Minnesota Culinary Connoisseurs Top Food Trends for 2015 & a GiveAway!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


New Cub® Foods Food Trends Forecast Predicts Minnesotans Will Continue to Consume
More Fresh, Local, Clean and Homemade Foods

Hotdishes Will Be Hot; Bacon and Doughnuts Will Fall out of Favor

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 13, 2015 — Cub® Foods, a trusted local resource for fresh, quality food, recently polled Minnesota’s foodie elite to gather their insights on what hot, on-trend foods and cooking techniques will rise to prominence and please palates throughout the North Star state in 2015.

According to local food experts, the trend toward fresh, local and organic foods with “clean” ingredient lists is expected to continue to gain traction and become more mainstream this year. In what may be a surprising — and mildly controversial — prediction, they also say we’ll be eating less bacon, America’s favorite all-purpose pork product, and fewer doughnuts in 2015.

When it comes to home cooking, Minnesotans will be doing more cooking from scratch, and “throwback” items like hotdishes are expected to return to glory, as consumers take a page out of their parents’ and grandparents’ cookbooks.

 “Beyond providing nourishment, food has a way of bringing us together and connecting us to our family, friends and community like nothing else,” said Mike Stigers, president of Cub Foods. “Since food preferences and tastes are ever evolving, gathering insights on the latest trends from foodies at the forefront of our local culinary scene helps us to anticipate and stay ahead of the changing needs of our customers.”

Here’s a sampling of some of the food trends local experts predict for 2015:

       Hometown Favorites. Demand for natural and locally sourced foods shows no sign of slowing. Food experts predict that Minnesotans will seek even more responsibly sourced foods from local farms and growers.

        Call of the Wild. Home cooks will increasingly embrace their inner caveman and cavewoman with high protein meals flush with grass-fed meats, seafood, nuts and fresh produce. As an offshoot of this, grass-fed beef and bison, and wild game such as venison, rabbit and duck will become more common features at the dining table.
         It’s All About Those Veggies. Local food experts expect people to make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies in 2015. Cauliflower, avocados and grapefruit will be hot, and look for Minnesotans to try more hybrid vegetables like broccoflower and discover little-known gems such as jicama.

     Ancient Grains Continue Historic Run. While it may be hard to pronounce quinoa (KEEN-wah), this small but mighty grain packs a powerful punch of protein that is great for a side dish and in salads. Local experts predict lesser-known ancient grains — such as millet, freekeh, farro and amaranth — will be competing with quinoa for dinner plate real estate this year.

        Hotdishes Are Hot! The beloved Minnesota comfort food will get a modern makeover as home chefs customize recipes and lighten them up with new, better-for-you ingredients and global flavors. These dishes are easy to make and ensure plenty of leftovers. Sriracha-Honey Tater Tot Hotdish anyone?

         The Party Is at Our House. 2015 will be the “Year of the Dinner Party,” according to Minnesota food experts. Minnesotans will start experimenting with larger dinner parties and regular “supper clubs.” These events, however, will likely be more informal with a focus on smaller servings, comfort foods and great variety.

         We Like It Hot. No, Really. Minnesotans might have a reputation for being spice adverse, but food experts see the demand for hot and spicy flavors heating up.

         South of the Border. Latin American food will join Mexican as among Minnesotans’ favorite ethnic options in 2015. And according to one local food expert, it’s time to “Watch for Cuban.” Consumers also will seek out more Middle Eastern and Moroccan foods as their interest in dishes with unique spices and strong flavors continues to grow.

         Move over Bacon. While there will always be a place for bacon in many beloved dishes, food experts say the nation’s borderline-obsessive love affair with the pork product is cooling to a more manageable level. It will still appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but bacon-infused everything will fall out of favor.

         Sayonara Soda! Minnesotans will be drinking less of the sugary stuff and their “diet” counterparts this year. Instead they may discover drinks like Kombucha, a popular drink made with fermented tea and shrubs, and nonalcoholic fruit punches made with fruit vinegars. Once popular in Victorian times, these unexpected beverages are seeing a resurgence in popularity.

         Home Grown. The trend toward healthier eating will inspire more Minnesotans to grow their own food at home or in a community garden. Experts also predict that pickling, canning and preserving will increase in popularity among home chefs in 2015.

         Craft Craze. In another nod to all-things-local, Minnesotans will be drinking more local, craft beers, craft spirits, wines and local soda brands in 2015.

Do you shop Cub® Foods? How would you like to go shopping with gift cards from Cub® Foods, for Cub® Foods
 Just drop your name in the Rafflecopter Hat below!

About Cub Foods
Cub® Foods offers customers the freshest produce, widest selection and food expertise throughout the store to meet their everyday grocery needs. In addition to innovative local, ethnic and organic food sections, Cub stores offer shoppers multiple in-store services including fresh bakery, full-service deli and meat departments, pharmacy and banking. Cub Foods, based in Stillwater, Minn., was established in 1968 as one of the nation’s first discount grocery stores. Cub was purchased in 1980 by SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) and currently operates 67 stores in Minnesota and Illinois.

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*** Gift cards are being provided by the PR for Cub Foods. I was not compensated for this blog post, but was given a gift card in exchange for hosting this give away and sharing the above information. ***

the little things

Monday, April 6, 2015

I never want to forget the little things - ever.

That's the joy of having this mundane blog and being able to document things like teeny tiny little post it notes that I think I'll always remember, but what if I don't?

Blog book for the win!

Anyhoo - D had a friend over recently for a playdate, and his mom thanked us by sending a tupperware container full of cookies.
A couple of days later, I found this crumpled up teeny tiny post it note on the floor.

(Front...and Back)

Apparently this was the rough draft, because the recipient of this note pulled it out during Easter Sunday Mass, his mom reported later! CUTE!

Don't you wish they could just stay little? And innocent?

Spring Pictures

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I take tons and tons of photos, so school pictures aren't such a big deal to me - 
but they are a right of passage, aren't they?

I love that the kids' school does fall pictures and spring pictures, because it's so fun to see how much they've grown and changed after just a few short months~

Nothing we will blow up and hang on the wall - but fun all the same!

Heel Pain in Adolescents - Ouch!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

So, this very over-active boy of ours has been complaining of foot pain/heel pain off and on for quite some time. Some days, it gets so bad, he ends up limping around. I asked one of the MD's at work (a Podiatrist) about it, and she thought it could maybe be 

calcaneal apophysitis - growing pains - basically.

With some insert and icing recommendations, I was hoping we were set.

Fast forward a month or two later...
And we find ourselves at the doctor (the same one...) just to be sure.

His first xrays, not counting teeth.
Who knew we'd make it to 8+ years old for that!
Go team!
Never mind that high deductible health care plan we have...blerg...
When your kid is in pain...you pony up and go to the doctor.

What did the xrays show?
Well, disconnected growth plates.

Looks painful, no?
Well, it is.

Poor kid.

Turns out, it's normal. Some kids feel it, some kids don't.
Overactive kids feel it more than not-so-active kids.
Hockey. Baseball. Running, Bike Riding. Track Events.
Yep...This kid never stops.

Supposedly this will bond together between the ages of 8-14.
Here's hoping it's closer to the 8 than the 14.

For now, we're doing the ice, and are on our 2nd set of inserts, as the first set were a bust.
Always learning something, aren't we, as parents?

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On the Road Again, with Skippy Singles!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Remember last year when I shared with you my BRILLIANT! (if I do say so myself!) 
snack for baseball season?

(for many kids, too many kids, it's ALL about the snacks!)

Who brought the snack? 
What's for snack?
Can I have my snack now?

Herding cats...
& Snacks....

Anyway - 
What a FUN way to change it up, no?

Well, now it's March! We are fast approaching another season of baseball & softball in our house, 
and we just wrapped up Spring Break! 

All the running, all the time!

Protein is known to keep you fuller, longer – 
 SKIPPY® Singles are a no-brainer to bring along with us, whether we are headed around town, or around the state.

Great with your favorite finger foods, at our house, we use pretzels, apple slices, celery & baby carrots, most often, these self-serve cups have up to nine grams of protein, giving us a satisfying snack that’ll last longer than the space between the next are we there yet? 

They aren't just for the kiddos - 
I've been loving having these in my desk at the office for those days I just cannot get away because of meeting, after meeting, after meeting.

Have you used Skippy Singles?
What is/would be your favorite way to enjoy them?

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*** I was not compensated for this post. As a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger, I am occasionally given products to facilitate a blog post or a coupon to off set the price of Hormel Products. ***

Friday Night with Friends - Redtail Ridge Family Fun Night

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our kids have made the best friends...
Is there anything greater than spending a Friday night with your best buds?

I am both terrified & excited to watch these kiddos 'grow up' - 
as if they haven't already!

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Before and After - Cutting Burning Bush in Minnesota

One thing that I love about blogging - is the ability to see things that I have long since forgotten - 
I take hundreds of thousands of pictures, and putting them out here on this blog enables me to quickly and easily find things back again.

Just last night I got stuck looking at pictures of the kids and their friends from three years ago.
It seems like a LIFE TIME ago, yet, like just last week.

How does that happen?

Anyhoo - 
Not too long ago I uncovered a photo that inadvertently caught the burning bush next to our front door. It was only about 2 feet high, and looked so so much better than the scraggly thing we now have right outside our front steps.

A quick search of google and some 70 degree temps had us feeling ambitiuos, 
so we decided to tackle that burning bush.

Tackle, as in...

I really, REALLY hope we don't regret cutting this Burning Bush down to the ground.

I guess we'll know soon enough if we did the right thing?

Already it looks SO. MUCH. BETTER!

I love the look of the Burning Bush.
Will it grow back?
Have you ever cut one of these down to nothing?

Time will tell, I suppose.
(After the 10 inches of snow we got last night, AFTER cutting this down last week, melts!)
Stay tuned!

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Cheers to Friendship!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

While their parents watch Sioux Hockey and visit over drinks and Taco Bar...
The kids give us a look into our futures!

Cheers to Friendship!

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Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells

Friday, March 20, 2015

We've been to the Wisconsin Dells a few times, but never since we've had kids.
There are so many places between here and there to explore - that we wanted to wait until our kids were big enough for the thrills that the Wisconsin Dells has.

With Spring Break here before we knew it...
We headed East to the Dells.

Upon arriving at our hotel, we were greeted by this character coming out of a secret door wandering down to the lobby.

I wonder how long they will humor me and keep taking these character pictures?
Hopefully, forever!

The hotel did a story time at night, and I snapped a picture before it got busy.
Aye aye aye!

It turns out, at 8 & 9 years old, our kids were too old for this, but the little kids LOVED it, and my kids were hoping their scavenger hunt card would be drawn and they'd win a stuffed animal.
No such luck, this time, kiddos!

The first thing we did when we arrived at the hotel and hit the water park, was the howlin' tornado.
Were we howlin!

We only did that ride once, once was enough!

A friend of mine said to me, ohhh! you are brave! I would've peed my pants!
Maybe I did! I told her! Who knows!

It was thrilling and terrifying.
I'm glad we can say we did that ride, as a family...but probably not going to ever get me on that one again....I do wish we'd of had some go pro footage of that though - I bet it was hilarious!

Because it was gorgeous spring weather (60+ degrees) we decided to get out and explore the Dells a bit, and get outside.  The kids have been dying to go to the Ripley's Believe it or Not attraction ever since we saw one in Branson, Missouri last summer.

We didn't spring for the $15 per person tickets, but they did take a picture with the World's Tallest Man outside of the venue.
People think our kid is tall.

THIS, is tall!

And thanks to Dairy Queen's free ice cream cone day, we got to enjoy a nice cold treat as well!

We wandered in and out of various shops...and I saw this stuff.
I could immediately taste it in my mouth, and it tasted like childhood.

I had forgotten all about it, until I saw it, but I'm confident I lived on this as a kid.
At $2.00 for one little strip, I wasn't about to relive those memories...
but don't you just love when that happens?
You've totally forgotten about something, until you see something that triggers your memory?

We had these all the time too, growing up.
They were a movie theater staple, but...when I was a kid, they were just in a giant bucket, 
Ah, how times have changed!

Back to the hotel for some good old fashioned, new fashioned, water park fun!

And because no trip is complete without family selfies...
Here are ours, to end the trip!
(Complete with the Wolf Ears the Lodge gives out!)

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