Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dinner in the Garden 2014


For the last couple years, each summer we have hosted a dinner in the garden where we set up a formal dinner outside and celebrate the wonderful foods that we are growing in our own and local farmers gardens. We missed last year with all of our remodeling so we were excited to get back on our normal routine.  I love creating the menu and cooking some fun new foods and sharing them with our friends.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mango and Peach Salsa Burgers




It's summer and for my birthday last month I treated myself to a new grill and smoker. I love smoking meat but I wasn't a huge fan of the electric smoker I purchased a few years ago so I didn't use it much except for a turkey at Thanksgiving. My new grill is a Traeger and it smokes as well as grills and I've been experimenting with it as much as I can. My favorite thing so far has been the huge pork butt I smoke a few weeks ago. We used it for over a week and had everything from sandwiches to tacos with the meat. My mouth waters even now when I think about it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lemon Coconut and Strawberry "Shortcake" Cupcakes



 We've redesigned our entire backyard this year and have been hard at work rearranging, creating new garden boxes and re-purposing our old patio. Part of all the movement included digging up hundreds of our old strawberry plants and replanting them in their new home. We've got a whole dedicated area for them now and hope they go crazy and produce tons of new berries. We figured with all the movement they wouldn't produce anything this year but after getting them back in the ground, they perked right up and are now in full blossom and ready to fruit! Our Minnesota winter puts us behind most of the country though so it will still be a few weeks before we get to pick the fruit.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wild Rice and Hummus Burgers







I don't like the idea of veggie burgers more for the reason that people are typically trying to use them as a substitute for a real meat burger. And there is no substitute. Period. But if instead you just want to have a really good sandwich and it happens to not have any meat in it, I'm all for that. And honestly with these Wild Rice and Hummus "burgers" I'm OK with them not having any meat. I almost topped them with some bacon though. And that would have made them just that much better.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Salted Caramel "Ding Dong" Cake



Life just gets away from you sometimes. Things have just been so busy and unfortunately that meant that I didn't even post once in March. I've still been cooking and baking plenty but the drive to photograph and write up anything just wasn't there.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Mardi Gras King Cake


It's that time of year again to celebrate Mardi Gras! When we lived in New Orleans we loved going to the family friendly parades and watching the kids (and adults) gather as many beads and gifts as they possibly could. With the snow packed up higher than our cars here in Minnesota this year, it's hard to imagine that we were somewhere else this time of year enjoying the warmth of a late evening out at the parade.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homemade Bread Bowls


We are surrounded by walls of snow that are taller than our cars which means it was a stay in the house and pretend the snow isn't there kind of weekend. Breanne's parents are also here this week as well as two new foster kids so to keep 10 people from going crazy we decided to re-finish my office. Yeah, cause we just weren't busy enough to start with. That project involved scraping and refinishing the ceiling, painting walls, trim and doors and redecorating. It's one of the last rooms in the house that we hadn't remodeled and it is nice to have it done. Still have a bit of decorating to finish up and then I'll post some pictures.