Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is one of those great holidays that you can never forget what day it’s on. Unless, of course, you don’t know that cinco means five and Mayo means May. If that is you, you probably should have taken Spanish is second grade.

Cinco de Mayo was last Sunday, and celebration ensued. Although not quite on par with St Patty’s Day, Cinco de Mayo is definitely a boozey holiday, and pretty much every bar around the Twin Cities offered some sort of Cinco de Mayo deal. The bar scene’s not really my style, so the only celebration I partook in was hosted at the lovely apartment of a fun and fabulous friend. This party made every bar in town look downright lame. The decorations were festive:

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And the food was AMAZING. There were blue corn chips and chicken enchiladas:

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Beans with veggies and brown rice:

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And – the essentials – salsa and guacamole:

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The salsa was of the mango variety. Everything (except the chips) was homemade and utterly delicious:

chopping cilantro

chopping cilantro

I filled my plate with chicken enchiladas, beans, and plenty of chips plus salsa/guac:

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Food + friends = smiles all around

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Punch with optional tequila was still present. 🙂

Biking and El Nuevo Rodeo

Friday morning it was a beautiful spring day. Sort of like this…

beautiful Spring Day on a country road - spring Photo [source]

Okay, so I might be slightly exaggerating. But it was really nice outside and it seemed appropriate to bike to work. By 4 o’clock it had turned to this:

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You might think it was just rainy, but it was actually more of a sleet/snow that turned to water when it hit the ground. Needless to say, by bike ride home was not the greatest. I was not wearing appropriate clothing and I got soaked:

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Oh well! After I showered and changed, I had dinner with some friends at El Nuevo Rodeo. It’s a Mexican restaurant in south Minneapolis on Lake Street. I hadn’t been there before, but a friend of mine had a deal for them from Have you ever heard of I hadn’t, but apparently it’s a groupon-esque sight for just restaurants. We started with chips and guac (obviously):

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The guacamole was good and had hints of jalapeno and cilantro. I ordered fajitas for my main meal. I was very hungry when the food arrived, so I forgot to take a picture. They were good though. I’ve noticed that at a lot of Mexican restaurants they give you heaping portions of rice and beans with your meal. The portions at El Nuevo Rancho were much more reasonably sized. The fajitas came with meat (I got combo chicken and steak), onions, and bell peppers. They were delicious. Others at the table got flautas, chile relleno, and chicken mole enchiladas. I tried the mole sauce. It was very rich and tasty but might be a little dense if you eat too much.

We were there fairly late, and by the time we finished our meal it was happy hour. So as not to waste a perfectly good happy hour deal, one of friends ordered the Coco Loco – malibu rum, gin, coconut cream and pineapple juice served in a COCONUT!

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Everyone at the table thoroughly admired the presentation. Overall, I liked the food, but I wasn’t so smitten that I would go back here as opposed to trying the Mexican food at another establishment. If anyone knows a great Mexican restaurant in Minneapolis, let me know!


Curried Onions and Eggs

I have been really into eggs lately. Specifically, soft-boiled eggs. They are a great protein source for lunch or dinner, they are SUPER easy to make, and they are incredibly versatile. Since eggs last a long time in the fridge, they are especially convenient for keeping around to use when there’s not a lot of other food in the house. Last week, I was preparing to leave town for 8 days (more on that to come), so I didn’t want to buy any meat or other protein that would go bad if I didn’t finish it. So, eggs were the obvious choice. 🙂 Here is how to make the perfect soft boiled egg:

Bring water in a saucepan to boil. You will need enough water to fully cover whatever number of eggs you want to cook:

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Once water is boiling, add in the eggs. You will want to use a spoon to place the eggs into the water. If you just drop them, there is a chance they will crack by hitting the bottom of the pot:

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Cover the eggs and simmer for 5 minutes (timing is important, so set a timer). Once the eggs are soft-cooked, drain the hot water from the pot immediately and refill with cold water. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for a few minutes:

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Once the eggs are cool, peel and eat or store in the fridge. These particular soft-boiled eggs were made to be served with…brown rice, curried onions, and spinach!

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The curried onions were also an “I don’t have a lot of food in the house and don’t want to buy more” concoction, and they turned out great. All you need is one yellow onion, a little butter, and some curry powder. Heat the butter (I used a couple teaspoons) in a skillet:

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Once the butter is melted, add in a few shakes of curry powder, adjusted to your spice preference:

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Add in the chopped onion:

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Cook until translucent and beginning to brown, stirring frequently (it took about 10 minutes for me):

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Put everything together…

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Delish! Also, as a side note, the brown rice I used here was the quick cook kind. But, instead of using regular water to cook the rice, I used coconut water with a tiny bit of coconut cream. This gave a really nice flavor and a touch of creaminess that I enjoyed. I would recommend it as a pairing with curry and other similarly spiced foods.