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Cravings and Nesting – FINAL

14 Jul

So here I am with a little more than 4-weeks to go!  It is amazing how much faster this pregnancy has gone by than my first with Elliot.  I just don’t have a lot of time to think about it while keeping up with an almost 3-year-old!

We had a crazy June, traveling a lot and I told myself that when July came I would get serious about making some meals to freeze for those days after baby arrives and we are too tired to cook anything.

We will have another meal swap in August so that will help out.  But here is my problem..it is hot and I am not feeling inspired to cook  soups, casseroles, etc.  I do think I can whip up some easy pasta dishes that freeze well.  Especially with all of the awesome produce our CSA is providing right now.  But I am looking for suggestions, so let’s hear them.

And I have been craving and eating fruit like crazy.  I actually remember craving more meat and protein when I was pregnant with Elliot.  So this leads to my theory that we are having a girl this time (we didn’t find out with E and we don’t know what we are having now either).  We went strawberry picking at Apple Jack Orchard two-weeks ago.  I love that place and I love it even more that they don’t spray their berries!  While there, I also ordered fruit from Michigan that you can pre-order and pick-up in July or August.  Cannot wait for peaches and blueberries, again chemical free!  Anyway – we came home and made a ton of jam, Jen’s boozy jam too and this strawberry cake.  Seriously both Elliot and I have developed a red tint from eating so many strawberries – j/k =)

But they taste so good even if this season’s are a little tart and small due to all of the rain we have had.  Nothing beats local strawberries.

As I anticipate the fruit cravings to continue, any other recipe suggestions?  The belly and I thank you =)

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restaurant review – cafe maude

7 Apr

The following post is written by Featured Contributor, Liza.

 

A few weeks ago we went out for a grown-up dinner (this only happens a few times a year in our worlds right now) with our BF’s  to celebrate Matt’s Birthday.  Here are the BF’s Matt and Heather, aren’t they adorable?

Heather and I were brainstorming about places we would like to try and she suggested Cafe Maude.  I had heard great things about it and was excited to try it.  Here is a pic of the hubs and myself.

Here are the deets…

Atmosphere – We had made reservations and thank goodness we did because it was PACKED!  The vibe is very dark, cozy and warm; very bistro like.  Highly recommend making reservations especially since this was a Friday night.

Service – This is our big complaint.  Our server was definitely a bit slow.  We ordered several small plates that we shared and the time between courses was too long.  Not sure who to blame here the server or the kitchen staff?

Drinks – Their drink list was pretty fabulous.  Being the pregnant one, I opted for a mocktail – the strawberry starlight.  It was very refreshing and delish.  Matt order a margarita…ok maybe a couple.  This was a big deal as he typically orders something much more girly like a cosmpolitan =)  Heather drank the Natasha which was a blackberry cosmo.  The hubs ordered the Double Double.  The title says it all as it is heavy on the scotch and all you need is one.  Ever since traveling to Scotland last year he has become a real scotch lover and this didn’t disappoint.  He was toasty in no time.

Food – We started with hoisin spare ribs, grilled asparagus and house cut fries.  They were all delish but the spare ribs were superb!  Now I am not typically a rib kind of girl (I know, I know…) but these were AMAZING.  Seriously, I could have eaten a whole plate by myself.

Then we moved onto grilled hanger steak and mac and cheese.  Rob and Matt have a serious love for mac and cheese so this was a must order.  It was good with a lot of lemon in it which was surprising but we decided we liked it.  The steak was great as well, it really melted in your mouth.
The mac and cheese went so fast that we ordered another bowl and another order of fries (because the pregnant lady was craving them – therefore no questions asked).  However had we known it would have taken so long to arrive, we probably would have just skipped it for dessert.

It being a birthday of course we had to have dessert. Again Cafe Maude didn’t disappoint.  Matt and Heather ordered the milk and cookies.  It was a HUGE platter, more than enough to share.  And the milk was melted vanilla bean ice cream.  It was awesome.  Rob and I shared the hazelnut chocolate torte – it was ok, nothing to write home about though.

Overall Experience – It was a great night with awesome company.  The food was good and we would for sure go back.  Though for us it is more of a celebratory occasion kind of place but for some it could appeal even on a weeknight.

Have you been to Cafe Maude?  What was your experience like?

Meal Swapping

10 Mar

Note: This post is by Featured Contributor, Liza.

So a few months ago there was an article in the Star Tribune about meal swapping here.

My good friend Heather Clark emailed me and said we should get a group together to do this.

I thought it was a great idea but had numerous questions.  My family tries to eat consciously.  We shop at the coop, we buy organic produce and dairy when possible, and most importantly my son has a peanut allergy.  Would I be a diva to ask the group to respect some of my food priorities?  Heather came up with the great idea of surveying everyone interested to see if our priorities aligned and they did!

There are seven of us in the group, most of us have small children or travel a lot for work which means having several meals ready to thaw in the freezer is awesome.  Basically we cook one dish for six people and get six meals in return.

We met for the first time in November to discuss how we should structure the group, how often we should meet, discussing menu ideas, spice tolerances, etc.  We settled on meeting every other month and agreed that about three weeks before a swap we would email our meal suggestion to the group so we would make sure we didn’t have seven pasta dishes or too many repeats.  I had suggested that we all purchase the same dishes to prepare our meals in so we wouldn’t have to keep track of whose containers were whose.

We agreed to meet in December and would be swapping soup and ½ dozen Christmas cookies.  Due to a snowstorm (shocker this winter right?) we were unable to meet but ended up dividing and conquering our deliveries and the goods received were great!

In February, on Super Bowl Sunday, we met again (well in advance of the game).  This time the menu included; Indian Curry, Empanadas, Egg Bake, Squash and Sage Ravioli, Meatballs, Stuffed Shells and Chicken Pesto Calzones.

So far it has been wildly successful!  We are all loving trying different dishes and having ready to thaw meals at our fingertips.  As we move into warmer months we have talked about having one person make something that is fresh and ready to eat like a pasta or tuna salad that we can consume right away just to add some variety.

So do any of you swap?  What are your favorite meals to make ahead and freeze?

I promise next time we meet as a group to snap a picture so you can see all of these lovely ladies.

25 Things – Liza

22 Feb

This is an introduction to one of the new contributors here on She said. She said.  Welcome Liza!

  1. I believe in the 80/20 philosophy when it comes to eating.  Eating healthy and consciously 80% of the time and not worrying about the other 20%.
  2. I have never read a book twice.  I love to read so much and I figure I have thousands of books to read yet, why would I take the time to repeat one?
  3. I will pretty much eat anything except for mushrooms.  I have tried them numerous times and can’t get past the texture.
  4. Tiramisu is my favorite dessert of all-time.
  5. I swore I would never own a minivan, guess what we just bought?
  6. I believe in past lives.
  7. Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out.  A runny egg on anything is my idea of a fabulous morning.
  8. I wish I was more eloquent and graceful; I tend to be a bit blunt and aggressive.
  9. I want to learn how to meditate well.
  10. I am not a morning person.  I am at my best from about 2pm-10pm.
  11. Growing up I ate a lot of pizza, cereal and taco salads.  I was a skinny-minny and thought I was fat then.  Oh how I would kill for that body now.
  12. I would like to live in NYC some day.  It is my favorite city in the world.
  13. I find cooking to be cathartic not stressful.
  14. My husband is also a great cook, nothing is sexier in a man in my opinion.
  15. I often dream things and then they happen weeks later.  I only know they are about to happen a couple of minutes before they do.
  16. I grew up in Wisconsin and have a deep love for any kind of cheese.
  17. I wish more people were honest about saying what they really thought.
  18. I am addicted to reading food blogs and bookmarking recipes.  No seriously I read about 50 food blogs, it is a problem…
  19. At no time do I have less than eight tubes of lipstick in my purse.
  20. I worked at a Pizza Hut in high school and college summers in my hometown.  Pizza is still one of my favorite foods.
  21. I met my husband in college.  We were both in the University of Minnesota Marching Band.  I play clarinet and he plays tuba.  Yup band nerds…
  22. Last year I traveled to Scotland and learned to like Scotch.
  23. I have never liked the taste of beer.  Ironic being from Sconnie huh?
  24. I have had naturally curly hair since I was 10.  I used to fight it, straitening in it which only made it frizzy.  I accepted it at about age 15 and have loved it ever since.
  25. When I was a kid I wanted to be a professional tap dancer.  I took lessons for 10 years.

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