mill city farmers market

Of the many reasons I love Minneapolis, the Mill City Farmers Market is definitely on the top of the list.  I’m sure part of it is because I can walk there and part because I can get a coffee, fresh lemonade OR cucumber mint water; curry, crepes OR Chef Shack snacks; local pork, vegetables OR fresh flowers and see tons of cute babies, little red-heads AND adorable kids selling organic vegetables all in a half-hour time span.

I’ve mentioned (and complained I’m sure) before that the summers are so busy I don’t get there nearly as much as I would like to but when I do? I’m sure to soak everything in.

spanish coffee

I will never forget my first visit to Espresso Royale Cafe (Dinkytown location). It was the middle of February, I’m sure I couldn’t feel my fingers and North Face jacket or not, it was one of those chilling-to-the-bone days. For those of you who live in warm climates, I don’t mean 20° F, I mean -40°. But for that particular few hours, the temperature didn’t bother me, in fact, I doubt I even thought about it. I was 17 and had just finished what would be my final college tour. I knew right then and there this was where I needed to be. I would worry about getting accepted later, I was going to be a Gopher.

The decision was made right then and there, over a hot drink with my parents. I don’t remember what I drank that February afternoon, but that would be the first of many drinks at Espresso Royale Cafe. It was my favorite place to study and I will always think of it as my spot.

I first had this drink at Espresso Royale and it has been a favorite ever since. I think every coffee shop has a slightly different name/origin for it, but Espresso Royale calls it Spanish so that is what I use. (Thai would be my #2 choice based on the sole fact that I love Thai food) It consists of coffee and sweetened condensed milk – exactly why it is treat. Sweetened condensed milk isn’t exactly good for you, but at 120 calories, it beats a 500 calorie Frappuccino anyday!

Dunn Bros has introduced iced coffee growlers and it sounded like too much fun to pass up. So on a recent 95° day, a mere 135° difference, I knew just what I needed to have.

Only this time it was most certainly iced.

Spanish Coffee – 2 servings

  • 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz strong iced coffee

Mix the milk and coffee together until well combined. Add a few ice cubes if desired.

goat cheese, leek & spinach quiche

I love quiche, I really do but you see I rarely make real quiche. You know, the kind with a real pie crust. (And by real pie crust by no means do I mean home made. I mean real crust from the store ;) ) I almost always make my quiches crustless, which while it is the healthy choice, isn’t always the right choice.

Friends, let me tell you know that while the crust may add a few more calories, grams of fat and carbs, what it adds in terms of decadence…let’s just say I’m enamored.

Goat Cheese, Leek & Spinach Quiche

  • 1 medium-sized leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-12 oz can 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 pre-made pie shell (I used Wholly Wholesome Organic)

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Heat small pan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add leeks to pan and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook an additional minute. Set aside.

Crumble goat cheese on bottom of pie crust. Top with leeks and spinach mixture.

Whisk together eggs, evaporated milk and salt & pepper. Pour egg mixture over cheese and veggies.

Bake for about 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and eggs are cooked through. *If the top is getting too brown, top with tin foil.

Congratulations Tricia! You’ve won the Ball Canning Discovery Kit! Send me your address and I’ll get it sent out to you.

mini smoked salmon quiches

Every bride needs some nourishment on her big day, even if she is a little too nervous to eat much. I thought my bride needed something special. Something filling, something full of nutritious foods and something delicious for Saturday morning primping on her wedding day.

Congratulations Morgan & Ryan!!

Mini Smoked Salmon Quiches - makes 24

  • 6 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 oz smoked salmon

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Whisk together the eggs, water and salt & pepper.

Cut salmon into small pieces. Spray mini muffin tin with lots of cooking spray and place a piece of salmon in each tin. Pour egg mixture over top, filling almost to the top.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.