Throw a Super Bowl party with crowd pleasing food!

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Whether or not your favorite team will be on the field this Sunday, it is always fun to watch the big game. The Super Bowl just isn’t complete without good company and some tasty finger foods! Lucky for you, our brand new “General Store Holiday Cookbook” has an entire section devoted to recipes for your Super Bowl party. Some of our favorite recipes include our very own Chef Michael’s take on “Yucatan Table Salsa”, “Fire and Ice” – a hot and sweet combination of sweet pineapple salsa and spicy pita crisps, and “Beer Battered Onion Rings” that taste just like the ones from your favorite burger joint. Is your mouth watering too?  

Keep reading for one recipe from the Super Bowl section of our cookbook. This one is super simple and is a real crowd pleaser!

Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip

1 cup real mayonnaise

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

16 oz. can non-marinated artichoke hearts, drained and mashed

10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Minced garlic

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Spread mixture in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbly. Serve warm with crackers or crusty bread.

Mmmmm! Thanks to Deb Christensen from Zimmerman, Minnesota for submitting this tasty recipe. 

Welcome Back to Our Blog!

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Look at those hats!

This photograph was taken in April of 1984, shortly after the General Store building was opened.

29 years later, we are communicating with our customers via Facebook, Twitter, and now this blog! Look how far we’ve come! Though we have encountered many changes throughout the years, there is much that remains the same. Our friendly staff, for instance. Five out of the six women in the picture above still work at the General Store!

After being absent from the blogosphere for a while (a year and a half to be exact), we are back and ready to gab about our favorite things! This blog is a venue for us to share some of our fun new products and our most creative ideas. If there is something you would like to see here, let us know! We want to hear your voices. At the General Store of Minnetonka, we truly do love our customers!

White Jeans After Labor Day!

That’s right…wear your bright whites proudly after September 5th.  As a 7-year-old I proudly wore my white patent leather shoes all summer long, but as soon as the calendar flipped to September, I knew my beloved white shoes would be a “no no.”  A good fashion rule?  Yes and no.  Yes, we should begin to transition our wardrobe as the weather cools and the leaves begin to turn.  No, we should not pack away clothing solely because of its color.  Proudly wear your white trousers jeans with a fall hued top—try a deep purple.  Add a beautiful scarf to bring home the fall look.  Pair your skinny white jeans with a chunky sweater.  Trade the strappy sandals or flip flops in for closed toe flats or boots.  These are just a few simple ways to incorporate your favorite white jeans into your fall wardrobe.

StyleMax

Our first trip to StyleMax clothing show in Chicago was a HUGE success!  Within the first couple hours of the clothing show we found line after line of affordable and trendy clothing!  We will start to see these new lines in the General Store as early as next week!  As a matter of fact, we found so many great things that we are expanding our clothing area (as I type this)!  We bought lots of great new styles…but remember if you love it, you better get it when you see it…. because we know these great new things will fly off the shelves.  Happy shopping!

We’ve Been Busy!

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last wrote — but we’ve been busy!

The highlight of the summer for all of us at the General Store was no doubt the Fabian and Bobby Vee Concert. If you didn’t know about it, we hosted Fabian and Bobby Vee here at the store in early August for an autograph signing as well as a concert later that night at Minnetonka High School. It was so much fun — especially for my sister Gail, who grew up completely crazy about and idolizing Fabian and Bobby Vee. (Even to this day she still gets flustered and her cheeks get red when she sees them.) How cool is it that she was able to sponsor them as a fundraiser for her alma mater, Minnetonka High School! That would be like my daughter, Lucy, being able to bring Justin Bieber to MHS in 30 years. (Something tells me Fabian and Bobby Vee have a little bit more staying power than Justin Bieber, although, who knows?)

Gail on stage with Fabian!

Now that summer is over and the Fabian and Bobby Vee concert has passed, fall and Halloween are on our minds at the General Store. It’s so much fun to make changes in our displays. I’m also ready to start decorating for Halloween at home as well.  I just got a new set of “BOO” letters that I’m excited to put in my front entry — along with a few battery operated orange and black candles. I might even add a ghost for a spooky effect!

And that brings us to now, the end of September — which is when we are starting to put our Christmas items on display. We’ve already added our Christopher Radko ornaments to our “jewelry” room and Jensine has finished putting out almost all of the Northwoods items — the woodsy, cabin, lodge, and wildlife Christmas goods. It looks beautiful and almost makes you anxious for some snow to fall, but I guess we can wait a bit for that. We used to pull a few all-nighters and, “magically,” all of the Christmas items would be on display — but that took its toll on our sleeping patterns. These days we set everything up over the course of a few weeks. Our goal this year is to have all of our Christmas merchandise on display during the week of October 4th.  It’s so much fun to see all of the new things … right away your mind starts thinking about what you might want to add to your holiday décor at home and how you can freshen up your existing décor.

Jensine hard at work!

Speaking of which, this year I think am going to be on (I haven’t committed yet!) the “General Store Holiday Home Tour.” Every year the staff gets together and visits several staff members’ homes to see all of their Christmas decorations. It’s fun to be one of the hosts, but I have to start the planning now! After seeing some of the homes last season, I also have to kick up my decorating a notch or two!

This week we are working on the Center Court area, and the Country area. Stop in soon and see all of our great new holiday décor items. Oh yes, and you probably want to start making your Christmas list soon as well!

Gold or Silver?

Recently I have talked to several customers and friends that have expressed interest in trading in their yellow gold engagement set for a white gold or platinum set.  So I thought this was a good time to ask you (our customers) what you prefer—Silver tones or gold tones?  Yellow gold and now even rose gold are making a comeback in the jewelry market.   Is it making a comeback in your jewelry box?  I find myself naturally drawn to silver tones (my wedding set is white gold), but I do love to shake it up a bit and wear my vintage gold locket, layered with my gold toned “mommy necklace.”  The great thing about today’s jewelry trends is that it is OK to mix metals.  Pandora Jewelry has really helped the mixed metal look.  One of the most popular looks from Pandora is the silver bracelet with a solid gold clasp and a mix of silver and gold beads.

Pandora Bracelet

Not only is it fun to mix the metals, but it’s perfect for you if own a gold wedding set, but love silver!  I’d really like to know your favorite…

Silver or Gold?

  1. Naturally a silver girl.
  2. Gold baby!
  3. My jewelry box is a melting pot.  I love them both!

Baseball, summer and wine!

The first baseball party of the year was two weekends ago — the night before the boys’ first game. It was a stormy day that turned into a beautiful evening and then got stormy again. As we gathered on the coach’s patio overlooking the lake, Eileen, the coach’s wife, brought out some new wine glasses. They were really cool plastic stem-less wine glasses and were not made from that really hard plastic that looks like it will crack if you drop it or hold it too tight. And they’re not made of the plastic that gets cloudy after a few trips through the dishwasher. These looked almost like “squeezable” crystal glasses. All of the parents could not stop talking about the wine glasses – they were the hit of the party. And I was thinking, “I should get these for the General Store.” Almost at that very moment, a few moms told me, “Liz, you should get these for the General Store.”  OK. I’m on it. All I needed to do was find the brand name. It was dark outside, but the light from the fire as well as the moon – and even a few flashes of lightning – helped me read the name: “Go Vino” wine glasses. I made a few calls Monday morning and we had them in the store by Friday!

 I can only imagine how popular these are going to be this summer — great for the boat, deck or pool. They would also make an awesome hostess gift, or a “thank you” gift. Kyle and Eileen will be getting another set as a “thank you” for watching Jack last weekend while we were at Katie’s graduation and Lucy’s volleyball tournament.

 Here at the General Store, we travel to quite a few gift shows each year to find the best of what’s out there. But, sometimes we find great items and lines while spending time at friends’ houses.

 Feel free to leave a comment if there’s something great you’ve discovered that you think would be perfect at the General Store! I can’t promise we can carry everything… but I’ll check it out!

 Here’s a GO VINO toast to some warmer weather and many more summer parties!

 Go TONKA Warriors team Purple!!!