Baked Maple Donuts. Deadlines. Colds. Finally catching up. Fall break. No school. Not on the calendar. Mom fail. Deadlines dropped. Donuts flopped. Behind again. More baked maple donut testing. Needs maple extract. Nowhere to be found. Amazon Prime? Text Oh, Ladycakes for maple extract recommendation. Frontier Co-op. Call Whole Foods. Run to Whole Foods. Maple flavor secured. One step closer. Read more
In another life, I’d like to have a baked donut truck. Freshly roasted baked pumpkin donuts and baked apple cider donuts would make up our entire fall line-up. We’d close with the exit of the last donut. I’m not sure what name we’d plaster to the side of the donut truck, but our tagline would be: always baked, never fried. We’d disclose that these baked pumpkin donuts were built with wheat flour and partially sweetened with honey. Though they wouldn’t believe us. These are the things of my daydreams. Read more
If you’ve never tired baked blueberry cake donuts, today is your lucky day. Believe it or not, I was never a huge donut lover growing up. But give me baked blueberry cake donuts? Don’t ask for a bite. When I was a kid, the baked blueberry cake donuts shelf was the only one I looked to during my Dunkin’ D visits growing up. If it was empty, another flavor wouldn’t do. I didn’t even mind the awful film it left in my mouth. Read more
I like round food. Pizza, baked donuts, biscuits. I guess I should clarify, I like round food with flour. Wheat flour if possible. I’ve passed this trait on to Hal (along with my stubbornness). Couldn’t some of my better qualities seep through to her? The good news—meal times are rarely, if ever, a fight, as long as I get food on the table fast enough. In that case, she’s exactly like her dad. Food. Now. You can see how this is a problem for someone who likes to make everything from scratch. Read more
Nothing quite says touchdown! like glazed chocolate donuts. Am I right? You should definitely add these gems to your Super Bowl menu. The fellas will go gaga over them. I’m only kidding. Make them now, or tomorrow, or any other day. But maybe not for the big match. Not kidding—I just found out the Super Bowl is this Sunday. Read more
This post is sponsored by Horizon Organic. All opinions are my own. Have no fear. I’m not selling out to the big man, only working alongside a company I already use and love. If you’re down with Horizon Organic Milk as much as I am, here’s a $1 off coupon. Holla!
Sometimes when I say things like “holla” or “holla back youngin, woo woo!”, my husband reminds me I’m a 70 year old trapped in a 20-something year old body. The Martha Stewart Show was my favorite show in college. He may be on to something. Read more
If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I like my donuts baked not fried. I know, I’m an anomaly (apart from the fried donuts I recently found at the farmer’s market that nearly made me forget about these). I also like one solid recipe per baked treat. And when it’s all-natural too, my heart goes pitter patter. Read more
Breaking news these days—the babe slept in her crib, therefore her room, for the first time this week. All by herself. We’re lame and already miss having her in our room. She also only woke up once to feed. And then slept in the swing the next morning, which she’s hated abhorred up until this point. Sweet, tiny victories. I took advantage of having both hands free and made doughnuts from Ashley’s new book, Baked Doughnuts for Everyone. Read more
What do you get when you cross a pregnant donut lover with a craft blogger over at The Proper Pinwheel? A surprise baby shower with baked donut holes on a DIYed pinwheel. Myself along with a bunch of my favorite craft bloggers are having a virtual baby shower today to celebrate Lexy and her sweet baby girl on the way. If all goes as planned, Lexy and I will have our littles only a week or so apart. They’ll soon become best friends after we move to Denver next summer (fingers triple crossed). Read more
On Saturday mornings we have this unspoken rule that breakfast must come out of the oven, the waffle iron, or the cast iron griddle. Though sometimes it comes out of the car. Kev and Hal pick up donuts for themselves and a croissant for me. Special is the name of our weekend breakfast game. Read more
I’m Buddy the Elf when it comes to winter. I still shriek sounds of joy at the first snowfall (and every snowfall thereafter). Breathing in the crisp, cold air makes my lungs feel alive. And hikes along the snow-covered banks of the Mississippi etch permanent smile lines into my face. But sometimes, even a good streak of grey days can leave me feeling blue (and leave Hallie feeling like a caged animal). Read more
Who first believed in you? Family members don’t count. For me, it was Mr. Serie. He was my 8th grade art teacher. Art was a 6-week elective then. Or was it 12-weeks? I can’t remember. But despite all my goofing off in the class, he pulled me aside and told me I was good at art. He didn’t have to do that. And I probably wasn’t all that good. But I went on to paint lots of pictures, take lots of art classes, and major in graphic design. All because Mr. Serie told me I was good at something. Words are powerful. Read more
What will you be known for? Me? Most likely waffles with wheat flour. Baked Donuts with wheat flour. And homemade lattes that rival the $4+ variety. Now up on the bar, a Peppermint Mocha—the drink that first turned me on to coffee. It was high school. Senior year. I was walking through Target. Have I told this story before?Read more
Today marked the start of the farmer’s market season in Oak Park. I’ve been looking forward to this day for weeks. I even popped out of bet a little earlier—with excitement. And the weather was just perfect for a walk. My graduate school husband got a couple homemade donuts—while I got some asparagus, rhubarb, and black raspberry jam. Perfect Saturday morning.
We love asparagus minus it’s after effects, if you know what I mean. It is super easy to cook. Very versatile. With a quick 10 minute cook time. You’re gonna love this recipe, if you can even call it that.
Bunch of fresh asparagus spears (support your local farmers!)
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Wash and dry asparagus. Break off hard woody ends.
3. Place on baking sheet covered with foil for easy clean up.
4. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy.
TIPS • This recipe is so basic, it’s easy to dress up. Try adding lemon or orange zest, lemon juice, orange slices, garlic slices, balsamic vinegar, or parmesan cheese.
• If you overcook your asparagus, they will no longer be spear-like, but limp and soggy and a little less nutritious.
PS—Do you notice anything different around here? The ole blog was in need of an update. I’m trying to do it myself with the little web knowledge that I have—scary! If only it was as easy as cooking asparagus.
I have a favorite guy at the farmer’s market. He’s probably a bit older than my dad. His hair is white and his skin sun-kissed. His eyes are a soft trustworthy blue with well worn lines around them which tells me he smiles a lot. But most importantly, he has dirt under his fingernails. If his eyes weren’t already trustworthy enough. Read more
We’re transplants to the Twin Cities (summer 2014) but have fallen in love with the area and food scene overnight. Here’s where we frequent in the Twin Cities. It’s an ongoing collection. A little bit about our tastes: we’re classic (maybe basic?), far from fancy eaters who care a whole lot about quality. We like to wear jeans and go to dinner without a reservation. We find ourselves at bakeries and coffee shops most often. I’m not sure if that’s to do with having a tiny human or loving coffee and pastries. Only 24 hours in Minneapolis? Here’s where I’d go.
Venezuelan stuffed arepas, yucca fries, and house made cocktails. So much flavor packed into everything. My favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities. Here’s what I order: El Diablo (cocktail), Shredded Beef and Plantain arepa, yucca fries with chimichurri sauce.
Pizza! So far, this is my favorite pizza shop in Minne. The outdoor patio is classy yet casual in the summer. Here’s what I order: The Bahn Mi pizza, but even the plain cheese is excellent with a glass of the $5 sparkling white wine.
Young Joni is owned by the same brilliance as Pizzeria Lola. Expect a wait. It’s a city favorite. If you get the chance, sit at the bar near a wood-fired oven to watch the fire roar and the food cook. It’s amazing. Here’s what I order: The Cauliflower, Bibimbap Grain, and any of the pizzas.
Fine Midwest fare made with French techniques. Reservations can be hard to come by, but I recommend skipping those and eating at the bar. You can order from both the restaurant and bar menu here. I prefer the bar menu as it’s not quite as fancy. Whatever you do, don’t skip the house-made cocktails. The menu is always changing.
Local, seasonal ingredients with a Scandinavian composition. We finally caught a reservation here and it was magnificent! It’s right across the street from Spoon and Stable. During the day, I frequent their cafe. We took guidance on what to order from our server. She too was excellent. Save up, and go for all the courses.
Good real food is their motto. And that it is. Birchwood cares as much about flavors as they do the ethics of food. Go for dinner, breakfast, or lunch. It’s super vegetarian-friendly. Here’s what I order: the menu is always changing based on the season. If an ingredient sounds iffy, order it anyways. You can’t go wrong here.
Diner food done right. It’s classy food with just enough grease to qualify as diner food. The restaurant is an original 1957 Fodero Diner shipped from Gibsonia, PA and restored to its original beauty. If you take a picture while there, it’ll blur the decade lines. It’s open all day and into the night. Go for every meal and cocktails too. Here’s what I order: A Fjord Fiesta to start (cocktail made with Aquavit), pancakes or the biddy board for breakfast and chicken pot pie for dinner. Kev goes for a Hi-Top, usually the Gary Co’oper.
The Lynhall is as beautiful as it is delicious. Go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or for coffee and a treat. Beyond serving thoughtful, fresh food, this place is a community builder in the Twin Cities. Don’t miss their ongoing classes and events. Side note: I wrote the end of my book here!
A celebration of salads—this little spot is my new favorite place for lunch. The salads a hearty and could almost be split they’re so large. They have two spots in the skyway + a food truck. Plan to stand in line. It’s worth the wait. Note: They are only open on the weekdays. Here’s what I order: The Cowboy Salad.
Local, sustainable, really good food. This spot reminds me of Birchwood—quality ingredients with ethical sourcing practices. It’s super vegetarian-friendly too. Here’s what I order: a vegetarian falafel. On the list for next time—the wild rice veggie burger.
Quick, fast, affordable Greek takeout. Don’t skip the baklava or hummus. It’s some of the best I’ve had. Here’s what I order: The chicken kabob platter to split with Kev, a said of falafel and a side of pita and hummus for Hal.
This is my new favorite coffee shop. It’s modern but warm. If you stay, they’ll serve your coffee in a beautiful, hand thrown ceramic mug. Don’t just go for coffee, their menu and bakery case is so good. Try the biscuit!
Their house cup of coffee is perfection to me. It’s a light roast but not lacking in flavor. It’s bright but not too hoppy (like an IPA). I upped my coffee budget for their beans. Here’s what I order: a cup of house coffee and a scone.
This cafe, restaurant, and urban inn is one of our favorite spots. We’ve been to all three. If you’ve ever heard the hum of hospitality, you’ll hear it here too. Here’s what I order: Coffee and a croissant (maybe my favorite in town).
Bogarts is perfect—down to the simple homemade donut menu, subway tiled wall, and red sign. We pick up donuts here most Saturday mornings. They’re not too sweet or fried tasting. Here’s what I order: The raised glazed, but you have to try them all. And don’t miss an order of holes!
This is what bagels should taste like. If their bagels weren’t already the star, their homemade cream cheese spreads might steal the show. Here’s what I order: plain bagel with a shmear of lemon blueberry cream cheese.
Rustica is home to the best pastries and cookies in the twin cities. Their bittersweet chocolate cookies made me move here (they ship these anywhere!). Here’s what I order: a bittersweet cookie or a croissant.
Though they serve dinner, lunch, and weekend brunch, it’s the cupcakes we find ourselves going back for. The cake is perfectly sweet and moist with a tight crumb. I break my cupcake in half to top the frosting. Here’s what I order: a vanilla or champagne cupcake.
The best ice cream shop to hit the area. It’s gourmet but recognizable. The chef behind Milk Jam also Runs World Street Kitchen next door, which you should stop by first for dinner. Here’s what I order: a scoop of Black (it’s vegan and divine).
Modern flare with old school Italian recipes. The pizza is excellent (the fry their dough) but it’s the fresh pasta and house-made tiramisu that we’ll be going back for. Get there early or plan to wait a bit. It’s worth it. Note: They now have a Minneapolis location.
Classy Mexican food, killer cocktails, and delicious chips and salsa. My friend recommends that you order family style. I’d have to agree. Here’s what I order: chips and salsa, elote style brussels, and the barbacoa tacos with a seasonal marg.