• Cooking

    North Shore Chicken Barley Soup

    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s about the only advice I have left to manage this beast of a winter. If we can’t get the ice and cold and snow and general misery to disappear any faster, we might as well get out an enjoy it. Last weekend Greg and I headed up for our annual February trip to the North Shore with one mission in mind: show this Minnesota winter we’re not scared. We can have a good time when it’s this cold. {Insert my puffed-out-parka-can’t-stop-this-chick-in-extra-heavy-long-underwear look.} Our big adventure of the long weekend was a day trip to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Like…

  • Cooking

    It’s-How-Cold!?!? Minnesota Soups

    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 store is not high on anyone’s…

  • Cooking

    Barley & Squash Minestrone

    Here it comes world… I think I’m a hypochondriac. Right now I’m sitting on the couch icing my back after an unfortunate run in with a Wii Remote at work today. I’m doing my best not to research “broken ribs” or “ruptured kidney” on WebMD while writing this post, even though I probably will just end up with a bruise. It’s not a new thing. Anytime I see or hear of someone getting sick, I immediately start the “what if’s” Greg starts coughing and I can feel my neck muscles contract. I get a text from a client’s parent alerting me to a kid with a fever and I spend…

  • Cooking

    Eat Local America : Cream of Cauliflower Soup

    This is the third post in the 2013 Eat Local America! Challenge series. Each year Minnesota co-ops celebrate the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available August by promoting a month of local eating. Minnesota Locavore and readers around the state are taking the challenge to eat meals made from local ingredients. Stop back all month long for recipes, local products and tips for jump starting your month of local food.  Wait? How did it get to be Wednesday already? I thought we just finished wrapping up the weekend, now I’m staring the next one in the face. Oye. I can’t keep up. This weekend Greg and I are gearing up for…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    Tomato Soup from Home Canned Tomatoes

    Remember these? All those beautiful jars of tomatoes you picked, peeled, and packed this summer? They’re ready to come off the pantry shelves and into tonight’s dinner. January is the month where most locavores start eating down the freezer, cold storage, and pantry shelves in preparation for spring. I know, I haven’t lost my mind. It’s still January. My friends all roll their eyes at me, but I’m seriously counting the days! Once we’re past the holidays, the garden starts calling! My favorite way to think spring in the middle of January is to make a meal from ingredients I stored from last year’s growing season. Tonight we’re having classic…

  • Cooking

    Southwest Butternut Squash Soup

      If you’ve been to our house lately, you’ve seen the growing stash that is our basement cold storage. I’ve seen bumper squash and carrot seasons, but none like this. The kitchen partner and I have been gratefully filling our makeshift cellar with gifts from family and friends, mostly in the form of butternut squash and pumpkins. What’s a gal to do with a basement like this? Butternut squash soup of course! Now squash soup and I have a history of not getting along. For the past four seasons, I’ve been searching for a squash soup recipe that didn’t make me run for the hills. They’ve all had the texture…

  • Cooking

    A Local Remedy: Chicken Dumpling Soup

    Food vs. Amy. Food wins. Notice the relative silence around here this week? It seems I should’ve been careful what I wish for on the “food coma” bit last week. Since late Friday I’ve been battling a nasty case of food poisoning. It cut our weekend in Wisconsin short and meant I spent most of Saturday and Sunday flat in bed. I’ll withhold the details except to say I nursed my tummy by watching Captain Jack Sparrow. Pirates always cheer me up. Through the ordeal, I just kept thinking Seriously? On the one weekend where I set aside the trusty locavore diet for a smorgasbord of food and family (2…

  • Cooking

    Italian Squash Soup

    Two things started this week that happen every year around this time. It’s another reminder that the end of fall is near. Number 1:My mom calls/emails with a daily update on the snowfall report for Northcentral Wisconsin. They’re expecting 4-8″ overnight.  Brace yourself. Minnesota won’t be too far behind. Number 2:The kitchen partner begins to eat plain old leftover squash for two meals a day. No butter. No brown sugar. Just plain squash, mushed on a plate. Maybe a drizzle of maple syrup if he’s feeling adventurous. I think it’s disgusting. His co-workers think it’s creepy. He can’t get enough.  Knowing that squash is how a locavore survives this time…

  • Cooking,  Local Products

    Creamy Celery Soup

    Since ending the Find it Local Friday series in August, I haven’t spent much time writing about my favorite in-season ingredients.  Fall is a fantastic time to be a locavore.  Pumpkins, squash, and root vegetables pile up while we savor the last of cold-hearty broccoli and greens.  Celery appears in many of my dishes this time of year and is the thing you should pick up at the farmers’ market this week.  The kitchen partner likes the classic ants on a log approach while I get caught chopping it up for stews, soups, and salads.   Occasionally I’ll bump into a recipe that puts celery center stage rather than just…