• 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,  Other Writings


    We’re full swing into the holiday season right now. Love Actually plays on constant repeat on the TV. There’s twinkle lights in every room. Hopefully you’re like us and chanced the cold weather for a locally grown Christmas tree and baked a few batches of cookies. Today I posted a quick YouTube video that captures some of the preparations we’re making for the end of the month. Just remember to step back and enjoy the Christmas preparations. Sometimes they’re the best memories of the season.

  • Cooking

    Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Hotdish with Kale

    The evolution of a recipe name: START: Cheese, Chicken, Carrots, Kale and Wild Rice Casserole Cheese, Chicken, Carrots, Kale and Wild Rice Casserole Cheese, Chicken, Kale and Wild Rice Casserole Cheesy Chicken Kale and Wild Rice Casserole Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Kale END: Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Hot Dish with Kale How about we just call this dish…”what I had in the refrigerator covered in the creamiest cheese sauce ever,” sound okay? This afternoon I checked out the weather forecast for next week and saw the words ‘wind chill’ in the mix. That can only mean one thing in Minnesota: it’s hot dish time. I put…

  • Cooking

    Pumpkin Maple Cake

    Wait…is it Friday already? The weeks continue to whiz by here. We’re enjoying this gorgeous fall weather and some of our favorite foods (baked squash, applesauce, pumpkin pie) while running in between this and that. This weekend is jammed with one of our big volunteer events of the year: From 9 p.m. to Midnight tonight Greg and I will be setting up for the Minnesota Walk Now for Autism Speaks at the Mall of America. This is our 4th year participating in the walk. Together he and I have raised nearly $1000 for autism research and advocacy through this event. Then tomorrow morning we’ll be back at the Mall by 6 a.m.…

  • 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

    Fall Harvest Bread

    I’ve told everyone for months that September 2013 was going to be the most stressful month on record at the Sippl household. More than our wedding. More than buying our house. More than waiting for the last Harry Potter movie on DVD. Today is the last day of September and all I can say is…we survived! Yesterday I finally started to feel the refrigerator-sized pressure lift. What a relief it is to know from here on out things are slowing down for us. We’re heading into October with this behind us: Greg’s hardest class in his MBA program completed Guests 3 out of the 5 weekends in the month Trips…

  • Cooking

    Eat Local America Challenge – Zucchini Overload

    An interesting phenomenon happens this time of year in gardens across the Midwest. What started as one tiny summer squash plant, has become a torment, pumping out green vegetables faster than any kitchen can handle. Even the most prepared gardener is overwhelmed with how zucchini grow this time of year. “Zucchini Overload” has begun. In our garden, we carefully watch the first baby summer squash grow. Every year that first zucchini is carefully tended, inch by inch until we can’t take it any longer. Out of the garden it goes and into a pan sautéed plain with butter and salt. The next few are eaten the same, the featured main…

  • Canning,  Cooking,  How-To Guides

    Eat Local America – How to Roast Red Peppers

    This recipe for Homemade Roasted Red Peppers is the fifth post in the 2013 Eat Local America! Challenge series. Each year Minnesota co-ops celebrate the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available in 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. One of the highlights of my Eat Local America Challenge every year is to find new ways to make the ingredients I love from scratch. Eating local means reducing the mileage our…

  • Canning,  Cooking

    National Can-It-Forward Day

    Today is 2013 National Can It Forward Day. Hosted by Ball Home Preserving, Can It Forward Day promotes and educates about canning and home preserving. This week I had the chance to meet with the MOMS club of Richfield/Southeast Minneapolis for my own canning event. I shared the basics of canning tomatoes while my friend Melanie and her great group of Mom friends hung out with their kiddos for the morning. In honor of Can It Forward Day, today I’m sharing some photos from the Mom’s club event and a re-post of my Simple Good and Tasty “How to Host a Home Canning Party” post from September 2012. A Minnesota…