Showing posts from March, 2017

(Sort Of) A Game-Changer

I fell for the  Dinner - Changing the Game  cookbook the way I usually fall for big, heavy cookbooks full of beautiful pictures. It's elegant, all the pictures look delicious, and it's designed so that "each recipe in this book is meant to be dinner— one fantastic dish that is so satisfying and flavor forward it can stand alone." I love the idea of a simple-yet-lovely meal like that. My husband, in particular, has liked the egg dishes. I like the "Ingredients to Have on Hand" section, and I really appreciate that there are  a lot of vegetarian and fish selections. I also appreciate hat there are  a few soups, and "salads that mean it," but in general it focuses on true meals, the kind that leave you full and with some leftovers. We've made a few things form it, such as the aforementioned egg dishes, some salmon, and a delicious stovetop mac-and-cheese, almost identical to another recipe already in our rotation, but nice to have validation.

Bar Brigade!

Beatrix and I wanted to go out to celebrate her school conferences tonight. But when you feel celebratory, and miss Paris, where to go? I know — Bar Brigade , which opened tonight! We walked in and were immediately seated by none other than Chef JD Fratzke himself! Beatrix was extraordinarily impressed by his manners (as was I!), and I loved the feel right away. The space holds all the charm that Luci used to have, but less like eating in your grandparent's basement. And even better, just a few moments later Beatrix's friend Kiernan's family walked in — so we got to have the very Parisian feel of a convivial dinner. Though I was sorely tempted by #roseontap, I ordered the Bumby, a sort of orange-infused G&T. Then, so we could sample as much as possible, Beatrix and I split the bread plate, the potatoes with chèvre, and creme fraiche, some roasted carrots with almond dressing, and a puff pastry tart with mushrooms, olives, and chèvre. All of it was amazing, with tr


Some days, things just work out. This afternoon, Patrick and I dropped Beatrix off at dance, and then took advantage of the free hour to check out the new Black Stack taproom and go through design books. It was lovely. As my friend Kate said: The new criteria for choosing dance schools for kids? Proximity to brewpub. Heck, in the Creative Zone, you can have it all! We were excited to go over to Highpoint Center for Printmaking , whose "Free Ink Day" I had done an Art Hounds appearance about last week — but when we got there, it was packed! Since we were hungry, we decided not to stay, and as we turned back around to go out, we explained that to the gallery manager, who was very apologetic "Oh, I'm so sorry! We were on Art Hounds, and it's just crazy!" "Uh, yeah, that was me, sorry...." "Omigod!" she gave me a big hug, "It's been fantastic! We're had over 350 people so far and 80% of them were new to us!! But I&#

Tori Ramen

About 500 years after the cool kids, we finally headed to Tori Ramen tonight for dinner! We had been warned (especially from our friends' blog here , that space was tight, so we waited for a night that Beatrix was at a GTCYS event with a friend and headed on over. We expected the worst (crowds and hipster surliness), but were pleasantly surprised to find a window 2-top available and a friendly, helpful server who did not mind our questions. I was not all that hungry so hat the E.V. (half sized, soft egg for the win). It was warm and cozy and everything you could want on a cold rainy evening. Patrick took our server's suggestion and had the Bali Bali, and he definitely got the better meal — but then the great thing about going with your husband is he gives you some. A small but good tap list (hibiscus cider FTW as well!), and a good date night on a rainy evening. Were it not so popular, I can see hunkering down there for a bowl of ramen and some tea and watching Selby go b

Lear, by Beatrix

Beatrix had lobbied hard to attend King Lear at the Guthrie ever since she learned it was about a king and his 3 daughters. She was also anxious to see a real tragedy; she's seen Midsummer Night's Dream and a dance version of Romeo and Juliet , but as she says "I wanted to see a grown-up play." Every year, the Guthrie does a special Shakespeare performance to involve youth (as part of the legacy of the inimitable Sheila Livingston), so we got to attend one of those matinees on Sunday. Truth be told, I was a little worried about the length and language of the play, and Patrick was concerned about Lear's madness and the eye-gouging scene. Both turned out to be ok, though Beatrix did think it would not be good for *little* kids. The language in particular turned out to be fine. Both she and I thought that the closed-caption style screens would be distracting, but Beatrix did not even read them, preferring to let the language sort of wash over her (I admit to

Are The Star-Bellied Sneetches the Best on the Beaches?

Ok, a disclaimer. I'm not, and never have been, a really big Dr. Seuss fan. Just not my thing, nor Beatrix's. But the Children's Theatre Company  hols a very special place in my heart, for any number of reasons. We can't afford season tickets (which was my big desire as a child Beatrix's age), but we try to get there as often as we can. Last night, Beatrix and I (and her new Baby Alive doll Maia) and I had a date to see T he Sneetches: The Musical , and had a fantastic evening in second row seats! Due to friends who went to school there and some part-time work as an usher (a million years ago), I'm very familiar with the CTC space. Still, I always am impressed by how smoothly the from of house runs there. It's easy, it's enjoyable, it's comfortable. Getting there, parking, sometimes stopping briefly at the MIA, hanging out in the lobby, getting to our seats — all extraordinarily convenient. It seems like an odd thing to comment on, but when t

Continuing Ed

As I said earlier, I've been taking  a lot of great classes lately. I've mentioned the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota  classes in a previous post, and we have been getting a lot out of those. In the past month or so we've taken one on painting, two on floor refinishing, one on electricity, and there's one we are signed up for tomorrow on plumbing if we can solve childcare (at least one of us will be going). We're also taking a really exciting one on iPhone photography with them later this month, with the always-fascinating Eric Mueller! I'm bolstering that with some online continuing education. I'm currently beta-testing a new course on social media, which is more work than I expected, but which I'm learning a lot from (not the least of which is my ineptitude at using Google Sheets). Later this month, I'll be doing more online courses with the ever-amazing Christina Boyd-Smith, and amazing life church. Join me, it's free! Link here . In


I picked this book up because I loved Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's previous book, Bittersweet so much, and because I am a sucker for, in order: 1)  old houses 2)  50s Hollywood 2)  artists' stories In many ways, it did not disappoint. The house plays a front-and-center role, as does the 50s Hollywood story. Beverly-Whittemore is also especially strong at playing with the idea of what family means — in the best and the worst ways. Though I found it a good read, I also found it to drag in several places. Maybe the multiple narrators and the switching back and forth between 1955 and 2005 were just too much. Maybe the whole premise was just a little too unbelievable. Maybe the characters never developed enough to care about them as much as I did the storyline or the house. In any case, I'm glad enough that I read it, but I can already tell the story is  to going to stick with me for long. (as usual, book provided free from  Blogging for Books  in exchange for an unb