I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jim Kowalski, 1946-2013. Rest In Peace.

Eleven months ago, after staying home and raising my family for almost eight years, I walked into my neighborhood Kowalski's and asked for a job. For the next six months, I learned how great a part time deli job in my corner grocery store could be.

When I walked through the doors that day, I had a passion for food and for customer service. I had no idea to what extent Kowalski's held those same passions. All that, and they were giving their employees the opportunity and tools to become better people at work, at home, and in their community.

I have been a fanatic from day one.

Five months later, I was promoted to full time with excellent benefits to an assistant deli manager position. I hold that position now at the first Kowalski's store that was built from the ground up, in Woodbury. The corporate offices are upstairs. I see that family every day.

I only had a few conversations with Jim Kowalski, but I remember the first and the last very well.
In the first, I was the New Kid in the Deli. I was fresh and excited, and even though I got teased by some of my coworkers for doing it, I couldn't help going up to him and Mary Anne when they visited my store to tell them how much I loved my job, and how much I appreciated the company that they had created. (It's not brown nosing if you're honest, and I genuinely loved my job every day at Eden Prairie.) The Kowalskis told me to keep that spark, and I'd go far in this company.

On Monday, I'm being transferred again, and start working at the original Kowalski's store.
In the last conversation I had with Jim, I told him I was moving from Woodbury to Grand Avenue. He told me, with a twinkle in his eye, that that one was his favorite. "It's no secret. I love that store."

Thanks, Mr. Kowalski, for 30 years of vision and excellence. Thank you for building a company that people stay with for decades (and generations). Thanks for keeping good food and good citizenship at the forefront of your vision. Thank you for providing the perfect place for my passions to be focused and appreciated.

I hope I do make it far, and as corny as it may be, I hope I make you proud.

Rest in peace, Jim.  And love to your family.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Apple Pie

Hello, Autumn.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


My son is turning 5 on Tuesday.  Today we celebrated with a few of his friends.  
The theme: ROBOTS!

I decided this year that instead of little paper baggies full of cheap crap that breaks right away, I'd make T shirts for favors to give the guests of my children's parties.  They go over like gangbusters, and my kids LOVE to have them.  For these I bought some foam blocks and cut out the robot part shapes, then used them as stamps.  I used puffy paint for the eyes, mouth and 5 on the chest.  Then I outlined the whole thing and added antennae with green glow paint.

Each child gets their name on the back of the shirt, outlined in glow paint, too.  

Robot cake: I made two 9x9 squares.  I used one as the body (slimmed down a little on the vertical sides), and cut the other into four squares.  One quarter for the head, one cut into the two arms, the other two I shaped into the two feet and the two claw/hands.   Box cake, homemade buttercream frosting, a little bit of white sparkle gel icing.

Big thanks to all my Twitter people who helped me when my frosting separated.  I chilled and re-mixed, and all was well.  You guys rule. 

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Radish Math

Toast + butter + sliced radishes* + kosher salt = Delicious Springtime Snack

*French Breakfast Radishes are pictured here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Overnight Prep

Soaking cannellini beans and salt-and-sugar curing lamb shoulder overnight for tomorrow's supper.

I'm trying to simultaneously respect the cold weather this weekend and pray this is the last snap of the season. Slow-roasted lamb does this girl's soul good. And I've been dreaming of these beans for months!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Birthday Season

 My husband, daughter, mother and I all have birthdays within 16 days of each other.

This year, my daughter wanted a SPACE themed party for her 7th birthday.  Here's the cake I made.  It's the solar system.  And yes, Pluto is represented.  I'm old school like that.

I used this pan for the sun, and this for the planets (both purchased at Michael's).  The planets are dipped in different colored candy melts, with the rings on the gas giants made of candy as well. --  I spread an oval of melted candy on waxed paper, let it dry, peeled it up, then cut out a circle the size of the cake pop and fit them on the planets.  
The Sun cake has buttercream frosting on it because it's the best frosting in the entire world. I used chocolate box cake for both cakes, following the directions on the pan for modifications involving more or less oil and eggs.  The Sun cake stayed moist forever.  

Happy birthday, big girl!  May you always follow your own star!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Tomorrow is my daughter's 7th Birthday Party.  The theme is SPACE.  I have done definitely ridiculous and possibly awesome things. WATCH THIS SPACE for pictures and stories.  

Hand Made Tee Shirts!
Hand Made Games!
Craft Projects!
She invited BOYS!
Ice Cream! (Duh)
Solar System Cake! (Including trendy-three-years-ago-cake-pops!)

I have outdone the Jessie party. Or at least I intend to.  The party's not til 2pm tomorrow (11 hours away including a few that will be spent sleeping), so, you know, I'm not really done prepping/started decorating/iced the cake yet.

It's gonna be AWESOME!!