Obama to prove, beyond doubt, he is the coolest POTUS of all time

Obama to prove, beyond doubt, he is the coolest POTUS of all time

‎Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American president of the United States, has worked hard to cultivate an image of accessibility. He tweets, he jokes, he sings, he laughs. He made a Spotify playlist. He stopped by St. Paul’s Union Depot for a rally of rock star proportions. He cooled off with ice cream from St. Paul’s Grand Ol’ Creamery. And he ate at The Bachelor Farmer, one of the Twin Cities’ coolest restaurants. What Tiger Woods did for golf, President Obama did for government. Say what you will about his policy and politics, one thing is undeniable, Obama made the White House cool. But those are pretty minor things. He’s always been cool, and that’s not something that switches off when you become president. It’s his avid enthusiasm for the advancements and progress in science and technology that makes him truly stand out. Obama’s South by South Lawn turned grass that was once kept tidy by hungry cows into a celebration of technology, ideas, creativity, and, in a word, the future. According to the official www.whitehouse.gov, it was, “…a festival to celebrate the spirit of innovation and bring together creative thinkers and entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss how we can tackle some of our biggest challenges.” A fusion of art and tech, science and music, #SXSL brought out some of the nation’s best and brightest for a day of revelry and fun, of ideas and innovation, and for an opportunity to eat cookies with the president. Leonardo Dicaprio came out to talk climate change and saving the environment. Rapper Common wore VR glasses. The preteen cast of...
Just the tips: A chef’s secrets for perfect meat

Just the tips: A chef’s secrets for perfect meat

I’m not one to use store bought seasoning mixes, and until recently I haven’t used much dried herbs and spices.  I always want “fresh” and “from scratch.” That is, until I started using dried mushrooms to season meat.  Its a great way to reap the benefits of all the minerals and vitamins of mushrooms without the full-fledged flavor or texture of the fungi (which some people don’t understand).  This seasoning adds another level of umami to any protein, with the right salt content to make your cheeks hurt.  This is a short and easy recipe for something you can have in the pantry so I’ve added a few cooking tips for you.  Its all in the details.  Follow along and trust your instincts.  Practice makes (almost) perfect.   Meat seasoning 2T Dried mushroom powder 1T Granulated garlic 1T Granulated onion 1T Black pepper 2T Salt Grape seed oil   Directions: Combine in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.  Seasoning can be stored in an airtight container until you use it all.   Just the tips: Meat tends to cook more evenly when it’s at room temperature. Pull your meat out with enough time for it to reach room temperature before cooking it.   The bigger the piece of protein, the longer it takes to reach room temp. With a bigger the piece of meat you need more seasoning.  When you are seasoning something, you want seasoning to be a part of every bite. Depending on the piece of meat, you want to season it and allow it to sit for a period of time. This allows the seasoning to penetrate the meat...
A Payne worth having

A Payne worth having

Payne Avenue acts something like Main Street for the East Side of St. Paul, with rows of storefronts not yet ravaged by parking lots. Years of neglect have taken their toll in parts, but the street is still incredibly walkable. It looks as though it could be Grand Avenue’s less-bougie, rough-and-tumble little brother. Through its ups and downs, one thing is for sure: Payne is developing an identity all its own.   The Payne of the past Payne has a long and storied past. We won’t go into too much detail, as there are already great sources for reading up on the history of one of the city’s most interesting stretches. Payne has a history as a business hub; a neighborhood full of working-class (hard-working might be a better name) Scandinavian, German, and Italian immigrants. Hamm’s, Whirlpool, and 3M offered thousands of jobs to these East Side residents, and, up and through the 1950’s, Payne Avenue enjoyed the fruits of the American dream, lined with thriving shops, bars, and restaurants. It was a small town in and of itself. The area fell on hard times after those businesses moved away in search of more space and lower taxes. As jobs disappeared, so did the dollars that once flowed into Payne Avenue businesses; many of Payne’s stores moved or closed up shop as well. (For a more in-depth look at Payne Avenue’s heyday: What was St. Paul’s East Side like in its economic glory days?) In more recent history, Payne was best known for the infamous Payne Reliever gentleman’s club. The avenue still had a few places catering to families and residents, but once the club...
Brandon Randolph’s corn-crusted walleye with pancetta

Brandon Randolph’s corn-crusted walleye with pancetta

Can you read? Good. Read this recipe, pull that walleye out of the freezer, and make your person a nice Minnesotan meal. Cornmeal Crusted Walleye with Pancetta, cauliflower and sweet peas      yield: 2 servings Minnesota walleye is flaky, meaty and has a creamy texture that pairs wonderfully with a light crunch from a cornmeal crust.  The acidity and sweetness of the white wine, tomato and peas really keep this dish bright, while the pancetta adds a sense of umami and depth of flavor to round out the dish, making your jaw tingle with happiness.  This is a great recipe for that summer catch in the freezer dying to be eaten.   Walleye 2 6oz walleye fillet, deboned, skin scored or removed 1cup buttermilk 1/2cup organic cornmeal 1T garlic powder 2T paprika Sea salt Black pepper 2T grapeseed oil 1T butter, unsalted   Pancetta & vegetables 1/4lb Red Table Meat Co. pancetta, rinsed and skin removed then cut into 1in x 1/4in strips 1/2head cauliflower, broken down into quarter size florets 1/2c sweet peas, blanched 1/4c heirloom tomato, concassée 1 clove garlic, sliced thin 1/4c dry white wine   Directions: Preheat oven to 350f. Submerge walleye in buttermilk for 20min-1hr. Place pancetta and cauliflower into a medium *stainless steel sauté pan on medium/low heat and start rendering pancetta and caramelizing cauliflower, stirring every few minutes.  A nice low heat for about 20min will make sure you achieve crispy pancetta and crispy cauliflower. In a mixing bowl place cornmeal, paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and mix thoroughly. After the walleye has been in buttermilk for the desired time, remove...
On 5th Street: The pros and cons of a main downtown artery

On 5th Street: The pros and cons of a main downtown artery

There’s not the bustle in downtown St. Paul that you’ll find in larger cities around the country, but that is changing. 5th Street is one of the main arteries running through downtown. It has the potential to be one of the best routes for a stroll from west Rice Park to east Mears Park, and on to CHS field where the St. Paul Saints play ball. 5th Street’s pros and cons also represent the pros and cons of downtown as a whole: On the one hand, you have the Xcel Energy Center, Roy Wilkins Auditorium and Ordway Center For the Performing Arts. 5th Street takes you by some of downtown’s most important cultural attractions. The Landmark Center, the premier cultural center of the city, overlooks Rice Park and defines the western edge of the street. Built in 1902 as a courthouse/government building that saw the trials of some of the Midwest’s most notorious gangsters, the building remains as a testament to the grandeur St. Paul once embodied. Now, the building hosts two museums open to the public, the Gallery of Wood Art and the Schubert Club Museum, as well as concerts and other events supporting arts and culture in St. Paul. You will also pass the historic Saint Paul Hotel, the beautiful Lowry Building with grand Italian restaurant Pazzaluna at the base, the colorful Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts and, just shy of Wabasha, Subtext, downtown’s first bookstore in decades which operates in quiet elegance next door to the Conservatory. You will also pass a Chipotle, Starbucks and Dunn Brothers. And, on the other hand, you have The Dead Zone where there are more than...