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Monday, February 25, 2013

Mill Valley Kitchen - A Review

This past Saturday Derek and I had a night out with Nikki and Jason.  We tried out a new restaurant - Mill Valley Kitchen. 

The Mill Valley Kitchen is a restaurant that I have been dying to try now for a long time, so I was really excited to finally be able to dine at the Mill Valley Kitchen. 

The Mill Valley Kitchen features Northern California inspired cousine and also features fresh, local and sustainable ingredients in all their dishes.  I loved how open the Mill Valley Kitchen was about their ingredients and nutrition of their entrees they serve. The Mill Valley Kitchen's atmosphere is comfortable and chic and I throughly enjoyed the whole experience.  

I loved the white paneling and the ceiling, and the pop of color was refreshing! 
Not only did the Mill Valley Kitchen have a great atmosphere they also had amazing food!  I have to say that I loved everything I tasted! 

Derek and I started with the Mill Valley Kitchens Vegan Chili which was delicious.  It was spicy and full of flavor.  I would love to try and recreate their chili at home! 

Nikki and Jason also started off with Chili and the soup of the day! 

We all chatted and enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere while we waited on our entrees to arrive!  I had the hardest time picking out what I wanted to eat!  There were at least 3 things on the Mill Valley Kitchen's menu that I wanted to try.  Ultimately I ordered the Miso Glazed Seabass!


And oh my goodness was it good!
Served over a bed of gingered-shiitake quinoa  with a sweet and sour cucumber salad.  Absolutely wonderful the fish was tender and done just right while the quinoa was full

So what did everyone else order you might ask?  Derek enjoyed the Grass Fed Filet, Jason ordered the Bison Burger and Nikki ordered the Herb Roasted Chicken.

All looked wonderful and everyone enjoyed their meals.  I have to say that this is a restaurant that I will be going back to!  All in all it was a wonderful evening!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dinner Date - Pizza Sandwiches

One of Derek's favorite places to go to lunch during the work week is Carbonese Pizza (Pizza Restaurant around Minneapolis).

He absolutely loves their pizza sandwiches, something I just do not understand!  Well, a few Saturday's ago I recreated the "Pizza Sandwich" for our Saturday night  dinner date!  I found some inspiration from these Cooking Light Recipes (One, Two, Three) but ultimately I threw some things together and came up with my own thing!  I used a Trader Joe's pre-made crust which worked perfectly, and filled the dough with the toppings of our choice (meat for Derek and Veggies for me)!  

So what was the verdict made by my pizza sandwich loving boyfriend?  Two thumbs up!  He said these were phenomenal!  And you know what?  I have to agree with him! 

Homemade Pizza Sandwiches (Calzones)
Inspired by Cooking Light 
Makes 6 

Trader Joe's Pre-made dough (or any dough of your choice) 
Pizza Sauce 
Mozzarella Cheese/Ricotta Cheese 
Toppings of Choice  
(I used basil, spinach, pepperoni, and ricotta for ours - but pick toppings you love!)

1-If using pre-made refrigerated dough let your dough sit at room temp for 20 minutes.   
2- Divide dough into 6 equal parts.
3- Take one ball of dough and with a rolling pin roll into a small circle (like you were making your own personal pizza).
4- Place your toppings of choice on half the pizza crust leaving a half inch border.
5- Fold the pizza crust over your filling of choice and pinch the edges toghether.
6- Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
7- Place all your Calzones on a baking sheet and brush with milk.
8- Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until tops of Calzones are browned.

Serve with additional pizza sauce for dipping and enjoy!
 Whats one restaurant you love to go to for lunch?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day Recap!

I thought I would share just a few highlights with you today, from Derek and My first Valentine's Day together!

  I mentioned before in this post that my ideal Valentine's day is actually a low key night at home!  A night spent cooking, relaxing and talking.  And this Valentine's Day that is exactly what I got! 

Derek made me the most thoughtful gift! 
Origami Flowers!  So thoughtful, and a creative spin on Valentine's Day Flowers! 

Minnesota Gopher Basketball Tickets for Derek! 
I got him tickets to see the Minnesota/Indiana game!  I can't wait, it will be a fun evening! 

I made Derek's favorite meal - Shrimp and Spinach Risotto - 
The dish came out perfectly, just like it usually does! 
I follow this recipe from Taste of Home.   It is delicious!

A meal just isn't complete without a good glass of wine!
The wine we enjoyed on our first date! 

And the perfect ending to a meal... a decedent chocolate brownie!
Rich Brownie+ Decedent Frosting+Melty Vanilla Ice Cream = Dessert Heaven! 

 I followed this brownie recipe from Cooking Light (leaving out the walnuts for Derek)!  The brownies were rich and studded with melted chocolate, perfection.  To make the brownies even more decedent (oh yes, I went there) I made the frosting from this Cooking Light recipe.  Texas sheet cake frosting by far is the best! Delicious!

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day!

Wishing you all a Very Happy Valentine's Day!

Tell the ones you love just how much you love them, and never take them for granted!

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day - Dessert Edition

I like Valentine's Day, mainly because it is a day full of Pink, chocolate and showing loved ones how much you care.

 But, I am not one of those girls that has to go out for a fancy dinner on Valentine's day.  I would much prefer to have a low key evening at home with Derek, just the two of us.  An evening at home that would consist of a great meal (My Shrimp Risotto has been requested), wine, open conversation and a decedent dessert (more then likely containing lots of chocolate) would be ideal! 

So as Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching (yup, its on Thursday) I decided I would begin my hunt for the perfect drool worthy dessert that I could quickly whip up for Derek and I.  However in the process of finding the perfect Valentine's Day Dessert I found the below five.  Yup, the below 5 desserts had me drooling just by looking at the pictures (and well some are just to cute)! And if I wouldn't gain 5 pounds from all the sweets (and if I had the time); I would probably make them all!

Check them out, maybe you will find something you want to make! 

1- Simple, Easy, Cute and so good it is hard to eat just one!

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

2- White Chocolate and a Cookie - Yum!

3- To Cute - Because I am a sucker for cupcakes and frosting!

4- Chocolate Fondu 

5- Because who doesn't love these cute little hearts?

Tell me, how do you like to spend Valentine's Day?
Happy Tuesday Loves! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Escape to the Caribbean

Sunday night Derek and braved the Minnesota Snow to head to St Paul for one of Derek's Christmas presents!  We attended a  Cooking Class/Demonstration at Cook's of Crocus Hill (Similar to William Sonoma).  Basically the night consisted of wine, great food, recipes (they handed them out!!) and Derek and I  getting to relax and talk! 

Cook's of Crocus Hill puts on cooking demonstrations that they like to call "Sunday Night Dinners."  Each dinner has a theme, and our theme was "Escape to the Caribbean."  I had picked this class/demonstration because one of the dishes we got to taste/eat was Crab Cake (one of Derek's favorites)! 

The menu we got to enjoy was delicious: 

Appetizer - Crab Cakes with Tomato Cilantro Sauve 
Soup - Caribbean Root Vegetable Soup 
Entree- Caribbean Roasted Chicken with Black Beans and Rice 
Dessert - Dolce De Leche Sauce served over Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


Derek and I chatted a bit with our fellow dinner goers through the course of the evening, while we all enjoyed the wonderful food.  I loved how cozy the atmosphere was, with long family style tables. The exposed brick wall gave the room a rustic feeling and added to the ambiance. You could see several chef's hurrying around the open kitchen as they put the finishing touches on the large platters of food that were brought out to our tables.    

I do wish however that we would have gotten more of a food demonstration on how our food was prepped. 

But all in all the experience was great.  Derek and I both enjoyed ourselves.  Maybe I will look into what other "Sunday Night Dinners"  Cooks fo Crocus Hill puts on in the future! 

Happy Monday 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Picture Perfect - The Wolfe's

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and this past Thanksgiving my family got some pretty good ones!  You see the entire Wolfe family has not been together to celebrate a holiday in years (almost 10 to be exact) So when my Grandmothers 80th Birthday fell over Thanksgiving this year, we all gathered in Tennessee to celebrate.  

Not only has the entire Wolfe family not celebrated a holiday in years, but it has been decades since we have taken a family portrait.  We were well over due for an updated picture, and used our Thanksgiving gathering as a time to capture it! 

The talented Tracy Shoopman was our photographer and she did a wonderful job capturing our family.  Check out her website to see more of her beautiful work.  Click Here   Tracy was great to work with and was open to my families many photo suggestions and "funny/ridiculous" side!  We had a blast taking pictures. 

I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you today! 

Oh my silly family!  We had a good laugh with this picture! 

By far one of my favorites!  I love the sun behind us, and all the colors in our scarves! 

 Ridiculous!  In a good way! 

The Whole Gang!  

Like I said, we had a wonderful time taking our family pictures!  Now lets just hope we don't wait another 10+ years to take another group shot! 

Happy Wednesday All! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Recap

Happy Tuesday Folks! 
Did everyone enjoy their weekend, and enjoy the Super Bowl?

I know I did. 
I cheered for the Baltimore Ravens...
Now before any of you get mad at me for team selection let me explain why I cheered on the Ravens. 
Picking which team I wanted to cheer for in the Super Bowl this year was very sophisticated. 
I picked my team based on if I have ever visited the City the team was from, the state flag, and the color of the teams jerseys! 

Yes, I know super sophisticated! 
I have never been to San Fransico, but I have been to Baltimore and loved the City.  
Ultimately this year I really didn't care who won the game.  I was just there to hang out, eat good food, ask ridiculous football questions and watch some great commercials.  Which to be honest, the commercials weren't my favorite this year! By far Taco Bell had some of the best. 

And the Budweiser one just made me go "Aaaaah"

Yes, I am a sappy girl!

Derek and I ended up going over to his Sister and Brother in Laws house! 
We ate food, played with the twins, ate more food and chatted!  All in all it as a great afternoon/evening. 

I made this Spicy Pumpkin Turkey Chili -

Spicy, delicious and for sure a favorite! 

We also snacked on Puppy Chow - Yum!  Guacamole, cheesy bread,  pizza (for Derek) and pumpkin bars!  Yum, yum and yum!

What did you do for the Super Bowl?  How did you decide who you cheered for?