Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Extended Weekend

Oh My Gosh! I love Italian... culture, food, traditions. I've been to a few Italian festivals, and I love that Americans celebrate with festivals. I'm not so sure what Italians who still live in Italy think, but the festivals are entertaining events.  We had some local brews and enjoyed some music on the lawn right near the Western Gateway Park. Our meal included Toasted Ravoli and a Grinder (pork) Sandwich and Tiramisu.

The music included some big band style songs and oldies like the "Girl from Ipanema." We attempted to swing dance with Ryan, and other people loved watching us. It was a valiant attempt, but it was really just for fun. I took a swing dance lesson a LONG time ago, and I remember a few moves. It was so fun to just play outside in glorious 70 degree weather. The live music was fun to watch, and the bocce ball was just as fascinating.

We had our dessert in the Sculpture park. I wanted to see it lit up. We had Tiramisu, which I happen to like a great deal, while Ryan walked an showed her Daddy the art. We made it to the "Nomade" which it just incredible to see anytime, and people watched. That piece of art is pretty famous, and even teenages made their way to see it and have a photo op. I met a bachelorette, and Ryan and I took a picture with her. I love seeing that.  (P.S. The people in Des Moines are unusually friendly.)

On Sunday, Adam had to work, and we decided to plan a fancy dinner for our hardworking man. Ryan and I made a day of it. I decided that I missed Smoked Salmon, and I got some inspiration from Epicurious. I made my own little recipe which requires little cooking- obviously because I only use the electric skillet.  It turned out simply divine.   Here's the recipe:

Mini Polenta Cakes with Smoked Salmon, Honey Mustard, Sour Cream and Dill:


1 pre-made package of Organic Polenta (I used Melissa's Brand)
1-2 packages of wild Smoked Salmon- not the pinky lox flat kind. Real filets of Smoked Salmon Peppered preferred
1/4 red onion, sliced paper thin
1 container of sweet hot honey mustard/ or plain honey mustard
1 container of sour cream
1 organic baby dill package
good Olive oil
Organic Butter

The key to good fried polenta cakes is enough oil. I used enough to have about a quarter inch at the bottom of the skillet, and I added a hefty tablespoon of butter for flavor.
Cut the Polenta into 1/4 inch patties.
Heat the oil/butter to high. Add polenta patties.
Cook until crispy, far golden brown.

If you prefer cold salmon, there's no need to warm it. Otherwise, I microwaved it for 15-20 seconds max- just to take the chill off.

Once your polenta is cooked, while it is still warm salt it moderately. If you have the peppercorn salmon, there's no need to pepper it too.
Time to assemble:  Top the polenta cake with a slather of honey mustard, slivers of red onion, a piece of smoked salmon, a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a heaping pinch of fresh dill.

It's beautiful! Voila! Enjoy.

L'hotel delivered Sunday night! We shared with some of the guys Adam works with and I got a 10, and a 9.5. That's pretty darn good, if you ask me.  We sided this small plate with a tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad. (just add a teaspoon of olive oil and salt & pepper- and you have your salad.)

Monday, was a rest and housekeeping day. I washed clothes, and we made a trip to the thrift store. I've been trying desperately to find a bicycle to rent with a burley/chariot or a child's seat. Well, that's one thing that Des Moines is lacking. I went to the Disabled Veteran's Thrift Shop, and they had some bikes, but they were lacking. Childs seats too for 10 bucks. I almost got the seat, but I couldn't bring myself to spend a pretty penny on a not so good bike. So, we found a tricycle!!
It's a kiddio brand, made in Germany, traditional trike in primary colors. Ryan loves it! It was going to be her first real biking adventure, so we went to Copper Creek and I walked while she rode her new trike.

We had a great weekend, and we're going back home to St. Louis soon. It's not completely set up for date of departure, but we're close. It'll be nice to see the ol' homestead, and we'll probably work on our house. It'll be a good August.

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