I spent a long weekend in Minneapolis, celebrating Sissy’s birthday and enjoying our favorite haunts. People often comment on how they wish they could be a fly on the wall during our sister times. Wish no more…here’s a glimpse into our sistinerary for the weekend…
Thursday, Feb. 14 – Sissy’s birthday/Valentine’s Day
7:58 p.m. – Plane lands at MSP after a four-hour delay in KC. I could have driven in less time than it took to fly here. Take light rail downtown where Sissy swoops me up on a corner. I take a deep breath of dry, crisp Minnesota winter air and secretly miss it.
8:45 p.m. – Dinner at Origami – Start with hot sake and shrimp dumplings, then proceed to order way too much fish and hit a wall when there are two pieces of sushi left. Force selves to finish because it’s so good it would be stupid to leave it. The music is annoying.
It was 93 degrees in Paris, and I was on day five of my solo European adventure. The romance of independent travel was wearing off and my simple desire for someone to talk to was setting in. I had been awake since 3 a.m., running face-first into a cruel series of travel-induced roadblocks, least of which was my laughable attempt at speaking French. I wandered “les rues” weary and wilting under the heavy air, desperately needing water, a functional ATM and a bathroom. And then there it was.
When I was eight, I fantasized about seeing the Eiffel Tower one day. Europe seemed galaxies away – completely inaccessible to a country mouse like me. But 22 years later, the imposing icon was right in front of my face. My weariness turned into a whirl of giddiness and awe. I wanted to share this with someone. My eight-year-old self wanted to turn and say, “Can you believe we are here?! Do you see this?!” But everyone around me were strangers and seemingly unaffected.
With so few days of summer left, I needed to jump on the opportunity to get my friends together for a picnic. Everyone knows brunch is the most important meal of the week, and I decided to take it to the park for extra flair. Three hours of snacking and lounging in the late-summer breeze with good company is time well spent. Fresh fruit, baguettes, cheese, tomatoes, mimosas, animal crackers, pie…a perfect mish-mash of picnic fare was present. The highlight was Gwen’s blueberry crisp (recipe below).
Gwen’s Blueberry Stuff – She adapted it from a recipe she found online and used berries picked by Uncle Larry in Bayfield. I bet any kind of fruit would be outstanding.
1 c. butter 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. flour 1 1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 tsp. salt 1 qt. fresh blueberries mixed with 2 tsp sugar and 1 Tb flour (or a 15 oz can if you don’t have an Uncle Larry)
In a medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in flour, salt and oats … Read the rest
I get annoyed at myself for posting pictures of tomatoes on Instagram, but they are just so GD pretty right now, I am powerless. I’m pumped to have so many farmers markets within walking distance – granted, I love a good journey and consider “walking distance” a five-mile radius around my home, so my market options are vast. August means my countertops are an explosion of produce and my body is buzzing from salads. I know you’re thinking, “But Patisserie Gypsy, I thought you only ate baguettes, pastries and cookies all day.” Well, I don’t. Usually. When I’m not eating all the bread and all the treats, I’m trying to be a giant bunny rabbit.
The cool thing about my neighborhood farmers markets is the appearance of local bakers and bakeries each week. When it comes to baked goods, I don’t discriminate. This is why I was super excited to visit Sift Gluten Free at the Fulton and Kingfield Farmers Markets recently. One of the things that makes me most sad in the world … Read the rest
Heading to Twin Cities Polish Fest this weekend? After you fill up on pierogi, sausages and potatoes, polka it off and treat yourself to a Pączki. What’s a Pączki? It’s a jelly donut – Polish style. When I asked Julia, the sun-shiny young lady working at the U Babci booth, which of the four donuts I should try, without hesitation she recommended the rose-filled variety. “It tastes like roses and strawberries,” she said and was absolutely correct.
You know how when you smell a bunch of roses and they smell so elegant and decadent that you kinda want to eat the petals? That’s what this jam was like. The actual donut was a typical yeasty variety, dusted with powdered sugar, but the filling was a happy surprise. Julia is one smart cookie. And yes, I’ve succumbed to eating a rose petal.
Twin Cities Polish Fest runs Aug. 7-9, on St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. Picturesque views, Polish food, polka bands, folk dance, vodka tasting and sheep dogs…I can’t imagine anything else you’d need.
I allowed myself an especially leisurely pace on the way to work recently. Claiming some me-time with coffee, breakfast and my journal before the workday started. This is a treat I like to gift myself at least once a week, fulfilling my quest to feel like one of those people who writes in coffeeshops on a weekday. I biked toward the office and took a small detour into one of my favorite neighborhoods. Scanning the extensive list of must-visit dining options in my brain, I remembered Mon Petit Cheri was nearby.
I was one of three customers enjoying the secret hours most people sleep or stumble through. I stretched in the wooden booth and fondly remembered the Himalayan Restaurant that previously inhabited this space and whose ghost still inhabited the fixtures. The new space is bright, sun pouring through the windows, country recipes mod-podged under glass tabletops. I sat with my steamy latte, journal open, daydreaming out the window. My breakfast sandwich arrived on a homemade English muffin, nestled cozy against a bright pile of … Read the rest