Saturday, October 29, 2011

Heaven in Hell's Kitchen

  Hell's Kitchen, in downtown Minneapolis, is an experience unlike any other.  Once you walk down the stairs (yes, you must go "down" to get to Hell's Kitchen...) you enter a whole new and bizarre world of red and black with many "hell-ish" decorations and, oddly, a stage with a live folk band playing.  But something about the mixture of dungeon and folk music works and you are immediately transported into the Devil's dining room.  Once you sit down, the first thing you must order is the homemade peanut butter and jams.  If you want to go all the way, you should do what we did and order the sausage loaf with the peanut butter and jam. 
 This is not for the faint of heart.  This amazing, and very dense, bread is made from their own homemade bison sausage, toasted walnuts, black currants, black coffee and spices.   I topped mine here with their incredible blackberry-ginger jam and peanut butter and I couldn't even wait till after I had taken a picture to try my first bite.  The peanut butter is a sweet, cinnamony taste that is still slightly crunchy from the little bits of peanut butter.  The bread is sweet, salty, and slightly bitter all at the same time. The combination is truly one of a kind.
  I know I just said order the peanut butter first, but I take it back.  This is what you should order first:
  I present the bellini.  It is in the mimosa family, but on the rich, home on the French riviera side.  It is sparkling wine and their homemade peach puree.  Delicious!  (And strong...)

  Okay, onto the big leagues.  My wonderful friend, and fellow food lover, Cathy and I have a new system.  We both order things we want to try and then split both.  The fruit of this genius plan was....... Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes and Bison Benedict!  I would recommend them both STRONGLY.  The hotcakes come with a warning to try them before adding maple syrup.  They are so perfectly sweet on their own, I never even added syrup.  Made with lemon zest and whole milk ricotta, they don't need any help.  The bison benedict was served with their jalapeno hollandaise sauce and their famous rosti potatos.  They are more like the “ultimate” hash browns...freshly-grated Idaho potatoes mixed with Applewood-cured bacon pieces, fresh scallions, minced garlic, sweet onions and fresh parsley, then sauteed in sweet cream butter.  If you are ever in Minneapolis, this place is a must go to! 

Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes

Bison Benedict

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Obama Cookies

 The tour of La Cage Aux Folles has officially begun!  Yay!  And our first stop brings me to Des Moines, Iowa.  Iowa is known for producing the most corn and pork of any state in the U.S.  But I will be remembering Iowa for its cookies. :)  Specifically a cookie coined "The Obama Cookie": 

  These bad boys come from Baby Boomers Cafe.  They are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had.  They are like a cross breed of sugar cookie and chocolate chip cookie.  They have the sweet, doughy texture and taste of a sugar cookie but with the delicious, chunky chocolate chips.  They are super soft and melt in your mouth.  The chocolate is chunky and not overly sweet and the cookies were cooked to that perfect slightly brown on the bottom but still super soft on the top state.  They are called "Obama Cookies" because the Obama's liked them so much that they have an order shipped to the white house every month.  These cookies are definitely president quality.  Enjoy!

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. ~Lora Brody