Sunday, January 19, 2014


Hello and welcome!

Let me introduce myself.  I'm Vanessa, a stay-at-home mom to two kids, ages 3 and 6.  I love to cook and spend almost all of my free time cooking, eating, or thinking about food.  I try to cook healthy and use quality ingredients yet stay on a budget of about $100 a week.

We have some food traditions around here and one of them is Friday pizza (and movie) night.  Nine times out of 10, we make our own pizza and usually top it with whatever we have on hand.  When we order take-out pizza, we usually get a deep dish pizza from Di Noko's.  They used to be located just down the street from us but sadly they moved closer to downtown.  If you live in the Minneapolis area, you MUST try their pizza.  We usually get sausage and mushrooms as toppings.  The sauce is a tad on the spicy side and so is their sausage.  It's definitely the best chicago-style pizza I've had outside of the windy city.

We were craving some deep-dish but didn't want to make the trek to the new Di Noko's location (seriously, it's only 5 miles but going downtown isn't always the easiest thing).  Lucky for us, Mike was home Friday and whipped up two of these deep-dish pizzas.  They were SO amazing.  I could have eaten a whole one by myself.  The recipe is from Cooks Illustrated and takes some time, but I would argue that it's definitely worth it!

Another food tradition we have around here is our dinner club.  Let me pause for a moment and tell you about how we arrived at dinner club.  A group of girls and I met through a mom's group years ago and hit it off.  We started knitting together, or shall I say "knitting", on a regular basis.  We also take an annual getaway weekend together, too.  A couple of years ago, we decided to introduce our husbands and start a dinner club.  It's been great!

Last night, we got together for Midwest Comfort Food (we have a different theme every month).  The menu was fantastic:
  • Appetizers: sweet bacon wrapped tater tots, pickle wraps (you know the ones with the roast beef and cream cheese), Ritz with Easy Cheese, and cheese curds.  
  • Soup: chicken wild rice soup
  • Salads: raspberry Jell-o (made with applesauce and fresh raspberries) & broccoli sunshine salad
  • Main Course: meatloaf (Martha Stewart style) & mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Dessert: bread pudding with dried blueberries and vanilla ice cream
I ate until I could eat no more and then some.  

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