Jimmy John’s Deli in Minneapolis, MN

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

So today I arrived in downtown Minneapolis, MN for a work-related meeting. Hungry, I explore the neighborhood around the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel. It’s about lunch time and I spy a Melting Pot Restaurant, a Hell’s Kitchen, and Jimmy John’s a deli. I’m craving a sandwich, I think.

So after sitting down and wolfing down half my sandwich, I think: OMG, the seven grain bread that this deli uses for their sandwiches is like nothing I’ve had before at a deli. About 1 inch thick and full of healthy goodness, it definitely makes my turkey sandwich (turkey, sprouts, tomato, cheese, mayo, and peppers) POP! Already quite satisfied with just the half sandwich, I’m saving the other half to snack on later. The bread looks like it will not get as soggy from the mayo after hours of sitting. We shall see.

I can’t wait to see what else is around. I’ve heard Brit’s Pub is a little piece of London. There are also a number of steakhouses down the street so I’ll need to check out the menu for anything that stands out as a gotta-have meal.

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Fall Weather Soup Recipes

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

As summer comes to an abrupt end, the weather has shifted for the worse. With the cold and dreary weather, I’ve been inspired to make lots of quick and hearty soups. Most recently, smoked turkey drumstick and kale soup, an easy go-to recipe for a quick weekday meal. The majority of the 30-minute cook time is reserved for stewing the drumstick to get the juices into the broth. The kale cooks rather quickly once the broth is flavorful enough. Salt and pepper is added to taste. Chili flakes are optional.

Another easy soup recipe is chicken and rice soup. Boil some chicken (I like the dark meat of chicken thigh and drumstick but when I’m feeling particularly healthy, I use chicken breast) and lightly salt to flavor the broth. For more flavor, you may want to boil the chicken in chicken broth or add chicken bouillon/flavoring to the water. After the chicken is cooked, remove and tear the meat into chunks. Add a small amount of uncooked jasmine or other white rice (about half a cup to 3/4 cups). Add chicken chunks and simmer the rice soup for 15-20 minutes. The rice should be tender and soft. Add salt and fish sauce to taste. You may add finely chopped green onion and cilantro to top off the dish. The total cook time is usually 20-25 minutes for me.

My final go-to recipe is beef noodle soup or pho. For a large pot (about 8 servings), I buy the beef bones at the grocery store for under $5. The bones go into a big pot of water and sit on medium high heat for about an hour. Season with salt. Also, if you want to get a more complex tasting pho, you may add a couple cinnamon sticks, some star anise, a peeled stub of ginger root, some garlic cloves and a whole onion. For more flavor, you may add beef bouillon or pho flavor (which you can get in jars at most Asian stores). When done, pour some broth over cooked rice noodles. Add the optional beef meatballs, thinly sliced beef (that can cook in the hot broth), shrimp, cilantro and thinly sliced white/yellow onions.

Enjoy the fall weather!

Categories: Food, Recipes Tags: , ,

Carrie Update, The Latest

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Carrie’s about 9 months now and frothing at the mouth to walk but she’s still cruising (holding onto furniture, people, anything to get from one spot to another). The other day, she followed me into the bathroom and I thought, this is a small bathroom. The toilet seat and cover are down. There’s nothing she can get into. I can wash my hands in peace. However she proved me wrong because after a minute of washing my hands in the sink, I look down to discover she had unrolled the whole toilet paper roll which now lay on the floor of the bathroom. What am I going to do with my little girl?!

Categories: Motherhood, People Tags: ,

Anniversary Celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Us!

For our 2 year anniversary, we celebrated at the Four Seasons Hotel Bourbon Steak Restaurant one of the fancier digs in Georgetown (DC) so it is with my nose tipped in the air as I write this restaurant review. Champagne courtesy of the restaurant kicked off our anniversary dinner;  a complimentary sampling of snazzy fries and specialty dips soon followed. The must have appetizer of tuna tartare served tableside recommended by the waiter was a let-down. The presentation was excellent but the dish was not outstanding or memorable; I really liked the added touch of the quail egg cracked by the server on top of the neat stack of tuna, for purposes of tenderizing the meat, I assume. YUM! Despite the disappointing first course, our main courses made up for the fries and the tuna and then some. My husband dined on tender duck breast accompanied with foie gras and I enjoyed a perfectly prepared 10 oz medium rare filet mignon, served with truffle mac and cheese and golden mashed potatoes, truly masterful and gourmet versions of the classic soul/comfort foods. (I must admit that this restaurant has the best filet I’ve ever had, better than Ruth Chris, Charlie Palmer, among other steakhouses in the area.) We were quite pleased with our selections and are already coming up with new celebrations as excuses to go back for some more deliciousness. We topped off our palates with a shared dessert of tiramisu (again unique presentation, nothing special).

And on my last note, I have to include that we celebrated here last year before the Four Seasons renovated and installed a new restaurant on the main level.  It used to be that for dinner, the restaurant on the lower level had more of that private, intimate, somewhat romantic ambiance. Now the lower level is only open for breakfast and lunch, or so I’ve been told. The ambiance of the new restaurant is more contemporary, lounge-like and less intimate. Just a note….

Chicago Eats

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

This summer, I traveled to Chicago for work and managed to try some local restaurants during my free time. My favorite find was Pastoral Deli Restaurant (found about a block or two away from the Magnificient Mile) which served a number of delicious rustic sandwiches, including duck, pate, etc. Amazingly, this place also sells artisan cheeses, wines, and international foods. If you need to eat and go and weather permitting, you can eat in their outdoor seating area but be warned that spacing is tight and just forget-about-it if you’ve got a stroller. Also, you may not even get a seat during key busy times such as lunch and dinner. It’s also around these times, that you’ll get the most number of passers-by, which is a note for those who mind the smokers walking by and for those who want to know the best times to people watch.

Being a huge fan of Intelligentsia Coffee which is roasted in Chicago, I absolutely had to visit an Intelligentsia Cafe. I wanted to tour the office and roasting location but alas, I actually had to work on the one day they allowed tours (Mondays, in case you are interested yourself). The Cafe I found (located near the Millenium Plaza) served the best latte I had ever had, hands down. The flavor was so intense, more so than the one I get at any other cafe I’ve been to and definitely more so than the flavor I get at home making my own lattes. Taking a nice stroll and sitting at a bench in the Millenium Plaza, I savored my latte down to the last drop. Life is beautiful when you’ve got a delicious cup of caffe latte in your mug!

Motherhood 0-6 months

June 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I have not written in my blog since December 2008 since right before I delivered my daughter, Carrie.

Initially, I thought to share some ideas I’ve had on motherhood. After 6 months of being a mother, I think that raising children (well) has got to be one of the toughest things to do as a person. The pain of childbirth (which include 3 days’ worth of labor and pushing out a baby naturally via breech birth) does not compare to the first couple of months of adjusting to a jaundiced and colicky newborn. I remember that I did not sleep much the first three months of Carrie’s life. When she did fall asleep for 1-3 hours at a time, I also remember researching every concern I had online, from jaundice to breastfeeding to poo color to babies’  hair falling out. I got so much good advice (from my mother and mil) but my main source of information was always online at medical websites, the la leche league website, and mommy forums. I found that being a mom means standing up for your beliefs despite everyone’s well meaning advice whether that means having a natural birth instead of a medically induced birth, breastfeeding instead of bottlefeeding, and the list goes on and on.

cooksillustrated.com

June 15, 2009 Leave a comment

So after some internal debating, I finally signed up for an online subscription of Cooks Illustrated. After a couple of months, I find that this is my go-to website for delicious recipes however, I only visit once or twice a month. Was it worth it? The dishes I made were wonderful but I think I could have found good, well-rated recipes on allrecipes.com.