Category Archives: Minneapolis

Farmers Market Find: Turkish Eggplant

Last week’s visit to the Minneapolis Farmers Market felt like cheating when I came home with bagfuls of produce. I loaded up on so many fresh (and dried) items which is a bit rare this late in the season, but this warm Minnesota fall has treated us well. I picked up carrots, kale, Brussels spouts, lettuce, potatoes, onions, herbs galore, and more!

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Turkish Eggplants hanging out at the farmers market.

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Volunteering at Open Arms of Minnesota

Photo from Open Arms of Minnesota's website.

Photo from Open Arms of Minnesota’s website.

Volunteer work has become a part of my life in one form or another since I moved to Minnesota, a very important one for that matter. I’ve recently become more active with Open Arms of Minnesota in Minneapolis, “the only non-profit organization in Minnesota that cooks and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS.” Helping to nourish others while they are sick (and their families) is a cause I care about and am glad to be able to support. Continue reading

Eastlake Brewery & Taproom Opens in Minneapolis Midtown

This post originally appeared on Minnesota Beer Activists.

Eastlake Brewery & Taproom opened Thursday in the Midtown Global Market after a busy preview night. Wednesday was full of energy with staff and neighboring businesses passing out hearty food samples to accompany the beers. IMG_0370.PNGManny’s Tortas, anyone? Owner Ryan Pitman was running around pouring, bussing and welcoming friends. I was lucky to get a few minutes with him to talk about his venture which has been in the works for a year.

The taproom is perfectly positioned on the south side of the building with windows facing Lake Street so there is no missing that a good time is being had inside. Long tables and ample bar and window seating make the space very welcoming. This bodes well for Eastlake as they are probably the only business that people can see from outside.

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Eastlake Brewery opened with four taps out of eight: Saison, American Rye Stout, Belgian Pale Ale, and a black IPA. Ryan says he definitely has an affinity for Belgian beers as we can see from his taplist. An American Pale Ale and a Belgian IPA will be on tap next week and the additional two will follow. I asked him about what style he wants to put on the map, Ryan says it’s the Nicollet Mauler, the Black IPA. He is particularly fond of his recipe because of its maltier backbone and his use of rye. Continue reading

Bitter Melon – What is that thing?

IMG_4828Yesterday’s chilly weather called for oven-dried tomatoes, so I popped into the Minneapolis Farmers Market for a bucket of Romas. “Just ONE bucket of tomatoes!” I told myself.  Of course I wandered around and ended up purchasing a bunch more produce. I really can’t help myself.

The most exciting find was bitter melon, that bumpy, cucumber looking, vegetable thing that is actually a gourd. In researching recipes, I learned that bitter melon is used widely in Asian cooking, including beverages. The most surprising detail was that it is used in beer as a bittering agent in place of hops in China and Japan. Not surprising, after tasting a raw piece. Continue reading

Spring at the Farmers Market

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Radishes at the Kingfield Farmers Market

You may or may not know this, but I am a OBSESSED with farmers markets. I have been a volunteer at my local market for over three years (since I moved into the neighborhood) helping people get set up and most recently, helping with the operations committee. It’s naturally a great place to get fresh produce and local products, but also a place for people to come together and have a great experience.

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Happy Hour Nibble – The Bulldog Northeast

Ah The Bulldog Northeast, one of my favorite places to get a drink and nachos. Known for their array of beers, especially of the Belgian variety, this is a great place to eat, drink, and watch a game. There are four Bulldogs in the Twin Cities, but this one is the best in my opinion because of the ambiance and food menu. The stainless bar is the center of the bright space with over 20 taps that rotate frequently.

Victory DirtWolf Imperial IPA

Victory DirtWolf Imperial IPA

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Happy Hour Nibble – Moto-I

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I think it is a fair assessment to say that Moto-I has become our favorite happy hour spot, at least on Fridays. Over the last six months we’ve dubbed Friday #ramenfriday because a bowl of ramen is just essential after a long week. But that didn’t happen last night so I’ll save that joy for a future post.

We showed up a little after 5 and the bar was full, luckily two gentlemen were just leaving so that worked in our favor. I was a little surprised at the lack of seats so early, but Dara did just write about the best ramen in the TC and Moto-I topped the list. I was glad to see that they got such high honors, but then again she blew the lid on my secret spot where I can always get a seat. If you haven’t been, it is a large building with very minimal signage so I am sure it is hard to find. Once inside you’ll find a good size bar with Minnesota craft beers on tap and house-made sake. The happy hour is one of the best.

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A Celebratory Snowstorm

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The title may seem like an oxymoron, but in this household, we love snowstorms – when we can actually get out to enjoy them. This winter has been rough, we’ve been trapped in the neverending polar vortex throwing -40 degree wind chills and every snowfall seems to happen overnight so we haven’t gone out, until today. Jaunts generally entail bundling up in our winter walking gear and heading to a pub, restaurant, or both. Enter Blackbird, our favorite neighborhood spot.

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