Legend has it that once upon a time a guy traveled to California where he had the most amazing, unique meal called Pork Fussili. It was unlike anything he had had before, a fusion of Asian, Latino and Italian tastes. The meal was so good that he could not stop thinking about it, but since California was too far to travel when his cravings would strike, he attempted to recreate the dish he remembered. This took nearly a hundred attempts but finally he was able to recreate the delicious pork fussili he remembered trying in California.
Lucky for me this guy somehow met my brother Jeff and cooked him this delicious Pork Fussili. Recognizing a genius dish once he tried it, Jeff pleaded and begged with this guy to share his secret recipe for pork fussili. The guy did so, but only on the condition that he would steal Jeff's 1st born child if Jeff ever shared the secret. (I made that part up but it had a nice effect, eh?)
After getting the recipe for pork fussili and making it himself for the first time, Jeff bragged to all of our family about this awesome dish and promised us he would make it for us sometime when he was in town (very rare these days!). The day finally arrived this past Sunday, so we all went to Jeff's for dinner.
The pork fussili was indeed AMAZING! While I fear for the life of my family or any future nieces and nephews, I dare not share the recipe with you, but I will tell you some of the ingredients and tell you how it all works. Preparing this dish is something it takes an entire day to do.
You must cook a pork shoulder until it is tender enough to pull.
You must make a habanero pesto, using cilantro instead of basil
You must boil a combo of ingredients (including pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, etc) to make a tasty sauce.
Boil thick, curly fussili noodles.
Start an assembly line of all prepared ingredients. In individual bowls put noodles, ladle of sauce, dollop of sour cream, dollop of habanero pesto and top with shredded pork.
It is spicy and unlike anything you have ever had before!! Fabulous.
Thanks for making this for us, Jeff! Can't wait to have it again :)
It was almost two months ago that I went to Colorado with my family for my cousin Katie's anniversary party and I almost forgot to blog about it!! (I may have forgotten to blog about it but I did post the slideshows my dad created. ) Quick refresher on my trip: I went to Colorado immediately after working in Austin, TX for three weeks. The first night in Colorado was spent enjoying happy hour at Que Bueno and going out with Jeff, Heidi and Tony. The second day we went to a nice picnic with other family and out-of-towners and then took a walk down Pearl Street in Boulder Colorado. So now I'll continue where I left off...
After shopping on Pearl Street for an hour or so, we all went back to our hotel to relax and get ready for the upcoming anniversary party. The party was a dessert reception so a bunch of out family went and had an early dinner on the rooftop patio at the Lazy Dog before heading to the party. This place had great food, I did a mini- review for the Twin Cities Restaurant Blog.
After dinner we headed to a Contemporary museum in Boulder for the anniversary party, which was a dessert reception. Katie and EZ. got married on August 1, 2008 and decided to wait until this year to have a reception for their first anniversary.
Lots of yummy treats in little nooks and crannies around the space....
My mom and dad....
Jeff and Amanda (there are at least two hundred pics of these two while in Colorado!)
After the party ended, several of us young, cool cousins all went out to Pearl Street. We had a lot of fun! This was the first time that this particular group of cousins had ever gone out together before and we were all in Colorado celebrating, so it was even more cool. It reminded me of the fun times Katie and I used to have when we were roommates at SCSU where we both did our undergrads. It would've been great if Brian and Michelle could've joined us but they had to take the kids back to the hotel for bed.
Beautiful and Educated Sauer girls ~ Heidi (P.A.), Me (M.A.) and Katie (PhD)-
Cousin Stevie and Jeff
Labor Day is always the last day of the 12-day Minnesota State Fair and like other years, I had to make it out there for a 2nd time to sample the treats we only get to eat once a year. We met up with my brother Jeff sometime in mid afternoon and took the Park N Ride to the Fairgrounds.
There were a LOT of people out at the Fair on Labor Day!
I made Jeff bring his camera along so that I could document more of our food buys which consisted of:
We were out at the Fair about 4 hrs until we were pretty hot and stuffed and decided to call it a day.
It was another great year at the MN State Fair!
One night last week I met my friend Chaitra for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Pappasitos Cafe.
We had Fajitas
(and a margarita!)
Our service wasn't that great and the fajitas were way over-priced, but it sure was nice to spend time with my old friend from high school! Thanks for meeting up with me, Chaitra!
I had a list compiled of restaurants to try and Salt Lick was one of the top 5 by many different sources. On Sunday night I was finally able to try it out! A group of my colleagues planned to go that night and it worked out that I was able to join them, along with my friend Chaitra (from high school) who happens to live (and teach!) here in Austin. It was great to see Chaitra, it had been a very long time since we'd seen each other.
We didn't go to the original Salt Lick, we went to one that is closer to where we're staying. The beef brisket was the bomb and the ribs were darn good too. The sauce was the best part, though. I have to stock up on that shiznit before I head home!
Mmmm, good stuff. Going to bring some home for my honey when I fly home for the weekend.....just found out they have a location at the Austin Airport!!
One of my co-workers has a garden full of rhubarb and brings a ton in to share with everyone and then we have a Rhubarb Potluck. This is a potluck beyond a dessert-lovers dream (if you like tart rhubarb, that is!). This year I finally got around to documenting all of the desserts my colleagues bring in. I think there were 25-30 different desserts/dishes all containing rhubarb. I did not try everything, but will share with you my two absolute favorites.
Rhubarb Cheesecake- to die for!!!
Rhubarb Angel Dessert- This one had a merengue topping on top of a sweet-tart rhubarb filling. WOW. They must call this one angel dessert because it is truly heavenly!
This is the plate of what I tried:
I am not going to post ALL of the rhubarb desserts here on the blog, but I do have an album of all the desserts here if you would like to take a peek!
I ate so much this weekend that I think I might just be permanently full.
My brother Jeff threw his 3rd Annual Birthday BBQ (remember his 1st BBQ or 2nd BBQ? Last year during his bbq a deadly tornado touched down in Hugo, the city I live in). This year the feast was appropriately nicknamed Porkapalooza with the main features being Ribs and Pulled Pork sandwiches. Jeff got a new smoker to do them up just right....
There was enough meat by itself to feed a small army, and in addition to that, I would say 95% of the guests brought a side dish, appetizer or dessert to share. The amount of food was incredible!! The 10 ft island in Jeff's kitchen was packed full. Here is what was left after 40 or so people ate:
Jeff had a nice number of both friends and family at the party, here are some of the family pics:
Thanks for the awesome BBQ Jeff! Looking forwward to more in the future!
Did you all have a nice Cinco de Mayo? I don't even think it matters if you're Mexican or not! Any excuse to eat Mexican food sounds like a great idea to me!
I themed this week "Mexican Food Week" in honor of Cinco de Mayo, traveling around St Paul trying different Mexican food places to review for the Twin Cities Restaurant Blog (I still need to write up one more review). I am used to making people hungry with my pictures, so here I go again!
Awesome chicken enchiladas at La Esperanza
Enchiladas & Taco at El Bravo
Tacos at El Amanecer
Tacos at Boca Chica's Taco House
If only I had had a yummy lime margarita on the rocks to go with any of it!!
Did anyone else go out and have an enjoyable Cinco de Mayo??
We had turkey, beef brisket, sausages, ribs and I also brought over some bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin skewers and steak. It was like an awesome meat buffet! ( Did I mention that my gas grill died on Friday night right before I was about to throw the meat on the grill? I brought everything over to Brian's on Saturday to cook there instead).
I love Brian & Michelle's backyard- it's almost like being in the wilderness!
It was a nice time and I am glad Brian had a great birthday!
Sinful isn't even the word for this cake. Its so unbelievably rich and chocolately that two bites were all I could handle. The frosting is like a chocolate mousse butter cream and it is covered with white chocolate shavings. Wow. This tiny cake from Taste of Scandinavia must be shared in small doses and on special occasions!
The only photos I took today were ones I will be using to write a restaurant review. (I own and operate Twin Cities Restaurant Blog).
Stopped at Swede Hollow Cafe and all I got for $8 was this sandwich (and a pickle spear)....
I am not the best at coming up with titles to my blog posts, but I do love to use alliteration! Last night I kicked off my birthday with a dinner at Akita Sushi & Hibachi. I met my girls Dana and Ang at the restaurant for some all-you-can eat sushi action. Heaven for sushi lovers! We definitely ate enough to get our money's worth. Fo' Sho. I don't know if I have ever been that full in my life. I ate at least 10 of everything and dang, was it good! Check out my review of Akita on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog.
Now besides the excellent food, it was also great to hang out with the girls (and the hottie who joined us). Here is a photo of us. They have more photos in the posts they each wrote about our dinner. Here is Dana's, here is Ang's
I was tagged by Ms. Samara to make a list of five things I am totally addicted to. To some this is very easy, but when I think about my addictions, all I can think about is FOOD. So let's look at some of the foods that I have a hard time saying No to ;)
1. Sweets. I do not eat candy, but I have a hard time passing up desserts! My favorites are carrot cake, cheesecake, German chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream!!!
4. Mexican Food. There are very few Mexican foods that I will pass up (menudo is one I can do without). I prefer Authentic Mex to Tex-Mex, but love them both. Margaritas fall into this addiction as well :)
I am not going to tag anyone in particular, but please feel free to blog about your addictions....food or otherwise!
Quick sidenote! Coincidentally the title of this post sounds a lot like the title of my friend Ang's blog: Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness. She is one super cool MN chick and has a fun blog to read :)
The inspiration for my title is that the Vikings won the football game on Sunday against the NY Giants (yes it was at the very last second that they scored a field goal to go 20-19, but whatever. Skol Vikings!). After watching the game I ended up going downtown for all-you-can eat sushi at Ichiban. Delish. I just love spicy tuna rolls and salmon with avocado! After dinner I took a short walk downtown and saw this cool building lit up with Vikings colors so I stopped to take a couple of photos.
Now if only the Vikes could keep up this momentum.....
And maybe I should learn how to make my own sushi?
Who has heard of a beergarita???
I've just been schooled.
Its a margarita with beer instead of tequila........
I think I'm about to try it, I'll let you know what I think ;)
The cheese curds are dipped in a batter and then deep fried to a golden brown, with cheese melted and gooey on the inside. They are salty and definitely greasy, but they are pretty amazing! Unlike Michelle, I can only eat a couple at a time, but I have to get them every single time I am at the Fair, it is tradition and we wait a whole year until we can get them again :)
Sorry Michelle, I am sure you are really mad at me for making you crave more cheese curds AGAIN!! LOL
I spent about 5-6 hours at the State Fair last night, eating and spending a ton of $$$$$$$$$. It was fun! 90% of the time I was there stuffing my face. Seriously! Good thing everything was shared or the medics would've had to wheel me out of there on a stretcher!! I know this is the worst photo I have ever posted of myself on this blog, but I'm keeping it real today. Nothing like getting caught with a foot-long corn dog in your mouth!!
Besides the corn dog, I sampled:
*Taco from Mexican Hat (sooooo much better than Taco King!)
*Bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin
*Shaved Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
*Sweet Martha's Cookies (who wouldn't need sweets after all that MEAT???!!!)
I took a couple of boring pictures....
State record Muskie, almost 5 feet long. There are several of these bad-boys in White Bear Lake (some even bigger!!). Does anyone wonder WHY I don't like swimming in lakes????? I know two people who have caught a muskie bigger than this in WBL within the past month (although both times the fish never made it in the boat).
One of my favorite places is the Bazaar. Bought a couple of these hot sauces. Hopefully I bought the ones that will NOT make my face spontaneously combust!
Besides eating, we also shopped and found a couple of things that we just couldn't leave there!! Let's just say our household Christmas shopping is now complete ;)
I am looking forward to another trip to the Fair on Friday night :)
Until Tuesday night I had never in my life cooked a whole bird. And I have lived on my own for 13 years!!!!!
Well, there is a first time for everything :)
Last night I had one of the best dining experiences EVER.....I finally got to go to Fogo de Chao, a new Brazilian Steakhouse/BBQ downtown Mpls. This place is a carnivore' dream! They also have one of the best salad bars I have ever seen. I don't know if I have ever been so stuffed in my life! We had a wonderful time trying just about everything they had to offer.
Yay for birthdays, great friends and family!
A small group of us went to Sakura for a delicious sushi dinner on Saturday night to celebrate Sonja's birthday. This place was awesome!
I was also surprised later in the evening when a former very close friend of mine joined our party. We had not seen nor spoken with one another in nearly 9 years. A little awkward, if ya kwim. My neighbor and his buddy came out to join us too, so that was cool. Too bad some of our key-girlfriends couldn't make it for the evening. It just isn't the same without their presence :( I had a pretty decent time, but I couldn't be as fun as usual because I was sober-cab for the evening. I'm not a big drinker, but on the rare occasion that I get to go out, I do like to have a drink or two. I just never do it if I have to drive.
So I am off to Target to run some errands and get my haircut. I need bangs. I have been hating my hair so much, pretty much since I had it done last....I just need to do something else with it!
Headed to Brian and Michelle's later for dinner. Can't wait, Michelle is making her famous calzones!
I know I didn't eat much at the Fair last week when I went with Brian & Michelle, but I definitely made up for it on Saturday night when I went back with some friends.
What I ate/sampled during the 5 hours we were there:
*Footlong hot dog
*Cheese curds (Sorry Michelle, I didn''t get any to-go for you, since i knew you guys were at the Cabin this weekend)
*Apple & caramel malt from the Dairy Building
*Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin (outside the Bazaar)- delicious!!
*Cinnamon roasted almonds in the Bazaar (3 large bags to take home!)
*Taco from Taco King (note to self: boring! try different tacos next time!)
*Roasted Corn on the Cob (I think this is my favorite!)
*London broil steak sandwich & lemonade
*Tom Thumb mini donuts for the long walk back to our car
Playing games in the Midway.....
Oh, and how many of you call milk "white" milk? Such as on this sign at the Milk booth, which boasts white & chocolate milk. That was really bugging Rich, let me tell ya! Doesn't one assume that milk is white, unless it specifies a flavor??!!
Since we are discussing fair food in this post, I wanted to ask your opinion about Dippin' Dots-Ice Cream of the Future. I saw a special on the Travel or Food channel about this and thought I'd ask ya'll about it. I know they are very popular, but I am not interested because I enjoy softer, creamier ice cream. Please take my poll :)
We had a yummy dinner at my parent's house on Saturday night. Since they will be in Florida for the month of February and will miss my birthday (Feb 11...same as Christina P), we celebrated it then. As the guest of honor, I got to pick the menu...chicken fajitas with all the fixin's and cheesecake pie for dessert. My little brother Jeff made the fajitas....
Ahhh, I love fajitas! Just not the lingering smell of peppers and onions in your hair and clothes after cooking it inside, kwim? I hate that! I had to shower and change as soon as I got home because I smelled like one big Fajita Mama:)
On Friday night I went out to dinner with friends to Khan's Mongolian Barbeque. Good stuff! I ordered an aqua-colored drink so that I could take a pic and use it for when I do my layout in Valerie's Aqua Circle Journal. It was called Surf Monkey and wasn't quite as blue as I needed it, so I tried tinting it in PS. If someone can help me with doing a better job than I did, please help me! I also need to blur the background or something. I will e-mail you the original to work with.
Today I went to Quack's for lunch and then we had friends over all afternoon. Somehow I managed to finish this layout for my friend Trudie's Circle Journal. Her theme was "the essence of nonsense" which to her means "theme-free, no rules, let your creative spirit flow" in a 12 x 12 format. I thought and thought about what I wanted to do...no theme? Yikes! I also had a hard time getting into a collage type feel so I just went out there on my own and this is what I came up with:
I arranged some of my silk flowers into a glass bowl and took pics to use on this layout. I think it turned out just as colorful as I wanted! Isn't it pretty!? I see Trudie at work every day but she does not want to see my creation until she gets her CJ back at the end of August! I am glad all of you wanted to see it!
I also wanted to post this pic of me and my friend Farrah that we took at work the other day. We work together but we have also been friends since college!
I went to Saji-Ya last night for a birthday celebration and some yummy sushi. on his birthday for sushi. We ordered and ate soooo much sushi! Hamachi, white tuna, kaibashaira, ikura, spicy tuna roll, California roll, caterpillar roll, etc. We went all out!!! I know I have posted about sushi before, but I just think it is so pretty how they arrange it on the plate!
How cool is today's date? We won't have this exact combo of numbers again for another 100 years. Weird!!
It wasn't until after 1am that I went to bed again last night...this time it was not due to being lost in a good book or being unable to sleep due to being wired off sudafed for my spring allergies. I stayed up late visiting with two very dear, long-time friends, Adebayo and Big Kris. Ade has lived 4 hours away from the Cities for the past 8 years now, so getting together as often as we did growing is hard to come by. I was very happy that he called me out of the blue on Tuesday night to let me know he'd be in town this weekend for a wedding and wanted to know if we could get together the next day. This was the first time he has come down to the Cities in over two years! I actually did have other plans for Wed night (we'll reschedule for Friday night, Jen!) but knew that I might not have the opportunity to see Ade again for a long time. We both called Kris to make sure he would be able to hang out with us as well...so glad he was able to!
Ade and Kris came over and hung out for awhile before we went to have dinner at the Lakeside Club. We wanted to take the guys to a place that has excellent food and service....a way for us to celebrate all being together at one time,and certainly more memorable than eating at McDonalds! The ribeye, prime rib and walleye that we ordered was delicious, melt-in-your-mouth good. mmmm!
After dinner the four of us went back to our house and hung out for several more hours, catching up on old times, etc. It always amazes me at how fast the time goes when you haven't seen someone in awhile. I have known these guys since I was in high school and they have both been very special to me and will be forever! Ade and Kris...Te Amo Mucho, Amigos!!
Thank God I had mints to cover up this bad taste in my mouth...yes folks, it has finally happened. I ate Mexican food for lunch today that I did not like at ALL! In fact I was grossed out to the point of throwing it away without eating much of it!! And I was STARVING!!
I am normally a HUGE fan of Mexican food, so I couldn't resist stopping by this new little Taqueria by my work for lunch today. I wasn't at all scared that I couldn't read the menu or that not a soul in the place spoke any English. I ordered a steak quesadilla. Okay, make a mental picture of what you think a steak quesadilla should look a taste like. Now I will tell you what I got.... a handmade corn tortilla with the tiniest pea-sized pieces of steak...like maybe 30 of these pieces. The rest of it had several large chunks of raw onion, half a head of chopped lettuce, sour cream, and white Mexican goat cheese. Say what??? I suppose it could be construed to be a taco, but definitely not a quesadilla in any way, shape or form!! The rice that came on the side must have been sitting in styrofome because that is exactly what it tasted like!! The beans I got were runny, but tasty. So that is all I really ate for lunch today. Runny Beans!
I will not let this shy me away from any undiscovered Mexican joints around town, but I will likely get a recommendation first!!