A trip to Cafe Latté is a must for anybody living in or visiting the Twin Cities. Located on St. Paul’s famous Grand Ave., Cafe Latté has what is arguably the best cake to be found in the Twin Cities area. In addition cake, they also offer several different types of soups, salads, and sandwiches, which vary from day to day and season to season.
What can we say about grits other than, “they’re pretty ‘grit’ “? Many moons ago, before this long and cold winter came and overstayed its welcome (it’s still here!), Jane and I were reading recipes online and somehow got on the topic of grits. “What are these crazy ‘grit’ things, and how do they taste?”, we wondered. Being the “good northerners” that we were, we proceeded to mock them and spread nasty rumors about how we’ve heard that they’re something like oatmeal. Boy, were we ever wrong.
Grits, my friends, are an amazing and versatile dish made from crushed, dried corn kernels that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can also be mixed with cheese, meat, and vegetables to contend as a main dish in their own right, guaranteed to stick to your ribs and provide you with that good ole “southern comfort” feeling. After making and eating grits, we repented of our ignorant northerner ways, and invited grits into our home as a family recipe. Since that time, we have begun to experiment by using grits as a base for amazing main dishes, such as this recipe here.
To make our delicious steamy ham and cheese grits, you will need the list of ingredients below, an 8″x4″ meatloaf pan (nonstick works best), and an oven preheated to 350 degrees. You may find that an 8″x4″ pan does not make nearly enough of these delicious grits (we never have leftovers with this size). In that case, you can double the recipe for an 8″x8″ pan (this also fits well in a 9″x9″), or triple the recipe for a 9″x13″ pan of these steamy grits.
This BBQ turkey chili recipe is one of my most famous discoveries, and it is an honor to be able to share it on this blog. Jane and I really love this delicious turkey chili dish on rice, and are thrilled to “gobble” down the leftovers each time we make it.
This legendary recipe was discovered in the dead of a Minnesota winter when it was too cold to brave the outdoors and risk our lives to buy fresh groceries at the store. We scoured the freezer and pantry in our famished state for any sort of items we could use to make a hearty dish of satisfying sustenance. Ever since that fateful moment, this dish has been a legend, and has been enjoyed by us many a time in both times of few and times of plenty.
In order to make this mouth-watering, savory, and delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili on rice, you will need the following list of ingredients, a large frying pan, and a crockpot (optional).
Among all the places in the Twin Cities, there are few to none which can be compared with Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market. Located on East Lake Street in south Minneapolis, Midtown Global Market offers a vast array of foods ranging all the way from Hispanic to Caribbean to African to Middle Eastern to Asian and back. In addition to hot and prepared food, there are many small shops and stalls which sell spices, normally hard to find ingredients, canned goods, frozen goods, baked goods, cheeses, and handmade crafts. On occasion, musicians add their own “spice” to the market by performing at the center. A visit to the market is a must for anyone living in the Twin Cities.
After reading this turkey burger recipe on Crepes of Wrath several months ago, I bookmarked it and then promptly forgot about it — until last Friday, when I was searching for some dinner inspiration online.
These turkey burgers were absolutely delicious. I modified several of the ingredients to the what I had on hand, and since we didn’t have buns or bread, I used our pizza dough recipe to make flatbread instead.
The pita-like breads were the perfect complement to the juicy, savory turkey burgers, which we topped with Dubliner cheese and caramelized onions and mushrooms. Served alongside a simple spinach salad of carrots, cheese, pistachios, and raisins, it’s a meal that we will definitely be repeating in the future.
I’ve always been intrigued by recipes for stuffed peppers, though I’ve never made them. So, last weekend I decided enough was enough — and planned to make stuffed green peppers.
Last Sunday, Michael and I ended up spending a leisurely afternoon with friends at an antique show at the HarMar Mall in Roseville. While there, Michael went to Cub Foods for me to buy a couple green peppers to stuff. He came back with 3 red peppers instead — they were on sale for $1 each! So naturally, we then returned to the store together and bought even more of them, and my plans were changed to stuffed red peppers.
Well, it turns out that my first attempt at stuffed peppers was quite the successful attempt, despite my approach of using as many leftovers as I could find in the fridge. By using leftover rice in the recipe, total prep + cooking time is an easy 45 minutes. The filling in this recipe makes enough to fill 3 peppers, halved lengthwise, though I only stuffed 2 peppers and saved the rest of the filling to use later.
Last Thursday, Jane and I visited the Noodles & Company at the Mall of America for a bite to eat. Noodles & Company is a quick and casual dining experience with over 20 locations in the Twin Cities, and many more across the country. They serve soups, salads, some sandwiches and many noodle dishes inspired by Asian, Mediterranean, and traditional American recipes. My personal favorite dish from Noodles & Company is the Indonesian peanut sauté — a dish consisting of rice noodles in a peanut sauce with stir-fried broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime. This time I elected for the $7.75 “make it a trio” option, adding meatballs and a coconut-hinted Thai curry soup. Jane also decided to “make it a trio” with her Chinese chop salad and go with the grilled chicken breast and the tomato basil bisque soup. The Chinese chop salad Jane decided on is billed as having sesame-soy tossed mixed greens, bean sprouts, cabbage, red pepper, cucumbers, carrots, and fried wontons.
My mom found this recipe in one of her Taste of Home cooking magazines several years ago, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. It combines a cornbread-like polenta with a simple tomato-sausage sauce, which is topped with cheese and baked to perfection.
As my mom could tell you, I often request this dish when I’m visiting my parents’ house. Last week, I decided to try my own hand at making this delicious polenta. And, believe me, it was DELICIOUS. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list — it does take around an hour to make, but it’s still an easy weeknight recipe.
Last Thursday, Jane and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in the Stadium Village neighborhood of Minneapolis near the U of M — Bona. Bona is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves phở (pronounced similar to “fun” without the ‘n’) and other delicious Vietnamese dishes as well as several Chinese-inspired dishes that you’d typically find at a Chinese restaurant in the United States or Canada. Pho is a hot soup consisting of rice noodles, green onion, and meat in a savory beef broth, and makes for an excellent meal on a cold Minnesota winter day (i.e. anytime between November and April), which is one reason we love Bona so much.
Oh, boy. This is one FANTASTIC meal. It is, and we’re not even kidding. When I first moved to the Twin Cities, I began shopping at my local Cub and Rainbow for groceries. Every time I passed through the aisle with spaghetti sauces, I somehow managed to notice a jar from Classico labeled “Vodka Sauce”. I began to wonder what such a sauce would taste like, so I went home and threw a shot of vodka into some marinara sauce. It was horrifying. After that point, I began to wonder who in their right mind would even like such a crazy sauce.
Then, one day, I was brave and thought, “Well, you know, I must have just screwed that one up, and I bet Classico could do a better job.” At this point, I searched online for what vodka sauce really was to discover that it was a tomato sauce mixed with cream and vodka. I forgot to add the cream (and probably other things too) when I foolishly tried to create such an amazing sauce. So I ran to the store and picked up a jar of the wonderful bliss called vodka sauce.
The recipe described here is amazing, yet also very simple. It was discovered as a result of thinking “what if we were to mix…” etc. We created a recipe for a sauce that can be served with meatballs and rice. In fact, it’s not a necessity to use meatballs, as this recipe goes quite well with stir-fried pork meat on rice or even pierogies.