Madden’s Food and Wine Weekend Aug. 22-25, 2013

For any foodie within the state of Minnesota, this is the prime event of the summer for you. If you are an enthusiast of good food and even better wine, you’ll not want to miss out on this opportunity. The nation’s best and Minnesota’s best celebrity guest chefs team up with Madden’s chefs for a culinary experience you won’t soon forget. Because Madden’s did such a great job providing an online schedule, I won’t spend time reiterating what they’ve already composed. What I will say is that this looks like one fantastic weekend for anyone looking to have top class food and participate in a wide variety of culinary activities.

Guest vintners offer tastings and the appropriate wines for each event. Guests will have the chance to personally interact with renowned chefs through a number of activities, demonstrations and educational sessions.

All I can say is, come hungry and be ready to have an outstanding weekend filled with culinary delights.

Information on tickets and packages can be found on their website here.

Call 218.829.2811 to make a reservation.

A little background

Madden’s on Gull Lake, self-described as Minnesota’s Classic Resort, is located on Gull Lake near Brainerd, MN. Brainerd is located in Crow Wing County, about 2 hours North of Minneapolis and is a hot vacation spot for many Minnesotans. You’ll have to travel a little farther north to reach Gull Lake, but don’t worry, the drive isn’t far. Madden’s offers a variety of serves and entertainment for family vacations, weddings, business events, or anyone looking for fun recreational activities.

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Yum! (More Updates)

… Yum! Cafe and Bakery Continued:

At this point, I hope someone has caught on to the fact that I post a lot about breakfast foods.  There is a good reason behind this habit of mine.  I, simply, adore breakfast!  Hands down, it is by far my most favorite meal of the day.  Not only do I need to have breakfast to get through the day, but many of my favorite foods are served: coffee, eggs, french toast, eggs benedict, specialty pancakes, muffins.  The list could go on and on.  I hope it would come as no surprise that my updates from Yum! Cafe and Bakery heavily focus on their breakfast menu.  Sadly, they don’t have this menu posted online to look at so you’ll have to make due with my experiences.

I had a day off of work so I decided to head over to Yum! to grab a good breakfast and catch up on the news from the StarTribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota.  I went with the Spinach scrambled eggs because, 1. I love the taste of spinach and the amount of iron it contains and 2. I wanted something cheesy, and 3. it came with breakfast potatoes!  This one was a winner!  I would highly recommend this one for anyone in need of a filling and hearty breakfast.  P.S. their breakfast potatoes are amazing.  They are always soft, well seasoned, and never greasy.

Scrambled eggs with spinach, diced ham, cheese and topped with bean sprouts.
Scrambled eggs with spinach, diced ham, cheese and topped with bean sprouts. Served with breakfast potatoes and a side of toast.

I love when my friends come to town and spend the night (Garrett, I’m talking about you) because we always end up stopping at Yum! for brunch.  On our last excursion of Yum!, we decided that life’s too short to wait for dessert (What movie? Scroll to the bottom to find out!) so we had it first before our breakfast came.  For me, one of the necessities of summer is having a slice of key lime pie.  I don’t know what it is, but the flavor always reminds me of summertime; thus, I can’t properly say “it’s summer” without a bite out of this pie.  Yum! did not disappoint.  Just look at the heaping topping!  Complete with a graham cracker crust and a lime filling that was silky smooth, it’s safe to say that this did not last long between the two of us.  I’d like to meet someone who didn’t like this pie.

Key lime pie
Yum!’s delightful key lime pie for two.

During that same visit, I went with the Southwestern eggs scrambled as seen below.  Overall, I thought it was okay.  To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of having the tortilla chips mixed in with my eggs.  Since my buddies and I were having casual drinks last night and munching on tortilla chips, I didn’t really want more of them in my breakfast.  In reality, the chips didn’t hurt the flavor of the meal, but the texture was off in my opinion.  This morning, I most enjoyed the potatoes.  Hats off to the cooks because their breakfast potatoes are always cooked perfectly and complete my breakfast cravings.  These potatoes were cooked up with peppers and onions.  Of course I love them because the peppers added a little “kick” to the overall flavor.

southwest, eggs, tortillas, breakfast, minneapolis minnesota
Yum!’s Southwest scramble is tossed with tortilla chips, onions, and topped with fresh salsa. Served with breakfast potatoes and a side of toast.

Remember my reference to eating dessert first?  The reference was from the movie “Remember Me“, starring Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin.  Kudos for any of you movie buffs who got that right!  If you enjoyed this post and would like to read about my other visits to Yum!, check out my last blog post here.

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery – St. Louis Park

A little background

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery is a bustling upscale casual cafe located in St. Louis Park, close to Lake Calhoun.  In keeping to their tradition of fresh and exciting options, the menu changes twice a month and offers ingredients that are seasonal.  Along with a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Yum! has an incredible bakery that compliments their specialty coffee drinks.  This is one gem you do not want to pass up.  Thanks to the folks at LoriFinkProductions, you can watch their video that will show you a little bit more about Yum!’s owner and see many of their delightful dishes.

YouTube: Click here to watch it now!

My thoughts

When my fiance and I were looking for apartments in the twin cities metro area, I couldn’t help loving the idea of living close to this cafe!  Yum! has quickly become one of my favorite places.  It’s my go-to for a well-crafted coffee to start my morning…or any other time of the day.  Also, given to ever changing menu, it keeps me coming back for more!

On top of the menu, their service is top-notch as well.  They are always friendly and offer great suggestions for when you cannot decide what to order.  Plus, the wait for your order isn’t long.  Now, enough gushing about how much I love this place, lets get to the main dish!

Caramel mocha latte with a rhubarb upside down cake

For starters, I had to try their specialty coffee.  Above is a caramel mocha latte brewed to perfection.  While it was too sweet for my taste (I always like my coffee a little more on the bitter side), I was still in caramel mocha heaven.  I recommended it  to one of my best friends living in the area as well, and she absolutely adored it — she prefers her coffee on the sweeter side.  If you’re like me however and prefer something a little bitter, talk to the baristas.  They recommended that I try a simple caramel latte.  That did the trick!  I’ve been hooked ever since.

As for the rhubarb upside down cake, it was a pastry dream.  Super moist and not incredibly sweet.  The white fluff on top is a generous serving of whipped cream that complements the tart of the rhubarb wonderfully.

Sausage Burrito – slow scambled eggs, yum! sausage, pepperjack cheese,
potatoes, peppers & onions served w/ pico de gallo
& totilla chips

On another endeaver to Yum! for breakfast, I skipped the pastries and coffee this time and went for the sausage burrito shown above.  The portions where more than enough and it was a perfect ratio of potatoes to sausage.  All I can say is that it was one of the best breakfast burritos I’ve ever had.  If you are in the mood for great breakfast options (most of them involving eggs) check out Yum! Kitchen and Bakery.

More images and reviews from Yum! to come.

For a full view of their menu, check out the links below:
Online menu