Monthly Archives: August 2011

Trav and Luke’s Birthday

My brothers were born on the same day (August 30th), but are two years apart in age.  This means that each year they have to “share” a birthday celebration.  Trav and Emily were finishing up their Wisconsin visit before they head to Peru to be missionaries, so we had the birthday celebration yesterday.  Luke and his fiancee Cheyanne came up from Madison to join us.  My mom got us all corralled together for a family picture before Trav and Emily left to attend a baptism for a couple of hours.  While they were gone we ate dinner, watched Adventure Time, and played with remote control cars and stilts.  After they got back, we brought out the Willy Wonka cake Julie made and proceeded to eat ourselves into a sugar coma.



It's called a Willy Wonka cake for a reason. There's chocolate cake and frosting in there somewhere.

For some reason there were stilts

Getting ready for the picture

Luke and Cheyanne, posin'

Trav and Emily, posin'

Julie and I, posin'

The remote control cars, at the starting line

Birthday decorations

It was a perfect day


Even Bug got in on the action, although she really just wanted to be inside


Being out in the country means applying lots of bug spray


Birthday boy

Birthday boy


Everyone made Luke a shirt from left over letters from a different project. This was the front


And the back


This is how we all felt after eating the cake and ice cream

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Family, Justin


Trav and Emily Visit

Trav and Emily are at the tail end of a visit to the midwest before they head to Peru.  We’ve had cookouts, played basketball, Farkle, and Words with Friends, eaten out, watched Adventure Time and generally just relaxed.

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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Family, Justin


Foodiapolis Day 3.

Our last day in Minneapolis started out with a stellar breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen.  Nothing overly fancy or pretentious, just really, really good breakfast in a fun atmosphere.  After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and stopped by Rustica Bakery.  We got a few loaves of bread, including a Levain loaf and a loaf of brioche.  Both were excellent and were made into French toast for Wednesday’s breakfast back home.  After some shopping at a Land’s End inlet, and a Borders that was closing, we drove home and spent a relaxing day hanging out and watching Adventure Time.


At Hell's Kitchen


Trav and Emily getting into the theme of Hell's Kitchen

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Family, Food, Justin, Minneapolis, Travel



Foodiapolis Day 2.

Day two in Minneapolis was another spectacular day of eating.  We had some time to kill in the morning before Trav and Emily flew in, so we stopped by the Como Zoo.  It doesn’t get any better than a $2 zoo trip.  We spent about an hour there just hanging out, watching the animals, and taking some pictures.  When we were watching the orangutans, all of a sudden the baby ran outside with a bag on it’s head.  Apparently they give them bags to play with, so we had a good time watching the baby run around, looking ridiculous.  The mom also got in on the bag-on-head action.

We picked up Travis and Emily and walked around downtown Minneapolis a bit, before heading over to dinner at Haute Dish.  Nestled right next to Sinners and Sex World, it makes for an interesting neighborhood atmosphere.  They are a fairly new restaurant and the “theme” is that they take midwest favorites, deconstruct them, and make them fancy.  We had tater tot casserole, ants on a log, general Tso’s chicken (actually sweetbreads), and mac and cheese, but other than name they weren’t really recognizable to the regular dishes you would expect.  Julie’s Tater Tot casserole order was probably the favorite of the night.  The giant tater tot’s were unbelievably soft inside.  The desserts were super interesting, with uncommon flavors like peppercorns, jicama, and tarragon thrown in for good measure.  We all walked away stuffed and everyone had at least one thing they had never tried before, so it was a quality food-adventure.

Baby orangutan with a bag on its head

Picnic Salad pork belly, cauliflower, marinated lettuce, oyster vinaigrette

Emily, showing off the Ants on a Log in spring roll form

House-made charcuterie with traditional garnishes

General Tso’s Sweetbreads foie fried rice

Tater Tot HauteDish short ribs, baby green beans, porcini béchamel, “tots”

Mac & Cheese king crab, tallegio, truffle

Steak & Potatoes marrow bone, gremolata, toast Ribeye

Chocolate jicama, black berry, pink peppercorn

Apricot chamomile, almond, vanilla, yuzu

Rhubarb coconut, strawberry, lemongrass, tarragon

End of the dinner at Haute Dish, with Trav being a creep


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Foodiapolis – Day 1.

We’re spending a couple of days in Minneapolis, eating at a number of places my cousin Mike (sous chef at Barbette) recommended.  And if he recommends a place, we know it is going to be good!

Banana, Chocolate, and Nutella Brioche, a pretzel, macarons, and a cinnamon mousse dessert from Patisserie 46.

We didn't seem to have any trouble finishing these delicious treats!

Skyline view from our hotel - the Radisson in downtown Minneapolis.

Justin was a bit nervous at first, ordering at Piccolo, not really knowing what to expect. As soon as his first plate arrived, though, he was put right at ease, knowing this was going to be amazing. He started with an Soft Boiled duck egg with crispy rice, compressed butter lettuce and sake foam.

I started with a Batter fried fresh fig with nasturtiums, Iberico lomo and ricotta whey. Seemed like the best possible state fair food EVER.

Justin's pasta course, Potato cavatelli with sea urchin, bone marrow and artichoke. He referred to these as "his caterpillars."

My pasta course, Agnolotti filled with cranberry beans, with lemon butter, bread crumbs and broccoli.

Suckling pig two ways, with lacinato kale, hominy and pickled baby beets. The sausage stopped us in our tracks it was so good.

Mishima Ranch Waygu beef with beets, asparagus and shiso pickled cherries

Rabbit confit with chanterelles, sweetcorn pudding, burrata and bacon. My favorite dish of the evening. So. Incredible.

We asked the waiter for two more dishes of his choice. He did not disappoint. Burrata with heirloom tomatoes, clamato (a tomato granita) and dill pollen, and Sous vide swordfish belly with yuba knot, hon shimeji mushrooms, spring onion, and tofu puree.

Time to order dessert! Justin's question to the waiter, "How many desserts do you have?" And proceeded to order all three. This was the first one, Chocolate truffle with pistachios, meringue, candied cherry and raspberry jelly. Crazy good.

My favorite dessert - a strawberry and cherry trifle with graham cracker pastry, chocolate pearls, and Chantilly cream. Amazing.

The final dish - a vanilla sponge cake with banana cream filling, coconut pudding, and vanilla ice cream.

Definitely one of the best restaurant meals we've experienced. We'll absolutely be returning.


Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Julie, Minneapolis, Restaurant Reviews


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