Monday, January 21, 2013

Corn Chowder

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone's weekends were lovely. I had a great weekend with family and friends. We spent our Saturday morning celebrating Hockey Day MN, while watching my nephew's outdoor hockey game (it was still warm out). Saturday, a group of us visited the new Borough restaurant, which was awesome!! Great service and amazing food. Every single dish we tried was spectacular!!

Saturday night the temperature dropped and started the first of several days of sub-zero temperatures. Because of the negative temps, I decided soup was the perfect meal for dinner last night (and leftovers throughout the week). I found a corn chowder recipe via Pinterest, and put my own twist on it. It turned out great and I look forward to enjoying it throughout the week, in hopes to keep my core temperature up! ;)

Corn Chowder
1-1lb pkg. bacon
4c. potatoes, peeled and diced
1 stick butter
1 onion chopped
1/2c. flour
4c. non-fat half&half
2 cans cream-style corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
shredded cheddar to garnish
approx 1/2 c. skim milk to thin out 

Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon grease, crumble the bacon and set aside. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, until soft, but not mushy. Drain them and set aside when done. In a large pot, melt the butter. When butter is melted, add the onions and saute over medium heat until the onions are transparent (approx 10-15min.). Slowly stir in the flour until it is combined evenly with the butter/onions. Gradually add the half&half , whisking constantly until it reaches a gravy-like consistency. Heat over medium heat until it almost starts to boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low. Add the drained potatoes, bacon (may want to save some for garnish), corn, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Heat an additional 10 minutes+, then serve! If you like the soup a little bit thinner, you can add milk to it, to thin it out. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Educational Shopping/Smart Advertising

There are a million different reasons I LOVE Crate&Barrel. One of the many is that they always include interesting facts as a part of their advertising.

Today as I was browsing their January catalog, I came across a handful of different wine glasses and an explanation as to how each of  their different styles directs the taste of wine. In addition to wine, they offer this tid-bit of education on the topic of cocktails as well as beer. Below you'll find the wine diagram.

If I were you I would make a point to visit their website, not only to browse through their awesome products, but to view the cocktail and beer glass charts as well.

Not only do I feel educated on the topic, but because I'm now knowledgeable, I think I need to purchase at least two more types of wine glasses!! Smart advertising!

To view the cocktail and beer guides visit the Inspiration section of Crate&
Winner&Is - Cocktails
Snowed&In - Beer

Monday, January 14, 2013

Good Eats!

At the end of 2012, I put together a list of restaurants that are on my "Must Visit" list for 2013. At this point in the year, I've yet to knock any off the list. This will change soon as we will be enjoying a good meal with good company at the new Borough restaurant in the North Loop of Minneapolis this coming Saturday!!

Also on the list, but not shown below is the soon-to-open Burch restaurant, which is under the same ownership as my favorite, Bar La Grassa! (click the pic to visit their website)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Best Year Yet... In a Nut Shell

2012 was AMAZING!!!!!!! 

If I didn't think it would bore everyone else, I would post pictures from each individual event that took place (there were so many awesome memories made!!!). In an effort to hold your attention I've decided to highlight just a few events from 2012. 

Cheers to a great year and hopefully an even better one to come!!
The year started out with wedding showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. So many family and friends to be thankful for!
Next came a long weekend in Colorado for the BIG wedding. Activities and events that we'll never forget with our closet family and friends.

I got to marry the love of my life and BEST friend while 34 of our nearest and dearest witnessed!!

Our officiant, Gretchen, added another notch to her cowgirl boot in honor of our ceremony.
After the wedding weekend a trip to Vegas was in order.
We celebrated our nuptials in MN on an unforgettable, balmy, 80 degree day in March.

We had our first Zoe scare and had to make an emergency trip to the vet. Turns out it wasn't anything a little ice pack couldn't fix!
The remodel of the back yard took place. (before)
We attended the 1st annual Kentucky Derby party to support the JDRF-YLC.
Neon pedal pub with the Best of Blaine!!
Because Dan had to work over labor day weekend, we decided to make a trip our of it. We enjoyed a weekend of shopping, walking and eating in NYC.
One of my best friends also tied the knot in 2012. In the quaint town of Montevideo!
We attended several weddings in 2012 and two of our close friends went above and beyond to cut the mold of wedding receptions and brought in dueling pianos. They win the creative card for weddings in my book!! What a fun night!!
We roamed the streets of San Francisco and had a blast visiting with our west coast friends.
Next we drove up the coast to Napa and enjoyed several days of  sunshine, food and lots of wine!!
I finally made the trip to Texas to visit the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Young!
We celebrated Grandma's 75th birthday with a holiday trolly light tour.
We said goodbye to 2012 and rang in the new year with champagne and friends at the Local in downtown Minneapolis.