Archive | May, 2011

Big Banana Night – Caribe Caribbean Bistro

27 May

Big Banana Night was hosted by Caribe Bistro, Shaina from Food for My Family and Dole Banana, since the Twin Cities is one of their Banana’s After Dark markets.

We started with Banana S’mores made by Shaina’s husband Ole.

Then moved inside for a delicious dinner, starting with the chickpea curry over fried bread, topped with banana ketchup as the amuse-bouche.

From there we moved on to an amazing crab cake topped with grilled banana aioli.

Our entrée was a grilled 5-spice rubbed frenched lamb chop (well, three to be exact) topped with a spicy banana-mango chutney. This was served with a side of coconut curry bananas and jasmine rice.

Dessert was a creamy banana coconut rum créme brulée

There were also two different banana drinks to go with our meals, and Adam Schulte from Ale Jail was there with beer that would pair well with the banana flavors in the food.

It was a wonderful banana filled evening. Thanks again to Heidi and Tony, Shaina and Ole & Chris from Dole Bananas for a fantastic dinner.

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Birthday Cookin’

26 May

I’m going to be talking about this birthday a lot. Go easy on me it’s a decade birthday and those kinda suck. My new coping method is to cook. I did a test round of the birthday chicken cutlet and since I was in to frying and breading stuff, I decided to make eggplant parmesan as well. This is of course after making the marinara sauce too.

It is a cardinal sin in my home to use sauce from a jar. Ew. 

The Chicken came amazingly well, I mean look at that bubbling cheese!

The eggplant also good, but not as magical as the chicken.

I make the eggplant more so maybe I’m just desensitized to the awesomeness.

I’m planning to make a bigger batch of chicken this weekend. Thinking about posting the recipe, for the first time ever. Anyone interested?

MNFoodBloogers – Heidi’s Minneapolis

25 May

When I started my blog I really expected it to be all food focused, which it mostly is. What I never counted on was meeting a devoted, inspirational, fun group of people and forming a network of really close friends and fantastic people who I consider my food blogging peers.

These are some of the most encouraging, smartest, kindest, coolest people I have ever met, and I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing group! Whenever I’m looking for ideas, encouragement or just curious about something my Food Blogger friends are there to help.

Now Heidi’s was fantastic, we had a multitude of bit sized deliciousness that ranged from curried lamb bites to blue cheese on a crostini, but of course I was so busy talking to everyone I completely neglected to take any photos of the food. We also had a few speciality drinks made including a ‘blond bombshell’ and a ‘Kate in the Kitchen’. The Kate had celery bitters as part of the recipe and was fantastic!

I haven’t eaten a full meal at Heidi’s but based on this gathering I can’t wait to go back. It was a great combination of savory and rich but not over the top. I really enjoyed the food and look forward to coming back soon.

And as always, I can’t wait for the next MNFoodBloggers gathering.

Big Birthday Plans

8 May

This year for my birthday I’ve decided instead of going out for a big fancy dinner, I’ve decided to make one of my favorite family recipes from childhood. Chicken Parmesan. I’ve also been asked to make Eggplant Parmesan, it’s going to be a weekend devoted to Italiana.

I’m very excited since I’ve never tried this on my own using my family recipe. As many of you know, I have many skills, but cooking isn’t way up on the list of core competencies, which as I’ve explained before is why I surround myself with chefs and good cooks, and Italians.

Also, I can’t wait for fresh grown tomatoes out of the backyard!

I’m planning to document my progress and recipe, that is if I’m allowed to share the Toscano Family recipes.

More soon!

Family Recipes

4 May

I am in the unique position in my family in which everyone I’m surrounded by loves to cook. This being the case I don’t get a ton of time in the kitchen, unless we are short-handed in which case I end up the sous- chef. Although my seven-year old has taken such an interest that she usually beats me to it. My husband, father and mother all are creative, talented cooks and I am the beneficiary of some sincerely amazing food.

Examples are our family’s special broccoli pasta recipe, invented in part by a family friend who is one of the other 6 Italian’s in the Twin Cities and a brilliant artist, Joe Giannetti.

In addition to broccoli pasta my husband has come up with some amazing recipes such as Salmon and Orzo, pork ramen, Inari sushi, red beans and rice, and a teriyaki chicken, which is such a precious family recipe that I am sworn to secrecy under pain of great sadness.

What kind of family recipes do you have? Don’t worry, I’m not asking for the recipe, only what it is.

Small Commercial Break

3 May

Heart Disease is a BIG killer of women, in fact did you know that more than twice as many women will die each year from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined? Yes, even including breast cancer.

This can be changed, and you can help! Join me at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s 4th Annual To Her Health Wine Dinner 2011 on May 12th.

Now, I know you’re thinking why am I reading a commercial? Well I’ll tell you why.

  1. I’ve had the pleasure of attending this event the past few years, and the food is amazing. It’s at a different restaurant every year. It has been held at swanky places such as Spill the Wine, Spasso and this year at TAXXI.
  2. Heart Disease is BAD NEWS, and YOU can help!
  3. WINE – good wine, and I find a new favorite every year!
  4. My father works at this amazing organization, and I will personally introduce you if you come!

As an additional bonus the EMCEE this year is none other than Brittany Thelemann, Miss Minnesota USA 2011.

Ok, commercial break over, now back to our regularly scheduled posts.