This Fresh Forkin' Friday I am mad prepping for a dinner tonight. Somebody bid on a silent auction item at a charity event, and now I'm cooking dinner for eight people at a Minnetonka lake home this evening. I kinda like this challenge; it gets me out of yapping about restaurants and back to jamming with food. My 8-year-old said the other day, "Why don't you like cooking anymore?" which made me a little sad. So many events, so many restaurants, so many soccer games means that more often than not, my stove is cold (but still shockingly dirty). Planning this menu became a little reminder of what can be done with the tomatoes on my patio beyond just standing over the plant and shoving them in my mouth. I'm thinking of putting them in an orzo dish with arugula pesto. The cucumbers that are usually a post-work snack might become a carpaccio of sorts with lemon verbena oil and fresh goat cheese . . . if I can find my mandoline.
The Liffey is now open again. It closed for a little cosmetic buffing, which should have opened up the room and made it a bit brighter. Go check it out.
The Lowry has moved its opening date back from the 9th to the 15th, so ignore the posters on the window, but DO peek in! It looks curvaceous and cool . . .
WATCH FOR IT
Last night I met Annette (Nettie) Colon who was the chef de cuisine of Lucia's for years, but has leapt out on her own to form Red Hen Gastrolab. It's still in the works, but the idea is to do catering and pop-ups that focus on farm-to-table foods. I can tell you that a few local farmers/producers were quite excited about what she has planned, stay tuned.
It's the final weekend of Black Forest Inn's Weinfest, mein liebling! Tomorrow is the extravagant Sparkles & Bubbles day, followed by Sunday's more practical Bread & Wine day during which all glasses will come with European bread and butter. Yes, it's inherently better, get over it.
Kickapoo Country Fair is this weekend featuring our own Andrew Zimmern and a bounty of organic goodies from the kids at Organic Valley. The good grazing includes kombucha making, beer/cheese/chocolate pairings, a kids-in-the-kitchen tent, plus live music and tons of snacks. A worthy road trip for sure.
Two food-fueled block parties on tap: Saturday Aug 13th marks the 9th Annual Pizza Luce Block Party with a ton of bands from noon on (not to mention pizza). But this Sunday, the 31st is the Red Stag block party that starts at 3 p.m. and kicks it with a lot of good looking sponsors such as Crispin and Schell's Beer.
QUICK! Tickets are almost all sold out for the IATP's Bike and Bite on August 13th . . . get off your duff!