Duluth-August 2016 Cont’d

Day 3 of being in Duluth allowed us to be more flexible with our time and not have to wait in lines!

Thank You to our friend who let us stay with her while we were up there! It was fun to hang out and catch up!

We had a fun weekend!


Duluth Tall Ships- August 2016

In June this year, I bought tickets for us to go to the Duluth Tall Ships Festival, it had been a few years since the ships had been Up North, I really wanted tickets for the event in August. There were about 8 ships that came into the harbor. On Thursday, they had the Parade of Sails, where we got to see all the ships come into the harbor under the  Aerial Lift Bridge with their sails open. We got down to the lift bridge around 10am and waited until about 3:00pm. It was a hot day, but towards the end, the weather was starting to change and a storm was rolling in. Some of the ships you could tour or sail on. I bought the fast pass tickets to be able to tour the ships. We got to tour 3 of the ships, one of ships was so popular that some people waited hours to see it-glad we had fast pass tickets!

Here are a handful of photos. You couldn’t get a “great” photo as there was so many people, lightening and using a iPhone played a role.

We did get to see all the ships and everything we wanted in Thursday and Friday. So Saturday was a free day for us to explore Duluth.



Here are a few recipes that I have made that were pretty good. Both recipe ideas came from Food Network shows. On Saturdays, I like watching Pioneer Woman and The Kitchen. On Netflix, Carl and I have been watching Worst Cooks in America.

10 Cheese Mac and Cheese-The Kitchen


This was a hearty meal and very easy to make. We had a good week of leftovers.


This recipe was delicious and had some kick. The idea for this recipe came from the Worst Cooks in America show. I started googling Paella and there are so many types that you can make. This one had shrimp and chicken. I had to buy $15 saffron threads for this recipes.

Easy Paella Recipe

IMG_0419 IMG_0420

I highly recommend both of these recipes.

Mulled Wine

When my family gets together for Thanksgiving, it is given that you are to bring something to pass or share as long as you live on your own and not a broke college student. —> Little sister, you are the exception for now! ūüôā So this year, I was on pie duty! A friend I work with made a bunch of pies and t0 sell. She said why would she make all the mess of making pies for only few pies. I agreed and I benefited from it. I bought 4 pies (2 pumpkin, 1 apple and 1 cherry) for our Thanksgiving dinner, Carl got 1 blueberry pie and his parents an apple pie.

I wanted to bring something else and I thought sangria sounded good. Carl crinkled his face and said isn’t that for summer. I told him I just saw sangria on Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving special episode. (I had been watching the Food Network all morning) I decided how about Mulled Wine; I have never made it before and sounds good for the holidays.

I found two recipes; one from Ina Garten Mulled Wine and one from¬†Williams Sonoma Mulled Wine, I combined the two. I used the measurements of Ina’s recipe minus the anise, we don’t like the black licorice taste. I used 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon¬†which was good. I used the lemon from the Williams Sonoma recipe. I really like the cider spice taste of this wine. When I tested it on Sunday it was delicious and it was great even the days after. I added some brandy for a zip as well, I read that in the reviews.

We got to my parents house on Wednesday night so I could make my batch a head of time and it could sit over night. For some reason, it did not taste the same as it did when I first made it. I made it in bulk, 4 bottles of cheaper wine so that could have been it, I didn’t use as much apple cider because I didn’t want the wine watered down. I didn’t bring my brandy and my parents were out so I had to use bourbon instead. My family said it was good and they liked it; however, I was disappointed and Carl even said it tasted different. UGH! I will make it for the three christmas gatherings we have this next month but I will do it in single batches then combine and go for the better wine.

Learned my lesson-cheap wine isn’t always the best. ūüôā BUT mulled wine is awesome!

Holiday Cheers!



Cooking with Pioneer Woman… I Wish…

I was so excited to open my birthday gifts from Carl! I got a new tea pot and the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook! I made her Chicken Milanese and Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles! Holy Moly, the chicken turned out amazing! I used gluten free four and a gluten free seasoning- Hodgson Mill¬†which turned out well with the whole milk and eggs. Carl couldn’t believe the flavor that the chicken had.

When I went to the store to get whole milk, I had seen this brand online and I thought I should try it. It is called fairlife– unfiltered milk! It is so good. For someone who is lactose intolerant it was nice to have milk that doesn’t give me an upset stomach. I get the fat free milk now.

I also added a picture of a wine that Carl and I really like. It is called The Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews from DMB. We have had the crush wine- a red blend which is really good, I just saw he has a pinot noir that I would love to try. My sister gave me a new wine opener for my birthday so we had to find a bottle of wine in the wine rack to open so we could test the opener.

Happy Sunday! I am testing a Mulled Wine recipe today for Thanksgiving! I hope it turns out.



Successful- Amazing Christmas Eve Dinner

Our Christmas Eve in Review.

Our Tree

Here is our Christmas tree. It turned out well, next year I will mix it up, maybe white lights and different color garland.

Carl’s parents came to our house for Christmas Eve. I wanted to make prime rib, just to be able to say I could make it. I know a lot of people make it for Christmas dinner. We got our 5 lb prime rib from the local butcher shop where they seasoned it for us and told us the best way to cook it. I made lemon butter asparagus¬†(a Paula Deen recipe)¬†and butter, rosemary, thyme potatoes ( I blended the butter and herbs together and stirred into the potatoes). It was all sooooo good and the flavors blended well together.

Here are a few pictures.


After our delicious meal together, we opened gifts. Here are a few photos.

Merry Christmas,

Love, Blondie, Carl & Arie

Hot and Spicy…

Well, it has been hot and spicy in the kitchen the last few weeks, for many reasons! ūüôā

First, we had the Super Bowl, where we stayed home and watched the game but wanted to make a few snacks. I was hungry for wings and thought that buffalo wings sounded great. Maybe I was hungry for them because they are the number one snack people on the big football day. Carl really wanted Velveeta dip, no thank you. I am not a fan of velveeta dip, I made it once and was not a fan. But Carl got to have his dip. I really wanted wings still.

So I searched and searched online to find a good recipe and I did.

It is a recipe by Guy Fieri called Ain’t No Thing Butta Chicken Wing. Carl really liked them with the sauce, so much so he needed to drink milk. I did not want the spicy sauce, so I made a few wings, just with the dry rub and they were great and had good flavor. ūüôā I did not take a picture, I forgot but I would totally recommend making this recipe.

chicken wings Photo from website.

The second hot and spicy meal we made was last night. I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Strips. This was a great recipe and will make them again. I added cumin, shredded parmesan cheese to the mixture. They were easy to make and didn’t take long.

Buffalo Chicken Strips Photo from website.

I highly recommended both recipes.

Happy Thursday and sad day full of snow.

– Blondie!

Wine, Pasta and Scallops

It is already November, where has the time gone. I have been wanting to expand my taste for seafood more and have wanted to try sushi and scallops. I will only try sushi with my sisters, as they know the good stuff and where to get it. I tried scallops for the first time when we were out for a family gathering earlier in October. They were grilled and really good, but I was interested in trying seared scallops. 

I stopped by the Co-op a few weeks back and found fresh scallops in the seafood section. I was super excited, Carl not so much; he is not a seafood lover like me. I  searched and searched for a great scallop recipe and found one on the Food Network website.

I found a Seared Scallop recipe by Alton Brown on the site. It was a great recipe because it was easy to follow and showed a step by step video.  I thought it would be best to pair the scallops with a yummy pasta and set out to search for that online as well.  Of course one of my favorite cooks delivered, I found this yummy pasta by Giada De Laurentiis, also on the Food Network. It was a Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Flakes recipe and was really good and easy to make; I had all the ingredients in my cupboards. It was a bit spicy because of the red pepper flakes but still delicious.

I do substitute¬†the gluten ingredients with¬†gluten-free ones and it works out great and a majority¬†of you time you can not tell the difference. ¬†And obviously, we drank that with a bottle of wine! ūüôā

Here is my picture of our yummy supper.


Happy seafood eating and wine drinking.