Author: Jeni (Page 1 of 168)


This was a month of reunions.

Two to be exact. But significant, nonetheless.

One was anticipated with great joy and the other, well, a surprise. 

My friend Beth wrote about her great Iowa reunion tour.  We shared two years of the Iowa chapter.

Beth and her husband tried to visit Minnesota earlier, but their plans got foiled by pandemic chaos.

Finally the stars aligned. Last month, their flights to MPS went smoothly, no one got sick. Suddenly we were heading to their hotel in Bloomington to meet.

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Mid-Summer Update: Close To Home

Two words. The Bear.

Anyone who has worked in a restaurant probably feels like this show (now streaming on Hulu) hits too close to home.

I haven’t worked as a line chef, but I’ve worked front of the house in an Italian deli, staged at an upscale restaurant, and dabbled in a couple of bakery/cafes. Enough that I need to take frequent breaks as I work my way through this show.

The owner-family drama, the crappy coworkers (as well as the passionate, dedicated coworkers), hot pans, heavy lifting, spitting ticket machine, cost control concerns. . .

If you still holler “BEHIND” when you squeeze by people in the grocery store, this show is for you.

We re-joined Costo this month! 

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My Favorite Farmers Market Snacks: 2022

I love taking my daughter to the farmers market on the weekends.

The markets nearest to us mostly have weekday hours (boo) so we frequent two of my old favorites  – The Mill City Farmers Market and Minneapolis Lyndale market.

Now that I’m pregnant and toting around a toddler, decent parking, spaces to wander around, and a nice indoor bathroom is a must. I am absolutely not bringing a child into a porta potty with me.

The key to good parking at any of the popular farmers markets in the Twin Cities is to get there early. Like, get there around opening-early.

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Find The Closest Little Doughnut Shop

Find the closest little doughnut shop near your house.

We’re adjusting to life in the suburbs. I grew up in the suburbs and swore I’d never return, yet here I am.

I like the slower pace and quietness. I miss the sidewalks. I hate my commute.

During our first weekend in the new house, I found the closest little doughnut shop near our home.

It’s no secret that I love doughnuts.

Some of you may remember I worked at a gourmet doughnut shop in St. Louis. “Surely you’ll get tired of eating a doughnut every day,” my family said, but no. I never got tired of eating a doughnut every day.

That wild ride convinced I never wanted to work in a doughnut shop again, but I appreciate the hard work and early mornings that go into the craft.

The only doughnut shop around is Donut Hut in Little Canada. It’s a small shop located in a quiet strip mall near Tealicious, the only bubble tea shop around. Needless to say it’s my favorite strip mall. On my way last weekend I stopped outside of it for people trying to nudge a giant turtle to the side of the road. Yup, I live somewhere now with a bunch of turtles.

Clearly Donut Hut is popular. I always get there on the weekends when the doughnuts are picked over because the bubble tea shop opens 11 am.

The doughnuts taste as homemade and handmade as they claim – not at all like they’re from a mix. I prefer a simple raised glazed or old fashioned. I especially liked their apple fritter. In theory I should like all apple fritters but have never liked any of the ones I’ve ordered before because they tasted burned, oily or lacking apple. Donut Hut’s taste lovely and fresh and rich with apple.

Also, they’re nice to my toddler. I never ever expect anyone to fawn over my child, but when they do, it makes my heart full.

I felt like a regular at the bubble tea shop after my first visit. If you’re like me, don’t forget to order your drink at a 1/4 of the regular sweetness level. They also sell a small selection of sweet and savory Asian pastries – I’m partial to the savory ones like beef curry, hot dog, and bbq pork buns.

Keefer Court’s are still my favs but these are wonderfully convenient. Especially since most bubble tea shops I’ve visited don’t offer food.

I’ve been spending way too much money on iced teas out, so I started making my own. This is not to say I won’t still visit bubble tea shops. Although I cracked Caribou’s sparkling green tea lemonade with a half shot of raspberry, my first attempt at milk tea was disappointing.

But doughnuts? No way, I’m not making my own. I’ll keep visiting my closest little doughnut shop.

Thoughts on The Creekside Supper Club

Going out to eat with a baby or toddler is. . . interesting.

Having worked at restaurants in the past, I never wanted to be *that* parent.

You know. The one who lets their child run wild around customers. Or leaves a terrible splay of food on the ground and tips like shit. When I worked at the doughnut shop in St. Louis, one parent gleefully told me they loved to come there because we’d clean up their mess.

As new parents we’re learning as we go. After spending one lunch at Red Lobster desperately picking-up grains of rice under the chair, we remembered to bring pocket bibs. And after desperately trying to entertain her at Grand Catch with a straw and my cell phone (on silent of course) we bring toys.

And after this patio experience where she slid two plates to the ground, we keep them far, far away.

Sometimes I get to dine out with just adults.

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