Just when you thought this frigid winter couldn’t get worse…It’s HOW cold right now? I’m celebrating Governor Dayton’s day off from school today (although celebrating -54°F wind chills seems counter-intuitive) with a hot cup of tea, my long underwear and a steaming pot of soup on the stove. What else is there to do when it’s colder than the south pole: If you’re stuck inside today too, here are some great Minnesota soup recipes from the dark days of the last few winters. Most of the recipes are made with simple ingredients you’re likely to have on hand already since a trip to the storeRead More →

It’s hard to believe, but this will be my last Dark Days Challenge post for the winter. How quickly did that go? For our last meal, all participants were asked to seek out a SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) breakfast. Easy pea-sy lemon squeezy. We’ve been doing local breakfast around this place for quite some time. Lately I’ve been into combining all of my favorite breakfast foods into a sandwich. The kitchen partner makes two of his special Whole Grain Milling pancakes between which I slam a local fried egg, a slice of cheese, and either breakfast sausage or bacon. Then I lightly drizzle itRead More →

Happy 2nd Day of Spring!  At least now the season will match the warm weather we’ve had. There’s only one more week left of the Dark Days Challenge, a fitting change since my mom reported their rhubarb popped up this week. The dark winter days are on the way out. Before we all know it the farmer’s market will be full of goodies and we’ll be in the brightest days of local eating. Today I thought I’d try my hand at one more entirely local dessert. The maple sugar candies from earlier in the challenge was my only sweet-tooth item posted during the challenge, soRead More →

You know you need spring when… …you check the seedlings every three hours to see if anything new cropped up. …you start to drool at the asparagus recipes in Food Network Magazine. …you stop wearing socks. That’s it. No more. I’m done with them until October. …you create the most random Dark Days dinner ever. Literally the strangest thing I’ve ever made: Introducing nacho grilled cheese. It’s what happens when I’d rather be outside enjoying the warm weather than in the kitchen combined with a total lack of fresh produce. I am really running low on the new local ideas for the month of March. SoRead More →

I tried to look up which week of the Dark Days Challenge we are on this week (15? 16?) and was tickled pink with how fast this winter has gone by. Yesterday was near 60°F and today I posted the 2012 garden plans on 20Food.net. I think we’ve turned the corner towards spring. Even though I didn’t have fresh veggies for my local meal this week, I wanted a  SOLE meal that had just a hint of spring. Answer: a spinach stuffed mushroom, carefully baked with parmesan. Spinach and wild mushrooms are two of the best things we have to look forward to in theRead More →

We’re starting the last month of the Dark Days Challenge tomorrow. Winter has come and gone so quickly. For this week of the challenge, all participants were encouraged to make a completely vegetarian meal–tricky for some of us who have relied heavily on local meats to make it through. I’ve had the vegetarian challenge date on my calendar since mid-January with the idea of trying a broccoli cheddar version of the Cream of Carrot Soup I made in week 7 of the challenge. We have bags and bags of frozen broccoli left from last fall and it’s time to start eating down the storage beforeRead More →

I almost took this week’s Dark Days Challenge off–I just haven’t been that excited about what we’ve eaten lately. We’re working hard to eat down the freezer and pantry supplies, but that means more of the same ol’ same ol’.  It seems like every meal has frozen green beans, corn or broccoli mixed in with a jar of tomato sauce or vegetable stock. There are only so many times you can throw those in a pot, shake them up and expect something new to come out. It doesn’t help when some of the other Dark Days Challengers are coming out with meals like this: ThriftRead More →

It feels like I have been planned this week’s Dark Days Challenge for an eternity! During week ll-12, all participants were challenged to create Valentine’s Day Sweets using SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients. Not an easy task when you start cutting out chocolate! As soon as I saw the challenge in my inbox, I knew I had to make maple sugar candy. The kitchen partner’s family has been in the maple syrup business for as long as I’ve known him. Growing up he’d strap on snow shoes and wade through the deep snow collecting buckets full of sap to bring back to the ‘sapRead More →

In all my ranting yesterday about chicken pot pie and my eye-stomach connection, I didn’t have time to squeeze in the recipe for the actual chicken pot pie we had for dinner. My long-windedness doesn’t surprise you then? The kitchen partner also pointed out that if I’m going to talk about things like the eye-stomach connection, I should probably do a bit more research into the real scientific terms. His feedback about my post yesterday: You can’t just make stuff up you know. So. In order to appease my ever-skeptical spouse, here’s three other ways some fancy science folks are trying to say it: Activation inRead More →