May 30, 2012

March of Dimes Event for Bob Curtis

Everyone knows the saying "An apple a day can keep the doctor away."  On June 14th an apple this day will help keep the doctor away as I raise money for the March of Dimes. 
My goal this year is $3,000. 

When my daughter Isabelle was born in 2006, my wife, Gail, and I were excited to bring home our new little girl. Unfortunately, due to medical circumstances, Isabelle spent the next nine days in the NICU unit before she was ready to come home. Today, Isabelle is very busy with being a big sister and enjoying all sorts of activities that any six year old girl would love.  This is my 6th year participating and I have almost doubled my personal goal from past years. 

Join me and  my daughter Isabella at my office on June 14th and enjoy a Crispin Cider Honey Crisp Float (Must be 21 or older), Root Beer Float or  Lemonade; all proceeds go toward my goal.

You can make a secure donation with your credit card, or, if you prefer, cash or a check is fine, too.  To donate online, please visit my personal page 

If you would like to donate in person or via the mail:
Bob Curtis
c/o Bob Curtis Agency
19950 Dodd Blvd Ste 104
Lakeville, MN 55044
(952) 985-9800

Your gift supports March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And it’s used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

For every $10 donation you make your name will be entered into the raffle for prizes that are being donated to me. All on line donations must be received by 4:00pm on June 19th to be in the raffle drawing and the winners will be contacted that night. 

Thank you to Crispin Cider for donating the cider!

May 18, 2012

A __________walks into a bar...

 A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, "We have a drink  here named after you." The grasshopper says, "Bob?"

How many jokes to do you know that involve someone or something walking into a bar?  Whether it is a priest, rabbi, duck, monkey, rope, horse, guy, girl, or grasshopper named Bob I think we have all heard one. How would you complete this question: "I walked into a bar and_________      _____.  Would your blank be filled in with one of these answers?
  • it took forever to get the bartenders attention.
  • I ordered the same thing I order at any other place.
  • I left because I didn't want to sit there by myself.
  • I had the best time!

Whether you are meeting friends or flying solo going to a bar should be a fun experience. I am working on a blog that I hope will help people make the most of their bar experience. 

I started watching Bar Rescue on Spike-TV with bar expert (guru) Jon Taffer as he consultants bar and restaurant owners on how to not only make their business successful but also improve the customer experience.   The information junkie in me is fascinated by the science he has developed when it comes to the industry.  It started giving me a new perspective on bars and restaurants I walk into.

Over the past few years I have been fortunate to get to know many outstanding bartenders in the Twin Cities who have an infinite amount of drink knowledge.  I have had the opportunity to improve my own experience and drink knowledge just in spending time with these bartenders.  I have asked them to share their tips on how to improve a customer's experience for my upcoming blog.  Asking them questions such as, "What’s the best way to get a bartender’s attention?" and "When a customer comes into your bar and is not sure what they want what do you do?"

Here is what I need you to do, answer these questions. You can answer as many or as few as you would like.  Copy and paste them into a Comment below or send them to me via email at  When I mention "bar" this includes restaurant bars.

  1. How often do you go to a bar? (No one is judging here)
  2. How long do you stay at one bar in a typical night out? 
  3. Do you bar hop or stay at one place?
  4. Do you typically go to the same bar when you go out or do you try new places?
  5. When selecting a new bar to go to, what factors most influence your decision? (Location, Atmosphere, Specials, Bartender, etc.)
  6. What factors are most important when determining whether or not you will become a regular patron of a bar? 
  7. Do you typically go out alone, with a few people or a large group of people? 
  8. Where do you usually sit at a bar? (at the bar, a table, away from the crowd, etc.)
  9. What do you dislike most about the bars that you have been to? Does that determine if you will go back to that bar or not?
  10. Do you have a favorite bar to go to? If yes, what is it and why?
  11. Do you typically order the same drink when you go to a bar? If "Yes", what do you typically order and why?
  12. What question(s) would you want to ask a bartender?
  13. Would you be interest in a class to improve your drink knowledge?
Any other comments or questions you would like to share?

Thank you for helping me answer questions from the customer perspective.  Thank you to the members of the North Star Bartenders Guild for helping me with the bartender perspective.

NOTE:  If you are a bartender I have a list of questions for you too! Let me know and I will get those to you. 

May 17, 2012

Quinoa and Kale Salad

This Quinoa and Kale Salad will be a staple for my summer salads. It is extremely easy to make and does not have mayonnaise so it will hold up longer for a summer get together.  Quinoa is gluten free. 


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Most boxed quinoa is pre-rinsed, if not rinse 1 cup of quinoa in cold water.

Put quinoa into your rice cooker and add 2 cups water. Let cook until done (about 15 minutes)

While quinoa is cooking heat sautee pan to Med-High. Saute onions and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft. Stir in kale and saute until it is bright green

Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Stir all ingredients together and chill. 

Makes 8 servings.

Next time I make this I will add in some diced or cherry tomatoes.