Category Archives: Empty Nester Adventures

Welcome To The Ultimate Minnesota Fish Fry

“Fishing is much more than fish.  It is the great occasion when we may return to the simplicity of our forefathers”  ~ Herbert Hoover

Hello from the land of 10,000 Lakes!  Growing up, I spent a lot of quality time fishing with my father and grandfather on our annual summer outings to lakes and cabins throughout the state.  Those memories are so precious!  Regretfully, I haven’t been fishing in many years.  It’s lucky for us that we have incredible friends, Anne and Wayne Minske, who happen to be phenomenal anglers.  Last week John and I were invited to their home for a viewing party and the ultimate fish fry.  The scents and flavors of the walleye and northern wafting from the fryer brought me right back to my Minnesota childhood.

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When Ramen And Michelin Stars Intersect In Tokyo, Japan

“The ultimate ramen is something that exists perfectly in the moment”

~ Quote from the Ramen Heads documentary

On November 29, 2017, Nakiryu was awarded its first Michelin star.  Nakiryu is only the second ramen restaurant in the world to receive this prestigious honor.  Tsuta was the first and they are both located in Toshima, a Tokyo Prefecture.  We visited Nakiryu in early October of 2018.

To be awarded a Michelin star and ultimately be listed in the Michelin Guide is no easy accomplishment.  There are no specific guidelines available for restaurants regarding how to obtain this level of recognition.  Some known objectives are the chefs ability to achieve the highest levels of mastery in terms of flavors and cooking techniques.  Consistency in regards to the food and dining experience are also key.  If the first visit by the anonymous Michelin Guide inspector is favorable, a second visit will take place approximately one year later. The road to a Michelin star is not a rapid one.  Receiving one star is not a guarantee that more stars will be awarded in the future, and restaurants can lose stars if they do not maintain the Michelin standards. The most stars a restaurant can be awarded is three.

At Nakiryu there was a clear reverence for the ingredients and the noodle preparation.  The way the ramen noodles were expertly and visibly laid out on the counter waiting for their arrangement in the bowls elevated our anticipation.  From the precise placement of the noodles, to the ladling of the broth, to the moment the bowl is handed to the customer, there is a sense of ceremony.  This was my maiden voyage to Japan as well as our first visit to a Michelin star restaurant.

There is no question in our minds as to why Nakiryu received their star.  For us, the taste of the ramen and the moments we spent there were impeccable and we won’t ever forget it.

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Empty Nester Adventures in Italy: A Photo Gallery of Our 5 Day Visit to the Amalfi Coast

“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life” ~Anna Akhmatova

The hills of the Amalfi Coast are steeped in romance and tradition.  As a travel enthusiast I’m extremely grateful to have the had the opportunity to visit many unique and beautiful destinations.  This particular area of Italy holds a special place in my being that keeps calling me back.  I am of Italian descent so maybe that’s why it feels so much like home every time I return.

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Travel Minnesota: 24 hours in Shakopee

“Every Hundred Feet The World Changes” ~ Roberto Bolaño

There’s something to be said about taking the scenic route, in both life and travel and the lesson here is, you don’t have to trek very far to find an adventure.  John and I had the opportunity to experience a brief but action packed 24 hours in Shakopee, MN last weekend. This historic city is just across the river from our home in Chanhassen but other than our outings to Canterbury Park, or the occasional trip to Valley Fair when the kids were young, we haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time there. The essence of discovery is something that we embrace so we really looked forward immersing ourselves in this mini-vacation.
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Food Month In Review: March 2018

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating”

Lucky for those of us living in the Twin Cities; we are provided with seemingly endless opportunities to not only eat, but to do so abundantly well.  I field frequent inquiries from friends and family regarding restaurant recommendations and I love sharing my culinary experiences so I decided to create a new feature.  It will be a brief overview of our culinary adventures from the prior month.

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Living Greens Farm: Sustainability In Action

 

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.  What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make” ~ Jane Goodall

At Living Greens Farm in Faribault they are taking sustainability to new heights. Their impact on how produce is grown is significant.

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The Twin Cities Restaurant Scene: Eating and Imbibing During The Week Of The Big Game

The pinnacle of football game days is almost upon us and the anticipation has been building.  There are throngs of exciting events surrounding this colossal affair.  The Bold North is ready! We’re bursting with immense cultural activities, tremendous musical talent, ice bars aplenty and of course bounteous opportunities for dining and imbibing.

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