Category Archives: food stuff

waiting for spring to be sprung

Hi. I am still here. I swear.

And I have a wonderfully busy month of photos ahead with some great families that I am excited to see again. I’ve been waiting for Spring to go ahead and start doing its Spring Stuff, but it’s just not happening. So I am going to sally forth. Tally-ho!

Here, in the meantime, this is a picture of my daughter turning 7 (that is a cake made of fruit … because she is the only 1st grader on the planet who doesn’t like cake).

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And a picture of the cats after the party. They were on Balloon Patrol for days. They bided their time until those birthday balloons lost their helium and eventually sank down to their feline demise.

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Happy Spring. We will chat again very shortly…

key lime pie

While we were on vacation in Key West, we had Key Lime Pie for dessert at several different restaurants.  It’s a specialty down there.  You know, because the limes … they’re grown in the Keys.  And I honest-to-God just put that together at age 34 while we were on that trip.

Key Lime Pie.
Limes grown in the Keys.
It was like an Oprah ah-hah! moment.

Anyway, the pie was so tasty that I started looking for a recipe online after we got home.  And I think I have struck a really good one!  I’ve made it twice so far and it’s gone over really well both times, so I thought I’d share the recipe here.

Before we start, let me just also say that I had no idea key limes were so tiny and cute.  Look how tiny and cute:

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Okay, here is what you need. It’s a short list and seems unlikely to make such a delicious pie, but I swear, it does:

  • about 15 key limes (for 3/4 c. lime juice and 1 Tbsp lime zest)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pie crust

Amazingly, I found the key limes at Cub Foods.  Who knew.  They weren’t over with the bigger Mexican limes, but instead near the green peppers in these little, orange netted bags.  One bag had just enough limes in it.

The first thing I do is wash (water and scrub brush) and dry the outside of the limes.  Then I run them all across the zester until I have 1 Tbsp of lime zest.

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Next up, cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice.  Be prepared for achy fingers by lime #10.

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Next, strain the juice into your measuring cup.  This gets rid of any seeds and pulp.

If your bag of limes doesn’t yield 3/4 cup of lime juice, you can supplement with a little bit of extra juice from a Mexican lime or from a little plastic lime juice bottle (you know the ones I mean … the little green bottle that looks like a lime … see how technical I am with this stuff?).

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Oh, and one important note:  SAVE ONE LIME!  Keep one lime un-zested and un-squeezed.  You’ll use it later as a garnish.

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So now, you need to mix together your 3/4 cup of lime juice, 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 cup of sour cream.

And I know you’re thinking, “Sour cream?  What?”  But I think it really makes the pie.  The filling bakes into a wonderfully smooth, light custard and the sour cream really adds to that.

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After you’ve mixed everything together, don’t forget to add the lime zest.

I think this might be the most important step, actually.  Because those little green flecks in the filling are the difference between store-bought and “I made this from scratch, people!”

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Then you just pour the filling into a pie crust. 

I am no martyr, so I use store bought crusts. 

But if you are a better baker than I (which, let’s face it, is highly likely), you could definitely make your own crust from scratch.

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Bake the pie at 350 degrees until you start to see tiny, little bubbles (teeny tiny, like the size of the head of a pin) start to rise to the surface.  The original recipe said 5-8 minutes, but it took me about 12 or 13 minutes both times.  DO NOT BROWN the pie, though.  You’re not cooking it to brown it.  You’re heating it up to get it to marry together and get smooth and custard-ey.

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Cool it in the fridge for a few hours and you’re ready to go!

I topped each piece with a little Cool Whip and a slice from the “saved garnish lime.”

And you could even serve yours on actual dishware! You know, in case you don’t roll with plastic-ware the way we often do.

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Well, that’s it.  If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes!

Happy eating!

let them eat cake

Youzers, May is a busy month at our house.

But in the good way.

My older kiddo (also known as the Toothless Wonder)…

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… he turned seven (and that is lemonade he’s drinking, calm down).

Did you hear me?  I said he turned SEVEN.

That is halfway to 14, people.

Where are my smelling salts?… someone go get my smelling salts.

We had a great weekend celebrating his seven-ness and I am looking forward to a new year of hanging out with this funny, smart, sweet little kid.  Er, big kid, I guess I should say.

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He’s a keeper, I’ll tell you that.

(love that my husband is rockin’ the Def Leppard t-shirt in the background of that pic)

So now, speaking of my husband, he ALSO had a birthday this month.  And he turned thirty-something-something-cough-ahem-you’re-trailing-off…

He loves chocolate cake, so to help celebrate, I ordered him a Chocolate Bavarian Cream cake from Wuollet Bakery.

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Which I then had to hide in the fridge for a day.  Not an easy task.

“Didn’t you hide a cake in the fridge a couple of years ago?” you may ask.

Well, yes.

Yes I did.

We like cake over here, what can I say.

And sometimes I run out of original ideas.

That’s the other thing.

Anyway, my husband’s birthday was very fun and the cake turned out to be delicious.

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And I can’t complain that one of the side benefits of the Fridge Surprise Cake Hiding Activity is that I always end up getting to partake in the tastiness.

That may or may not be a premeditated thing.

definitely out of the running for Parent of the Year

My daughter asked for cereal for breakfast.

“Lucky Charms.  With no milk, just a spoon,” she specified.

A little later, after she called out, “I’m done with breakfast, Mama!”, I walked by the kitchen table and noticed her bowl:

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She ate every single marshmallow bit and left every single oat piece behind.

Remind me to give that girl a Flintstone vitamin.

29 and holding…

Today is my birthday.  I had plans to be out and about, but my 3-year-old sprang a 102 temperature this morning.  So instead I am home, administering Tylenol and warm baths and frequent naps.

It’s okay, though.  This is life as a parent.  I signed on for this.

My husband set out a card and a small gift before he left for work this morning.  The card made me laugh, so I thought I’d share (although it contains an anatomy reference, so shield your eyes if you are easily offended).

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The gift is for tonight after dinner.

“I figured it has to be good since it combines two of your favorite things,” he said.

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He knows me so well.

To be honest, the wine looks kind of questionable, but he said the folks at the liquor store all insisted that it’s actually very good.

I’ll let you know.

So my quiet birthday plans just got a little quieter.  I just checked on the sick 3-year-old and she is still asleep.  The house is quiet.  I am eating cheese and crackers and editing some photos.  Letting the cat sleep on my feet under the desk.  Not thinking too much about what it means to turn 33.  About the fact that 33 rounds up to 35, while 32 rounded down to 30.

I’m actually just feeling kind of content.  Which makes for a pretty happy birthday.

early fall

My family usually heads South down 169 when it’s “apple orchard time” in Minnesota.

But this year, we tried something new and headed West.  We went to Deardorff Orchards in Waconia.

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It was a great place — not too busy, but still big enough that the kids had lots to do.  We took a wagon ride out to the orchard and let each kid pick a bag of apples.  Then we headed back to the store to check out some of the homemade apple products.

Oh man, apple butter on warm toast?… one of my absolute favorites.

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The kids each picked out a flavored honey stick, too.

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Next to the store, there were some horses, a couple of bunnies, and these two very skeptical goats.

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The other nifty thing we learned about this orchard is that they just opened a winery this year.

The grand opening of Parley Lake Winery was this weekend and since we were already there, my husband and I decided to participate in one of their wine tastings.

We were able to taste 4 wines (and even bring home our wine glasses!).

Of course, the wines were so tasty that we bought 2 bottles and brought those home, too:

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What a nice way to enjoy an early Fall afternoon with the kids.  A wagon ride, trying out some local wines, visiting with some farm animals, and, of course, bringing home some delicious Minnesota-grown apples.

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summer dessert

Most of you know by now that while photography is my favorite pastime, food is probably my 2nd favorite pastime.

Sometimes cooking it.  Occasionally photographing it.  But mostly just eating it.

And since I haven’t done a food post in a while, I figured I should:

A Freeziac shop opened in Eden Prairie last month and if you haven’t gone yet, you should.  It’s self-serve frozen yogurt with self-serve topping bars (one has all kinds of fresh fruit and other has a bunch of nuts and candy).  I love their tart yogurts and would go there every day if it didn’t empty my pocketbook quite so much.

But now I’ve found something more cost-effective (although just as tasty!) to tide me over between visits:

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I’ve discovered the best combination ever:  Stone Ridge Creamery lowfat frozen yogurt and frozen red raspberries (that have been thawed in the fridge).

But you have to get the TART vanilla frozen yogurt.

And you have to get the raspberries that are “in syrup.”

Because together, they make the tastiest, most awesome-est, semi-low-fat dessert you’ve ever had.

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Seriously.

The sweet syrup mixes with the tart vanilla yogurt and it’s ridiculously good.

Addictive, for sure.  I’ve eaten it in lieu of dinner before (don’t worry, I chase it down with a vitamin).

I say you add it to your summer dessert repertoire.  You won’t be sorry!

(and Stone Ridge Creamery, you can thank me for this post later)