I have a thing for small towns that lean hard into their European heritage, like German-tinged New Ulm, Minnesota, and New Glarus, Wisconsin (a.k.a. America's Little Switzerland). There's something touching and very American about preserving bits and pieces of the Old Country while settling wholeheartedly in the new one.
Iowa seems like an improbable destination for world-famous architecture. But Mason City, Iowa (about 30 miles south of the Minnesota border) is exactly that. The small town is home to the world's only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright-designed hotel: the Historic Park Inn.
Although I haven't made it to Italy yet, I have eaten plenty of delicious pizza on my travels. I've tried the iconic coal-fired pizza at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn and taken a pizza tour in Milwaukee . I...
For the past several years, I’ve been very rigid about how I traveled—meticulously researched itineraries, figuring out the very best places to eat, and so on. That makes sense for my press trips for this blog and research trips for articles, since I'm on the job and have professional commitments to the convention and visitors bureaus and publications I'm working with.
If you are the sort of traveler who likes to launch out of bed at 7:00 a.m., ready for a day packed with sightseeing and activities, Sundays can be challenging. Many attractions and businesses are closed; others have limited hours. One workaround is to make Sunday an on-the-road day, but that's not always an option. A couple of months ago, my travel schedule put me in Fargo, North Dakota on a Sunday.
Lately, my favorite thing to order when I eat out is French fries. It started a couple of months ago when Josh and I were deciding where to go for dinner. He threw out an impressively eclectic list of suggestions—Spoon & Stable, the Mill Northeast, Punch Pizza. But the thing is, I didn't want to eat award-winning French-inspired cuisine or elevated bar fare or Neapolitan pizza. All I wanted was an order of fries.
There are lots of great reasons to sign up for a CSA share, whether you want to support a local farmer, eat more vegetables, or discover new types of produce. But as wonderful as it is to get a box full of fresh produce each week, sometimes it can be challenging to get through it all before the next delivery shows up.
On my trip to North Dakota last summer, I learned that Bismarck is a great place to eat, with a vibrant local restaurant scene. On my most recent trip, I wanted to spend my time in Bismarck checking out the local drinks scene, from craft beer in a former depot to cocktails at a hidden speakeasy to an Italian-inspired wine bar.
Several months ago, I attended a media preview for a new bakery. The pastry case was filled with over-the-top, whimsical creations: towering layer cakes, center-only sticky buns, macarons covered with sprinkles. Someone asked the pastry chef about his favorite item, and I think we were all expecting him to highlight one of the more unique treats.
Fargo-Moorhead's craft beer scene garners plenty of well-deserved attention: the area is home to several breweries, and there's even a Crafts and Drafts pass that will earn you a free t-shirt if you collect stamps at 6 of the 12 participating locations. However, what if you're not in the mood for a pint of beer but you still want to drink local? You're in luck! Besides breweries, Fargo is home to Wild Terra Cider and Brewing, which serves...
I am baffled by Williams Sonoma . I like kitchen gadgets as much as the next person, and I enjoy browsing through specialty food stores. But the thing about Williams Sonoma is that it feels more like...
"Driving across North Dakota" is shorthand for the most boring sort of road trip: the state is flat and sparsely populated, with vast distances and unchanging scenery. "Driving across North Dakota solo" is pretty much the opposite of my idea of a good time—I'm more of a plane person than a road tripper.
For some people, summer is a season of weekend trips to the cabin. For others, it's a whirlwind of kids' soccer and baseball games. There are people who love camping and avid fans of fishing or boating. We're all about grilling.
I approach my weekly grocery shopping trip with the seriousness of a competitive sport. I start at Aldi because it's the cheapest and try to purchase as much of my list there as possible. Next, I go...
CBD products are becoming increasingly mainstream, and I'm excited to be working with Barlean's this month to promote their Seriously Delicious CBD Chocolate Mint and Extra Strength Ideal CBD Hemp Oil. I've been using Barlean's CBD products for the past several months, and they've helped alleviate some of my longstanding insomnia issues.
I'm a big fan of local producers: I subscribe to a CSA, patronize farmers markets, and imbibe at local distilleries. My love of local flavor also includes wine—yes, even though I live in Minnesota. Thanks to in large part to the University of Minnesota's grape breeding program, the state has a robust wine industry with dozens of grape growers and wineries.
This chocolate chia pudding recipe is the latest addition to my "should've been on the blog by now" series of posts, along with sweet potato mushroom barley bowls. I've been making a batch nearly every week for the past few years, starting back when chia seeds were having a moment and I had gotten very tired of eating fruit and nut oatmeal bars.
My favorite thing to do when I'm traveling is to visit grocery stores. They're a peek into the home kitchens of another culture, a way to get an appreciation for what's similar to and what's different...