Tag Archives: MN

Moose & Sadies: Minneapolis, MN

31 Jul
by Deanne

Moose & Sadies: Minneapolis, MN

Another Monday off from our running our cafe, led Steve and I to Minneapolis/St. Paul to pick up Joia Soda Pop and to visit United Noodle (that fun Asian grocery store that Francine introduced us to after she returned from living in China.)  We also had time to visit a new-to-us cafe. We selected Moose & Sadies because it was located near one of our stops and the online menu looked interesting.

Review: (Real Local Cooking’s criteria)
Localness: 3

Moose&Sadie’s supports local/sustainable/organic purveyors and on  their website they have a list with some links: 

Larry Schultz:  organic chicken and eggs
Tim Fischer:  hormone-free/humanely-raised pork
Riverbend Farm: organic produce

Flavour: 3

We ordered two items and were quite satisfied.  We had a Black Bean Burger with chipotle gouda, roasted green pepper-avocado spread, vidalia onions and alfalfa sprouts on a toasted bun and a salad called Greens Vinaigrette.  The burger did not have quite the right bun.  It had too hard of a bite for the squishy-ness of the black bean burger. Imagine this… pick up the burger, take a bite and black beans land on your new shirt.  You get the picture. The burger was good and flavorful and in my opinion needed a soft bun rather than a hard roll.  We solved that small challenge by eating the burger with a fork and noshing on toasted hard roll with our hands.  

m&S1

Even though I rate the flavour as a three, to match our criteria, I would come back again to try other items.

Pleasant Surprise: Yes

Our last trip to the Twin Cities got off to a bad start with a disappointing visit to a restaurant that was highly rated on some of the online communities. We were served greasy, sloppy food.  It wasn’t even worth mentioning or remembering.  This food was enjoyable and didn’t leave us feeling like we needed a shower to remove all the grease.  It made for a great start to our day off and our little adventure to the cities.

Comfort+Coziness = The C factor: 5

Photo of sunny patio at Moose and Sadies

Awesome is the best word to describe the service.   I say that because that word was used three to four times  by my order taker during the process of ordering. 

The decor of the place is a two tone, cool cucumber green with my all time favorite decor choice: painted brick.  The white brick with matching white painted exposed beams added comfort. 

We ate outside in the sun on a perfect summer day.  Not hot, not cold and no bugs.  What is more perfect than that? 

The server who delivered the food was not Ms. Awesome, but she was equally friendly and exuded her own form of awesomeness. 

Overall Rating: 11+

Moose & Sadies, in the warehouse district of Minneapolis is a place we look forward to stopping the next time we are in the neighborhood.

Moose & Sadie's on Urbanspoon

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Verdant Possibilities: A Midsummer Minnesota Garden

24 Jul
by Deanne

While we are in the midst of running our café for the summer, I have fallen into a pattern of reporting what is called a Solar Forecast each morning on my business facebook page. I thought of the idea from the title of a children’s book called: Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsCloudy_with_a_Chance_of_Meatballs_(book)

It is a playful way to share our our featured wraps, rice plates, and soups.  The “weather” sometimes reflects the real weather and often describes other things that are going on in our space.

Verdant1

Today I wanted to make a post to describe the state of our garden and I thought of the word verdant to express what is going on in the raised beds next to our restaurant. According to this online dictionary verdant means:

 

1 a : green in tint or color

b : green with growing plants <verdant fields>

2: unripe in experience or judgment

I think both definitions fit our garden. It is green with growing plants and I am unripe in experience or judgment when it comes to growing things. Luckily I don’t do the soil amendments and planting.  I leave that to my husband who studied soil science and agronomy.  

Photo of Berry

So far this year my job has been to pick berries, peas, and beans.  I do it in the cool of morning while my amateur agronomist  is inside sheeting dough for our wraps

But even then, I am not sure when to pick things. 

Does anyone know when green beans done? 

Photo of green bean plants

Photo credits:  Amanda Petersen Photography

Garden Tour: Late May 2013

5 Jun
by Deanne

It is time again to share our garden updates like we did last summer. Luke took photographs in Late May 2012, Late June 2012, Late July 2013, and Late August 2012.  Living in a northern landscape like Minnesota makes one truly celebrate the growing season.

Photo of raised bed-spinachAs a reminder, Steve built raised beds  outside our restaurant building during the summer of 2011.  We utilize our garden for what we call FarmerChef specials. 

Since Luke moved to Los Angeles earlier this year, we have been working with Amanda Petersen Photography.  We love the images Amanda has captured of our space.  You will know if a photo comes from her work if you see her  signature….we will be using many shots in our blog.  

Photo of lettuceOur little lettuce plants get going during our cool month of May.

photo of strawberry plantsThe strawberry blossoms are a good sign if we hope to have delicate sweet berries in June.

Eager little pea plants establishing themselves and claiming their space.Photo of pea plants

Photo of raised bed twoWe look forward to crisp radishes soon!

Photo of tomato plantsHow big will our tomatoes grow this year?

Photo credits:  Amanda Petersen Photography

Camelina: Seed to Oil

8 May
by Deanne

Last March, after looking in the Minnesota Grown directory, Francine and I drove out to a little farm just south of Lamberton and met Kathleen Smith.  You might have read our posts about this local grower’s product.  From that original meeting we have created some great tasting recipes like the Sunshine Grilled Chicken Salad, Rhubarb Scones, and Two Sister’s and a Friend Salad in a Jar.  The one ingredient these recipes have in common is an American grown oil that comes from a tiny little reddish brown seed called the camelina seed. 

Camelina-Blog-Post-530x350

Last summer our son/brother, Lucas Bryce decided to capture their family’s story.  While editing the production he got excited about their message and the beauty of their family farm and decided to submit it to the 2013 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.  It was selected as a film to be shown for their Earth Day, Minnesota Made category.

When you submit a film to a festival you are not able to show it publicly until it premiers during the festival.    Now we are finally able to make it available here.  It is titled Camelina: Seed to OilWe hope you enjoy watching the film.

Deanne’s Favorites of 2012

1 Jan
by Deanne

This Real Local Cooking journey has been a fun way to record the things I learned in 2012 and having a blog to chronicle all this learning allows for many moments of reflection.bagel

2012 was a year of change in terms of my awareness about food (something I’d previously never thought much about).  It was also a year in which I (and my husband) put our values into action and  decided to close our drive-in restaurant in August. 

Cooking is where it all began .  I took an interest in cooking again after many years of seeing it as a chore.  I cracked open my Joy of Cooking book and made Chicken Cacciatore and learned how bagels are made by making a batch in our kitchen.

In March I reached out to meet people who care about local food.  I discovered that Kathleen and her family live nearby and they grow and produce Omega Maiden Camelina Oil onA photo of the oil used in the dressing their farm. We’ve enjoyed creating recipes, like scones and dressings, with camelina oil.  We’ve also enjoyed the friendship of Kathleen, her husband Justin, and their sweet daughter, Amana and we got to know the rest of her family when we held our first Veg-In in September.

Saying good bye to Francine in April was a difficult but an important step in my growth as a mother of adult children. 

When Francine moved to England, I had a chance to learn about another culture in many of her posts…this snapshot post stands out as an early memory for me or her first month in her new home.  I also learning about cobnuts in her A What Nut post.

A photo of the granola

In August, the Minnesota Cooks event at the Minnesota State Fair turned out to be educational when I unexpectedly learned more the importance of adding Omega 3 to our diets.  Go Omega Maiden!  (It is a great source of Omega 3.)Photo of 2012-13 Mn Cooks Calandar

As Steve and I dream about the future of our business and clarify our vision for opening a new restaurant this summer, we remember the visits we made at various UK Farm Shops in November.  It was wonderful to  discover that the English have found a nice marriage between restaurants and locally grown products.  

Photo of Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop

Now, as the new year begins, Steve and I visiting family in California.  We peeled our first pomegranate and made a toast to our dreams for 2013.   

Cheers everyone and here’s to a wonderful 2013!A photo of a pomegranate

Pomegranate Cocktail

(from the book we purchased yesterday, The Art of Real Food)
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Francine’s Five Favorites of 2012

31 Dec
by Francine

This year was a big one for me…I moved to England, got married, became a UK resident and started a job in marketing…phew! 

But in between those huge milestones, life was really pretty normal and filled with boring (and A photo of the castlesometimes stressful things)…things like heaps of paperwork, cover letters and a never-ending, slowly drying pile of laundry (we don’t have a dryer in our flat).

Thankfully sprinkled amongst all of those stressful things were heaps of delicious food, sunshine-y memories and a few castles. ;)

I thought I’d take a moment to share five of my Real Local Cooking favorites from this past year.  It was hard to narrow it down when there are 105 posts (!!) from which to choose, but here they are…

1.  Making a Watermelon Radish Salad was really fun because it allowed me introduce my family to a vegetable I discovered in China and it brought some vibrant color to a cold MN winter.

A photo of the inside

2.  Since moving to England, I’ve enjoyed many store bought oatcakes, but before moving here, I made my own oatcakes after discovering the recipe in a River Cottage cookbook.  It was fun to create something different and many of you also enjoyed finding out about this recipe. 

A photo of Oatcakes

3. Early in 2012, I began making FarmerChef specials with seasonal and local products/produce.  Once a week, we put these specials on the menu at my parents’ restaurant.  I enjoyed the challenge and creativity involved in coming up with dishes. 

After moving to England, my parents continued preparing and serving FarmerChef specials, and I loved finding out about all the creative dishes they were coming up with.  I thought their Kohlslaw…coleslaw from kohlrabis was especially fun.  I made this salad in September when we picked our own Kohlrabi.

Photo of Kohlslaw

4.  In England, the summer of 2012 was very cool, wet and un-sunny; perhaps that’s why it made me so happy to see the Garden Tours of the raised bed garden throughout the MN summer.

photo of a tomato

5. Last month, mom, dad and Luke came to visit us in England.  We discovered the beauty of the Lake District…oh my!

A photo of Littletown Farmphoto of salad in a jar

And some runner-ups…

Having my first scone with clotted cream and plum jam, picking strawberries, trying out this FarmerChef quiche (and making it many times since…any time I have eggs, vegetables and no idea what to fix for dinner), making both strawberry+rhubarb crumble and cobbler and seeing that mom made an oh-so pretty layered salad.

It’s been a fun year of blogging, filled with many good memories and tasty recipes

Thanks for stopping by our little corner of the internet and sharing your own memories. thoughts and recommendations in the comments! It’s always so great to hear from you!

Fresh Off The Boot: A Taste of Italy

7 Dec
by Deanne

Have you ever found yourself in a totally new situation, juggling your purse, a cocktail napkin and a little plate of food?  I found myself is such a circumstance on Sunday.Map of Italy

Steve and I drove for 2 plus hours and got lost (because of my Apple map…… grumble grumble ). However, when we finally arrived at Broders’ Pasta Bar in Minneapolis for a tasting event that raised funds for Slow Food Minnesota, we were glad we made the effort.

Where do I start with all I learned?  Keep in mind this blog’s purpose is to help me learn about real food and local food.  I first discovered the slow food movement about ten years ago. Since this is my first event, I must be a slow adopter.  It is an international non-profit, member-supported association.  Slow Food was founded in 1989 in Europe as a concern about the rise of fast food and fast life, and the disappearance of local food traditions. The organization now has 100K members in 153 countries.

You can’t get more slow than aged vinegars made from traditions that have been passed along from generation to generation in Italy. We sampled an apple balsamic vinegar made by Acetaia San Giacomo, located in the Reggio Emilla region of Italy. (See #8 on the map for the location of this region.)  I was surprised that apples can be made into balsamic vinegar and discovered that the process, in this case, substitutes Trentino apples for Trebbiano grapes during the reduction and acidification process of making aged balsamic vinegar.  

Back in October, when we attended Fermentation Fest, we learned that balsamic vinegar takes years to make.  Unless one attends an event like this one, most people have never tasted “real” balsamic.  According to blogger, Rebecca Wine, in a recent post, what we consumers usually end up buying in our stores is a commercial product that simulates the original one and is made from wine vinegar with the potential additions of coloring, caramel, arabic gum and corn starch.  

My first ever taste of panforte occurred across the room from the vinegar table.  Panforte is an Italian fruit cake.  However, it didn’t taste like any other fruit cake from my childhood (thank goodness). Back at home, I did a little research and discovered that David Lebovitz, a blogger and author that my cousin Susan told me about, has a post with a recipe for this treat.

Steve and I both enjoyed the Villa Reale Semi-dried Cherry Tomatoes, and the mushroom risotto prepared by the chef.  We tasted four varieties of olive oils. All the products did not have the additives and extra salts/sugars Americans have been tasting in increasing amounts since our childhood.

semi_dried_cherry_tomatoes

For local food we tasted Borsellino Salami by La Quercia.  This company is located in Norwalk, Iowa.  They use traditional dry curing methods and pork from hogs  not raised in confinement.

We were impressed with the passion and knowledge shared by the staff at Broders’ as we traveled around each tasting table.  We met Molly Broder, the owner and chatted at the bar with one of her sons.

With our taste buds both refreshed by the pure flavors and intrigued by the possibilities, we left looking forward to returning to Broders’ again for a nice meal as well as attending the next Slow Food Minnesota event in January. 

Have you heard of the slow food movement?  If not a member and you believe in this mission, join as a way to celebrate Terra Madre Day on December 10th.