Crystal Grobe is a Minneapolis-based food writer who enjoys exploring seasonal and local foods. She can be found wandering farmers markets, picking produce at local farms (a lot of it), and enjoying the fantastic food community in Minnesota.
Crystal has spent over a decade writing about food for outlets like WCCO, City Pages, and Twin Cities Food Finds. She has developed recipes for General Mills, tested recipes for chefs, and had a very short-lived morning show segment on WCCO-TV talking about ingredients at the farmers market.
When she’s not writing about food, she’s working as a corporate content strategist and freelance social media consultant while trying to travel the world as much as possible.
As a somewhat experienced home cook, I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’ve dealt with my share of lengthy and difficult recipes and I don’t typically shy away from learning something new. Case in point: whole wheat blue cheese crackers, pretzel crusted cheese eggs, and bacon jam.
Looking for more ways to infuse vegetables into your diet? A stir-fry is a quick and easy way to do it. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to use bits and pieces of vegetables left in the crisper drawer.
If you haven’t heard already, the big game is on Sunday. Yes, the Super Bowl. Otherwise known as a perfect excuse to grab friends and throw a fantastic food party.
Simplicity is a major focus for many after the New Year. Less plans, less stuff and less work. It’s almost like spring cleaning but without the chirping birds and spring thaw. Since the days are short and the winter is long, there is plenty of time to figure out ways to simplify before summer hits.
New year, new you? It doesn’t quite work that way, but now is as good of a time as any to implement changes in your life. I’m never been one for resolutions and didn’t make any this year, but I do believe in always striving for better. So, for the first couple weeks of January, we’re doing a bit of a “cleanse” through Bon Appetit.
Celebrating the new year traditionally happens with a bang. Whether it’s the pop of the champagne cork or the boom of fireworks, a new beginning is something to celebrate. After years of less-than-satisfactory celebrations, I now prefer to celebrate with a small group of friends at dinner.
It seems that people are in one of two camps: early shoppers or last-minute shoppers. I grew up in a family of last-minute shoppers. My mom would be finishing her shopping list on Christmas Eve, and still be wrapping as we arrived. As an adult, I have retained some of those last-minute tendencies, but certainly not in the gift-buying department.
It is cold. There’s no denying that we’ve been experiencing some cold temperatures lately, causing our bodies to crave warm comfort food.
If the recent snowfall hasn’t caused you to start thinking of the holidays, the calendar will.
There’s a new pop-up in town and it has one focus: pie. Yep, it’s that simple. Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart (read more about her here in WCCO’s Chef Profile) has partnered with Hola Arepa to host Power Pie Monday each Monday in November from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. I was one of the lucky ones to score a whole pie on Monday, so we delighted in malted banana cream pie all week.
As an adult, I was able to add many more bacon recipes to my repertoire and I just found another winner: bacon jam. I tested out a half batch over the weekend and regretted that I didn’t make more. However, I have a dinner party coming up and since I learned my lesson, I’ll be making a full batch this time.
Every so often, I visit the U of M Dairy Salesroom and pick up a few cheeses. Last time, I purchased a tub of Nuworld cheese spread. Nuworld is a cheese developed at the U of M and is considered a white “blue” cheese instead of the more traditional blue veined blue cheese.
Have a hankering for hot sauce but can’t seem to find a brand you like? Have you tried making your own? We grew habaneros in our container garden this year with the hopes of creating a hot sauce.
Does your family ever fight over the crispy edges of a casserole, especially when cheese is involved?
I knew I had to make eggplant parmesan. It’s something I ate for the first time in college, when it was prepared by my roommate’s Italian aunt. While her fried version is delicious, I went for a baked version instead, hoping to save some fat and calories.
Cheese curds always have a spot in my stomach at the fair no matter how full I am from other foods.
I read somewhere that it is National Peach Month. I’m not one for insignificant holidays, but it does coincide with peach season, so I’m going with it. And since I just ordered 25 pounds of organic peaches, it’s officially peach week in my house.
Let me share my blueberry picking struggles from this past Saturday. Don’t worry, it isn’t too dramatic or long, but it was a good reminder of how flexible one needs to be when seeking out seasonal produce.
I’m always on the hunt for hidden food gems throughout the Twin Cities. Whether it’s a farmer’s market in the dead of winter or a roadside farm stand, I like to share my good finds. One such find is the University of Minnesota’s dairy salesroom.
At a recent barbecue, we threw slices of summer squash in a plastic bag with some herbs to quickly marinate before grilling. It’s easy to transport and easy to dispose of when finished. You don’t need a recipe for this but I’ve included instructions below.
On Sunday morning I made a mad dash for Lorence’s Berry Farm in Northfield and picked 16 pounds of strawberries just before a storm came through. The fields had plenty of berries to pick and they were large, juicy, and delicious.
Turns out I went herb shopping just in thyme (time, I mean time) to make an herby cocktail with bourbon, lemon juice, and thyme. It requires making simple syrup and while you’ll have to wash a saucepan, I swear the syrup is truly simple to make.
Last week I talked about a few dishes using ramps that I’ve made over the years. The mild garlic and onion flavor of ramps help boost the flavor profile and make them an easy addition to most recipes. I’m sad when the season ends so I’ve been looking for ways to prolong their life in the form of butters, salts, and seasonings.
Recently I spent some time in Negril, Jamaica for a friend’s wedding. This was my first time at an all-inclusive vacation spot and my first time doing a beachy resort vacation as we typically go for city explorations.
One of my favorite things to make is French onion soup. I enjoy watching the onions slowly caramelize, and fragrant herbs rosemary and thyme fill the house with warm and familiar scents. Luckily at this time of year, we can keep the windows open to avoid having the house smell like onions for days afterward.