One way to my heart…a proper Steak dinner

Over the weekend my boyfriend took me to a steakhouse to celebrate my birthday. The place we went was called Bar Harbor. I was not expecting much as it’s up in the North woods of Minnesota, but I was surprised. The atmosphere was great, just like any steakhouse in the Cities.

I started off my experience with a Blueberry Mule that was delicious and dove right into the bread basket. It was filled with the most wonderful warm crusty bread. Next came my Cesar salad. All I have to say is thank goodness for the bread so I could soak up the dressing left on my plate. It was delicious.

Next up was my Entree…a 16oz Ribeye cooked perfectly medium. It was crusty and seasoned well. It had a dollop of garlic butter on top, but it really didn’t need it. It came with hash browns, but after tasting Bryan’s mashed potatoes I would have preferred those.

Next came dessert, we were celebrating my birthday after all. I chose the Toffee Cheesecake. It was creamy and delicious.

Then, Bryan had to roll me home, because I ate way too much food, but it was soooooo good.

Christmas Tradition: Gingerbread Houses

This year we added to the Christmas Gingerbread tradition by baking our own Gingerbread.  This was half out of necessity and half out of adventure.  There were no Gingerbread house kits to be found in the small Northern Minnesota town that I was visiting over the weekend.

I think we will be adding the baking process to this tradition.  It was fun to create our little village, and the gingerbread smells it created were so warm and cozy.  It set the perfect mood, along with the snow covered ground and apple cider simmering on the stove.

Here is the The Gingerbread Recipe that we used.  I would recommend it for building, but not for cookies as there wasn’t enough Ginger flavor for my taste, but you may like it.


2 Sticks Softened Butter

1 cup Brown Sugar

2 cups Molasses

4 Eggs

8 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

5 tbsp ground cloves

5 tbsp ground cinnamon

5 tbsp ground ginger


In a bowl combine brown sugar and butter and mix until smooth, add molasses and eggs; set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.

Into the large bowl add the wet ingredients, folding in by hand.  Once combined place on a floured surface and roll out to 1/4″ thick, and cut out pieces.  There are many templates online or you could create your own.

Preheat oven to 350.  Place Gingerbread pieces on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.  Cool completely before assembling house.


2 lbs powdered sugar

1 tsp cream of tarter

3 egg whites

1/4 cup water

Combine powered sugar and cream of tarter in a bowl.  Add eggs and whip adding water until you get the consistency you like.  I like mine to make stiff peaks.