rustic white bean & herb dip


What to do with leftover white beans from this?

Make a dip of course!


1 can or leftover beans

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 Tbsp herbs, chopped ( I used rosemary and thyme)

Heat oil in skillet (if you want it burnt like mine – which actually turned out great – get the oil really hot). Add garlic and saute for a few minutes, add herbs and set aside.

Mash beans (or process if you want it really smooth but I liked the chunks). Pour olive oil mixture over beans and stir to combine. Serve with veggies, crackers or eat by the spoonful ;)


restaurant: butcher block

For the tasters Birthday he decided on a new restaurant in our neighborhood called The Butcher Block. “Where meat is our passion; organic, grass-fed & sustainable are our principles; and serving great-tasting food – with or without meat – is our priority.” And meat we had. I love the more “traditional” Italian restaurants complete with separate courses of chewy pasta and tender meat. The prices were very reasonable and they had a number of bottles of wine for $15. So we had a $15 bottle of Chianti. Was it the best bottle of wine I’ve ever had? Obvy not but I’m no wine snob so it worked.

Get ready for a ridiculous amount of food. I’m just warning ;)


Grilled Octopus: Haven’t had this since Greece and while we are sadly no where near the ocean here in MN, it was surprisingly good. It pretty much melted.


Romanesca Salad: Romaine, cucumber, tomato, anchovy vinaigrette – some greens were definitely needed in this meat-centric meal.


Lamb Sausage: this is freshly ground and prepared on-site and it is to. die. for. literally. The taster and I were dreaming of putting this on pizza and pretty much just eating it as often as possible.


Fettuccine alla Bolognese: ground pork and beef, tomato – definitely not something I would generally order but it wasn’t my birthday :) This dish was so straight-forwardly delicious- nothing fancy here and nothing fancy needed.


Pork & Ricotta Meatballs: we ordered these along with pasta (why? I’m still not really sure) but they were amazing none the less

While we have already tried about 3/4 of the menu, I can’t wait to get back to the Butcher Block. Who knows, maybe once it thaws we can actually walk there!

the favorite present

the favorite birthday present

butternut squash soup (+)

What makes this soup even better??


Simple. White beans, chopped red pepper and creme fraiche. (I really wanted to add some crab too, but I’m going to hold out until I make my own soup!)


Now this soup was mighty delish all on its own but I thought I could doctor it up a bit and I will admit I was very excited for this lunch!

It went from this….


to this…


to this hot mess…


This ended up being so satisfying (thank you beans) and I loved the crunch of the pepper and the pillow of heaven the creme fraiche addition.

Had I eaten this at home instead of work, I probably would have added a little spice to add yet another dimension or perhaps some caramelized onions… ;)

zevia root beer


Soda with no calories and no artificial sweeteners?

Sign me up.

There is something about soda and I will admit that I fall for its effervescent, cool refreshment that it brings. My drug of choice? The diet Pepsi. I don’t keep it at home, that would be far too tempting. It mainly happens during road trips in the car (and the lack of sparking water at gas stations?). But I digress….I grabbed a root beer from Whole Foods the last time I was there and was super excited to try it out.

Unfortunately I was not that big of a fan. To me, it had that somewhat odd flavor that can be common with stevia. The taster doesn’t mind it and uses stevia in his coffee but for now, for me, I’ll pass. Try it out yourself, they sell them by the can at Whole Foods. I will probably give it another try down the road, or maybe just a different flavor .

Question: Do you like stevia? Thoughts? Do you use it?

I love the idea of it and am glad it is finally showing up more but I’m not a frequent user quite yet.