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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Creamy Basil Potato Salad

I found a delicious recipe in Food & Wine magazine for Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad. I decided to try my own version using the same dressing, but adding basil and broccoli instead of cucumber. I also decided to boil my potatoes instead of grilling them for greater ease. I am not a huge fan of traditional potato salad- typically too heavy and bland for me. I loved this recipe because the dressing is light and adding extra veggies and fresh herbs like basil, increases the health factor and boosts fresh flavor. Baby red potatoes work best for the recipe. Cutting them in disk shapes makes for a more modern take of this picnic staple. I recommend boiling your potato rounds al dente, creating better texture and bite. This salad is perfect for bringing to a backyard BBQ,  or summer picnic! Enjoy :)

Click below for the Food & Wine Recipe:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Domacin Wine Bar

Last weekend, my husband and I stayed at the enchanting Rivertown Inn to celebrate my graduation from Interior Design school. The Rivertown Inn is a historic bed and breakfast atop the hills of beautiful Stillwater, MN. During our stay, we dined at the popular wine bar Domacin, rated one of the 25 best wine bars by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The restaurant's extensive wine cellar holds over 600 bottles from around the world. The atmosphere is casual, with sleek and contemporary designs. The cuisine at Domacin is described as New American with a Mediterranean undertone. Most of the ingredients are brought in by local and organic vendors. 

My husband and I sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of Austrian Gruner Veltliner. Our server notified us that the bottle needed to be chilled. While we waited for our bottle to cool, they generously offered us two glasses on the house. The wait staff was swift, friendly and knowledgeable, adding to our overall positive experience at the restaurant. My husband and I decided to order a variety of small plates: mussels, scallops and broccolini (not pictured). The mussels were served in a white wine cream sauce with capers and scallion. The briny capers paired well with the shellfish, while the cream mellowed out the dish. We loved the sauce so much that we lapped up the remaining sauce with bread :) The scallops were served atop a lovely carrot puree, yuzu, candied papaya and scallion. The scallops were cooked perfectly. The sauce was light and tart, a perfect light appetizer for summer. We ordered broccolini as a side dish which was also quite tasty, served with preserved lemon and pancetta. For dessert, we ordered a small cup of peanut butter semifreddo. Semifreddo is a chilled mousse, made with half ice cream and half cream. The dessert was ultra rich and creamy - the perfect ending to a fantastically sweet evening!

Click HERE for a link to Domacin 

Click HERE for a link to the Rivertown Inn 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Homemade Tarter Sauce and Minted Pea Cups

I have always loved fresh peas. The color is fabulous and taste suburb. Adding mint to peas, adds a fresh bright note to an often times boring side dish. I wanted to serve my pea side in lettuce cups for presentation. They are also fun to eat in a cup, much like you would lettuce wraps. I paired my pea side with simple grilled salmon and homemade tater sauce. The meal was delicious, healthy and pretty to eat. Afterall, we eat with our eyes ;)

Minted Peas
(serves 4-6)

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced shallot
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups fresh or frozen peas 
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly chopped mint

In a large saute pan, add butter over medium heat. Then add shallot and garlic and saute until lightly browned and aromatic. Next, add peas and saute until tender. Reduce heat to low and add in cream until well blended. Turn off heat and add fresh mint. Serve immediatley.



Friday, May 10, 2013


May 2nd-4th my brother Adam had an art show. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY but returned to the Twin Cities to sell his paintings. My mother and I planned the catering menu. Having never planned an art sale before, we had little idea of what to expect. We planned to make heavier appetizers for the first evening and then cut down a bit for the next two nights. The show ended up being a success for my brother Adam and a success for me, as I was able to promote my catering services. Check out a few of the recipes and menu below:

On the menu:

- Caprese 
- Gravlox Crepe Rolls
- Marinated Mushrooms
- Salsa Butter
- Fig and Mint Tapanade
- Chickpea Dip
- Smoked Whitefish Dip
- French Bread
- Ginger Snaps
- Brownies 
- Apple Crisp Bars 

Fig and Mint Tapanade:

2 cups kalamata olives
1/2 cup dried, chopped figs
2 tbsp capers
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch salt and pepper

Add all ingredients into a food processor. Spread on french bread or crackers. 

Smoked Whitefish Dip:

2 cups flaked smoked whitefish (careful to remove all bones)
1- 8oz package cream cheese
2 tbsp mayo
1/2 cup sour cream  
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Juice of 2 large lemons
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fresh garlic
Pinch salt and pepper 

Combine all ingredients and serve with chives and lemon to garnish.