Last week I Dined Out For Life to support the Aliveness Project that is doing amazing work with the HIV/AIDS community locally.
I am proud to say that I was part of the $15,687 that Pizza Luce donated that night.
Pizza Luce is a favorite staple for me in Minneapolis. It is a great place to go if you are eating with someone who has dietary restrictions like gluten-free or vegan. They are also a great place to order out from; you can do pizzas, sandwiches, or salads. Many of these items can be ordered with specific instructions for those with diet restrictions. It is all listed on the menu.
This particular night I headed out to the Hopkins location. It was my first time at this location and I know I will be back there again. I loved the size of the parking lot and the feel of the bar. They have a great tap beer selection as well.
I really need to try more appetizers on their menu because I havent yet. I always get a side salad. I mean look at it. This is the caesar salad and is exactly what a caesar salad should be. It has crispy lettuce, creamy dressing, real shaved parmesan, and delicious croutons.
I have tried many of the pizzas on the menu and this night I decided to try a sandwich from their new spring menu the “From Italy with Love.” I highly recommend it because is unlike any sandwich I have had before. There are layers and layers of flavorful ingredients.
I went home with The Classic pizza to eat as leftovers. My other favorite pizzas are the Pizza Athena and anything with mock duck.
Pizza Luce is one of those places that I appreciate having as a local brand. They use fresh, natural ingredients, they have options for those who are vegan and gluten-free and they have a great variety of healthy and flavorful items on their menu.
because real food is good food.
I had to post these pictures from the last two days to remind those who no longer live in Minnesota of why they left. WINTER NEVER ENDS.
Plus, I had to preserve my pictures for posterity to remind myself next year that it could be much worse, it could be the end of April.
because sometimes you need to remember
This past Saturday I attended the HAMMS event at the old HAMMS Brewery Shipping docks in Saint Paul. It was a really fun time and I was able to buy a few items that I have been pining over including Dessa lipstick from the Elixery.
What made this event fun was that you actually could speak with the business owners and learn more about why they do what they do. Plus, it was dog friendly!
The event lived up to the title Help A Minnesota Maker Succeed. The event planners reached their goal to be able to give one vendor $5,000 to use to expand their business.
I shopped until I dropped on Saturday. The first item I bought was a glass water bottle from Moss Envy in pink. Moss Envy is now going to be my go-to place for gifts. They have many practical and usable items that people would love to get for a special event such as a birthday or wedding.
Moss Envy has a retail store near the Whole Foods in Uptown. If you mention my blog (mlsgossipgirl) and the HAMMS event Ryan the co-owner extended an offer of $5 off your $25 purchase.
The market baskets from Jeanne Beatrice were a hit. I received many compliments when I was walking around the event with my new La Vie Henna.
Jeanne Beatrice bags are the perfect summer market accessory. I cannot wait to bring mine to the Minneapolis Farmers Market once it warms up.
I loved these arm warmers from Float many of them are made with cashmere. They are a great item to keep in your purse for when you get cold. Plus, they come in many vibrant colors.
I was surprised by these game day lip tattoos from Violent Lips. I know some hardcore Vikings fans that would sport them proudly at each game.
These hilarious cards from Bruno Press had me laughing. They are the perfect cards for someone you know well enough that you can say offensive things in front of them.
These map necklaces from Larissa Loden are a great way to remember a special trip or a place that you lived.
I wish I was decorating something right now. I loved everything that Oh Dier had at this event. They had the cutest chalk boards for your cabin and blocks for a new baby.
Yum! Not only was there great shopping at the HAMMS event there was great food. Gastro truck had a large menu of delicious items to choose from and I couldn’t choose just one.
The first item I tried was a Beef Brisket sandwich. It was flavorful and I loved the aioli on top.
The best part of the lamb burger was the choice of all the homemade condiments that I could choose from. Pickled red onion and ketchup topped my lamb burger along with the feta and olive spread.
Hopefully, the HAMMS event is an event that is continued in the future. I am already looking forward to it and I think all the dogs that were there are too!
because I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.
Feeling down and out lately? Isn’t everyone. Mother nature has been playing tricks with all of our minds. It is supposed to be spring, right?
One of this ways to solve this mood issue is by snuggling up on the couch and watching movie. Since that is all that I have been doing lately, I needed a change. What else makes people intensely happy?
One of my favorite places to go grab a delicious sweet is Rustica Bakery. It is fairly easy to get to for Uptown standards and there is parking available. ahhh… it makes things so much easier.
I pointed to a chocolate brownie from the case and saw something else on the menu that perked my interest. As a frequest customer of the Tea Garden I consider myself to be somewhat of a tea connoisseur but I have never tried chestnut tea before. What is this mystical chestnut tea that you have?
The staff at Rustica know their products and were able to explain many of the different teas they currently have on their menu as well as how long the tea I selected needed to steep.
The chestnut tea was nutty and bit spicy and the brownie was rich. Both highly recommended for a winter that will never end. So, since you need to take a mental health break anyway, head over to Rustica to warm your soul.
because the ground-hog lied
These last few weeks have been brutal for Twins fans. It is not easy to sit in your seat and watch a game in your Sorel boots and parka when it is 30 degrees or colder. Along with many other fans, I opted to watch from under the heat lamps. The bonus of making this move was that I was closer to all the food and beer stands.
What I love about the new Twins Stadium is that they keep adding more and more local foods and beer. If I am coming to a game I want to be able to eat some really wonderful food. I did just that last night.
Although, I was not able to try every new food at the stadium, I did get to try the new burger from AZ Canteen. A company started by local foodie/chef/TV star Andrew Zimmern, this stand serves a lamb and goat burger that has been deemed by many to be the best new food in the ballpark. I cannot agree more.
AZ Canteen in Section 130 serves a food item with flavor. This burger was made right in front of me and topped with roasted tomatoes and onions. At $13.00 this burger is expensive and in my view is worth it. It comes with seasoned chips, is big enough for a meal and best when paired with an IPA.
Another favorite of mine is Turkey to Go found in multiple sections. At only $7.50 for a sandwich it is a steal. The turkey is always moist (I hate that word, but it is true) and you can top the sandwich with sweet and sassy BBQ sauce.
I had to get a huge hat full of nachos after watching people walking around with one. The hat is filled with taco chips, nacho cheese, beef, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and sour cream.They equip you with forks to get the job done. Not in the least bit healthy but tons of fun.
I hope that the Twins keep adding more local food and beer each year because it makes coming to a game also a great place to have a meal.
Because GO TWINS!
* you can also follow AZ Canteen and Turkey to Go on Twitter to see where their food trucks and restaurants are in the Twin Cities. @AZCanteen and @TurkeyToGo
On Saturday, April 20th I will be attending the HAMMS- Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed event at the old Hamm’s Brewery Shipping Docks. This event is for men, women, their dogs and those who like to shop local and small. A portion of the ticket proceeds will be awarded to one of the small businesses at the end of the event.
As a fan of fashion, I connected with the image on the website of a really cute Market Basket from Jeanne Beatrice; the perfect summer bag (pictured above). Everyone in Minnesota is ready for summer but it feels like it may never come with all the unseasonably cold weather lately. One of my favorite summer activities is going to the farmers market on a Sunday. There is something uplifting about spending the morning at the market in the sun and picking up fresh food from local farmers. Why not do it fashionably with a market bag from Jeanne Beatrice?
Jeanne Beatrice was started by Laura J. Benson a former Lawyer who created a business doing what she loved. The baskets are made in Morocco by local artisans. Each bag takes 6-8 hours to complete and each is a unique work of art.
I chose to feature Jeanne Beatrice because the Market Bags are affordable, fun, and a great way to help someone across the world. Also, they would be a great gift for a mother for Mother’s Day or a bridal party gift for your bridesmaids. The La Vie Shadow II is on sale for only $27.00 and with its steel grey or pink details, would be perfect for the beach.
My other favorite bags are the one featured on the HAMMS site called the La Vie Henna because of the stitching around the handles and the La Vie en Colour because they are traditional with a pop of color.
You can find all products from Jeanne Beatrice on the website, https://www.jeannebeatrice.com/, or in over 150 boutiques around the world. You can even come to the HAMMS event and pick one up there.
Laura thinks you should come to the event because it, “will be an absolute blast.” It will be a shopping event like no other because the vendors are interacting with customers in different ways and are encouraged to bring wine and appetizers. A fellow foodie, Laura is looking forward to the food trucks that will be there.
If you are someone who likes to shop local and support small business this is the perfect event for you. Tickets to the HAMMS Event on Saturday, April 20th from 10AM-7PM are available online at http://www.hammsevent.com/ until 10 pm on April 19 or for 15 dollars at the door.
because you can look good and do good at the same time.
Everyone knows St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Saturday this year since going out on a Sunday night is not feasible for those who work early Monday morning.
Here is 5 Fun things to do this Saint Patrick’s Day:
- Do a super- scientific poll and see how many people know that Saturday is not really Saint Patrick’s Day.
- Attend the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Starting at 6:30PM the parade travels down Nicollet. My favorite is the Bag Pipers and the huge Irish Setter dogs who make an appearance every year.
- Have a Jameson and Ginger or the Two Gingers at The Local in Downtown Minneapolis. It will be very crowded but don’t worry they have space outside as well.
- Drink so much green beer that your pee turns green. Just kidding. But, does that really happen? Drink a Finnegans instead 100% of their profits go to charity.
- Later tonight head to The Saloon. If you want to see the best costuming and green clothing items in town.
Because you are Irish today.
I thought I would share some photos of the snow in Minneapolis this morning. I forget sometimes how beautiful it can be. A big thanks goes out to all the DID and other city workers who clean off the streets and sidewalks, without you it would be a mess.
Look at this guy biking like a champ down Nicollet this morning. Many reports of a biker slowing traffic on Lyndale. My advice: if you are not a pro-snow-biker take the bus on days like this.
She must be new to Minnesota. This was in a busy intersection in Downtown Minneapolis and she decided that it was now time to clear off her van. She was all smiles and laughed with those of us crossing the street.
because snow brings people together.
For me, Valentines day is about treating yourself to quality time with someone who truly cares about you. It is a time to put a break in the normal routine of work, gym, eat, sleep, and repeat. Achieving this quality time means slowing down, building anticipation throughout the day, and trying something new together. All the while being reminded of how special I am to someone else.
To start this Valentines day out on the right foot I plan to stop by Woullet Bakery to grab a “different breakfast” from my usual with something out of this case for me and my co-workers.
Seriously they have some yummy heart doughnuts for only $1.65 which also makes it affordable. Why not brighten your coworkers day?
If this case of treats is part of your usual routine of coffee and donuts try something slightly different…
How about some XOXO cupcakes? These can boxed up for you in a nice package that will be an easy present for your special someone.
Each of these little morsels are hand-made with the love and kindness only a family owned and run bakery can deliver. They have many other flavors available even some with cherry butter cream.
Normally I would not go for anything but the cupcakes, but on a day of doing things different I may pick up some petit fours or the chocolate mousse for two. Both are ideally sized for sharing with a special someone, but nobody has to know if you are a bit selfish…
I suggest this Valentine’s Day you try something different for your special someone. Make a dinner at home and then surprise them with some sweet treats from Wuollet Bakery. If you don’t want to cook a meal Surdyks has some pre-made meals available as well. Whatever you choose, choose to make someone feel special.
If you forgot a gift for a special someone Wuollet is ready for you. You do not have to pre-order, just stop in and pick out the perfect treat.
Because this Valentine’s Day give your sweety, a sweet.
*disclosure: when I visit Wuollets I get to try tasty treats and bring some home too. I shared some XoXo cupcakes with the special people in my life.