20 Nov


Hearty Breakfast for Cold Mornings


on November 20, 2015   comments 0

Well, it appears that the winter winds are finally howling towards us (at least for a few days). Just in time, I made a batch of Spicy Apple Porridge to fuel me up. It turned out so well that I wanted to share the recipe. Minnesota apples, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, and cardamom combine with grains of your choice for a breakfast delicious enough to pull you out of a cozy bed. Plus you can make it ahead of time.  



  • 4-5 tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 brown sugar, palm sugar, maple syrup, OR honey
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • a whole star anise
  • 3 green cardamom pods, split open
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mixed grains such as millet, barley, wheat berries, rye berries (I used millet and barley)

Put the star anise and cardamom pods into a spice bag or tie up in cheese cloth for easy removal at the end. Then combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about an hour, until grains are tender and mixture looks porridge-y. While cooking, periodically check to make sure there is still enough liquid. You can eat this hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. Rewarm with a little water or milk for a hot breakfast or lunch. Try toping it with yogurt, raisins, nuts, lemon zest, or more maple syrup for even more tastiness. You can also experiment with adding cranberries, ginger, or dried fruits while you cook the apples and grains. This recipe makes about 5-6 cups of porridge.

(My porridge was inspired by Martha Shulman's Apple-Spice Breakfast soup)

07 Feb


Day 7 of Loving Winter 2015


on February 7, 2015   comments 1

I#lovemnwinter. Today I love a jumble tumble of winter thoughts.

I’ve been biking the streets of Minneapolis now for almost ten years. Which, in its own way, is becoming a long time.

I love bicycling in this city. Through bicycling so many days, I have fallen even more in love with Minneapolis and with our seasons, the ever-changing balance of day and night, the minute shifts noticeable to those who walk, run, or bicycle the world day after day.

At times, I fully admit that Winter does present an extra challenge or two to my love and admiration. Blizzards in May bring a groan to my lips. But that is, as folks say, the manner of life. A year or so ago, a romantic interest of mine had a contagious, outrageous, amazing optimism towards rain, Winter, and all kinds of inclement weather. While that romantic interest didn’t stick, the infectious way of greeting everyday with optimism did. Which, come to think of it, is quite a nice gift to be left with.

Here is a jumble of somethings I love about bicycling in the Minnesota winter:


admiring the steam clouds – tangerine, mauve, and pink pillars -  glowing in the cold air and early morning sun * * * * * * dragon-puff breaths as I wait at a stoplight * * * * * * *  coming in from the cold and feeling warmth on my cheeks * * * * * * * the quiet of the winter Greenway * * * * * * * sharing smiles with parka and scarf-swaddled walkers and bus stop standers

Whether you bicycle only once this winter or everyday, whether it’s going to work, school, a friend’s house or the river bottoms, whether you choose studded tires, fat tires, or are a crazy slicks person – I hope you too have an inner list of at least one thing you loved on your ride.

Read about this collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls, or check out last year's #lovemnwinter posts.

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