Friday, June 29, 2012

"Restaurant" Review: Target Field

View of skyline from inside Target Field
Even though April has a tendency to be unpredictable when it comes to weather, its still one of my favorite months. It's finally Spring (spend a winter in Minnesota and you will understand), the days are getting longer, and BASEBALL SEASON is finally here. Mark and I are big baseball fans. I can't think of a much better way to spend a weeknight then relaxing at a ballpark and watching some baseball. What makes it even better is that Target Field is an outdoor stadium and we live 10 minutes away.

Luckily for us the winter was kind this year and uncharacteristically warm. So when our friend Daren offered for us to tag along to the April 14th game against the Rangers we jumped on it. Not only were we excited to watch our first baseball game of the season, we made a pact to try different food items at the ballpark this year. Usually, we go with the reliable and delicious hot dogs or a bag of Angie's kettle corn, but Target Field offers a lot more, and this year they added some items that sound too good not to try.

Of course, I did my research before we went to the game. This is a must for me because I like to actually sit and watch the game, not stand in line and wrestle my way through the crowds. New Target Field food choices for 2012 include: a mega meatball, a baked potato bar, fried pickles (totally up my alley, but Mark isn't a fan), garlic fries, buffalo mac n cheese, and a bacon sloppy joe.

Restaurant Review: Ecopolitan

Tara and I both grew up in small towns, and were always dreaming of the day we were able to move to a metropolitan city. That dream finally came true almost two years ago. The thing that excited us most was probably the incredible, but daunting, choice we had of restaurants.

The first restaurant that I can remember Tara telling me that she really wanted to try was Ecopolitan. Being uncomfortable with vegetables in general, I was hesitant to try it. After about a year of steady conditioning (working up to eating an entire serving of vegetables in a day!), I was finally ready to take on the raw food hippie haven that is Ecopolitan.

(4.6.12) It was a study day for me, and I decided to drill some problems at Dunn Brothers in Uptown (they roast their beans fresh on site, but that's a whole other post...). Before long, it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon, my head hurt, and we hadn't yet eaten lunch. I packed up my things, and turned my thoughts to where we ought to go to lunch. The first place in the area that I thought of was Ecopolitan, and that's where we ended up going.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oatmeal Pancakes For One (No picture)

Who doesn't love pancakes? Especially ones made by your grandmother on her seasoned cast iron skillet. Yum. My favorite part about spending a Saturday night at my grandmother's house was always waking up Sunday morning to a hot pancake breakfast. I haven't had those pancakes in years and she has just recently passed away, but those pancakes will always be a cherished memory.

The problem with pancakes however, is they are high in calories and leave me hungry within hours. Talk about not getting a bang for your buck. So what is a girl to do? Create a pancake of sorts that is healthier and filling while still satisfying her maple syrup soaked plate craving. I mean, if the pancake itself is healthy I get to put extra syrup on top, right?

Around 95% of the time my breakfast is a bowl of cold oatmeal and grape nuts infused with banana. It's delicious and gives me energy after my workouts. But sometimes I want something a little different. About six months ago I went through a phase of trying to put oatmeal in everything. I made savory oats, oat flour bread crumbs, healthy oat flour banana muffins.... You see my love for oatmeal is brand new. It had been absent from my life until I decided to give it another go about a year ago. And oh boy am I happy I did. I love the stuff. As it turns out, I just didn't like the prepackaged, already flavored crap in the boxes they sell at the store that didn't tickle my fancy. I also prefer mine oats thick and cold but this is turning into a rant for a whole other post....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches (Freezable)

While I think we can all agree, Mark especially, that McDonald's breakfast sandwiches are delicious, most of us would prefer to have these sandwiches waiting in our freezers for us to reheat. And I am not talking about those boxed frozen breakfast meals in your grocer's freezer. This is definitely the case in our household on a lazy Sunday morning when we are still in our pajamas at noon. This is also the case for my cousin Josh, who often finds himself traveling unexpectedly.

For one of our Sunday breakfasts a couple months ago, Mark and I had decided to create homemade english muffin breakfast sandwiches and they turned out wonderfully. They were much leaner than the ones from fast-food restaurants but just as tasty. Upon further research I discovered that we could freeze them individually, which was the perfect solution to lazy Sunday morning breakfasts and unexpected travel.

So if you like McDonald's breakfasts as much as Mark try this simple, make ahead meal.

Basic Ingredients
This recipe can easily be adapted based on personal preference.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Restaurant Review: La Belle Crepe

After our lunch date to Buca di Beppo we took a stroll down Nicollet Mall. While doing so I spotted a restaurant that I had mentioned wanting to try to Mark. The restaurant is a little nook inside the Medical Arts building called La Belle Crepe. As you can imagine, they serve crepes and even though we had just eaten lunch, we stopped in to check the place out.

Sink area inside La Belle Crepe

We were amazed that they somehow fit a counter, kitchen, sink, and four stools into this tiny space. We were also surprised to see the variety of crepes that they have on their menu - both sweet and savory with lots of options for fillings.

While we were there the girl working was making some nutella crepe batter. That pretty much sealed the deal for Mark. We settled on coming back a week and a half later after our dentists appointments for a lunch date. But before we left, Mark ordered a nutella latte because he loves coffee and nutella is amazing. While I wasn't crazy about the drink (couldn't taste the coffee), Mark enjoyed it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Restaurant Review: Buca di Beppo (Downtown Minneapolis Location)

Mark has a pretty big family so every year on Thanksgiving we draw the name of one adult in the family to buy a gift for on Christmas.

This year one of Mark's older sisters and her husband drew both of our names. Instead of buying us separate gifts, his sister asked for ideas of things we could use together. So obviously I gave her a list of a bunch of restaurants that we had been meaning to try because you MUST go if you have a gift card, right?

Sure enough on Christmas morning we received a gift card to Buca di Beppo. We were thrilled because it was one of the restaurants on the top of our list. Not because it looked extravagant of anything, but they had a bright marquee sign with their name on the building and it intrigued us. 

One Sunday afternoon in March (3.25.12) we just happened to be hungry AND in the vicinity of the downtown Buca location. Naturally we stopped in for lunch to use that gift card that had been burning a hole in our pockets for months.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: I AM COFFEE

About three months ago Mark and I decided that we should start a journal of all the cafes/restaurants we visit as a way to scrapbook the experience (what we ate, weather, surroundings, etc). We try and write our notes no more than a day later to keep our thoughts fresh. Since we are on a mission to use less paper, the reason for the blog, we decided to start from the beginning of our journal and post the things we wrote here. First up: I AM COFFEE!

After one Saturday morning run around Lake Calhoun in March (3.25.12) we were driving back to our apartment and Mark thought he saw a coffee shop called I AM COFFEE. Since we had been meaning to scout out some new coffee shops (there has to be more to life than Starbucks and Caribou, right?), we zig-zagged our way back through the one-way streets to get to the coffee shop.

Vegan Caramel Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting (Twix Cupcakes)

"Twix Cupcakes"
Last week one of our best friends, Daren, and his little brother, Jeff celebrated their birthdays. We got Daren a two year subscription to Motor Trend magazine and we got Jeff a Chicago Bears candy dispenser (I know.....a Bears fan).
Chicago Bears Candy Dispenser

To celebrate we tagged along on their birthday dinner to Daren's favorite restaurant, Buca Di Beppo, where we had fettucine alfredo, pepperoni pizza, chicken parmigana, etc. The next night, we went out to Benihana, which is ALWAYS a good time. But more about that in another post...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Omelet

Strawberry and Spinach Omelet

Every Saturday morning Mark, Chloe, and I get up early and go for a little family run. Its the only day of the week that Mark and I can workout together and I really look forward to it (its usually what gets me through my Friday workout). We usually go over to Uptown and run around Lake Calhoun, or we run a loop around our apartment building.

A couple weeks ago Mark and I decided it would be nice to it change up a bit. Now that the weather is nice and the farmers markets are finally opened, we thought it would be fun to take Chloe downtown and run around the city until the market opened.

We went to the Mill City Farmers Market and decided that this trip would be to scope it out. It was our first time ever going to this particular market and we were a little overwhelmed (and excited) at the size and number of vendors. However, we knew going in that we wanted some kind of leafy greens, and I was ecstatic to learn that the first of the seasons strawberries were available.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hi, We're the Welchmeyers

Tired of wasting paper, and losing track of our photos and notes, we decided to make a place where we can scrapbook our lives... without the scrapbook!

The name Running out of Apples came about while brainstorming names that were fitting to our lives, and we always seem to be out of apples. We buy them twice a week, and eat them everyday!

After learning that Google will not let our 2-1/2 year old puppy create an account, we lied and said that she is 23.

Without further adieu, let us introduce ourselves:

1. Mark- I like playing Yahtzee, watching movies, and chasing our puppy around.
2. Tara- I like being in the kitchen, watching sports games (go Pistons and Tigers!), and "hunting" bunny rabbits with our puppy.
3. Chloe, the puppy- Likes sleeping on laps, pointing "wild" animals, and begging for food.
4. Zooey, the turtle- Like basking in the "sun", sleeping, and eating dried shrimp.

 The Welchmeyers on Chloe's 2nd Birthday