Archive | July, 2011

Kitchen in the Market

28 Jul

My new favorite place to hang out recently is Kitchen in the Market at Midtown Global Market. Kitchen in the Market is an interactive commercial kitchen space.  In addition, they offer cooking classes, host special food events and are all around an amazing place.

Owners are the beautiful and talented Molly Hermann of Taste Bud Tart and Tracy Morgan of  Segnavia Creative. Molly and Tracy make an incredible team and I love hearing all the new fun things they are coming up with every time I stop by.

Another reason Kitchen in the Market is so wonderful is that it takes a bit of the mystique out of a commercial kitchen. For people like me, that may be a bit intimidated by professional chefs and trying to throw a decent meal together KITM helps to make it more accessible.

They also have an amazing deli/refrigerated case that is always full of different yummy stuff made by the chefs who are using the space. Since the chefs who use the space are in and out the stuff in the deli case is almost always changing, but looks amazing every time I visit.

KITM also has a shop which is stocked with spices, kitchen tools and more. The website says it perfectly, “It’s a shop for cooks – inspired by chefs.”

Now, back to the classes I mentioned earlier. There are a range of classes from  Cooking the Market, where you are able to utilize the grocery stores in Midtown from Kids cooking classes for many age groups.  Plus, who doesn’t want a free karaoke cooking demo? I thought so, go book now!

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Life Lessons Learned From Blogging

26 Jul

I’ve been blogging for just over half a year now, and it occurs to me how much I’ve learned in that time. Not only just about food, which has been amazing but additionally I’ve made a fabulous connection to the newly formed #MNFoodBloogers Group, who I LOVE.

Never in a million years did I think I would find such a wonderful, supportive, smart, fun group of people when I started this blog. (I’ve given a shout out to a few of them in my earlier food blogger posts.) I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of this amazing community and I enjoy learning from so many of them.

Plus, if I thought I was a foodie BEFORE, I realize now how much more I have to learn and how truly fun it is to talk to others who are passionate about food.(And I mean REALLY PASSIONATE.) I’ve also enjoyed trying new foods, like Lamb Brain from Saffron (pictured above).

I originally started this blog after taking a career assessment. This assessment indicated many things but the strongest career path that emerged was a chef. At first I laughed, because I don’t cook well under stress in my kitchen, much less trying to run a restaurant, but it got me thinking. I realized that food is a very big part of my life. I always blamed the big Italian family for making food a priority, or the fact that I’m “food motivated” but really underneath all that is a genuine passion and interest in food, the food systems, nutrition and trying new things.

Through this whole process I’ve rekindled my joy of cooking for my family as well. As I’ve mentioned I’m not very good at cooking under pressure as of yet, although, with more practice I’ve become better and better. I do however, really enjoy cooking Italian family recipes from scratch, the ones that take 4-5 hours to complete. I’m also determined to perfect my whole wheat bread recipe. I’ve made it a personal goal to begin to share recipes from my Italian family, and maybe a few from my husband’s family, if they aren’t all trade secrets.

Additionally, I’m embarking on an adventure to try to cook one new recipe a week. Because of all my talented Food Blogger peers, I have my choice of where to begin, but from reading many other foodie blogs I’ve discovered so many recipes that look easy, tasty and healthy, all of which are important to me. (I’ll be posting my adventures, which hopefully end up more successful than not.)

Merlins Rest

19 Jul

I stopped by Merlins Rest the other night, to see how the dinner fare was. Merlins Rest is the owned by Lee Tomlin and in addition Bill Watkins, of the former Molly Quinns is often there as well. Bill’s official title is Minister of Culture, which he embodies whole heartedly.

He is the author of three books A Celtic Childhood“, “Scotland is Not for the Squeamish” and “The Once and Future Celt.

I first met Bill at Molly Quinns for  none other than St Patrick’s day 2003 (or maybe it was 2002.) He immediately welcomed us in and asked us to call him Uncle Bill. Once MQ closed I thought I had lost Uncle Bill forever, that is until I had the good fortune to be invited out for New Years 2010 to Merlin’s Rest . Along with the festivities I was treated to my first Scotch Egg, and quite a bit of fun, but I hadn’t been back until recently for dinner. I had heard about the legendary Fish and Chips. (Best in the Cities, probably in the state). Of course I had to try them. I was quite impressed. Not that I can say that I’m a fish and chip connoisseur, but these were amazing.

They have exactly the right amount of malt vinegar and crunch to them. The batter is delicious and well, the white fish is white fish, but it was cooked well and flakey and delicious. With not even a hint of rubber to them which is often what I find when I’ve ordered fish and chips elsewhere.

They also offer a Yankee version, no newsprint, no malt, and no fun, if you ask me.

On another visit recently I tried the Ploughman’s with English Stilton which was completely unexpected and fantastic. They vary a bit away from a traditional Ploughman’s Lunch in favor of a much greener, healthier, lighter dish. Additionally there was a HUGE chunk of stilton, so they were already on my good list. As much as I pretend that the bread is part of it, I would happily eat the stilton by the handfuls without any bread or crackers. Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the basil butter, divine!!

After a healthy dose of Strongbow (and a Black & Tan for Noah) we enjoyed the splendid English Toffee Cake. My mother tells me this is almost exactly what her grandmother used to make so for her it’s completely nostalgic. For me it was just fantastic.

In addition to the food is the weekly live entertainment and trivia. While we were dining there was live music which both my daughters enjoyed dancing to and added to the welcoming ambiance.  I wholeheartedly enjoyed my dinner, and maybe if I get brave I may go back to try my hand at some trivia.

Eat Ramen, Help Japan Event

12 Jul

If you are looking for something to do July 21st, look no further.

The Eat Ramen/Help Japan event is a gathering of top local chefs and eaters as they celebrate the craft of ramen while helping to feed the survivors of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

My husband will be also throwing his hat in the ring and making his special recipe that he makes for us at home. I can’t wait to try all the different variations of interpretations of ramen made by all the talented chefs.

Volunteers still needed as well!