Category Archives: Empty Nester Adventures

Empty Nester Adventures: Our Photo Gallery of Thailand

StreetCartBangkok“Wherever you go, go with all of your heart”  ~ Confucius

Traveling to Thailand was an ethereal experience.  When the opportunity to meet John in Bangkok arose last summer, I jumped at it.  I’ve always had a weakness for Thai cuisine and I had long hoped I would have the chance to visit and immerse myself in the magnificent and historic culture.

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It’s Time For Tequila

“Drinking tequila is more about the journey than the destination” 

~ Rainbow Rowell

Today is Cinco De Mayo so it only seems fitting that this post relates to the shining qualities surrounding tequila.  In my younger days, tequila meant nothing more than party shots and an almost certain headache.  Thank goodness I’ve evolved.  While shots still have their place, there is a much higher relevance for this fascinating distilled beverage.  Continue reading It’s Time For Tequila

Consider Me Caffeinated: A Global Espresso Art Gallery

 

“Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee is even better” ~ Justine Chen, North of Beautiful 

My search for the perfect cup of coffee knows no bounds.  I am ardent and unapologetic regarding my caffeine infatuation.  Whether it is our weekend latte treks in the Twin Cities or when traveling abroad,  I am always on the hunt for the consummate coffee experience.  While the quality of the java holds high significance, it is as much or more about the venue and who I’m getting caffeinated with that matters.  Sipping a morning espresso alongside the locals at the Mercado De La Boqueria in Barcelona or slipping into a café near the Campo De Fiori in Rome with John are a couple of my very best café memories.  Today I am sharing some of my favorite coffee occasions through photos.  Enjoy and please share yours with me, I look forward to seeing your pics and hearing your cafe recommendations.  Read on if you would like to learn more about the definition of espresso and the associated terms.

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Hidden Gems: Nong’s Thai Cuisine

nongsthaicuisine
The Sukiyaki Soup Bowl at Nong’s Thai Cuisine

John and I traveled to Thailand last summer and fell in love with the fascinating culture and the stunning food climate. Since that experience I have been craving Thai food regularly.  While I do plan to do a lengthy blog post on that trip, today I am writing about a hidden gem of a restaurant that I found tucked away in an unassuming strip mall in Golden Valley.  My oldest son and I try to meet for a meal when I am in his neck of the woods . Usually those outings take place in Golden Valley, close to his job.

The desire to try something new for lunch last week had us yelping nearby restaurants.  Nong’s Thai Cuisine popped up.  The restaurant was close in proximity to our location and the reviews were consistently above average so we gave it a try.  My impression: insanely good!  The incredible menu made it hard to choose just one dish. I’ve found that a long menu doesn’t always correlate with high quality, favorable food choices but at Nong’s I truly could not decide what to order because there were so many fantastic options. I ended up with the Sukiyaki Soup found on the noodle page.  Ingredients included: glass noodles, egg, Napa cabbage, onion, green onion, celery and special sukiyaki sauce.  The flavors were addicting.  The choices on the spice scale were mild, medium, hot and thai hot.  I am a spice girl so I opted for hot and loved it.  The portion was extremely generous which I appreciated as I had the remaining soup for lunch the next day.  I don’t refer to that as leftovers, I call it: same soup, different day….

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Destination: Pinot Noir Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Maya: “Why are you so in to Pinot?  I mean it’s a thing with you.”

Miles: “Uh I don’t know, I don’t know.  Um, it’s a hard grape to grow as you know.  It’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early.  It’s , you know, not a survivor like cabernet, which can grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected.  No, pinot needs constant care and attention.  You know?  In fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it, really.  Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinots potential can then coax it into its full expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they are just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and…..ancient on the planet.”

~Quoted from Sideways, one of my all time favorite wine themed movies.

Continue reading Destination: Pinot Noir Tasting in the Willamette Valley

Welcome to the Empty Nesters Kitchen Blog

Empty as defined by Merriam Webster:  containing nothing, not having any people, not occupied.  Having no real purpose or value.    For many, the idea of being an empty nester conjures up images of a quiet household, void of activity.   For us it means that even though our children are no longer living at home our culinary and social lives remain active.  Empty is not the word we would use to describe this stage of life.  We have transitioned to a new and different kind of busy.  While there are times when we are cooking for two of us, there are many days where we are creating meals for our children who return for a home-made dinner or for a group of family or friends.  Sometimes formal meals, most often casual.    We spend a lot of time traveling and exploring restaurants throughout Minnesota and beyond. The goal of the empty nesters kitchen blog is to post about unique recipes, wines, travel experiences, favorite restaurants, entertaining and home & garden tips.   I look forward to sharing our empty nester adventures with you.  Stay tuned for more, way more….