Saturday, July 31, 2010

CSA Box Four

We received another great box of vegetables from our CSA this week.

CSA Box 4

Here are the vegetables we received: Cauliflower, Cippolini Onions, Cucumbers, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Bell Peppers, Green Top Chioggia Beets, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Zucchini, Sage, Saute Mix, Sungold Tomatoes, Tomatoes and Sweet Corn.

tomatoes, peppers, garlic & onions

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Using our CSA Vegetables - Box Three

Here is how we used our third box of CSA vegetables.

I made hummus for our wine tour and used the cilantro.

Hummus

I used the basil from our CSA to make Peach Basil Sangria for the wine tour.

Peach Basil Sangria

I made this Pistachio Mint Tabbouleh from Vegetarian Times. I only had to buy the pistachios, we had all the other ingredients in our garden. The cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, mint and parsley were from our garden.

Pistachio Mint Tabbouleh

We also made this Herb Grilled Pork Loin with Grilled New Red Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans.

Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans

Green Beans

Patrick had been talking about pizza a lot lately, so I decided pizza with green zucchini and tomatoes from our garden would be good to try. We used this pizza dough and this sauce.

Tomato Zucchini Pizza

Our garden is overflowing with cucumbers right now, so I decided to make a cucumber salsa. My uncle had brought it to Mother's Day and I had wanted to try it since then. We used cucumbers from our garden, and the garlic, onion and cilantro from our CSA.

Cucumber Salsa

For lunch one Saturday we had some caprese sandwiches with the basil and tomatoes from our garden.

Caprese Sandwiches

I used the napa cabbage and carrots for the yogurt coleslaw I brought to the Traxler Get Together. We used the red iceberg lettuce for sandwiches and I ate the sugar snap peas for lunch one day. The CSA cucumbers were used for refrigerator dill pickles, but they were a little past their prime so they didn't turn out that well. Good thing we have plenty more cucumbers in the garden and we are supposed to get more in the CSA tomorrow.

We still have the patty pan squash and I ended up throwing out the rainbow chard & red mustard.

Well into our second season of CSA vegetables we are definitely getting more creative and finding good uses for the all the vegetables we receive.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Flugtag & Mini Golf

Our uneventful weekend turned into a whirlwind of events late Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning, Patrick and Ty had golf lessons in St. Paul at 9:30 and we were supposed to meet at Kate's at 10:45 to go to lunch, so I went with to golf lessons. After golf lessons, Kate, Jeff, Shanna, David, Elysia, Patrick and I headed to Cecils for lunch.

Then it was off the Flugtag, along with 90,000 other people. Getting there was no easy task, and even after we arrived finding a spot where we could see was another adventure.

View of the St. Paul

Here are all the people on the island. Shanna ventured over there to see her sister.

Crowd at Harriet Island

This would be ideal for watching the Flugtag. Note to self, find someone with a boat to watch the Flugtag next year.

Boats at Flugtag

Here are some groups attempting to fly their homemade flying machines.

Flugtag

Flugtag

Flugtag

This team one the People's Choice Award.

Flugtag

And since traffic was so horrible getting there, we missed the best one.




We ended up leaving the Flugtag early. It was hot, we were thirsty and it was going to be a nightmare to get out of there. We decided we were going to hit up a bar to quench our thirst. We first stopped at Caribou looking for water. Let me tell you, no business was prepared for the number of people who showed up for this event. This Caribou had nothing left except hot coffee. They had no ice and the entire display case of water, juice and pastries was completely cleared out. It honestly looked like a war zone with the trash everywhere. Next we headed to a bar, in hopes they would be better prepared. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. We ended up at Tom Reid's and waited at least a half hour at the bar for a drink and water.

After we cooled off a little at Kate's place we decided to go mini golfing. There was some talk of volleyball or the driving range, but mini golf won. Jeff and David ended up tying for first place.

Mini Golf

After all that golfing we were hungry for dinner, so we headed to another place by Kate's house The Cleveland Wok. I am not a big fan of buffets, but this was really good. They don't have that many options, so I think that keeps everything fresh. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area.

And to end the night we rented a movie and watched it at Jeff's house. It was called 100 Feet and this woman was on house arrest, while she was haunted by her dead husband who she killed in self defense. I definitely don't recommend that movie, it was just bad.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Traxler Get Together

Tonight we went down to Belle Plaine to Frannie & Will's for a Traxler Get Together. I have two cousins that live overseas. One of my cousins is married to a woman from Turkey, so they live in Istanbul. And another cousin of mine teaches in South Korea, so he, his wife and two kids live there during the school year. They were both home at the same time, so we all got together to see them. It was really nice to see everyone. It is not very often that we are all together with everyone being so spread out. We used to rely our annual Labor Day vacation to get everyone together, but with some of my cousins in college and these guys overseas, it is rare to get everyone together. We are still missing quite a few, but this a majority of the group.

Traxler Family

And here is Mike and Jaci's daughter Moriah at the park we played volleyball at.

Moriah

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wine Tour 2010

On Friday, we went to Ty's Birthday Pub Crawl in Northeast Minneapolis. We didn't make it to all the bars, but upon convincing from Nick we did try White Castle for the first time. I don't think that we will be returning anytime in the near future.

On Saturday morning I went on a wine tour with a bunch of Kate's co-workers and friends. We rented a limo from noon to five to go to two wineries. The first winery was Valley Vineyard and by far everyone's favorite. This winery was located in Prescott, WI.

Limo for Wine Tour

Valley Vineyards

The set up was perfect for our big group. All of the wines were good, but Shanna and I had a favorite, the Saranna. It was named after their granddaughters Sara and Arianna, but since we liked the wine so much we thought it should be named after us. After the tasting we were able to go on a little tour of their facilities.

Valley Vineyards, Prescot, WI

Here is the whole group at Valley Vineyard.

Wine Tasting 2010 Group Pic

Up next was Northern Vineyards in Stillwater. We went on a tour here, I wouldn't waste your money. Our tour guide was horrible. I wasn't very impressed with the wine either. We were also supposed to be able to have a picnic at this winery, well we ended up eating our cheese and crackers on the sidewalk outside of the store rather than on the patio overlooking the river.

Northern Vineyards

Northern Vineyards

Friday, July 16, 2010

CSA Box Three

We got a ton of good stuff this week and we are both excited to have so many things that we love to eat.

CSA Box 3 2010

This week we recieved: Carrots, Cucumbers, Fresh Garlic, Garlic Chives, Green Beans, Green Zucchini, Napa Cabbage, New Red Potatoes, Patty Pan Squash, Rainbow Chard, Green Iceberg Lettuce, Red Mustard, Cilantro, Sugar Snap Peas and Basil.

Napa Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots & Lettuce

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Using our CSA Vegetables - Box Two

We did really well using this box considering we barely used any of it on our road trip.

We used the broccoli in this Broccoli Stir Fry. This recipe is from our CSA newsletter.

Brocolli Stir Fry

We roasted the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and served it with grilled chicken. We really like roasted cauliflower and it will probably be our go to method with this vegetable in the future.

Roasted Cauliflower

The green savoy cabbage was used in two kinds of coleslaw. One was with yogurt and green apples and the other one was this one that I made last summer

Coleslaw

I used some of the curly parsley, garlic scapes and fennel for this tuna salad sandwich. I wasn't a huge fan of the fennel so I barely used any, but I did try it.

Tuna Salad

The green top carrots and sugar snap peas were used in these little lunch packs Patrick made that contained a carrot, peas, grapes, cherry tomatoes, a beef stick, a mozzarella cheese stick and a hard boiled egg. They were actually pretty filling and a nice change from our regular lunches.

We used the green zucchini and patty pan squash in this Spaghetti with Zucchini & Chickpeas recipe that we made last summer. This is a great way to use zucchini and it is super quick since no meat is involved.

I used the cucumber in a cucumber and tomato salad for Ben's Baptism. I didn't take a picture, but I am sure we will make it again. We didn't eat the beets, but they will keep for a long time. The red leaf lettuce did not survive the road trip.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Basilica Block Party & Ben's Baptism

As soon as we got from our road trip we had a full weekend of plans ahead of us. It was really nice to get back at noon, much better than our friends who had to work all day and then go to the concert.

When we arrived at the Basilica, Robyne Robinson was meeting with people. Robyne is a former television anchor for Channel 9 who is now running for Lieutenant Governor. Patrick was really into meeting her and had a lengthy conversation with her.

Robyne Robinson

On the main stage was One eskimO, Eric Hutchinson and Weezer. We only made it to the end of Eric Hutchinson. Weezer the main event was awesome, I haven't been to a concert that good since seeing Nickelback in a thunderstorm back in college.

Basillca Block Party 2010

Basillca Block Party 2010

Today we had Ben's baptism in the afternoon. It was good to see him again, it seems like we haven't see him in a long time, ok maybe it was only a couple weeks. He is getting so big and he opens his eyes and looks at us now. I think that Nickie said he is around 14 pounds. He was so good for the baptism, he didn't even cry very much when they poured the water over his head. He wore the same baptismal gown the my Grandma Traxler wore as a child. My grandma would be 97 years old this year, so it pretty cool that he was able to wear it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

AmeriCanadian Road Trip - Trip Home

The rest of the trip became a misson to get home in time for the Basilica Block Party, which was at 5:00pm on Friday. With the heat we really wanted to get to Wisconsin Dells in time to go to Noah's Ark. Unfortunately we didn't get to Wisconsin Dells until late Thursday. Through out our trip Patrick had seen signs for Krispie Kreme, so we decided today was the day to find these donuts. Well, we used our handy dandy iPhones to find a Krispie Kreme, only to find the Krispie Kreme office building in Indianapolis. Apparently, the retail location closed a few weeks ago, so we were only able to get the original flavor. We were pretty disappointed considering we went quite a bit out of our way to get there.

Krispy Kreme

And we managed to eat the entire dozen in less than 24 hours, that is a lot of donuts.

Krispie Kreme

After the Krispie Kreme debacle we were already thinking about lunch. Well, we had just made it six days without visiting a Chipotle, so you know what that means. We needed to find a Chipotle to eat lunch at. It sounded interesting to see Perdue, Indiana so we ate Chipotle on the Perdue campus.

Perdue

On our way back to the freeway, we saw a ton of windfarms.

Windmills in Indiana

After many annoying tolls in Illinois, we finally arrived in Wisconsin Dells. The first place we stopped was at the Kalahari Resort to see if we could find a good deal on a hotel. Not so much they wanted $200 for the last room left. We ended up camping at the Sherwood Forest campground. It was a pretty nice place that was within walking distance of downtown. It ended up being a mile and half walk to and from dinner, but that was actually welcome after being in the car all day.

Wisconsin Dells

On Friday morning we packed up our things and headed home. We arrived home around noon, which was just enough time to unpack and start the laundry before the Basilica Block Party.

***Yay!!! I am finally finished writing about this vacation, which took approximately forever. Now, I can get on to posting about our CSA vegetables and our other July adventures. We have been busy, so stay tuned for more updates.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

AmeriCanadian Road Trip - Niagara Falls and Pittsburgh

We woke up late this morning in our hotel room. It was great to be able to sleep in for a day. We got up just in time for continental breakfast at the hotel. We showered and downloaded a couple more books from Audible.com. This time we downloaded The Road and Craig Ferguson's American on Purpose. Our plan for the day was to go to Niagara Falls and from there we would figure out the next stop.

Niagara Falls was only about an hour from the hotel, so we drove around Buffalo looking for a park to eat our lunch at. We were unsuccessful, so we ended up eating our lunch, beef stick sandwiches and dill pickle chips on a bus stop bench next to our car when we parked at Niagara Falls, classy huh.

Bridge to the Falls

It was soooo hot today, I swear it was close to 100 degree out. So, we were not planning on staying in the scorching heat for long. The only relief from the hot sun was the mist from the falls.

Patrick & I at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

I convinced Patrick another good relief from the hot sun would be to go on a boat ride into the falls. The boat ride was called Maid of the Mist and it is totally worth the $13 and souvenir poncho on a 100 degree day. Here are Patrick and I in our souvenir ponchos, aka blue garbage bags.

Before the Mist

Here is what a bunch of people in souvenir ponchos look like on a Maid of the Mist boat.

Maid of the Mist

The view from the river was really beautiful and it was definitely a nice relief from the hot air.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

On the boat ride you actually go into Horseshoe Falls, which are the falls are best viewed from the Canadian side. The entire time you are in Horseshoe Falls, the boat isn't moving, but because the water is moving so fast it seems like you are moving really fast. With all the mist the view of the falls isn't that great, but it was awesome to be in the falls.

Horseshoe Falls

In Horseshoe Falls

And as you can see there is a reason you get the souvenir poncho because if you didn't have it you would be soaked head to toe.

After the Mist

It was nice to cool off, but it was still so hot out that we didn't spend any more time enjoying the park. We headed back to the car right away, but not before we stopped for ice cream.

Once we were back to the car we made a little game plan of where we were going as we were getting out of Niagara Falls. We decided that we were going to take a different route home, so we headed to Pittsburgh with a plan to make it there for dinner.

We had planned on going to a "Man Versus Food" establishment in Detroit, but we couldn't really find anything so we looked for something in Pittsburgh. We found a little sandwich place called Primanti Brothers. There are a few locations within Pittsburgh, the first location was near impossible to locate and we needed gas, so we headed toward the gas station and another location ended up being near the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Primanti Brothers

We ordered this sandwich and chili cheese fries. This was way too much food for two people, but we were lucky we only ordered one sandwich instead of two.

Primanti Brothers

It was fun to eat there and we did a little more driving around Pittsburgh before we headed toward Wisconsin Dells, our next scheduled destination. At this point we are listening to The Road on audio book. Neither of us was too impressed with this book. We didn't get too far that night before stopping outside of Columbus, Ohio for some rest.