Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wrapping Up: By the Numbers

Well we dropped the ball on blogging. Turns out, it's harder to keep a blog going for a full year than for a one week staycation.

However, we did not stop Chinooking. Here's a run down on our 2012 Chinook Book experience.

We had three Chinook Books--two we purchased on sale and one was a gift. Each book came with a set of mobile coupons and as a promo for the Chinook Book Ap, we each got an extra set of mobile coupons. Although we only spent $27, we had access to 8 sets of coupons!

  • We used 27 mobile coupons and 58 print coupons: 85 in total.
  • We saved $418
  • We saved the most in groceries ($117) with Home & Garden ($103) and Restaurants ($100) a close second and third.
  • The average coupon saved us $4.92
  • Accounting for the cost of the books, we saved a net $391.
 All in all, a great year of Chinooking!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cooking with Chive Blossoms

We have a bunch of chive blossoms and I didn't want them to go to waste. So last night, I tried out a new recipe for Avocado Soup with Chive Blossoms.

The verdict? I thought it was quite good with a strong taste of spring. Kate on the other hand thought it was a little too thick and wasn't quite sure about the chive blossoms.

I think the next experiment will be adding chive blossoms to eggs.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The 2012 Gardening Season has begun

Started the garden today. We have big plans for a garden expansion, but so far just a few plants in raised bed #1: cucumber, peppers, onions, leeks, kale (2 types), chives, basil, thyme, rosemary, carrots and roma beans.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dinner with Dice: Pip's Cooking Challenge 2012

My brother got Pip some dice for Christmas 2011 that look like this...

Naturally, he decided to throw a dinner party...well two. 

The Basic Idea

1) Find some friends that like to cook

Round 1

Round 2

2) Roll the Dice and make some Awesome YouTube Videos for invites

3) Display the ingredients as an ice breaker and creative decor

4) Eat the Food

Round 1

Panzanella Salad with Beets, Fennel, Tomato, Turips

Lentils and Root Vegetables with Rutabaga Mash in Red Wine Reduction

Lemon Cake with Rosemary

* Not Pictured: Sauteed Root Vegetables with Cinnamon over Quinoa 
(Chef Katie)

Round 2

Veggie Balls with Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

Banh Mi Sandwiches with Pickled Vegetables and Chicken Liver Pate

Grilled Lamb Chops with Fava Bean and Chanterelle Mushroom Ragu over Cauliflower Mash

* Not Pictured: Carrot Cake with Cinnamon and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
(Chef Pip)

Thanks to our friends! So much fun! Hope we do it again soon! Let us know if you are up for the challenge!

PS. Oh and 5) Print up kitchen hand towels as party gifts

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunchokes, welcome to my life

At Seward Coop this weekend, I noticed the sunchokes and decided I could use a little challenge. I've never cooked with sunchokes, but figured I should give it a shot.

I roasted them with fresh rosemary and garlic. They were awesome. Turns out, there's a reason they're also known as Jerusalem artichokes. Although they look like ginger and you cook them like potatoes, they actually taste like artichokes.

Definitely will be working sunchokes into the cuisine at our house.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Landmark: Birchwood Cafe

When people ask me where we live, I often say that we're close to the Franklin bridge and the Seward Coop, but most of the time I say we're one block north of the Birchwood Cafe. It's my go-to landmark for our neighborhood.

We love Birchwood. It's got great food, about as relaxed an atmosphere as you could image and a wonderful commitment to all things local, seasonal and organic. They're also big bike advocates and sponsor a bike team as well as a Nice Ride station.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert are all great. However, my favorite is breakfast/brunch and I always get the savory waffle. What's that?! you say.

It took me a while to try it, but once I did there was no going back. The exact ingredients change throughout the year, but the waffle is always something savory and each of the four sections (it's a Belgian-style waffle) have a different topping. There's always a sunny-side up egg, bacon lardoons (super thick chunks of bacon), some type of fruit, nuts and herbed butter served with syrup. Here's the description of the one I had this morning: "Parsnip, Gruyere & Black Barley Waffle. Pear slaw, cranberry almond butter, almonds, bacon lardons & sunny-side egg"

Birchwood is also where I have picked up turkey the last two Thanksgivings. Super convenient.

All around, one of our favorite spots. Highly recommended. 

Coupon: $3 off $10
Total Savings: $3

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How did YOU Ring in the New Year?!

Hopefully you will find this holiday greeting as humorous as we do. This is my first experiment with iMovie in an attempt to spare you from as much drunken singing as possible. Dawes at the Varsity Theater was fabulous! As Maggie says, one of the few places in town I would go just to hang out in the bathroom. 

Enjoy the music and stick around for a Happy New Year at the end. 

2011 A Year in Review

Looking back on 2011, here are a few notable pieces:

We became gardeners. Our first foray into gardening was fun and a success. I'm already scheming  next year's expansion.

I received unemployment benefits for the first time in my life. Courtesy of the Minnesota state government shutdown.

We traveled to Vermont, New Orleans, the North Shore (twice), Omaha and New York City. Twice we had to reschedule flights due to weather.

Kate got a new bike. Thank you Max!

We celebrated the royal wedding at Brit's.We also celebrated Tutu's 85th birthday.

I helped lead efforts to create a vision for transportation in Minnesota and raise more than $90,000 to prevent the spread of malaria.

We went to the Sia, Trombone Shorty, Beirut and Dawes concerts.

We became bloggers.

And of course, we ate really really well.

Looking forward to all the adventures 2012 will bring. Happy New Year!

Prix Fixe on NYE

Here is a peak at our 5 course prix fixe meal at Victory 44. Kate said, why don't we go to Restaurant Alma for dinner at $85 per person. Pip said, why don't we go to Victory 44 instead for $35 per person. Pip wins!

A little beet tartare w/ pomegranate seeds pared with a sauv blanc.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Shopping with the Chinook Book

In our Christmas present shopping this year, we tried to buy local and use Chinook Book coupons as much as possible. Miraculously, we never set foot in a mall during the Holiday season.

Here's a quick rundown on where we shopped.

The Hub Bicycle Coop: hit up one of our favorite bike shops for bike lights. We used two coupons here for $20 in savings.

Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply: tried out this place for the first time to get garden tools. Savings: $5.

Mississippi Market: kind of strange location for gift shopping, but they had great "Locally Grown" t-shirts and other locally made gear. Savings: $5.

Aaron's Green Cleaning: setup some cleaning sessions for my parents. Estimated savings: $50.

Patina: this is usually our go-to spot for wedding gifts, but it's also great for fun stocking stuffers. Savings: $10

Moss Envy: last summer we checked out this store and were disappointed that they didn't have anything branded with their logo. After reading our blog post about it, they added various gear online and we finally got around to ordering some coffee mugs. There is a coupon for Moss Envy, but it wasn't applicable to our purchase. Savings: $0.

Total savings on Christmas shopping: $90.

Oui, Oui Monsieur

After some holiday feasting, we hosted brunch for Eli and Ryan. Off to St Paul Cheese Shop once again. Unfortunately their coupon is only for the Signature Chevre (highly recommended) so no savings but what we lacked in discounts, they made up for in deliciousness. A little Croque Monsieur a la Pip. Still dreaming about it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas is Awesome

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to Mexico, the tree was topped with a Luchador angel.

Had a great time with the in-laws at the British Ad Awards at the Walker (an annual tradition) and thankfully my hands were kept warm by Santa's gift of handerpants.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

$99.99 in Savings

I was ready to celebrate reaching the $100 in savings mark, but we're a penny shy. In any case, as of December 18, 2011 we've saved $99.99 using 25 Chinook Book coupons (16 print and 9 mobile coupons).

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Webster's, I mean Riverview Wine Bar

For whatever reason, every time I refer to Riverview Wine Bar, I first call it Webster's Wine Bar. If you went to college with me, you will likely understand. So we hit up the Riverview before a Christmas party and had drink and a flatbread pizza. Great spot at the bar and tasty drinks/eats. I think I want figs on my pizza every time.

Right to Left: Like, Like, Didn't Like, Like
Coupon: $5 off $20
Total Savings: $5
Yes, recommended!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Breakfast at its Finest

If you haven't been there yet, Blackbird is so good. Especially for Brunch. Norske Scrambler.

And the Colleen Obrien...

Coupon: $5 off a purchase $20
Total Savings: $5