TBT: Tie Dyed in Door County

TBT brings us back to the 90s in Door County. If you haven’t heard of Door County, it is a beautiful place. Some even call it the “Martha’s Vineyard of the Midwest.”

We always went camping in Door County when we were little. We stayed at the same campground, which had a pool, playground, and a game room–so in kids’ terms it was pretty awesome.

It is also a gorgeous place to explore with great hiking, awesome beaches for swimming and sandcastles, many wonderful cute downtown areas to enjoy, and pretty tasty fish fries too! If you have never been there, you should definitely visit it some day. If camping is not your cup of tea, I hear they have many great hotels and B&Bs.

3 Kids_Door County

Also, don’t you love our matching tie-dyed tees! If you have to match, what better option than tie-dyed…especially in the 90s.

TBT: The Technicolor Dream Coat

This is my favorite photo I have with my dad. I think I was about 4, so it is late 80s or early 90s. I am wearing Joseph’s Technicolor Dream Coat (i.e. a paper bag I colored all over). It was a project I had done in preschool or Sunday School, as we were learning about Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors.

Emily & Dad coat of many colors

Amy and I have a pretty awesome dad. Also, if it weren’t for the carpeting and the old box tv, you would think my dad is quite the hipster.

Mr. Jack & his love of eating water

Mr. Jack is a pretty great dog. He also has a hilarious love of eating water. 

(Thanks Mom & Dad for watching Mr. Jack and catching this hilarious video.) 

Bye bye, Elantra.

This past week has been a bit crazy. I woke up Tuesday morning. It seemed like a normal day. Since I didn’t start work until later in the day, I was looking forward to a relaxing morning…until the neighbor knocked at our door around 8:30 a.m. When I answered, he said, “I’m sorry, but your car isn’t outside. It was hit last night, and it’s at the impound lot.” My neighbor also handed me the police officer’s card who came to the scene Monday night.

What a way to start your day. I had a mild freak out. I called the police department and found out the police report hadn’t been filed yet. So, I really had no clue as to what happened other than I knew someone hit my car the night before. When I called my insurance, they had a bunch of questions, to which I answered “I have no clue. All I have is my police officer’s business card and a case number.”

As I was on the phone with insurance, Matt talked with my neighbor. Apparently some girl hit my legally parked car around 1 a.m. The cops tried to get a hold of us, but we didn’t answer our door. (It was 1 a.m. on a Monday night. We were sleeping.) Our neighbor was still up, so he checked out the crash scene and kindly took information from the cop to give us in the morning. (We have a swell neighbor.)

Matt and I took a look at the crash scene. Tire marks in the grass. My car – gone. It also appears that my car hit the car that was parked behind mine, however that car didn’t get taken to the impound lot.

street

After two hours back and forth on the phone with insurance to try and find a rental car, we still hadn’t located an available vehicle. Apparently rental car companies are not supposed to say no to insurance companies when they ask if there is a car available, however when you call that car rental company they will tell you that a car won’t be available until later.

I think we went through four rental car locations. Matt had to drive me to work, and then the rental car company picked me up in the afternoon to get the car. While annoying, it worked out quite well. They called to let me know they’d be picking me up in a black Mercedes. Awesome.

Then when I was signing the paperwork, they tell me, “Oh, by the way…that Mercedes is the rental we have for you.” Super awesome. I have never driven or even ridden in a Mercedes until this week. Let me tell you, I can understand why people spend money on these cars. They are pretty freaking sweet.

mercedes

While I had a sweet rental, I still did not know the state of my own car. It was at the impound lot. All I knew was that it no longer had a rear bumper. So after work, I picked Matt up in my Mercedes and went to the impound lot. Yeah…there was a lot more damage than a missing bumper.

car4

After seeing my car, I had a feeling that it was officially totaled. I got my belongings from my car and said my goodbyes. That was the last time I saw my Elantra. 

The next day I was able to finally get the police report. It turns out that this girl had a cast on her foot. Her foot with the cast apparently slipped on the gas and made the car accelerate out of control and into my car.  My question is, if your foot slipped on the gas pedal, wouldn’t you just accelerate, not cross over a whole lane of traffic?? While the story seems fishy to me, I wasn’t there so I will never know. I am just happy it wasn’t a hit and run.

Later that day, I found out my car was a total loss. It was a good car for the year I had it. I’ll miss my Elantra. 

car goodbye

While finding out my car was officially totaled was a bummer, at this point I was pretty much anticipating that. The huge downside is that I have only had my car for a year, so I haven’t paid my loan down enough to get anything back from insurance. Luckily, I have gap insurance, but that just means I don’t have to pay my bank any money. This leaves me with no car…and unfortunately not much money to put toward a new car. Let me tell you…fun times.

Timing surprisingly played out better than I thought it would though, because my parents were planning on buying a new car. Which means they have a shiny but slightly rusty, new to me 2004 Hyundai Elantra for sale at a good price. An Accent is not my #1 choice in a car (or even #2 or #3). However, it is a car…that is not totaled…and in good condition for being 10 years old. It is not my 2010 Elantra…it will get me to where I need to be.

I do still have my rental car for the week, as I can’t get the Accent until this weekend…which means Road Trip to Milwaukee!! (Actually we have two weddings that weekend in Milwaukee, so Matt and I were already planning to be in Milwaukee next weekend.)

However, now it is a Road Trip to Milwaukee in a Mercedes Benz! Sometimes you just got to look at the upside of things!

TBT: Minnehaha Falls

A few years back, Amy was visiting me in the Twin Cities, as I had recently moved there. I decided to take her to Minnehaha Falls, which is a great park in Minneapolis that happens to also have a waterfall. 

During the summer it can be quite the busy park, but it is always worth the trip. Not only does it have a waterfall, but also scenic trails, overlooks, and river views. It is one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities.

We took our dogs too, as it is a super pet friendly park. Dogs can go on the trials, as well as run around in the large dog park.

minnehaha park

 

Happy Summer!

Ramp Beef Stir Fry

Last week, I discussed the awesomeness of ramps. So, here is a recipe to utilize those delicious ramps!

Make this recipe soon. The ramp season doesn’t last long.

If you want to make this outside ramp season, you can always substitute in regular leeks (or even green onions or shallots-or a combo of them). You will just add other leafy greens (spinach, chard, collards or kale) instead of ramp leaves during that part of the recipe.

rampbeefstirfry

You will need beef, ramps, garlic, tamari, a bell pepper and some mushrooms.

ingredients stir fry

First, chop of the ramps. To do this, you cut the leaf part away from the bulbs. Set the leaves aside for later. Cut the roots off of the ramps, then dice up the ramp bulbs and stems into small pieces.

ramps1

Saute the ramps and garlic in coconut oil for a minute or two. I personally love garlic, so I put more garlic in recipes than maybe the normal person will like. So, if you don’t like garlic, you can either cut down the garlic or omit it completely. 

sauteed ramps

Once you smell the aroma of the ramps, add the bell pepper. Saute about 3-4 minutes.

yellow bell peppers

Add the butter and tamari. Once butter melts, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Push ingredients to the side of the pan.

butter tamari

Season the beef strips with salt and pepper. Add the strips of beef to the middle of the pan. Brown both sides of the beef.

beef in stir fry

Ones the beef is brown on both sides, add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer.

water in stir fry

Cut of the leaves of the ramps and stir the pan.

ramp leaves

Once the leaves are slightly wilted, your stir fry is ready! Enjoy over rice.

finished ramps 2

[yumprint-recipe id=’8′]

TBT: Color Run

A couple years back, Amy and I (and Matt) did the Color Run in the Twin Cities. It is a super fun 5K. If you are going to run 3 miles, you might as well have fun. The only hard part of the Color Run is getting the color off of you after the race. Let’s just say we all took some very long showers to get all that color off.

color run group

P.S. Protip for anyone color running this year: Keep your mouth closed when you run through the color stations. Trust me on this.

 

It’s finally Spring! Which means Ramps!!

So here in the Midwest, it has taken awhile to see spring. BUT it is finally here! And when Spring is here in the Midwest, I get especially excited for cooking. One of my favorite foods to eat in spring is ramps. If you have never had them before, you are totally missing out. I LOVE RAMPS!

Ramps

Ramps are wild leeks. Their flavor is kind of like a mix between garlic and onion, but so much better. The versatility they offer in cooking is awesome and an amazing addition to just about any dish.

In many areas in the US that don’t experience high heat, you can even forage for your own ramps as long as there is a fresh water source nearby. While this can be awesome, I would only recommend it if you know how to sustainably forage for ramps (and other foods). Ramps take awhile to recover when harvested. It can take up to 10 years for a patch of ramps to recover, even when only 25% of the patch is harvested. There are certain areas in North America who are having shortages of ramps. It’s even illegal to harvest ramps for sale in Quebec. This article by Chefs Collaborative discuss harvesting ramps and the problems that could arise, if you would like to learn more. If you do decide to forage for ramps, please be smart about it–as we want ramps for many years to come.

So, what can you do with ramps? So, so much. You can eat basically the whole ramp. I usually cut up the bulb part of the ramp and then sauté them. This lends itself as a nice base to many dishes, whether it be a sauce or seasoning for a protein and veggies. The leaf of the ramp is great to incorporate when you finish the dish as a garnish or within the dish itself. Cook it like you would spinach. You can even have ramps raw or pickled, however I prefer my sautéed or roasted.  

ramps prep

Ramps are quite the versatile vegetable. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you make incorporate ramps in your cooking this spring or check out a local restaurant who highlights this awesome piece of produce. Just be sure to enjoy responsibly!

If you aren’t sure where to start, look out for my ramp and beef stir-fry recipe later this week.

TBT: Lazy Selfie

So TBT takes us all the way back to…May 3, 2014. Yes, less than two weeks ago. Amy and I were at our brother’s house, celebrating his 30th birthday. We decided to take a selfie together. However, Amy was sitting on the cooler, and I was sitting on a hammock. We were about 5 feet away from each other. I was quite comfy in the hammock, so I had no desire to get up. Amy was also apparently comfortable sitting on a cooler (not sure what that says about her). So, we decided to take a lazy selfie…both of us staying in our respective seats…a cooler and a hammock. The lazy selfie did turn out cute though! Proof that laziness sometimes pays off! 

lazy selfie