Friday, March 30, 2012

Herb Roasted Chicken

I was reading through some posts on Bon Appetit a few weeks ago and came across one of their posts that talked about the key skills that their interns have to show before getting hired. One of those skills was roasting a chicken. Could you pass a cooking test with your roasting skills?

Honestly, I've never oven roasted a whole chicken before. Lots of turkeys, and I've done rotisserie chicken on the grill but never in the oven. Well, I wasn't going to fail some test if someone from Bon Appetit ever showed up on my door step so I thought I better get moving.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cooking The Market

One of our favorite date nights is to go volunteer at Kitchen In The Market, a local commercial kitchen and cooking school. When I was thinking of ideas to submit for a Foodbuzz 24x24 event, I immediately thought of taking a spin on one of their most popular cooking classes; Cooking the Market.

The idea behind the class is to create a meal based on whatever is currently available in the market, no matter what season it is. It's a fantastic class that always produces something different and fun to cook.

It has been a beautiful, early spring here for us Minnesotans but we're still not into the full on farmers markets quite yet. That doesn't mean that there's no local product available however. One of my goals in sharing this event with some of our friends was to show them the amazing products we have available right here in our local area, all year round as well as get them excited about the great food season to come!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Maple-Brined Pork Roast with Roasted Pear Chutney

The nights are cool and the days are warming. Maple trees start to drip their liquid gold into buckets from Maple farms across the NorthEast. Did you know that it can take up to 40 gallons of the sap to produce just one gallon of syrup? If you haven't ever been able to visit a maple farm, I highly recommend it. It's an amazing process and I've never heard of a maple farmer that wasn't happy to have a few extra hands around to help. You better hurry though, the season often only lasts 4-6 weeks before the trees bud and the sap stops running.

Virtual Potluck and Coombs Family Farms

Photo from

Every year around this time, the weather starts warming up and Maple trees start to release their sap. When I lived in Montreal I loved this time of year when sugar shacks would start popping up all around the countryside. These little shacks would create wonderful meals centered around the wonderful maple syrup. Every dish had some kind of maple product in it and we even drank maple water; the pure sap straight from the tree.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tour de Food Trucks ~ March 2012

It's a beautiful day here in Minnesota. People are outside enjoying the sunshine and what better way to celebrate Spring than the return of the Food Trucks!

Today was the first day that many of the trucks were back on the streets in Minneapolis and a group of MN Food Bloggers got together for a tour and feast of food. We ate some great food, reconnected with truck owners and got excited for the rest of the season to come.

Some of the trucks we visited today were:

Smack Shack
Get Sauced
Simply Steves

 Enjoy some photos of the day:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lemon Pudding Cakes with Raspberry Sauce

We're at it again. The Virtual Potluck team joined up with True Lemon this time and we've got a whole assortment of dishes using their products. Check out our host blog here to join the party.

I love to use fresh lemons and limes but I rarely have them stocked in the fridge and since I cook so randomly, meaning I rarely plan ahead, when I need a lemon or lime it's never there. That leaves me a few options, but most are artificial and don't provide the pure lemon flavor you're looking for in a lemon centered dish.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


As a missionary I spent two years in the Montreal area of Canada. In each city that I lived in, one of our favorite things to do was to try and sample the Poutine from as many different places as we could to determine who had the best. For those not familiar with Poutine, it's a combination of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. Sounds pretty simple but there are so many variations and favorites that you almost never get the same thing twice.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nuts About Oats

I'm so excited to announce my participation in the Nuts About Oats Contest sponsored by Peanut Butter & Co. and Bob's Red Mill!

I was one of six bloggers asked to create a breakfast recipe using peanut butter and oats. It took me about 2.5 seconds to figure out what I wanted to make. I grew up with my my Mom making these amazing cranberry cream scones and I knew I could easily integrate some peanut butter and oats into them and make them even better.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Polish Sausage with Smothered Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

It's buffalo week with Virtual Potluck! Ever cooked with buffalo meat or sausage? If you haven't you're going to have lots of recipes to try out now. Visit our host blog to see join in the potluck!

This buffalo came to us directly from The Buffalo Guys. The thing I liked most about the buffalo meat is that it's lower in cholesterol and fat than other comparable meats. These buffalo are happy guys out roaming free on the range and no fillers or other nasty stuff to get in the way. The flavor is great and we used all of them in a variety of ways. Hot dogs went into some Mac and Cheese for  the kids, Andouille sausage went into a Jambalaya and the Polish Sausage went in to the dish I'll share with you below.