Summer Smoothies - Give Your Body a Break

Summer is fantastic. A warm summer night with a frothy smoothie in hand is better. During these warm months, we come together with friends and family often to visit, celebrate and to just be in the company of one another. Along with these gatherings, comes food and a lot of it. Some of the edible options are healthy and some are...well, not so much. I'm sure that you have a little list of a few seasonal specialties that you simply must have (I know I do!) because you only get spinach dip so many times a year or the grilled red potato salad just looked too good to pass up. 

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Black Raspberries Get Their Due

Black raspberries have never been the most popular kid on the block. Their cousin, the red raspberry, enjoys enduring fame and adulation while the black raspberry is a one hit wonder known only for being distilled into Chambord, the French Liqueur. Ever the fan of the underdog, when I planted raspberries in my backyard a few years ago, I put in rows of both black and red.

The red raspberries delivered as expected, gorgeous thumb-sized berries full of flavor. The black raspberries, though smaller and less aromatic, provided a tart counterpoint with a darker berry flavor. And then I discovered their secret.

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A Weeknight Supper For The Summer: The 30 Minute Edition

Signs that summer is in full swing: temperatures in the upper 80s and beyond, swimming lessons, ballet camp, road trip plans, gulping down novels, the constant whirr of fans at night, ice cream appearing at an alarming frequency, and an aversion to meals that require heating up the kitchen with excessive oven or stove use. 

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My New Summer Eating Plan

I’ll just put it out there to start with: minus the cabbage broth cayenne pepper (or the “please-kill-me-now?”) diet, I have given most food-life styles a fair shot. I did vegetarian for about four years. Did raw for awhile (I loved it, my stomach did not), and did every sort of variation of caveman diets, of carb/protein/fat ratios and of cooked/uncooked/baked/boiled/parched plans that are out there.  Some have made me feel better, some worse, some wiped off the pounds and some put them right back on, and some were a heck of a lot more enjoyable than others. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got a “thing” for eating plans. Like, it’s too confusing and certainly altogether too overwhelming out there when the whole wide world of food is fair game.

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Hail Hummus!

As we welcome summer into our lives with open arms, it's also a time to welcome wonderful, crisp and light foods into our bellies. Minnesota has so many delicious options to choose from. We are also a Minne-gold mine when it comes to hummus. Our farmer's markets, co-ops and gardens are full of tasty options for your own homemade hummus. I was shocked at how easy it is to make at home, and ever since that day, I have been hooked on the stuff. It was not time consuming or difficult and you can create enough variations to keep this go-to food fresh and fun for your palette.

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Snacks to Pack...Ideas and Recipes for the Traveler

All too often I find myself in a mad scramble when packing to get out of town. Especially if it is just for the weekend, I have to beat traffic and I'm trying desperately not to forget the essentials, like underwear or beer. Because of this less than ideal state, I often compromise in the worst of all ways: snacks. The snacks and treats we bring on our outings are often the best part and can help make the trip more memorable. If we forget, we get to go foraging at the gas station on the way.

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Homemade Mustard, Three Ways

These days, everyone seems to be making their own condiments from ketchup, mustard and mayo to horseradish and all sorts of relishes and aiolis. It is an interesting trend to say the least, but also a delicious one with endless potential. After all, good beef can make a great hamburger, but it can be the condiments that take it to the next level.

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Summer Serendipity

Sometimes circumstances constellate to create something unexpected, unsought, and pretty wonderful. Seemingly random events collide and use their power for good. This happened to me recently. It involved two emails from unconnected sources and a magazine. The result was a one of a kind dinner, and the promise of many more to come.

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Lazy Sunday Afternoon Barbecue Chicken

Ok, I know that this isn't revolutionary, but I just discovered that I can roast whole chickens on my barbecue...and its easy...and they are really tasty. Despite the fact that there seems to be a place to buy a roasted or rotisserie chicken every few blocks, I still feel a little like an evil genius, like I pulled off some great crime.

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Simple Chicken Soup From Leftovers

First, the chicken: where deadlines meet dinnertime

The other afternoon I was hard at work on an editing project when I noticed it was already 4pm. This meant that without even trying I had fallen behind on getting dinner ready. 

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