Exploring Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog

Temperatures were in the negative digits and the sun was still below the horizon when we left the Bed & Breakfast in Hibbing, Minnesota. It was nearly 6am as we pointed our car towards Sax-Zim Bog, a layer of ice coated the rear window and we had every inch of skin covered in anticipation of the winds whipping the snowy landscape – but we wanted to see a Great Gray Owl.

Great Gray Owl sitting on a power pole

Great Gray Owl, photo by Brian Carpenter

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Power Foods: A Healthy Pizza Recipe

If your house is anything like mine, you eat more pizza than you like to admit. While I really love pizza, I often find myself ordering delivery because I’m strapped for time or just can’t fathom coming up with yet another dinner plan. So what if there was an easy fallback recipe that doesn’t make you feel guilty? When I came across this simple and healthy pizza recipe in the Power Foods cookbook, I had to try it. Topped with nutritious ingredients and a snap to make, after taking a bite of this pizza you might reconsider calling for delivery too.

homemade pizza with ricotta, tomato and basil

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Fort Snelling: Going Back in Time

Located in the heart of the Twin Cities where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers converge, Fort Snelling State Park provides not only a quick nature escape, but also the opportunity to temporarily go back in time. When I walk through the park, I always find myself reflecting on the early days of Minnesota’s history and imagining what it must have been like for the first people living here – then I’m brought back to reality by the roar of an airplane and the soft hum of the freeway. Growing up a fan of Little House on the Prairie, I know that my notions of the early days of life in Minnesota are often romanticized, so I set to work looking into the history of the park. Unfortunately in addition to the more well-known Dred Scott connection, I found a large portion of disappointing history but also some that surprised me.

fort snelling landscape

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Valentine’s Day Brownie Cookies

I love Valentine’s Day. In my younger years, I would carry a bag of Hershey’s Kisses to work and leave chocolates on desks and in mailboxes while no one was watching. When I realized how much I loved baking, the Hershey’s Kisses evolved into a homemade treat that would be delivered to friends and families. Each year I try to come up with a new idea that will add a touch of sweetness to the day; this year I found the perfect recipe through one of my favorite bloggers, Shutterbean.

brownie cookies

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Butter IS Better: The Butter Bakery Cafe

Have you been looking for the perfect neighborhood cafe to meet a friend for breakfast? How about a great spot to have a tasty scone and savor a cup of tea? Look no further, I have just the spot for you: Butter Bakery Cafe in Southwest Minneapolis.

tofu scramble

My Tofu Scramble: Seasoned tofu scrambled with veggies, served with potatoes

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Peanut Butter Cookies… with Sriracha?

Remember when I told you I was in a food rut? Well, my quest for recipes to break out of this cycle led me to a strange little cookie that had me intrigued. With a raised eyebrow, I read through the ingredients; I admit that I was skeptical. Finally, I dug out my mixing bowl and set to work, I had to see what a peanut butter cookie with Sriracha tasted like.

sriracha peanut butter cookies

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History in Horticulture: The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

“He taught both in scientific words and with dirt-stained hands….” – Jane McKinnon

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the Upper Midwest’s largest public garden and is open 363 days a year. Part of the University of Minnesota, the earliest grounds were established in 1907 as the Horticultural Research Center. They developed cold-hardy crops and we have them to thank for our beloved Honeycrisp apples (among many other plants).

white orchid

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Exploring Food & Culture at the Pilgrimage Café

The newly opened Pilgrimage Café is a restaurant that celebrates the importance of food as a connection to culture and history. Influenced by foods that span the globe, they use flavors and dishes to explore other cultures while at the same time reminding you of home. Did someone say comfort food? It certainly was that, and delicious too.

It’s a treat to start your breakfast with an appetizer. When we saw that they had donuts filled with peanut butter mousse, we had to try them.

peanut butter donutes filled with mousse donuts

French crullers served with honey glaze, filled with peanut butter mousse

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