IMA’S BEER GARDEN + EASTER + LOVE DOES + RUSH + HOUSE PARTY POTATOES

Date night has become a consistent occurrence and it is now the highlight of my week. I look forward to spending time with just my man and it’s fun to pick where to go each week. This past week, we split the date night in half – I chose the first place and he surprised me with the dinner spot.

I had been wanting to visit the IMA’s new beer garden since it opened the first weekend of April and it was just as I had imagined it. My only complaint is that the beer list is limited – you can choose between a Sun King pale ale and a stout. We had the stout and found a seat next to the greenhouse. With 25,000 blooms, you’re guaranteed to find a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy a beer. Admission is $18, so if you’re not a member, plan to stay the day.

You can only access the beer garden by first entering through the museum and then out through the back doors, past the Lily Oldfields house. I have a membership, so there was no pressure to get our money’s worth. We spent about a hour and a half and then headed to our surprise dinner location.

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After the IMA, we ended up in Speedway, the home of the Indianapolis 500. Nick loves racing and I am hooked on Formula 1 (we DVR it). I had never been to Big Woods, so we sat at the bar (shaped like the IMS track) for a drink and we split the James Beard B-town burger. High quality meat, green chilies, brie, and mustard. The service was great and we both love the small town vibe full of racing history. It’s as American as you can get.

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The building across from Big Woods is a bar that has a go kart track inside, so we went there first to watch a group of kids whip around the course.
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Burger perfection.

I started reading Bob Goff’s Love Does last week and it’s a perfect read for the Easter holiday. I’ve followed Bob and his wife Maria on social media for years and I finally bought his book. So many timely lessons throughout and I dog-eared every other page to re-visit because the quotes are so good. Bob shares examples of love (big and small). He used to put PB&J sandwiches on the dashboard of Maria’s car while he was courting her to date him. He got into law school by literally begging the Dean to give him a chance. And he lives every day to the fullest.

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Next for your random, the movie Rush is a must if you’re a racing fan. We watched it last night after NBC Sports showed Niki Lauda on tv during the Formula 1 race in Bahrain on Easter. Niki is one of the best drivers in the history of F1 and was severely burned in a crash during a race in the 1970’s. Amazingly, he was back in the driver’s seat only six weeks later. He is now an advisor for Mercedes’ AMG team, which makes the story even more interesting to me. We bought the movie, but Google says it’s on Netflix, so definitely watch it the next time you’re aimlessly searching to find a movie.

Now onto the recipe: house party potatoes will change your life forever. A whole lot of cheese, sour cream, and an excuse to eat cereal all in the same dish. We had this with ham and green beans on Easter and I may never make potatoes the same again. The hashbrowns are far superior to your typical au gratins. While I wouldn’t recommend eating this everyday for your health, it’s worth every calorie.

HOUSE PARTY POTATOES

Recipe via Brown Eyed Baker

  • 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (32-ounce) bag frozen diced hash brown potatoes (about 7⅓ cups). Cubed potatoes works too.
  • 2½ cups Corn Flakes (Mix with a little melted butter before topping)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, shredded cheese and sour cream. Stir in the potatoes, breaking up any frozen chunks. Spread in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Stir the potato mixture and sprinkle with the corn flakes cereal. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes.

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photo via Brown Eyed Baker because I ate it too fast to take a photo.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with family and friends!

XO, Libby

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