Soups, Shelley Duvall and Sweaters from The Shining

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

So much happening - that's my acorn soup (see below). Second - Shelley Duvall not overreacting at all to poor craftsmanship in remodeling. And C - how amazing is that sweater from The Shining? I think I found my winter knitting project. 

Oooooo....gurl I have been laaaaaazzzzzy. I swear with the change in weather I need about a month to adjust. Having to weed out all the Pumpkin Spice food at the supermarket is taking up most of my daylight as it is. And let's not even get started on the new releases on Netflix. 

Who are we kidding? I am still hooked on Murder, She Wrote. 

A couple of topics this week. 

First let us quick recap the September New To Us Restaurant, The Monte Carlo.  

This Warehouse gem is older than God and worth a stop. Situated around the corner from a strip joint and adjacent to an overpriced men's clothing store what more could you ask for? 

The food was pretty damn good. I had the classic Plaza Burger. Basically it's a burger covered in sour cream. There is no arguing with that. Wash it down with a Moscow Mule and your Saturday lunch turns into a 1968 night at the supper club.  

I will say the best part of this whole meal was the actual restaurant building itself. When I walked in I was instantly taken to that amazing bar in The Stanley Hotel, featured in The Shining. One of the most glamourous movies of my lifetime. Shelley Duvall is drama queen all the way through this sad coming of age story. Anyway, the bar at the Monte Carlo is a wall of booze. Meals for days. Just go.  

Now let's talk soups. 

Recently I whor'd out some photos on the Instagramz (follow me here to fill that gap in your life)of soups I have made and a few requests for recipes have popped up. Now please keep in mind most of the time when I make a soup it's because something in  my fridge is about to turn and I will be damned if I am throwing away a squash that is 95% still fresh.  

Potato Soup Two Ways



Red Onion

Red Potato

Chicken Broth

Salt and Pepper

Heavy Cream

Way One:

Medium dice the carrots, red onion and red potato. Place on lined baking sheet along with a couple scallions. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until tender and looks good enough to risk burning your fingers to pick off the sheet.  

Using a slotted spoon place all roasted vegetables in a medium sized stock pot, add chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.  

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. And know that nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Way Two: 

Assuming the night before you roasted a chicken with way too many carrots and scallions take those left overs along with your freshly diced red onion and red potatoes into a pot with a few swirls of olive oil. Saute until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and bring to simmer. Continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are easily smashed with a back of a spoon against the side of the pot.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until as smooth as desired. Add as much or as little cream as you like. Again nobody cool ever said, "hold the cream". 

Roasted Acorn Squash and Horseradish Soup (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 Acorn Squash (about 3 pounds)

3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock

1 T Grated Horseradish

3/4 t Salt

1/4 t Ground Black Pepper

Heavy Cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil.  Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 

Combine chicken stock, horseradish, salt, and pepper in a medium pot, and bring to simmer. Scoop squash flesh out of skins, and place in pot.  Bring to simmer and continue to cook for about 10 mins. 

Remove from heat and blend smooth using an immersion blender. Add heavy cream to taste (I usually use about 1/4 cup).  Garnish with chopped parsley if you care.  

Until next time ladies.  

Rosalind Russell, Restaurant Reviews and (Cold War) Russians

Dear God - look at her outfit! There isn't a soul on this planet who would work it like Rosalind did. All other photos courtesy of random places on the internet

Dear God - look at her outfit! There isn't a soul on this planet who would work it like Rosalind did. All other photos courtesy of random places on the internet

Oh gurl it was my time of the month this week. Thankfully it was also restaurant review week here at 2B1S. That means I get to spend part of my week looking for a new restaurant that SAGL and I can try. This past Thursday he suggested we hit up the old theater in Columbia Heights for the showing of the original drag queen classic The Women. It's an all female cast staring Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell. We took this opportunity to try the well established now closed Modern Cafe near the theater. 

Located a few blocks in from the river in Northeast Minneapolis the Modern Cafe offers a changing menu with the seasons. French inspired, American classics with a blue-collar vibe, I fell in love the second I walked through the door. I did not take it as a sign that there were only 8 other people at most dining around 7 pm. It was a Thursday after all. Outside of the fur lined winter curtain around the door this place looked like you were back at the lake and talking smack about Communist Russia. Small straight-back booths for when people were naturally skinny. Giant stuffed fish on the wall and and a full bar. I was in cafe heaven.   

The cocktail menu had everything I need to make mistakes, a Manhattan, French 75 and a Tequila Sunrise were my top three choices. And since I was feeling nostalgic given our movie choice I threw back a Tequila Sunrise. It went down easy. Like a White House intern. Too soon? That girl knows I have her back. We joke all the time. 

Anyway the food...

Seriously I couldn't make a decision. Naturally they had a burger just in case I needed to go for my standard. Thankfully the waitress made the decision for me when she started to talk about the burger special. Onion rings and barbecue sauce sold me. The cheese on top was just enough to put me over the edge. Oh! and the buttered bun. If you ever want get into my pants just butter my buns and heat them up. Gets me every time. 

My burger arrived in all its glory. And per usual I unhinged and inhaled. 

SAGL went classic diner and ordered the meatloaf. It arrived dripping in a wonderful mushroom gravy. He did comment that he ordered the half portion and if there a second time would go balls to the wall full portion.

Sadly we did not have time for a dessert. We quickly paid cash like it was 1950 and scooted up the street to see the movie.  

Now Sister and Sister's Husband lived one block from this gem for years. I don't know why they hate me so much and never told me about it. But this will reflect in next year's Hanukkah gifts. Mark my word.  

I say make the trip to Modern Cafe. If you want to make a night of it there are a multitude of wonderful bars all within a block. I even suggested to SAGL that he, Betsy Wetsy and I take a bus/bar tour of the area this Summer.  

Happy Summer Eating! What's on your Food To Do List now that it's nice out?!?!?

Touching Junk, Traveling Car Plants and Toned Tour Guides: Or My First Trip To California

Traveling Houseplants and some junk on Nob Hill

You know your vacation is going to start off great when the mother seated in the row behind you on the plane says to her toddler son, "if you don't quiet down the other people on this plane are just going to open the door and toss you out. Right into the sky. Do you want that?".

It took all I could to not turn around and offer to hold the door open.

A few months back Sister asked a room of her closest friends and family if anyone was interested in a road trip this Summer. Now I don't know why but nobody raised their hands. So being one for adventure and assuming it would probably never happen I volunteered.

A few weeks after that I found myself with a plane ticket to San Diego...

We landed in San Diego, which I believe is Spanish for border town. Checked into the hotel and quickly met up with an old friend (let's call her SoCare) from back in my skinny days. SoCare was just as cute as she was the day we parted in Minneapolis years ago. In fact I'm pretty sure she hasn't aged. Which made me feel real old.After binge eating on margarita's and carne asada fries Sister and I nestled in for a quick sleep before hitting the California freeway. 

In preparation we made our first food pit stop at Starbucks and Albertson's Grocery. We stocked up on protein bars, La Croix canned water (holy water really), and our traveling houseplant. Every road trip needs a succulent to keep you company.

Stops Along The Way

First Stop - The Cabazon Dinosaurs

I'll wait for you to get up off the floor in shock and awe. 

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are friggin' famous. You may recall them from such great films as Pee Wee's Big Adventure or The Wizard starring an Oscar snubbed Fred Savage. Sister got hit on by some tiny blond Aussie Actress who was probably working there to keep her visa up to date but didn't realize Cabazon is NOT a close suburb to LA. 


We learned all about...nothing. It was so damn hot that we basically ran through the museumparking lot with a fence. We did get to climb up the T-Rex though! How many of you can say you have done that?

Second Stop - After our prehistoric misadventure we sped on our way to LA. LA is Spanish for 1 hour commute. 

In LA we got to see the Griffith Observatory which offered wonderful views of the Hollywood sign, West Hollywood, and the abs of two shirtless men who I am pretty sure don't work there but kept our attention for a solid 30 mins.

We accidentally parked right under the Capitol Records building which naturally convinced me that the End Times were going to start while we were there. Every apocalyptic movie set in LA has that damn Capitol Records building blowing up at some point. 

Quick walk around some blocks. Cooled off in a Trader Joe's (like all TJ's this one was in Hurricane Katrina mode) and loitered in a Grilled Cheese Restaurant just to cool down again.

It was at this point that made our way to Long Beach for a nights stay at the famed Queen Mary. It's a ship and it's haunted. 

We met up with my lovely friend, P-Cubed, for some cocktails on the Poop Deck. Being that the boat was older than God the menu of the bar reflected that. Sister and I got all warm and fuzzy with some Moscow Mules (maybe one or five) and P-Cubed was classic with a beer and cheese tray. We all three made besties with a man on shore leave who was living on the boat for a month and waxed poetic about life before the blog. And then watched as Sister attempted to compete in Dance Dance Revolution. Because every haunted ship from the 1930's needs an arcade.

The next day we left the boat free of spiritual self possession and made our way up the historic Highway 1 along the coast. 

We were making our way through Oxnard California when we stumbled upon our one and regretfully only In and Out Burger. I had been told by many a friend that I needed to try one. We all know I have a thing for meat and buns of all varieties.Thankfully the tank topped and follicly unchallenged man in front of me ordered his burger "Animal Style" reminding me to do the same.

THE BURGER WAS WONDERFUL! But not so much that we stopped again on our trip. We had other places to hit up. Like Target for some Peanut Butter and Jelly Trail Mix. Buy some now and thank me later.

And we kept going North...

As we wound our way through the drop dead gorgeous Big Sur on our way to Monterey we indulged in the listening pleasure of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre. What's that you ask? Are we geriatrics? No, but we love a good suspense story that runs anywhere from 26-45 minutes. You can bet the car was dead silent as we learned why Helena wanted her best friend Jane dead.

Seriously check out CBS Radio Mystery on iTunes or the website above. You will not be sorry and if you are we are not friends. 

Find the gay sea lion - hint: I am not in the photo

Third Stop - Monterey

Monterey California is just okay. No offense Monterey but you kinda look like every Lake Superior city we've ever stopped in for smoked fish or cheese curds.

However we did indulge in a donut and La Croix breakfast on the beach. If for some sad reason you find yourself in Monterey California stop at Red's Donuts on Alvarado St. Google it. You will be happy. 

Fourth Stop

We left Monterey and headed East through what basically is pure farmland. Thankfully we stumbled upon Biglieri Farms . Sister had to remind me that we were not going anyplace I could cook the homemade raviolis and made me put them back. So I just bought Horseradish Jelly and some Balsamic Onion Jam.

The Horseradish Jelly I recently slathered on a white cheese quesadilla with some caramelized onions. So delicious I made two.

There were like 20 Asians riding Harleys in Tahoe at one Vista Point. The best part was the 20 white people on Kawasakis that showed up 2 minutes later. 

Our resting stop for the night was Tahoe. 

When planning the trip we had talked about going to Tahoe but it was up in the air. Then The Family Matriarch kindly reminded us that our Grandfather (whom we had never met) was buried there. And once The Family Matriarch made the proclamation we knew we were stopping in Tahoe. Glad we did. After some grave hunting we took in some sights and ended up on a great little food tour.

First on our food tour was Freshies Restaurant.

This Hawaiian themed joint was in what was probably once a really cute strip mall. And now just home to a bookstore, Freshies and some Thai joint. Sister and I had our beers and ordered the "Magical Potato Balls". had me at balls. Magical balls at that. They were pretty damn good. But we had to move on. There were two more scheduled eating spots on the tour.

Second on our food tour was at the 11th Frame Diner inside the Tahoe Bowl. South Lake Tahoe's #1 Favorite Family Fun Center. As advertised on the brochure at the hotel across the parking lot, Tahoe Bowl was home to some delicious gourmet hot dogs. 

Nothing like a nice thick wiener smothered in avocado, crumbled bacon and cheese. We followed it up with what boiled down to an enormous wiener covered in cheese wrapped in a bun.

I highly recommend a stop at the Tahoe Bowl - South Lake Tahoe's #1 Favorite Family Fun Center. I'm not sure how many family fun centers there are in South Lake Tahoe but I'm certain this is #1. 

Third and final stop on our food tour of the hotel parking lot was MacDuff's Pub. This joint was super cute and the food was pretty damn good. The only part I didn't like was when they tried to seat us at a little lovers nook where the Q-Tip at the next table decided to rest her neck brace on the our table. We moved to the bar. 

I tried the pizza (enjoyable). And Sister tried the Truffle Mac and Cheese. The Mac and Cheese was pretty damn good. Make a stop and try to become friends with the super cute blond girl at the bar. I want to know her on Facebook but didn't have the lady balls to beg her to be my friend. 

The rest of the time in Tahoe was spent on the phone with Just Joni as she describe what Tahoe was like when she lived there. Nothing has changed in 40 years.Nothing.

Fifth Stop - San Francisco

The next day we ventured West to the city on a big ass friggin' hill...San Francisco. Now I was told that The Ancient Gays settled there eons ago. I'm pretty sure they all left and were replaced by European male tourists. After a quick refresh at our hotel we ventured out into the night to find sustenance.

We ended up at Uncle Vito's. This joint was busy at 10 at night and well worth the wait to snuggle next to some locals. Order the Mountain Pizza and the larger than life carafe of house wine. The walk home up the hill was so much easier after the wine.We loved Uncle Vito's so much (and not because of the hot waiters) we went back the next night. 

On our first full day in San Francisco we covered about 9 miles. Hit up some classic tourist sites but fell in love with two places. 

1. Cordon Bleu is the true definition of hole in the wall. Located in Nob Hill this place couldn't cost any less and couldn't be any more adorable. It was recommended to me by my friend Max (which is a kick ass name for a girl so she gets no anonymity on the blog - sorry Max.)

The two ladies running Cordon Bleu cook almost everything up right in front of you. Like I watched them sear half a chicken and pull it for my Five Spice Chicken entree. And I know I say a lot of food I eat is crack like but this shit was. There was some sauce in the bottom of the bowl that I nearly tipped back like it was the milk in the bottom of the Cocoa Pebbles breakfast I had as a kid (hello young health issues).Between Sister's noodle salad and the egg roll that came with her meal AND the spring rolls we ordered as appetizers we were calorie loaded for days. 

Which is why we stopped to have a beer one block up the hill. 

Those hills are so damn steep...

2. The Hyde-Out. After three hours at this bar I will say this was the best part of the San Francisco pit stop.This place has been around since the The Ancient Gays moved in and everyone that settled there, fags and hags alike are still there. The barmaid knew every ones name that walked in the door and after a few drinks she knew our whole story. We chatted with the regulars, scoffed at the not so regulars who couldn't handle the place and eventually got a round on the house.Oddly The Hyde-Out is on Instagram. Which Sister is addicted to.Find them on Instagram. I am not sure how the whole instantly gramming thing works. But Sister says you can find them by looking for "thehydeout". 

And as you read earlier we found ourselves back at Uncle Vito's for dinner again the second night. Don't judge. They do good pizza. And it's across the street from a theatre that advertises that you can "touch our junk".

All in all it was a great trip. It only took two days in to forget that I had to eventually go back to a cubicle and earn a living. But for a few days I was on vacation. 

Now it's time for Fall. I'm already thinking about what to cook for Thanksgiving. 

Later Bitches. 

p.s. most of the photos were taken by Sister - I was lazy and I knew she needed to keep her fans happy on Instagram

p.p.s. SoCare, I nixed the picture of us because I looked like a bloated picnic table. That is possible.I was shocked myself.

Book-It, Buses, and Beers

Thank you docent for just barely getting the name of the museum in the photo and yes...those are GIANT fake frogs on the railing about to attack

Thank you docent for just barely getting the name of the museum in the photo and yes...those are GIANT fake frogs on the railing about to attack

Don't hate me. But I like Fall. I like Winter. And this weekend though it was sunny and nice out I was relieved to see a about a dozen leaves changing colors in the Minnesota countryside. That doesn't mean I am going to stop applying my daily sunscreen (because daily moisturizing is very important) or stop slowing my roll as I go by a Dairy Queen. But it does mean I am going to wax poetic about some fun times had this past Winter (early Spring really)with SAGL and Betsy Wetsy.  

Not so long ago Betsy Wetsy made the "most smartest" move a woman could make. She moved to Uptown in Minneapolis. And with her move she gained two free bus passes from her "generous" landlord. 

Now having never used the city bus (don't judge the poor thing - she comes from royalty I think) she reached out to her two pauper friends, myself and SAGL, to show her the ropes of the more pedestrian life. We decided to make a day adventure out of it.  

SAGL suggested we travel the foreign lands of Dinkytown. For those not in the know Dinkytown is where the kids who are striving for a higher education at the University of Minnesota live. There are bars, frat houses, fast food, theaters, herpes and other cultures there.

We met up at Betsy Wetsy's new pied a terre and ventured to the first bus stop. With the confidence of a q-tip with a new hip, Betsy Wetsy climbed the bus stairs and popped her cherry. Again.  

Ten minutes later and anticipation through the roof we arrived in Dinkytown. I had taken the pleasure of planning out our day, but keeping it secret so as to not spoil any of the fun. 

First on our riotous sojourn we hit the Bell Museum of Natural History.

It was a taxidermy DREAM! So many furs that could have been put to use as muffs. Shit - I mean it was so wonderful of those select Minnesotans to donate the dead animals to teach me more about life outside my bedroom window. Seriously though...pretty cool place. Check out these NSFW photos of our misadventures in learning.  

Yeah we were sober at this point in the day. We are just this much damn fun to be around.

Yeah we were sober at this point in the day. We are just this much damn fun to be around.

After visiting the kind people at Bell Museum we ventured to The Book House in Dinkytown - this joint could suck you in for hours. We're talking doubled up books on shelves and some nice Comic-Con  loving gents behind the counter. At this point I decided that we needed a challenge added to our adventure. I declared that we could not leave until we each purchased a book. 

Books in hand we needed protein STAT. Down the street we ventured to The Loring Pasta Bar.

More bar than pasta I have only been here once. They have Pimms and we all know that is a sure sign of a well established joint. Loring Pasta Bar is nice. The staff was wonderful (read:flirtatious with all of us). And the burger was enjoyable and to quote Betsy Wetsy, "I mean I gave up something for Lent. I gave up Vegetarianism". That and a few cocktails we had to hit the pavement again.  P.S. Betsy Wetsy is back on the Veg folks. She did not fall off the wagon.

This time we were going for ice cream. Annie's Parlour (google it - no website but people talk about it) was pretty damn good. We each ventured to try something different and walked out a little more gassy.  

Not to be outdone by a little gas. We circled the block to get things moving and stopped at our final destination.

The Kitty Kat Club was almost completely empty except for a really sad bachelorette party (it was like 4 pm - who starts a bachelorette party at 4pm?) and a few crazy locals. Thankfully this gave us the total attention of our barmaid. She was kind enough to throw away a nasty ass drink that she recommended and she also regaled us with readings from our Book House bought books.  All in all we were pretty well warmed up by the time we left The Kitty Kat Club. So much so we maybe got on the wrong but back to Uptown.

The lesson of this blog post fan(s). Venture out in your own city. Get drunk at 3pm on a Saturday. And buy books. I know you used to only read because you got a personal pan pizza from Pizza-Hut with Book-It. You can still do that. But now you just need to buy your own damn pizza.  Read people. First my blog. And then a book. And then the blog again. 

Party on...

Pall Malls, Puddin' and Pancakes

***don't trust has been my experience that longer is not always milder

Good evening fans (hey Just Joni)!

This post is going to be short. I have been beyond busy with work and life. Not that y'all (hi again Mom) are not priority number one in my day to day. But I need to pay my bills and the street corners have been cut throat as of late.  

I spent most of last week in the fine state of North Carolina gettin' my fill of "southern cuisine". Why the quotes you ask? Because after my third trip there in three months I am pretty sure that "southern cuisine" is code for artery clogging amaze-balls food that should only be eaten with supervision of a reputable medical doctor.  

Here is where I ate - and I recommend that you try them should you find yourself in Pall Mall country.  

Milner's American Southern - try the burger and a Manhattan then race back to you hotel room with clients in the car because as good as the burger is it will cheat on you like a bad online date that lasted a few too many years. Then leave a generous tip for the housekeeping staff. Probably not a good idea to leave a box of Swiss Cake Rolls on the nightstand for emotional eating. We all love Little Debbie - if you need proof here it is (click here...right here...this is the link I want you to click

Firebirds - now judge kindly, but try the burger with sweet potato fries. With a Manhattan. No need to rush home though.  

And if you ever find yourself stranded at the Marriott in the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro you MUST MUST MUST get the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding (see photo above). Trish, the barmaid, will weave you a magical tale of her friend shooting a car thief in the leg and not getting charged with anything because it's friggin' North Carolina people! Take a swig of Moonshine and brace for the impact of the bullet. Then laugh over it while you eat Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.  

That was North Carolina and about 600 hours of my week.  

Here are some other things I've been up to: 

Rhubarb Compotes

Upside-down Rhubarb Cake

Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough Banana Bread 

Sourdough Banana Bread French Toast - bet you wished we were dating at this point don't you? I'm single and ready to my kitchen. 

UPDATE (04.23.2017): Rumor has it that Milner's has closed due to some unmentionable indiscretions.