Wednesday, February 29, 2012

last day of pumpkin

Last day of pumpkin was going to be a pumpkin blizzard from DQ. But nature gave us a much needed snow storm instead. So after running out of ideas of what to do with pumpkin I took out a spoon a eat raw pumpkin from the can. You know it taste much better with all those spices. But I have to say I have tried it. Tomorrow I going for that pumpkin blizzard.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Joe's Garage Restaurant

Joe's Garage Restaurant

Restaurant Week
October 2011

First Course
Pulled Pork Tacos - BBQ sauce, creamy slaw and Pico De Gallo
Braised Turkey Meatballs - with tomato sauce

Second Course
Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with cheesy scalloped potatoes
Sauteed Cod - with berry Buerre Blanc

Chiang Mai Thai - Restaurant Week

Pad Thai at Chiang Mai Thai

Chiang Mai Thai
Restaurant Week 2012
Lunch Menu $10


Bird Nest
    Spiced minced chicken and seafood wrapped in rice paper strips and deep fried. Served with Sri Racha and sweet & sour sauces


  • Thai Fried Rice With choice of tofu, mock duck, chicken, pork or shrimp
  • Pad Thai The classic and best Thai noodle dish with your choice of tofu, mock duck, chicken, pork or shrimp

D'Amico Kitchen

D'Amico Kitchen

Le Meridien Chambers
901 Hennepin Ave.
Mpls., MN 55403

Restaurant Week lunch


  • Tomato Soup
  • Apple Endive Salad
  • Mixed Green Salad
  • Roasted Beet Salad

    Gorgonzola cream, pistachio vinaigrette


  • Burrata Margherita Pizza
  • Grilled Romaine and Chicken Salad
  • Pappardelle Ragu Bolognese, grana padano
  • Winter Squash Ravioli Sage, brown butter, saporoso
  • Ricotta Gnocchi Hunter-style chicken sauce
  • 1/2 Grilled Chicken Sandwich Peperonata, goat cheese
  • 1/2 Turkey Breast Sandwich
  • Smoked bacon basil pesto, fresh ricotta

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sarah Jane's Bakery

Pumpkin Bars from Sarah Jane's Bakery

Sarah Jane's Bakery
2853 Johnson Street Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55418

(612) 789-2827

El Tapatio - Willmar

El Tapatio
1111 1st St South
Willmar MN 56201
Enchiladas De Camaron
The sauce is to die for. Light and creamy. A pleasant surprise to a Mexican dish. So many mexican restaurant you get the same old stuff, but this was great. It wasn’t heavy at all. This was a great dish to share since we were going to have tea at Spicer Castle at 4pm.

side effects

Sweet Potato Side Effects

Health Benefits of Eating Sweet Potatoes

What are sweet potatoes good for? A study has been done by the Center for Science in the Public Interest on the nutritional value contained in various vegetables. Sweet potato was found to be the highest source of dietary fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

  • Sweet potato contains an abundance of complex carbohydrates, which control the rise of blood sugar level. Because of that, it is considered as a healthy food with therapeutic effects for the diabetics.
  • Sweet potato is a good source of iron; containing 0.6 mg in every 100 g. Iron plays an important role to carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and various organs in the body and is a natural remedy to treat people who has anemia.
  • The tuber is rich in powerful flavonoids such as beta-carotene and vitamin A and is among the highest in root vegetable category. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant needed to maintain a healthy vision. It is also a significant nutrient that takes care of your mucus membranes and skin.
  • Sweet potato is full of essential B-complex vitamins, especially thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine. These wonderful vitamins provide you with energy, reduce the risk of heart disease and may also help relieve stress and heal depression.
  • Packed with potent vitamin C, the tuber is useful in building your immune system. Research indicated that foods with vitamin C are effective in protecting you against free radicals that damage the body cells.
  • Sweet potato is loaded with dietary fiber, low in calories and has no fats and cholesterol. It is a great diet for weight loss.
  • Other minerals found in the tuber include magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese which also have excellent health properties.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Restaurant Week - Sea Change

Sea Change Restaurant
Restaurant Week

806 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 225-6499

Lunch tasting menu

Mixed green Salad
Micro green lettuce salad
served with goat cheese on toast

Fish Sandwich
served with fries

Sea Change Restaurant

Pumpkin Soup with julienne cut apples with shallots served with crystallized Ginger which is placed into the soup at the table. It melts in seconds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stanley's Northeast Bar Room

Sweet Potato Hash at Stanleys

Stanley's Northeast Bar Room

Where can you get great food, great beer, wonderful service and get to play trivia. There are so many different specials thought out the week. Half price burgers on Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wild Wing Wednesday, Craft Beer Thursday and Breakfast Bloody Marys or Mimosas on the weekend. And so many beers on tap, just look up at the chalkboard on the wall to see the beer list. You can find local breweries and regional beers on tap. And to see all of the tap handles makes any beer drinker drool. Seating is nicely spaced out, even when a lot of people are hanging out. The wings are great and I just love the hand-cut sweet potatoes fries. The burgers are so tasty, nice and juicy.

The best thing they make that I have tried so far is the Breakfast Brunch Club. Two fried eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, pickled hot peppers on wheat bread. The sauce is a chipotle mayo, but once the cheese melts the mayo sauce mixes all together. The pepper adds a little bite and the cheese extinguishes the burn. Warning, this sandwich can be a little bit messy, but it is a wonderful tasty delight. It is served with sweet potato hash, a combination of sweet potatoes and red & green peppers cut into small cubes. Don't worry you can get this sandwich anytime of the day, but sweet potato hash is only available on the weekends.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

Recipe from The Neely's


  • 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.

Monday, February 20, 2012

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.

29 days

29 day of pumpkin mascot

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Byerly's Sweet Potato salad

Byerly's Sweet Potato salad from the deli

The Fusion Lounge

The Che Fusion Lounge
appetizers - Sweet Potatoes Fries

Main dishes - Arctic Char and Haddock

Dessert - Lemon Butter Cake Mascarpone Cheesecake

Black and Tan

Black and Tan Restaurant

Green Bay Wisconsin

Creamy Acorn Squash with bacon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where the Pumpkin obsession started

On day 17 of my “29 Days of Pumpkin,” I found myself sitting in a cafe in Abbortsford, Wisconsin. As I looked out the café’s window, I noticed a woman wearing pumpkin – and the sight of her brought me immediately back to Florence, Italy.

In 2004, my ski club and I spent a few days convalescing in Florence after a thrilling but grueling week of skiing in the Swiss Alps. Most of the stores were closed as we walked the streets of this romantic town, but we enjoyed window shopping. That evening, in a store window on the cool streets of a darkened Florence, I saw the most beautiful-colored sweater in the whole world. It was a wonderful shade of rust, and I knew immediately I had to have it. Alas, the store was closed.

We spent the next day in Rome, and when we returned to Florence in the evening, the store was again closed. I tried again the next day, but it was closed yet again. Distraught, I found myself on the bus heading to the airport. We left Italy but that sweater remained fresh in my mind. Back in the states, I checked local stores and shops but found nothing close in color.

Two years later - on another ski trip to Italy - I again noticed this pumpkin color in store windows – only this time it wasn’t just one sweater and it wasn’t just one store. It was many styles in many stores!! I was in heaven to see so much different pumpkin-colored clothing from which to choose. And I’m happy to report that later that year I began to notice different stores in the states finally offering clothing in shades of pumpkin.

So I guess from 2004 to now it has become an obsession, due in part to my strong desire for the color and in part because I just couldn’t find it anywhere. Today I own many different shades of pumpkin shirts, sweaters, fleeces, gym bags, jackets, bedding, blankets, and dishes. I even buy clothes for my husband in this shade just so I can see the color without having to look in a mirror!

I am not totally obsessed with the color, maybe just a little obsessed.

Pumpkin Apple Dessert Pizza

Pumpkin Apple Dessert Pizza

Recipe is from the


  • 1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green apple, peeled and cored
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Caramel flavored ice cream topping - optional


PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Grease 12-inch pizza pan or large baking sheet.

PLACE whole bar of dough on prepared pan. Allow to soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Using fingertips, pat dough gently to form a 9-inch circle.

BAKE for 22 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; prick with fork. Cool on pan on wire rack.

BEAT pumpkin, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spread over pizza crust to 3/4 inch from edge. Mix apple slices with remaining sugar and dash cinnamon in small bowl; place on pizza. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 8 to 10 minutes; remove from oven. Drizzle with caramel topping. Cut into wedges; serve warm.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Green Bay Progressive Dinner

All images were taken with an Iphone only show

Friday's Green Bay Progressive Dinner

How we enjoy a progressive dinner is we normally start at a restaurant and have an appetizer and a drink. Then moving on to another restaurant and sampling another appetizer. Sometimes we eat a cheese platter and then an appetizer, it just depends on the restaurants that we find for the night. We have found it is best to share so that you don't get too full before the entree restaurant. We even found that sharing an entree works out the best. And finally moving on to another restaurant to enjoy dessert. Depending on how much you share throughout the night, you might not make it to this point. And dessert is always the best part of the meal.

Before heading out I check the local restaurant's websites to see what places sound good for either appetizers, desserts or entrees. I usually have a list of extra restaurants to fall back on. For this trip I had two nights worth of restaurants and a few extras to pick from.

The plan was to start with Caffe Expresso for a pick me up and a stop at the Tapas Room for a cheese sampler plate and wine. Then heading to the Black and Tan restaurant for pumpkin soup and a drink. Next stop Fusion Lounge for appetizers and another drink. Then stopping at the Republic Chophouse for the entree, making sure to check out the desserts along the way for a return trip.

So we started our plan with a stop at Caffe Espresso, but we added a small dessert to our coffee round. We had three cups of Pretty Boy, which we were told tasted like pumpkin. A Pretty Boy was Chai latte with Irish cream, white creme de cacao, espresso and cinnamon. We shared the Cranberry Orange Biscotti which was not too dry like so many biscotti before have been. A great treat to start the adventure out right.

On our drive to Caffe Espresso we saw that the Tapas Room was closed. I had noticed a posting on the web stating it was closed, but we just had to find out for ourselves This restaurant was excellent for small plates to share and we were sad to hear about the closing. So after having coffee we walked down the block and crossed the street to the Black and Tan Restaurant. Each time we have eaten there we just sit in the bar. On the website they listed a Pumpkin Bisque on the menu, but that ended just two weeks before we got there. But they did have a Creamy Acorn Squash with Bacon soup. We ordered the soup and also an order of Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, which is the best Bruschetta I've ever had. The drinks there are also very good.

After finishing we drove a couple of blocks to Chefusion and headed upstairs to the Fusion Lounge for sweet potato fries with Bleu Cheese dipping sauce. The lounge menu has a lot of small plates to choose from. And the drink menu is so wonderful, they make a number of special drinks. We had thought of maybe having a second appetizer and then moving on to the Republic Chophouse, but after hearing the dinner specials I knew we weren't leaving this restaurant at all.

The Arctic Char over a bed of pasta and the Halibut over rice were unbelievable. I should have written down word by word how it was described by the waitress. You could tell just by how our waitress read the specials that it was going to be amazing and it was... The Halibut, rice and sauce was more of a sweet sauce and the bed of pasta a little on the good salty side. So different in taste but so complementary to the fish in it's dish. After having such great dishes we decided to stay there for dessert too. We ordered the Lemon Butter Cake and the Mascarpone Cheesecake. The lemon cake came with homemade ice cream. The lemon cake was the best dessert I have ever had. It just melted in your mouth.

Next time in Green Bay I am stopping and staying for the whole meal at Che Fusion. It is my favorite Green Bay Restaurant.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Giuseppe's Squash Ravioli

Giuseppe's Squash Ravioli

On Thursday nights Giuseppe's has a special buy one ravioli dish and get the second one free. It's better with a cream sauce than a red sauce. The inside mixtures is so delectable. Tonight's was the best ravioli dish from there. I don't know if they have updated the dish, but it is wonderful. The salad Insalata Di Villaggio -Italian meats and cheese salad was another great treat.

Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Chips
Notice the color of the chip and the color on the bag. That's how yellow my chip were.

The taste is good. Not like must chips out there that claim to be health for you. My dad bought store brand carrot chips from the grocery store. Only 600 calories in 2 cups. You could eat at Arby's and get a sandwich, fries, and a drink for about 400 calories, and be full too. The carrot chip he bought tasted bad too. Why eat something that taste bad. For me Terra brand chips taste good. I have tried a couple styles of Terra and have been happy with them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

pumpkin spice cookies

Another cool gift. This was given to me by Cathy Plantenberg. She found it on the clearance bin. I have the most awesome friends.

Pumpkin from Carol

Carol a friend of my gave me this on Tuesday. Her sister found it at the farmers market. It's not a pumpkin but some kind of squash. Oh how I just love my friends and all of their help. Thank you Carol Larson my Amway rep friend.

gifts from friends

Butternut squash

Butternut squash

1 large butternut squash -peeled, cut into 1/2 slices
1/2 cup unsalted butter - melted
1/4 honey
1/2 chopped pecan
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and slice squash. Pour half of the melted butter into bottom of a pan. Place squash into the pan. Mix butter, honey, nuts, Cinnamon and pour over the squash. Cook for 45 minutes. Test with fork.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Curry Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Looking for a different spin on Mashed Sweet Potatoes this is the recipe. I could see eating Curry Chicken dish with this.

Curry Spiced Sweet Potatoes
Cooking Light magazine

  • 6 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well; return to pan. Keep warm.

Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots to pan; cook 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar, salt, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add shallot mixture, half-and-half, and lemon juice to potato. Mash potato mixture with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pecan Pumpkin Waffles

Pecan Pumpkin Waffles
from the Waffles cookbook by Donna Rathmell German

1 egg, separated
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbs brown sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
4 tbs butter
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Beat egg white in a small bowl until stiff and set aside. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Combine egg yolk, milk, pumpkin and butter. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Add nuts and fold in with beaten egg white until just mixed. Do not over beat batter.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

When you know your soup has gone bad. It turns from a yellow tan to a brown chunky color. Bought a box of pumpkin tortilla soup from the store about a month ago. Opened it up and noticed the color right away. It smelled wonderful, really. Looked at the date on the box 07/oct/10. Yeah, it was really old. Got to thinking why not just shoot the soup as is and not eat it