Sunday, June 19, 2011

Food Tour

Last weekend Skirell, my boyfriend, and I did a mini food tour of Minneapolis as his birthday present.  Luckily, we both love to cook and eat!  After researching some of the different restaurants that have been featured on TV shows, we settled on Al's Breakfast, The Weinery, and Matt's Bar.

Al's Breakfast was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2007.  It is in the Dinkytown neighborhood, right by the University of Minnesota campus.  It is the narrowest restaurant I have ever been in!  We waited an hour in a single file line against a wall, behind those eating, while waiting for them to finish.  The plus side to waiting was I could see what everyone else was ordering.  I decided to copy everyone else and go for the Blueberry pancakes and ordered it with a side of sour cream.  Strange, but someone else tried it, so I went with it.  Amazing!  For it just being breakfast, it was one of the best I have had.  If you are ever up there, or to my Minnesota friends, you need to go!
Us waiting for people to finish their breakfast so we could have a seat.

This shows how much room there is to stand behind those eating.  Those yellow books you see on the shelf are for people who pre-pay on their account.  They keep track by hand.

On Sunday, we went to The Weinery in the West Bank neighborhood.  It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2008.  I actually don't have any pictures from this place, because we didn't feel the most welcome.  Our server was nicer than I expected she would be in a place like that, but it was just an odd place.  The hot dogs were decent, but nothing to go crazy over.  Skirell got his wrapped in bacon, which he said was really good.  They did have really good fries though!  It definitely seemed to be a neighborhood place, but I think you can skip this one.

After seeing my old college roommate Julia and her family for a couple hours, we were debating between the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar for Jucy Lucy's.  They were both featured on Food Wars in 2010, and claim to have invented the burger.  Matt's was the winner, so we decided to try it.  For those that don't know what a Ju(i)cy Lucy is, it is a stuffed cheeseburger.  I believe Matt's had originally spelled 'Juicy' wrong on their menu, and stuck with it and still spells it 'Jucy'.  It is very much a dive bar on Cedar Ave.  You hang around until you see an open table then grab it before someone else beats you to it.  When we were there, there was one bartender and one server taking care of the whole place.  Somehow, they were able to make it work. We felt much more welcome here than we did at The Weinery!  The burgers and fries were awesome!  I definitely recommend making a trip there, and I will for sure go back- at least after I give 5-8 Club a try next time!
Mmmm....I already want to go back.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sloppy Joes From Scratch

After watching one episode of 'Throwdown with Bobby Flay', I got inspired to make homemade Sloppy Joes.  This is the only recipe I have used to do so because it's addicting.  The recipe is kind of involved, but totally worth it in the end!

2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Large Diced Onion
1 Small Red Pepper- Trimmed, Seeded, and Diced
4 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tsp Dried Marjoram
2 lbs Ground Beef
3- 8 oz cans Tomato Sauce
3 Tbs Sugar
3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs Yellow Mustard
Salt and Pepper

In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium low heat, add onions, saute for 5 minutes.  Add peppers and cook for 5 minutes more.  Stir in garlic and marjoram, continue to cook for 2 minutes more.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl with slotted spoon and set aside.  Add meat to pan and increase heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes.  Discard excess fat.  Combine meat and vegetables with tomato sauce, sugar, worcestshire, vinegar, and mustard.  Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  They taste best on soft hamburger buns! 

Homemade Ice Cream- Yes, please!

I follow ‘Cooking with all things Trader Joes’ on Facebook and came across this great and easy recipe for instant ice cream.  I buy their angel food cake to go along with it, and its the perfect dessert!

12 oz Bag of Frozen Fruit (I like Mixed Berry)
2/3 cup Half & Half (I use Fat Free)
1/4 cup Sugar
Combine the sugar and half & half until the sugar dissolves.  Do not thaw the fruit.  Add frozen fruit to food processor and chop it up roughly.  Add cream to the fruit and process until smooth.  Serve right away or freeze.

And Now the Ball is Rolling...

I have had this idea stirring in me for quite some time now.  I take pictures of everything I eat, regardless if I made it myself or not.  I figured, why not start a blog and share?  So forgive me for playing catch up.