Saturday, September 22, 2012

Red Robin's Baja Turkey Club

Yesterday, I had an uncontrollable craving for the Baja turkey club sandwich that Red Robin USED to have on it's menu.  It was an AMAZING conglomeration of sliced turkey, bacon, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy taco sauce, served on grilled Texas toast.  It had 734 calories, 47 grams of fat, 112 mg of cholesterol, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and it was NINETEEN points on Weight Watchers, but TOTALLY worth it!!!!

I was SO desperate for one, that I went online and found the following recipe on the blog "Frankly Creative" (  I've tweaked it a bit, but here it is:


To prepare Baja sauce (makes enough for 3 sandwiches), add to a small bowl and mix well:

• 2 T. mayonnaise

• 2 T. taco sauce

• 1 tsp. chili powder

Spread Baja sauce on one side of two pieces of Texas toast.

Add thinly sliced pepper jack cheese to each of these pieces of bread on top of the Baja

Add a thick layer of thinly sliced deli turkey, one whole green chile (from a can) that has been sliced open, and thinly sliced tomato, if desired.

Add two slices of bacon.

Put the two pieces of Texas Toast together, and butter the outside of each slice, and cook on a griddle the same as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.

Having found the recipe, guess what??!!  Duane and I WENT to Red Robin today for lunch, and LO AND's back on the menu!!!!!  IMAGINE MY GLEE....!!!!!

Me...discovering that the Baja turkey club is back on the menu!!!!

Baja JOY!!!!!!

I'm thinking I will be stopping at Red Robin MORE than I usually that this culinary MASTERPIECE is back in production!!!!

Here's hoping YOU recently discovered that a favorite food was "back from the dead" too!!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Change of Plans...

Duane's parents were supposed to come for the weekend, but, flying "standby", and WAAAAAAYYYYY low on the priority list, they would have been able to get here, but wouldn't have been able to return to North Dakota until Tuesday. Doctors appointments were scheduled for Monday, so the trip was cancelled.

Sad...but we made the most of it, and had an AWESOME day with our "rearranged" plans.  We slept in, then headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to try to get tickets to the Rembrandt exhibit, which closes tomorrow. 

The website said that the exhibit was SOLD OUT to the public, but, LUCKILY, I purchased a dual membership a couple of years ago (and renewed it this spring)!  I called yesterday to see if we could get in, and the person at the information desk said that we could try to get "same day RUSH" tickets.  We took our chances, showed up, and BREEZED through to the exhibit.  Membership DOES have its privileges!!!!!

We spent a couple of hours looking through this WONDERFUL collection of paintings.

I'm not big on "portraits", but Rembrandt was a MASTER of this genre, and his paintings were amazing.  Many of the paintings were on display to the public for the first time ever.  Private collectors were persuaded to share their art with the world, and it was AWESOME to see them.

SUCH history behind all the works...not only from the life and times of Rembrandt, but from the things that happened with the paintings over the course of that were "over painted" to make them more marketable, paintings that were confiscated by the Nazis and repatriated after the war, miniature etchings that were so intricate that you could see wrinkles on the faces of people in the CROWD behind the main figure of Jesus being crucified...absolutely FABULOUS!!!!

One of my FAVORITE sculptures at the museum (NO IDEA why??!!) as we were leaving the museum...

After the art institute, we headed to Big Bowl in Edina.  Haven't been there in AGES, and it was AWESOME to have my favorite lunch...kung pao chicken over wide, flat noodles...SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!

Okay...this is NOT actually a picture of my lunch...I ate it so fast, that I didn't have time to take a photo!!!!

After lunch, we headed to COST PLUS WORLD MARKET!!!!!  Yay COST PLUS WORLD MARKET!!!!  (I put that in ALL CAPS, and wrote it TWICE because it's actually a BIG DEAL that we were able to go there). 

We had THREE stores in the Twin Cities, but three years ago, THEY ALL CLOSED.  For the last couple of years, Duane and I have stopped at the one in Des Moines, while heading south to visit my parents, and stuffed our suitcases on trips to Washington, D.C.

NO IDEA why they closed, and the STUPID thing is, they moved back into the exact same store in Edina.  Nothing had gone into the space during the last three years, and, it looked almost exactly the same when we went in today. 

I was SO EXCITED though, I practically danced in the door (and came REALLY close to hugging the greeter!!!!).  SOOOOOO glad they are back (and my $60.00 receipt PROVES IT!!). 

The strip mall in which it sits is going to be the "it" spot in a couple of months because a Trader Joe's is opening across the parking lot as well. 

Once they get that "S" on there, I'm SURE they'll be ready to open!!!!!!

I know I'M going to spend time (and money) there!  I'm also sure that the Michael's Craft supply store, and the Office Max farther down the strip mall are going to reap the benefits of these AWESOME stores too!!!

My "loot" from today's shopping adventure!!!!

After our shopping spree, we headed back to Eagan, regrouped, then headed back out to continue our adventure.  There's a LOVELY "park" on Cliff Road that not many people know about...Scherer's Gardens.  LOVE this place...manicured lawns...gorgeous flowers...fountains...gazebos...a lake...truly a lovely spot to spend time...

A hummingbird (upper right) flitting amongst the petunias!!

A picture of the new car...because it's pretty...!!!

Me with the new car because,'s pretty!!!!

After the gardens, we spent some time (and money!) at Target, Duane got pumpkin ice cream at Ring Mountain, and we headed home for a walk around the neighborhood and a LOOOONG overdue viewing of the next to last season episode of "Drop Dead Diva"!

The BIG downside to tomorrow's plans is that Duane was going to take his dad to a Minnesota Twins game.  Everything was arranged so that his dad's sister (and her grandson) from South Dakota would fly in and SURPRISE him at the game. THEY also won't be able to come, because the flights here are overbooked, so Duane and I get to go to the game tomorrow, and will have TWO EXTRA SEATS (the tickets were mailed to South Dakota, so we can't even find others to take them), and I now have to go to the game.  UGH!  I hate baseball! 

Oh well...I hope the Twins score a BUNCH of touchdowns...or field goals...or whatever the HELL it is they have to do to win...!  Go Twins...(they are the ones in purple and gold...right??!!)!!!!!

Here's hoping YOU were able to do something "MANLY" recently too (HONESTLY...the only reason I'm going is to try the various foods at the concession stands, for which I've heard such glowing reviews...!!!)!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Too Many Cherry Tomatoes Right Now???

If you have a surplus of cherry (or grape!) tomatoes, here's a GREAT way to use them up.  This freezes really well, and is EVER SO TASTY!!!!

Gnocchi with Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

Yields: 4-6 servings


1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ minced red chile pepper (I used a yellow chile pepper)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
⅔ cup kalamata olives, sliced
1 (16 oz). package fresh gnocchi
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and chile pepper; cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, and stir in the cherry tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have lost their form and are beginning to make a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh gnocchi, and cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently strain out the gnocchi and place into a serving dish.

Stir the basil and olives into the simmering sauce, and cook for one minute. Pour the sauce over the drained gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.


Here's hoping YOU have some awesome "go to" recipes in your collection too!!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Relaxing in Hudson, Wisconsin!!!!

Well...I survived the first week of school (with students), and, as a reward, we took the new car on a quick trip across the border to Hudson, Wisconsin.  I really like this "touristy" town...great restaurants...great shopping...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE walking the pier out onto the river.

We started our trip with lunch at the San Pedro Cafe...AWESOME food, and their patio is THE BEST!!!!

After lunch (I had the Jamaican meatloaf...OMG...FABULOUS!!!!!), we shopped the main street, then headed to the pier to walk off some of what we ate.  LOVE the was a gorgeous day, the water was sparkly and gorgeous, and we were able to relax, and be mellow...the PERFECT way to spend the afternoon!!!!!

The remnants of a Calvin...

...and Hobbes painting on the concrete on the pier...

At the end of the pier is a small island, which is overgrown, with the remnants of a toll bridge that used to be the main connection between Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Local graffiti artists have claimed the spot to feature their work, and it's one of my FAVORITE photo ops in the area!!!!

Here's hoping YOU were able to "get away" recently too...even if it WAS only a few miles from home!!!!