Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

SONY DSCFriends, it’s all beginning!  Snow.  Elastic pants.  Food overload.  Family time.  The holidays….yay!

Are you all set for Thanksgiving?  Turkeys brining?  Recipes ready to rock and roll?  We will be hosting my in laws again this year so it will be cozy and quiet…looking forward to a wonderful day with lots of food.  When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner I’m a bit of a traditionalist….aside from throwing in a fun, new salad here and there I like to stick to the basics.  Classic roasted turkey.  Mashed potatoes and gravy.  Stuffing. Those are the basics….delicious, dependable, crowd pleasing basics.  And then…in my house, there is no such thing as a Thanksgiving meal without Ina’s Spinach Gratin-I die.  And a good old fashioned cranberry sauce-can never ever ever get enough.   Continue reading

The Maverick Blended Burger

SONY DSCA couple of months ago I had the honor of attending the launch of the James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project here in Minneapolis.  The blended burger initiative aims to influence chefs to incorporate mushrooms into burger recipes, both for sustainability and health benefits.  Makes perfect sense to me.  And the coolest part is that this movement is being welcomed and respected to no end.   From elite restaurants to classic burger joints, these blends are showing up on menus all around the world.  And get this, schools throughout the country have incorporated blended burgers into their menus.  Can you imagine?  It’s time for change, friends, and I suppose we could start one household at a time.   Continue reading

Butter, Lime + Parmesan Corn

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Happy official summer, friends! It’s a much anticipated time here in Minnesota and man can we embrace it. Lakes for days. Warmth. Homegrown produce. BBQs. Patios. Late bedtimes. Smores over a bonfire. Sandy shoes. And CORN.

Let’s just get something straight, for starters.  I love Minnesota.  Living here is perfect for myself and my family.  But I am a gosh darn Iowa girl..and proud of it.  18 wonderful years of my life were spent in Iowa and aside from Hawkeye football…and pork…and so many other fabulous things….that place reigns supreme for homegrown corn.  There’s just nothing like it.  We ate it so often in the summers…and there were always farmers selling it out of the back of their trucks along the sides of the roads.  Hows that for fresh? Continue reading

Thai Chicken Pineapple Kabobs with Coconut Rice

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Right here we’ve got a bunch of my favorite flavors all muddled into one fabulous, stand-out meal.  The tiny bit of peanut butter in the marinade takes the flavor of this juicy, smokey chicken straight over the top….the pineapple adds the perfect hint of sweet acid and the coconut rice just simply turns this number into a home run.  So yum.

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Best-Ever Effortless BBQ Baby Back Ribs

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So these happened this weekend.

I suppose I won’t go into detail about how fall-off-the-bone tender these ribs are.  I won’t bore you with the details of the sticky sauce smothered on top.  And that perfect crispy char…I know you have no interest….so lets just talk for a second about how easy this recipe is to create and I’ll let you go about your day. Continue reading