TRAVEL: Buses Arrive

VENUE: Minneapolis Convention Center, 201 South Eleventh St., 55403


Load In

Band Rehearsal: 4:00

Band Dinner: 6:00

Show: 8:45

First Day. Minnesota, also known as the “Land of 10,000 lakes” is one the healthiest states in the US.  There are actually 11,824.

Eating local and organic is extremely important therefore I chose to incorporate Great Lakes Walleye into the band’s menu today. It was a huge hit, as was the first course which was filled with fresh spring vegetables. I tried  to find fiddlehead ferns and morel mushrooms but apparently they are one week away from being in season here. I did however find some amazing wild ramps. I grilled these with a few other springs vegetables and added them to brown rice risotto garnished with purple basil and pea shoots.

In case you didn’t know, Walleye is one of the most popular freshwater fish in North America and native to most of Canada and the northern US.  It also is low in calories and fat and is a good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, and B12.

As for dessert, today was a very special day. We had a crew party celebrating two big birthdays for Sheryl’s sons, Wyatt and Levi.  We had chocolate cake with sea creatures and a vanilla Elmo with ice cream.


Spring Brown Rice Risotto

Baby Carrots, Grilled Ramps, Purple Basil, Maitake Mushrooms, and Tomato-Truffle Emulsion

Roasted Great Lakes Walleye

Savory Corn Flan, Crispy Prosciutto, Shaved Asparagus, Squash, and Carrot with Parsley Pesto


Check out my Facebook Page to see the behind the scenes video!


Behind the Scenes Two

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here’s a few more images from the rest of the week. What a blast! Thank you everyone for being so supportive.

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Behind the Scenes

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

Had a fun and productive day today in New York promoting the new cookbook. Had stops at the Today Show, Sirius/XM, and the Joy Behar show on HLN.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!




Did You Know…

  • Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German
  • Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. In 2009, roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.
  • If you happen to love this tradition however restrict you consumption of beef, try using Seitan. Preparing it a manner similar to corned beef will be surprisingly delicious and  is a great source of protein, without the fat and cholesterol.

    Corned Beef Seitan

    Seitan is prepared using  vital wheat gluten that is sold in natural food stores and some large supermarkets in sacks, much like flour. Vital wheat gluten contains approximately 75 percent protein and is great for a balanced diet.

    • 2 cups vital wheat gluten, see Note
    • 3 tablespoons ground pickling spice for meat (I use Morton or Basset brands)
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • ½ cup vegetable oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
    • 1 ½ tablespoons real maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 12 ounces dark or stout beer
    • 1 cup chopped celery
    • 1 cup chopped carrot
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 2 bay leaves
    1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wheat gluten, pickling spice, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
    2. In another bowl, whisk together the broth, oil, soy sauce, syrup, and vinegar. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until the dough is well blended.
    3. Using damp hands, shape the dough into a loaf about 1 ½-inches thick. Wrap in a double layer of cheesecloth, twist the ends closed and tie with butcher’s twine.
    4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine about 1 gallon of water with the beer, celery, carrots, onion, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
    5. Lower the loaf into the simmering liquid and cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the loaf occasionally. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain the simmer.
    6. Remove the seiten from the simmering liquid and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Unwrap the seiten and transfer to a plate. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing.

    Who is St. Patrick and What did he do?

    St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures.

    At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian.

    Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God’s-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

    Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

    Read more…

    Marinated Shiitake Mushroom and Kale Salad

    SERVES 6-8

    For the Dressing and Marinade:

    Makes 2 cups

    • 3 Tbsp Fresh Lime juice
    • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce or Tamari
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
    • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp ginger powder
    • -zest of 1 lime
    • -2 Tbsp sesame seeds(preferrably toasted)
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 cup expeller pressed canola oil
    • 2-3 Tbsp water
    • 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro(chopped)
    • 1/2 bunch scallions(sliced)
    • Sea salt and pepper

    Add vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, spices, lime zest, and sesame seeds into blender. Pulse briefly to mix ingredients. With blender running at medium speed, slowly drizzle canola oil and sesame oil into blender. If dressing becomes too thick, add water 1 tbsp at a time. Finish with the cilantro, scallions, salt, and pepper. Place in glass or plastic container and use to marinate mushrooms.

    To marinate the mushrooms:

    • 2 ½ to 3 cups Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced(~1/4 inch thick)

    Pour ½ cup of marinade into glass bowl and gently toss the Shiitakes, until well coated. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours, but no longer than 4 hours. Gently squeeze mushrooms, saving the liquid, and set aside. Add the leftover liquid back to the dressing.

    For the salad:

    • 8 cups Kale, torn into pieces, stems removed
    • 1 ½ cups cucumber(seeded, halved, and sliced thinly)
    • 2 eight oz cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
    • 1 large Red bell pepper, thinly julienned
    • 2 cups Marinated Shittakes
    • 1/3 to ½ cup “Dressing”(see recipe)
    • Sea salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup Chopped peanuts(for garnish)

    In large glass bowl, gently toss all ingredients together and and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/3 to ½ cup of dressing and coat evenly. Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Divide salad among six plates, garnish with peanuts, and serve.(Note: use leftover dressing for another day)

    Victoria Pearson Photo Shoot

    Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

    This past summer we took a break while on the “100 Miles From Memphis” tour to do a  photo shoot for the cookbook out in CA.  It was an amazing experience. This was the first time we were able to see Victoria’s creative process and how she makes such beautiful images.

    Check out the video!

    Behind the Scenes- Victoria Pearson Photo Shoot

    Livin’ la Vida L.A.

    Posted: March 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

    We recently made a trip out to LA with one of my clients.  It was a great visit, and as always the produce and market selections were wonderful. We left the day after Christmas and returned home to Franklin New Year’s Day.  We had an afternoon free and decided to head down to the beach.  We found a great little spot on the pier, picked our crab, and in about 25 minutes had it presented in front of us ready to eat.

    On New Years Eve for lunch,  we headed down to Koreatown and had BBQ…what a spread…simply awesome. Squid, Pork Belly and Kimchee!