I know I should use the UV happy light my work sent me, but I’m not sure if it can fix how I feel about this week of sub-zero weather, the aches and pains of being nine months pregnant, and a pandemic.
It arrived on the day of the failed coup – CAN YOU HOW I FEEL FIX THIS? I yelled as I held it up to CNN.
The cold weather does funny things to us Minnesotans. It makes us tough in cold weather and as comically weak in heat and humidity.
In the winter months, we can chill beverages in the porch or throw a bottle of gin in a pile of snow on the deck. Hot soup and casseroles can also chill outside before storage in the fridge. If you do chill food outside on your deck, watch out for squirrels!
When the weather climbs above 35 degrees, we run errands in sweatshirts and maybe even roll down the car window to cool off on a sunny days.
“The cold weather also keeps the weird bugs away,” I mutter to myself each February. Maybe not the mosquitoes, but the termites, flying cockroaches and earwigs.
Anyway. . . here are a few recent meals I wanted to share.
Rose Street Patisserie – Olive Sourdough Bread
Rose Street Patisserie makes the best olive bread. They start with really good, crusty sourdough. Add thick, plump slices briny kalamata olives.
Toast slices are a dream spread with butter and honey for a salty-sweet treat.
You can order ahead or at their outdoor table. Even if you visit on a weekend at 8 a.m. you’ll find a steady stream of customers. I appreciate how seriously they take their COVID-19 precautions.
Takeout from Jun Szechuan Kitchen
We ordered delivery from Jun on Friday night (next time we would just pick it up).
While we didn’t order anything very exciting, the dishes we did order tasted very good. The meat dishes (San Jiao Beef stir fry and Chong Qing Spicy Chicken) ordered extra-spicy were pleasingly spicy – I liked the thin, stir-fried slices of jalapeños. The lo vegetable lo mein is made with springy, chewy noodles and flavorful vegetables like asparagus, mushroom, and bok choy. I read that the noodles are homemade which now makes perfect sense.
And cream cheese wontons, of course – the filling leans a bit sweet.
I liked how fresh and crisp vegetables were and that the fried rice was packed with proteins and noticeably not greasy. We will return again.
Cooking Project: Homemade Gnocchi
“This doesn’t look like any gnocchi I know,” thought as I stood back and examined my handiwork.
On an extremely cold Saturday with nothing to do, making gnocchi for the firs time sounded fun. I was inspired by my friend who recently made gnocchi and all of the seasons of Top Chef I’ve been re-watching on Hulu.
I spent a couple hours baking my potatoes, ricing them, and preparing the dough. The little dumplings refused to roll off my fork in that perfect, gnocchi shape.
I’ve always heard people on TV say that gnocchi dumplings should be light as clouds. These gnocchi were certainly light as clouds, maybe too light. I boiled them longer than recommended and gave them a good pan sear before tossing with spinach and serving with creamy marinara sauce (jarred marinara with pancetta and splash of half & half) and cauliflower rice.
“Have we ever had good gnocchi before?” I wondered. Every gnocchi I’ve ever tried had some chew and weight.
We ate the dinner, we liked the dinner. But, I’ll leave it to the professionals next time.