• Canning,  Cooking,  Gardening

    The Last of June and Strawberry Mint Popsicles

    Can you believe June is over? Really? I don’t like to complain about summer being 1/3 or so in the books, so instead I thought I’d share a few highlights from the month followed by another strawberry recipe. It’s a popsicle perfect for what’s shaping up to be a steamy 4th of July weekend. 1. Dinner on the Farm June started with a visit to Crandall’s Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN, complete with Sebastian Joe’s ice cream. Ended up with great posts on 20food.net about the event. 2. The Little Acre Grew and Grew and GrewAll of the garden space was planted by early June. It was a late start,…

  • Cooking

    Strawberry Maple Cream Tart

    Finally made it out to the strawberry patch this weekend to treat myself to three flats of ripe red berries.  Although the season has been slow to start, the strawberries we picked were large, juicy, and sweet.  If you haven’t been out to the patch, it’s not too late. Many pick-your-own sites waited out the last week’s cool temps and rain to start picking. Most of our berries found their way to the freezer for this winter. 25 bags in total. It’s the easiest way to prepare a local smoothie (or daiquiri) in mid-February.  Freezing strawberries is simple: thoroughly wash, remove tops, slice in half and pack in quart bags.…

  • Other Writings

    Heavy Table’s Local Pie Tasting Competition

    This week the folks at The Heavy Table came out with their 2011 Upper Midwest Pie Tasting, a glimpse at the best local pies in the region.  Minnesota is well represented on the list including, Key’s Cafe and  The Turtle Bread Company. The top pie goes to the Stockholm Pie Company‘s Cherry Berry Pie in Stockholm, WI.  If you’re driving around the state this summer, check out this list to find the best slice.  And as pie season takes off in the coming weeks, there’s some great tips (like avoiding overly-sweet or artificial flavors in your filling)  in the article for making your own pie a blue-ribbon winner. Hop on over…

  • Cooking,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Green Peas

    I have had a serious case of kitchen un-inspiration this week.  When you’re documenting food, the problem goes beyond just writer’s block.  You have to first motivate yourself to cook something, photograph something, write about this something, and then make it all appealing to someone else.  Any hiccup in the supply chain threatens the chances of worthwhile content.  This week, troubles fell mostly in the motivation to cook.  Meals this week were basic: cooked vegetables with a side of cooked vegetables.  Tasty, but no dramatic flair. But then I stumbled on a vegetables episode of Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. My adopted kitchen godmother steps in and solves the…

  • Cooking

    Rhubarb Cobbler

    Had an unexpected day off today and I took full advantage. Sometimes cancellations and schedule changes can really bend me out of shape, but sometimes they are a welcomed surprise and a chance for extra time in my apron. I sent the kitchen partner off to work, turned the John Denver channel on Pandora and made a Rhubarb Cobbler recipe from a recent post on The Pioneer Woman. All by 8:00. I wont bother to re-write the recipe since my only substitution was 1 C. of whole wheat bread flour for 1 C. of the all-purpose. Here’s the link: Rhubarb Cobbler The tangy pink rhubarb with crunchy top served warm…

  • Eating,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Strawberries

    Between the gorgeous weather this week and swapping out the old laptop for a new one, there hasn’t been much time to spend writing this week. I keep asking myself, “how’d it get to be Friday again?” A better question is “how’d it get to be strawberry season?” With the cooler start to spring I had thought 4th of July weekend before we’d see ripe strawberries. But with reports from both the St. Paul Farmers’ Market and Minnesota Grown, this weekend marks the opening for strawberry picking at many sites around the state. Pick-your-own strawberries are a memory in nearly every summer of my life. Growing up I went with…

  • Cooking

    Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Parmesan

    Weird and unusual foods always end up in my market bag. Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes found their way from a farm in Central Wisconsin to my fridge this weekend and to the dinner plate tonight. Left from last year’s harvest, the woman at the farmers’ market promised they were simple to prepare and are a stand-up substitute for potatoes. She also promised it wasn’t ginger root or horseradish, although it does have a striking resemblance, doesn’t it? Dinner ended over an hour ago, and I still don’t have a great way to characterize them. I chose to simply crisp them in a pan with garlic and top with…

  • Cooking

    A Summer Grilling Menu

    It finally felt like summertime to me today. The first day of my summer work calendar, the first full weeding of the community garden plot, and the first night we had dinner on the deck. What better way to mark the start of summer than with a weeknight grilling menu. All local. All delicious.   First on the plate: I managed to squeak a few more of last season’s potatoes from my dad’s cold storage this past weekend. New baby potatoes wont appear at the farmers’ market for a few weeks, maybe a month. So glad he shared what is left of their crop. Tonight I grilled them the same…

  • Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Your Local Farmers’ Market

    Taking a break from ingredients today to share some info about the ultimate source for local food: your local farmers’ market.  Since Minnesota Locavore began, I’ve had lots of great emails and comments, but a lot of them involved other regions.  “I really love the rhubarb ice cream, do you know where I can find rhubarb in Seattle?”  In some cases, a few Google searches = problem solved.  Other times, local food requires local knowledge. Not only is the farmers’ market a great place to buy produce, meats and dairy, but it also can serve as the information hub for your local food questions.  Most vendors and coordinators are also…