Tag Archives: Minnesota

Minnesota Kids Sell Rhubarb for Disaster Relief

1 Jun

Rhubarb

Clearly it is the season for rhubarb as this is my second post about rhubarb this week. In my defense, my rhubarb frenzy is for a great cause.

@kharner's sons harvest rhubarb

My friend @kharner’s two adorable boys are selling their rhubarb crop as a fundraiser for families affected in North Minneapolis and Joplin, MO. Deadly tornadoes ripped through the Midwest recently and, like me, her heart went out to everyone struggling with the aftermath of the storms. I am impressed by the way her family is giving back and the incredible life lesson it teaches her young sons.

Kids' rhubarb fundraiser for disaster relief

So, local Minnesota folks, contact Kristin ASAP to get your bunch of rhubarb and support disaster relief.

You can make my rhubarb crisp muffins, or try this recipe I just discovered: rhubarb krack!

Thank you, readers, and many thanks to Kristin’s family for their generosity!

Rhubarb Crisp Muffins

31 May

To me, spring in Minnesota means venturing out to farmer’s markets to pick up fresh, seasonal produce and chat with local growers. Saturday we went to the Richfield Farmer’s Market for the first time. I highly recommend this market, especially for families – live music, plenty of picnic tables for snacks, restrooms nearby and a fantastic playground. It’s early in the season and offerings are slim, but we walked away with a big bunch of fresh rhubarb.

Rhubarb reminds me of my grandparents. Several rhubarb plants grew on the side of their garage. No matter where I am, if I eat rhubarb, I’m right back in South Fargo at a family picnic eating rhubarb crisp.

I made rhubarb crisp muffins and had enough leftover to freeze for another recipe.

Rhubarb Crisp Muffins

2 1/2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 C packed brown sugar [NOTE: use 1 1/2 cups for the batter and reserve 1/2 cup for the crumble on top]

2/3 C vegetable oil [I use Canola oil]

1 C whole milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb

1 C plain quick oats

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins or use cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Stir the flour mixture into the batter and fold in the chopped rhubarb. Fill prepared muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Rhubarb crisp muffin batter

In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup packed brown sugar with about 1 cup of oats. Sprinkle the crumble generously over each muffin cup. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes.  The recipe yields 24 muffins.

Crumble topping added and ready to go in the oven

These muffins were perfect right out of the oven for brunch. Tart, sweet and delicious.

Rhubarb crisp muffins

For variations on the recipe, you can substitute buttermilk for the whole milk. My mom suggests keeping a can of powdered buttermilk in the pantry for the odd recipe that requires buttermilk. You can also vary the crumble mixture. Instead of oats, mix brown sugar, butter and toasted slivered almonds for the topping.

Quick tip: If you run out of batter and wonder what to do with the empty cups, simply fill them half full with water to ensure the batch of muffins cooks evenly.

Enjoy!

YoYo Donuts – Delicious Decadence

17 May

A hearty thank you to @JoelECarlson for holding a networking meeting at YoYo Donuts and Coffee Bar in Minnetonka.  I try to stay away from donuts, because those delicious fat bombs will be my undoing. I am on a mission to lose weight. To quote my friend, Amber, “It’s hard to blame the extra pounds on the baby after a year.”

But, life is too short to forbid myself from enjoying an artisan donut.

Yummy YoYo Donuts

 YoYo Donuts is a great place for a weekday morning meeting.  Gluttons rejoice and dieters beware because the shop is ironically nestled in between a Snap Fitness and Seattle Suttons. Whoopsie daisy – sorry diet!  Cheerful and clean, the shop features pop art on the walls and a sparkly display case showcasing the treats. The free wi-fi and lunch menu (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) are nice additions and ensure YoYo is not a one-trick pony.

YoYo Donuts on Display

 

I decided on two mini bismarcks, one chocolate with custard and the other a creamy key lime. Oh my goodness, I adore the key lime donut. Fresh, bright and delectable. As advertised, the coffee is right on the money and served in arty cups and saucers.

Chris walked me through YoYo’s donut variety. Fritters, bismarcks, cake donuts, long johns. Yum! I know my daughters would flip over the cake donuts festooned with froot loops cereal and silly gummy worms. These treats would be fantastic at a kid’s birthday party.

Chris at YoYo Donuts

The bakery is gaining a following of parents of children with peanut allergies. All YoYo products are peanut and tree-nut free. Crunchy graham crackers replace peanut crumble. Clever!

YoYo uses authentic Maine blueberries in place of blueberry chips and takes pride in their wheat, potato and barley flour to make their donuts flavorful and light. I can attest to the flavor and airiness of their donuts.

If you crave a donut, you must go to YoYo. I restrained myself and only bought one donut to take home to my family. Because I love my husband, I am gifting him a bacon-topped maple long john. 

bacon Bacon BACON
Bacon Donut from YoYo Donuts

 

He might just propose all over again.

Happy snacking!

Top 10 Reasons Why Top Chef Should Come to Minneapolis

31 Mar

I’ll get straight to the point. I am a huge Top Chef fan and I want Bravo to launch a Top Chef Minneapolis show. Pronto!

I am armed with several compelling reasons why Top Chef must be here. I list a bunch of reasons below. If this post doesn’t get much traction right away, I’ll just come up with more reasons, not the least of which, “It would make me deliriously happy.”

Before I begin my list, a quick word on location, and why I’m campaigning for Top Chef Minneapolis and not Top Chef Twin Cities or Top Chef St. Paul. Honestly, I would be fine with any of the above, but in a world where sometimes people call our state “fly over space” Minneapolis has more notoriety than perhaps St. Paul. Heck, I knew people on the East Coast who thought Minneapolis was the state, not Minnesota! For the record, I love St. Paul – I went to school at Macalester, I got married on Summit Avenue, I lived on Grand Avenue and I go there whenever I can. My point is, pick any or all of the cities in Minnesota, I just want Top Chef here. Clear?

Now, on with my top 10 persuasive reasons:

  1. We have a thriving food scene and a ton of personalities to be captivating judges. For example, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, is the hippest food writer ever, in my opinion, and one of Minneapolis’ best assets. Check out the Dara & Co blog where she and other uber-talented writers chat about the Twin Cities food life.
  2. We have top chefs. It sounds a little like a tautology: Top Chef should come to Minneapolis because we have top chefs. But, it’s true! Bar La Grassa is a 2010 James Beard Foundation Semifinalist and Tim McKee, owner of La Belle Vie, won the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest.  I can list many other outstanding chefs, but I’m going to save them if I need to campaign with additional reasons.
  3. Andrew Zimmern.
  4. Amazing original restaurants coming up with creative ideas every single day. Off the top of my head I can name Pizzeria Lola, Bar Lurcat and Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge.
  5. We boast beautiful scenery. The Mississippi River cuts right through downtown, the Stone Arch Bridge is breathtaking, we have 22 city lakes, an impressive cityscape with brand spanking new stadiums, and a surprising amount of green space. This is a very livable city and would represent very well on camera. I promise! I’m thinking about summer, but heck, come in winter too for ice fishing. We rock all year round.
  6. What is Top Chef without Whole Foods? We have two locations!
  7. Mega Food Production. Minnesota is one of the top food producing states in the nation. We are impressive and diverse. We have big agriculture, CSAs, farmers markets and lots of other progressive food production activities.
  8. Mega Food Processing. Betty Crocker, Pillsbury Dough Boy, Trix Rabbit, yeah, they’re all from here. Minneapolis is home to General Mills and a whole host of other food companies. Didn’t know that? Silly rabbit!
  9. If you bring Top Chef to Minneapolis, you will have a unique opportunity to highlight the famous Minnesota accent. We are adorable and great TV when you hear us say “Minn-a-soh-tah” and turn the word “no” into three syllables – “Noh-o-ah.”
  10. Plenty of choices for kitschy quick fire challenges. Can’t you just picture a hotdish challenge, or  best dish on a stick?

I have more reasons, like I want to meet Tom Colicchio, but I’m going to save them because I have a small blog readership and the chance that this will hit big on the first shot is pretty slim.

So, stay tuned, and if you are a believer, help me get Top Chef to Minneapolis!  Who’s with me!?

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