beth dooley

Simple, Good, and Tasty Local Gift Guide 2013

It's getting to be that time of year when we're encouraged to buy, buy, buy. But when you're thinking about gifts this year, why not shop local? We've got a round-up of local Twin Cities and Minnesota gift suggestions from our writers. There's something for everyone on your list, from hand-crafted goods like pottery and knitwear to experiences like a tour of local inns to a gift that keeps on giving like a flower CSA share. You can also check out gift guides from 2012 and 2011 for some perennial local gift suggestions.


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Market Cooking with Beth Dooley and the Minnesota's Bounty Cookbook

I have enough trouble just remembering to write down a recipe after I create or adapt one for my tastes. Then, when I do, there is always the question of accuracy, as all too often I come back to it a month or year later and it just doesn't turn out. So, I find it more than just a little miraculous that barely a year has passed since I received and reviewed the Northern Heartland Kitchen cookbook by Dooley, and already, I am receiving emails asking me if I was interested in her newest piece of work, Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmer's Market Cookbook.


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A Few Weeks With "The Northern Heartland Kitchen"

It isn't very often that I use a cookbook. I tend to gaze at them now and then, often for inspiration more than to study how something is done or to check measurements. Therefore, I am surprised at what I am about to say: I love The Northern Heartland Kitchen and since it arrived in the mail, nary a day has gone by when neither my wife nor I has picked it up.

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Italian Cultural Day at Mill City Farmers Market: "Mi Piace!"

Yes, the fair is still going on, and summer's last long weekend is upon us, but there's another event that takes place this Saturday that deserves some attention, too. The Mill City Farmers Market invites us to enjoy Italian Cultural Day, when peak produce such as heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs, and specialty products such as artisan olive oil will be highlighted. Throughout the summer, Mill City has hosted themed days that revolve around products and foods that complement the season, such as the recent picnic fest, or celebrate their growers and vendors, like the Native American and Hmong Cultural Days.

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Recipe for Spring Egg Salad With a Twist

Bacon and eggs are my kind of salad. This simple, hearty, bistro toss up is perfect for Easter lunch or brunch. It makes a lively light spring dinner, too (but you’ll need lots of good crusty bread and perhaps some Shepherd’s Way Frisago as well). The sunny presentation is stunningly simple as frying bacon and poaching eggs. The fun is in poking the yolk and making a joyful mess of it all.

Though frisee is the classic green, I prefer peppery watercress (and with luck we may have some clinging to the edges of those burbling streams very soon). Toss in field greens or baby spinach if you like, a little sorrel and arugula as well. Some recipes call for lardoons, the fancy name for thick cut bacon bits (I prefer the thinner rashers, cooked crisp.) That said, the bacon makes this meal. Find the best from any of these local sources, and pick up some heritage pork, too.

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A Recipe for Awesomeness: Fischer Farms Porketta

Porketta is one of those recipes that you shove in the oven and forget about. The meat emerges tender and succulent. It serves a bunch of people, and the leftovers – sliced high and piled on crusty baguette, or slathered with bbq sauce on a soft, whole wheat bun, or diced and simmered in ragu for pasta – make things easy on the cook.

It’s one of those recipes that came to the Iron Range with Italian miners, was adopted by Czech neighbors and Norwegian farmers, and is now found on menus throughout the Twin Cities (and given an uptempo spin).

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