'Tis the season for holiday gift guides—from bloggers, magazines, and online publications. My second annual made in Minnesota gift guide reflects my personal tastes: think earrings and chocolate. If that's your (or your loved ones') jam too, I hope you find something here to add to your Christmas list.
Have you ever returned from a vacation with stunning photos of scenery and the local sights, but when it comes to photos of yourself, you only have a few mediocre selfies? That sums up most of the trips Mike and I have taken over the years, and after a pandemic-related travel pause, I wanted some high-quality photos of us on our trips to Finland and Ireland.
Although this is primarily a food and travel blog, longtime readers have likely noticed that I have a penchant for colorful manicures. I paint my nails at least once a week, usually in bold, jewel-toned hues, and some of my favorite food photos I've taken are the ones that also feature my nails.
For over a decade, running has been an important part of my life. I'm not a natural-born runner (I struggled to finish the mile in gym class and usually came in last), so building up my endurance and...
On the last day of our honeymoon in 2010, Mike and I stood on Dublin's Ha'Penny Bridge and promised each other we'd return to Ireland for our tenth anniversary. A pandemic delayed our plans, so our return to Ireland marked a dozen years of marriage instead. Here are my favorite things I ate and drank in Ireland, from bustling spots in Dublin and Belfast to quiet cafes in rural market towns.
Although it rained throughout our entire stay, our time in Tampere was one of the highlights of our trip to Finland. I loved the Market Hall, the Pyynikki Observation Tower, Sauna Restaurant Kuuma, and most of all, staying at Lillan Hotel.
When it comes to international cuisines, Finnish food is a bit under-the-radar—and I say this as a proud Finnish-American who grew up in northern Minnesota, which has one of the greatest concentrations of people of Finnish descent in the United States. Other than leipäjuusto (bread cheese) and my great-grandma's cardamom bread recipe, I hadn't tried any Finnish foods before my trip to Finland.
I go to the Minnesota State Fair for many reasons: nostalgia, the live entertainment, the livestock, the educational exhibits, the display cases full of prizewinning knitwear. But mostly, it's about the food.
As a freelance journalist who covers food and travel, I often receive press releases and offers to check out restaurants, sample products, or visit destinations. That's how I found out about the Oru Lake kayak: the company reached out to me, pitching me the foldable kayak as a perfect fit for Minneapolis residents who are short on storage space but live close to lakes.
You might not recognize the name, but you've probably seen the photos: Porvoo is one of the most photographed spots in Finland. Porvoo is a small town about 30 miles northeast of Helsinki, and the riverside Old Town is beloved for its colorful wooden buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and romantic, low-key vibe.
Do you feel overwhelmed by your weekly CSA share? Do you wish you cooked dinner more often, but after a long day you don't have the energy to go grocery shopping or track down a recipe? Are you stuck in a rut, cooking the same things week after week? Meal planning is a great way to make the most of your CSA share and cook more interesting meals, more often.
For years, my go-to zucchini baking recipe has been a chocolate zucchini bread from my mom. However, as I perused a review copy of Liza Gershman's County Fair, a recipe for zucchini brownies caught my eye.
Helsinki is Finland's capital and largest city—as well as a captivating tourist destination. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki has unique architecture, interesting museums, a top...
Cheese boards are typically associated with special events and dinner parties, but I think they're perfect picnic fare. You can nibble and appreciate the outdoors without having to deal with plates or utensils, and it's an easy way to make a budget-friendly date night feel fancy.
Pristine lakes, dotted with pine tree-covered islands. Rustic cottages and stately manner houses. Hiking, boating, fishing, foraging. The Lakeland region is instantly recognizable as the postcard version of Finland. It's the country's largest region, encompassing the central and eastern portions of Finland.
Finland is a coastal country, and the southwestern region is home to the world's largest archipelago by number of islands (approximately 40,000). One of the best ways to experience this part of Finland is the Small Archipelago Trail, which can be explored by bike, car, or mass transit.
When I moved to the Twin Cities, a scoop of raspberry chocolate chip ice cream was what convinced me to stick around. Since then, I've become an ice cream connoisseur, scouting out the best frozen treats in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the suburbs. If I'm going to treat myself, it has to be the good stuff: premium, housemade ice cream with natural ingredients and interesting flavors.