Rolling green hillsides, dramatic coastlines, picturesque villages, historic cities, and cozy pubs: Ireland is a beloved tourist destination for many reasons, and it's one of my all-time favorite places. This is the advice I would give to a friend taking a trip to Ireland, including planning your itinerary, what to pack, and tips for driving, dining, and other practicalities. My biggest piece of advice? Just go there! Ireland is a truly special place.
I love my CSA—I've been a member of Untiedt's CSA since 2011, and the 17 week CSA season is one of highlights of my summer and fall. However, CSA membership isn't a fit for everyone—here are some questions to ask yourself to decide if joining a CSA is right for you.
Late January through mid-March is my least favorite time of year at home in Minnesota—the holidays are over and the novelty of winter activities has worn off, but it's still cold and snowy. When Mike's company announced a company-wide work week in Palm Springs, California during that time period, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get away in a relatively budget-friendly way.
Hidden entrances, secret passwords, strong drinks: once an illicit way obtain alcohol during Prohibition, a century later, speakeasies have been reimagined as stylish spaces to enjoy craft cocktails. As I mentioned in my post about the best distilleries in the Twin Cities, I am very much a cocktail person, and speakeasies appeal to my love of history and penchant for the dramatic.
Some people love beer, others prefer wine, but my drink of choice is a craft cocktail—I think that's due to the fact that I didn't really start drinking alcohol until my late 20s. My favorite place to enjoy craft cocktails is straight from the source: at a local micro distillery. Minnesota is home to over 30 micro distilleries, which typically have tasting rooms where you can purchase cocktails, tasting flights, and bottles of spirits.
After 2020 and 2021, this year's round up of the best things I ate in 2022 feels remarkably similar to my pre-pandemic existence. There are international meals from trips to Finland, Ireland, and Quebec City, plus items I got to sample at press events and while covering the Twin Cities food scene.
'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.