Around here, Saturday lunch is a fend-for-yourself meal. For me, it usually involves oatmeal, roasted vegetables, or whatever leftovers are rattling around in the fridge. Mike, on the other hand, uses Saturday lunch to eat the sort of convenience foods that we never have for dinner: frozen pizza, tater tots, fried chicken from the grocery store deli, and chicken nuggets dipped in hot sauce.
I still remember my first-ever potluck contribution, back when I was a very new cook: onion dip. The classic recipe, where you mix one packet of onion soup mix with a tub of sour cream, and serve it with a bag of potato chips. Looking back, it seems somewhat basic. But my classmates were impressed that I had actually made something--they all brought packaged cookies.
I love Ritter Sport: the square German candy bars combine my appreciation for quality chocolate with a a compulsive urge to collect the brightly colored packages and admire my personal chocolate rainbow. And about the only thing I like as much as eating Ritter Sport chocolate is writing about it. My review of the Ritter Sport chocolate flavors available at the time in the U.S. is one of my all-time most popular posts, and I've also written a review of Ritter Sport's seasonal summer 2016 flavors.
The African climate where Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines originate is vastly different from Minnesota's. Nevertheless, the cuisines' signature stews, warming spices, and spongy rounds of injera that serve as carbohydrate plates are exactly what's needed to survive a frigid Midwestern winter.
2016 has been a year of change for me and my blog--last January, I started working part-time at my day job so that I would have more time to focus on my blog and freelance writing. Mostly, I've used my extra time for freelancing, with a feature on Twin Cities coffee shops in the City Pages, a travel piece in the Star Tribune, and a few more articles...
I used to be tough in the face of frigid temperatures. My childhood winters in northern Minnesota were spent sledding down a toboggan run my dad constructed in the backyard and building giant snowmen, outfitted with faces and buttons fashioned from the plastic tops of aerosol cans. In high school, my friend Karen and I spent some of the coldest weeks of winter ice skating outside, windchill be damned, rather than playing broomball with the rest of our gym class in the relative comfort of the hockey arena.
I do my best to eat local, but it can be difficult once the CSA season ends and farmer's markets close for the winter. That's why I was interested to try Smude Sunflower Oil--unlike the imported olive and coconut oils I usually rely on, Smude produces their oils in Pierz, Minnesota from Minnesota-grown sunflowers.
Sugar cookies, shaped like Christmas trees, with piped icing garland and a garnish of festive sprinkles. Gingerbread men with chocolate chip eyes and cinnamon candy buttons. Those round buttery cookies filled with chopped nuts and rolled in powdered sugar, called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes or Snowballs, depending on your generation and geographic origin.
As much as I love holiday lights and candy canes, there are certain things that I dislike about this time of year. The big one is the music. My college-era retail stint spanned three holiday seasons, complete with a soundtrack of horrid renditions of classic Christmas songs.
Last Christmas season, I wrote a post about developing new holiday traditions. This year, I'm focusing on a recipe that has held a place of honor on my family's cookie trays for decades: my Grandma Ruth's no-bake cookies.
As an avid snacker, I'm always on the lookout for something new to mix up my munching routine. Sensible Portions recently sent me a couple of bags of Poppin' Peas, a brand new item from their line of better-for-you snacks.
As much as I love apples, sweet potatoes, and smoked salmon, bread is my all-time favorite food. Hearty loaves of homemade rye, impatiently sliced while still steaming; round loaves of sourdough from Whole Foods, picked up on the way home from work; crusty baguettes purchased at the farmer's market--I love it all.
At first glance, no one would describe me as trendy. I've had the same hairstyle since the seventh grade--long, no bangs, parted down the middle (I've occasionally tried cutting my hair shorter, but...
I have long been skeptical of baked apples. They've always struck me as something that well-meaning but clueless adults offer children as "dessert," even though anyone old enough to chew understands...
The Zeus Big River Pizza knows how to take care of vegetarians. I've eaten my more than my fair share of margherita pizzas over the years, and while there's nothing wrong with tomatoes and basil, they...
I'm a longtime fan of Beatrice Ojakangas. Besides writing 29 cookbooks and earning a place in the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, she's a fellow Minnesotan. Much of her work reflects her Finnish-American heritage (The Finnish Cookbook, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, Scandinavian Feasts) and skill as a baker (Great Whole Grain Breads, The Soup & Bread Cookbook, The Great Holiday Baking Book).
There's a joke about all the people who would become vegetarians, if only bacon were a vegetable. Personally, I'm too non-dogmatic about food to rule out entire categories--I like my French onion soup...