• Other Writings

    California Slideshow

    As promised, I’m posting the photos from our California trip. I’ve been creating Shutterfly albums the past two weeks and am already dreaming about our next trip to Napa!  There’s also a new post today on 20Food.net. Hop over there to see the fresh blueberry pancakes the kitchen partner has been making me all week. Enjoy!

  • Cooking,  Foodies

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Breakfast Bars

    5 good  grand things happened in the last week: 1. We harvested our first meal out of the garden. Well, sort of a meal. I snipped some stems from our orange mint plant and made “Mason Jar Mojitos” on Friday after work. Don’t judge me. I promise it’s almost a meal. 2. I had a chance to visit with Brenda Langton from Spoonriver and the Mill City Farmers’ Market about her new cookbook. (Check out an extended post of our interview!) When staking out my own little claim of the local food world, I never dreamed I’d chat with amazing and inspiring people like her. So much good work going on in…

  • Other Writings

    House Guests – Season Two

    Last May, I gave my dad Ameraucana chicks for his birthday as an addition to his growing coop back home. Before they were delivered, the chicks spent a few cozy nights as house guests under my careful watch. Let’s be honest…I was an obsessive mother hen. By the time they left, all 5 had names and their own personalities. How could you not fall in love with a cute little puff-ball like this? Those gals are all grown up and producing gorgeous blue “Easter eggs”. When it came time for my parents to place their chick order again this year, they asked me to house sit for 5 more from…

  • Books,  Eating,  How-To Guides,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Minnesota Grown Directory

    Taking a break from spinach today to help announce the release of the 2012 Minnesota Grown Directory. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and a terrific way to kick of the summer growing season. Why is the Minnesota Grown Directory worth a Find it Local Friday of its own? It’s a one-stop shop for answers to all your locavore questions: How can I be a Minnesota Locavore? Listings for 945 sources for locally-grown food and products around the state. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive list can help you find whatever your locavore heart desires. How do I eat local on the road? The guidebook is divided by…

  • Cooking

    Spinach Week: Cheddar Spinach Muffins

    Today’s Spinach Week recipe comes from the one cookbook I can’t live without. I am especially fond of my St. Paul Farmers’ Market cookbook. It is full of the best traits: lots of pencil notes and lots of possibility. I’m sharing a Spinach Cheese Muffin that has me saying “oooh…that sounds good” every time I flip through the pages. I’ve adapted the heck out of the recipe, but think they’re better off in the end. Adaptations are why this cookbook rocks my world. 9 out of 10 times my gentle suggestions or crazy ideas turn out. I get to strut around with my apron strings puffed and claim, “Hah. Two…

  • Cooking

    Spinach Week: Spinach & Portobello Lasagna

    Someday I’d like to host the “Great Minnesota Lasagna Competition” at the state fair. It’s a dish we all know and love. It’s one of the few leftover dishes I’ll eat.  And we all have our own go-to recipe for the World’s Best Lasagna. Seriously. A Great Minnesota Lasagna Competition is the answer to all the planet’s troubles. If I could enter my own Minnesota Lasagna Competition, today’s Spinach Week recipe would be my blue-ribbon winner. I start with a simple ricotta and parmesan filling and my homemade tomato sauce. Add in a box of Dakota Grower’s lasagna noodles, cooked until just al dente.  Then hit it with my favorite, thick layers…

  • Gardening

    Spinach Week: How to Grow Spinach

    Last growing season, two of the biggest weeks on Minnesota Locavore were dedications rhubarb and pumpkin. This year I’m planning to continue these week-long tributes to local produce, starting with spinach. I’m giving it the first nod mostly by default. It’s the only green veggie I saw at the farmers’ market this past weekend and it’s the only thing that’s really cropped up in our patio garden so far. With all the frost and temperature swings we’ve had recently it should tell you one thing about spinach: it’s REALLY easy to grow. Green thumb or not, any locavore can add spinach to their garden plans. Here’s how: How to Grow Spinach…

  • Eating

    Swede Hollow Cafe

    What to do on the first 50 degree day in April? Too early to get in the garden, too nice out to be in the kitchen. The perfect solution: breakfast and tea with a good friend and her adorable kids in the garden at Swede Hollow Cafe. A few blocks from our house, Swede Hollow Cafe is one of those hidden gems in our neighborhood you like to tell everyone about, but at the same time feel is a special secret only you and the neighbors know. What’s special about this spot? The menu is full of homemade goodies. Every time I stop in there’s something new to try. This…

  • Gardening

    Truck-Farm (and finding garden space)

    This morning I had a chance to finally watch the YouTube shorts and trailers for Ian Cheney’s (King Corn) new documentary short Truck Farm. It details Cheney’s adventures in planting an urban CSA farm in the bed of his 1986 Dodge pickup truck. I watched King Corn in the early stages of my interest in local and urban food production; it certainly was influential in shaping how I felt about our food system. This new documentary has me considering how I define “garden space” and the ways I could be more innovative in finding places to grow. Our town home certainly restricts growing in a yard, and our patio was…