Saturday, August 17, 2013

BLT Love

Maybe it's that I'm a summer baby.  Maybe it's that we wait so long for this weather.  Maybe it's that I just plain love summer.

Whatever it is, I have more summer comfort foods than winter.  BLT 's are one of those foods.  Granted, I could make a BLT year round, but it is not the same as an August BLT.  A BLT from ingredients from the grocery store, organic or not, just cannot compare.

Fresh from the farmers market meaty tomatoes and tender lettuce.  Thick peppered bacon from Bar 5 Meats and Grandma Hazel Seed Bread from A Toast To Bread .  This bread, oh my.  My daughter said it best as she took in the aroma as it toasted- 'this is REAL bread.'  I normally avoid bread, but this was ah maze ing.

An August farmers market BLT... hands down the best.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hoa Bien Vietnamese Restaurant

One of my favorite restaurants when I am craving lighter food is Hoa Bien.  It is located on the corner of Lexington and University in St. Paul.  Hoa Bien is a Vietnamese restaurant, and to me, much better than traditional Chinese, which tends to have more fried items.

What I love most here is their noodle soups and salads.  They are made with glass or cellophane noodles.  They also offer non fried spring rolls, which are made with a rice noodle wrap.

My son ordered the won ton soup the last time we went to Hoa Bien.  We expected broth and won tons, maybe a few green onions.  We were amazed at the number of vegetables in the soup.  They were bright and fresh, perfectly cooked in the broth, which was flavorful without being oily or salty.

This is the side of vegetables that comes with the rice noodle soups-

And of course, my Hu Tieu Nam Vang or Clear Broth Soup with Seafood-

Hoa Bien always satisfies the craving for a light, filling meal.  The noodle salads are wonderful in warmer months, when you don't want heavy food.  And the soups are great comfort food in the winter when you are craving something warm.