Sausage and Bean Pantry Soup

I occasionally get asked about how I shop for food. Obviously, I love buying straight from the farm, which usually involves meeting farmers in random parking lots around town for a produce/eggs/meat/bread for cash swap. I get great satisfaction growing my own herbs and veggies while using the bounty of meat and fish that lands in our freezer thanks to my Cabelas-addict husband ....more

The Strip Club Meat & Fish - St. Paul, MN

The monkfish at The Strip Club St. Paul - aka my happy place I wasn't really sure at first. The unassuming, old-fashioned restaurant facade ....more

Garlicky Dandelion Greens

I'm a little late to the game this year, but I have been so excited about gardening these past two weeks. The warm weather, sun and scent of lilacs may have a little bit to do with my enthusiasm, but every day I'm out there seeding, weeding, watering, weeding, planting, and, well, weeding. It's only May, but already, I'm pulling up dandelions like this ....more

Birchwood Cafe

Get ready for a gushfest.I don't know that I can adequately explain my love for Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis. I've fallen hard for this place. After following Birchwood on Facebook for years, I finally stopped in for breakfast and it solidified everything I already knew ....more

Pizzeria Lola

First things first: Pizzeria Lola is located on 5557 Xerxes Ave South, Minneapolis. If, for any reason, you decide to first check out 5557 Xerxes Ave North, you will be greeted with a Sears parking lot, a car repair shop, and a Popeye's....more

Everyday Risotto

I'm a bit mystified that risotto isn't more frequently found bubbling on the stovetops of middle America. Few dishes are as simple and flexible, yet as rich tasting and fulfilling, as a good risotto.Perhaps the name turns people away, sounding a bit too fickle? Roll your Rs now: rrrrreeeee-zo-to....more

Amy Thielen's Pot Roast

I love the idea of a regular weekly menu routine. It seems so neat and tidy, knowing that Monday will always be meatless, Thursday will be the weekly feast of leftovers, and Friday night will forever feature homemade pizza.However, in my real life, it never, ever works out that way. Schedules are ever-changing, the contents of my fridge and garden are never the same from one week to the next, and some evenings all I want is popcorn ....more

Upside-Down Pineapple Cake

My dear mom-in-law recently celebrated her 30th anniversary of turning 39 (ba-dum-dum). To celebrate, we had the family over and made a Sunday feast, dining elbow-to-elbow around our modest kitchen table, sharing stories that usually followed this pattern:1) Something not awesome happened (i.e., falling out of the fishing boat, a memorably bad meal, that turkey fryer fire...).2) It all turned out ok.3) We laugh.Life is kinda like that, isn't it? We work hard to make everything just right, but really, the things we remember most fondly are never picture perfect ....more

Chive and Dill Bread

Is there any meal as wonderful as the feast of soup and bread? I'm all for holiday dinners and big meals when you are out on the town, but deep down, part of me always just wants the simple, soul-satisfying nourishment of good soup and bread.So it's no surprise that I've completely fallen for Beatrice Ojakangas's (Minnesota shout-out!) The Soup and Bread Cookbook. I prefer her book over Moosewood's Daily Special...more

How to Make Croutons

Every week we buy an loaf of amazing crusty wood-fired sourdough bread from a wonderful couple, Jared and Jenn, at Humble Cottage Farm. That bread is the reason I will never be gluten free. The crust, the bread flavor, the crumb - it seems unfair to give the same name of "bread" to this magical loaf and the squishy pre-sliced plastic-bagged stuff that sits for weeks on the grocery store shelf ....more