Loon Cafe–Pecos River Red Chili

I used to work at an advertising firm above the Loon Cafe in Minneapolis.  Our office would lunch at the the Loon most Fridays.  Recently, friends of ours and my husband were talking about their favorite chili , the Pecos River Red.  This is a Texas-style chili (no beans) that is hearty and filling, with lean cubes of tender sirloin steak, onions, Tex-Mex spices, and chili peppers.  After some digging around, I found the Loon’s recipe, and YES, you have to make this soon!

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Fall Dinner—Individual Chicken Pot Pies

I can’t think of anything more satisfying on a cool crisp fall evening than chicken pot pie.  It really is the best of both worlds–a rich and creamy stewey center, topped with a buttery flaky crust.  I’ve tried various recipes over the years and done a lot of tweaking to get this just right.  My kids get their veggies and we devour every delicious bite.

Alternatively, if you don’t have ramekins or soup bowls, you can make this in a baking dish.  Just roll out the puff pastry to fit the size.

Note:  Chicken base can be found with the chicken bullion and soups.  It adds a rich flavor to any soups or stews.

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Pork Tenderloin With Surly Oktoberfest Peppercorn Cream Sauce

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in Munich, Bavaria Germany.  It is a 16-day festival with more than 6 million visitors from around the world. It’s been going on since 1810.  Obviously food and beer are a big part of the celebration.

In honor of Oktoberfest, I made this pork tenderloin using Surly’s Oktoberfest beer (which my husband happily ran to the store to get). The results are delicious, rich and decadent.

The German potato salad is passed down from my Grandma Volk who made it with lots of love every time we’d visit.

Here’s to all my crazy German relatives out there and a toast to Oktoberfest!

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Check Out Evereve! (Formally Hot Mama)

I was excited to spend Friday morning at the newly rebranded Evereve (formerly Hot Mama) store in Edina.  Evereve founder and CEO, Megan Tamte, has built an amazing business around inspiring Mom’s to be their best selves.  And she has definitely inspired me!  Sharing recipes and hoping you’ll have a little fun in the kitchen serving your families is definitely a passion of mine.

Evereve makes shopping easy, helpful, and fun.  I received a personalized styling experience with Jess Warner and she was fabulous.  Stop in if you get a chance or check them out on their Facebook page at Evereve.



Provence-Inspired Dinner–Pissaladière, Halibut Provencal, and Cherry Clafoutis

I finagled my way to Nice, France the summer I was in grad school.  I convinced my professor (and my Dad) that I would learn so much more studying in Nice than I would sitting in a classroom for a semester.  Well let’s just say when I got there I was a tad bit over my head.  Surrounded by fluent french-speaking European students, I had my work cut out for me.

Truth be told, I wasn’t really very good at speaking French, but I was really good at exploring the Mediterranean Coast with my french bob and summer dress.  I gallivanted down the promenade most nights sightseeing, exploring, and hanging out at cafes.  I couldn’t get enough of the Mediterranean cuisine.

Our class took a “field trip” to Eze which is right up the coast from Nice.  The Mayor greeted us with their home specialty, Pissaladiere.  This will always be one of my favorite starters.  The salty brine of anchovies and olives mixed with sweet caramelized onions is a match made in heaven.  If you don’t love anchovies–skip em’, it will be just as delicious.

The fish is full of flavor with the trifecta of tomatoes, olives, and capers. It’s light and satisfying (must be the reason French Women Don’t Get Fat). And make sure you have a loaf of crusty French bread for scooping up the last bites of sauce.

The dessert is French Country at it’s best.

Go all out and have a dinner party.  Or enjoy any of these dishes on their own. Continue reading