• Cooking,  Local Products

    ELC Day #31- Baked Eggs in Two-Cheese Tomato Cups

    I’m still in disbelief that today is the last day in August and the end of the Eat Local America Challenge.  31 days, 614 photos, and 27 recipes later, the blog has hit a few milestones this month.  Crossed the 100 post mark earlier this week, became a finalist in CBS’s Minnesota Most Valuable Blogger award, and as of this writing have had more than 9,400 unique views.  No small feat for a wannabe foodie.  Many thanks to all of you who have checked in to see all the month’s dishes.  In case you missed any, here’s a recap of all the great local dishes the kitchen partner and I…

  • Cooking

    ELC Day #30- State Fair Strawberry Shake

    For anyone who has taken on the Eat Local America Challenge, a big component of the diet is finding all the things you love to eat within a few hundred miles. The best locavores learn to not see it as a “sacrifice” or “giving up” all the good things. Instead, they celebrate the small victories that come with finding a new producer, a new shop, or a new local food. When I’m out-and-about and spot the Minnesota Grown sticker on an untried food, (and the kitchen partner can attest to this) I’ve been known jump up and down with excitement. The same thing happened last year when we visited the…

  • Cooking

    ELC Day #29- Green Bean Dumpling Soup

    Somewhere in another life, I was a dumpling. Or a dumpling maker. In this life, I am a world-class dumpling lover. If you read the Wikipedia entry for dumpling, you’ll understand why: Dumplings are cooked balls of dough. They are based on flour, potatoes or bread, and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may be sweet or spicy. They can be eaten by themselves, in soups or stews, with gravy, or in any other way. You got it. Dumplings are my perfect little balls of whatever yummy thing I’m hungry for. I’ve made them about 18 million different ways and…

  • Cooking

    ELC Day #27 & 28 -Eggplant Parmesan

    If you’re headed out to the State Fair this weekend be sure to stop out for these local food events: Sunday August 28: Be sure to stop in at the outdoor stage in Carousel Park for Minnesota Cooks Day. Every hour from 9AM to 4PM there will be cooking demonstrations, discussions about local food, and skill demonstrations by the students of Le Cordon Bleu. Network with local farmers and take home a recipe or two. Sunday August 28 & Monday August 29: Eat Healthy Local Food will be the theme of the State Fair parade both days at 2 pm. Stop along your state fair visit to see the vegetable…

  • Other Writings

    20Food.net Re-post

    Doing a little filming this morning for a Gardening Matters clip and I wanted to pass along a short clip that Cassidy at 20Food.net posted this week. It still makes me smile. Pretty sure that most days this is what my family and friends think about my crazy food fascination…

  • Cooking

    ELC #26-Vegetable Fritatta with Cheese

    Happy Friday Minnesota. Hard to believe it’s the last one in August already! Just a quick post today, the kitchen partner and I have a full weekend planned–some hiking, some cooking, and a stop at the State Fair on Sunday. You can bet that we’ll be using Heavy Table’s State Fair Food Tour to find the best things on the menu. When weekends get busy for us, we almost always turn to breakfast food. Even if it’s 9 PM. I could eat pancakes at any hour of the day. Egg dishes are quick to prepare, the ingredients are always in our refrigerator, both affordable and local. Check out this beautiful…

  • Cooking,  Eating

    ELC Day #25- Sangria on a Stick

    It’s state fair time!  I hope everyone is planning a trip to the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year and will find at least 1 tasty thing on a stick.  Last year the kitchen partner and I were even able to find a few things with the Minnesota Grown sticker on them (strawberry shakes at the dairy bar!)  We’ll be on the look out again this year on our handful of trips. In honor of the start of the state fair, last night I made my own fair fare: sangria on a stick.  Brace yourself.  These late-summer treats are made with local watermelon, marinated for a few hours in a local…

  • Cooking

    ELC #24- Black Bean Enchiladas

    Last weekend along with the kitchen partner’s ambitious corn project, he also canned 6 quarts of a spicy enchilada sauce.  Funny that it was supposed to be spaghetti sauce, but hey, it happens. (He misjudged the number of jalapeno peppers when doubling the recipe, but it turns out to be really good enchilada sauce).   All of the ingredients apart from the vinegar were from our community garden plot and the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, walking the few blocks into the downtown market has become a weekend habit.  I love strolling up and down the aisles, watching for the ripest tomatoes and the fullest pint of raspberries. …

  • Cooking

    ELC Day #23 Ratatouille Bruschetta

    I’ve always thought eggplant was exotic and cool; not quite vegetable, not exactly fruit. It can blend into the background of dishes or stand out as the star.  It grows a deep purple color of royalty and class.  It’s just all-around cool to see eggplant growing in the garden. Honestly, I feel the same way about most things grown in Minnesota.  It’s impressive to me what we are able to produce in our region.  We may not have king crab or pineapples, but we have wheat.  Imagine what it’s like to be a Florida Locavore where wheat is not on the menu. No fresh warm bread.  No taco shells. No…