Welcome

Craft Cocktails: Sampling new Minnesota micro distilleries

micro distillery cocktails

Minnesota is in the early stages of a craft liquor boom. As part of the Surly Bill of 2011 (the bill largely responsible for Minnesota's robust and ever-expanding craft beer culture), it is now easier and less expensive to obtain a micro distillery license. Over the past year or so, we've seen the first products of these new companies become available.

 

One of the newest distilleries, Du Nord Craft Spirits, began selling its flagship product, L'Etoile Vodka, this past week. Vodka, gin, and other clear spirits form the majority of items currently hitting the market, as they don't require aging; we should see more whiskeys, rums, etc. arrive over the next few years. Now is a good juncture to sample several of the high-profile liquors currently on offer, in order to highlight the impressive and exciting work being done around the state.

Read more »

Fish Tonight: Partner up with your local sustainability-minded fishmonger and make ceviche

ceviche

In terms of simple-to-prepare foods, ceviché is on the top of the list for making a great impression with little effort. The delicate balance of fish, acid, and vegetables give the illusion of complexity, when in reality, the dish takes just minutes to prepare. There are a few key components in making the dish successful. It all starts with choosing the right fish.

 

Here’s how to select the best fish:

 

Start with your fishmonger. Because they live in water, fish are more sensitive to heat, travel, and bacteria than other proteins. Your best bet is going to a source that is knowledgeable about storage, quality, and cut. Locally, we have the wonderful folks at Coastal Seafoods, located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, who are passionate about quality fish and can help you make the best choices.

 

Read more »

Hunting for Dinner: Foraging for ramps, and the best onion dip recipe ever

ramp onion dip

After a long winter like the one we just suffered through, most of us here in Minnesota are anxious to get outside and enjoy some nice weather. Last week, I had the opportunity to get out trout fishing with my 2-year-old son. We walked along a river bank south of Rochester and didn’t catch a thing but we were outside and it was wonderful. As we went along, I couldn’t help but notice all the broad green leaves sticking up out of the ground. They were instantly recognizable as ramps and my trout-fishing day turned into a ramp-picking day.

 

Read more »

Feel Like Crap?: Get shiny and bright again with a spring detox

Spring detox

Are you groggy? Stiff? Headachey? Overweight? Suffer from indigestion, sleep disturbance, or allergies? Sounds like you may suffer from what Dr. Mark Hyman refers to as FLC (Feel Like Crap) Syndrome. What if I told you that you could reverse those uncomfortable patterns naturally? 

 

Detoxing is a simple way to jumpstart your metabolism, boost your energy, quell disease-causing inflammation, and kick unhealthy habits that keep you feeling sick and tired.

 

The word detox may send shivers of fear down your spine. Let me reassure you, "detoxing" is not synonymous with "starvation" or "deprivation." In fact, detoxing can be incredibly liberating, delicious, and pleasurable. I mean, think about it, you are dedicating yourself to unabashed expressions of self-love while caring for your body in intentional, empowering ways. Doesn't just thinking about that feel so good?  

 

Read more »

Darn Good Dough: Minneapolis-based flour company makes ditching gluten easier

GF cookies

Culinary whiz Christina Vanoverbeke kicks off one of Simple, Good & Tasty's new sections, in which our writers take locally produced products on a test run. 

 

Baking is always science, but it isn’t necessarily experiment. 

 

Most baking consists of following a series of carefully tested steps to the gram. But throw a variable into the plan – say, trying to make grandma’s pound cake, but making it gluten free – and the results can quickly turn inedible. Getting the right balance of flour alternatives is tricky, can be expensive, and often doesn’t result in anything even close to what you wanted.

 

When a line of flours promises to be an easy, cup-for-cup replacement to the standard flours that so many recipes call for, I hear angels playing trumpets in the heavens. And then I assume it’s too good to be true. 

 

Read more »

Kitchen DIY: Mastering homemade yogurt

Homemade yogurt

Today’s post is kind of like a public service announcement: Make your own yogurt. Honestly, I can’t believe it took me this long to start making yogurt at home. For some reason I was under the impression that it was more complicated. I don’t know if I thought it required fancy equipment, took up too much refrigerator space, or what. Turns out it’s only two little ingredients and a very simple process.  And given the amount of yogurt we eat, this discovery ended up being a game changer.

 

Read more »

Love for Local Vino: 5 reasons why Minnesota wine is better than ever

Grapes

While Minnesota (or the Midwest, for that matter) may not be the first region that comes to mind when it comes to wine, many Minnesotans don’t realize that our state’s history with grapes and winemaking actually spans more than 150 years.

 

And today, with the invention of cold-hardy grape varieties, the Minnesota wine industry is thriving. If you’ve never given Minnesota wine a try, or if it’s been awhile, here are five reasons why you should check it out.

 

Like us, our grape varieties scoff at cold weather

What’s unique about winemaking in Midwestern states, such as Minnesota, is that because of the climate, cold-resistant or cold-hardy wine grapes are used. 

 

Read more »

Curing Picky Eater Syndrome: Get your kids to eat kale (seriously!) by letting them play with their food

dinosaur kale

Vegetables can be a scary item on your picky eater’s plate, eliciting cries of, “Broccoli, yuck. Beans? No way. Kale? Don’t even think about it.” What’s a parent to do? I’ll let you in on a little secret — kids will eat their vegetables if they play with them first. So, it’s time to show your kids that vegetables are something they can love instead of hate.

 

Here are some activities you can do together with your kids at the dinner table — remember, the ultimate goal is to have them eat their veggies at the end of play time. It helps if you play along and eat the vegetables alongside your kids, and hey, it’s good for you too!


Read more »
Syndicate content