Baby its cold outside!

Well, what do you do on a day that is 40 plus degrees colder than the day before? Only in Minnesota can you have a glorious 40 degree Saturday and go to a negative degree Sunday. On a day like that you run from your car to the movie theater and huddle inside the warmth of the popcorn marker. Which is what my husband and I did and after, we went for ice cream, who can resist ice cream. While enjoying our ice cream, Dan suggested chili for supper.

We stopped at the store, picked the essentials, and headed home. The chili hit the spot, after eating Christmas cookies and braving the cold it filled the belly.

I look forward to many days of leftovers, stay tuned!

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Christmas lights, French Fries, and ice cream

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Friday night my husband and I went driving around the Twin Cities looking at Christmas lights. We went to two homes that were particularly dazzling, Eden Prairie and Plymouth. Each home had lights synchronized to music on the radio. It was so cool to see and each home drove a crowd, but with all that driving around makes one hungry.

Thankfully, we stumbled upon a cute restaurant, Honey and Mackie’s, specializing in fresh ice cream and gourmet French Fries. I ordered the chili cheese fries, fresh cut fries with a generous topping of cheese and chili. I devoured this plate full, knowing I had to save room for ice cream.

Looking over their wide selection of ice cream, my husband and I decided upon a two scoop bowl of butter brittle and salted caramel. So good, even on a cold winter night.

It was a night of my combined favorite things, Christmas lights, fries , and ice cream-a great Friday night!

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Cookies!!!!

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With Christmas fast approaching I took sometime off of work to get some baking done. Have just finished baking my two favorite Christmas cookies, peanut butter star and Russian Tea Cakes.

We all have our favorite cookies and ones that are rooted in past memories. For me it is the pure love of peanut butter and the memory of methodical eating of the cookie. Just like the OREO, we each have a way of enjoying this cookie. I eat the base around the chocolate star, saving that for last. As for the Russian Tea Cake, I have no explanation why I love this cookie, I just do. Warning, it is hard to hide that you have eaten this cookie, due to the powdered sugar coating.

Peanut Butter Star Cookie

1 cup natural (or regular)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag chocolate stars

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Scoop onto baking sheet, about a tablespoon amount.

Bake 7 minutes, careful remove pan from oven and top each with a chocolate star candy. Return to oven baking 6-8 minutes more or until golden brown.

Cool on pan 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely before storing.

Russian Tea Cakes

1 cup butter , softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
1 1/4 cup almond me
1 cup AP flour (gluten free works too)
Powdered sugar for coating

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a mixer of medium, combine the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla, until combined and slightly fluffy. Scrape around bowl.

Either chop 3/4 cup almonds or use food processor.

Add the almonds and flours and mix on low until just combined. Use spatula to fully incorporate.

Using a scoop, place dough on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

While cookies are baking, pour about 1 cup powdered sugar into bowl and place near where you are cooling cookies.

Cool cookies on pan 2 minutes, remove and place in powdered sugar and coat. Place on cooling rack, cool 5 minutes and re-coat with powdered sugar. Cool completely.

Happy Holidays!!!!

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Brunch with friends

Saturday was brunch day, and as you know I love breakfast food, so picking the right place is essential. Where we went fit the bill, Wilde Roast Cafe in Downtown, Minneapolis.

They have a great brunch menu, plenty of savory and sweet dishes, with gluten free options and bread. Prices, including Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas are very reasonable.

Atmosphere is unique, decorated with peacocks. There is a bar, coffee bar, dining and private dining.

And to top it off, you can end your meal with gelato!

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Happy Birthday!

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Tonight my husband and I celebrated his birthday! I made him his favorite meal, ribs accompanied by acorn squash stuffed with quinoa. Birthday cake was an ice cream cake, even on a below zero day, there is always room for ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Dan!!

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Banana Bread

Well, I pulled out one of my all time favorite family recipes to bake this weekend. Banana bread, no better way to use up bananas or warm up a house. With the lingering aroma filling the home for days afterward, this is a must bake.

Recipe:
3-4 bananas
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour, gluten free works as well
1/2 tsp baking soda

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and spray bottom and sides of loaf pan.

Mash bananas to make a soft consistency, add butter and eggs. Mix to well combined, add vanilla and mix.

Gently stir in flour and baking soda. Mix until incorporated and pour batter into loaf pan.

Bake 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

Enjoy!

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