Fireworks and Mandatory Park Visit

This may come as a shock to you, but last Friday was Independence Day here in the good old U. S. of A. My little family celebrated the 4th by going to a family cook-out, and then going to see fireworks up close and personal in Roseville, MN.


This was our first time going to see fireworks there, and I was pleasantly surprised by how un-crowded it was. Families were spread out, and we got to set up on the side of a small lake path. It felt a lot more relaxed than our usual experience in St. Paul or Stillwater and it is by far our new favorite spot.

On our way driving there, I spotted a park I had never been to: The Central Park Nature Conservitory! Yes, that’s how they really spell it on Google Maps, so I’m going with it. It’s right above the word “Fireworks” in that handy map I have above.

Less than ten measly minutes from my home, there is 52 acres public green space and 1.34 miles of trails to explore. And Google Maps tells me that the Harriet Alexander Nature Center is there too, so that’s definitely what we’re doing on Saturday.

This made me wonder- what other parks are right under my nose in the Minneapolis/St.. Paul area? Let me know some of your favorites please, I’d love to explore the cities and any place with walking trails is where I want to be.

As usual, because I can’t help myself and my week doesn’t feel right without it, here is my menu plan:

  • Monday: Sauteed Tilapia with creamy dill pan sauce, corn on the cob, green beans and garlicky rice.
  • Tuesday: Stir fried rice noodles with chicken and mixed veggies.
  • Wednesday: Meatball Subs with pasta salad and cantaloupe on the side.
  • Thursday: Spinach leaves tossed with this “Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette” and topped with marinated chicken.
  • Friday: Turkey keilbasa sliced, seared, and mixed with pepper & onions. Served over rice pilaf with a side of broccoli.
  • Saturday: For brunch I’ll be making a Dutch Baby, because no (sweet) breakfast food makes me any happier. We’ll have fruit on the side and a turkey sausage/potato breakfast hash. We’ll pack sandwiches and carrot sticks for the hike. Saturday night, we’re grilling out at the Drive In for a friend’s birthday and I expect it to be amazing.
  • Sunday: Breakfast will be plain old oatmeal, home made and delicious. Lunch will be some odd combination of leftovers . Dinner will be homemade veggie sushi, edamame pods, and teriyaki beef skewers.

PS: Last weekend I made cheese enchiladas inspired by this lovely recipe [I used a a mix of monterey jack, sharp cheddar, and queso fresco in the filling, and used fresh fire roasted poblanos instead of canned chiles]. I also made a braised chicken in a tomato/cumin sauce, cilantro lime rice, black beans, roasted corn/grape tomato/queso fresco/cilatro/green onion salad, guac and sour cream. It was fairly epic, and I definitely recommend it.

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