Tag Archives: Food

Raclette at Home – Interactive Cheese!

Have you had raclette yet? Do you know what it is?

In my experience, not many people have had it or are familiar with it so I’m here to help! Raclette is a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland which melts easily and is also a dish that originated in the Alps. The traditional cheese meal is served with boiled potatoes, cornichons, pickled pearl onions (cocktail onions) and white pepper. It’s a simple and delicious meal that is best enjoyed in the company of others with lots of wine.

Raclette meal

I first had raclette in a restaurant in Switzerland, then at a friend’s house shortly after our return. Both experiences were fun and delicious, though the serving style was very different. I loved the home version because it was participatory and an event. We bought a raclette grill a couple of years later and love hosting dinner at our house during the winter months. If you enjoy fondue or anything  that encourages playing with food, this is for you.

Even though I love to cook, I will tell you this is my favorite dinner to host because: 1. It’s fun to introduce people to new foods 2. It’s EASY to pull off (opening jars and pre-sliced meats and cheeses for the win!) 3. Lots of wine (it helps with digestion!) 4. It’s INTERACTIVE CHEESE!

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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

Stuffed Jalapeños and Squash Blossom Appetizers

I’m making this one short and sweet. The market is out of control so you have to cook fast or that produce will go bad! I found these great squash blossoms and had a ton of jalapeños so thought “appetizers!”

I am convinced that frying things in the house is not for me so I decided to bake stuffed  jalapeños wrapped in prosciutto (inspired by Amanda Paa) and breaded squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese. Here is a visual guide.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Slice and seed the jalapeños. Slice the cheese into long pieces. I used smoked Gouda. IMG_4356

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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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Beer Dinner – A Night in Belgium

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Rich and I finally traveled to Belgium last year after dreaming about it for about a decade. Craft beer has been my drink of choice since college, but Belgian beers have always held a special place in my heart above others. So after talking about traveling to Belgium every time we drank a Le Chouffe or Chimay, Rich and I finally bought two tickets to beer paradise (cheesy, I know, but it’s true). We were on the pursuit of beer, the rest would fall into place.

I have a couple of friends who spent some time in Belgium and graciously shared maps and stories prior to our trip so thought it would be fun to have a Belgian beer dinner to celebrate Belgium? Or Beer? Either way, it is so cold in Minnesota right now that some rich Belgian food alongside some delicious beers would do the trick to warm us up.

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Cooking up a Hobby

Plans got cancelled on Sunday so I embraced my new-found freedom and committed to cooking. I never thought I had a hobby until I realized that I tend to spend entire days tackling one cooking project after another. My goal is to stay home a bit more and do this more often. I can sit in my sunny kitchen all day long and be entertained.

So what did I whip up?

First on the list was the caramelized onion recipe from Beth Dooley’s lovely book, Minnesota’s Bounty. This version appealed to me because of the use of wine to braise the onions. Lovely to look at and delicious.

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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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