Restaurant Spotlight: The Copper Hen

When my mom texts me saying she’s gonna be in the city for the weekend, my first question is always always always, “Will you be around to get brunch?” Thankfully this past weekend it was a firm “YES!” My dad even joined us, as they were in the city for a wedding. He’s not a huge ‘fancy breakfast’ guy, but for the sake of me wanting to try somewhere I can’t usually afford, I looked past his un-fancy palate and chose a place I had been dying to go back and try again.

The Copper Hen.

For brunch, I ordered the ‘Farmer’s Breakfast’ which consisted of potatoes, cheesy scrambled eggs, a sausage patty and the most amazing bread pudding like french toast I had ever tasted. It came with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream which I could have eaten by the bucket full.

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The sister opted for the lighter option, but regretted not ordering the apple and walnut pancakes after seeing them come out. She instead ordered their homemade yogurt and granola. She also really enjoyed it, but was in need of a bit more food for someone with such a large appetite (she can out eat her bf)!

My dad ordered the ‘pork belly benedict’ and seemed to enjoy it based on the fact that his plate was empty after five minutes, and my mom went for her safe option, ‘biscuits and gravy’ (sans eggs). She’s not a huge eater, but she almost finished her entire plate, so that’s saying something!

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My mom was also in charge of providing desserts for a party that same night, so she wanted to pick up some classy desserts to serve her guests (I’ve mentioned she’s not much of a baker). I said Copper Hen would be perfect then, because they make amazing desserts which we could then pick up as we finished up our brunch. Danielle handled our large cake and cupcake order and she could not have been a sweeter person.

I sadly wasn’t¬†invited to the party that my parents threw, so I didn’t get to try the desserts, but from the looks and smell I would have really enjoyed them. My mom also said they were incredible, so I’m gonna take her word. Besides, the scone I enjoyed at our family brunch was enough to win me over in the dessert area. It was the lightest yet butteries scone I had ever had, and was not dry in the least bit (a lot of scones fall into the super dry category).

I highly recommend heading over to Eat St. in Minneapolis and enjoying a cute brunch here! It’s now one of my absolute favorites!

P.S. they also offer Dean’s Kombucha on their drink menu which was an automatic 10 points in my book!!

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Chocolate Mug Cake (dairy, nut, sugar, grain-free)

Sometimes I just need some chocolate, and this last weekend I decided to satisfy my intense craving by trying my hand at whipping of a mug cake recipe that I have been seeing all over the internet world.

After sifting through the trillions of recipes on Pinterest I decided to just whip up one that mixed a few different recipes because I didn’t like all the ingredients in most of the recipes. In this case, it was broke, so I fixed it ūüôā

This mug cake is for the true chocolate lover because the intense cocoa powder really shines through above all in this recipe. I used minimal sweetener, but feel free to add any kind/any amount that you’d like. Mug cakes are so versatile, so I will use this basic recipe as a base for many more to come, because no one should ever be skipping dessert, especially when it takes 3 min to make!

Ignore the hideous picture because it was a quick documentation before I had to dive right into it. There was no holding me back!

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Chocolate Mug Cake

1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten thoroughly
3 tbsp water or coconut milk
1 tsp honey (maple syrup or stevia will work)
drop of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

// Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Make sure there are no visible egg pieces in the mixture.
Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the middle isn’t liquid.
Let cool and dive in! (Add a dollop of coconut whipped cream or dairy-free ice cream to make it super satisfying!

Simplest Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I can’t even remember the last day that went by where I didn’t eat a sweet potato in some form. My dinner usually consists of some kind of protein and a big hunk of orange potato. If I’m lazy I’ll just throw it in the microwave and let it steam its self, but on occasion I will put in the effort to peel it and roast it.¬†The taste of it roasted is far better but sometimes I’m too hungry to wait 30 minutes for that to happen.

The possibilities for what seasonings to put on the roasted sweet potatoes are endless…
Honey & Cinnamon
Spicy (chili powder & cayenne)
Cinnamon & Chili
Pesto Sweet Potatoes

I just roasted mine with some paprika, but I love adding bit of cinnamon or just plain salt and pepper is always delicious.

This is the easiest ‘recipe’ (not even considered a real recipe to me) known to man, and weirdly it’s always a huge hit for being just an orange spud.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil (I’ve also used coconut oil)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika

// Preheat oven to 400.
Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and add olive oil and seasonings.
Stir until all the wedges are coated.
Place on a sheet pan (make sure they don’t overlap) in the oven for 30-45 min, stirring them halfway.

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Twin Tuesday

The bond that twins can have is much deeper than people realize, and it’s the type of bond that is unbreakable.

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I’ve been reading a book called the Ice Twins, and it centers around a couple¬†from Scotland who have identical twin daughters, Lydia and Kirstie. Lydia tragically dies at the age of 6, and it leaves the other twin feeling lost without the one person she did everything with for the last 6 years. The twist in the story is that the remaining twin,¬†Kirstie,¬†claims she is actually Lydia and it leaves the parents very confused as to which twin they actually have left. The twins were so identical that they parents really don’t have any way to find out which twin they are still living with, and the horror of not knowing which twin is which is an awful thought that the parents don’t want to face.

This book really hit me hard because we are each others fall back. We have our own lives, but anytime we need someone we always have each other within arms reach. She’s my security blanket, and as much as she would hate to admit it, I’m hers. If some horrible were to happen I feel like it would affect us a lot more than we realize.

One really interesting thing they mentioned in the book is that dogs can differentiate¬†twins when humans can’t. Dogs do it through scent. I don’t want to give anything away but I feel like that fact is going to be important in the end of the book.

This is a great read, and more than ever, the story is really hitting home. We spent a lot of time apart when I went abroad and then the twin left too, and our relationship has taken a beating lately. This book is making me realize just how great I have it by being born a twin, and that I should never take it for granted.

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This is a sappy post, but sometimes I don’t want to¬†just talk about food and stupid day-to-day life shenanigans. Sometimes I want to use this blog to reflect on just how good I have it, so I never¬†forget it!

Nectarine & Blueberry Pie

I ate pie for breakfast AND¬†dessert…

But ya know what? That’s totally fine with me because the pie was covering the basic food groups (as long as vegetables aren’t one) ūüėČ

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It was also kind of my pre and post-bike ride meal¬†so it was all cancelled/sweat out on my ride, right?. I just want to say that there’s nothing better than cruising around Minneapolis on a nice bike! I’ve been meaning to do a post on my favorite places to bike, but for now, I give you pie!

This pie is the best paleo recipe¬†to happen to me since my discovery of the uses of bacon fat circa January 2015. I’ve shared the crust recipe before on the blog, but this time I took it to the next level and made a semi-fancy ‘real’ pie filling. I love using fruits that are in season so this pie was a perfect way to showcase

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Nectarine & Blueberry Pie (paleo, dairy, sugar, grain-free)

1 recipe of my Graham cracker pie crust

Filling:
1 pint fresh blueberries
5 nectarines, peeled and chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey (can use maple syrup, coconut sugar or any other sweetener)
2 tbsp tapioca flour

// Combine all filling ingredients except the blueberries and tapioca flour in a pot over medium heat. Cook it down until the nectarines are slightly soft.
Add the flour to the pot and cook until the nectarines are almost mushy and flour has dissolved.
Pour into a bowl and add blueberries.
Let the mixture sit and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
Prepare the crust and flatten dough into a pie pan.
Bake the crust for 5-7 min or until it’s slightly golden.
Place the crust in the freezer for 30 min.
Remove from the freezer and pour the filling into the pie pan and continue baking for another 15-20 min.

Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread

Don’t ya just love those baskets at the farmer’s market that say 1 for $1?? I do, and apparently I’m a sucker for them because I bought a HUGE¬†zucchini last weekend.

I hate zucchini.

The texture is too watery and mushy for me. I can usually roast any veggie and make it taste good, but zucchinis have no hope in my mind. So what do I do with a massive zucchini sitting on my kitchen counter for 4 days? Make bread! I also happened to have a few bananas on their last leg so this is the perfect recipe to put some of your lost fruits/veggies to good use.

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Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread (Recipe adapted from Everyday Ungrained)

1 small to medium zucchini, grated
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 tbsp raw honey (can sub coconut sugar or maple syrup)
1 ripe mashed banana
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

// Preheat oven to 350.
Grate zucchini and ring through a towel to remove the moisture.
Mash banana in a medium bowl and add eggs, honey and zucchini.
Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.
Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
Bake for 40-45 min or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the loaf.
Place on a cooling rack and it’s best enjoyed at room temperature!

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Twin Tuesday: Weekend Update

When Mom comes to town, you know it’s gonna be a fun weekend!

My lovely mother came from our hometown to spend a short weekend in the great city of Minneapolis. She has season tickets to the local theaters,¬†so she spent her Saturday afternoon at “Kinky Boots.”

The twin (and her bf) and I (the perpetual third-wheel) met up with our mom¬†at her swanky hotel bar for some drinks after she checked in around 9 pm. She loves a good quality drink, so I tend to follow suit and splurge a bit. She knows that all hangovers usually result from drinking bad quality alcohol, so might as well cough up the big bucks to feel better in the morning. Amen to that, Mom, but you’re paying right?? ūüėČ

The twin and I got up early on Sunday to hit up the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market for some of my favorite brown eggs. At $5 a dozen I don’t feel bad buying them every once in awhile. Our mom then picked us up for brunch. We chose to eat at Third Bird¬†in Loring Park and honestly, I’ve never made such a good decision in my life!! <—- exaggeration

The brunch menu had everything I love in a breakfast place. In fact, they didn’t even serve pancakes, but I was completely over it after seeing a SCONE listed FIRST thing on the menu and ‘CHEDDAR BISCUIT’ listed SECOND! Gimme Gimme all the carbs! Though I haven’t had a single bite of bread in over 2 weeks, I was happy to splurge a little at the expense of my stomach. FullSizeRender-3 Nothing on their brunch menu didn’t sound incredible. They have everything from leek omelets to cheddar grits with poached eggs to muesli. I ordered the ‘Classic Breakfast’ which came with 2 eggs, bacon, hashbrowns (still drooling over those) and a biscuit, AND of course their ginger and lemon scone! I haven’t felt so satisfied by a breakfast in a long time. The twin got the muesli with sausage and biscuits on the side. Even though she was sitting in direct sun and literally dripping through the entire meal she thought it was great, and that’s saying a lot. We aired her out by taking a stroll around Loring Park before saying ta-ta to mom for awhile. FullSizeRender-4 It’s always good when family comes to the city. Not only because they feed us very well, but we get to catch up on what everyone in our small family has been up to since everyone is off doing their own thing. The twin and I caught up a bit more later for some wine along the Mississippi River to end our weekend ūüôā