March 2011

Tonight! Simple, Good, and Tasty Book Club: My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme

It's book club time again! Tonight we're gathering to discuss My Life in France at Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op’s Selby location from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and near Harmony Co-op in Bemidji from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

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Hazel's Northeast: Welcome to the Neighborhood!

In early December 2010, Native Minnesotans -- and brothers -- Andrew and Adam Sieve opened Hazel's Northeast (named for their grandmother) on the corner of 29th Avenue and Johnson Street in NE Minneapolis, just two doors up from Amici Pizza and Bistro. As luck would have it, the restaurant's opening weekend was the same weekend as one of the largest Minnesota blizzards on record, with more than 17 inches of snow. Amazingly, people came. Remembering the opening, Andrew shook his head and smiled. "We had cross-country skis and sleds out front. We hoped people would embrace Hazel's, but never expected a response like that!"

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Finding Coke in a Co-op: A Lesson on Compromise and Acceptance

“Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” asks Tom Rath, author of the book Strengths Finder 2.0. ”Chances are, you don’t,” he continues. “All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.”


As a result, Rath writes, 77 percent of parents “think that a student’s lowest grade deserves the most time and attention.” And “teachers reward excellence with apathy instead of investing more time in the areas where a child has the most potential for greatness.”

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Feeding the Family: Simple Good and Tasty Oats

McDonald's recently added oatmeal to their breakfast menu. Behold, the ingredients of a "simple" bowl of McDonald's oatmeal:

Oatmeal: whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.

Diced Apples: apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

Cranberry Raisin Blend
: dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

Light Cream: milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

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Heavy Table's "Minnesota Lunch" Makes the Case for the Great Sandwich State

Count me among the many thousands of supporters, friends, and admirers of Heavy Table, a phenomenally good website focused on food in the Upper Midwest in general, and Minnesota in particular. In just over two years, the Heavy Table -- and its editor James Norton -- have become a true force for good food in our state, telling the stories of Minnesota's restaurants, farmers, trends, and tastes in ways that are both tasteful and mouthwatering. With daily articles, photos, graphics, and illustrations, Heavy Table makes the case for Minnesota as the center of our country's thriving food culture. Tired of listening to your friends on the coasts brag about how no other town compares to theirs? Send them to Heavy Table and shut them up.

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Chicago's Publican Had Me At Smelt Fry

A few weeks ago I went with my husband, who I’ll call Mr. Tasty, to Chicago to celebrate his birthday. I won’t tell you which birthday, but it was a big one, and I don’t mean 30 or 50. In a weekend I’ve mentally edited into a feature film-style montage of eating, drinking, and posing in front of public art beans—Here we are enjoying duck breast Benedict at the Bongo Room! Here’s us draining margaritas at Frontera! Don’t we look cute trying on fedoras at Goorin Brothers?—one meal stands out. If I am in love with Chicago, and I do believe I am, it seduced me under the sepia lights of the Publican.

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Just One Mouth to Feed and Proud of It! Grocery Shopping and Meal Preparation for Singles

Only one mouth to feed in your house? If you’re one of the 31 million people living by yourself in the United States you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43% of Americans over age 18 are single. It’s more important than ever for those of us choosing the solo life to take control of our diet since there’s no one around to nag us about eating healthy. I was lucky to grow up in a household where my mom believed in getting a home cooked meal on the table for dinner and my dad demonstrated good eating habits by making breakfast every day.

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Please Come to the Birchwood Cafe/SGT Earth Day Community Dinner on April 17!

It's been almost exactly two years since the first Simple, Good, and Tasty event, or what I'm now referring to as our "meal heard round the city" at the Craftsman in 2009. Did you know that our second-ever event, held in May of 2009, was at the Birchwood Cafe?

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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with an Irish Rebel Stew

Before I begin, allow me to offer a wee disclaimer: I’m not Irish. Not even a little bit. But I did go to Notre Dame, have never met an Irishman I haven’t liked, and love drinking holidays, which, when you think about it, is basically any holiday if you want it to be.

I also like holiday foods and the fact that my kids are still young enough to get swept up in my concocted celebrations and thereby more likely to try new things to eat. This past Mardi Gras, I made a lovely jambalaya for my family and since it was food for a fest, my kids gobbled it up. Had I made jambalaya on a random Tuesday night, you’d better believe I would still be eating the leftovers.

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The Herb Box Brings Tasty Local Foods to Life Time Fitness

I think of going to the gym as the penance I must do to absolve my love of ice cream, so I was pretty fascinated to hear that The Herb Box, Eden Prairie’s new local-food-minded restaurant, is located inside the Life Time Fitness center. Happily, The Herb Box is tucked between the lobby and the cleverly veiled indoor tennis courts, and its sports-bar-meets-Zen-retreat atmosphere -- and creative menu offerings -- kept my mind off of treadmills.

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