Strawberry Chocolate Hazelnut Mini Toasts

Sometimes desserts don't have to be heavy and in large proportions. These appetizer-sized treats make for a quick and delicious dessert option. It really doesn't get any easier than this.  Three ingredients- fresh strawberries, mini toasts {I used a French brand-Esprit De Liberte} and a chocolate hazelnut spread. I purchased this Justin's spread to give it a try. It's definitely not my favorite variety from the brand. I think I might be addicted to their Maple Almond Butter. It is literally one of the best things ever. But I digress.  I think the directions are … [Read more...]

Candy Corn Thanksgiving Turkey Lollipops

I have the solution for candy corn overload this coming holiday. Take those Halloween treats and turn them into Thanksgiving turkeys! Through a little bit of trial and error I was able to perfect this recipe to turn candy corn into Thanksgiving turkey chewy lollipops.  I'm not normally cutsie creative, I don't know what came over me. But my littlest son was delighted by these colorful turkeys. Of course, he was more excited about the prospect of a sugared treat. This guy is all about dessert, all the time.  I did a little experimenting with the baking the candy corn to … [Read more...]

Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk – The First Flight in Minneaoplis & a Giveaway

This post is in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, all opinions are my own.  This September 28th - October 2nd, Cirque du Soleil's show, Toruk – The First Flight will be performing at the Target Center in Minneapolis. If you've never seen a Cirque du Soleil show before I definitely recommend attending a show. The performances are a visual feast with beautiful movements, colorful costumes, and phenomenal acrobatics. Each performance tells a story and this new creation is inspired by James Cameron's Avatar.  {photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil} TORUK – The First … [Read more...]

Cinnamon Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies & a Giveaway

This post was created in collaboration with Disney-Hyperion in support of the new series Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! All opinions are my own.  This year is such an important school year for my youngest son. Both of my older boys became what I call "super readers" after completing the first grade. I'm hopeful the same will happen this year for my six-year-old fella. At this point he can read, but it's rough. The best solution to shape an awkward reader into a super reader is practice. Or at least that's been my experience.  While parents need to take the time to … [Read more...]

14 Best Things to Do at Honey Creek Resort State Park

My visit to HoneyCreek Resort State Park was complimentary, however all opinions are my own. I've lived in the state of Minnesota for 16 years. During this time my exploration of Iowa has been fairly limited. Yes, we made a short trip to Decorah to embrace all things Norske. And we also visited Burr Oak so I could visit the lesser-known Laura Ingalls Wilder site. I've also been camping at Pikes Peak State Park, along the Mississippi River, which is a must-see destination during the fall. But my recent visit to Honey Creek State Park Resort was my first true adventure into Southern Iowa. … [Read more...]

Steel-cut Oats with Fresh Peaches & Brown Sugar

In addition to avocados and pickled jalapeños, I have an equally strong obsession with steel-cut oats. I don't know what's come over me. But avocados, steel-cut oats, pickled jalapeños and craft beer are my thing. They say your tastebuds change as you get older and that must certainly be true, because as I closely approach the fourth decade of my life these items are my favorites.  The fresh peaches that are available this time of year are so decadent. I couldn't resist adding some to my recent bowl of cooked oats. My youngest son and I greatly enjoyed this filling breakfast. … [Read more...]

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at The Saint Paul Hotel & a Giveaway

This is a sponsored post on behalf of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at The Saint Paul Hotel, all opinions are my own. {image courtesy of The Saint Paul Hotel} The number of days until school starts is dwindling in Minnesota. I realize many students across the country have been hitting the books for a while, but in Minnesota we savor our summers, not starting school until after Labor Day. But once school starts here, the last few months of 2016 slip by very quickly. Football season, autumn weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are here before we know it. This … [Read more...]

Candy Coated Peanut Butter Fudge

I'm not necessarily a big fan of fudge. The except to that thought is this peanut butter fudge. It's rich, decadent, delicious and like any fudge best indulged in small doses. The surprising ingredient in this recipe is marshmallow creme. It does add a bit of lightness, at least in density. Though it's quite obvious that with with the marshmallow addition this recipe is sugar overdose. Be prepared for an official state of sugar coma.  Technically there is no need for the candy covering on this fudge. It's perfectly yummy without any type of topping. But in order to add a little … [Read more...]

Exploring Minnesota: A Visit to Historic Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling is one of Minnesota's most iconic historic sites and a visit makes for a great way to spend an afternoon with kids.  This fort {located where the Minnesota & Mississippi Rivers merge} has been a sacred area for Native Americans for centuries and the MN Historical Society does a great job showcasing the vast array of stories from the fortress and the location. At our recent visit we learned about the complicated Native American association with the fort, the unfair and sad history of Dred Scott and other slaves that lived within it's walls, and gained understanding … [Read more...]

Easy & Healthy Avocado Toast

In my continuing obsession with all things avocado I thought I'd share my favorite avocado toast recipe. Yes, it's really more of a guacamole toast recipe. I just prefer my avocado with a few ingredients that make it more guacamole-like. That being said, one can not eat chips all the time and that's how I switched this into avocado toast. I imagine at some point I might tire of this recipe and start pairing the my avocado with something else. Stay tuned:)  … [Read more...]

Watermelon Dessert Pizza

I don't know where this recipe has been hiding from me for all these years. Recently as I was flipping through a copy of a grocery store recipe/coupon book I discovered this creation. A quick Google search and I encountered countless similar recipes on the interweb. That being said, I took my own stab at originality with this recipe by adding a tablespoon of lemon curd to the mixture. Delish!  You'll notice below the recipe uses Cool Whip. If you are really focused on keeping all natural ingredients this product could easily be substituted with homemade whipping cream. As you can … [Read more...]

A Glimpse at the US Bank Stadium

We braved the pouring rain this past Saturday to catch an early glimpse of the new US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. We are not likely to attend a Vikings game anytime soon, so this visit seemed like the best way to see the inside. The day was supposed to be a celebration of sorts, but the storms removed any degree of festivity that was going to take place outside. Instead when we arrived we were ushered right in as there was concern about lightening. I appreciated the degree of caution they exhibited with regards to people's safety.  The complex is....well.... huge. That is … [Read more...]

Best Places to Eat in Duluth

Duluth is full of amazing sites and fabulous restaurants with delicious foods. We make the trek to Duluth several times throughout the three most hospitable seasons.  During those visits we've honed in on our favorites restaurants, which is not to say that we've visited all the eateries in Duluth. Regardless I've explained in simple detail here why I've classified these restaurants as our favorite in Duluth, Minnesota.  This list isn’t in any particular order. And I’m sure as I investigate and try new places in Duluth I could no doubt add to this list. That is if I could steal … [Read more...]

Chocolate Malt-O-Meal Muffins with Chia Seeds

This recipe stemmed from leftovers. Malt-O-Meal leftovers to be exact. I have fond memories of eating warm chocolate Mal-O-Meal on cold North Dakota winter mornings. I purchased a box of this classic cereal for my three little guys to try. I envisioned them reliving part of my comforting childhood tradition. Of course, they didn't like it. And while I enjoyed a warming bowl of Malt-O-Meal as a kid, I can't say I like it the same way now, so ultimately I had an almost full box of cereal. And from that almost full box this recipe was born.  A quick search delivered the brand recipe … [Read more...]

5 Reasons to Visit the Mill City Museum

On a super warm February this past winter we decided to checkout the Mill City museum. As MN Historical Society members we have visited the MN History Museum on a number of occasions, but this was our first stop at this particular site. I didn’t have any previous knowledge of the history of this area and I was amazed at the stories from the past hugging the banks of St. Anthony’s Falls. It was so unusual to have such a spectacular day in the midst of February. Looking at these pictures {minus the few glimpses of snow} you’d probably think that we visited this summer. While the bulk … [Read more...]