Nye’s Polonaise Room — “Best bar in America”

Decor inside Nye's bar
Decor inside Nye’s bar

Nye’s Polonaise Room, located on Hennepin Avenue in “Nordeast” Minneapolis and voted best bar in America by Esquire magazine, is probably the most exciting and fun place Jane and I have been to in the Twin Cities thus far. Nye’s is not Polynesian, but rather Polonaise — the French word for Polish. Nye’s features authentic, imported Polish beer, great food, and fantastic live music from the “World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band.”

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Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Tonight, Michael emailed me before leaving work and suggested that we make butternut squash for dinner tonight. I thought it was a good idea, but had never cooked it before, so I promptly googled “how to cook butternut squash.” After putting the squash in the oven, I then had to figure out what to do with them after they were baked.

I decided to make a simple filling of mushrooms, herbs, and butter for the squash, which I added just before the squash were done baking. The squash was delicious — Michael said he wants me to make them again, and was only disappointed that I hadn’t baked two squash instead of one.

Updated 09/17/12: This recipe can also be used to make a delicious, sweet side dish! Just top the roasted squash with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg instead of the listed filling ingredients.

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Crescent rolls filled with Nutella, corned beef, and other goodies

Crescent rolls filled with Nutella, corned beef, and other goodies

Crescent rolls are the quick and delicious alternative to croissants. They’re easy and relatively quick to make — I’ve made them twice in the past week. They’re also perfect for special occasions. Michael’s family regularly makes then for holiday dinners.

I first made these crescent rolls last Thursday for Michael’s birthday. They were delicious, so I made them again this past weekend — and decided to try filling the rolls with goodies such as Nutella, corned beef, cheese, herbs, and even maple syrup. Filling the rolls doesn’t add much time to the preparation, but it makes the crescent rolls even more delicious and impressive-looking.

Our favorite fillings were corned beef and cheese, and Nutella. The corned beef and cheese-filled rolls would make an excellent picnic or fishing snack. Additionally, the Nutella-filled rolls would be great for breakfast or dessert, especially with a cup of tea or coffee. But don’t limit yourself to the fillings we tried — try your own combination and let us know how it turns out!

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Lemon fluff — a delicious, light, and refreshing dessert

Lemon fluff

Michael and I made this simple and delicious lemon fluff dessert on Sunday afternoon. It’s a light dessert, so it’s the perfect end to a satisfying meal — and you won’t feel like you’re about to burst after you eat it. We used Michael’s mom’s recipe, which is just one of the delicious recipes in Michael’s family cookbook. We hope that you’ll make it one of your family recipes too!

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Ham and red pepper frittata

Ham and red pepper frittata

Michael and I have declared Saturday mornings to be brunch mornings — it’s the only day of the week where we have time to actually cook breakfast. But we still like to have some simple but delicious recipes for lazy Saturday mornings, and this frittata we made yesterday morning is both simple and delicious.

Frittatas are great because they are quick and easy to make, and they allow for you to substitute almost anything you have on hand into the filling. For this frittata, we used some leftover cooked ham we had in the fridge, as well as some red peppers and onions. We both gave it two thumbs up, and will definitely be making more frittatas in the future.

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Kabocha squash curry

Kabocha squash curry

This simple vegan curry was a hit with both Michael and myself. It’s full of Indian spices, and was delicious when served over rice. Though the recipe originally called for zucchini as the main ingredient, we chose to use a kabocha squash instead, which is a Japanese pumpkin. One unique feature of kabocha squash is that the skin is edible — you can simply wash it and then it’s ready to cook and eat. We think it was the perfect substitution for this recipe, but feel free to use zucchini, cauliflower, or another vegetable if you prefer.

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Green bean and red potato hot dish

Green bean and red potato hot dish

According to Minnesotans, this recipe would be considered “hot dish.” When I moved to Minnesota last year, I had no idea what “hot dish” was, but I soon found out that it was essentially a casserole — usually with a cream of mushroom or chicken soup. Michael made this green bean and red potato hot dish last week with the green beans that my parents gave us.

The verdict? Michael says it was one of the best “haaaaat dishes” he’s ever eaten. I, on the other hand, have never liked green beans all that much. But I liked this casserole too — especially the delicious red potato topping!

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