Nov/Dec
2017

I Am a Beautiful Rochester Woman: Christine Abel

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Written by By Emily Watkins Photos by Tracey McGuire Photography

Christine Abel Maintains a positive outlook on life despite managing a busy household, experiencing the loss of her father and more recently the loss of a love.

Sitting across the table from Christine Abel at breakfast the morning of her makeover, I got the impression that this is a woman who never stops moving and helping others. 

It was hard to get her to talk about herself, but Christine had lots to say about her children who are 18, 16 and 12 and spend a lot of their time helping others as well. Her son, who is in college for law enforcement, “should be a farmer,” Christine says, but he feels like he could best contribute to society by being in law enforcement. Her 16-year-old daughter, who is currently representing as Miss Gladiola Days Queen 2017, is passionate about cancer research. Christine and her family have watched family and friends suffer from and succumb to cancer, and her daughter is dedicating her campaign to fund cancer research. 

A WELL-ROUNDED (AND BUSY) LIFE

Christine was born in Rochester, Minnesota, and has lived in the surrounding area her entire life. She says, “Minnesota is a fabulous place of seasonal changes. I adore the rolling hills, streams and lakes.” She loves biking, hiking at Whitewater State Park and traveling as much as possible. She is also a history buff. Her family has a lot of history in the military, so she knows a lot about soldier etiquette at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, as well as the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Yes, You DO Have Something to Wear!

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Written by A guide to surviving holiday fashion. By Samantha Erickson Photos by Katie Staige

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU STOOD IN FRONT OF YOUR CLOSET CURSING THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR? ODDS ARE, IN THE 62 DAYS BETWEEN HALLOWEEN AND NEW YEAR’S DAY, YOU’LL BE INVITED TO MORE EVENTS THAN THE ENTIRE REST OF THE YEAR. 

Keeping up with a great new outfit for each gathering is exhausting and unrealistic. If just thinking about the pressure to look great and keep a jolly attitude this season already has you burned out, the good news is that you’re not alone, and help has arrived. EverydayMae.com is a new Rochester-based blog to show you how planning and creativity will take you from fall family photos to ringing in 2018 with style. 

TRY IT ON

Nothing is worse than mentally piecing together an outfit, only to find just hours (or within the hour) before your party that the look doesn’t come together or worse, doesn’t fit. Now is the time to try on all of your seasonal pieces. Nail down your basic “holiday look” and try any fun new trends ahead of time.

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Gift Giving: Share Gifts, Make Memories and Shop Local

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Written by By Jorrie Johnson Photography by Fagan Studios

What does gift giving mean to you? Do you enjoy giving of yourself, your time and your talents, or do you prefer purchasing gifts to wrap with a big red bow and put under the tree? Gift giving shows someone that you value them and who they are. 

The gifts we give are a reflection of what makes us feel loved. According to Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages,” there are five main ways that people speak and understand emotional love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. For a good relationship, it is important for the giver to know how the receiver feels loved, what speaks to them.     

GIFTS AND TALENTS

Do you knit, garden, write or sing? No matter your talent, you can probably share that with a friend or two or the whole community. It’s fun to take a class to learn a new skill and then share your result. There are art classes, music, cooking and canning classes through community education, specialty shops or learning centers that you can take or give the class fee and supplies as a gift for any age. 

 

Do you junk? If not, after looking at all the amazing things that Sue Whitney has created and restored from junk, you will want to. Whitney is a celebrity in our midst, having appeared multiple times on NBC’s “The Today Show,” as well as HGTV’s “Country Style.” She has published three books, served as editor-at-large and columnist for “Country Home Magazine” and as a contributing editor for Better Homes and Garden’s “Country Gardens” magazine. 

SAVING THE PLANET ONE DIY PROJECT AT A TIME

In short, Whitney is a trusted author, and her new book “Junk Beautiful: Furniture Refreshed” will not disappoint. Learn how to refinish antique furniture or create a unique piece out of a thrift store purchase. Whitney says, “We’re a throw-away culture,” and this book will teach you how to reuse and recycle to avoid buying cookie-cutter items from big box stores.

 

Nov/Dec
2017

A Hunger for Food Meets a Hunger to Help

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Written by By Trish Amundson Photography by Fagan Studios

Local organization rescues excess food from area businesses for those in need.

Community Food Response (CFR) is feeding the hungry in Rochester. Week after week, many families come on foot, by bike and bus, to receive bread, fresh produce and prepared food that would otherwise go to waste. The need to feed the hungry—and CFR’s vital service—continue to grow.

RESPONDING TO A NEED

One in nine Minnesotans struggle with hunger, and one in six children do not have enough food to eat. Yet one-third of food is wasted. Locally, one in three Rochester school children qualify for free or reduced school lunches. Many people do not have enough food to lead healthy and active lives. They go to bed hungry, and they wake up hungry. Their refrigerators and cupboards are bare, and finances are low, so putting a decent meal on the table becomes a struggle. Rochester is not immune to the challenges of hunger. 

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Hot Chef

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Forager’s female chefs talk about food and the funny side of the kitchen.

KARI DAVI GREW UP IN RAWLINS, WYOMING AND MOVED TO ROCHESTER IN SEPTEMBER 2015. HER AUNT, WHO LIVES HERE, TOLD HER HOW THE FOOD SCENE HAS BEEN GROWING IN ROCHESTER, SO SHE CAME TO BE A PART OF IT. SHE INTENDS TO REMAIN HERE FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. 

KARI’S ROAD TO BECOMING A CHEF

Kari has known she wanted to be a chef since the time she was 18. She was already a line cook and thought, “I could spend the rest of my life in a kitchen.” She set off to get her training in line cooking, prepping ingredients and assembling dishes according to restaurant recipes and specifications. She spent two years training in Wyoming, followed by attending the Art Institute of Tucson.

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Gourmet Clubs: Hosting A Friends & Food Club

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Written by By Emily Watkins Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Does the word “gourmet” intimidate you? It did me until almost 10 years ago when our neighbors invited us to participate in a gourmet club with a few other couples. They pulled together people they knew who enjoyed eating good food. At our first meeting, the only people we knew were our neighbors. 

OUR INFORMAL GOURMET CLUB

While I was growing up, my parents participated in a formal gourmet group. The host decided on the menu and assigned specific recipes to each person. That’s what I had in mind for our gourmet group, but as we talked through things, we decided on something much more casual. The only hard and fast rule was that each person had to make and bring something that they had never cooked. We would meet as often as we could (usually every other month or so), taking turns hosting. The host would cook the main dish, and the others would bring appetizers, side dishes, salads, bread and/or dessert, along with wine or cocktails. Once the main dish was decided, the others could plan their dishes around that. It always felt very casual, with everyone contributing what they could and felt like making.

We have tried many new dishes with our gourmet club including cow’s tongue, pork belly and even squirrel! We’ve had duck, Lebanese roasted fish, chicken shawarma (thinly sliced meat wrapped in pita bread with veggies and sauce), salads, different kinds of breads and many creative vegetable dishes. We often have such great appetizers that it seems to diminish our appetite for dinner, but we always have room for our main dish and dessert. We’ve had pumpkin creme brulee, raspberry clafoutis (a French dessert) and dorayaki (a type of Japanese confection).

Over the years we have shared important life events like weddings, the birth of a baby, kids going off to college and a daughter who got
engaged. The founding couple moved away from Rochester a few years ago, so our group lost a little momentum. We have met sporadically since then, as we are trying to find our new identity. 

AROUND THE WORLD FOOD CLUB

Another gourmet club in Rochester was started by Dawn Sanborn and Jorrie Johnson. Dawn wanted to combine her “love for food and friends,” while Jorrie wanted to try food and wine from around the world. They both wanted to “hang out with wonderful women, meet new friends and try real food and wine or cocktails common from other countries, almost like traveling without the airplane,” explains Sanborn.

Their group decided to start with the letter “A” and choose a country that started with that letter as the “theme.” Everyone would bring food or drink that was traditional to that country. Sanborn says, “Or we would bring a chocolate cake for dessert because who doesn't like chocolate cake?”

Sanborn explains that not everyone in the group loves to cook, “but everyone loves a good get-together, so some would even just buy something from a restaurant.” One time, the hostess ordered gyros from a Greek restaurant.

They planned on meeting once a month and shared the hosting duties. They “went to” Australia, Brazil, Chili, Denmark, Ireland, India, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Liechtenstein and tried lots of interesting recipes and foods.

FRENCH INFLUENCE

I had recently traveled to France and was eager to make some French food with my gourmet club. I found a delicious looking recipe for brisket in a French cookbook. I was hosting on a Friday, and my day was filled with appointments, so I knew I would be pressed for time. The recipe I found called for cooking the brisket at a slow temperature for three hours after searing it on the stove. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get to that at the right time, so I searched for a slow cooker recipe. I ended up combining a couple different recipes to come up with the one that I’m sharing with you. This is a great recipe for hosting because you can make it ahead so that you can spend more time preparing for and spending time with your guests.

Another make-ahead recipe for parties and events this holiday season is a punch. Try this festive red punch that looks delicious and can be made with or without alcohol.

START YOUR OWN GOURMENT CLUB

Would you like to start a gourmet club? You can make the group however you like it. You could cook or go out to eat and try different restaurants. You could have a formal club where everything is planned, or you could have a casual, potluck-style club. You could focus on a different type of food each time or maybe even a particular time period for your inspiration. Choose whatever you want the focus to be: social time, food or maybe wine. Gather a group of friends and enjoy food and time together.


Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Red Wine and Cognac Reduction

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 beef brisket, 4-5 lb.
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • beef stock to cover brisket in slow cooker
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 lb. red potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup cognac
  • chives, optional

DIRECTIONS

Season brisket generously with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil to the pan. Add brisket and sear on each side, 2-3 minutes or until dark brown. Transfer to slow cooker. Add beef stock to cover brisket. Cook at low heat for 6-8 hours.

About an hour before eating, fry the bacon in a large pan. Once crispy, pour off bacon fat, leaving 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and celery to pan and cook over medium heat until onions are soft. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to a bowl with the bacon and keep warm. 

Pour wine and cognac in the pan. Add 2 cups of broth from the slow cooker to the pan. Stir to remove bits from the pan. Cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring frequently.

Remove brisket from slow cooker and put on a platter, surrounding it with the vegetables and bacon. Sprinkle with chives if desired. Serve reduction sauce on the side.

Holiday Party Punch

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 bottle sparkling cider
  • 1 liter ginger ale
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 12 ounces vodka (optional)
  • 1 orange, sliced

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, over ice combine all of the liquid ingredients. Float the orange slices on top, for garnish and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/holiday-party-punch-recipe-1949392)

 

 


Emily Watkins is personal trainer and freelance writer and editor.

 

You’ve done the Great River Road Wine Trail and the Rochester Craft Beer Expo and maybe even a cidery tour or two. But have you ever gone to a tasting that includes all three types of beverages from over a dozen different makers under one roof, right in downtown Rochester, for only $25?

If not, check out Feast! Local Foods Marketplace, the region’s largest local food festival, now in its fourth year. Unlike wine trails, this tasting doesn’t involve a long bus ride to Wisconsin or congestion in the Twin Cities. Instead, Feast! brings the best local wine, craft beer and cider to you at the Mayo Civic Center, Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Plus, the ticket price includes a multitude of culinary treats, everything from farm-sourced cheddar to mouthwatering confections, all made by food artisans in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Historic Brews

First stop: Stagecoach Brewing Company, where fascinating stories, golden ales and smoky porters are on tap for Feast! Owned by local brew master Tod Fyten, Stagecoach will be serving up the brewery’s distinguished history, dating back to 1857 in Mantorville, as well as a tipple of their Smoked Porter, award-winning Honey Golden Ale and their flagship brew, Stagecoach Amber Ale, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. 

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Remodelers Corner: A Room Undivided

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Written by By Bob Freund

Ryan and Sue Ness envisioned an open floor plan when they decided to remodel the main floor of their Rochester home last year. “We knew going in, it was going to be a big job,” Ryan says. 

THE VISION

Standing in the way was a long, load-bearing wall that separated their kitchen from the living room.  It had to disappear without a trace of its prior place. Overhead, the homeowners also envisioned a single ceiling stretching across their two rooms. That meant hiding the main beam holding up much of the home’s interior.

A year later, the Nesses enjoy a renovated kitchen and living/entertainment space. In addition, the decor throughout the main floor is new, and the master bathroom has been redone, along with other touches.

DIFFICULT, BUT DOABLE

The wall stretching down the center of the Ness’ 1960s-era house was not just a room divider. It also was holding up the ceiling overhead. 

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Exploring the Latest in Senior Housing Trends

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Written by By Cindy Mennenga Photography by Fagan Studios

Making Personalized Decisions Based on Individual Circumstances

As our population ages, seniors today are blessed with many housing options from which to choose. Previously, seniors had only a handful of choices for where to live: at home, with family or at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Many of today’s seniors are members of the baby boomer generation, and the boomers have notoriously disrupted every phase of life as they have entered it, insisting that they leave their mark and forcing long-standing institutions to bend to their will. Senior housing is just another stop on the boomer generation’s outside-the-box thinking.   

NOT YOUR PARENTS’ SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS

Part of what is driving these changes is the fact that today’s seniors have seen their parents cast aside by society and wither away in nursing homes, and they don’t want that to be their fate. Most folks want to remain independent for as long as possible. As a result, a very popular type of senior housing which has emerged in recent years is called aging in place. That means that a senior’s home is modified, as needed, to accommodate the resident so that he or she can remain in his or her home as long as possible. For some folks, it means widening doorways to allow a wheelchair to pass through, reinforcing walls to support graspable hand bars in bathrooms and hallways, along with renovating kitchens and bathrooms to include adjustable-height countertops. It often will also include adding zero entry doorways or wheelchair ramps to allow access into the home without steps. An aging in place expert can help determine which changes would be beneficial to help improve safety and functionality.

 

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