Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Museum Date {MIA}

Posted: October 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: Date Night, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts | 4 Comments »

Every Thursday my Mom comes and watches the boys so Yogi Dad and I can get out of the house and do something without the boys.  I know what you’re thinking- yes, we are totally spoiled.  We know that.  Every other Thursday we go grocery shopping and we’ve been trying to figure out how to get out of the house on the cheap the other Thursdays. Maybe we could have stayed in and played FoxyBingo or cooked a nice dinner, but we also thought that we wanted to get out of the house for a bit.

Enter free nights at the art museum.

I don’t know what it is about Thursday nights, but a lot of them seem to be open later and be free on Thursday- perfect.

Last night we went to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.  We got some drive-thru Arby’s (cause we classy) and sat on a park bench and did a little people watching.  It was the perfect way to unwind before going into the museum.

What struck me most about our visit was how differently we viewed each piece.  We apparently have wildly different tastes in art.  I like portraits, he’s all about the landscape.  I’m swooning over Rembrandt and he’s wandering over to the contemporary art exhibition.

Via Terminartors.com

My favorite piece we saw was The Denial of St. Peter painted by Gerrit van Honthorst. The depiction of darkness and light gets me every time. I don’t know a lot about art (even if I took numerous art history classes in college) but I am always amazed at the way a painting can be lit up as if there is a candle burning right where it is needed. Maybe I am easily impressed.

Aside from paintings and sculpture I think I most enjoyed the Period Rooms. I always love being able to put myself right into a place in time and imagine what it would be like to live there. Last night I kept saying to Yogi Dad- “Can you imagine having to clean this room? They obviously did not let kids in here!” Spoken like a true mom.

The highlight of the night was when I got yelled at for taking a picture of a painting that did not belong to the museum. Photos are fine….if they are part of the permanent collection. Look at me- breaking the law!

We rounded out the night with a stop at The Lowbrow for a beer. The perfect end to a perfect date night.

Next week is groceries, I wonder where we’ll go the week after that? Anyone have a favorite Twin Cities museum that is open late on Thursday?

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I Need a Lesson in Food Photography

Posted: July 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Recipes | Tags: Date Night, Guest Post, stuffed mushrooms | 2 Comments »

Today I’m Guest Posting over at Life With Levi.

If you remember, last Friday, Yogi Dad and I had an impromptu date night after the boys went to bed. The whole date-after-the-boys-go-to-bed concept is not new, but it had been awhile since we’d implemented it. I had agreed to write a recipe post and figured that would be a great chance to prepare the recipes and get photos.

I will tell you up front that when if comes to photography I am a complete amateur. When it comes to food photography…well, I’ll just apologize now. There are many things I would do differently if I could go back to square one. Like make a chocolate cake instead. Stuffed mushrooms, although delicious, really aren’t much to look at!

Don’t let that deter you, they really are good and they look better in person and all that jazz- so go! Now! Check out my post over at Life with Levi and seriously, these mushroom appetizer recipes couldn’t be easier.


When did we become senior citizens?

Posted: February 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: City Living, Date Night, Restaurants | 7 Comments »

Yogi Dad and I like to go out to dinner.  We like to go out and get drinks.  We forgo gifts on special occasions and birthdays so we can treat ourselves when we  want to try something new, or in this case, revisit an old favorite.  I’m sure there will be fewer nice dinners out now that we are down one income, so it’s important to me that we enjoy ourselves when we do get to go out.

Last Saturday we had to cancel our Valentine’s Day reservations because I was still getting over the sick and I wanted to be able to taste my food, we were going out for sushi.  I like my sushi served at a restaurant, often at the sushi bar, I am not a fan of grocery store sushi.  This puts sushi on the speciallist for us, it’s not a weekly or even monthly occurrence.  For years, Valentine’s Day meant sushi, except last year, when I was so sick and pregnant I couldn’t think about eating anything, let alone raw fish.

Our favorite, and you can say what you will about it, is Fuji Ya in Uptown.  I think  the quality rivals anyplace in the Twin Cities and the service is second to none.

Friday we had our first teacher conferences at the boys school and since we already had my Mom there to watch the boys, we decided to head out early and get a drink before our reservations.  For some reason we always end up eating way to early, like 5 or 6.  I don’t know if it’s because we are parents or what.  This time we made reservations for a respectable adult hour- 7pm.  We left home, headed across the river to Uptown and attempted to find a place to park and get a drink.

There are lots of places to get drink in Uptown.  This should have been easy.  I had a list of places that would have been completely acceptable that I gleaned from my Twitter friends. 

But then my social anxiety set in.  Parking was a pain in the ass down every street we turned.  I was having a particularly crappy hair day, I didn’t want to be late for our 7pm reservation…so we just went to Fuji Ya.  You can see where this is going.

We thought we’d get some drinks first, but the sushi bar was all but empty, taunting us.  So we just sat there.  And ordered a ton of sushi, had a few drinks, paid our check, ate a last minute dessert whipped up by our sushi chef, and left. 

We were in our car by 6:58.

Senior. Citizens.


Has it really been 8 years?

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: Beer, Date Night, Montana, Restaurants, Travel | 1 Comment »

Well, I guess they are right when they say time flies.  Eight years ago (well, 8y ears and 11 days ago) I married Yogi Dad.  He wasn’t Yogi Dad then.  There was no Yogi and definitely no Dad.  He was just John and I was just Erin and we had a whirlwind romance punctuated by many bottles of Stone Hill wine.  We got engaged after 3 months.  Crazy I know.  Fifteen months later we got married.  Six years later we finally decided kids were a good idea and here we are, three kids deep.

Since we always seem to be out of town for our anniversary we were treated to a lovely dinner at Pearl Cafe in downtown Missoula by John’s Aunt (aka The Hostess with the Mostest).  We haven’t really been out without the baby so it was very welcome.

We got dressed up as best we could, which seems to be more difficult the older we get.  The top I bought was a bit more revealing after carrying children around and having a baby paw at my chest than it was when I tried it on in the confines of my favorite dressing room.  I’ll just say it.  Boobs.  It’s all I see when I look at the pics of us ready to head out and I suppose I can’t expect any of you to not think it too.  There you go.

Anyhooo…we went out!  Like adults!  We left a little early so I could partake in a drink at a real grown up bar before we went to dinner.  It makes me giddy just thinking about it.  We chose James Bar in downtown Missoula.  It’s a pretty sweet place that was so packed we couldn’t get a drink let alone a seat or a table the last time we were in town.  It was a Tuesday night so our options were open this time around.  We sat at the bar.

I ordered a Kettlehouse Cold Smoke.  It was dreamy.  I wish now that we’d gotten some to take home, but we didn’t.  After a little chit-chat with the barkeep he asked us where we had reservations.  We told them The Pearl.  He said we wouldn’t be disappointed.  The thing I take away from restaurants in Missoula is the people that work in them seem to genuinely love the town and really seem to bolster each other up.  It’s nice, you don’t always find that in a bigger city.

We finally arrived at Pearl and there was an open parking spot right out front (it’s street parking).  It’s like we arrived just in time.  We checked in at the front desk, let them know there was to be a giftcard waiting for us and were led to our table.  Funny thing, the man who led us upstairs was Pierre, our waiter at Scotty’s table, a (totally fab) restaurant we lunched at earlier in the week.

Once we sat down we took in the room.  It was nice.  Low lights, fireplace, exposed brick and beams.  We were seated in a loft that overlooks the entrance/ bar area.  It was very intimate and cozy, without being intimidating. 

We took in the menu and devised a plan.  Elk osso bucco was in the running for John and I was stuck between the trout and the filet.  We ordered the scallops to start.  They were smallish, but delicious.  John went for the osso buco and I went for the Filet with Port and Roquefort.  The port sauce was luscious and the medallion of Roquefort perched atop my steak was as creamy and delightful as cold be.  I can say with certainty now, that was the best piece of beef I’ve ever eaten in my life.  I only had a small bite of the elk so I can’t really say, but I was told that my dish won for best of the night.  We finished off with dessert.  I ordered the Dark German Chocolate Cake which was deconstructed and certainly one of the best I’ve ever had.  John had the White Chocolate Mousse Pie.  I also had a glass of Ice Wine from Canada mostly because I had never tried Ice Wine before and we were celebrating, so why not!

I had just taken a sip when we got the call.  Judah had depleted his reserves and was in need of his mother.  Stat.  I suppose this is how it is when you have kids, one who is nursing.

We packed it in and headed home.

Even with our abrupt departure I think this evening was a success.  We weren’t hurried through any course.  We were able to relax and forget, for those few hours, that we had kids at home!  That doesn’t happen very often. 

Last year at this time we had two kids and a twinkle in our eyes.  Who knows what’s in store for us this year?  Probably not another baby…but something good I’m sure.