Friday, February 21, 2014

Post Blizzard Plans? Head to Brasa

Happy Friday dabblers! Did you survive the snowpocalypse? A lot of hibernating was done at our house last night, and a lot of shoveling was done this morning. I saw some quality "stuckness" on my drive in today. Many a car was stranded in a plow pile.

In honor of the return of our winter-tundra weather, I thought I'd share a great dinner spot that will be sure to warm you up. A few weeks ago, T and I ventured over to Brasa on East Hennepin in Minneapolis. The vibe is casual, and the food is delicious. Think lots of wholesome, well-sourced ingredients cooked low and slow with great depth of flavor.

T and I wanted to be able to sample a bunch of the different meat options, so we got small sizes of the Smoked Beef, Slow Roasted Pork, and Pulled Chicken. We also tried the Roasted Yams and Andouille, and the Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno. The spinach side was absolutely amazing...I think we easily could have devoured a large of that and called it good.

 T and I had been to the St. Paul location awhile ago, and we both remembered ordering the Slow Roasted Pork and loving it. It was an easy decision to get it again and the garlic/lime flavor is just killer good.

I was most excited to try to the Pulled Chicken this time around. Its pretty hard to say no to something that is listed on the menu as "simmered in light cream and pepper gravy." Sold. It was delicious and would be the perfect comfort food to pair with our current weather.

We rounded out our sampler trio with the Smoked Beef. We both wanted to try the Sweet-Spicy BBQ Sauce and it was great. Definitely the most "zesty" plate on our table. 

If you are looking for a post-blizzard pick me up, head on over to Brasa. Next time we go, I am hoping to try one of their sandwiches. The Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich with ginger mayo, cilantro, and pickled vegetables is calling my name.

Have you dined at Brasa? What menu items did you love?

-The Delicious Dabbler

Thursday, February 20, 2014

1950 Called...But, They Can't Have Their Waffle Iron Back

As I eluded to in yesterday's post, I recently acquired a 1950s Sunbeam Waffle Iron via an ebay purchase. At this point, you may naturally be wondering...'why would anyone do that?'

Well, T loves waffles, but I have resisted making them at home because most (all) waffle irons sold in the stores these days are coated with some sort of non-stick layer. I was discussing my quest for a "traditional" waffle iron with my family awhile back and the next day my wonderful sleuth of an uncle sent me this link. Vintage waffle irons restored to their former glory! So fantastic, but the prices...ouch. I made note of the brands and have been casually browsing ebay for the last several months for a Sunbeam.

I'm fond of this brand because our electric griddle (aka pancake-maker extraordinaire) is made by them. This griddle has been passed down in our family and is so well-loved and used  (and not easily replaced because of the same non-stick issue), that it lost one of its legs. My grandpa mended it with a wooden replacement, so now it has a peg-leg :)

Anywhooo, back to the waffle iron at hand. I snarfed this gem off ebay for a mere $10 +shipping. It arrived just in time to be T's b-day present.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when it arrived. The seller had labeled it  in "OK condition." 

There she blows in all of her glory (why am I prone to nautical phrasery today? I'll blame it on the peg leg reference above). 

Well, needless to needed a good cleaning. Like, a real good cleaning.  

My guess is that this waffle iron was found in the basement of the seller's parent's home and had not been used for a few decades. It also hadn't been cleaned since its last use...there were still waffle crumbs pasted to the inside. 

4 Brillo Pads and a significant amount of labor later...she was shiny (and sanitary) again :)  The cord on the back needs some wrapping with electrical tape in a few spots just to be safe, but other than that- she should be good to go. 

This is my favorite shot. I didn't want to risk turning it on right after the washing (water...electricity...), so I am hoping to plug 'er in tonight and see how it goes. We are having my grandparents over for the inaugural waffle run this weekend. 

As luck would have it, when I logged onto bloglovin' today, I saw that the Pioneer Woman just posted a waffle recipe. Eureka! Fingers crossed that we will be enjoying waffles with some delicious Caribou Cream Syrup this weekend. If this machine is a total'll be pancakes instead :)

-The Delicious Dabbler

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Get Thyself to Birchwood

Howdy everyone. Happy Wednesday. I'm feeling particularly jubilant because of our 40 degree weather today. Just the hint of spring weather makes my tropical-wanting soul fly. (Yes, I know there is a winter storm warning going into effect tomorrow...deny deny deny). 

Have you tried Birchwood Cafe yet? Birchwood is one of my favorite Minneapolis brunch (and all meals) places. If you haven't checked it out...go this Saturday! This Saturday at 9pm, Birchwood will close in order to undergo an expansion/remodel. Birchwood raised over $112,000 through a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign in order to pursue this project. How cool is that? You can read more about it on their blog

T and I went there for brunch a few weekends ago to get our last waffles in before they close the doors.

I love places that give you your own mini tea pot. (T...put me in the picture! put me in the picture!)

T loves a good buttermilk waffle. It's his go-to breakfast/brunch order when we eat out. As a future-post-teaser, I may or may not have just purchased a 1950s wafflemaker off ebay as T's birthday present.

I got my favorite- The Savory Waffle. The flavors rotate seasonally. This one was a sweet potato, quinoa, and parmesan waffle topped with cranberry-apple chutney, ginger-honey butter, spiced walnuts, bacon lardoons (...just beyond good), and a sunny-side-up egg. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Birchwood is the best and I can't wait to visit them for a post-renovation waffle.

-The Delicious Dabbler

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Our Super Bowl Game Plan

Happy Super Bowl Sunday dabblers! I love this, appetizers galore, and...the Puppy Bowl. Our game day plans are pretty low key this year, which I'm all about. Many people have asked me what I am making this year (Ultimate Game Day Nachos  or Easy Taco Layer Dip would be likely candidates), but guess what...T is cooking!

Here's our game day snack line-up:

Puppy Tails from Isles Bun and Coffee (a sweet treat delivered by my friend in honor of the Puppy Bowl). 

Pre-game snack: guacamole. 

And, the main dish: T's wings! He is making two flavors: buffalo and "asian zing." He researched the recipes, made his grocery list, and we picked up the ingredients this morning. Wing start-time is slotted for 4:00pm. Wish him luck!

Also, to keep things interesting, T and I have some side wagers going. Here's our list: 
1. Broncos or Seahawks?
2. Will Peyton be named MVP?
3. National anthem over/under 2:25?
4. Total number of points: odd or even?
5. Will there be a missed field goal during the game?
6. Will there be a score in the first 6 1/2 minutes?
7. Will the game ever be tied after 0-0?
8. Will the first person to score a TD have a jersey number in the 80s?
9. Will there be a shirtless member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
10. Pick the first Bruno Mars song.
11. Will Eli Manning be shown over/under 1.5 times?

And finally, 
12. Will Tim's chicken wings taste good or bad?

Happy footballing to you all, 

-The Delicious Dabbler