Dinkytown is a neighborhood located next to the University of Minnesota. On Saturday night I went to a dance that had a battle between James Brown and Motown. It was fantastic. The following photos are what I saw on and off the dance floor.
I love visiting my friend Joni in Iowa. I get to spend time on her lovely farm, eat the most amazing donuts, and hang with her fun family. During my last visit we celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are pretty great. Mr. Clinton built my first loft when I was a freshmen in college and Mrs. Clinton baked me a banana chocolate cake for my birthday. They are very special people and I was so happy to be there to celebrate their anniversary.
The following photos were taken during a hot Saturday night in July at the Vali-Hi Drive-In located in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
It was hot and sultry night...
Who am I kidding. I'm not a writer. But it was definitely a steamy Minnesota evening in South Saint Paul when I attended a hanger dance last Saturday.
I danced a bit, but I mostly wandered around with my camera. Which is the perfect Saturday night for me.
"There are two types of people in the universe. Those who dance and those who do not," - Drax the Destroyer
Wise words from from a Guardian of a Galaxy. You should heed his advice.
Life is better when you dance. Especially at weddings.
The photos below are from my cousin Sam's wedding to Rachel in Pepin, Wisconsin in May of 2017.
How to have a picnic in three easy steps:
1. Invite friends.
2. Pack picnic basket. Attempt to put cake stand and platters in picnic basket and realize it won't work. Leave picnic basket at home and pack everything in a giant tote bag. Wonder why you have to make everything so complicated.
3. Match your outfit to the picnic decor. This step is crucial.
Last week I knew three people who had birthdays, so I made three different desserts. I love an excuse to bake!
What have a I made this week? Salad.
Please enjoy these photos! I will now go back to my apple and five almonds.
I love New York. And I love photographing New York. I wish I could visit more often. Maybe I will. I still haven't had a New York bagel, so I guess that's a reason to go back.
Please enjoy these photos from my recent visit to New York in February of 2017.
Did you know that I ballroom dance? I do!
I went to a ballroom competition this weekend to be inspired by some amazing pros and they did not disappoint.
Please enjoy a few photos from my night at the competition.
I didn't dance this time - but my goal is to dance in a ballroom competition this summer!
Also, I think I need to do a photo project on ballroom dancers.
It's the 12th day of Christmas. My true love did not give me 12 drummers drumming, but somehow I will survive.
It's currently 1 degree but feels like -16, so I thought I would share some photos to hopefully warm your spirit and remind you of happier holiday times.
In this new year I hope to have a more consistent schedule with the blog. I'm not sure what that schedule is yet, or what I will be doing, but until then I will continue taking photo that hopefully intrigue you.
Here's to a great 2017! Cheers!
Pumpkin pie is great. Pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust is even better!
I discovered this recipe last year and my friends and family loved it.
The best part is that it's a cookie crust. If you can crumble a cookie, you can make this pie.
Make this pie. Your house will smell amazing and your friends will thank you.
Homemade whipped cream is encouraged but not required..
p.s. I made my pie in a tart pan, but a traditional pie plate will work as well.
Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
(Recipe via Fork Knife Swoon)
- 12 oz (approx. 45-50) gingersnap cookies
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Pumpkin Custard Filling
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Easy Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Make the gingersnap crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnap cookies and brown sugar until you have a coarse crumb. Add the ginger and cinnamon and pulse once or twice to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Spoon the crumbs into a ungreased 9-inch pie pan, or two 7-1/2-inch tart pans (with removable bottoms) and use your fingers to gently divide the mixture into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan. Follow with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to firmly pack the crust into the pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling: Heat the pumpkin, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and spices in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat, until the mixture begins to sputter. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until smooth and glossy.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the condensed milk, whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, whisking until completely combined after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges of the filling are just starting to set. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F, and bake for another 25-35 minutes, until the filling is mostly set (the center will still be slightly jiggly). Cover just the crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield, as needed, if the crust starts to brown too quickly. The filling may bubble and puff up slightly as it cooks - that’s okay, it will settle as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 hours until completely set. The pie filling will continue cooking through residual heat. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and serve chilled or at room-temperature. Best eaten the day of, but will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Last Thursday night I went out on a school night (don't worry, I was home by 11 PM) to see the talented band The Southside Aces.
Every second Tuesday they play at the Local Eagles 34 club in Minneapolis. The Southside Aces play traditional New Orleans jazz and it's super fun to dance to.
Towards the end of the night they have a raffle and the big prize is a hug with the sousaphone player. It was my lucky night BECAUSE I WON! It was everything I hoped it would be.
Please see below for a few photos from my evening.
And look up the Southside Aces. If I knew how to do a link in this thing I would!
We are now definitely in sweater weather, so I thought this would be a good time to post about the summer! One of my favorite parts of summer is the Minnesota State Fair. If you have never been, you need to book your ticket tomorrow and come next summer. You will not regret it. Unless you dislike huge crowds. Then you might regret it. But nonetheless there is great food, things to see, and people to watch. And if need be, I can point out the best spots to chill away from the crowds. The Minnesota State Fair should really consider introducing an introvert corner, but maybe that's just me.
For the past few years, I've entered the baking and fine arts competition. This year I had entries accepted in both categories! The Saturday before the fair, bakers bring in their bake goods to be judged and it's incredibly fun. I go in with the attitude "it never hurts to try!" and so far that's worked out for me. This year my white cake received a second place and my chocolate chip cookies received fifth place!
I also entered a photo in the fine art competition. I was incredibly thrilled to be picked for the exhibit and was shocked to receive an honorable mention. That giant pink ribbon is no joke.
The Fair was so much fun this year and if you ever get the chance I hope you can go, too. Please see below for additional photos from my trip to the fair!
Earlier this summer I packed up the waffle iron and headed down to Iowa to visit my friend Joni who just had her second baby! I met Joni on my first day of college and we've been friends ever since. It's kind of great when it works out like that. Thanks random roommate generator! And my mom for requesting I be in a different dorm building because it was cuter.
Joni lives with her husband Jess on a farm in Massena, Iowa. This is a really beautiful part of Iowa. The motto of Massena is "Home of Friendly People." and it lives up to it's name.
Joni and Jess also have another son named Clinton. He is adorable, funny, and full of energy. We spent a good amount of time playing with balloons and trucks.
One morning I made waffles. I didn't take any photos of the waffles, but we definitely ate them.
Before I made it to Massena, I went through Winterset. It's another super cute town and if you like romantic movies (like me!) you need to visit so you can see all of the covered bridges of Madison County. I saw the bridges last time I visited, but here are a few photos I took around town.
I made this really easy pasta dish for a meal one night.
In a pan heat up some olive oil. Mince garlic and add to olive oil. After a few minutes add some red pepper flakes. If you have fresh tomatoes, chop them up and use them. If you are lazy like me pick up really great Italian tomatoes in a can (with Italian seasoning) and add them to the garlic and oil. Chop up some Italian parsley and add it to the tomatoes. Simmer. Bring water to a boil and add 1 pound of penne. Drain penne and add to sauce. Put pasta on a platter and add more fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Eat.
Saturday morning consisted of getting donuts before family photos. I didn't take any photos of the donuts, but they might be my favorite in the world. If you ever find yourself in Corning, Iowa go to Sweet Desires bakery and get one of everything. It will probably only cost you $5.
Before I left, Joni took me to Fairway to pick up Ham Loaf. I'm sure you are wondering what Ham Loaf is. The answer is simple. It's used to make Ham Balls. Which are delicious and a purely Iowa delicacy. The butcher said it's a combo of pork and ham. I transported it all the way back to Minnesota where it now sits in my freezer. One day I will make Mrs. Clinton's Famous Ham Balls!
That's my trip to Iowa! Joni is a super awesome mom and I'm lucky that she is my friend.
When your friend asks if you want to go to a tractor pull - you say YES!
My friend, Miss A, had been talking about the tractor pull for weeks. My expectations were high and I'm happy to report that the tractor pull did not disappoint.
On a hot Saturday in June, Miss A and I took her two adorable nephews, grabbed some ear plugs and snacks and headed to the county fairgrounds. What followed can only be described as eye opening. Who knew the tractor pull could be so exciting! Competitors came from all over the midwest to pull weight in their modified trucks.
I found myself getting more and more engaged and excited about the competition. Would Grandpa's Toy make it to the end? I'm happy to report that it did. And I think he even won. Obviously the trucks with the most smoke and loudest engines stole the show. If I'm going to go to a tractor pull - I want to see some drama!
If you ever get the chance to go to a tractor pull - GO! Bring ear plugs, a blanket, and a friend that likes to laugh.