Tag Archives: Minnesota

HAFA Farm Tour: Part 1 in a 2 part series

“If you ate today, thank a farmer”

~Author Unknown

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I believe that getting to know the farmers who supply our food is imperative.  It heightens our respect for the dedication and hard work that they put into what we consume.  These interactions make the ingredients on our plates even more meaningful.

Two weeks ago I visited the 155 acre Hmong American Farmers Association Farm (HAFA)  in Vermillion Township.  This is an area that is heavily rooted in agriculture.   The farm is located approximately 15 minutes south of St. Paul.

I learned of HAFA and the variety of programs they have been implementing while listening to Pakou Hang (Co-Founder and Executive Director of HAFA) speak on the panel at a Future of Food Tour event.  This was hosted by Kerry Diamond, Editorial Director of Cherry Bombe. The event was held at the Lynhall in June and was part of their ongoing Wisdom Series.  Shortly after the event I reached out to Pakou to hear more about the organization.  Following our discussion I expressed interest in visiting the HAFA Farm.

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Travel Minnesota: 24 hours in Shakopee

“Every Hundred Feet The World Changes” ~ Roberto Bolaño

There’s something to be said about taking the scenic route, in both life and travel and the lesson here is, you don’t have to trek very far to find an adventure.  John and I had the opportunity to experience a brief but action packed 24 hours in Shakopee, MN last weekend. This historic city is just across the river from our home in Chanhassen but other than our outings to Canterbury Park, or the occasional trip to Valley Fair when the kids were young, we haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time there. The essence of discovery is something that we embrace so we really looked forward immersing ourselves in this mini-vacation.
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Artists in the Kitchen Exhibition

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back” 

There is an ever-present and intense drive amongst artists, restaurateurs/chefs, food writers and influencers to be creators of beauty and nourishers of souls.  The new Artists In The Kitchen Exhibition, happening now at the Textile Center, hits both marks in the most remarkable way.  The exhibit highlights a magnificent display of 50 works by women artists inspired by 50 women chefs and restaurateurs (see the list of participants at the end of the article).  The artists ability to translate unique and powerful culinary experiences through the use of textiles is extraordinary and the outcome is well worth seeing.

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Living Greens Farm: Sustainability In Action

 

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.  What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make” ~ Jane Goodall

At Living Greens Farm in Faribault they are taking sustainability to new heights. Their impact on how produce is grown is significant.

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Spring Recipes: Blueberry Bread Pudding

Comfort: The definition of comfort as noted per dictionary.com is to soothe, console or reassure; bring cheer to. 

The kitchen is a place of absolute comfort for me and I like to imagine that the dishes I create bring that feeling to others, which is why bread pudding is frequently on the menu at our house.  It is my ultimate “comfort food”.  There is something about the chunky cubes of brioche, challah or French bread soaked in custard and baked that takes me to a place of instant contentment.

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Hidden Gems: Nong’s Thai Cuisine

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The Sukiyaki Soup Bowl at Nong’s Thai Cuisine

John and I traveled to Thailand last summer and fell in love with the fascinating culture and the stunning food climate. Since that experience I have been craving Thai food regularly.  While I do plan to do a lengthy blog post on that trip, today I am writing about a hidden gem of a restaurant that I found tucked away in an unassuming strip mall in Golden Valley.  My oldest son and I try to meet for a meal when I am in his neck of the woods . Usually those outings take place in Golden Valley, close to his job.

The desire to try something new for lunch last week had us yelping nearby restaurants.  Nong’s Thai Cuisine popped up.  The restaurant was close in proximity to our location and the reviews were consistently above average so we gave it a try.  My impression: insanely good!  The incredible menu made it hard to choose just one dish. I’ve found that a long menu doesn’t always correlate with high quality, favorable food choices but at Nong’s I truly could not decide what to order because there were so many fantastic options. I ended up with the Sukiyaki Soup found on the noodle page.  Ingredients included: glass noodles, egg, Napa cabbage, onion, green onion, celery and special sukiyaki sauce.  The flavors were addicting.  The choices on the spice scale were mild, medium, hot and thai hot.  I am a spice girl so I opted for hot and loved it.  The portion was extremely generous which I appreciated as I had the remaining soup for lunch the next day.  I don’t refer to that as leftovers, I call it: same soup, different day….

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