Archive for June, 2012

601 Graves, part II

Here is part 2 of 3 of our little mini-vacation.  As mentioned, this is by far the most swank hotel that I have ever stayed in.  In keeping with that theme, it had the most over-the-top mini-bar that exists.  For example:

This is just the window looking into the fridge.

Open the door to reveal lots more goodies!

And the net worth of the mini-bar just keeps getting higher.

Enough tasty treats to make me debate the hefty price tag that I’m sure is attached.

And yes, that is exactly what you think it is. An “intimacy kit.” I’ll let your imagination fill the contents of the box.

We managed to avoid the temptations of the wonders of the mini-bar.  Although I’m pretty sure our willpower would not have been as resilient if we didn’t just have one of the top three meals of my entire life.  But of course that is coming in another post . . .

(don’t you just hate cliffhangers?)



Categories: travel Tags: ,

601 Graves; part I

Lindz had this brilliant idea of having a little “stay-cation” awhile back.  In order to rationalize it further, we also combined it with celebrating Lindz’ graduation and our anniversary.  Yup, it was going to be an expensive night.  Which is why we combined three celebrations into one big blow out.  The place that Lindz found was 601 Graves in downtown Minneapolis.

Hands down, this was the fanciest place that I have ever stayed.  And not surprisingly, the most expensive.

Part of what you pay for is the view of downtown.

I have no idea what building that is, but I love old architecture.

Big, poofy bed.

Very chic and modern decorating.

The sink may look cool, but it is completely useless. Every time you use it water splashes all over the place.
No, it’s not user error. I know plenty of other people that have the same problem.

And finally, you know you are in a really fancy place when there’s a phone and TV right by the toilet.

All in all, the hotel was a fun experience.  But for the price, I’m not exactly itching to get back anytime soon.

Coming soon in parts II and III:  the most over the top mini-bar that I have ever seen and supper at the hotel’s restaurant, Cosmos.

Finally made it to Kieran’s

Our friend, Narren, was up here in the Cities for a conference last week.  Being the good friend he is, he called us wondering if we wanted to get together for supper one night.  Our answer was “Well, duh.”  After winding our way through the maze of one-ways in downtown Minneapolis, we found Narren waiting outside of his hotel for us.  Once he hopped in the car, his first question was “Where are we going?”  Yeah, this wasn’t helpful.  Lindz and I rarely go to downtown, so it’s practically a foreign country to us.  So we found a parking ramp a little farther down the road and figured that was a good starting point.  After walking around for just a bit, we discovered that we were right by the hotel where Lindz and I had our “stay-cation” (a post that is coming soon, i.e. as soon as I remember to get some pics from Lindz’ computer).  At this point Lindz suggested going to Kieran’s Pub, neither Narren or I could come up with any reason not to, so that is where we ended up.

I’ve never been to Kieran’s, but I’ve heard about it constantly from friends who work downtown, as well as ones who like to frequent pubs.  I haven’t heard a bad review, and after visiting, I can see why.  Since we went on a Tuesday, it wasn’t very busy at all, which is exactly the way I like it.  We were seated immediately and promptly placed our drink order.  Both Narren and I decided to go with the June beer special: Brooklyn Lager.

Yes, we were sitting right by this sign. So I took it as a sign that I should have some.

I was amused by the “Pre-Prohibition Style” tagline.

As far as food, I couldn’t resist going with the fish and chips.  After all, we were in an Irish pub.  Also, it is one of those dishes that I use to determine the quality of a place.  I use dishes that are deceptively simple to prepare, but if it’s done right, it’s wonderful.  If it’s not done right, well, you can tell immediately.  In other words, there really isn’t a middle ground for taste.  The result?  Kieran’s passed with flying colors.  Easily one of the top 3 places where I’ve had fish and chips here in the Cities.  I took the walleye option over the cod.  No particular reason, just the way my whim was pointing at that moment.  As a added bonus, I didn’t even need to ask for malt vinegar.  They just assumed that I wanted it because everyone should eat it this way.  I love it!

Happiness on a plate.

Sometimes you have really work for your food.

Ringer loves my Mom’s homemade sauerkraut.  She’s bugged me so often about swiping her a jar, Mom will just send one with me for her.  The catch is that when you reuse the rings (the part that holds down the canning lids), they can get a bit rusty.  When that happens, it can be a bit tricky to get it open.  We tried everything to get it opened.  Running it under hot water, tapping it, brute strength, and passing it back and forth to try something else.  I’m convinced it was sheer willpower that opened it.  Of course, Ringer maintains that she loosened it for me.

Not surprisingly, Lindz was laughing at us the whole time it took us to get it open.

Categories: family Tags: ,

I love comics.

“Making Hash Browns” from xkcd.

Categories: humor Tags: ,

This is a test.

This is only a test.

Categories: Uncategorized

Roasted Marrow, Part 2

As promised, I had a second go around on roasting some bone marrow.

The lucky volunteers for this blogging experiment.

As previously discussed, I wanted to try frying up rondelles to get a more even cook on the marrow.  Of course that meant that I had to get the marrow out of the bone.  The first problem that I noticed was that I didn’t look closely at the bones when I bought them.  Only one had the marrow running all the way through.  The other two were cut off an end of the bone in such a way that there was  bone completely covering one side.  This basically left me with one bone to work with and the other two to roast as I previously had done.  Which led me to my second problem of how to get the one chunk of marrow out.  I wasn’t about to use my good chef’s knife for obvious reasons.  I didn’t want to use our cleaver because I was legitimately concerned that I would completely destroy it (or me).  I didn’t have anything flat, small, and flexible enough to “cut” out the marrow.  Which led me to my toolbox.

Relax. I used new and clean blades.

The hacksaw had too fine of teeth to do much good.  The coping saw worked much better, but it still involved a lot of sawing.  I noticed when I was cleaning up that I had a blade with more aggressive teeth that would have saved me quite a bit of headache.  Oh, well.  Once I had cut completely through the bone, I just used the blade to cut between the marrow and the blade.  Once that was done, the marrow slid out relatively easily.  At this point, I was able to finally slice it into the rondelles.

The marrow put up a bit of a fight, but I won in the end.

Into the frying pan and the oven.  The bones roasted in the oven for about 20 minutes.  The ones in the frying pan were only there for about a minute on each side.

The two on the left are the oven roasted ones. The two on the right are the pan fried ones.

I enjoyed the parsley salad so much from last time that it was a foregone conclusion that I would make it again.

It looks pretty much the same as last time.

Pan frying was a much better option in my opinion because I had much better control over the cooking.  Although I’m not sure that it was worth the work to cut it out.  I couldn’t taste any difference in the flavors between the pan roasting and the oven roasting.  All in all, my opinion about marrow hasn’t changed since my last post on it.  It’s okay, but I would just as soon dip my toast into bacon grease.

Categories: recipes Tags:


One night, I decided that I was going to make a curry.  I didn’t feel like looking up any kind of recipe for a starting point because curries vary so much and I didn’t want to sift through hundreds of potential recipes to find one that sounded good.  So I decided just to wing-it.  It didn’t turn out too bad all things considered.

Like with my stir-fries, I just grabbed a bunch of veggies that looked good together and chopped up what looked like a decent quantity.  In this iteration there were: carrots, broccoli, leeks, peppers, and red onions.

I love colorful veggies.

In several small batches, I did a quick sear on them, i.e. stir-fried them.  Once they were all done, I put everything back into the pan and started to build up my curry sauce.

This is the stuff that looked like it should go into a curry.

For the amount of veggies that I had, I needed two cans of coconut milk to get enough of a sauce base going.  I didn’t want to thin it down with water.  I then added the whole jar of red curry paste, but that didn’t seem to do a whole lot.  Especially after I added a bit of lime juice to it.  I finally started to add the garam masala.  That was the magic I was looking for.  Next time I do this, I’m just going to avoid the curry paste and straight to the good stuff.  I did throw in a bit of salt because it tasted like it needed some.  When I was finally happy with the flavors, I let it simmer for a couple of extra minutes just to make sure that everything was still working.  I wasn’t 100% happy with the flavor, but for a blind first attempt it was good.  Of course, I served it with rice.

But it looks really good.

Lindz had such nice things to say about my family, I can’t resist re-posting it. Is she great or what?

The Overeducated Girl

TJ and I made the trip to Central MN last weekend to see his family. I have to confess, I love my in-laws. They are amazing. They listen, the house is quiet, the farm is beautiful, and they love me. All things that make for a nice relaxing visit. Before last weekend I hadn’t seen them since New Year’s, because, let’s be honest, I was chained to a desk in the library for most of 2012 so far. Needless to say, I was really excited to see everyone, especially TJ’s 94 year old grandmother, who I heard had been asking about me every time he went to visit. When I saw her on Saturday I was promptly reprimanded for not visiting. Grandma Bert does not disappoint.

One of the best things about TJ’s family is that he has two sisters. Let me just say that for most of my life…

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Categories: Uncategorized

BT’s, Pepper Salad, Green Bean Hotdish, and Fried Jalapenos.

Or what happens when Terry is told to make supper and try to use up some stuff in the fridge.

It’s an odd grouping, but a very satisfying supper.

The BT’s are actually supposed to be BLT’s.  But Lindz doesn’t care for lettuce, so we don’t usually have it around.  Personally, I like rabbit food, but I often don’t use it up fast enough, so we usually don’t buy it.  Nothing fancy with these, just good ol’ bacon, tomato, bit of mayo, and toasted bread.  Heart stopping goodness.

The pepper salad is a variation of a tomato salad that I often make.  I did a very coarse chop on four peppers, added some very thinly sliced red onion, a light drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and some balsamic vinegar to give it just a bit of a bite.  All of this is to your personal taste, of coarse.  In case you haven’t guessed, I just swapped the peppers in for the tomatoes from the original recipe.  Dave put this on his bacon sandwich and seemed to enjoy it.  Not what was planned, but then I’m pretty easy going.

The conversation between Lindz and Dave as I was starting to come up with a meal plan went as follows:

Lindz:  Do you like green bean hotdish?

Dave:  What’s in it?

Lindz:  Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French’s onions on top.

Dave:  No.

Lindz:  What’s wrong with you?!?

So the bowl of steamed green beans was for Dave.  Like Lindz said, all that went into the hotdish was two cans of green beans, one can of cream of mushroom soup, and enough of French’s onions on top to cover.  Bake at 375 degrees F until it bubbles (about 10 to 15 minutes) and serve.

This was one of the days that we were working up on a roof.  So, by the time I got home, I hadn’t eaten in six hours, drank a gallon of water and was still dehydrated, and I had a beer while cooking.  Talk about a cheap buzz.  This is just the set-up to what seemed like a really good idea.  And as it turns out, it was.  I sliced up a couple of jalapenos and fried them in the bacon grease.  They went great on the BT.

Spicy, bacony goodness.