Welcome to Minnesota!
Home of the British? If you didn’t get that, take a closer look at the photo above. I arrived back in my lovely home state last week and am so excited to be here for two whole weeks! Okay, enough with the exclamation points. As I mentioned last week, this complicates dinner planning slightly, mainly in that I don’t have my beloved dinner chalkboard with me on this trip (poor planning). I’ve been cooking for my parents to give them some extra fancy dinners. Their summer consists of going to work (until 4 PM–jealous), then coming home and almost immediately hopping on their tandem bicycle and riding all over the place for a couple hours. Since Minnesota winters are so brutal, they’re trying to soak up every last bit of daylight and warm weather, so their dinner routine is fairly simple most nights–chicken, veggies, fish, fruit, etc. Plus lots of ice cream.
Even though I’m hoarding some of our dinners for upcoming blog posts, I thought it’d be fun to recap a few dinners we’ve had or plan to have this week. Oh, and also playing a major role in these dinners is an abundance of garden fresh (I’m in heaven!) produce from my Dad’s cousin’s garden. Fresh as in still covered in dirt when it arrives–fine by me! If you have a CSA or garden, you might be in the same excellent predicament of planning meals around the current crop. Ours includes red cabbage, tomatoes, rutabaga, brussels sprouts, spring onions, and probably some others I forgot about. I’d love to hear your recipes and uses for a bumper crop of seasonal produce–add a comment below with your ideas.
- Cheesy caramelized onion tart on potato crust (coming soon to the blog!)
- Taco salad buffet (pictured above): red cabbage and cilantro salad, fresh pico de gallo, roasted corn and red pepper salsa, avocado, shredded cheddar, lime and cumin yogurt sauce, and organic yellow corn chips
- Gingery coconut stew with brussels and rutabaga (stellar recipe) over brown basmati rice
- Spaghetti squash pie with homemade mushroom marinara
The food highlight of my trip so far came on Saturday after a morning walk around Lake Calhoun. We stopped at Victor’s 1959 Cafe, a Cuban spot featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back in 2008, and still going strong. And for good reason–the food was unique, flavorful, and super satisfying. I had the Arroz a la Cubana, a vegetarian dish featuring sweet fried plantains with a tomato-based creole sauce, poached eggs over white rice, and yuca frites with this insane vinegar tasting, slightly thick sauce. If you live nearby, stop wasting time and GO. I beg you.
I hope you enjoy the photos of my visit so far (mostly centered around food). Just because I’m traveling the recipes aren’t stopping, so check back later this week for a S’mores Pie that will keep your kitchen cool and help you put your new meringue knowledge to good use! My mom helped me with the pour shots last night and I think having an assistant made all the difference.