brian’s juice bar – chicago

I have really been wishing there was a juice bar somewhat close to where I work. (sigh).  Since I started with the green monsters I have been dying to try a green juice. Yes, there are places to get juice in Minneapolis, but so far I haven’t found anything that is exactly convenient so I had had yet to try. While in Chicago (read about my awesome trip to karyn’s raw restaurant) there was a juice bar right around the corner from my hotel – at first glance I thought it was hopeless, but when I gave it a try and went in I knew it would work and so I took full advantage! Refrigerators FULL of fruits and veggies.
My absolute favorite? Apple, Kiwi, Cucumber and Parsley. Yes, it may sound a little odd to some, but it was so unbelievably refreshing, not overly sweet and all around amazing and I’m dying to have more of it. I picked up some Naked Juice Green Machine which I used to love but it just wasn’t the same and almost tasted too sweet.
I’m going to hunt down a juice bar and try to find my juicer for the Magic Bullet because I just can’t live without this juice…
Do you have a favorite juice combo when you go to a juice bar??

eating my way through saturday

Saturday was a good day for me. As you will see below I really did eat my way through the day. We started off with a trip to the Mill City Farmer’s market to do some wandering and get a bite to eat with friends (miss you guys already!). The chef shack is probably some of the best food you will find at a “shack.”  Options are grass-fed beef hotdogs, bison burgers, pork nachos and the special of the day….Soft-shell crab sandwiches! This little guy only gave me about 3 bites (I was sharing with the taster) and was SO good! I’m so glad we tried it – I will definitely be back to try out the other options – also really wanted to try a Vanilla-goat ice cream (they had beet too that was a beautiful bright pink color) but it was a cold day in Minneapolis so I will wait until next time!

Not yet ready to go home we decided to head over to Guthrie Theatre for more wandering and good views. Below is an iconic Minneapolis building. Welcome to the land of flour!

Onto Sea Change, the brand new restaurant in the Guthrie Theatre which features sustainable seafood and local food when possible. Chef Tim McKee is a 2009 James Beard winner and certainly knows what he is doing on the seafood front. We tried the Green Curry Mussels and grilled bread which was so good that I’m still dreaming about it. The spice level was perfect so as to not take anything away from the mussels and really how can you go wrong with bread, curry and mussels? This restaurant JUST opened so the website is still under construction but I LOVE the octopus logo and we will be back soon!

Next was the Hawaiian Yellowfin Poke over a sesame seaweed salad. It was beautifully presented and was as delicious as it looks.

There was a sliver of jalapeno on top of each piece which gave a bit of heat. (And you know how I love spice)

Dinner was at Sanctuary, which is a New American Cuisine restaurant with influences from the Mediterranean as well as Japanese flavors. Unfortunately I was having technical difficulties with my camera and so the pictures are awful, but you get the point.
I started with the Canary Melon Tuna Tartar with Harissa sauce. Savory and sweet deliciousness.

A roasted jalapeno caesar with baby reds and green romaine served as my veggies for the night. Loved it. Chef Patrick Atanalian sure comes up with some different combinations but they work and it is definitely an eating experience!
Learnings through the day:
1) Never EVER eat out that many times a day – no excuses ;)
2) This day seems very seafood-heavy but all in all most of it was shared and so it wasn’t THAT much…hehe
3) Try everything and ALWAYS be open to new foods – they can turn out to be fabulous (hello tuna and melon)


As I was reading an article in the most recent Gourmet, it occurred to me. I was meant to live in the 50’s, host fabulous cocktail parties – complete with a too-cute dress, apron and heels – a dirty martini in one hand and a tray of hors devours  in the other…and while this sounds great to me in theory it didn’t take me too long to realize I would be forced to live without things like my iphone, laptop, blogs etc so I quickly got back to reality. But it is true, there is nothing I like more than having friends over for some cocktails and hors devours.

Here are some of the snacks I made last week:
Roasted & Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes
Eggplant Caponata with Olives & Leek Goat Cheese (amazing)
Italian Meat & Cheese Tray: Marinated fresh Mozzerella, Truffled Italian Cheese & Herb Encrusted Salami
Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Dip and veggies
Everything all together….

summer cocktail: white wine mojito

I came across a recipe for a white wine mojito in a special Whole Foods publication and was instantly inspired! I love wine and I love mojito’s so it was a no-brainer for me.

I changed the recipe a bit and this is what I ended up with:

1 bottle white wine
1 cup sparkling lemonade
1 cup chopped mint leaves
2 limes (sliced and juiced)

Mix in a pitcher with a little ice and drink away (well, in moderation of course!) – this was such a refreshing, fun summer cocktail – perfect for 4th of July celebrations and you could easily add some frozen blueberries and raspberries for an extra festive drink. I will be making this again very soon!

What is your favorite summer cocktail?