $10 or Dinner for $30

    Wonderful deals
    1/2 price wine on Monday & Wednesday

    Date Night on Sunday & Tuesday
    2 salads, 2 Entrees, 1 Dessert for $25

    Restaurant Week Lunch Tasting Menu

    Lunch tasting menu consists of an appetizer and entree.

    I choose the Spanakopita Triangle, made with spinach, herbs and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. For the entree I went with Pastichio, a Greek casserole. The Greek noodle used in this dish is Makaronia. As you can see in the image they lay a huge layer of these thick noodles on the bottom followed by a layer of meat, then cheese and another layer of noodles glued together by cheese and topped off with tomatoes and garnish. The dish might look Italian but the taste wasn't.

    I think I found Dinkytown, I have always heard about it. Years ago we ate at a restaurant in Dinkytown and as I was looking for this restaurant across the street was Vescio. Still getting use to the big city. Kafe 421 is not far from University Ave and very easy to find. The cafe has three seating areas; the front area with a couple of tables and a bar, the hallway with a long bar, and the back room with many tables.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    al Vento Restaurant

    Al Vento
    5001 34th Ave S

    Fall Restaurant Week
    Dinner Menu

    Larry requested to join me for this restaurant tasting. We had been there before but it had been a long time. We sat just tables from were we sat the first time. Our server was very nice too. Jason told us about Date Night on Tuesday night, 2 entrees, 1 appetizer and 1 dessert for $20. They also have 1/2 price bottles of wine on Sun and 4-6pm everyday too. The busiest days are Friday, Saturday, Sunday brunch and Tuesday date night.

    What we picked for our tasting menu

    Stuffed Mushrooms with walnuts and mother sauce

    Beet Salad with frisee hazelnuts and parmesan cheese

    Ravioli with butternut squash and brown butter sage

    Grilled Amish Chicken Breast with roasted root vegetables and mushroom sauce

    Chocolate hazelnut tart with whipped cream and caramel

    Vanilla Creme Brulee

    The beet salad was heaven with chunks of white beets and slices of parmesan cheese. So many places don't give you a lot of beets on a beet salad but they did. This was the best beet salad for me so far. Careful on the Chocolate hazelnut tart, the whipped cream has a little bite to it but very good. You have got to try the olive oil, it has rosemary and other spices in it. The butternut squash ravioli was full of favor and yes the best squash ravioli so far. So two dishes that have pushed the envelope was the beet salad and butternut squash ravioli. I can see coming back to the restaurant many times.

    Cafe Ena

    Cafe Ena
    4601 Grand Ave S

    Lunch tasting menu during restaurant week
    $10 lunch

    Chilaquiles - Shredded tortillas cooked in a tomato chipotle sauce served with a fried egg, cream, cojita cheese and pico de gallo.

    Tacos de Carne Asada - Marinated skirt steak tacos topped with onions, cilantro and roasted tomato salsa served with white rice and black beans.

    Dessert or Appetizer
    Homemade Butternut squash soup

    Homemade key line pie with mango sauce
    Churros with cinnamon ice cream

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Sunday's Treat

    Sunday's treat

    Not normally on the menu. This is something they make for fun and it was wonderful.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    514 Studio email blast

    Email blast 10/13

    514 Studios

    Square feet - 3,200 Ceilings - Arched ceilings peaking at 21ʼ with a full kitchen.

    Corner Coffee is in the front of the building and we are just steps away from the back door of the coffee shop.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011


    What happen to kitchen tools when they go bad...

    What do I do for fun.
    Yes, I like to play with my food or in this case my props.

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Red Hawaiian Sea Salt

    Chocolate Chip Cookies with Red Hawaiian Sea Salt
    Food Stylist Peter Strzyzykowski

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Where the Tea meets the afternoon

    Where the Tea meets the afternoon

    Carrot-Ginger Tea Sandwich Recipe

    • 2 chopped or grated carrots
    • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 slices multi-grain bread
    • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
    • Alfalfa sprouts or watercress

    In a medium bowl combine carrots, cream cheese, mayonnaise, ginger paste and salt and pepper to taste. Spread butter on one side of the bread. Place mixture over the butter side of bread and top with alfalfa sprouts or watercress and cover with the bread. Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a sharp knife. Sandwiches are best to let rest.

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    • 1 large cucumber
    • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 3 chives
    • 1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
    • 1/4 garlic powder
    • 1/4 paprika
    • 1 package of Pepperidge farm party bread

    Wash cucumber, use a fork or cooking tool to leave stripes down the sides of the cucumber.  Slice the cucumber into 1/4 slices or thinner.  

    In a bowl, stir cream cheese, Italian mix, garlic and paprika.  Add chives and mix.  

    Spread on a slice of bread the mixture and place a cucumber on it.  Place a slice of bread on top.  Cover sandwiches and refrigerator.     

    Apple Oatmeal Waffles

    Apple Oatmeal Waffles

    1 egg
    ¾ cup all purpose flour
    ¾ cup quick oats
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/8 salt
    ½ tsp cinnamon
    ¾ cup apple juice
    1 tsp honey
    4 tbs butter or margarine room temperature
    ¼ medium apple, peeled and diced - microwave until soft
    ¼ cup chopped walnuts optional
    2 tbs raisins optional

    Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Combine egg, juice, honey and butter. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Add apple, nuts and raisins.

    Makes about 2-3 waffles

    Wednesday, September 07, 2011

    Minnesota State Fair 2011

    Minnesota State Fair 2011

    Minnesota State Fair is know for deep frying almost anything and serving it on a stick. One of the first items was the candy bar on a stick. The state fair has over 80 different food items on a stick. You can spend days just eating anything on a stick. Anything from meat, vegetables, to dessert they will put it on a stick and that is what fair goers want.

    On our visit to the fair this year we enjoyed a number of different foods from the new food list, to foods we know and love. Eating almost thought out the day and sharing the food and experiences. The slide show are just some of the images from that day.

    Breakfast Lolly Pop on a stick, Big Fat Bacon on a stick, Sweet Corn Ice Cream, Northwood Salad on Stick, Jamaican Jerky Fries, 1919 Root Beer, Candy Bar on a Stick – Milkway candy bar, Cheese Curds, Deep Fried Pickles, Summit Oktoberfest beer, Twister potato, Mini Cinnamon Rolls, Corn on the Cob, Fudge Puppies – Cinnamon & caramel, Jerky, Salsa, Pizza on a Stick, Strawberries and cream, Mac & Cheese on a stick, Tostadas, Minneapple Pie with cinnamon ice cream, & Horchata drink.

    Top picks

    Northwoods Salad on a Stick at Giggle’s Campfire Grill. Mozzarella cheese balls, basil leaves and grape tomatoes on sticks served with lettuces and wild rice. The dressing is wonderful and the wild rice perfect.

    Sweet Corn Ice Cream at Blue Moon Dine In Theater served with either wild blueberries or caramel bacon sauce. A little disturbing was the hard pieces of corn nuts on the top of the ice cream. This is an ice cream I would eat again but would ask to hold the hard pieces on my order.

    Breakfast Lollypops on a stick at Axel’s.

    Breakfast Lollypops is a sausage patty dipped in corn muffin batter, deep fried on a stick and dipped in maple syrup. The sausage patty is big and the breading isn’t so over powering. The maple syrup covers the small amount of breading on the patty, which is the right amount for me.

    On food item to not try is the Mexican Horchata drink at the El Sol Mexican stand outside and on the corner of the food building. It is made rice, almonds, Cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Our whole group tried it and didn’t like it. We couldn’t finish it and ended up throwing it away