Category Archives: Eating My Way Through Life

Not To Be Missed

Thomas Keller (yes, THAT Thomas Keller) is having a book release / signing event for Bouchon Bakery at La Belle Vie on June 18, 2013 starting at 6:30 pm.

Ticket price for the La Belle Vie event includes hosted cocktails, wine, passed small plate reception, an Andrew Zimmern-hosted Q&A presentation and an autographed copy of Bouchon Bakery.  Advance ticket purchase is required and tickets are $250 all-inclusive. Tickets may be purchased by calling the restaurant directly at 612.874.6440.

** please note only 125 tickets are available for this once in a lifetime event

April Showers aka April Flurries

This spring has been so odd weather-wise that I’m not entirely sure if the sweaters are out of sight, out of mind or if they should remain within arm’s reach.  As the saying goes April showers bring May flowers, but for some reason we’ve had more snow flurries than rain!

Regardless, everything was sunny (except the balloon raindrops, but even they were festive) at Lunds & Byerly’s Catering event.

Lunds Catering Raindrops

The event was held in the space above Lunds’ 12th & Hennepin store, with such a cute team, as they all wore wellies amidst the bright yellow and gray decor.  Super cute.

We had a chance to sample products from the Lunds & Byerly’s deli and bakery, as well as the sushi and Asian stir fry that is offered by partnering companies.  And yes, they can do interactive food stations.

Lunds Catering Crab Cake Station

Lunds Catering Cheese Station

Lunds Catering Sushi Boat

Lunds Catering Sushi Platter

And how can you go wrong with a sea of cupcakes?

Lunds Catering Sea of Cupcakes

Unfortunately, we couldn’t sample any of the breakfast donuts (topped off with cereal or bacon or sometimes candy), but I supposed they have to leave us wanting more!

Lunds Catering Breakfast Donuts

To contact Lunds & Byerly’s Catering, visit their website here!

Now We’re Cookin’!

While I have been to Cooks on Crocus Hill in Edina, I had not checked out the area that they hold their cooking classes and private events.  When I was invited to a breakfast there, it seemed the perfect time to check it out.

Cooking classes are gaining popularity for bachelorette parties (sure beats putting a condom on your head and getting drunk), team building (the team that can cook together can build a company together) and date night (good opportunity to find out your potential partner’s adeptness in the kitchen).

We enjoyed some fun breakfast food, along with mimosas and coffee.

And after a quick breakfast, we lined up to learn knife skills.  Now, I think with the amount of time I spend in restaurants and with caterers, one would think I know all about knife skills.  Unfortunately, I find cutting vegetables extremely challenging.  However, I was taught a few quick tips and thought my slicing and chopping turned out pretty even!

It all begins with a very sharp knife (to avoid sawing and having to exert so much pressure the knife slips).

One thing I did not know is to pinch the knife just above its handle.  I have a tendency to place my index finger on the top of the knife, which does not give me the control I need.

I struggle with tucking all of my fingers out of the knife’s reach (especially the thumb), but have become more and more comfortable with using my knuckles as a guide for the knife.

The biggest tip I learned was to cut off the stem (not the root) of an onion to create a flat surface to set the onion when slicing.  The root basically holds the whole onion together allowing you to slice without it falling apart.  While I’ve watched chefs do this a million times, I didn’t know it was because the root was holding it all together!  It sure beats trying to slice something that is rolling all over the cutting board.

Not too bad, right?

For private events or cooking classes, contact:

Cooks on Crocus Hill
877 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 | 651.228.1333
3925 West 50th Street, Edina, MN 55424 | 952.285.1903
324 S. Main Street, Stillwater, MN 55082 | 651.351.1144

Lip Smackin’ Good

It may have taken longer than the Twin Cities wanted, but it would appear that diners feel it was worth the wait.  It’s already challenging to get dinner reservations at the Smack Shack, situated in the North Loop neighborhood.


We had a fun time with the VIP party, as everyone knows that restaurant openings are my favorite events! Thank you to Erica Loeks for the images!




There are few things greater in life than fresh oysters and champagne, especially if it is Veuve Cliquot.  The chefs shucked the oysters and presented it on the massive ice sculpture from Ice Occasions.



The centerpiece of the restaurant is the large blue lobster tank, ensuring that the lobster live in pristine water.



My faves:  Continental Roll (warm lobster roll), Smack Burger, Shrimp Boil.  (oh, and save some room for yummy dessert)

Smack Shack
603 Washington Avenue North
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401