Whew. Home from Willmar (not fun driving on Highway 12, in the dark, in the rain). Amanda’s shower was fun and cozy at LuLu Bean’s coffee house, if you happen to be in Willmar looking for a cup of coffee, go there, it’s adorable. Amanda (pictured here with her future mother-in-law, my aunt Mary) got lots of cool presents. The collection of various coffee cakes and fruit came together beautifully and we all had plenty of sweets! The Norwegian Wedding Cake (in pic), crafted by my aunt Mary’s friend Rachel Wilcox, was not just gorgeous, but delicious. None of us could keep our hands off of it. Almond pastry, sigh, I’m such a sucker for almond pastry. And then afterward – before and after my call in to Chowhounds at 1:45 p.m. – we had lunch at Green Mill. Which is pretty funny, since we had dinner there last night, too. And I ordered the same thing both days, it was so good. A Killian’s Red beer with a side of Pub Steak Sandwich. Naughty thing, but quite delicious, obviously, or I wouldn’t have ordered it two days in a row.
I don’t know if you caught my little interview with Chef Andrew Zimmern on Chowhounds FM107, but it sure was fun to do. I was insanely nervous (and giggly as a result, irritating) which is silly given how cool and easy to talk to Andrew is. He’s awesome. And so sweet for having me on. If you listened today, thank you! That makes me feel great! And thank you for reading my blog. And checking out the recipes. And cooking them and telling me about it. I’m truly honored and excited. And lucky. Wow.
So, I promised a picture of and recipe from my aunt Marge, and I acquired both (recipe for Cranberry Cream Coffee Cake is in comments, below; it is incredible). I stayed at her, and her husband, my uncle Jim’s, house last night. Marge is the tidiest person I know and you know what? It is a pleasure to stay in someone else’s tidy home. Beautiful room, super-comfy bed, pile of soft pillows, with sheets that smelled clean and fresh. I slept like a rock, which I don’t often do in someone else’s home. She also has the BEST collection of scented soaps and lotions of anyone I know. I sampled Thymes Ginger Milk and Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender lotions, both fab. Most people think, oh, that’s too bad, you’re going to Willmar (and then they think, wherever that is…). But not me. Between my two beautiful, awesome aunts, and their beautiful awesome homes (and my cool uncles too, of course!), I LOVE going out to Willmar.
It feels like Sunday night, but I’m so glad it’s not! A day to chill out a bit tomorrow, make a plan for dinner, hit Byerly’s, get back in my swing. We’re having friends for dinner, and Stacey too. Can’t wait to see how much soon-to-be-born Baby Boom Boom has grown!