Category: blogging (Page 5 of 6)

My Top 10 Posts & Recipes From 2013

I love lists.

I’m still not tired of seeing everyone’s top blogging lists of the year and find them helpful for getting to know some of the blogs of which I’m a newer reader.

These are my most popular posts written in 2013. They are random and range from recipes to culinary school. Click on the graphics below to view them.


Mock duck is extremely easy to make at home. Find out how. 


I think Jake and I need to revisit dive bar date nights. This was one of my favorite adventures we embarked upon while living in Fargo, ND.


Getting acquainted to life in Mason City, IA.


Cafe 21 is now called Bangkok Corner. We visited them several times from the time they opened to when we moved to Iowa. 


I loved the majority of my culinary school experience. Find out why I hated these pants so much.


This summer, we lived in a hotel in Mason City during the workweek and with our parents in the Twin Cities on weekends until we found a house. Life in transit was tough, but gave us opportunities to reconnect with the Twin Cities dining scene on a regular basis.


Apparently, I wrote this when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song Thrift Shop was in full swing. These are some of the treats I found.


My argument outlining why it’s rude to withhold salt from guests’ tables.


One of my many road trips exploring North Dakota. Of course, it involves food.


And last but not least, how I came around on the Pioneer Woman. After we bought part of a cow share,  I made some adaptations on her recipe for Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork.  

I owe a lot to those who have shared my posts in their social network circles. Thank you to those who’ve added me to their blog rolls and reading lists, The Heavy Table for including me in some of their Daily Churns, Fargo-Moorhead’s Inforum, Travel Iowa, Bismarck’s Be Magazine, the North Dakota blogging network, Iowa blogging networks, Huffington Post, MN Today, Minnesota’s Fortify Food Community and The Minnesota Blogger Conference

2013 Home Cooking Fails + A Confession & Resolution

I confess I haven’t branched out much with my home cooking projects since September when we moved into our new house after living in a hotel room without a kitchen for several months.

Ever since we got our kitchen cleaned-up, I’m excited to cook anything. Even the fact that I can make a grilled cheese sandwich on the stove top whenever I want to is still exciting.

We’ve been eating more simply during home ownership and I’ve prepare our ol’ reliables like meatloaf, spaghetti sauteed in olive oil with slivered garlic and hot red pepper, spicy beans and rice, and Jake’s favorite blanched greens (turnip, kale, collards) with caramelized onions and garlic in reduced honey and soy sauce. Last week, we ate our new favorite dinner of baked sweet potatoes topped with sour cream and it was glorious.

My blogging resolution for 2013 is to expand my home cooking projects. I want to be intentional about making something new each week and writing about it, whether it’s simply new to me, like roast chicken, or something I can’t find in Mason City, like Ethiopian Doro Wat.

I had a blast writing a guest post for a local blogger about trying to recreate a favorite Thai dish with what I could find in my community. I’d like to do more of this.

2013 Food Flops

Home cooking fails are impossible to avoid. They’re just part of the learning process and I have my fair share. You just don’t see most of them because I keep them to myself. Here are some of my most memorable flops from 2013.

  • Gluten-Free Pizza

When I make pizza at home, I usually try to replicate Broders’ Cucina Italiana’s Eggplant Special pizza. It’s a time-intensive endeavor that involves making dough, roasting eggplant, caramelizing onions, adding herbs to goat cheese, slicing fresh mozzarella, and seasoning olive oil to brush on the dough.

On this occasion, I tried a box of gluten-free pizza crust mix from the store.

What a disaster.

The dough was sticky and impossible to spread. The baked crust was gummy and spongy. Even more maddening was the fact that these beautiful toppings were lost on this black hole of pizza crust-despair.

  • Taralli Olive Oil Biscuits
I found a recipe for onion taralli in a cookbook called Salty Snacks I found at the library and hoped they’d make a nice savory breakfast with my morning coffee. The preparation seemed unique because it involved boiling the dough before baking, and the ingredients included white wine, olive oil, and caramelized onion bits. What could go wrong?
My taralli look beautiful, but tasted so awful they made me gag. Maybe I used the wrong type of olive oil or misread a measurement. I’d love to try these again because I love the concept so hopefully the next ones won’t make me wretch.

  • Rum Balls
This is technically a 2012 fail, but close enough.

Last Christmas, I tried to make rum balls for my coworkers. I was never that into rum balls until I tried ones my sister-in-law’s family made. They had exteriors that were smooth like marbles, a maple-brown color and a delightfully chewy texture.

I did rum ball research (though I was too bashful to inquire about the recipe I liked so much) and tried to make a couple varieties made from vanilla wafers or Oreos. Neither set up and they melted in my hands as I tried to form them into balls and roll them in sugar. They became firmer in the fridge but sat in slicks of congealed oil.

They tasted OK so I distributed them to my coworkers fresh from the refrigerator and set aside a box for a coworker since I heard they get better with age. When I returned from Christmas, they appeared so weepy that I threw them away.

I’m not sure if my coworkers also found oily messes, but they were so gracious that I’ll never know. We were probably not supposed to eat them at work, anyway, due to their rum content.

Do you have a tried and true rum ball recipe?

  • Browned Butter Banana Bread
This is another recipe that sounded foolproof. I’ve made banana bread countless times and loved the idea of adding browned butter to the batter. Butter makes everything better, browned butter is divine. 
I baked these cakes with the hope of sharing one with my neighbors.

The cake wasn’t wretch-inducingly bad like the taralli, above, but it just wasn’t that good. It tasted one dimensional and bland, even though I added butter milk and extra salt. 
In the end, I decided not to share them with our neighbors. I tried to salvage them by spreading slices with salted butter and toasting them in a pan but we still struggled through this cake.

  • Mustard-Crusted Catfish

One day I decided to create an easy baked fish dish where I would coat fish fillets in a mustard and bread crumb coating.

I lovingly coated some catfish fillets in a combination of Dijon mustard, bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning, fresh lemon juice and soy sauce. The topping actually turned out well, but the fish was the disaster because it tasted like chemicals. Truly horrid.

  • Tikka Masala With Homemade Paneer
My first attempt at making homemade paneer was a partial fail. There aren’t any Indian restaurants in Mason City and I could not find any paneer, so I tried to make it myself because the recipes sounded so easy.
The recipes I found instructed me to complete the following: Heat whole milk until it boils. Add some lemon juice. Stir as the liquids and solids separate. Strain in cheese cloth. Rinse off the lemon juice. Squeeze into a ball and hang over the sink. Press the ball of cheese in your refrigerator until it’s firm. 
As you can see, my disk of paneer doesn’t look too shabby. I added some salt before pressing it and it tasted fine but was too crumbly to cut into neat cubes. I tried to sear them in a pan before I added them to my tikka masala sauce and they disintegrated into mush. The whole dish tasted acceptable, but looked like porridge. We missed those little cubes of cheese.
I did make this paneer a second time, but I did not cook with it. I just ate it with crackers in the morning.

Do you know how to make homemade paneer that holds its shape when cooked?

  • Country Captain Chicken

My childhood dreams were drowned in this Country Captain Chicken disaster.

When I grew up, I read cookbooks. I was especially fascinated with a Laguna Beach cookbook that my aunt and uncle gave my mom when they lived in Southern California.

When the Laguna Hills cookbook became mine, I tried the recipes I bookmarked long ago. Many have been successes, but this Country Captain chicken recipe was a fail.

In the end, we had a large pot of chicken that we struggled to finish. I could have made a mistake with a measurement or instruction, or maybe it’s possible that I just don’t like Country Captain Chicken, after all.

  • Peanut Butter-Pineapple Stew With Spinach
Jake loves peanut butter. I don’t, unless it’s in a savory dish so we meet in the middle with African peanut stews.
I once found the most perfect peanut chicken stew recipe in a crock pot cookbook. I’ve since lost the recipe and can not remember the cookbook’s name. The stew combines tomatoes, unsweetened peanut butter, red bell peppers, garlic, chicken broth, and hot peppers among other ingredients. Sounds simple, but the recipe’s exact combination is heaven. 
One of my cookbooks lists recipes for peanut-pineapple stew. The recipes’ contributors included special notes recommending it was one of their family’s favorite recipes so I tried it and added spinach. 
We just didn’t like it that much. Usually we like sweet and salty foods, but the stew tasted too sweet for and we really struggled to eat the leftovers. 

I’ll keep searching for the perfect peanut chicken stew recipe.

Enough with the fails. 

Visit my Pinterest Board for home cooking successes. 

Favorites From 2013: Foods, Beverages & More

2013 was a big year. We lived in Fargo, North Dakota and Mason City, Iowa. We got married, bought our first house, and adopted a dog. I embarked on a lot of solo road trips and completed a whole year of full-time culinary school at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Here are my favorite tastes from the past year:

Favorite Overall Dish: Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp With Marscapone Polenta at Mezzaluna

Mezzaluna offered our favorite happy hour in Fargo with hospitable service and skillfully crafted cocktails. This is the dish we ordered the most frequently during the year. No trip to Mezzaluna was complete if one (or both) of us did not order this.  It’s only $7 during happy hour.

I don’t have a decent photo since we dined when the light was especially dim, but there’s a photo on Mezzaluna’s slide show on their homepage

Favorite Sushi Roll: White Boy Sushi Roll from Bangkok Corner (formerly Cafe 21), Fargo, ND
Yes. I, too, was surprised my favorite sushi roll came from Fargo, ND.

This sushi roll’s name is strange. I liked its pleasing balance of sweet and savory. The mango sauce surprised me because it tasted like a fresh puree and wasn’t cloyingly sweet. The fish was fresh and silky and the portion size was generous for $12.99. Hopefully this is still the case.

Red Curry Scallops, Sarello’s, Moorhead, MN
I met Sarah, the author of the blog Home With The Lost Italian at the North Dakota Blogger and Writer Conference in Bismarck, ND. We were the only Fargo-Moorhead attendees to participate in first evening’s food crawl with Marilyn Hagerty. Jake called me about the Iowa transfer during this conference and so we made a point to visit Sarello’s before we moved.

We spent one of our last evenings in Fargo surrounded by good friends at Sarello’s who gave us the perfect send-off. Our favorite dish was their Red Curry Scallops. The menu features a lot of Italian food, so I was surprised when their curry was spicier and more flavorful than any I’d tasted at a Thai restaurant.

Favorite Salads: 1910 Grille at the Historic Park Inn, Mason City, IA
The only surviving Frank Lloyd Wright hotel 
We’ve visited the Historic Park Inn several times to dine at their restaurant and lounge. Their menus are concise and don’t get too crazy, but everything we’ve ordered has been nicely seasoned and thoughtfully prepared.

Their salads are outstanding. For $9-10 per salad, I’d expect the greens to be free of any blemishes and the dressings to be scratch-made and balanced. These certainly are.

We love the calamari here. One the two occasions we ordered it, the squid was tender, tasted fresh, and fried nicely without being greasy. I was also pleasantly surprised when our gin martinis were only $7 each. 

Fish and Chips from Ward 6, East Saint Paul, MN
This is the dish that keeps me from branching out. It’s fried in beef tallow. “Nuff said.”

More reasons why I love Ward 6.

Favorite Beverages

Absinthe from Meritage, Saint Paul, MN
I’ve written about Meritage so many times. It’s one of our favorite special occasion restaurant in the Twin Cities. They offer many varieties of absinthe that they pour from their fancy absinthe fountain.

They allow one serving per guest, per visit and it’s all for good reason. 
Chai Tea from Verdant Tea in Minneapolis, MN and Coffee Cat, Mason City, IA
Homemade chai tea lattes are the best. Both Verdant Tea and Coffee Cat offer versions made from their own blend of ground spices. 

Tea from Verdant

Verdant’s is automatically made with almond milk unless one requests otherwise and Coffee Cat stocks soy milk and sweetens theirs with honey. You won’t find any sweet powdery mixes or syrups at these places.

Favorite Sandwiches

Signature Sandwich Box Lunches from Starboard MarketWhen I first moved to Mason City, people sang the praises of Starboard Market. I stopped by for takeout lunches while we were in the midst of a miserable hotel week before we could move into our house.

These sandwiches brightened our day. First timers beware: There are so many different types of creative sandwich combinations that it may take you a long time to choose your first one.

The full Signature Sandwich Box Lunches aren’t cheap at $10.25, but our Reuban and Regatta (smoked turkey, mango chutney, havarti cheese) were stacked tall with freshly sliced meat. The boxes also come with a pickle spear, chips, freshly baked cookie and a tiny cup of your choice of salad.

The Cleveland Panini from Cafe 116
We drove between Fargo and Minneapolis-St. Paul countless times. My favorite city to stop was Fergus Falls and I always visited Cafe 116 for their Cleveland Panini and espresso.

Fergus Falls is a beautiful city with a cozy feel. I felt at ease at Cafe 116, so I would often pause to enjoy my meal on my way to the Twin Cities.

The cafe pulls wonderfully rich espresso and serves scratch-made foods made from local producers. I always ordered my favorite Cleveland Panini filled with prosciutto, mozzarella, red onion and sliced apple with a side of fresh vegetables. All sandwiches can be ordered by the half or whole.

I don’t miss making the three and a half hour drive between Fargo and the Twin Cities, especially in the winter, but I will miss my visits to Cafe 116.

Most Surprisingly Good Foods

Shrimp Cocktail at Dempsey’s Public House
Who orders the shrimp cocktail at a dive bar in Fargo?

Dempsey’s is a dim dive bar on the main drag through downtown Fargo. It serves an eclectic crowd and offers surprisingly decent food like Bertrosa’s beer cheese soup.

We’ve been burned by shrimp cocktails such as the $1 version at the MN State Fair so we were wary when our friend ordered it. We were surprised when shrimp were huge and the cocktail sauce made our noses burn with horseradish. In fact, it was just as good than the version at a hotel down the street. It costs $9.75 for five large shrimp and is Dempsey’s offers it for less during certain happy hours. Who knew?

Breakfast Sandwich at Polly’s Coffee Cove, East Saint Paul, MN
This little coffee shop is tucked into a block on Payne Ave. within walking distance to my in-laws house. One morning I ventured over in search of breakfast. I asked the woman at the counter if Polly’s offered breakfast sandwiches and she offered to whip one up for a few dollars.

The sandwich she created wasn’t fancy or gourmet. But somehow, squishy croissants, eggs, swiss cheese and cubed deli turkey meat never tasted so compelling.

Favorite Sweet Things

Green Market, Orange Tart and Corn Cake, Fargo, ND
Alas, the Green Market is no more and is truly missed. 

Green Market was one of a kind in Fargo because they sourced local and organic ingredients and offered a rotating menu every night. Chef Andrea Baumgartener and staff were stellar so we cheer for them as they embark on new adventures. I was thrilled to see Chef Andrea and Amy Thielen prepare Icelandic pancakes on the first episode of Heartland Table.

Pictured above is a buttery tart filled with tangy orange custard and passion fruit glaze and a corn cake with burnt caramel syrup.

Buttermilk Pie, Josie’s Corner Cafe & Bake Shop, Fargo, ND
I hadn’t even heard of buttermilk pie until I worked at Josie’s.

It became my favorite pie and I still think about it from Iowa. Flaky crust and a filling that’s slightly tangy and caramelized on top. It’s already affordable, but on Mondays and Fridays, you can get a slice of pie and freshly-brewed house coffee for a few bucks.

If you’re not in the mood for sweet, their knoephla soup and chicken pot pie soups are some of my favorites. Plus, they make a mean veggie panini.  

Strawberry parfait, Decker House Bed & Breakfast
We spent our first week in Mason City at the Decker House this summer. Jake had to start his new position within weeks and since lodging options here were limited, we thought the Decker House would provide a safe place to land while we considered our long-term options.

One morning, the owner started breakfast with this yogurt parfait made with local strawberries she and her staff picked. It was a bright spot in the midst of a stressful situation.

Read more about our week at the Decker House here

Rhubarb Soup, Pirogue Grille, Bismarck, ND
As I mentioned, the ND Bloggers and Writers Conference food crawl through downtown Bismarck led by Marilyn Hagerty was completely epic. In fact, it has to be one of my favorite memories of my entire life. I’m not even joking.

On our first stop, Chef Stuart Tracy and Cheryl served this cold rhubarb soup in which a ball of ice cream coated in crunchy nougat floated in the middle. It tasted like magic.

It was also surreal to eat lunch with and learn from freelance writer Margie Goldsmith and Mark Orwoll, the International Editor of Travel + Leisure. Thanks to the ND Department of Commerce for coordinating the workshop. 

Favorite Culinary School Tastes

Last year, I completed my first full-time year of culinary school at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, MN. I loved culinary school and was crushed when we found out about our transfer to Iowa last summer. I had just begun working at the bakery and looked forward to completing my second (and final) year where we got to butcher animals, supervise first year students, and plan the school’s cafeteria menus.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for this experience, the friends I made, and the learning opportunities our instructors provided. Here are a couple highlights:

Peking Ducks
Our teacher taught us how to make Peking ducks in our meat unit. We stitched them full of marinade, blew them up with a air compressor, hung them to dry, blanched them in honey water, and roasted them until their skin was crispy.

I’m not even going to try to be humble, here. This experience was awesome.You can read a detailed post as part of my Culinary Chronicles series at Simple, Good & Tasty.

The Seafood Unit
This collage doesn’t quite do our seafood unit justice, but it provides an impression of all the things we tasted.

We learned how to scale and fillet whole salmon and halibut and boil lobsters. We shucked and ate raw oysters, cooked clams and mussels, and ate bacon-wrapped scallops. We boiled lobsters and ate them drenched in lots of butter and learned how to distinguish between different qualities of shrimp.

Read more about our seafood unit here

Spiciest Food

Dhamaka Balti, India Palace, Fargo, ND
Finally, a curry that really gave us heat stroke. We ordered it with lamb and enjoyed every bite.

This particular curry came with a hilarious disclaimer that’s been since removed. It said: *Very HOT! Prepare for an explosion in your mouth.  

Either way, we loved that India Palace actually delivered on their promise of heat. The rest of the dining experience was pleasant as well. Now, if only they’d set up shop in North Iowa.

Favorite Acquired Taste

The Everything Grinder from The Red Pepper, Fargo, ND
Boy, did I hate The Red Pepper when they first opened their location into the strip mall next to our apartment complex.

I whined about the long lines and lengthy wait times and I whined about how the parking lot was now busy with traffic. When I finally got my first taste of Red Pepper, I didn’t hate it, but just didn’t understand how it could have created such a frenzy.

The cheese tostada was just plain weird and the grinder was made from squishy bread stuffed with slimy deli meats and taco meat. We didn’t return between our first visit and move to Iowa. But then everything changed when I had to make solo road trips from Mason City to Fargo to coordinate our move.

By the time I arrived at our old apartment, I was completely exhausted and found the only thing I wanted to eat was an Everything Grinder from The Red Pepper.

I remember wearily trudging across the parking to Red Pepper to collect my sandwich and then to Happy Harry’s for a bottle of beer. It became a ritual that I will miss.

Favorite Food Television Moment

One of my favorite food television moments occurred during season two of Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Food Cook-Off.
On the first episode, the contestants seemed determined to win and loved cooking even if they weren’t trained chefs. And then there was Gilbert Gottfried
It became very clear he had no idea what he was doing as he struggled to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This was all made all the amusing by the fact that Rachel Ray was so earnestly trying to coach Gilbert as if this situation wasn’t hilarious. 
Obviously, he lost that challenge and moved on to compete in a second elimination challenge. When he started preparing a peanut butter and banana sandwich, Jake and I just lost it.
Was he being serious? Was he trolling the Food Network? I mean, for goodness sake, look at his answers to the following interview questions on his contestant profile:

What’s your signature party dish?
GG: I don’t use my dishes during parties. I bring out the paper plates. 
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find in your fridge?
GG: Jimmy Hoffa
Maybe we’ll never know, but I want to thank Gilbert Gottfried from the bottom of my heart for whatever the heck this refreshing moment was in an era where the Food Network feels compelled to produce more and more shows hosted by Guy Fieri and add Farmhouse Rules to its line-up.
Final Thank You’s
Thank you for reading. Blogging has been a dream come true and I am grateful for your support every day. Also, thank you to everyone who made our Fargo journey memorable, our family and friends, and new friends who’ve helped to ease our transition into Iowa. 
I also want to add a thank you to the friends and family that welcomed us into their homes and fed us homecooked meals while we had to live in a hotel. 

Co-op and Cupcakes: A Day in Iowa City With Iowa Bloggers

I’ve never not had an enjoyable time when hanging out with other bloggers. Writers, in general, seem to make good company and my life is better for having met many throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa.

This past weekend, I spent Saturday in Iowa City with a group of food and lifestyle bloggers. We met at the New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville who graciously hosted us for they first part of the day. They even welcomed us by placing a sandwich board outside of the front door listing all of our names. 
Here are some highlights from the event:
Co-op Envy
New Pioneer is big and beautiful. Like, Minneapolis Wedge Co-op beautiful. Our tour guide showed us around the store and we picked up lots of samples along the way. 
Pioneer sources as many local products as possible and works directly with farmers who grow organic wheat that’s ground into sacks of flour. I was especially envious of their sustainable seafood counter. 
Mason City is much smaller than Iowa City and our grocery store options are limited. HyVee offers organic food and health care product sections, but it’s just not the same as having an entire grocery store dedicated to local, organic and sustainable. And don’t get me started on trying to buy seafood. . .  
I brought home a crusty loaf of sourdough bread and croissants which actually cost the same amount as the generic ones I can find at my grocery store chain. 
The New Pioneer staff cleared out part of their bakery production area for us to gather and passed around rounds of vegan chocolate cake samples. 
Then, we got acquainted over lunch from the deli. I chose a fat slice of tomato and feta quiche along with curried couscous salad.

Afterwards, we visited Molly’s Cupcakes whose owner once won an episode of Cupcake Wars. They offered us 1/2 off a cupcake of our choice so I took home a creme brulee and pumpkin spice cupcake to share with Jake. 
Some of you may remember a little post in which I wrote about all of the reasons why I just don’t like cupcakes. . . 
I’m not one who seeks out cupcakes, but in all honesty, I did enjoy Molly’s. The creme brulee was my favorite since it was covered with a thin layer of caramelized sugar instead of frosting. We appreciated the moistness of the cakes and their complex flavors. 
Blogger Kier showed a couple of us some of her favorite boutiques like the White Rabbit Gallery and AKAR before we all convened at the Brown Bottle for dinner.

Swag Bags

I’d like to thank New Pioneer for sending us home with reusable shopping bags filled with treats like grapefruit-lavender spray, vanilla extract, and smoked paprika as well as Ally of Sweet and Savory Eats for coordinating swag bags filled with gifts like her brown butter chocolate chip cookies and Been There, Baked That‘s granola. I promptly ate these before I could take a photo.

The Chicago mix popcorn from Here’s What’s Poppin of Cedar Falls, IA is shockingly good. This is probably the best cheese and caramel corn I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve eaten a lot of popcorn. The ingredient list is short and sweet and lists real butter. I’m trying to figure out how to justify an hour-long drive to Cedar Falls so I can get a bigger bag.

Final Thoughts
I am smitten with Iowa City. The university intermingles with the downtown area and the city feels like much bigger than it is. I loved walking amongst the students and rowdy adolescents, and past fluorescent signs and crowded bars. Spending time in Iowa City made me realize that I’m a city girl at heart. It’s not that I am unhappy living in smaller communities, but I feel so energized when I’m in the midst of a busy city’s hustle and bustle. 

During the course of the day, I not only learned about topics related to blogging and photography, but also about life on homesteads, raising urban chickens, tapping maple syrup, and parenthood. I came away from this gathering feeling similar to how I’ve felt after attending other blogging events; like I’d made some new friends.

Meet Some Of the Other Attending Bloggers:

Reflections After The 2013 Minnesota Bloggers Conference

This past weekend, I attended the Minnesota Bloggers Conference where I connected with writers, learned how to improve my blog, and gained inspiration.

If you have the opportunity to go to a blogging or writing conference, just go. I have found they are always worthwhile. Don’t hesitate to extend your hand and introduce yourself to others.

By far, the most rewarding aspect of blogging has been the people it’s connected me with. Some people say social media distances people and causes the breakdown of face to face communication, but I claim the opposite. Blogging and Twitter, in particular, have connected me with people I’d never run into during my daily life. I’ve learned that Twitters friends can become real friends and how important it is to avoid thinking of fellow bloggers as competition.

This particular conference made me reflect on the evolution of my blog content. When I first started An Herbalist Eats in 2011, I was in the midst of studying herbal medicine. It wasn’t long before I realized that I preferred writing about food. The next two years brought many changes. I got married, moved from my home state of Minnesota to North Dakota, and then to Iowa where we recently bought our first house and dog. Food writing is where I got my start and it’s what’s propelled my blog. Now I’m feeling compelled to share a broader range of experiences including whatever’s weighing most heavily on my mind, but think it’s best not to stray too far away from food.

For now, I’ll share it all on this blog until I can finalize a re-branding plan. Eventually, I might rename this blog and manage an additional one where I share non-food related posts regarding home and pet ownership. I may no longer identify myself as an herbalist, but I sure do eat.

Feel free to share any thoughts on if you prefer I keep this blog focused on food and create a new one for lifestyle posts or share everything on the same site.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and following me around the Midwest.

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