Crystal Grobe is a local food writer who truly enjoys creating new dishes using fresh and local ingredients. Although she likes trying new restaurants for inspiration, the best dishes come from her own kitchen and she wants to share them with her readers.
Crystal created Café Cyan in 2006 as a way to share recipes and inspire others to try new foods. In early 2009, she created a food blog for WCCO called Bite of Minnesota, which focuses on local food in Minnesota and the surrounding area.
Crystal loves Minnesota and its vibrant community of interactive and innovative people. She is constantly on the go in search of new foods, events, music, and friends. She lives in the south metro with her husband, Ryan, which gives them easy access to both the bustling cities and the local farms.
My garden is growing fast and I’m amazed at how big my tomato and pepper plants have gotten over the last few weeks. My herbs have shot up too and taken over their containers, causing me to be more diligent about harvesting the leaves for things like basil-mint water, dried herbs, and sauces.
Getting started is sometimes the most difficult part of a cycle. Take this year’s growing season for example. It was so tough to get started, not for lack of trying, but for lack of warmth. Now that the temperatures have risen and the ground has enough (and sometimes too much) moisture, the familiar produce of our growing season has started to pop up in both fields and markets.
Last week, I had a happy hour date set up with some friends from a previous job. Plenty of time was spent discussing available dates and possible locations. Babysitters were secured, work tasks were prioritized, and three hours before go time, someone backed out, followed by another, and yet another.
Over the weekend, I visited the farmer’s market for the first time this season. What a beautiful day to be outside! Kingfield Market was busy and pickings were slim when it came to fresh produce. While hoping for asparagus, I walked away with radishes, rhubarb, and mushrooms instead.
Each year I look forward to spring, not just for the warmer temperatures and chirping birds, but also for the start of our food cycle. Typically ramps and morels kick it off but with the severe fluctuation in temperature I was afraid all hope was lost for these foraged goodies. Luckily I was wrong and with the cool Memorial Weekend, foragers were out in full force gathering up bunches of ramps and bags of morels for our enjoyment.
Hosting a party can be a lot of work and is also quite rewarding to see your hard work pay off. The key is to allow time to enjoy it yourself. To cut down on busywork during the party I try to prep as much as I can ahead of time so I can get out of the kitchen and mingle.
Last week I shared a delicious tri-colored salad on this blog that appears to be just in time for some 90-degree temperatures this week. It wasn’t anything fancy, just arugula, radicchio, and endive with an equally un-fancy dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
With spring gatherings and summer picnics approaching quickly, I’m often on the hunt for something healthy and flavorful to bring to the party.
It’s officially garage sale season! I saw my first sale of the season over the weekend and got quite giddy with excitement.
Recently I fell off the pizza train. On purpose. My pizza intake was reaching an all time high: that stuff is addicting!
Since it seems that spring is reluctant to show its face in Minnesota, there’s no need to turn off our ovens quite yet.
A few years ago I was a guest on the Fresh and Local Show on AM950 along with a talented blogger and photographer, Susan Powers.
From the posts on this blog, it’s easy to assume that I cook healthy all of the time and for the most part, it’s true. Most of the unhealthy food I consume comes from takeout joints and restaurant visits but from time to time I’ll whip up an indulgent appetizer or two.
Throughout the years I’ve both developed my own recipes and altered already existing recipes. It’s rare that I make a recipe exactly as written, and it’s a fun creative outlet to play around in the kitchen and make something that tastes great.
Is it spring yet? Winter sure is dragging on, but that’s nothing new for Minnesota. As we adjust to Daylight Savings Time and yearn for blue skies, sunlight, and warmer weather, it’s a good time to strengthen our resolve and start preparing for those exciting spring days.