My weekend of food and fun began early last week. On Wednesday evening I was invited to share some cooking tips, techniques and tastes at a meeting of the Book Bags, one of several book clubs in Bemijdi. They had just finished reading "The School of Essential Ingredients," by Erica Bauermeister. The story centers around a group of people who meet each Monday for a cooking class. The Book Bags decided it would be fun to have a cooking class of their own when they met to discuss the book. With just a bit of instruction from me, they prepared appetizers and a dessert, all created on a base of crostini. The dessert they made is pictured above — plain crostini smeared with mascarpone cheese, adorned with fresh berries and drizzled with fragrant honey.
The Book Bag cooks were so proud of their final results!
The next morning I headed to the Twin Cities to attend one of the monthly meetings of Women Who Really Cook (WWRC). The March meeting was held at Local D’Lish hosted by owner and WWRC member, Ann Yin. She and her husband, Yulin, have created something comparable to an indoor farmers market, loaded with made-in-Minnesota products as well as other treasures from the Heartland. I bought a jar of Ames Farm single-source summer blossoms honey, two boxes of "good dog" 100% natural dog treats (still hoping to have a new golden retriever puppy soon), a couple of bags of Special T’s Oh, So Good Gourmet Munch-Kin Snack Mix (an Easter treat for my grandchildren), and one of the "i get around" books, a cardboard book for little ones by Minneapolis author, Deb Miner.
Local D’Lish is located in the North Loop of the Minneapolis Warehouse District. It was my first visit to this neighborhood. I arrived a little early for the meeting so walked down the street to Urban Garden, a great floral and gift shop. I can’t wait to get back to this blossoming neighborhood for more exploring.
The meeting broke up just in time for me to get to Happy Hour at Chino Latino near Hennepin & Lake before the crowds arrived. My great finds: Tall, spicy Bloody Mary’s for $3.50 and MRS. WONG’s SPICY WOK TOSSED EDAMAME, whole soybeans lightly seared in the wok with jalapeño chiles and seasoned with salt and pepper. My lips were numb from the heat, but oh, they were delicious. Get there before 5:30 if you don’t want to wait for a table in the bar.
The next morning I was in the car heading down Highway 169 on my way to Worthington where I would be giving a cooking demonstration at their Women’s Expo on Saturday. First stop: Belle Plaine for a cup of coffee at Duets The coffee at Duets is brewed with beans from European Roasterie in New Prague, Minn. That stop led me to Ruck’s Meat Market, just around the corner from Duets. I left the market with a bag of frozen seasoned pork patties, one of the things they are famous for, as well as a few pieces of their beef jerky.
Friday evening I had dinner at the Worthington Country Club. The meal experience began with a platter of the most delicious homemade onion rings I’ve ever eaten. It’s worth a trip to Worthington to have those onions rings. Be sure to plan to have a fresh and delicious salad at BenLee’s cafe along with a good dark cup of rich coffee, pick up a loaf of Wheeler bread from Schafer’s Health Center, and stop for some very authentic Mexican food at Tacos Lupe. Oh, and if you have any children in your life, you can’t leave Worthington without a stop at Main Street Kids, the largest selection of clothing for kids and maternity fashions that I’ve ever seen in one place. I’ve been told people come from miles around to shop at that store. I can’t leave downtown Worthington without a grandma’s shop-stop at Lit’l Wizzards, a store filled with high-quality educational toys.
Yesterday on my drive home, I had a good breakfast omelet filled with crisp-tender chunks of green pepper and onion and some buttery hash browns at Morgan’s Deli & Catering in Redwood Falls. And finally, a great find at Zorbaz near Dorset — a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The server told me it was a brand new addition to the drink line-up this weekend. Go make your own Bloody at Zhateau Zorbaz on County 7 near Dorset every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 5:00.
Those were my weekend delicious food and fun finds. How about yours? Anything good to share? Leave it in the comments.
By the way, my cooking demonstration for the friendly group of women in Worthington at the Expo on Saturday was so much fun. What a crowd! It’s always a treat for me to meet those who read my weekly column.