A Feast @ Piccolo

We finished a great girls day with a fabulous dinner at Piccolo, a recommendation from Chef Bill (courtesy of his research on what tops Anthony Bourdain’s Minneapolis list).

We choose the five course meal instead of individual plates because it pushed the girl to be more adventurous in her meal choices. She felt five courses seemed like way, way to much food, so I had to explain to her that amazing places provide many courses of small plates so we get to try more options.


The girl: A summer soup. Not sure if she would order again…and starting to wonder about if she really is a 12 year-old foodie.

The madre: Watermelon “gazpacho” with chèvre, radishes, chervil and olive oil jelly.  I could have eaten two plates!


Both: Potato gnocchi with Swiss chard, anchovies and soft cooked duck egg; the girl was not too sure about the soft cooked duck egg.


The girl: She choose a pork dish. And liked it. But we forgot to take notes or a photo. Should have blogged immediately after dinner.

The madre: Chicken, veal brains (yes, I ate them and tried not to think about it. I know, ironic), potato gratin.

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The girl: Lamb breast with goat chesse croquette – Her favorite dish of the night

The madre: Quail, cherries, pistachio puree…oh, yum


The girl: Crepe with raisen sauce between the layers with a dolup of vanilla ice cream on a bed of toasted pine nuts

The madre: A chocolate tart with infused (and accompanied) by bold orange flavors

The Location:

Piccolo | 4300 Bryant Ave. | Minneapolis, MN | 612.827.8111 | Website

Girls Weekend

Cupcakes. Shopping. Olympics. And plane ride. All good things to include in a weekend with my girl!


  • First stop. Food trucks. Well, just one. A truck dedicated to cupcakes. And not just any cupcakes. Cupcake War winning cupcakes.
  • After lunch at Hell’s Kitchen we strolled thru their Angel Food Bakery upstairs. Another cupcakes to try. While they filmed an episode of the “The Cooking Channel” less than ten feet away.
  • Strolled around the area, then headed back to our hotel for the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony and room service. The girl kept mentioning that she never stayed in a hotel this nice (Grand Hotel). And, my favorite part was the free wine at happy hour each night. What a great night in!


  • Sleep in, getting up in time to see the first heats of swimming.
  • Followed by lunch at Mosaic Cafe, a delicious feast where my girl ate – and liked – black beans. A first!
  • A crazy taxi ride to our Mississippi River boat cruise that disappointed. Who wants to travel a river to look at a bunch of run down factories and broken bridges? We did find delight in a few facts, including being amazed at the muddiness of the water.
  • A nice stroll back that included dipping our toes in the river, a walk across Nicolett Island and back into downtown.
  • Then found a complete treasure in the cake pops at Cocoa & Fig
  • And we finished a great day with a fabulous dinner at Piccolo.


  • All about shopping at the Mall of America (finally. Walking at least part of every floor. Finding a special treat sweatshirt at the Life is Good store, a good motto to wear any day!
  • Followed by a big, fat hug and a send off for a week with the other side of her family, including a very happy reunion with her six girl cousins!

Already looking forward to our next girl’s weekend! Repeat!

PDX Dining

The Lunch Hour:

We hurried out of town on a sunny Saturday morning with hopes of making it to P-town before our stomachs were too rumbly. We made it!

I choose the Mediterrean Tuna Pita — Tuna, Egg, Tomatoes, Greens, Olives, Cucumbers with Olive Oil in Whole Grain Pita. Light and yummy. Love the house-made pepper sauce.  And for a side, we shared the Pastrami Cheese Fries. This very large plate of fries were first covered with shaved pastrami and melted cheese. And left with bagels and rugula for afternoon snacks and breakfast.

The Location:

Kenny and Zukes | 1038 SW Stark St |  Portland, OR |  503.222.DELI | Website

The Evening Meal:

Discovered for the first time during a Girls Night Out, we returned to the Urban Farmer for an evening out.

Since it was a late dinner, we took the approach ordering a few plates:

  • Charcuterie, including house made spicy sausage, hot mustard
  • A selection of cheeses, cow, goat, sheep
  • Farm Fries, tossed in fresh herbs
  • Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie, salted caramel, apricot, toffee nut popcorn, malted milk chocolate ice cream

And we accompanied with a bottle of wine: Hartford Family 2007 Zinfandel Russian River Sonoma

The Location:

Urban Farmer | 525 SW Morrison St | Portland, OR | 503-222-4900 | Website

Plan B

Thunder. Thunder. Thunder. Remove all swimmers from pool deck. More thunder. More. A strike of lightening. More thunder. After 2+ hours, we give up on the return to the pool…

And headed to lunch. The girls were cold and wanted soup. I had already checked in with my favorite personal shopper to prepare a selection for me to review later in the afternoon. So, we headed to the Nordstrom Cafe for soup (which turned into a lot more). And it gave me a chance to unwind from the morning chaos with a glass of red wine.

And Anniversay Pre-Sale. The girls hit their tent. And their shoe tent. While I retired to my very full dressing suite (it is too big to be called a room). I scored!

  • Love all the leather and leather accents for fall. Fell in love with a leather jacket.
  • So happy to have deep reds be the hot color for fall. It has been too long without anything new in my favorite shade. Especially the color blocks.
  • Jeans. I haven’t bought new jeans in way too long. She found a new cut that fits right! Fabulous.
  • Of course, add a few dresses and blouses and my fall wardrobe feels refreshed.

Now, onto the shoe – I mean boot – section. Two pairs of boots and a pair of AGL’s round out my purchases. What a fabulous shopping day!

I thought I won by wearing out my two companions as the back seat of the car was eerily quiet on the way home. And the proof.

Summer = Pool

Jones Drinker by Night. Fly Girl by Day.

For the sixth year in a row, Memorial Day means it is almost time for summer swim to take over our daily routine. Swim practice every day after school (plus a night or two a week with club swim team) Dual meets a night or two a week. Once school’s out, 7 AM practices (plus club swim practices). All the swimming also equals extra grocery shopping to keep up with the food intake of a growing, swimming 12 year old. Oh, and we had to watch swimming every night to see who would fill the USA Olympic Team slots.

Last week, I captured a few great shots of a race while the setting sun was just right to bounce off the water. She is so proud of the photo that she asked to submit it to Jones Soda, hoping she may see it on a label some day.

Me and My Girl

A day for us…what fun things does she have planned?

Sleep in. What lazy fun day doesn’t begin with staying in bed as long as possible? And this one was snuggled and warm and talking about random things. Including today’s plans. And the rest of the summer plans.

Cafe Besalu. Her absolute favorite pastry shop – filled with French treats right here in Seattle. Fruit tart. Whatever fruit is fresh. And oddly enough, a cardamon pretzel. Yes, cardamom, a spice usually found in Indian dishes.

Shop. What 12-year-old doesn’t love to shop? And mine loves to be downtown. We started at the Nordstrom flagship store. Found a few new shirts including one that says who she is. The front reads “Very Independent”. Next we hit the cooking stores – found a must have cupcake decorating book. Now off for a great after lunch.

What a FABULOUS day! Glad she still wants to spend the day with me once in awhile.