Author Archive | Edible Twin Cities

Thanksgiving sides: A brief history of cranberries

By Amanda Lillie

Although cranberries are touted as having been part of the original Thanksgiving feast, most historians say it is unlikely cranberries were served as their own dish until years later, reports the website,

It is true, though, that the Pilgrims learned to use cranberries from the Native Americans, who used the fruit for food, dye, and medicine.

The antioxidant properties of cranberries became so popular that by the 1800s sailors would carry cranberries on their ships to avoid scurvy.

Some cranberry vines existing today in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old. Growers do not usually need to replant the vines because an undamaged vine will survive indefinitely.

Today, cranberries have become a common flavor, juice, and ingredient. Many American families simply buy canned cranberry sauce for their Thanksgiving dinners, but there are thousands of flavorful, homemade chutney and relish recipes that will make the cranberry portion of your meal much more enticing.

The following recipe is from Taste of Home magazine, and incorporates other autumn flavors that will meld deliciously with the rest of your meal.

Serves 16, yields four cups

1-1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries

2 large tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Carefully stir in the cranberries, apples, onion, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves.

2. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Serve warm or cold.Read the rest

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Minnesota Cup kicks off new food division

A festive group of nearly 200 gathered Thursday night at the Mill City Museum for the Minnesota Cup Food, Agriculture & Beverage Division Kickoff event, designed as a way for our region’s food community to support and foster our industry’s entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas.

Ten invited exhibitors, including small businesses such as Nots, Red Head Creamer20131114_185755y and Far20131114_181411 North Spirits, offered samples of their products, and General Mills, the lead sponsor for this new division of the Minnesota Cup, made a presentation on innovation in the food industry.

The Minnesota Cup encourages the development of breakthrough ideas from across the state. Since 2005, the Minnesota Cup has attracted more than 7,000 entries and is now the largest new venture competition in the country. However, previously, Minnesota’s entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people could only submit ideas in divisions such as High Tech, Social Entrepreneur and Life Science & Health IT, among others. The Cup did not have a separate food  division. With last night’s kickoff, that now has changed. Several speakers during the presentation noted that this was long overdue, given the state’s heritage in the food industry. Those speakers made a point of quoting University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, who has said that “Minnesota is the Silicon Valley of the food industry.”Read the rest

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A Wild Thanksgiving

The editors at Field & Stream magazine call Thanksgiving the “hunter’s holiday,” referring to the fall hunting season for wild turkeys. Yet some hunters say that the best time to hunt for turkeys is actually in the spring, not fall. And, as local cookbook author and frequent Edible Twin Cities contributor Beth Dooley recently pointed out, who really knows what those Pilgrims ate at Thanksgiving: turkey, geese, ducks, pheasant, quail?

With these thoughts of wild game in mind, we offer two alternative recipes to the traditional, store-bought Thanksgiving turkey. The first, from those same Field & Stream editors, is for a grilled wild turkey breast. The second, from Beth Dooley, is for venison, a Minnesota favorite.

Wild Turkey Breast with a Coffee-Coriander Rub

From Field & Stream magazine

Serves 6

Ground coffee has been a “secret” barbecue rub ingredient for years. Mixed with ground coriander seed, it’ll give your grilled turkey breast a smoky, exotic, and eye-opening kick.

2 wild turkey breasts

2 tsp. finely ground coffee

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper

4 Tbsp. kosher salt

1. Using a whisk, a fork, or (best) your fingers, combine the coffee, coriander, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into the turkey breasts, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.

2. Set up for indirect grilling. For gas grills, this means heating one side of the grill and cooking on the other side. For charcoal grills, divide your red-hot coals into two piles on the sides and cook in the middle. Lightly oil the grates. Place your gas grill’s drip pan directly below the cooking area. If it doesn’t have one, or if you’re grilling with charcoal, use a disposable aluminum roasting pan. Pour 3/4 inch of water into your pan. (This will help moisten the mean. It’s an optional step but a worthwhile one.) When the grill is ready, set the breasts on the grate and cover the grill.

3. The size of the turkey breasts will determine cooking time, so have your meat thermometer handy. Remove them when the meat thermometer reads 150 degrees. Cut into 1/4-inch slices.


Venison Loin in Pancetta with Cranberries

By Beth Dooley, from Edible Twin Cities: The Cookbook

Serves 4

¼  teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 pounds venison, silver skin removed

8 ounces pancetta, cut into strips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, coarsely chopped

¼  cup orange juice

½ cup fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix together the salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl and rub into the meat.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the venison and brown on all sides, then transfer to a baking dish (Reserve the skillet). When the venison is cool enough to handle wrap the pancetta strips around the middle and ends of the meat and secure with toothpicks.

4. Roast the meat until the internal temperature registers 135 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven to let rest while you make the sauce.

5. Return the skillet to the stove and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice and cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the honey.

6. Slice the meat into ½-inch slices and arrange them on a serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle some of the cranberry sauce over the meat and pass the rest of it.Read the rest

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Thanksgiving: Vegetarian alternatives to turkey

By Amanda Lillie

Not many people will argue that Thanksgiving is the most food-centric holiday of the year—hence why we will all inevitably gain five pounds this month.

But Thanksgiving is geared toward carnivores, considering the main course is typically turkey. So what can vegans and vegetarians choose?

Bill Williams, deli manager at Seward Co-op in Minneapolis, says plenty of meat-free options are available that are the veg equivalent of Thanksgiving turkey.

Mushroom-walnut loaves are a popular choice because the texture and flavor of mushrooms is very meaty.

“When you think about mushrooms, they lend themselves to meaty flavors,” Williams says. “That is the meat of the dish.”

Lentil loaves are also an option, but Williams cautions that they fall apart easier than the mushroom-walnut loaves.

If you plan to make something from scratch, make sure to have sage and thyme handy as those are popular Thanksgiving spices. Thyme-roasted beets may be a good option as a side dish to complement the flavor of whatever loaf you choose.

If Thanksgiving isn’t complete for you without gravy, consider making mushroom gravy to go with the meal. It’s veg-friendly and adds a delicious flavor to the meal.

“Mushroom gravy is great,” says Williams. “It’s got some soy in it and is very savory.”

Thanksgiving meals are relatively easy to alter and make veg-friendly, according to Williams. For instance, pumpkin pie recipes can be made with soy milk and organic, raw sugar. “A lot of these (dishes) lend themselves to being vegan.”Read the rest

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November-December 2013




Locally distilled gin and vodka: From seed to glass.

By Carol J. Butler

A True Spirit of Christmas

Aquavit enlivens the holidays.

By Denise Logeland

Tapping Ingenuity

Barley John’s Brew Pub owner combines beer, organic dishes

By Andy Greder

Pleasing Pairings

Beer pairs with recipes from our cookbook.

By Michael Agnew



Books and more books.


Holiday Cocktails

Hot ideas for a cold season.

By Becky Poss


A Spirited Heritage

Holiday drinks warm up family gatherings.

By Beth Dooley


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Nov.-Dec. issue is here: Holiday ‘Spirits’

Our Nov.-Dec. issue is now available throughout the Twin Cities area. Click here to view a list of our magazine outlets.edibleTwinCitiesNov-Dec2013.indd

We focus on a theme of holiday “spirits,” showcasing our area’s “liquid assets,” an assortment of holiday drinks and libations. So, among a number of articles, you’ll find a story on holiday cocktails that includes recipes; features on gin, vodka, and aquavit, all distilled my local artisans; and a profile of a brew pub that features organic food. We also do a couple of food pairings with local beers—recipes are from our book Edible Twin Cities: The Cookbook. Plus, veteran food writer and cookbook author Beth Dooley shares some Edible Holiday Traditions.

 Happy Holidays, everyone. Cheers!Read the rest

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Re-Discover Your Kitchen

edibleTwinCitiesSept-Oct2013.indd[NOTE: This story and recipe first appeared in our Sept.-Oct. print edition.]


Many of today’s contemporary cooking shows stress the importance of quick-n-easy, with a focus on getting you out of the kitchen as soon as possible, as if the kitchen were a terrible place to be.

Michael Pollan, author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, says Americans are spending less and less time in their kitchens, a trend that studies correlate to our growing waistlines, because, apparently, the less work we do to prepare our meals, the more we tend to eat. In an interview with Tracie McMillan for The Slate Book Review, Pollan concludes that not cooking causes a ripple effect of troubles, affecting “the health of our bodies, our families, our communities, and our land.”

It’s clear that cooking gives us many benefits, but perhaps what we need to adjust is our expectations about what cooking requires of us. Real cooking using real ingredients – whole vegetables, meat, legumes, and grains not processed in jars, packages, or cans – takes both mind and muscle, but here’s the thing: That’s what makes it fun. There is a certain thrill that comes from rising to a challenge, breaking a sweat, making it yourself, and doing it well. I’d like to help reverse the idea that being in the kitchen is some kind of medieval punishment. Here are several suggestions on how we can get more out of cooking—not by spending less time in the kitchen, but by enjoying more the time that we are there.

Obstacle #1: I’m too tired

I am of the belief that happy cooks make better food. If you are a working parent like me, sometimes coming home to make dinner is the last thing in the world you feel like doing. My solution is to begin with Happy Hour. Start with small appetizers such as a salad or set out vegetables with hummus. I usually don’t prepare anything too elaborate, but I always come up with something, either beverage or snack or both, to serve myself and entice the kitchen help. I suggest limiting the snacks to plants, such as vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as the goal here isn’t to fill up, but simply to take the edge off the hunger—and maybe the edge of your day, as well! I like to serve raw vegetables (and red wine) because they are both healthy and easy to prepare. My husband installed a pair of kitchen speakers for me, and the music I hear goes a long way toward keeping me light both on my feet and in heart.

Obstacle #2: It’s just so easy to order take-out

Yes, take-out is easy, but it can also get boring, and in my experience, even pre-packaged food items can hinder creativity. Instead of re-lying on the same old bag of pre-shaped carrots, give a weird vegetable a try. Visiting farmers’ markets and joining a CSA are easy ways to expose yourself to an adventure in produce. Food coops also do a great job of offering variety. Bringing home just one new item or trying one new recipe a week can go a long way toward building anticipation and excitement in the kitchen.

Spices can also liven things up. The Coop spices available in bulk allow home cooks to try just a little bit of this or that; Penzeys Spices offers larger quantities in bags with a variety of blends; Wayzata Bay Spice Co. is a local distributor of bottled spices available at Kitchen Window, Lund’s, and Coastal Seafood. You can also broaden your horizons by trying combinations from other countries, or visiting spe-cialty markets such as Holy Land or Pooja. 

Obstacle #3: I don’t have time

Lack of time is the number one reason most people cite for why they can’t cook. Ironically, the more time you spend in the kitchen, the faster you will get at cooking. Most of the work done preparing meals involves chopping or cutting of one kind or another. Learning how to wield a big knife is the most important thing you can do to improve your efficiency in the kitchen. If you don’t have a chef knife, get one, and get chopping. The better your skill, the more enjoyable cooking will become. Learning other skills such as sautéing, whisking, flipping, and frying can also broaden your horizons and add variety to the list of things you can comfortably prepare. Watching a cooking show can give you a few tips and pointers here, but practice is the only way to develop the skill yourself. To quote Julia Child, “You get good at flipping it by flipping it!”


By Carol J. Butler

 “Amma” is Icelandic for Grandma, and when it comes to cooking fresh in our family, she leads the way. This recipe utilizes many of the fall finds for the season, though you can make substitutions, add onions, and try other kinds of beans. A vegetarian dish, it can be made ahead of time and frozen for an easy meal on a busy night, as the flavors will only meld and improve. It is also thick enough to serve over whole grains such as rice or quinoa for a change of pace. Serves 10 to 12


1lb pinto beans soaked overnight (1lb dry beans = 6 cups cooked)

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

Assorted vegetables:

rutabaga, 1 medium

turnip, 1 medium

parsnips, 3 to 4

zucchini, 2 to 3

celery, 4 to 5 stalks

garlic (two to four cloves)

1 yellow pepper

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (or half jalapeno, depending)

One bunch of kale, Swiss chard, or other greens, chopped

2 small cans or 1 big can diced tomatoes with their juice

1 box organic vegetable broth

1teaspoon cumin

1tablespoon chili powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Drain water from your soaking beans and cover with fresh water, allowing at least two inches of liquid to cover the legumes. Boil for 1 ½ hours, check-ing water level. When tender, drain into a colander, rinse, and set aside. Meanwhile, wash, your vegetables. Peel, slice, and cut rutabaga, turnips, and pars-nips into chunks. Slice your celery, and dice your zucchini and peppers. Mince your garlic and jalapeno (if using.) In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter or oil, and sauté your vegetables to soften, starting with garlic first, and going from your smallest to largest vegetable pieces. Add water to cover, salt, and cook over low heat, allowing the vegetables to create a flavorful broth. When tender, add your cooked and drained beans, spices, and canned tomatoes with their juice. Lastly, chop your greens and add to the pot with the broth, (you do not have to add all the broth if you prefer a thicker stew) stir to combine, and simmer about 20 minutes to meld flavors.

Taste and correct seasonings. Ladle into bowls, and serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream. For vegans or for a dash of color, garnish with fresh ci-lantro or chopped green onions.

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September-October 2013 Table of Contents



Beth Fisher: Farm-to-Table Advocate

Wise Acre Eatery chef is a good fit.

By Andy Greder

David Dahmes: Creativity in each meal

Tilia’s chef pays attention to detail.

By Sarah Tieck

Cooking Intuitively: A Zen Approach

Let yourself be creative.

By Becky Poss

Cooking Matters

Nutrition program reaches out to families.

By Ann Burckhardt

Re-Discover Your Kitchen

You’ll be glad you did.

By Carol J. Butler

Back of the House

Behind the scenes at Lucia’s.


Branching Out

Flourishing food coops to add locations.

By Andy Greder



Cookbook, farm book; and more.


Apples Abound

Autumn is apple time.

By Becky Poss


Fall Rituals

A time for meat, beer, and food fests.

By Beth Dooley




Arugula and Spinach Salad with Tart Apples and Goat Cheese

Apple Pie for Breakfast

Baked Summer Ratatouille

Amma’s Vegetable Stew

Country Spareribs and Sauer Kraut

Very Best Pickles

Apple Strudel











 … Read the rest

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Sept.-Oct. issue is here: Cooks and Cooking!

edibleTwinCitiesSept-Oct2013.inddOur Sept.-Oct. issue is now available throughout the Twin Cities area. Click here to view a list of our magazine outlets. We focus on a theme of Cooks and Cooking, so, among other stories, you’ll read about ways to “re-discover” your kitchen, the Cooking Matters education program, and Zen and the art of intuitive cooking. In addition, two local chefs are profiled, and you’ll get a fun glimpse behind the scenes at Lucia’s. Plus, read about several flourishing food coops that are adding locations. Beth Dooley writes about meat, beer, and food fests, just in time for the fall season. Finally, you’ll find some tasty ideas from Becky Poss for enjoying all of those apples that will soon be available. For more apple recipes, click here: And enjoy!Read the rest

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Apples Abound

See the Sept.-Oct. 2013 issue for our “Cooking Fresh” article by Becky Poss that’s all about Apples.

Here are two additional ways for you to enjoy locally grown apples this fall. The first recipe is by Becky Poss, the second was adapted by Becky from the Smitten Kitchen.

Sauteed Apples

When it’s apple season, search your favorite recipes for ways to add some of these sweet melt-in-your-mouth apples. While they create a lovely variation to some of your favorite meat entrees (think chile-crusted pork medallions smothered with apples) they are equally delicious served on top of pancakes or waffles, stuffed into crepes, or smothering a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Don’t forget the caramel sauce.

¼ cup butter

4 large tart apples – peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch think

2 teaspoons cornstarch

½ cup cold water

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add apples and sauté, stirring regularly, until they are almost tender, about 6 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to skillet. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

This can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, and reheated as needed.

For a savory twist, add 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or savory, and serve with pork tenderloin medallions.

If you are feeling bold, add a small seeded and thinly sliced jalapeno or poblano (very low heat) pepper with the fresh apples. Sauté until they create a mellow heat ideal for adding depth to a variety of recipes.

Easy As Pie Apple Cake

This simple recipe produces a moist and satisfying dessert or afternoon snack.

 Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen.

Serves 6-8

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 ½ cups apple – peels on, cored, cut into small cubes. Variety of apple determined by your preference. Sweet or tart, both are good.

2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (regular flour works, too)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

4 tablespoons large grain sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a second bowl, whisk eggs and buttermilk together, then add butter. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined, then fold in apples.

Pour batter into a parchment-lined 9×9 cake pan and sprinkle with large grain sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cake is just barely set.

Add ins: chopped caramels, pecans or walnuts, raisins, or craisins, ½ cup chopped rhubarb (decrease apples to 2 cups)

Lovely with hot caramel sauce, chopped nuts, and whipped cream. Don’t forget about some cinnamon ice cream.Read the rest

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