Monthly Archives: September 2009

in my cupboard: mustard girl mustard


I cannot say enough about this Mustard – for those of you who live somewhere near Wisconsin, look for this mustard and buy it asap! (I have now seen it at Whole Foods and Rainbow’s/Pick’ N’ Saves)

I first heard about this brand at a food show, where I sampled (and LOVED) the horseradish mustard (remember, I love spice) and then ran into it at an unlikely grocery store, or so I thought…the taster was along on that trip and he loves (and I mean LOVES) all things Wisconsin, Madison and Badgers) so once I told him that the “mustard girl” herself lived in Madison and started this mustard business there, he was sold. Visit there website here.
Unfortunately they did not have the Horseradish variety, but they did have the sweet & fancy mustard and I’m so glad that we decided to pick it up – I have been eating it with pretzels, bison burgers, and just about anything else that I can put it on….sriracha you may have some competition!!!! Next use? I think it will make a delicious vinaigrette.
I just need to find the Horseradish Mustard, please Mustard Girl, I’m begging,



Filed under eating local, in my cupboard, product review

Andrew Zimmern’s Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops are something that I’ve wanted to master for quite some time now, the taster is pretty good at getting the perfect crust but it was my turn to try!

I came across a recipe from Andrew Zimmern, who if any of you don’t know is host of the show Bizarre Foods and also happens to live here in the Twin Cities.

These scallops were anything but bizarre. In fact, they turned out great. I was hoping for a “crisper, more seared” crust, but I didn’t want to over-cook them so I settled :/ The sauce was a white wine, caper, shallot, butter and pan scrapings. I loved it over the scallops. Here is the recipe if you are interested. I guess I will just have to try again to perfect this recipe 😉


PS. I made some focaccia to go along with this meal but it did NOT turn out and so I’m waiting until I can get that one right to share it with you!

the brick :(

the brick 😦


Filed under mastering the art of, Recipes, scallops, seafood, vegetables

butter vs lard debate

Robert S Donovan

picture by Robert S Donovan

I forgot to tell y’all 😉 about one of my favorite parts about New Orleans! Our last morning of the trip was spent at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Our teacher was New Orlean’s version of Paula Deen. Butter included. My parents had been there before and we actually had one of the dishes (Artichoke & Shrimp Soup) last year for Christmas! The soup is amazing by the way, chock full of butter and cream. I’ll try to make it for y’all real soon 🙂

Anyway, our teacher was discussing the uses of butter and lard and when to use it in which roux, etc. etc. and she happened to mention that lard has less saturated fat than butter. My Mom and I vowed to look it up as soon as we got to a computer. Wait, that is what iphones are for. No need to wait. Which is a good thing because I have zlitch patience. She was right. Can you believe it? The old pig wins again. Then I was browsing the October Bon Appetit and they were comparing fats:

Calories (1 T) Fat (in grams) Sat Fat (%) Monounsat (%)
Butter 100 12 50 30
Lard 115 13 39 45
Duck Fat 115 13 33 50
Olive Oil 120 14 14 77

So there you have it. Now everyone can make an educated decision on butter vs lard vs duck fat and in the words of Nina Elder “Go ahead and order those duck-fat fries- every once in a while.”

What do you guys think about this? Which fats do you use and prefer? My fats of choice are olive oil and butter for cooking – straight up consuming? Hemp and Avocado.

Leave a comment

Filed under article, fats, hemp

Taste of Fall: Pumpkin Spice Coffee

I’m a coffee drinker. (yes, I know some of you out there probably don’t agree with that) but I drink about 1-2 cups/day. And I’m fine with that. Oh, I use 1/2 & 1/2 too. (gasp!) Coffee has been part of my morning routine and for that I love it!

The other day I feel in love all over again. Pumpkin spice coffee, where have you been all of my life?  This was like a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte but with no sweetener or sugar added. Yet perfectly frothy. How you may ask?


The aerolatte (which is a frother), warm 1/2 & 1/2 and some Green Mountain pumpkin spice coffee. Simply froth and brew.


This has been the best coffee I’ve had in a while. I can’t wait for some more “Holiday” inspired coffee in the near future…I’ve heard Gingerbread is also delish…

Side Note: I generally use the re-usable filter and fill with my own coffee because the plastic “k-cups” are in no way, shape or form good for the environment but I did HAVE to try these out!


Filed under antioxidants, coffee, in season, product review

restaurant: Fuji Ya

I. love. sushi. If I could, I would be fine eating it every day for the rest of my life.  And while I am patiently waiting for someone to start making the sushi with brown rice in Minneapolis I guess I will just suffer through it for the time being 😉  I guess it still has some great health benefits….

One of my favorite places in the cities for sushi is Fuji Ya. Now there are many great spots but this one has the BEST Spicy Salmon and Spicy Tuna and those are my favorite. I like sticking to the basics for most of the sushi and then getting one or two fun/interesting rolls to try.

The latest trip to Fuji Ya was for Megan’s Birthday (Holla Megan!) and we had a blast in the side room where you sit at a traditional table (you sit on the floor – and no shoes allowed in the room)


The food was as always amazing…


some miso soup – because i love it and needed a little bacteria in my life


spicy tuna, spicy salmon, caterpillar and tuna sashimi and an oily white fish sashimi (can’t remember, sorry!)


It was such a great night with friends and cake of course! Happy Birthday Megan!



Filed under antioxidants, dessert, great meals, raw foods, Recipes, restaurants, seafood, sushi, vegetables, wine

the taster & raw pasta

As you know, the taster is pretty open to healthy foods, vegetables, etc. (To my surprise he actually picked up a piece of kale to munch on the other day) and while he loves his veggies, he also loves “frying stuff”.  Sigh.

One place he has not ventured is into the Raw Foods world. He’ll try things out when I make them from time to time and is sometimes surprised (Notcho Cheese and Gena’s soft serve) but an entire raw meal? Never happened.  I’ve been making some raw pasta for lunches recently with some great sauces and I knew this would be a good opportunity for him to try.


Marinara and alfredo sauce a top a bed of zucchini noodles. I could eat this every day.


All mixed together for the perfectly raw “Vodka Sauce”!


Hey, I’m realistic, ok? The noodles are even slightly sauteed….couldn’t convince him that raw zucchini noodles were a good idea! 😉

Taster Quote on Raw Pasta: Meh.

Even though he’s not in love with them if there is anyone out there who still wants to give them a try I’ll include the recipes below!

Zucchini Noodles: I actually don’t own a Spirooli or Spiralizer. I have a contraption from the Minnesota State Fair (who would have ever thought) that is basically like a mandoline slicer but it slices into thin strips. It works for me.

Marinara Sauce:

3 tomatoes, sliced

1 green pepper (the spicy kind) Thanks Dad! (mine came from his garden)

4 sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted

4 olives

1 Tbsp olive oil

garlic salt, sage, thyme

Pulse or blend until combined.

Alfredo Sauce:

1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked overnight

1/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight

1 Tbsp olive oil

garlic salt, sage, thyme and a bit of soaking water

Blend until smoooooooooooth.


Filed under antioxidants, eating local, gluten-free, great meals, in season, olives, raw foods, Recipes, tomatoes, vegan, vegetables

Helen’s Kitchen BBQ Tofu Steaks

I really love good tofu. Some may gawk at that but it really is true. I don’t eat much soy, but my favorite way comes in the form of edamame (preferably alongside some fabulous sushi) and tofu. Unfortunately I have not yet mastered the tofu. For some reason it is never crispy enough, chewy enough and the list goes on. Basically it is slimy and yuck.

When I saw Helen’s Kitchen BBQ tofu I grabbed it immediately. I haven’t found a Helen’s item that I didn’t like so I figured I would also be a fan of this one.

productB_bbqtofuI had the taster grill one with his steak. Tofu steaks and cow steaks. Nothing wrong with that! 🙂 (Sorry taster, I will admit, I did kind of try to hide the meat, but I swear that is just because it never looks very pretty!!)


I thought they were great, they were really chewy and not at ALL slimy and had a great BBQ flavor. I did serve mine with some Annie’s Organic BBQ sauce on the side, because, well,  I love my sauces.


Hmmm… should I have my next tofu steaks? Any great ideas for me??


Filed under food reviews, frozen meals, great meals, vegan, vegetables