Gabriela Lambert

There's a New Pie in Town! Introducing Red Wagon Pizza Co.

I first met Pizza Pete (a.k.a Peter Campbell) before our school's fundraiser on a balmy night this past February. I was in charge of the bar (no small feat for this particular fun-lovin' SW Minneapolis Catholic school) and Pete was in charge of . . . you guessed it, the pizza. Hours before the event, I was putting the kegs on ice and stacking bottles of wine and I could smell the woody smoke filtering into the gym. The smell of burning wood is evocative of so many good things, it seemed impossible to imagine a better welcome for all the parents coming to love up our school.

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Soupapalooza! Week Four With a Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

Who would have imagined, during the first act of Soupapalooza back in February, that the fourth act would come during a stretch of 70 degree weather and popping tulips? Never mind the weather, according to the calendar, it's still soup season. For week four of Soupapalooza, I bring you a light Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs. 

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Soupapalooza! Week Three with a Creamy Elegant Cauliflower Soup

For week three of Soupapalooza, I was inspired by one of the few measly snowfalls we've gotten here in Minnesota to make something white and creamy. Given its availability this time of year, cauliflower seemed like the most natural choice, notwithstanding the fact that I spent most of my youth vehemently opposed to it both in theory and in practice. I didn't trust anything so stinky and frankly, so pale. But I've grown up now, and stinky and pale is alright by me.

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Soupapalooza! Week Two with a Hearty (and Heartwarming) Minestrone

One of my earliest food memories is of eating soup with my dad. Both of my parents were medical residents and although I don't remember feeling juggled, I know that caring for me with two punishing call schedules was an elaborate dance. It must have been on those bleary-eyed nights when my mom was on call, that my dad would pull out the Campbell's Alphabet Soup. He would serve it in one big bowl and float big chunks of Meunster cheese in it which would melt into long gooey strings. Together we would eat, our heads touching, our spoons crossing - giggling, looking for letters and trying to get that cheese. 

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Soupapalooza! Kicking Off the New Year with Four Rockin' Soups in Four Weeks

It's a good thing Minnesota is (typically) such a cold and snowy place as we turn the calendar page to a new year, because for the second year in a row, my New Year's resolution has involved soup. Here's a tip apropos of resolutions, people: Don't bite off more than you can chew, or slurp. Last year, I resolved to figure out a way to make a delicious vegetable soup that satisfied my hungry, winter (read: carnivorous) self and I did it! It pays to make super attainable resolutions. The vegetable stock and the soup itself are recipes I go back to time and time again, and each time I do, I feel warm, nourished, happy and yes, a wee bit virtuous. This year, as I was thinking of things in my life I wanted to change in 2012, I somehow fell right back into a pot of soup.

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Ever Wonder What the Farmers Market Vendors Do During the Winter? Hint: They Don't Get to Hibernate

(Buddy the Pony and his friends - photo by Mike Braucher)

I am a creature of habit and one of the most comforting and delicious of my habits for the last couple summers has been a trip to the Kingfield Farmers Market almost every single Sunday. Sometimes I bring the whole family along and we meander and nosh on mini-donuts, falafel or Thai omelets, running into friends and neighbors at every turn. Sometimes, I go in for a surgical strike – alone with my basket, in and out in fifteen minutes, loaded down with eggs, veggies, salmon, meats and cheeses for the week. By the looks of the mellow shuffling crowds, I am not the only one with a Kingfield Farmers Market habit, and so I am probably not the only one who’s going to be feeling a bit forlorn now that the season has ended.

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Pin-Up Girl Eggplant - A Savory Dish for those Purple Beauties

I don't know about you, but I find it virtually impossible to walk by an eggplant and not pick it up. They are just so beautiful. The heft, the mysterious deep purple skin, the smooth contours just speak to me. They are the plump and saucy pin-up girls of the vegetable world and I am always seduced. I had visions of creamy curries and crusty parmesans as I filled my basket with one, two, OK, three too many at the Kingfield Farmers Market on Sunday. But as much as the aubergine beauties might have been calling to me from my kitchen counter, the last honeyed days of summer were calling me even more.
Instead of hopping on the computer and hungrily searching my favorite food blogs for recipes, I went for a long and lazy late afternoon swim at Lake Harriet. My son and I swam way far out past the buoys until we could barely recognize the rest of our tiny family on shore.
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On the Look-Out for Uli Westphal's Mutatoes

With juice dripping down her arm, I heard my daughter tell her younger sister that they were eating “elf strawberries.” Indeed, it seems hardly more of a stretch to imagine that the farmers market berries were grown by elves than to think they are the same type of fruit as the gargantuan strawberries available at the supermarket in protective plastic shields. There have been times when I’ve watched my kid clutch a strawberry in her fist and eat it like one would eat an apple and I’ve shuddered. It just seems unnatural. But how are they supposed to know that a strawberry shouldn’t fill your entire palm or that a watermelon is supposed to have seeds or that all apples are not round?

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Spring Green Puttanesca Sauce and a Few of My Favorite Things

If you are a woman anywhere near my age and I started singing Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens . . . chances are good you would pipe in immediately with bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens! All together now! Brown paper packages, tied up with striiiiing. These are a few of my favorite thiiiings! OK, I’ll stop. But I know you’re feeling it. Try as I might, I can’t get my kids interested in The Sound of Music. I guess children in lederhosen made out of curtains singing with a nun can’t compete with the likes of Harry Potter and The Black Eyed Peas. 


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Susan Power's "Rawmazing: Easy Raw Food" Really Is Rawmazing

When our fearless editor, Lee, sent out an email to the SGT writers asking if anyone was interested in reviewing a raw food cookbook, I jumped at the chance. I didn’t know much about raw food, aside from the obvious, and envisioned myself learning how to carve flowers out of carrots and arrange basil leaves around a plate, just so. I figured raw food was, you know, pretty. I soon learned that there are more than aesthetic reasons for eating raw foods, and Susan Powers does a great job of explaining the health and environmental benefits on her website, Rawmazing. In short, cooking food destroys or alters valuable enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that we need for our health, so preparing foods without cooking them gives our bodies what they need “to thrive, not just survive.”

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