Get in my belly!

IMG_20130823_112949_213While I haven’t been to any state fair other than the great Minnesota get together, I would be willing to make a wager that we have the best one in the country.  You can get everything from Apple Pie to Walleye Cakes and  all things in between.  While they do have a few healthy options like fresh fruit on a stick, most things are deep-fried and I’d have it no other way.   The Minnesota State Fair is he one time all year I can eat as much deep-fried food as I want and not feel too guilty.  This year, I even had a mini donut beer brewed by Lift Bridge Brewing Company in Stillwater, Minnesota!  Yes, I said a mini donut beer and it was deliciously rich with a touch of sweetness from its lovely sugared rim.

In order to make the most of our State Fair experience, my husband and I buy one of everything we want and split it.  That way, we can sample more items.  We also take lots of breaks in the shade to let the food settle 🙂  My favorite pit stop was Giggles Campfire Grill.  They had a gorgeous new craft brew room with a cozy cabin feel showcasing large vaulted ceilings, cement floor and picnic tables.  It even had a fireplace (not that you want that in the blazing heat but I’m sure its fabulous in the fall).  The beer room had 20 beers on tap and a good selection of Minnesota wine’s.  Grab a craft beer and a chicken fried bacon and you will be in heaven!  

While I didn’t think we ate that much, by the time I left the fair I felt like total crap with all that salt and sugar rolling around in my belly.  And when I look at the list below it’s a bit embarrassing.  It sure tastes good at the time, but that salt and fat catches up with you quick in the hot sun.  Next year, I might need to span shoving food in my mouth over 2 days verse eating everything at once.  Or, I guess there is always eating less but that isn’t any fun.

Here is the embarrassing list of what we ate:

  • Breakfast sausage/pancake corn dog with maple syrup dipping sauce  (new food this year and it was my favorite)
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  • Green olives stuffed with cream cheese, breaded and deep-fried (new food this year and it was really good!)
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  • Roasted corn on the cob
  • Sunny in a boat with lingonberry dipping sauce
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  • Mini donut beer (this is a new item I was skeptical of but it was surprisingly yummy, even for a girl like me who doesn’t like beer that much).
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  • Cheese Curds
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  • Cheese on a stick
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  • Sausage Sampler (they had a new bourbon-worst that was good)
  • Deep fried pickle sampler (the cream cheese stuffed ones are the best)
  • Fudge Puppy (I’m not a huge fan of sweets, but this is incredible!)
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  • Tub of Taffy (This we just buy and take home)

What’s your favorite food at the fair?

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Red Bull Flugtag 2013, Chicago!

Red Bull Flugtag is back baby!  If you remember 2010, we were team “Sprocket Rockets” 38470_415417807930_2595556_naka “The Jetsons”.  You can read about our last adventure if you missed it!  This time around, we are packing a punch with some hilarity as Team CaddyShack Attack bringing Bill Murray and that pesky gopher to Chicago.  

Step one, application.  We didn’t have a dang clue what it took to gain entry in 2010 when we applied, but obviously made an impression and got in.  I think part of the “impression” we made was at the 2010 selection party.  Some guy approached Erin and me while we admired our sketch on display among 425 others.  Then he told us he was head of the selection committee for Red Bull.  Erin proceeded to laugh at him and then accuse him of “hitting on us”.  We later found out he was head of the selection committee.  Luckily, we flirted our way out of that one.  Entry gained.

Being that Flugtag is in Chicago this year (we live in Minnesota) and we won’t have the opportunity to laugh at, mock and save ourselves by flirting with the selection guy, we had to bring the heat in another way via the application process.  So we took the same approach but kicked it up a notch and added a bit more humor.  

In case you are wondering what it takes to get into Flugtag, I thought I would share our approach and application.  First, you need a theme.  Both years we searched high and low for a theme that hasn’t been done before and is something everyone knows (Jetsons, CaddyShack, etc.).  Red Bull only requires you answer a few basic questions and submit a sketch online.  They do imply other approaches (pictures, video, etc), but don’t require it.  As in life if you half-ass your approach to things you want, you don’t get the results you want.  Enter…creative writing and iMovie (thank you MacBook Pro!).  We kept the application on the down low in case we didn’t’ get it.  But, we got the call from Red Bull saying we were in and they loved our theme!  And that folks, is how you get into Red Bull Flugtag!  

Follow us along during our journey to launch September 21st.  And if you have any wheels, chicken wire or fake fur lying around, we will take it!

Application Video:

Application:

What’s the concept behind your craft?

Caddyshack!!  We searched high and low for a theme that would have mass crowd appeal and hasn’t been done before.  We think we found that theme!  Caddyshack the movie is incredibly popular and allows for us to build a giant, hilarious gopher to ride.  Plus, we can create hot-sexy golf themed outfits and dance to a popular and catchy tune!  We can build this bad ass ride using chicken wire, paper mache, wood, foam and hay (for the gophers fur spray painted brown)!  It’s going to be hilarious and awesome rolled into one.

Why should we pick you?

For us, RedBull Flugtag is sheer entertainment and to provide that, you need adrenaline seeking people who are outgoing and willing to go above and beyond to amaze a crowd.  We can do that.  Last time around, we were delusional and thought we could fly.  This time around, we are aiming for pure entertainment and best crash.   In addition, we have an award-winning choreographer to give us the best dance you have seen.  Last time around, we took the same approach and heard over and over “You had the best dance!”

We have known each other for a long time and know what it takes to build a sweet whip.  We have the same team as 2010 and promise to be back in style, better than ever.   Pick us again, and you will not be disappointed!  It can’t hurt to have crafty Flugtag veterans who know what it takes to get the job done right??

KCCO,

Melissa, Erin, Jackie, Chris, Nik

I’m a landscaping queen.

OK, I’m not really a landscaping queen.  In fact, I’m a total wanna be and a bit of a IMG_20130527_152756_764putz when it comes to growing anything.  But, I’m learning!  A couple of weeks back I planted my first garden and I’m proud to report that the plants have tripled in size.  Yes, tripled!  However, I can’t take credit.  It’s all thanks to that dang mother nature.  She has been a total basket case lately and hasn’t let up on the rain.  Boooo.  Hiiisssss.  I guess the good news is that I haven’t had to water anything myself which is obviously why it’s doing so well.

After I planted my first garden, I got the itch to do something about the eye sore of a space by our shed.  It had 4 sad-looking hostas  which I had dropped into the ground and did nothing with.  I literally dug holes in the grass and plopped them in.  Totally trashy.  So, instead of pouting about how it looked, I grabbed the hubby and headed to the Home Depot.  We picked up some cute pavers and a couple of plants.  I had leftover cedar chips at home so only had to spend about $50.

I tore up the grass, turned over the soil, laid the pavers, dug some holes and plopped in the new plants.  I was even able to salvage 2 of the hostas and they are looking great.

Up next?  Who knows.  You will likely just see food blogs for the rest of the summer and maybe a post or two about my thriving (or dying) garden.  Oh, and a BIG announcement about an upcoming event we are participating in next September. More to come!

P.S. When I used the word “putz”, I thought I had better Google it to ensure it meant what I was trying to say.  Apparently it means “A stupid or worthless person.”.  Totally cracked me up.  Verdict was to leave it in the post 🙂

putz

Pipe turned towel rack…again!

 

The good thing about having an old cabin that needs a ton of work, is that you can tryphoto-2 some things you usually wouldn’t in a newer home.  Hand crafted items fit a little better in an older cabin.  A while back, we made the Vintage Ski’s turned towel rack for our condo in the city.  It is adorable.  This time around, I wanted to make towel racks for the cabin using the same pipe.  

The existing towel racks drove me crazy.  They wouldn’t tighten all the way so about 1/2 the time, they would fall off the wall when we hung towels.  A metal bar hitting the tile floor doesn’t exactly make for a peaceful shower experience.  I had enough so went to Home Depot and purchased wood, paint and pipe supplies.

This was a pretty quick and easy project.  My husband made a couple cuts to the wood, I sanded the edges so I wouldn’t get slivers, painted the boards white, assembled the pipe pieces, and hung them up.  While I wouldn’t put these in our city condo, they look adorable in the cabin.  Don’t you think?

Before

Before

After

After

photo-1

 

 

 

 

I <3 #yumPower!

Wait, you don’t know what yumPower is?  Let me tell you, I’m obsessed with this campaign!  I have heard yumPower explained as the next big social movement intended to help promote a healthy lifestyle through what you eat!  You know, like anti-smoking, click it or ticket, etc.  The thing about healthy eating is that it doesn’t have to be bland and boring.  Believe it or not, healthy eating is tasty and can be quick and easy once you get into the groove!

Cooking healthy is a passion of mine and I am always looking for new ways to make what I love in healthier ways.  Now I know what you are thinking, ‘Melissa, your blog has all sorts of NON-healthy food items.  How can you claim to be all obsessed with health eating?’  Let me explain.

What you likely don’t know is that Monday – Friday, I am a healthy eating phene.  My husband and I pack breakfast, lunch and snack each day and I cook a healthy dinner.  There is an extreme rare occasion we eat these meals out during the week (I’m talking maybe 1 time/month IF THAT!).  Packing your own food during the week allows you to control your portions and save a ton of money.  For breakfast, we do a yogurt parfait (Vanilla Yogurt, Fresh/Frozen Fruit and Granola), breakfast smoothies or my new obsession, hot quinoa with fruit and nuts.  For lunch, keep it simple with a sandwich, salad or dinner leftovers and a piece of fruit and string cheese.  We avoid the sugar sweets, soda and treats during the week.  By doing that, we afford ourselves the opportunity to eat what we want on the weekends.

So, why did I choose this week to start talking about yumPower?  Because I got to do a couple really awesome things this past week;

  1. yumPower Cooking Class: I went to a yumPower cooking class, Family meals in minutes!  While I don’t have children, I was excited to go to this class.  I’ll admit, since I cook all the time, I wasn’t sure how much I’d learn.  But, the class was incredible and I can’t say enough about it.  We watch live cooking demo’s, sampled three amazing dishes and heard incredible tips from a Registered Dietitian from Regions Hospital.  I had a total blast and I would highly recommend atteding one of these FREE classes.  Yes, FREE.  (Cooking classes are usually $60+/session so this is a deal!!!)
  2. Twin Cities Live taping featuring Andrew Zimmern: A co-worker of mine won tickets to a live taping of Twin Cities live and offered up a ticket to go with.  PICK ME!  PICK ME!  Helloooooo……PICK ME!  And he did!  Well, he didn’t pick me, apparently I was the first to ask for the tickets.  Works for me.  The reason I was so excited about this, is because Andrew Zimmern was on the show and he is the face of yumPower.  I typically could care less about celebrities, but I love Andrew!  We spent the afternoon watching the live show and learning about producing a TV show from one of the directors.  It was just a really fun experience and something I was excited about.

So there you have it, a couple of the reasons I’m onboard the yumPower campaign.  Kudos to HealthPartners and the other sponsors of this fabulous campaign.  It’s incredible!

Want to learn more about yumpower?  Here are some resources:

My healthy food blogs: Caprese SaladPeach Salsa, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Avocado

Burton’s introduction to Dog Shows!

What’s up people!  I’m Burton and I’m a 7 month old French Bulldog.  Last week, my humans took me to my first dog show in Hutchinson, Minnesota (It was my moms first dog show too).  And let me tell you what, THAT was interesting!  Looking back I should have known something was up.  For the last couple weeks, my mom has been taking me to a “conformation class” at the Pet Junction.  It’s alright, you know, if your into that sort of thing.  We basically went so she could learn how to “show” me.  But for me, it was a good opportunity to sniff some butt’s.  The other humans don’t seem to like when I do that to their dogs.  One of them even told my mom to “Watch your dog honey!”.  Geez, relax!

Anyhow, the humans put me into the car Saturday and made me ride in it for like 90 minutes.  When we got to the dog show, I was in Heaven!  There were Bitches everywhere!  And NO, this is not an insult.  That is what I kept hearing them call all the lady dog’s…Bitches.  Since I’m a boy, I was just called a Dog.  Works for me!

My mom seemed nervous when we got there which made me a little worried.  I decided to calm her nerves by puking on the floor and making her pick it up with her hands.  Apparently no one keeps paper towels around at a dog show.  And right when my mom was picking it up, some old dude ran up to me and felt my butt.  RUDE!  He said he “liked my rear movement and thought I’d be a good stud dog”.  OK, now I’m flattered!  Sounds like an opportunity to meet some ladies.  Turns out though, the old dude owned my Dad.  Random.  I’ve never met him, my Dad.  I have some words for him, but I’ll take the high road and keep my mouth shut.

I was in ring 4 at 9am.  First, the English Bulldogs and Boston Terriers showed themselves in the ring.  Then, it was my turn.  Apparently there are different age groups so I was in the Dogs 6-9 month category.  I was the only one in that category.  Naturally, I walked into that ring with some confidence but then thought I’d rally the crowds and puked again right by my mom’s feet.  Bonus points?  Apparently not.  I was put up on the show table, some other dude felt me up and then told me to walk around the ring.  Guess what…I got a blue ribbon!  But please, don’t tell anyone I was the only guy in my category.  I still got a blue ribbon!  I got to go back in the ring with all the other dogs and compete for another ribbon but I didn’t win best dog.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed learning about the world of dog shows.  What did I learn?  These people are intense, I loved all the ladies, and I’m excited to do it again.  Next time, I hope to spare my mom red cheeks and keep the puke in my belly.

Love, Burton

Bedroom dresser gone wild!

Well “gone wild” is a bit of an exaggeration.  I mean the paint colors “Almond Brittle” andDresser After “Borough Brown” don’t exactly scream wild, risky or anything but plain and safe.  However, for a girl who was raised on the fact that you stain wood and NEVER paint wood, this project was a little “wild” for me.

I had this dresser in my bedroom when I was a little girl and all through high school (Mom – do you have any pics of this in my old teal sponge painted bedroom?  I would love a copy if you do!).  When we purchased our cabin last year, I refused to spend a ton of money on filling it up with furniture.  Free, cheep and creative were the name of the game.  So when my parents let me have my childhood dresser, I was thrilled!  It sat in our cabin bedroom for the last year begging for a face lift.  While I can be impulsive with some things, decorating my home is not one of them.  I like to make the right decisions on where my money goes because I know I can’t keep buying new things all the time.

I finally determined a sanding and fresh coat of paint was the way to go.  I still had all the original hardware so used that to help maintain some integrity of the piece.  It only took me one day to sand and re-paint the dresser.  How did it turn out?  I’m OBSESSED with it.  And to my friends, NO, I didn’t spray paint it.  I used an actually roller and real paint.  Below are before and after pics, let me know what you think!

Dresser Before

Dresser After