Sunday was my cheat day. You know, the day where you can stray from your healthy eating plan and enjoy whatever it is that your little heart desires.
So… this happened.
‘Tis the season, right?!
A couple weeks back the Polar Vortex roared it’s ugly head for the second time. When Saturday morning hit, I was going stir crazy. So while most people stayed off the road, we kicked the all wheel drive into high gear and headed to Fat Nat’s Eggs for a old school diner breakfast.
Fat Nat’s is a “no frills” breakfast joint located off of 252 in Brooklyn Park (although there are multiple locations). Nestled in a rather unassuming strip mall, I wasn’t sure what to expect. When you walk in you are greeted by a sign to add your name to the seating list. A server then comes over and escorts parties to their tables. Seating is simple and straight forward— but the scents wafting from the kitchen caused instant hunger pangs.
The no frills attitude is evidenced in the menu as well.
I am pretty traditional when it comes to breakfast but with this being my first visit, I thought it only fitting to try one of their specialities. So I channeled my dad and went straight for the biscuits and gravy while my boyfriend opted for the breakfast slider.
When my biscuits and gravy arrived I knew there was no way I was going to “clean my plate”. The portion was HUGE– literally four oversized biscuits just smothered is gravy-deliciousness. Oh, and did I mentioned it was accompanied by a monster sized plate of hashbrowns and two eggs!
And the slider looked pretty amazing as well. Stacked high with meat, eggs and hollandaise– it appeared this was a can’t miss!
The staff was on top of their game, waters always full and quick service. The food definitley “hit the spot” for my nagging breakfast need. I would absolutley return when on the hunt for a traditional diner atmosphere and food!
Check out Fat Nat’s Eggs website to look at locations and their monster menu!
Work-wise, last week was a long one. So when Friday hit, I was less than thrilled with the idea of cooking but absolutely dreaded the idea of leaving my condo and entering the cold night in search of food. Plus, I had everything I needed at home sans motivation.
After some major vegging out on the couch I mustered enough energy to whip up a pork tenderloin and some quick mashed potatoes and salad. Pork tenderloins are so easy, just season and pop in the oven. But I find myself often doing the same prep each time. To switch it up, I looked around for ideas that other people were using and then jumbled a few together and came up with this bad boy.
Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin– here’s what you’ll need:
- 2.5-3lb pork tenderloin
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. In a food processor or blender combine the garlic, dried rosemary, onion powder, olive oil, and s&p. This will look pretty green and smell wonderful.
To prep the meat, pierce the meat with a knife then pour the garlic and rosemary paste over the tenderloin, working to cover the enter loin.
Place the tenderloin in a baking pan and pop it in the oven– basting throughout the cooking process with liquids from the pan. Cook time will be about 1 hour– use a meat thermometor to ensure that the pork cooks to an internal temp of 145 degrees.
Once cooked, remove the tenderloin from the oven and place on a serving platter. In the baking pan, add 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth and stir to loosen the bits on the bottom of the pan– put in a gravy boat for drizzling!
The paste keeps the meat nice and moist throughout the cooking process and the seasonings created a nice savory flavor. Full transparency, I used white wine rather than chicken or veggie broth as indicated above– too sweet for my liking, that is why I suggested the broth instead. Also, think next time I will “marinate” the meat in the paste for a few hours before cooking! With these few tweaks, I think I will love this dish even more! Hope you enjoy!
As with most people around this time of year, I resolved to make healthier choices. I have been fairly diligent about it but when my boyfriend requested Sloppy Mo’s (aka sloppy joe’s) and tater tots for dinner, I couldn’t deny his request. What I could do was limit my tot consumption, add a real veggie side, and avoid the canned sauce and make my own. So I did just that!
The steps are pretty straight forward… I started by browning two pounds of lean ground beef with a 1/2 cup of chopped onion and a 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper.
Meanwhile in a small bowl, I whisked together, 1 1/2 cups of Heinz Ketchup, 2 teaspoons French’s Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
Once the meat has browned and the veggies are tender, drain the meat and return to the pan. Fold in the sauce mixture and allow to simmer on low for about 30 minutes. If you like your Sloppy Mo’s saucy- pop a lid on the skillet. Like ‘em thick and sticky? Leave the lid off… either way, stir occassionally. Plate and enjoy!!
Seriously, so much better than the canned sauce and pretty much nothing beats Ore Ida’s crispy tots. Enjoy!
After soaking in the California sun over the holidays, there is nothing like returning to your own bed, and your own kitchen (though I wish I could have brought the weather back to MN)! In attempts to start the year of on a healthy-ish note, one of the first meals on my list was dry-rubbed pork ribs. The reason I love this so much has to do with the simplicity of the ingredients and the little work needed in order to prepare a delicious, hearty yet healthy meal.
Here’s the run down:
– 2-3 lbs of pork ribs (though I am sure you could use any meat of your choice)
– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 4 teaspoons paprika
– 2 teaspoon dry oregano
– 2 teaspoons brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 tablespoon McCormick Grill Mates Steak Rub
– 30-ish grinds of fresh black pepper
– 4-6 tablespoons olive oil
I started by preheating the oven to 300 degrees and then set out to make the perfect dry rub. In a small bowl I combined cayenne pepper, ground cumin, paprika, dry oregano, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and McCormick Grill Mates Steak Rub. Once combined, set aside.
I unwrapped the pork ribs and flipped them over with the meat side facing down. It is clear that there is a thin membrane on the back of the ribs, and this must be removed. While it often takes a little fingernail to get is started, this go round I used a sharp knife to lift the end of the membrane, then grabbed tightly with my fingers and removed it in one steady motion. Don’t rush and it should come off in one big piece– discard. I promise you won’t need this!
The next step was to lightly coat the ribs in olive oil– I know many people use veggie oil but I opted for the healthier route, totally up to you! Once evenly coated, I used my hands to sprinkle and rub the seasoning into the meat; both the fleshy side and the rib side. I did use all seasoning to coat the entire rack. I dropped those ribs on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking liner and popped those babies in the oven for 2.5 hours and boy was the aroma in my condo wonderful!
Once I pulled them from the oven, I let the ribs “settle” on the cutting board for about 10 minutes.
1. Because they will continue cooking
2. To save my fingers for horrendous burns
After they cooled slightly, I grabbed a big butcher knife and stood the ribs on their side, so as to easily visualize the bones and evenly cut between each rib. Depending the size of the rack, you may need a partner to help hold one end while you are cutting the other. Once cut, time to eat!I sided mine with a diced avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper and his with some homemade cheesey rice.
These turned out nice a moist but with a bit more kick than I had anticipated, while I loved them, if you are spice-sensitive, I would suggest cutting back on the cayenne. I plan to cut back slightly on the cayenne and incorporate both garlic and onion powder in my next attempt!
Cheers to a new year and to getting on track! Swimsuit season… I can see you in the distance!!!
We have all heard the adage “you should never judge a book by its cover”. And I am the first to admit, I have done just that (many, many times). Typically on this blog when I write about food it is either food that I have made or food at/from a restaurant. With that in mind, this might come as a surprise to you but today, I am featuring the Thai Shrimp Bisque with soy and coconut from the cafe at my office. Yup, you read that correctly, the cafe at my office. I don’t know where you work but in most employers’ cafes, the food tends to be pretty run of the mill.
The color of the soup was a vibrant orange and rather than being smooth like many other bisques, it was thick and chunky. There were diced shrimp, chilies, green peppers, and long grain rice . The soup had a ton of zip. I say zip over spice because I tend to prefer things on the hot side and I don’t think is quite qualifies as hot. There was nice balance between the zip and the sweetness of the coconut. It was well-balanced and a nice mid-day surprise when I had thought I was going to be lost to salad bar oblivion.
Lesson-learned– grab a tasting spoon, try it out… you might be surprised!
I was recently inspired by 300 Sandwiches and set out to make what I hoped would be my favorite sandwich. Growing up, we didn’t eat a lot of sandwiches as my mom was not a fan. I am a firm believer that any sandwich grilled proves to be some of the best comfort food. So I tried to incorporate a few of my favorites into this little guy and make up for lost-sandwich time!
What is it you ask? A hot grilled turkey sandwich on wheat–with a kick! I simply butter the bread as you would with a regular grilled cheese; the key, butter on the inside and outside of the bread. I then spread chopped garlic over the butter layered the smoked turkey, added hot banana peppers and topped with white horseradish cheddar cheese to hold those little suckers in place.
While I used pretty simple and straight forward ingredients, the smell while cooking was insane. The melding of the smokey with the heat of the horseradish and banana peppers was just perfect. And I always say add garlic to anything to put it over the top; and it did just that. This sandwich was divine! I would recommend pairing this with a savory and smooth soup if you are looking for a side but for me the sanwich stood on its own. Enjoy!
Saturday my boyfriend and I rose bright and early (everyone did that right?!) to hit the gym in Uptown. Following our visit and a quick haircut (his) at Floyd’s we hopped on over to Bluestem. Bluestem is an offshoot of French Meadow Bakery where you are able to sit down and receive table service.
Many of the French Meadow items are found on the Bluestem menu. But inside of sitting on Lyndale you are tucked away in a beautifully lit and teal-tiled hideaway. I honestly have no idea what was in this space before. There is a large winding bar and a few booths along the side of the wall.
We were seated at a round booth in the bar area and had a very sweet, and shockingly red headed bartender as our server. We must have arrived just in time as the space started to fill up quickly. When looking at the menu, my eyes were immediately drawn to the Sprouted Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox; much to my disappointment, this no longer on the menu and thus not availabe. With a quick re-visit of my options, I opted for the Deep Dish Quiche, and he went for his go-to Breakfast Burrito.
The quiche has to be the deepest quiche I have ever had! With layers of flakey pastry, egg, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, leeks and goat cheese, I was melting in quiche-heaven. The mixture of the veggies with the sweet creaminess of the cheese was an absolute homerun!
Hope this made you hungry– be sure to check out Bluestem !!
As I write this, I am kind of embarassed that I have never written about one of the best businesses in NE Minneapolis. What is the establishment to ask? Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop. In living here for nearly five years, Surdky’s has been my go-to liquor store; whether I need wine to pair with fish, vodka for a bloody bar, or some delicious whiskey for the rocks, Surdyk’s has it all.
In addition to the largest selection of wine, beer, and liquor that I have ever seen, Surdyk’s touts one of the best cheese shops in Minneapolis, if not the entire state. The shop feature speciality cheeses, gourmet crackers and desserts, prepared sandwiches, salads and take home entrees; oh and how could I forget about the softest caramels at the register!? Once again, Surdyk’s shows they have it all.
Last but not least, Surdyk’s has incredible customer service, great prices, sales, an awesome loyalty program and can’t miss wine, liquor and beer tastings Thursday-Saturday.
Stop over to their location in Northeast, or check out Surdyk’s Flights at MSP airport before your next flight. If you just can’t wait, hop on over to their website as Surdyk’s is an absolute can’t miss!