The Sprouts: Kuplink, Kuplank, Kuplunk!

When my parents were visiting a few weeks ago we spent a day blueberry picking. The last couple of years we picked at a farm in Michigan that was donated as a park. Nothing beats free berries!!! Of course if you live in Northern Minnesota, there are lots of free wild berries, but we are still waiting for one of the locals to share their secret spots! So instead, we headed to Shary’s Berries. As we were picking, I heard kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk in Skoogie and O’s direction.


We have been participating in EAT LOCAL for almost a week. As part of the Community Corner post for the week, I thought I’d reflect upon our initial experiences with this community-based project.

Lots of looking for local ingredients and recipes to incorporate the food
Ohhhhhh, so tasty!
Community collaborations
Almost all of the local food was eaten
Lots of fun!

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Menu for the Week of August 22, 2010

As a way to bring variety to our meals and cook dishes that are simple, healthy, delicious, and hopefully appealing to our kids, I do a lot of meal planning. My hope is to share our weekly menus for you to glean recipes, spark ideas, and/or shorten your planning time. I will post recipes on the Wednesday prior to the week to allow for shopping time that fits your schedule. In the near future, several organizational tools will be available that will make these recipes even more appealing... stay tuned! (Click Read More for recipes)

Simplicity at its BEST... Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Sandwich on Focaccia

When we moved to Duluth, one of the things we missed most was a place to buy REALLY GOOD bread! When we lived in Salt Lake City, we were spoiled by a little market a few blocks from our house that made delicious breads, and there were some good bakeries in Iowa City as well. So three years ago, my husband decided he was going to master bread baking and he hasn’t failed us yet!!! The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart is a book that will never leave our bookshelf! Reinhart describes the five flavor zones you experience when eating extraordinary bread: “First the sweet zone, eliciting an ‘ahhh, this is nice’ reaction. Then the salty zone, kicks in, an ‘oohhhhh,’ followed by another level of either sweetness or sourness (depending on the bread), along the side of the tongue, calling forth a ‘hmnnn, whoa…’ Finally, just at the swallowing point, the mouth floods in the umami or rich zone in the back central region, with a nutlike flavor that perfumes its way into the sinuses, where it lingers for as long as fifteen to thirty minutes, re-creating with every inhalation the inimitable finish of proper, world-class bread⎯ the inevitable “yessss!” Bread this good must also be beautiful; after all, we first eat with our eyes.” Need I say more! Last night Pete started the Focaccia recipe from the book, it rose in a jellyroll pan overnight, and this afternoon I baked it. The sweet smell of the bread baking cheered up a rainy summer day. As you can imagine it looked so tempting as it sat on the counter cooling. Eventually, we snuck a taste for a snack. YUMMMMMMMMMMMM

The Sprouts - Franks and Beans

Books play an integral part of our family’s life and each day one of our kids is referring back to a book in some way or another. Originally, I planned to incorporate Yoko by Rosemary Wells with a sushi theme, which is Skoogie and O’s favorite meal of all time!!! I’ll talk about that more when we are eating beyond our local radius again.

Instead, during a recent visit, my mom and O connected dearly with a new component of the book. Yoko is a fantastic story about trying cuisine from different cultures. Each time the book was read last week, there was an instant chuckle when they got to the part about the FRANKS who only eat franks and beans. It has been a long while since we’ve read the book and O’s sense of humor has changed. He now gets the pun about the FRANKS only eating franks and beans and thinks it is SOOO FUNNY. Instantly, he asked if we could try franks and beans. (Click the Read More button to continue story)


Lately as we tuck our three year old daughter in at night, she announces to us what she wants for breakfast the next day. Yesterday the request was waffles (for the third day in a row). It seems breakfast is the most challenging meal for us to vary as she has an egg and peanut allergy and there was an added twist this morning, it was the first day that we were starting our month long EAT LOCAL pledge. But we’ve learned to cook creatively with flax meal and decided to make waffles topped with Minnesota maple syrup and raspberries picked at Lakewood Berry Farms in Duluth... with a local fried egg on the side for ourselves . Whew…One of three local meals for the day down! (Click on Read More to finish reading the post.)

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