Category: We love Food

The Fieldhouse: Clear Lake, Iowa – Farm to Table

fieldhouse

If you’re looking for the newest and greatest food scene in North Iowa, look no further than Fieldhouse in Clear Lake!  With it’s farm to table menu, cozy setting, along with park & lake views, it can’t be beat!  With an every changing menu and farm fresh supplies, this is a unique dining experience that will blow you away!

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Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries & Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and these Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce prove that to be true!

Growing up in a family where meals were meat and potatoes, it’s been  a tough transition to cutting carbs down!  I’m also a big texture person when it comes to food, so I have to be strategic about cooking things that are good for me otherwise it makes me not like them!

Growing up in my family, the other part of food was growing our own food!  We grow green beans, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, etc!  While we don’t have room to grow a little bit of everything, my dad does and he loves to share, so sweet potatoes are easy to come by!

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Healthier Taco Skillet – Ready In Less Than 30 Mintues

The holidays are fast approaching and we all feel our pants getting a bit tighter! Thanks to this Healthier Taco Skillet, you can worry a little less! When you live in Iowa in the winter, all you want to eat are comfort foods! Comfort foods are usually associated with words like creamy, gooey, cheesy, etc! That also usually means they pack on the fat and calories too!  I knew I needed an ooey, gooey comfort good without all that, so I came up with this dish!

Eating Clean

I’m in a round of the 21 Day Fix right now! (I know, how many times have you heard me say that?!) But, seriously, I have to stay after it or my addiction to sugar just goes crazy!  A good friend of mine is a coach and decided to run this challenge before the holidays and I thought it was a great idea, so I joined in!  For the most part, I’ve done REALLY well (except for that ice cream on Saturday night and that Oatmeal Cream Pie on Sunday night)!

Thanks to Iowa, I’m craving warm comfort foods sooner than normal!  We seemed to have skipped over fall for the most part and our temps are already consistently in the 30’s and have even dipped into the 20’s already!  UGH!  It’s going to be a long winter at this rate!  Thankfully, I have this new Taco Skillet in my arsenal to help me get through it without having to just eat salads when it’s so cold out!

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Crumb Topped Apple Pie

Getting to bake is one of my favorite things to do!  Getting to share my baked goods with other people is just the icing on the cake!  Or, the ice cream on the pie as it would be for today’s recipe!  This Crumb Topped Apple Pie (with a secret ingredient) is one that I recently shared with some friends and I loved getting their feed back!

Crumb Topped Apple Pie

 

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The Barrel House & Ice Cream – Dubuque, Iowa

Supper at The Barrel House and a snack of ice cream set the tone for our outstanding trip to Dubuque, Iowa a few weeks ago!  While we were there, we grabbed 2 full meals and a snack!  Breakfast in the morning was a Caroline’s Restaurant which is in the Hotel Julien and we highly recommend!

The Barrel House

For supper when we arrived in town, we headed to The Barrel House and what a treat it was!  It’s location is super handy when you’re staying at the Hotel Julien as it’s right across the street, which is one of the reasons we selected it!

T’s selection at the Barrel House!

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Easy Instant Pot Tomato Sauce

Last year I canned tomatoes for the first time.  This year I decided to tackle tomato sauce.  But,  if you’ve learned anything about me, it’s that l like things to be as easy as possible in the kitchen!  So, when people were telling me that I needed to blanch tomatoes, take the skins off, deleted them, roast them with lots of seasonings, and other things, I thought…surely this has to be easier.

Of all the produce that our garden has produced this year, our tomatoes are some of the best.  Big, firm, and standing tall!  They may have been slow to turn, but I’ve been patient as I knew this would be worth it in the end when I have homemade tomato sauce this winter!  I’ve discovered that the older I get, the more joy I get in preserving our food through freezing and canning for use later.

My Instant Pot ready for making tomato sauce!

The Recipe

Thanks to my friend Jenny over at In the Kitchen with Jenny and my other friend Mary, over at a Natrual Soul, I talked through things and did indeed find that it could be easier!  So, between these friends and my Instant Pot, I now make what I’d like to consider is the worlds easiest tomato sauce.

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: varies
 
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • ¼ c water
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the trivet in the bottom of your instant pot and pour the water in the bottom.
  2. Fill the pot with the tomatoes, washed and whole, along with the onion that has been cut into quarters!
  3. Drizzle olive oil over all and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the lid on with the valve set to steam and turn on to manual for 5 minutes.
  5. Once done, do a quick release.
  6. Drain all the juices from the tomatoes and onions and place in a blender and blend until smooth!
  7. Can or freeze.

 

After cooking in the Instant Pot

Cooks Notes:

  • There aren’t a lot of measurements on this recipe because it is a lot up to the cook!  Some batches I put more onions in, sometimes it was more garlic!
  • 1/4 cup of water may not seem like a lot, but the tomatoes produce so much of their own juices that you don’t need any more!
  • No, I don’t remove the skins or seeds!  The seeds don’t bother us and I believe the skins add a thicker texture!
  • Yes, it really is that easy!  I have a large drawer full of tomato sauce ready for the winter thanks to this recipe and my mom (who does my canning)!

I hope you find this recipe helpful and as easy as I did!  Enjoy tomato sauce year round!

Tomato Sauce

Other tomato sauce recipes from Iowa Bloggers:

Healthy Roasted Tomato Sauce from Farm Girl Cook’n

Easy, Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce from Simplify, Live, Love

Traditional Slow Cooker Sunday Red Sauce from Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats

 

Sweet & Creamy Strawberries – Keto Friendly 

I recently started eating Keto style and these Sweet & Creamy Strawberries are the perfect snack to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Most of you know that I have tried eating “clean”.  It didn’t work for me.  I can only eat so many stalks of celery before I need something of substance.  Several of my friends have adopted the Keto lifestyle and so after much research and talking wit them, I decided to give it a whirl!  Before I go any further, I want to say that I am not an expertise in Keto and not a professional, so before you decide to take on the lifestyle, please do research with those that are!

Finding What Works For Me

One aspect of Keo is high protein and high fat and very low carb.  I’ve actually come to discover that I love carbs, but they don’t love me.  I love cereal, muffins, and bread, but it makes me so bloated.  So, this diet has been great for me!  However, I’ve struggled to find low carb snacks to curb my sweet tooth!

We also have started a strawberry garden this year!  T has loved giving these “ladies” as he calls them extra attention and producing the sweet red berries for me to enjoy!  Next year I’ll have an abundance of strawberries and this will be the perfect way to use some!

strawberries
One of the many strawberries from our garden

Fruit is something I’ve always loved and love experimenting with recipes.  This yummy fruit recipe can be used as a side or a dessert!

Sweet & Creamy Strawberries - Keto Friendly
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 T Swerve
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 3 cups diced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Begin by whipping your cream until somewhat frothy
  2. Add the cream cheese, Swerve, and almond extract and mix thoroughly
  3. Fold the cream cheese mixture into your strawberries

Cooks Notes

  • Swerve is an all-natural sugar substitute.  Any natural (no calorie) sugar substitute will work for this recipe.  You may just have to adjust the amounts based on what you use.  You can also use real sugar if you aren’t worried about those calories!
  • Your whipping cream will not whip up into an actual cream.  You aren’t using enough (or in my case, didn’t have the patience) and that’s ok!  You just want to whip it until frothy!
  • Stir your strawberries real well before eating or serving.  They will put off a natural juice and you will see “water” or juice sitting in the bottom of the bowl!  This juice just helps to spread things around, it’s all good!

I love enjoying these Sweet & Creamy Strawberries for an evening snack!  They are perfect for satisfying my sweet tooth, but not getting me off track with my diet!  If you want something extra special, toss a few dark chocolate chips in with your strawberries! YUM!

Eating & Drinking in the Twin Cities

T and I were privileged during our recent trip to Roseville, MN to enjoy some great restaurants and a brewstilary!  For me, because I love food as much as I do, the food can make or break a trip for me and thankfully Roseville and St. Paul now have a special place in my heart because of the good good we ate!

Bonfire Wood Fire – 850 Grand Ave, St Paul, Minnesota

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a bite in the St. Paul area, Bonfire Wood Fire won’t disappoint!  It is located in a fun neighborhood and the first thing I noticed when we came upon Bonfire was it’s appearance.  I loved the look of the building from the outside with its fun and brightly lit sign along with the piano and drum set that were being set up for entertainment.  How can you not love music on the street?

Once we entered, their decor automatically got me!  I loved the combination of modern and rustic.  The finishes were top notch and extra special.

With a small, but varied menu, you won’t be disappointed!  Meals like the Spit-Roasted Chicken and the Signature Walleye are sure to please.  The rustic, but modern atmosphere just adds to the delicious meal for an overall great experience!

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The Minnesota State Fair: A Must

This was not my first visit to the Minnesota State Fair! In fact, it was actually my 3rd or 4th visit. I do however consider myself an expert in fairs! Not only was I involved with the Franklin County Fair in my hometown for more than 10 years, T and I love visiting different fairs and especially the Iowa State Fair!

So, what’s so great about the Minnesota State Fair?

Things To Do

You will not, I promise, run out of things to do at the MN State Fair!  The choices are endless!  If you have small children, we recommend heading to Math On A Stick!  Created as a way for kids and adults to both enjoy mathematical skills without actually doing equations, there are several stations that challenge kids to use their logical and creative brains at the same time!  The stations can change each day as well!  The day we visited, there was  a station that used balloons to create different shapes, etc.  Even the big guys found it entertaining!

The creator of Math On A Stick explaining the concept to us!

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