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Three Things to Eat This Week: July 19-24

Run away this week with a taste vacation in Ireland, on the beach, or in Little Mekong


A baked treat from The Farmette Cookbook

Imen McDonnell

When I was a little girl, my solution to the unjustness of my happy home (parents that requested I at least consider eating a vegetable, refusing to allow me to stay up until midnight as a six year old – the big stuff) I would run away. By away, I mean I would fold up my favorite possessions; some saltines for sustenance and head to a nearby field. There, on my spread out blanket, standing face into the wind as the long grasses whispered secrets to me, I could be anywhere. While most kids might have not have been quite so dramatic, who doesn’t dream of running away? This week, when the temperatures soar and the undeniable stickiness pervades your every action, let’s consider running away to a place where the grass is so green it almost hurts the eyes and lovely ladies bring us tea and biscuits frosted with butter the color of gold.

farmette cookbook

Irish Tea with Imen McDonnell
Meet the woman who is living the dream: she married a dashing Irish farmer and actually left Minnesota for Ireland. They now reside there with their son and she shares all the stores, and beautiful imagery on her award-winning blog Farmette. McDonnell has also just released a cookbook featuring those stunning pictures and delicious recipes. She’s making a few stops while stateside to promote it, and this Saturday at Kitchen in the Market, she’s hosting a proper Irish tea. I have to say, I've already attended a small welcome luncheon for her and Sarah Kieffer (who has her own cookbook forthcoming) prepared the dazzling dessert pictured above. Dishes from The Farmette Cookbook will be served at this tea service from noon to 2 p.m. There will be an elegant, nibbly menu and her book is available for purchase and signing. Tickets (without book purchase) are $35 and can be purchased here. Me, I’m going to take a stab at preparing this hazelnut, vanilla slice from the book.

Tiki Tim’s Fish Tacos
While imagining running away, I decided to literally run away—just for a moment. I just booked a ticket to visit one of my very best friends in San Diego. This is the girl that I told all my twenty-something secrets to (there were a lot.) She got me through my most devastating break up by playing Ani DiFranco and Exene Cervenka, shared snuggles with her young son, conquered New York City with me, and shares the honor of also possessing a name used by dish soap. There are so many things I’m looking forward to, but at the top of that list is, of course, fish tacos! We have so few outlets for outstanding fish tacos in town since we’re so far from the ocean. To tide me over, I’m going to try down Tiki Tim’s bright blue van and order some of theirs. Perfectly fried, full of flavor and the exact kind of messy fun eating that is best appreciated during the summer. Track them down on Twitter. (And P.S.—anybody have a San Diego spot that I can’t miss? Let me know!)

Little Mekong Market's Green Papaya Salad
My final destination in this week that reads like a final Showcase Showdown trip will be Little Mekong on the 23rd and 24th. It’s so much fun to take my kids over to University Avenue (we usually try to park by Western Avenue, but it’s right on the Green Line) and take in all the fun. This year there’s even an interactive exhibit from the Children’s Museum. There are booths with things for sale, dancers, music and so, so much food. This is where I first tasted Lola Rosa’s addictive Filipino fusion cuisine (and fell utterly in love with it.) With the sweltering temperatures I’ll be able to indulge in my summer favorite: green papaya salad so spicy that it makes even the hottest day feel tame by comparison. Entry is free and the food is really reasonably priced (bring cash).

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

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