restaurant: salut bar americain

Brunch at Salut is anything but bacon and eggs, although if that is what you are in the mood for, it can certainly be worked out.

I had always heard good things about Salut and on Easter Sunday we took the leap. Crab Cakes Benedict can sell the Taster on anything, I swear. Perhaps I should use some food persuasion for that black diamond ring I’m lusting after…

With a 1pm reservation – leaving plenty of time for a morning yoga session – I was more in the mood for lunch than breakfast. This is typical and the reason we don’t go out to breakfast often, although a number of the “breakfast” items on the Salut Brunch menu sounded amazing and I would have been happy with many of them.

With the sun shining and the patio doors open, a gentle, but cool Spring breeze greeted us in the safety (aka warmth) of inside. Cocktails were had – proscecco for her and a bloody for him alongside an appetizer of escargot bourguignon…when in a France…or a French Restaurant. ;)

{we were a little disappointed that our server didn’t tell us that mimosas and bellinis were half-off on Sundays but now we know!}


I ordered the Ahi Tuna Sandwich – I wish it had been a bit rare, but I failed to mention how I wanted it cooked and they didn’t ask – it was still delicious and perfectly light and satisfying at the same time. I loved the cucumber and spicy mayo that came along with it. {I resisted their famous frites and went for a salad on the side…must have been the morning yoga!}


The Taster “decided” on the Baked Crab Benedict, which seemed pricy at $15.95, but the portion was huge! In addition to being delicious, the sweet corn hollandaise was an interesting twist on the breakfast staple.

We left with full bellies and happy hearts – well worth the price of an amazing meal from time to time don’t you think?

Salut also has a great happy hour, so we’ll be headed back again soon.  {Next time I’m trying the frites!}


Edina: 50th & France – 952.929.3764

St. Paul: 917 Grand Ave – 651.917.2345

annie chun’s dinner party

This dinner party started like all of the other dinner parties I have.

With prosecco. Prosecco with ume plum wine to be exact.  I was lucky enough to participate in an Annie Chun’s Dinner Party, which meant I was to host an Asian Dinner Party, choosing between Korean, Thai or Chinese fare. I decided to go with a Korean theme, mainly because the Korean Flank Steak recipe sounded amazing!


Starters: Chicken and Pork Pot Stickers, Rice Crackers & Roasted Seaweed

Main: Korean Flank Steak with Sticky Rice, Pickled Cucumber Salad and Sigumchi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach)

Dessert: Black Sticky Rice with Coconut Mango Ice Cream

This dinner party was a lot of fun to plan – with a little guidance from Annie Chun’s and plenty of creative room – I decided on a menu that like most of my dishes, is healthy, simple, full of vegetables and delicious as ever.

The starters were Pork and Chicken with Vegetable Pot Stickers served alongside some Rice Crackers and Roasted Seaweed for munching. (We did have a slight fiasco with the pot stickers sticking to the pan because I don’t think I used enough oil, but thankfully my guests didn’t judge me too much and they still tasted good!) :)

A marinade of Korean BBQ sauce and gochujang sauce flavored the Flank Steak impeccably, and the Taster cooked it to perfection! After some quick internet searches for some side dishes to go along with the Korean Steak I decided on a pickled cucumber salad (so simple!) and Sigumchi Namul. Both side dishes allowed me to do most of the prep work ahead of time and the great thing about spinach is that it literally takes 2 minutes to cook. Since there would be rice twice during the meal, I knew I wanted strictly veggie sides. The greens also add a beautiful contrast to the plate.

Dessert was easy. But I can’t really take credit for it. You see, desserts have never really been my strong point and I just happen to know someone who makes home-made ice cream in all sorts of flavors. Yes, home-made! So Kate made some Coconut Mango Ice Cream for me and I served it over the black sticky rice. The ice cream was great – not too sweet, with hints of mango and coconut. It really was the perfect ending.

It is actually quite rare for me to have dinner parties. I love to entertain, but because our table only seats 4 and our dishes are less than desirable, entertaining is usually limited to appetizers and cocktails. Since this was a bit of a special meal, I also wanted to really think about the table settings and decorations. Just like dessert, decorating is not something I really excel at so I wanted to keep it simple. Flowers and candles were easy, and always warm up a table; and the little cards on each place setting read Jalmukesumneda, which essentially means, I’m looking forward to this meal.

And I really was. :)

Annie Chun’s provided me with various products and compensation for other ingredients for hosting this dinner party.

finding my cooking mojo in chicago

My weekend search for my cooking mojo took me all the way to Chicago. We also missed the biggest snow storm Minneapolis has seen in a long time. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that – I think being snowed in sounds kind of fun!

I’m happy to report that my mojo is on its way back – our trip started with an amazing afternoon meal at Surdyk’s Flights. I always (repeat, always) go to French Meadow Cafe, but I just had to try it out. It was everything I dreamed it would be. A flight of Spanish wine, some marinated chevre and a frisee salad with crispy pancetta and a poached egg later, I was ready for the weekend and I was ready to start thinking about food again. Just as the Surdyk’s Cheese Shop has those interesting little gems that I just have to get, the airport location has the same. Charcoal crackers and aged goat cheese to go? Oh yes.

Friday we spent as tourists – on the list for the weekend was the ChristKindlMarket to celebrate heritage (complete with potato latkes and hot mulled wine), a walk through Millennium Park, and a delicious pork belly reuben and my first Scotch Egg at The Gage.

Saturday morning started with a hot fusion yoga class – delightful and sweaty. Just how I like it. Then we started hearing about the 15 inches of snow that Minneapolis was getting and the thought of a cancelled flight crossed our minds, but not for long. We had shopping to get to and a show to see! Bright and early Sunday morning I received an email, and our 2 day trip to Chicago turned into a 3 day one. So a leisurely brunch (amazing), bloody mary and packer game ended the weekend on a relaxing note.

It was the perfect weekend, and really what I needed: relaxation and sleep, good food, tall buildings and a touch of yoga – all surrounded by new family!

I’m ready to get back in the kitchen – and I’ve got a lot of recipes waiting for me.

thanksgiving 2010 menu ideas

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week! Where has the month gone? Where has the year gone?

I’m dedicating the next week of posts to Thanksgiving, begining with some of my favorite recipes for menu ideas! Got a fabulous Thanksgiving recipe to share? Link to it below!



Wild Mushroom & Truffled Brie

Deviled Egg Spread

Acorn Squash Soup with Crab

Vegetable Sides/Salads:

Fried Shallot & Blue Cheese Salad

Toasted Pine Nut & Green Bean Salad

Braised Red Cabbage

Baked Fennel

Grilled Cauliflower with Sage & Brown Butter

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Parmesan


Festive Pomegranate Champagne