Monday, May 24, 2010

Meal Plan Monday! Weekend in Review!

We had such a nice weekend! It was busy, but a fun kind of busy.

Friday night we went out for a little date night and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Porter & Frye. We started with a beer for the boy and a glass of Pinot Noir for me along with mussels in a duck broth with duck sausage and leeks, very good. For our entree the boy had buffalo tenderloin with potato puree and baby carrots. I enjoyed Steak Diane which was made with hanger steak, very melt in your mouth tender and delicious. Our waiter recommended the panna cotta with a mango sorbet for dessert which we shared. A wonderful way to end a delicious dinner and our service was excellent.

Saturday after a story start, the day turned out to be beautiful. We headed out to Victoria, MN where my cousins wife's sister was hosting their daughters graduation party. The food was wonderful and the party was a lot of fun. They live in a beautiful home on the water with a great beach, so we enjoyed some beach time, a little boat ride and had fun catching up with my cousins.

On our way home, we decided it was such a nice day that we would stop off at a place that I had been wanting to try, Pairings Food and Wine Market. This is by far one of my new favorite places in the Twin Cities! They have a wine, beer and liquor store on one side and a cafeteria style restaurant on the other side. You can buy your bottle, or whatever you would like to drink on the one side and then take it over to the other side for the staff to uncork at no additional cost. On top of that I signed up for a free membership card and received 10% off of my purchase! So I bought a nice bottle of white, a vinho verde which is what I was in the mood for and the boy bought a couple of different beers to try (you can buy beer individually or in 6 packs). We sat outside and enjoyed our cocktails as the sun was going down and then decided to move inside and see about ordering a bite to eat. I had been watching the food come out, and I have to say everything looked amazing, so we had a hard time deciding. The boy saw they had chicken wings on the menu which are his favorite so he just could not resist. But I have to admit, I ate a few, and I am not a huge wing fan and these were by far the best wings I have had in Minnie! Cooked perfectly, not too bready,  not rubbery, just the right spice, delicious! I also ordered a sausage flatbread which we shared that was delicious. The sausage somehow had a way of being sweet and spicy all at the same time! We have our favorites which are closer to where I live, but I do have to admit,  I think I have a new favorite. I also got a side portion of chicken pasta pesto salad, and I promise you I will be trying to recreate it all summer now. It was SO good! Reminds me of Hay Day out East where I used to go and get my picnic fixings. But this had penne pasta, grilled chicken slices, tomato, bacon and the most wonderful pesto sauce I have ever had!

So, of course we just had to try the desserts after that, or I thought we did anyway, but they are still at home in the fridge, eyes were definitely bigger than the stomach! We decided to go with a red velvet cupcake and a piece of carrot cake (I am sure they will be a nice little treat at some point this week!).

Sunday we woke up to another cloudy hot day. We were looking forward to our brunch date though. Nicollet Island Inn has been on my list for a while now for a brunch date and it turned out to definitely be worth the wait! From the time we arrived until the moment we left the entire experience was wonderful. They serve a five course brunch where you choose from four different items in four of the courses. They start you off with your choice of  bottomless mimosa, fresh squeezed orange juice, champagne or coffee along with a basket of mixed pastries. The next course I had a slice of wonderful quiche with a fresh mixed green salad where the boy had a wonderful eggs benedict. All of the courses are small which is nice. The next course I had a small croque monsieur with truffle chips and honeydew melon and the boy had bagel chips with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and red onion, which were both wonderful. For our fourth course the boy was excited  to try the bouillabaisse which had shrimp, grouper, mussels, scallops and salmon, he loved it. I had the steak with mushrooms and potato jo-jos which was also delicious.
As our final course I chose the warm apple crisp and the boy had the german chocolate cake. All of the courses paired so well together and each were very delicious. Our service was impeccable and we were are really looking forward to going back on a Saturday night in their bar area for some cocktails and music.

After a very enjoyable brunch we headed out to look at MORE houses. I lost count of how many we went through yesterday, but it was A LOT! We didn't see anything that we LOVED, but we did see some interesting ones. We also talked more about what we liked and didn't like. I really like the master suite concept with a master bath. This is kind of lost on the boy as the house that he liked the best yesterday had three similar size (small) bedrooms on one floor with one bathroom on that floor. I wasn't overly excited about that one. We also saw three yesterday which had beautiful kitchens which also seem to get a little lost on him. I love to cook and entertain and have been living in a house with an incredibly small kitchen with zero counter space for the past 3 1/2 + years, I am due a decent kitchen and while I know and realize that there is always the possibility of a kitchen re-do, I also know that they are a huge pain in the rear to live through.The latest one we had an offer in on we went back and forth on price, couldn't get to a common place, so we decided to move on and if they decide at some point to come back, if we are in place to reconsider then we will, but otherwise it is back to the drawing board!

Here are some of the highlights.

5240 Ewing Ave S. (good curb appeal)
5240 Ewing Kitchen (I LOVE this kitchen, the commercial size Viking fridge and cooktop, the desk, the granite counters, the space, LOVE it!)

5401 Girard Ave S (love the curb appeal here, but the boy was concerned about the steepness of the front yard which I can understand, it did have a great yard along the side of the house)

Master suite at 5401, also had a great master bath

Kitchen at 5401 (the boy liked this one better than 5240 Ewing, while I think this one is nice, I didn't love the flow)

5241 Zenith Ave S Kitchen (LOVE this kitchen!)

5148 Zenith Ave S Master Suite (also had a nice reading area, great closets and a master bath, the boy does not like the ceilings on these, he says it makes him feel claustrophobic)

5202 Zenith Ave S Kitchen (this is the one house that the boy liked the best, ugh, this kitchen!)

5202 Zenith Ave S while it does have nice curb appeal, I just could not see myself living here.

Well, now it is back to the drawing board. We do want to find something that we can put some work into, but the problem is, most of the areas that we are looking in, it is hard to find anything run down.

Onto the meal plan for the week, REAL exciting stuff!

Plans - Screening of SITC 2 with a few girlfriends (after a LONG day of presenting to our board at work)
Dinner - grabbing something on the go or after

Plans - transitioning roles for JLM
Dinner - burgers on the grill before I go

Plans - TCWE BYOB Sense and Sensibility tasting $10 and under rated wines!
Dinner - whatever anyone brings, I need to come up with something as well

Plans - Fundraiser for Childrens Hospital NICU
Dinner - Solera

Friday to Monday
Dinner - I will post some of the things I will be making this weekend in the next couple of days!

For more meal plans with links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie!

1 comment:

Jacky Hackett said...

Pairing Food and Wine Market sounds like my kind of place! Curious if SITC 2 is any good.