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Porkapalooza 2012

Porkapalooza 2012

100 lbs of Pork.

That was the theme to this year’s Porkapalooza barbeque, hosted annually by my brother Jeff. (Read about the past annual Barbeque aka Porkapaloozas: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011). This year Jeff had smoked ribs, pulled pork, smoked pork loin, homemade sausages and sausage patties, bacon explosion and pork belly. All of which he did by himself. What a feat! Jeff Sauer is The Man in case you didn’t know ; lol.  In this photo he is displaying the “Cuban Sauer”, a giant sandwich with a homemade chipotle sausage patty, smoked pork loin, swiss cheese, sandwich stacker pickle, pulled pork and then topped with Jeff’s homemade Carolina mustard sauce.  Amazing!!
Jeff Porkapalooza 2012

Here is the breakdown of meats and photos Jeff took on Instagram of the preparations:

The meat literally disappeared within two hours! Here is a a sneak peek

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I made fresh salsa but forgot to take a photo of it.  Imagine that! Everyone brought something to share.  It was awesome!

I didn’t take too many other photos but here are a few of my family. Check out my dad in that Hawaiian shirt. This is a first; I have never known him to wear one before but I bet it is cool when he is in his little red 1960 Corvette convertible cruisin’ around listening to the Beach Boys 😉
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My dad’s youngest two brothers, Joe and Steve. (fyi-Steve is my Godfather)
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This is my Uncle Joe again and his youngest son, Jake.  Jake, 15, is the youngest of all the Sauer cousins.  The oldest is 41.  I love my big family and all my cousins 🙂

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Here is my mom with my aunts Mary and Cindy and my cousin Natalie.  My cousin Heidi also came and now I am wondering why the heck I didn’t get a picture with her! I didn’t get any of me, either.  Heidi is getting married this coming Saturday! She is the first of three cousins getting married this summer.
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Jeff and goofball Bennett
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Jeff, Gramps and our cousin Segen (mom’s side of the family)
Jeff Gramps and Segen May 2012

This little honey is our friends’ daughter
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After everyone ate (and many had gone home) the sky clouded up and proceeded to first pour and then hail. Here is Jeff outside in the rain yelling “Porkapalooza!!!” at the top of his lungs.  I caught it through his kitchen window… it was pretty funny!
"Porkapalooza!!!"

It was a good time and I already look forward to Porkapalooza 2013!

Thanks, Jeff.  You are a wonderful host and your house is pretty awesome!
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Bananas for Bananas

Bananas for Bananas

I have been craving fruit lately. The top of my list right now? Bananas. 100% real bananas, none of that nasty fake banana flavoring!

Maybe because I have been eating some amazing banana desserts lately…..

Best fritter I’ve ever had 😉

I only had a few bites of this but it was bananalicious.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some of this Deep Fried Banana split right now!!

I might have to bake some Banana Bread this weekend….

Ice cream and bananas?? Good God, yes.  Especially Banana Pudding Ice Cream like this from Homesick Texan

I found some delicious looking banana dishes on Pinterest too, maybe I will make one of these?

 

Yum!!! Which one would you like to eat right now???!!!

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On this date I have blogged about:

Sushi Dinner Date

Sushi Dinner Date

Christmas is always a busy time of year but my hometown girlfriends and I always try to get together for a dinner date every year in December.  This year we met for a late dinner at Masu Sushi and Robata (the same night as my staff holiday party) and had ourselves a great time.

I love that so many of my friends love sushi as much as I do, there is no shortage of great places to eat in the Twin Cities.  One of the items I saw on the menu was an Oyster Shooter with raw quail egg and my adventurous side desperately wanted to try it.  It didn’t take much convincing to get Bradie and Jessie to order one as well 😉  The description did say “shooter” but we were surprised to find that the oyster and quail egg were in a shot of sake!

The BEFORE….
Jessie Kristi Bradie with Oyster Shooters at Masu copy
The DURING…. (lol, Jess’s face cracks me up!)
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The sushi was delicious!Make sure you read my review of Masu if you would like to see the rest of our meal

And of course the photos of us ladies….
WBL GIrls at Masu Sushi Dec 2011
Bradie and Mandy at Masu Sishi Dec 2011
Andrea and Kelly Dec 2011
Jessie and Kristi at Masu Sushi Dec 2011
The restaurant has a giant mural on the wall of a Japanese woman’s eyes. Jess & Brade thought it would be funny to have a picture of them with the eye, so here it is!
Jessie Eye Bradie at Masu Dec 2011

It was a very fun night with great friends. Can’t wait to meet up with these ladies again soon!

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On this date I have blogged about:

Bloody Mary Sunday

Bloody Mary Sunday

Enjoying Football and Bloody’s up at a friends house today 🙂

Rather than taking a picture at this moment, I will leave you with a few I had on file

I have a feeling I will be in bed early tonight 😉

MN State Fair 2011 Recap

MN State Fair 2011 Recap

A few weeks ago I made my way out to the MN State Fair with my guy and my friend Noemy.  We were only out there for about 3 hours and spent most of the time eating.  I didn’t take too many photos because it is hard lugging a big camera around while eating, etc (but I still managed a few!!!)

We caught the Horse Show for awhile, these horses were gorgeous!!

This deep-fried banana split was my favorite thing I ate this year 🙂

Mmmm, Scotch Eggs…. good any time of day

The pocket apple pie ranks up there as well!

Kristi Noemy at State Fair
Silly Girls….
Kristiu Noemy at iCandy

Friday Night Dinner with the Girls { at Salut}

Friday Night Dinner with the Girls { at Salut}

If you’re just checking in for the first time since Friday, you will see a bunch of posts from me in your feed readers.  Sorry about that, but not really!!  I still have a lot of catching up to do but can start with the beginning of my weekend.

I had plans Friday night with a group of my friends from HS.  We met at Salut Bar Americain on Grand Ave. (review to come!)

Me, Andrea, Mandy, Anne, Bradie and Joy

Kristi Andrea Mandy Anne Bradie Joy~ June 2011 2

Me and Bradie….. my lifelong amiga
Kristi Bradie June 2011 -2

Mandy Anne and Joy
Mandy Anne Joy -2

We had a nice meal which included….

After dinner we took a stroll down Grand Avenue and stopped to have a coffee on the patio at Caribou.  It was a very nice evening….  I love spending time with my girlfriends and must do it more often!

How I celebrated Cinco de Mayo {fajitas y margaritas}

How I celebrated Cinco de Mayo {fajitas y margaritas}

I know this was six weeks ago but I am trying to catch up 😉

Cinco de Mayo is totally an Mexican-American holiday, one that I have taken to celebrating every year with a yummy Mexican meal.

This year we had fajitas and margaritas with our next door neighbors.  Underneath all of that guac, peppers and cheese there is steak.  Delicioso!

Fajitas with Guacamole and Rice
Margaritas and Pico de Gallo

Rhubarb Potluck

Rhubarb Potluck

It is tradition at my school to have a Rhubarb Potluck every year when the rhubarb is ready to be picked.  It is the best potluck if you like rhubarb!  We had our Potluck on May 25th this year.

This was the first year that I made something to contribute.  I made Betty Crocker’s Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars.  I took pictures of nearly everything, we had quite a variety! See album here.

Rhubarb Bundt Cake
Pig Roast Extravaganza

Pig Roast Extravaganza

Have you ever been to or hosted a Pig Roast?

It is usually a good time; a lot of people, food, fun and drinks.  A great way to bring people together!

A few weeks ago I was talking with a few different neighbors of mine and we thought it would be fun to put something together for our neighborhood since a few families are moving this summer.  Hence, the Pig Roast idea was born.  A few of the guys went down to the local slaughterhouse, picked out a couple of pigs and the rest is history!  A huge Thank You to D & D for providing the pork and hosting the fun!

(PS I accidentally walked into the slaughter zone in the garage next door where the guys happened to be butchering the pigs the night before the party.  Very disturbing.  I won’t go into detail but did you know little piggies have eyelashes???)

The pig roast was a really good time! The weather was kind of “iffy” most of the day on Saturday but it cleared up around dinner and then we had decent weather.  Many of our neighbors who were in town stopped by with food for the party. The food was pretty awesome (the pork tasted great) and it was nice to hang out and get to know some neighbors.  We had lawn games set up and that kept many of the neighborhood kids busy for hours.  I  played some croquet and had a good time, beans bags too.

What good would my posts be if I didn’t include shots of the food?

The roasting pork. (The ribs and other various pork parts were cooked in the smoker) instead of on the rotisserie.
Pig Roast 2
Pig Roast

I made my mom’s broccoli salad to bring to the party and it was a big hit (as it always is when my mom makes it too) Pictured is an archived photo of my mom’s broccoli salad, as I did not take any photos of my own.  Or any other food, for that matter.  Weird! I was too busy eating, obviously.

We had special guests at the party in addition to the neighbors. Our dear friend Noemy and her family are on leave from the military (based in CA) for a few weeks and they rolled into town the afternoon of the party. They came straight from the airport and brought an entourage of food and family with them.  It was so great to see Noemy and the boys, I have  missed her very much but not as much as her BFF, Denise!

Here we are, The Three Amigas.

Kristi Noemy and Denise

A few more photos

Traves & Noemy

Shannon Mollie and Denise
Breanna & Nadia
Emily Kris and Darrell
Solomon & Noemy
Darrell & Denise May 2011

It was a great time, hope to do this every year!

Patio Weather {It’s About TIME}

Patio Weather {It’s About TIME}

It’s no secret that this spring hasn’t been the greatest weather-wise.

So what to do when the weather finally starts to get nice?

Hit up a local restaurant with a great patio!

I did that twice last week and it was awesome.

On Wednesday I met my brother Jeff at WA Frost & Co for Happy hour on the patio (review to come).  Of course we were also celebrating Jeff’s 30th birthday.  Please excuse the ugly backdrop, we were at the back of the patio with our backs to the wall

Kristi and Jeff on Jeff's 30th Birthday

The patio at WA Frost is very big and very lush and their coconut-green curry mussels are to-die-for!!

Patio at WA Frost & Co ~ St Paul, MN Sunken Garden at WA Frost & Co ~ St Paul, MN

Then Saturday night I went to Black Forest Inn to cover a piece about Spargelfest (festival of asparagus!)  They also have a very nice patio, in a courtyard of sorts.  They also have a giant tarp on a mechanical pulley that covers the patio when it starts to sprinkle.  In Minnesota it is common for the weather to be sunny all day, start to cloud up and rain later out of nowhere and then turn sunny again an hour later.  That is exactly what the weather was doing on Saturday.  The tarp is actually covering the patio in the photo below, you just can’t tell because you still get nice daylight.

Patio at the Black Forest Inn in Evening~ Minneapolis, MN Patio Scupture at Black Forest Inn ~ Minneapolis, MN

I hope to hit up many more patios around town this summer before it gets too hot, how about you?!

Cooking for Cinco de Mayo {Muy Delicioso}

Cooking for Cinco de Mayo {Muy Delicioso}

What are your plans for this Thursday, el Cinco de Mayo? If you’re like me, you have Mexican food on the brain this week.  No doubt I will be eating something delicious and Mexican this week at some point (and probably enjoying my favorite beverage, El Margarita.)

Thought I would gather a few simple recipes for you if you haven’t made plans already.

How about some Fish Tacos with Fresh Chile?  I love all the color in this dinner, so pretty and yummy!

Another delicious option is Homemade Enchiladas.  So many recipe options out there! I think the key is the sauce you use.  Making your sauce from scratch will always taste better than from a can,  but a can isn’t horrible if you go to El Mercado and buy something authentic (aka NOT Old El Paso or Ortega).

Mexican-Style Beef and Potato Empanadas.  Tons of options for fillings with these little pockets of goodness but these ones were super delish.  The rice was awesome too, made with gandules aka pigeon peas.  I will have to post that recipe one of these days but NiNi makes it different every time. lol

What are your plans for Cinco this year?

Enjoy!

Pork Fussili {Family Dinner}

Pork Fussili {Family Dinner}

You may remember the Legend of Pork Fussili. No? Then you better click on the link to ‘get in the know’!

Jeff and Amanda made the famous dish for the family again a few weeks ago while she was in town.

The night wasn’t just about food!

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Vikings Football Gatherings in my ‘Hood

Vikings Football Gatherings in my ‘Hood

Just about every Sunday you will find a nice gathering of my neighbors (give or take a few friends and family!) hanging out in one garage or another, watching Vikings and other NFL games throughout the day and night.  We try to potluck when possible so that everyone is contributing something or another.

The Vikings haven’t done too well this year, as of today we have a 3-5 record on the season (thank goodness for a win vs the Az Cardinals!)  It is always more fun when they’re winning, but we all seem to have a good time whether they win or lose.

A few weeks ago when the Vikings played the Packers, a few of our neighbors who happen to be Packers fans came out in their cheese-head gear to throw a little green and yellow into the purple mix.  The youngest fans seen here……
Jr Vikes vs Pack
And the lovely ladies in Purple (of course!) Please excuse our appearance. Purple is mandatory but showering is optional on Sundays!
Neighbor Friends 2

On that particular Sunday I made Wild Rice Soup with Ham and Banana Bread

Shannon made pumpkin bread and Jess made Chocolate and Caramel Apple Galette. OMG YUM!

We are really lucky to have so many great neighbors who love to get together 🙂

I Love this Job!

I Love this Job!

Starting the Twin Cities Restaurant Blog was probably one of the best ideas I have had.

Here is a peak into just the past four months of my culinary journey……..

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It’s no wonder that I have packed on more than a few extra pounds {oh well!?}

Anyway, the blog has been a success and it just keeps getting better.  Definitely been reaping the rewards and I don’t take any of it for granted.  It’s hard work to eat like a Queen and then write about it 😉

I haven’t made anyone hungry now, by any chance, have I?

LOL, that’s my job!

Friday Night Fun with the Girls

Friday Night Fun with the Girls

Last Friday night I went to dinner at Aster Cafe with some of my HS friends (+ a few others!) to celebrate Bradie’s birthday.  Bradie is one of my oldest and dearest friends, we have known each other for 30+ years.
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I plan to write a review when I can get to it so I will leave you a teaser until then 😉
Brie Bacon & Roasted Grapes Plate at Aster Cafe
Artichoke and Parmesan Flatbread Pizza at Aster Cafe

Labor Day BBQ with the Neighbors

Labor Day BBQ with the Neighbors

Labor Day this year was September 6th, which also happens to be D & D’s wedding anniversary.  They had some neighbors and  friends over for a BBQ to help celebrate.  And of course because they are such great hosts!

We had these gorgeous, colorful shish kabobs, chicken, and salmon.  Delish!

Colorful Shish Kabobs

Colorful Shish Kabobs

Shish Kabobs

Shish Kabobs

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BBQ Season is nearly over but I look forward to football gatherings with the people in my hood this upcoming year!!

End of Summer Lunch

End of Summer Lunch

It had been way {way} too long since my friend Kara and I had seen each other,  despite multiple attempts that just never worked out.  A few weeks ago I was finally able to meet Kara and her little girl Olivia, along with our friend Angie,  for lunch at the Green Mill in St Paul.

Olivia is so big since I last saw her! Not to mention SO CUTE, so smart and so talkative! She turns three in October.
Kara & Olivia2

I had so badly wanted to go to the Pow-Wow in Shakopee last month, where Olivia made her debut as a Tiny Tot.  Unfortunately I didn’t make it down there this year, but Kara sent me a bunch of photos of Olivia in her hand-beaded outfit (photo below by Kara)

Anyway, back to our lunch.  I had the yummy deep-dish pizza.  I’ll be writing a review shortly 🙂

Deep Dish Pizza @ Green Mill

Deep Dish Pizza @ Green Mill

I look forward to more lunches and dinners with my friends this school year.  I haven’t done it enough in the past couple years but I always enjoy it when it works out 😉

MN State Fair {2010 Edition}

MN State Fair {2010 Edition}

Attending the Minnesota State Fair at the end of every summer is a tradition that I share with many other Minnesotans.  It is afterall, The Great Minnesota Get Together.  Here are some of my past entries about the MN State Fair:  20052007, 2008, 2009 (x2)

What I sampled this year:

London Broil Beef Sandwich

London Broil Beef Sandwich

Corn Dog

Corn Dog

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Scotch Egg at MN State Fair

Scotch Egg

Cheese Curds

Deep-Fried Cheese Curds

Roasted Corn

Roasted Sweet Corn

Fried Ravioli at Vescio's

Fried Ravioli at Vescio’s

Other Fair Photos:

MN State Fair

MN State Fair Midway at Sundown

DSC_6365 Midway at Minnesota State Fair Midway at Minnesota State Fair Ferris Wheel at MN State Fair Carousel at MN State Fair

Brunch at Trudy’s North Star

Brunch at Trudy’s North Star

Got a group together one Sunday a few weeks ago for brunch at Trudy’s North Star.  Trudy’s is a very popular Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin and the brunch was delicious! Read my review here.

Ted, Kiyana, Erik, Doris, me, Carolyn, Linda and Samantha
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This is my buddy Erik and his girlfriend Doris who was visiting for the weekend from their home in Miami.  We all loved her! Thank goodness for Facebook so we can stay in touch 😉
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Later that night me, Carolyn, Erik and Doris went to Home Slice for NY Style Pizza.  MMMMmmm! Very good (but not as good as Cossetta’s back home!)
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