Sunday, June 30, 2013

State Fair Food Preview!

Here are some highlights (and some possible lowlights) of the new foods at the fair this year. I'll let you figure out what is what.

Comet Corn:
A futuristic caramel corn made with liquid nitrogen. This icy-cold popcorn is crispy, crunchy, sweet & salty and leaves a trail of comet dust when exhaled out of the nose and mouth, creating a tingly, bubbly feeling.
Mini Donut Batter Crunch Ice Cream:
 Features a sweet cream base folded with mini donut batter and a hint of nutmeg in a sugar spice crunch. Made by Minnesota’s own Izzy's Ice Cream.

Minnepumpkin Pie
An individual deep fried pumpkin pie with cinnamon and sugar-dusted flaky crust and served with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Cocoa Cheese Bites
Wisconsin cheddar cheese nuggets breaded with cocoa puffs, fried and served with a chocolate dipping sauce

Fried Pickles 'n' Chocolate:
Preferred Pickles' popular deep fried pickles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of chocolate for dipping.

Here's the link for the pictures and other new foods:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Brown Sugar Rhuberry Bars

It's time, folks. Rhubarb Time! I love baking with rhubarb and it's one of the very first things that pops up in the farmers markets here in Minnesota.

Strawberry season is still a ways off, I think. It's dang cold out still. We are stubbornly refusing to turn the heat back on but the house is chilly. The cats are earning their keep as lap-warmers.

I made these bars from the recipe at the link below. The only changes I made were to replace 1/2 cup of flour in the crust with almond flour, to up the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon and add about 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries.

The bottom shortbread layer is delicious and buttery. The strawberries, blueberries, and rhubarb balance very nicely , and the orange zest is a nice addition. The recipe is a little fiddly. You have to refrigerate the shortbread crust and refrigerate the crisp topping. Once the bars are baked they have to be completely cooled before cutting. I would say it's worth it, though. They were delicious!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hangin' with My Gnomies: Gnome Gardens.

I know that gnome and fairy gardens are all the rage these days. Seriously, Pinterest is chock full of miniature cottages -  gnome houses made of stick and stones, acorns and pinecones.  I like to think of my gnome gardens as just that - gardens. My gnomey friends don't live there. They're just puttering around the garden. They don't have names yet. Any suggestions?
I wanted this round garden to have a magical, otherworldly feel so I filled it with "weird" plants. Plants include: Artemisia "silver mound", Cellosia, Corkscrew Rush, Delosperma (the one with the fat vines - in theory it blooms with purple flowers if we ever get any sunny days)

Plants in the window box garden: Artemesia (silver mound) and Dusty Miller on the gnome side. Bonanza Yellow Marigold, Variegated Vinca and more Dusty Miller on the cat's side. Isn't this cat figurine kinda creepy cute?

Another bonus of these gnome gardens is that I got to display my rock collection. I have a habit of collecting rocks on every camping trip. I never have anything to do with them,though, so they sit on shelves, in jars, and in boxes around the house. Boy, does my sister love my rock collection when it's moving time. Ha!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Container Gardening in Minnesota

I managed to make it over to the garden center over Memorial Day weekend. What a crazy scene! I didn't want to wait, though. It's been such a long wait for warmer weather and it's time to grow some flowers, dammit.

This container includes: Coleus, Scarlet Begonia, Asparagus Fern, Variegated Vinca. I don't know the name of the bright green trailing plant. I wanted a sweet potato vine but none were to be had at the garden center. I'm sure they are available at the farmer's market but I was too lazy to trek downtown. All of these plants are supposed to grow well in partial sun so I hope they work out. There is a big maple in the front yard so these containers get filtered sunlight.

I used the "thriller, filler, spiller" method to plan these out. More info to be found here:

The gnome was purchased at Target last year. He used to live in rather bedraggled houseplant. However, someone forgot to water said plant for, oh, I don't know....six weeks or so. He likes his new digs much better than the shriveled, dessicated remains of a philodendren.


For the other container: more Coleus, more Scarlet Begonia, and an unidentified trailing plant with purple flowers.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Much like Beyonce, Simon didn't want this picture displayed on the internet. It's not the most flattering. but isn't it funny how his tongue makes him look like has big fat lips? Simon, this is punishment for focusing on eating grass when I told you to act cute for your photoshoot.