Category Archives: Summer Lovin’

the fair so nice, we hit it up twice

Good ol’ Jim mailed me two of the tickets he had pre-purchased and left at home last week, so Darren and I made a quick morning jaunt back to the fair this morning. We stopped in the Grandstand as soon as it opened and I bought a thing of JD’s Salsa, you guys. You know what I’m talking about. Salsa samples. Now available at my house.

Here’ what we nommed today:

  • Sweet corn blueberry eclair (this was sold out when we tried to get it last week, and I’m glad we went back because it was am-AH-zing)
  • maple cream nitro cold press for me (I tried to go back for more, but liiiine), raspberry frappe for D
  • corn on the cob
  • jalepeno cheese curds x2
  • pickle on a stick
  • cheese on a stick (it’s wrapped in cornbread and deep fried. uh, yum)
  • german root beer float
  • deep fried peanut butter cups
  • funnel cake (Darren wanted this, then had one bite and decided he wasn’t into it. That shit was six bucks so I brought it home)

Also, we found a little shop called Rock Garden that sells cute garden decor, with tons of fairy garden stuff. We’re both nerdily into the idea of making a tiered fairy garden (this is why we’re married) to put in one of our actual gardens, and Darren bought a cool little door to get it started.

Not bad for a Sunday morning.

Advertisements

State Fair Eatin’ List 2017

Yesterday was Fair Day, one of the best days of the year. They added a giant ferris wheel this year, and you know we went up in that sucker. Mostly, as always, we ate. We tried a lot of the new foods this year, too…

  • cinnamon rolls with milk/coffee
  • mini donuts
  • foot long hot dog
  • tons of samples in the Grandstand
  • jerky
  • mobster caviar
  • big fat bacon
  • deep fried avocado
  • pizzarito
  • fried green tomatoes
  • beergarita
  • tipsy pies x3
  • beer flight
  • smoked gouda nachos
  • mini sconuts
  • honey puffs
  • bacon-up pup
  • in the Dairy Building: chocolate cone, strawberry rhubarb sundae, pie in the sky sundae, chocolate malt
  • cotton candy
  • memphis totchos
  • giant soft pretzel
  • churros
  • bowl o’ dough
  • lobster roll
  • crab cakes
  • bacon fluffernutter
  • chocolate popover with peanut butter
  • cream puffs
  • Swt
  • Sweet Martha’s cookies
  • giant turkey sandwich
  • all you can drink milk
  • 1919 root beer

the gardens are happening

Every decent-weather weekend for the past couple months, I’ve been getting our flower beds back in shape. It has been a slow, but very satisfying process. Here’s a zero-skills map of our gardens:

hahaha, thanks Google.

Beds one and two are on either side of our front stoop. Three is the one beneath the kitchen window that I dug out. Four is on the east side if the yard, and five is down the steps next to our tiny driveway. Six is a future foundation bed that I’m going to slowly start building.

After the snow melted, beds one and two were in reasonable shape. I pulled out all the dead weed stalks and trimmed off the dried hydrangeas. There were bald spots on either side of the steps, so I planted lilies in each of them (courtesy of my coworker Paula).

Last fall I totally dug out bed three. On a random nice day in March, I raked it and tossed a bunch of pollinator seeds down. Those are growing in nicely, along with some ferns that survived my fall massacre. I moved the ferns to the back of the bed. On Sunday I added some ground-cover sedum, also from Paula; we’ll see if that takes root.

On the same nice March day, I raked out bed four and then proceeded to ignore it until this weekend. It was completely full of grass among the plants. Instead of digging out all the grass, I cut up a bunch of yard waste bags and laid them out, covering the grass while strategically arranging the paper around the plants. Big thanks to the internet for this tip! It suggested several layers of newspaper, but why track down that much newspaper when the bags are so cheap and biodegradable (and similar in thickness to 5 layers of newspaper)? Once the whole garden was papered, I watered it and then put down mulch. It looks so much better!

Bed five got raked out in April, and I pulled out the weeds a couple weeks ago. It got mulched this weekend, too, and I put up a little border fence (although I don’t love it and will probably replace it with something sturdier) to hopefully help keep trash out. Alleys are gross. Alleys in North Mpls are somehow extra gross.

I picked up a baby Knock Out rose bush on Sunday and planted it in what will be the eastern side of bed six. I also planted two irises along the wall there. I’m going to do the same trick with paper bags to get rid of the grass, which means those three plants are probably all that will go down this year.

At some point in the future, we’re going to build a couple small raised beds for veggies. Those beds will go near the fence-line on the north side of the yard.

Slowly but surely achieving #yardgoals, you guys.

 

another State Fair in the books

We survived another great year at the fair and, as always, ate more than is at all reasonable.  Most items are shared, but not all of them. We tried a few new foods this year, most of which were worth trying but are all ultimately not being added to the permanent list.

2016’s list of eats:

  • mini cinnamon rolls & coffee
  • mini donuts
  • footlong
  • cheese & meat samples
  • 3 types of jerky from The Jerky Shoppe
  • lobster roll
  • deep fried Snickers bar
  • porketta wings
  • Italian sausage
  • funnel cloud beer
  • 2 beer flights
  • candied bacon donut sliders
  • wine slushie
  • “Minnesota corndog”
  • frappe
  • corn fritters
  • fried green tomatoes
  • ice cream from the dairy building
  • giant turkey sandwich
  • all-you-can-drink milk
  • more beer!
  • cream puffs
  • 1919 root beer
  • double-decker s’more
  • deep fried nachos
  • cotton candy
  • another footlong
  • frozen banana
  • Kate & Mat got custard without us
  • Jim got a steak sandwich without us

MN State Fair 2015

Today was Fair Day. We arrived around 8am. Kate had to leave at noon; the rest of us stayed until the Gaelic Storm show finished at 10:30pm. We ate a lot! Here’s the ol’ list, in order of consumption. We didn’t get two footlongs like we normally do, but we tried a lot of new things so I think it’s a fair trade.

  • mini cinnamon rolls with milk
  • mini donuts
  • footlong hot dog
  • apple dumpling with ice cream
  • samples of Peace coffee
  • 3 types of jerky: cheddar, maple, & BBQ
  • corn fritz
  • snicker salad
  • chilled bread pudding
  • giant turkey sandwich
  • all-you-can-drink milk, both white & chocolate
  • chicken samosas
  • frozen cider
  • 3 beer flights: darker, belgian, & brewpub (Kate left after flights)
  • fried green tomatoes
  • raspberry mocha frappe
  • ribbon fries with cheese & sour cream
  • strawberry lemonade
  • deep fried candy bar
  • samples of cinnamon butter
  • lobster rolls with chips & iced tea
  • ice cream from the dairy building (this is when we stop for a while to rest/nap)
  • cream puffs
  • sweet corn
  • 1919 root beer
  • s’mores beer
  • maple bacon beer
  • leinie’s harvest patch shandy
  • cheese curds

I had my iPod with, running its built-in pedometer. I started it after we finished our cinnamon rolls, and stopped it at about 6:30 when we sat down to claim seats for the concert. In that time, we walked 18,750 steps. Success! Photos can be found on Instagram.

the landscape of an August day

Where did the past three months go? Summer, man. It’s a time-suck in all the right ways.

So I turned thirty, and a bunch of my friends have too since then. Good work, team! Way to be alive. Darren’s birthday is on Thursday so he’s throwing a big ol’ yard party at a friend’s house on Friday. We both have the day off work to “prepare,” a.k.a. sleep in and I guess buy some stuff to grill? Oh, and I’m making a cake.

Speaking of days off with Darren, our anniversary was a couple weeks ago. It was our 5th, and it fell on a Friday so we figured we should probably go big. Not all plans go accordingly, though. We were going to visit the MN Zoo, then the Mall of America, and end with a fancy dinner. Well. Did you know the MN Zoo doesn’t have giraffes? Listen, I’ve never been there but I’m sure it’s a great zoo. But the night before, we both agreed that the cost of admission (plus parking) was just not worth it and our money would be better spent elsewhere. We agreed we’d hit up the Como Zoo instead, which is close to home and donation-based. AND THEY HAVE GIRAFFES. Also a polar bear.

Except neither of us slept well the night before, so we slept later than planned, went out for breakfast, and decided to skip zoo-ing altogether. Everything else went as planned, though! We wandered the mall, bought some craft liqueurs, ate some Coldstone, and snarked on the weirdos. We took a couple hours to relax after that, then had an amazing dinner at Bennett’s Chophouse in St. Paul. So good, you guys. If you go, get the smoked salmon appetizer. Trust me.

Anyway, most of the rest of the summer has been relatively uneventful. Patios, a lake day, yard parties and bonfires — just trying to enjoy it while it lasts. The state fair is next week, which is the best thing about the season. I’ll be sure to post the list of gluttony.

The Baxter California Adventure

I never thought it would happen, but Darren and I just got back from a sunny, warm trip to California. It is unusual for us to do something so extravagant, but a good-sized tax return and some friends willing to house us – savings us a few hundred bucks, which we did end up accidentally spending but I’ll get to that later – provided us with the perfect opportunity.

This idea was actually born the night before Christmas Eve, when some of Darren’s internet pals came over for drinks. Paul and Aleecia are from Eagan, but moved to Orange County last year after Paul got a sweeeet new job. Come out and visit us and we’ll go to Disneyland, they said. And so we did.

Continue reading