This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at http://connermccall.com. Images and links are likely to be broken.

Where, When, What 4.10

This will be the first post in the series that deviates from the question of Where? Today's post is a when, and it might even be considered slightly cruel. Let me know when this photo was taken.

Good luck!

Art Sleds

Saturday I went to the annual art sled rally at Powderhorn park. I arrived about an hour late so I missed some of the excitement, apparently there was a Santa sled. Still I had a good time, got some sunshine, only lost two toes, and managed to avoid falling while walking down the sledding hill. Here is a slide show of the photos I took. Here is a link to the set.

A Weekend of Eating

As usual, I spent my weekend eating and drinking more that I should have. Friday night I went to Barrio and had a pretty good dinner, nothing that totally blew me away, but dang good food. Saturday, I tried Black Sheep pizza for the first time. I was really excited to try finally try their pizza. I recommend a stop there if you are in the neighborhood, or even if you are not.

That evening, my friend Nicky hosted a sushi making dinner. We were taught by her friend Peter how to put together the rolls and then to roll them. We had some tuna, salmon, and sea bass. All were really tasty and the rolls were excellent.

My friend Neely who broke her wrist a short time ago even managed to roll some sushi with one hand.

Sunday, I went to brunch at Red Stag Supper Club. I've gone there a few times for dinner, but this was the first time I had their brunch. It was excellent. I ordered one of their daily specials which was a crab cake, served with eggs and greens. It was fantastic. Unfortunately, I left my camera in my car and didn't get a picture of it.

Finally, on Sunday night, Nicky once again hosted a dinner party, this time with our friend Erica. They made some amazing Asian dishes.

We were served bacon wrapped dates.

Spring rolls served with a lemongrass peanut sauce. Yumm

This soup was incredible, the broth may have been some of the best I have ever tried, and the salmon was to die for. We were served creme brulee for dessert, but I was too excited to eat it to take a photo of it.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend of eating, I'll hopefully be posting some photos of the Art Sled Rally and the Art Shanties later this week.

YES!

Ok, enough about food, photos, and all that other jazz. Apparently, Joe Mauer just agreed to a 10 year contract extension with the Minnesota Twins. I'm currently doing a pretty ridiculous dance in my cube.

I love that team.

Yes, I know it's just sports, but I really don't care right now.

Edit: Getting conflicting reports about the signing now, which bites, but hopefully the first report is true.

Friday Five 1/29/2010 Edition

After a brief hiatus due to me being extremely lazy after getting the School Night Badge on Foursquare, Friday Five is back. This week contains a bit of humor, some music, one excellent writeup about social media "experts" and a comic about arguing. Enjoy

  • Have you seen Dessa's new video? If you haven't you should check it out, immediately.
  • Minus Manhattan catches a glimpse a bundled up teddy bear. Proof that even stuffed animals aren't made to live in this crazy weather.
  • MN Headhunter calls out the many social media experts. He has ruined my dream of putting "social media expert" in my twitter bio and making six figures.
  • Rachel is losing control of her pillow.
  • Instructions on how to make your point in an argument.

Finally, I'm posting this even though it's heartbreaking, but read about Monkey, and then go hug your pet.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone, stay warm and enjoy the end of the first month of 2010.

Pizza Night

It's been a while since I made a pizza at home. In fact, it's been so long that I had to lookup the dough recipe. Tonight, I remedied this and whipped up a tasty pie. I made a change to my dough and used stone ground flour. It added a bit of depth to the crust and I think I'll use it again.

I topped this pizza with an onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning blend, a bunch of mushrooms, pineapple, and some whole milk mozzarella. I baked it and once done topped it with spinach. I wasn't overly happy with how the spinach cooked up, but it was still better than baking the spinach on the pizza.

Looking at the photo it's obvious I'm still getting used to my new lens.

Where, What, When 3.10

First an announcement, I think I'm going to start giving away prizes for this. Nothing big of course but something to reward those who guess. I haven't gotten exactly what I'm going to do down yet, and it won't be a weekly prize. I'll figure it out soon. For now just know that it will most likely help to guess, even if you aren't sure of the answer. Oh, and if you happen to be a company that wants to help sponsor this weekly feature by donating potential prizes, let me know.

Last week I chose a pretty easy picture, but this week should be even easier. I really liked this shot and hadn't published it before for some reason.

Happy guessing.

Formspring - Sweet Potato Fry Sauce

What would be a good sauce for sweet potato fries? I've yet to find one that pairs "just right" with it. I know the answer won't be Chipotle mayo . . . by emilysaysso

Definitely not chipotle mayo, and not chipotle ketchup either. Smokiness does nothing to enhance the fry.

The problem with this question is that sweet potato fries vary in quality so much. If you get a good batch, the sweetness comes through, but usually you get the fries that have been frozen and they lack a lot of that sweetness.

But that's beside the point, we need a sauce that compliments the texture, the sweetness of the potato, and the saltiness (since anyone who doesn't salt sweet potato fries is crazy). Ketchup doesn't work because it's already sweet, it works great for potato fries, but isn't quite right for sweet potato fries. I think you need a savory sauce. Aioli has been done and it's a just not right either.

Here is my idea, combine the tartness of the tomato from ketchup with the savory of an aioli. I think a sauce using sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and cracked pepper. Blend that together and you might have something. It'll be the consistency of a pesto so you may need to add it to mayonnaise to make it work.

Of course I could be completely nuts and it could be awful.

Dieting is for Suckers and I'm a Sucker

Let me start off by saying that I hate the concept of dieting. Diets can be good for some people, but usually only work for as long as they are on them. What you need to sustain your weight is a lifestyle change, and those are hard.

What does that have to do with me? Well I was doing really well at this time last year. I was the skinniest I had been since high school, felt great, was starting to move down to pants sizes I barely remembered. Then I moved into Minneapolis, my social life expanded, and I fell right off the exercise bandwagon. I didn't notice it at first since I wasn't weighing myself and I thought all the walking I was doing would keep the weight off. I was wrong.

This weekend I got on the scale for the first time in quite some time, and I was appalled. I weigh almost 20 pounds more than I did when I first moved to Minneapolis. Now, part of the problem is going out way to much, part is portion control, and a good part is a lack of exercise. These are all things I am aware of and can fix if I put my mind to it.

The problem is that I want to lose those 20 pounds at an accelerated (yet safe) rate. So I'm putting myself on a diet. First of all, I'm going to bring back the no-meat pact that I made in September, only instead of no meat for an entire month, I'm going to stop eating meat during the week. This means that from noon Sunday (come on, you have to have bacon at brunch), until Friday at dinner time, I will not be eating meat. I'm going to start eating more beans, more dairy, and other alternative protein sources. Secondly, I'm going to avoid eating pasta for the entire month of February (an exception will be made for Mac N Cheese tour). This is going to be one of the toughest challenges for me. I love spaghetti, ravioli, and every other type of pasta you can think of. It's my go-to main course and I think that has to change. It just has too many carbs and I tend to eat way to much of it. Hopefully forcing myself to learn to cook alternative dinners will help me expand my cooking horizons and help me cut back on the amount of pasta I cook once February is over.

So I'm technically putting myself on a diet, but I consider it a short term solution with what I hope are long term implications. I think reducing my meat intake to 2-3 days per week will be huge, and of course broadening my cooking horizons will be a fun adventure. I intend on raiding the Minneapolis Central Library for cookbooks this weekend.

Finally, I have joined a gym, and my friend Nicky will be making me go until I start making it a habit. Of course I have been going three times per week without much effort since I joined two weeks ago. I even went to Cycle to the Movies on Saturday and biked for a hour and a half. This is the really important step because I don't want to have to limit what I eat forever, and I know that once I get myself to where I want to be again, if I keep exercising and eat a reasonable diet I can keep it there.

Formspring Questions 1/25/2010

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

I have no idea, I always end up biting. But if I had to guess, I think it's somewhere around 37.5 licks.

If you started a new blog, what would the topic be?

Well first I should say that I have tried and failed to start many new blogs. Usually it's an attempt to have a place to write about technology, or politics, or some other topic I convince myself doesn't belong at my main site. But I generally end up just coming back to Conner's Blog.

I think if I was going to start a new blog it would be about food. Restaurant reviews, recipes, photography, and other tidbits. Maybe someday I will actually make it happen.

Where would you most like to take photographs? by briannepitt

This is another tough one, there are just too many choices. In the USA I have to say Glacier National Park gets my vote. Of course the fact that I've been there a few times kind of sways my vote, I'm sure in two years I will have found at least 2-3 other places I would love to spend time taking photos.
Worldwide, I would have to say the Andes seem like a fantastic place to take photos. I think I would travel to Peru or Argentina if I was going somewhere just to take photos.

If you magically became a chef, which one restaurant in the Twin Cities would you want to chef at?

Wow, this is a tough one. My first instinct is to go for something like La Belle Vie, Vincent, or 2021. After thinking about it for a bit though I think I'm going to have to say Brasa would be my choice.
Part of it is my love of their food, but mainly it's because I truly enjoying cooking that belly warming comfort food that Brasa makes. I'm not opposed to lighter fare, but when I'm looking for something I know I am going to be happy with, Brasa is definitely in my top two or three places.

Ask me anything.