• Cooking

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bites with Frozen Blueberries

    Things I wish I had less of in my life: – bad hair days. – automatic flush toilets. – commercials on Pandora for engagement rings. Things I wish I had more of: – double-down snow days. – episodes of Smash – reasons to make cheesecake. I mean, can you really ever have too many reasons for cheesecake? New jobs, baby showers, first dates, bad hair days. All good reasons for cheesecake. Being stuck in the house for 2 days because of a “polar vortex.” Also a good reason for cheesecake. Yesterday I decided to have a serious “screw winter weather” moment and made a pan of blueberry cheesecake bars with…

  • 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,  Locavore on the Road,  Locavore Q & A

    Locavore on the Road: Little House on the Prairie

    Few things are as well-known in Minnesota history as Laura Ingalls Wilder and her dugout home in Walnut Grove. Last weekend our road trip through Southwest Minnesota brought us along Highway 14 to The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in downtown Walnut Grove. We were the only people wandering the grounds on a quiet Saturday morning. The perfect time for extra photos and lingering over the exhibits. The kitchen partner and I have spent this spring re-reading the Little House series, reliving our childhood through titles like Little House in the Big Woods and On the Banks of Plum Creek. As a child I completely missed how food winds through the series, just like…

  • Cooking,  How-To Guides

    How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

    The past two weekends the kitchen partner and I have hosted family for overnight stays. I love being the first one up in the morning on these days, sneaking down to the kitchen for a cup of tea and some quiet time before everyone’s up and ready for a day of fun. I also love having an extra special breakfast ready when our guests wake up. We almost always have Whole Grain Milling Pancakes, eggs and bacon, but on days when I’m awake extra early, I’ll even throw together a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are one of the many foods we Americans sacrificed taste and nutrition for…

  • Cooking

    Blizzard Apple Crisp

    Is everyone ready for snow-ma-geddon? I’ve watched the reports all week about the East Coast storm of the century and to be honest I’m sort of jealous. We’re only expecting a few inches in the Twin Cities with the most falling up north beyond Duluth. This weekend when you’re all hunkered down watching the blowing snow and praying for a snow day on Monday I have only one recommendation: dessert. I could eat apple pie every day during the winter (come March my jean size can testify). Major comfort food. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better during a blizzard than warm gooey apple pie with a scoop of…

  • Cooking

    A Locavore Christmas: Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

    I love the kitchen partner’s face when he’s excited about something I’ve baked. Earlier this week I made a holiday pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling in preparation for this post. Every few minutes during the prep he’d come back in the kitchen to dip his finger in the batter for a quick taste. “Wow. That’s really good.”…2 minutes and another dip into the bowl later…”What’s all in this?” He went away for a while and then came back to open the oven door just a crack. “Is it done yet?”…10 minutes later…”How long until you can put the frosting on?”…30 minutes later…”How about now? Can I try it?” Anything…

  • Cooking,  Eating,  Local Products

    Red Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

    So glad it’s the long weekend. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are coming to stay with us for the holiday weekend. We’ll be wandering around the State Fair together and you can bet cheese curds will be involved! Last year during fair week I posted my State Fair Strawberry Shake inspired by my Dairy Building favorite. This year the raspberry sundae has been at the top of my list. Although I couldn’t sneak to the fair every day this week to have an extra treat, I did make some raspberry frozen yogurt at home to carry me over until tomorrow’s visit. Let’s be honest…my frozen yogurt and State Fair raspberry sundaes…

  • Cooking

    Blueberry Shortcakes

    There’s an emerging revelation at our house this week. Shortcakes are not just for strawberries. Seriously. Did all of you know this and were just not telling me? I’ve always thought that strawberry shortcakes were as untouchable as that cute little cartoon that shares the same name. Well move aside Miss Strawberry. There’s a new gal in town. Her name is Blueberry and she’s ready for her chance to shine. I like my shortcake more like drop biscuits. The same way my mom makes them, except with twice as much butter. To me shortcakes should be rough on the outside but fluffy, rich and buttery on the inside. Not the…

  • Cooking,  Local Products

    Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

    Sometimes you come across a recipe and it completely changes your outlook for the week. Maybe even the year. I know we’re only a week in, but cranberry cheesecake has been the highlight of my 2012 in the kitchen. Last week there were exactly 4 quart-sized freezer bags of cranberries left in our freezer and exactly 4 months left until spring fruits begin to ripen. Then I met cranberry cheesecake. I’m in BIG trouble. The cream cheese comes from a dairy in Iowa via Mississippi Market. The original recipe from the Taste of Home cookbook called for sweetened condensed milk–which let’s face it–is in no way local. Instead, I substituted…