Woodbury November 2020

Page 1

Family Tree

Christmas tree farm marks more than 65 years in the business


WOODBURY CARES PROGRAM

JOIN US FOR WOODBURY FRIENDS FEST 2020 After five years of fabulous Chef Fests, the Woodbury Foundation's Annual Fundraiser is now Woodbury Friends FEST!

Some impact areas include at-risk youth, food insecurity, health and wellness, and citizen leadership development.

"We have made the decision to pivot our 2020 event to a virtual platform. Our event will still have food, auctions and fun and raise money for our amazing community!" says Matt Johnson, event co-chair.

WCF has partnered with Angelina's Kitchen to create a speciality party in a box for event attendees to safely host a small house-party style gathering with a lavish dinner spread of a 3course meal that serves 8 people. There is also an option for a meal for two.

"We will be streaming our live program on Cable TV and Youtube, host our amazing online auction and offer some unique ticketing options to suit your needs," he adds. The Woodbury Community Foundation raises money to give away to meet the needs of the community.

There is also an option to participate by registering for FREE to take part in our online auction and have access to our virtual program which will be streamed online. Can’t join us live, visit our website on how you can help: www.woodburyfoundation.org

THANK YOU SPONSORS

DATE: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020 TIME: 6:00pm (pre-show begins at 5:30 pm) COST: Free The event includes a silent auction, an inspiring video and Fund-A-Need. Features Event Emcee & Auctioneer Sarah Knox and entertainment by International Artist Phil Thompson WOODBURY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 724 BIELENBERG DRIVE, SUITE #129 | WOODBURY WOODBURYFOUNDATION.ORG 651.505.7024

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CONTENTS NOVEMBER ’20 This month, we’re celebrating family and entertaining. So, set the tables and send out the cards, the holidays are here!

in every issue 6 EDITOR’S LETTER 9 NOTEWORTHY 39 ON THE TOWN 4 2 GALLERY 4 4 TASTEMAKERS 4 8 LAST GLANCE

departments “Elevate your table scape and add variation of candles for pops of color, height and a twinkling light. Or use glass vases to add height and fill them with clusters of natural elements like branches and berries for a whimsical effect. ” PAG E 2 0

1 4 PERSPECTIVES

Gifts of Gratitude Giving thanks has never felt more important.

1 8 SCENE

Welcome Home

Artis Senior Living offers a new senior community.

20 FAMILY TIME

A Spread of Holiday Cheer

Creating a holiday tablescape can be simple with these tips and tricks.

features 22

Holistic Healing

The Salt Room offers a holistic approach to health.

Oh Christmas Tree Lake Elmo Christmas tree farm marks more than 65 years in business.

32

Food for the Soul Hudson transplant chats food blogging with Heartbeet Kitchen.

PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

26

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ach Thanksgiving is spent running around between dinners, from friendsgiving to family get-togethers and the little events in between, it seems like a never-ending holiday. However, this year may look a little different: smaller, quicker dinners and individually served plates. Perhaps you’ll be wearing a mask or following the six-foot guidelines. No matter what Thanksgiving looks like this year, don’t forget to say your thanks to the people you love, support and couldn’t be without. I’m grateful for many things this year, my partner Nathan and my cute-as-a-button (and nutty) husky pup Nova, my rediscovered passion for reading and the infinite support received from my family, friends and my coworkers here at Woodbury Magazine. I also asked what you’re Follow us ! grateful for—and received an overwhelming and See what we’re doing behind the profound response. Flip to page 14 to hear thanks scenes and around town! from your neighbors in Woodbury, and head to woodburymag.com woodburymag.com to read a few more. Woodbury Magazine Also in Woodbury Magazine this month, we @wburymag @woodbury_mag get an early look at Christmas with Krueger’s Christmas Tree Farm—go behind the scenes at the farm to see just how much love goes into each tree (page 26). And we chat with local Hudson, Wis. food blogger Amanda Paa about her entrepreneur journey, cooking tips and tricks, and a few holiday recipes you’ll want to whip up (page 32). However you’re celebrating this month, be sure to take a moment to pause and cherish the Native land around you, as writer Vivian Shinall says, “Step outside the traditional understanding of the holiday by learning about Minnesota’s first nations,” (page 39). Happy November and happy Thanksgiving, see you next month!

Hailey Almsted, editor woodburymag@tigeroak.com

NOVEMBER 2020

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MADELINE KOPIECKI DONNA CHICONE MORGAN MULDOON RACHAEL PERRON JILL STRAND MARGARET WACHHOLZ NINA RAEMONT VIVIAN SHINALL KATELYN STORCH

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editorial advisory board PEPE BARTON, South Washington County Schools TANNER IGNASZWESKI, Woodbury High School MIKE LEWIS, 3P Boxing 24/7 LAURIE MORDORSKI, Woodbury Lakes STACEY MORGAN, woodburykids.com MICHELLE OKADA, City of Woodbury Public Safety MARGARET WACHHOLZ, Woodbury Heritage Society, Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Senior Living SARAH SORENSON-WAGNER, South Washington County Schools

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NOTEWORTHY W H AT ’ S G O I N G O N I N W O O D B U R Y

Supporting Local Veterans The Yellow Ribbon Network helps uplift Woodbury’s veterans and their families.

T

he sacrifices of our community’s veterans often come at a cost—putting a strain on the well-being of themselves and their families. The Yellow Ribbon Network of Woodbury was formed in 2009 to respond to this added strain. “The Yellow Ribbon Network helps connect schools, local units of government, law enforcement, social services, churches, civic and volunteer organizations for the special needs of a military family before, during and after deployment,” says former city councilwoman and chair of the Woodbury Yellow Ribbon Network Julie Ohs. The Yellow Ribbon Network addresses a myri-

ad of different needs throughout the community, including monetary assistance, referrals, babysitting, home repair, lawn care, shoveling and many other services. “Our purpose is to ensure that military members and their families will never have to face life’s daily challenges without the support of their friends, neighbors and the Woodbury community,” Ohs says. The program is self-funded through fundraisers and donations, and the Woodbury community is encouraged to take part in helping out in whatever way they are able. To donate, visit woodburyfoundation.org and to get involved, email contactwyrn@gmail.com. —Vivian Shinall

THE YELLOW RIBBON NETWORK OF WOODBURY woodburyfoundation.org contactwyrn@gmail.com Woodbury Yellow Ribbon Network

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N OT E WO RT H Y

READ

A THRILLING NARRATIVE The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is the perfect fall read.

MORGAN MULDOON is a library services assistant at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury, and enjoys baking tasty treats and reading books while her two cats cuddle at her feet.

FITNESS

An Immunity Boost

How stress, supplements and water impact your immune system. As we continue to face off against COVID-19, let’s focus on fortifying your body for battle by boosting your immune system. Today we focus on stress, water intake and nutritional supplementation. STRESS AND ANXIETY

If you’re in a pressure cooker job with heaps of tension, how you respond makes a big difference in the health of your immune system. While everybody faces stress, it’s how we manage it that counts. Negative impacts of long-term stress include inflammation and poor performance of immune cells, some of which can be improved by working on your psychological response to daily situations. For the sake of your health, practice meditation, yoga, regular exercise and other relaxation techniques. For persistent anxiety and stress, licensed counselors and therapists can work wonders. WATER AND OTHER LIQUIDS

Preventing dehydration is crucial to your health. Dehydration causes headaches, can hinder physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart and kidney function. Being compromised

in these areas increases chances for disease. You hear that you should, “Drink plenty of liquids.” But how much water your body needs varies based on things like how much you exercise, whether you work outside and your overall health. Half your body weight in ounces, plus 20 ounces, is a good place to start. Other drinks considered healthy: green tea, adding lemon or coconut to water, kombucha and apple cider vinegar, pomegranate and beet juices and protein shakes. SUPPLEMENTS

Science is cautious about crediting nutritional supplements with fighting disease, understandably. But research suggests certain supplements might strengthen immune performance overall. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, elderberry and garlic, all seem to be beneficial when taken in supplement form—assuming you are not getting enough in your diet. JILL STRAND and CHRIS RADKE are owners and certified trainers at UpLift Guided Fitness in Woodbury. upliftfitness.com // 651.209.6778

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Theodora Goss’ The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter rewrites the narrative of some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics. The narrative revolves around a group of five young women, including Mary Jekyll, daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll, who is the most level-headed woman in the room, and Diana Hyde, the daughter of her father’s former friend and murderer, who is a daring and reckless girl that refuses to follow anyone’s rules. Others include Beatrice Rappaccini, the poisonous girl who harms anything she touches, but only wants to be cured of her ailment; Catherine Moreau, a half woman/ half puma created in an attempt to further human evolution; and Justine Frankenstein, a female giantess with strength to rival most men along with a kind and caring soul. The women come together to solve a series of gruesome murders while also searching for the answers to their origins. This unique and thrilling story keeps you on your toes with every turn of the page and brings the story to life, showing the personality of the characters through their actions and dialogue, which will help you enjoy the book even more. —Morgan Muldoon

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1. Offer assistance. You should always ask if you can help with preparations. If asked to bring food, inquire if there is a specific dish to compliment a carefully planned menu. And if your host declines help preparing food, don’t bring food (see #4, below). 2. Mention allergies. Speak up as soon as you’re invited, not when you arrive, or, worse yet, when dinner is served. A good host will try to accommodate you, but that’s much easier to do ahead of time. 3. Don’t be late. But definitely don’t be early! For the host a party starts as soon as the first person arrives, even if they aren’t quite ready. And at the slightest hint your host is growing tired, pack up and head out (after offering to help clean up, of course). 4. Bring a gift. Your host is gifting you with a party, so return their kindness with a (budget-friendly) bottle of wine, box of candy or floral arrangement. 5. Dress to impress. Dressing up sends a message to your host that you find their party (and them) to be special.

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N OT E WO RT H Y SENIOR LIVING

What Do You Get From Giving? Giving promotes happiness as a reward. What are the motivators that prompt us to give of our time, money and energy? It is often the giver, not the receiver, who reaps the biggest payback by volunteering and giving, making virtue truly its own reward. How do you begin? It is about being available, willing and open to those in need— and humbly understanding that we are all in this together! Mother Theresa said, “We can do no great things, only small thing with great love.” Let the needs of people you encounter dictate the best way to give, whether it is someone who could use some emotional support or a colleague who needs a lift. Every social catastrophe or

crime we hear about is not yet another sign that the world is beyond saving. We are in control and have choice in our response to the pandering of the media. Know the facts,

watch with a different perspective and discern how to use your resources and time. Our world matters. Reach beyond and widen your scope to send a message of hope,

faith and kindness, is one’s charge. Who in your community would benefit from your attention and time? Connect with your community: teenagers, elderly, those in prison or the sick. Take a class with the National Alliance of Mental Illness, share your voice, pick up listening techniques. Get excited about something you would love to do. Volunteering has a powerful impact on the duration and quality of your life. The giver receives more than a passing great moment; your actions will be better aligned with your values and your health, and getting more grounded will deepen your relationships with your community.

MARGARET WACHHOLZ is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in our community. woodburyseniorliving.com

Bark at Me

Positive reinforcement training is a lifelong journey. I believe it is a dog’s right to be trained and a pet parents’ responsibility to train their dog. I also believe in using only positive training techniques. Dogs need structure and clear expectations to learn how to live in our human controlled world. Beginning with puppy classes and moving on to basic obedience training is highly recommended for all dogs. Teaching dogs to understand what you mean when you say come, sit, off and the many other requests you will have of him is essential to a happy home with a dog.

DONNA CHICONE is an award-winning

author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She lives in Woodbury. You might find her engaged in pet-assisted therapy work. superpetparent.com

PET PARENT QUESTION:

I took my dog to puppy class and obedience training. We both did well. Time has passed and he does not

respond like he did when we were going through the classes. Do we have to take classes again? You could take classes again. Training is actually a lifelong experience for dogs and for pet parents. Remember, we pay trainers to train us to train our dogs. Training must be incorporated into your day-to-day lifestyle. Ask your dog to sit before you give him a treat or let him out the door. Ask him to “leave it” if it something you don’t want him to have. Communicating with your dog in “trainer-speak” will help your dog know what it is you expect him to do. A trained dog is a joy to live with.

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|

PERSPECTIVES

Gifts of Gratitude

In a time of pressure and pain, giving thanks has never felt more important.

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THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, giving thanks and

recognition to friends and family, coworkers and businesses, teachers and students is a sort of tradition. But now more than ever, sharing your gratuity with the people, places and things you’re grateful for means everything. Here are just a few things that our Woodbury community members are feeling grateful for. “As the newest president of Woodbury Days, I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to this awesome community by volunteering my time to pull together an event that is held so dear to many Woodburians’ hearts! And since I was unable to follow through with that in 2020, I will be grateful for the chance to hold our event in 2021. It will be fabulous to see so many faces from our community come together again!” —Amy Lombardi,

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“I am grateful for incredible teachers whose commitment to children, excellent problem solving and strong sense of team energize me daily. I am blessed with a boss who shows me that I am not alone, guides me toward prayer and challenges me to listen and lead with confidence. I am married to the most gentle and kind man, who cheers me on every day. Courage is a necessary virtue during this pandemic, but the power of gratitude gives me grace daily.” —Betsy Osterhause Hand, principal of Saint Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic School

New Life Academy, your willI'm experience: “Thechild fact that leaving for college next • Dedicated, high-quality teachers know you year has madethat me realize just how grate• Outstanding academics thatfor prepare you Next for the future ful I am my family. year, I’ll real• Extracurricular opportunities pursue passion ly miss myto dad’s wayyour of making any joke • Safe school environment positive culture bad. I’llwith missa my mom’s hugs and having • Character development based on to Christian her right there supportvalues me. I’ll miss my sister Elizabeth blaming everything on her stuffed animal and my sister Anne always making me laugh. I am thankful for each member of my family for a mil-

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PERSPECTIVES

|

CONTINUED

—Betsy Osterhause Hand, principal of Saint Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic School

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“I am grateful for those who everyday address food insecurity, homelessness, domestic violence, racial inequality, mental illness and other challenges experienced by the underprivileged in Woodbury. I feel blessed to live here where we have excellent schools, high quality and abundant health care, wonderful parks and trails and a forwardthinking city government. But I realize that not everyone in Woodbury enjoys all these benefits to the degree that I have; disparities exist. We are fortunate to have strong nonprofit, civic and governmental organizations who reach out to the underprivileged ... We have never been more aware of the critical role they play than during the pandemic and the focus on racial inequality in response to the George Floyd case. These are our hometown heroes! They deserve our thanks one and all.” —Roger Green, Woodbury

LETTERING BY EM HANDY

Citizen of the Year

“I am grateful to live near the Tamarack Nature Preserve and be able to physically access it—meandering through the woods and on the boardwalks that cross the wetlands, along with my dog. I take time to notice and cherish the calming beauty and intense power of nature. Sometimes, we’ll just sit quietly and purposefully do nothing … When the weather turns colder and darker, I will be grateful to have created new pathways to stay connected virtually ... I’ll also be glad for having slowed the pace, so that reading a book for enjoyment or knitting with a good movie feels natural and fulfilling.”

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To read more thanks of gratitude, go to woodburymag.com.

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D E PA R T M E N T S

|

SCENE

Different neighborhoods and the Town Center create a tight-knit and respectful community.

Welcome Home Artis Senior Living offers a community tailored to seniors in need of memory care. ARTIS SENIOR LIVING

doesn’t believe that memory care is one-size-fits-all. This belief sits at the core of their assisted care facilities and informs their approach to caring for their residents. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all philosophy, the experience is tailored specifically to each person in order to ensure independence, dignity and quality of life,” says vice president of sales and marketing Amy DePreker. Just this past June, Artis’ new Woodbury location celebrated its grand opening, welcoming its first resident. Boasting 64 suites, the structure of the facility is designed to provide an easily navigable space for residents. Suites are divided up into four neighborhoods: Summit Avenue, Grand Avenue, St. Croix and North Shore. These meet in a central core, the Town Center, in which there are additional amenities including a beauty shop, health center and space for community gatherings. “We’ve found that having different neighborhoods helps those with memory issues reorient themselves and gives them a better sense of their environment,” DePreker says. “Residents are able to move freely among neighborhoods and can also take advantage of an outdoor area, though all areas are secured for safety.” Not only does the structure of the building itself support residents with

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARTIS SENIOR LIVING

BY VIVIAN SHINALL

18 | NOVEMBER 2020

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dementia, but its programming is personalized specifically to each resident. The goal is to give each resident a living experience that allows them to feel independent and in control of their lives. To do this, the community’s staff works alongside the resident and their family to create an eight-page profile that addresses different aspects of their personality like their hobbies, likes and dislikes. “We have a strong emphasis on embracing what makes each resident unique. For example, when the associates at our community learned that a resident loved gardening, they created a program working with a local gardening club,” says DePreker. Through this system, Artis Senior Living of Woodbury hopes to provide seniors with a space that gives them a voice, creates lasting relationships, respects and fosters the uniqueness of each resident and maintains the dignity and integrity of memory care patients.

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Visit us online for even more about Woodbury. ARTIS SENIOR LIVING OF WOODBURY 8155 Afton Road // 651.493.2840 artisseniorliving.com @Artis_SL

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D E PA R T M E N T S

|

FA M I LY T I M E

A Spread of Holiday Cheer

Creating a holiday tablescape can be simple with these tips and tricks.

BY AVA DIAZ PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

CREATING THE PERFECT TABLESCAPE can be daunting but with a little creativity, you can create an unforgettable spread fit for any occasion. To start, consider what elements you already have. Reuse them so that you don’t have to splurge on seasonal decorations. These items could include anything from a classic table runner, favorite candleholders or even mason jars and soup tureens. By reimagining what you already own, you can draw interest and diversify the table. When dressing your table, less is more. This is the time to let your food shine. It is important to keep things simple and elegant, while still drawing interest through shape and textures of the food and supporting decor. Start with a basic foundation: Use neutral colors like white, cream, taupe and gray as the color scheme for your dishware settings. Plain plates, bowls and glasses will allow items such as placemats, table runners, napkins, name placecards and vases to shine.

TOP TABLE TIPS

Mixture of elements: Mother nature is your best friend when it comes to vibrant color and texture. Bring in traditional elements like pine, wood slabs, branches, pinecones and flowers; or incorporate seasonal produce like squash, pumpkins, cranberries, pears and oranges. These organic elements incorporate a natural effect, which is also practical and budget friendly. Create an edible centerpiece from a charcuterie board filled with a variety of cheeses, fresh seasonal produce, herbs topped with handmade labels. Place the food on a slab of wood or use a cake stand to create heightened look that will draw interest to the tasty snacks. Carve out the inside of small sugar pumpkins or butternut squashes to create vases for a flourishing bouquet

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Dr. Dan Ehrmanntraut, DDS

SET THE KIDS TABLE, TOO! To ensure the safety of ceramic or glasses dishes, swap the kids plates and bowls for plastic and paper alternatives. Fun, decorative plates (think cartoon turkeys or fall colors) will excite the little ones. Instead of glass cups, use the aforementioned alternatives or cups with lids for the toddlers. And don’t forget about festive napkins—a must for the kids table.

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For added fun, create a coloring sheet placemat accompanied with a cup of crayons or colored pencils for the kids at the gathering. This will ensure that they stay occupied and is a clean form of entertainment. Or create a brown paper table runner, where the kiddos will have plenty of space to play and color.

filled with chrysanthemums, goldenrod, mums, dahlias and even succulents. Elevate your tablescape and add variations of candles for pops of color, height and a twinkling light. Or use glass vases to add height and fill them with clusters of natural elements like branches and berries for a whimsical effect.

SET THE TABLE

Know what types of food will be served and the total number of guests—always prep for a few additional guests, too! With this information, decide how many utensils and dishes needed around the table, then decorate.

• Stack the smaller salad plate on top of the large entrée plate and finish it off with a patterned or colored folded napkin to add a pop of color. • Place the bread plate in the upper left corner above the main plates. • The dinner fork goes to the left of the main plates. The salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork. • Place the knife to the right of the dinner plate and the soup spoon alongside it, to the right of the knife. • The dessert spoon lies horizontally above the dinner plate. • The drinkware should be placed opposite of the bread plate in the upper right corner of the place setting, starting closest with the water glass and red and wine glasses to follow.

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WRIT TEN BY HAIL EY ALMS TED

CHRIS SIMONSON

The Salt Room offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. 22 | NOVEMBER 2020

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PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

HOLISTIC HEALING Minnesotans are gaining interest in holistic health care, and with good reason. Alternative medicine focuses on the body’s ability to naturally heal itself—and Woodbury boasts numerous holistic therapies, including The Salt Room, one of only five in the metro area. Filled with pinkish-orange Himalayan salt rock formations and a floor covered with tiny salt rocks, The Salt Room is thought to help with respiratory issues and mental health concerns. Gloria WahrenBrock opened The Salt Room in 2013, when there was only one similar room in Minnesota. It has two group rooms, accommodating up to four people and 45-minute sessions. The express room accommodates groups of two and offers 25-minute sessions. Both rooms have zero gravity chairs, where customers can breathe deep and relax. In 2019, Chris Simonson, who’d long been a fan of holistic therapies, connected with WahrenBrock, who, at the time, was looking into retirement. Simonson purchased The Salt Room in February 2020, and says his new purpose is education. “I want to educate people on the plethora of benefits from salt therapy, and that’s the fun part

for me,” Simonson says. “Having something you’re passionate about and sharing the good news, that’s always energizing.” After spending roughly 10 months researching salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, and reading research and testimonials, Simonson thought it all was too good to be true. “It’s profound. I kept going, and, I think, for me, it’s been exciting because there’s truly a whole facet,” he says. Modern halotherapy has a long history, dating back to the mid1800s when Polish physician Felix Boczkowski discovered that salt miners suffered fewer respiratory issues than the general population. Now, halotherapy is primarily used as treatment for asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments, but also skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea, and, more recently, mental health conditions, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression. “We take technology and artificially replicate [Boczkowski’s discovery],” Simonson says. “We have salt on the walls, ceilings and floors. The salt puts out a negative ion charge, which is where the benefit is.”

GIVE THE GIFT OF WELLNESS The holidays are just around the corner, and gift shopping starts now— if you haven’t started already! Whether you’re scrambling last minute or just looking for stocking stuffers, The Salt Room offers an array of goodies perfect for wrapping up. Himalayan salt: Salt massage rollers and salt lamps are just a few of the gifts at The Salt Room. CBD: From oils and tinctures to infusions, the line of CBD products at The Salt Room is large. Made with products grown in the United States, these CBD products are considered top of the line. Kombucha: Start the New Year on a health kick with kombucha—a fermented sweetened black or green tea. Kombucha is known as a tool to keep your gut and biome healthy and happy.

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THE S A LT ROOM

Simonson explains that a bulk of the benefit comes from the halo generator, which polarizes pharmaceutical-grade salt and aerates it back into the room. “That allows tiny particles to get into your respiratory system and deep within your lungs, sinus cavities, ears and throat,” he says. Joan Schorn started halotherapy at The Salt Room over three years ago after she stopped allergy shots. Schorn, who also has asthma, was typically diagnosed with four to eight respiratory infections each year, but since starting halotherapy that number has been cut in half. “A friend recommended I give it a try,” she says. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.” She also says halotherapy has helped her mental health, leading to a decrease in stress and migraines. While many customers search out halotherapy for asthma, others come to help lower symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as cold and flu ailments. “We start hearing about people who had COVID-19, and they’re possibly coming out of it with respiratory damage … If we can be a helpful resource and bring relief,” Simonson says. The Salt Room also boasts infrared saunas, which burn 300–500 calories during one 30-minute session and helps to increase blood circulation. “[Infrared saunas] help to burn calories and detox,” Simonson says. “It benefits blood pressure, muscle and joint pain, and it’s great to detoxify your body.” “Here at The Salt Room, anyone from infants to seniors can benefit from salt therapy,” Simonson says. “The Salt Room is a safe and trusting environment to learn about new things. The foundation of what we do is impacting people’s life for the positive, and I plan to continue to expand that.”

PHOTOS BY CHRIS SIMONSON

2110 Eagle Creek Lane Suite 350 The Salt Room Woodbury saltroomwoodbury.com

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Maximized Results

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written by

HAILEY ALMSTED photos by

TATE CARLSON

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OH, CHRISTMAS TREE

Lake Elmo Christmas tree farm marks more than 65 years in the business. Though the Krueger’s Christmas Trees farm is on its second location, the passion for growing the festive trees remain untouched. Neil and Deb Krueger, alongside their son John, are proud to practice sustainable farming and environmental stewardship, and they work year-round to ensure the farm offers the best of the best Christmas trees. The current Lake Elmo farm has been in the family for more than a century, but the land wasn’t originally used as a Christmas tree farm. Dating back to 1916, Neil’s grandparents used the land for cattle grazing and dairy farming, but after his grandparents retired in the 1940s, the land was sold to Neil’s uncle. The farm again became purchasable real estate in the 1980s, and though Neil and Deb were Stillwater residents, it was a no-brainer to purchase the land and continue the family’s farming legacy. The couple officially purchased the farm in 1983 and began planting Christmas trees right away—while still managing Neil’s childhood Christmas

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continues in Lake Elmo at Krueger’s Christmas Trees. “Our emphasis on the farm is education and environmental stewardship,� Deb says. “How we farm, what we farm and being organic is important.� The Krueger farm offers tours for grade schools and donates to different organizations each year. In 2019, the Kruegers donated over $4,000 to Save the

tree farm in Stillwater. Growing up on a Christmas tree farm in the 1950s, Neil describes it as tedious work. “When I was young, we worked on the tree farm, planting, shaving and selling trees,� he says. “I didn’t like it at the time, but as I got older, I realized it’s nice.� Although the original tree farm location in the St. Croix Valley is now retail space, his birthright, as some may say,


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The Place to Be


Christmas Tree Care

There’s much more to a fresh Christmas tree than decorating it with twinkling lights and memorable ornaments. Here are the Krueger’s Christmas tree care tips: • Before you take your tree home, make sure there’s a fresh cut at the base—it opens the pores for easier water absorption. • Use warm tap water in the stand, and always keep the tree watered. If the water runs out, remove any lights and mist the tree like a houseplant; also, drill a hole in the base for water absorption.

chipped-up Christmas trees that sold the previous season and plant several thousand new Christmas trees. A typical tree takes 8–10 years to fully grow, and, if lucky, will have a 90 percent survival rate. And because the farm uses few to no chemicals, most of the work is done by hand, including mowing, trimming and mulching. “Since we’ve been growing trees, we’ve never used pesticides,” Neil says. “It’s because of the diversity of our land, we have ponds and wetlands, and the variety brings in more animals and birds.” “We live on the land, and it’s a gift. It’s sacred,” Deb says. “We have a Native American burial ground on our land, so we’re very respectful to the animals. We and the land are very interconnected.”

KRUEGER’S CHRISTMAS TREES 10970 43rd St. N., Lake Elmo kruegerschristmastrees.com Krueger’s Sprucegate Christmas Tree Farm

The Kruegers are happy to welcome customers into the fields to cut their own tree and also offer precut trees. “Shaking, wrapping, tying it to your car, a fresh cut and the tax is all included in the posted price, which is unique,” Neil says. The farm usually also welcomes guests into their warming house for cider and visits with Santa, evening shopping and artist-made Christmas ornaments, and free wagon rides. For seasonal hours, visit kruegerschristmastrees.com. Check the website for updates regarding COVID-19.

• Always keep the tree away from heat to avoid a potential fire and to ensure the tree won’t dry out.

Be Green!

Typically, Christmas trees are disposed just a few days or within weeks after the big holiday, but the Kruegers recommend keeping them until the early spring. “You can put the tree on your deck or in your backyard for the birds, it will last all winter,” John says. For more tree tips, go to woodburymag.com.

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make a dinner

they’ll be talking about at breakfast Although this holiday season may look different, you can still count on us for all your holiday needs. From fresh naturally raised turkeys to our chef-inspired heat-and-eat turkey dinners and everything in between, we will have what you need for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

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FOOD for the Soul

East Metro transplant goes from big pharma to food blogging with Heartbeet Kitchen.

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written by

HAILEY ALMSTED photos by

HEARTBEET KITCHEN

rom breakfast and sourdough to dinners and desserts, food and lifestyle blogger Amanda Paa sure knows her way around the kitchen—and the farmers markets, too. Although Paa’s blog began as a passion project, Heartbeet Kitchen has morphed into a fulltime job for the Hudson, Wis. transplant. Paa grew up in New Ulm, Minn., an otherwise German town, where most meals consisted of heavy meat and potatoes. After moving to the Twin Cities in her 20s to start her career in pharmaceutical sales, she often found herself attracted to the colorful and dazzling displays at the farmers markets. “I was so drawn to the conversations that I was having with the people growing the food to nourish my body,” she says. “It inspired me to start cooking more.” In 2011, when Paa found herself dis-

satisfied with her work in the pharmaceutical industry, she decided to start Heartbeet Kitchen. Within a few months, Paa left pharmaceuticals to feed her passion at Swirl, a food and wine bar in Afton, where she spent a year as an event planner and communications director. Wanting more experience, she quickly moved to Target headquarters for added digital experience. Just two years after beginning Heartbeet Kitchen, Paa partnered with the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) to publish Smitten with Squash, a 75-recipe cookbook surrounding seasonal squash—each year, MNHS focuses the cookbook on a different ingredient. “[Working with MNHS] got me more connections and solidified a lot of things for me,” she says. “People now had something to remember me by.”

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ITTY BITTY

Amanda Paa also shares her journey fostering neonatal kittens with the Bitty Kitty Brigade.

Paa took a leap of faith in 2015 and began blogging at Heartbeet Kitchen fulltime. “I really started to connect with my followers and grow that base of people by having quality and intriguing recipes …” she says. “I’m a real person like them. I’m not a trained chef, I just like to cook and share food with people.” Content creation at Heartbeet Kitchen hasn’t changed much over the past few years. Paa typically starts with a base idea, oftentimes inspired from other recipes or dishes, and begins to build and test the recipe. Each recipe is tested four to five times, Paa may or may not adjust the recipe each time, depending on the turnout. After finalizing the recipe, she prepares the dish once again to photograph and write the blog post—all in all, each recipe can take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours. “Food doesn’t have to be complicated

to be really nourishing,” Paa says. Many of her recipes use basic ingredients bought from Woodbury’s Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. The recipes are great for beginners, especially her infamous sourdough recipe. Since COVID-19 hit, Paa has noticed the high amount of people getting back into the kitchen, and has since started to sell her sourdough starter. She says it’s fun to see people make the bread. “It’s what is so satisfying for me,” she says. “When people make my recipes, and I know their family is sitting down at night eating something that, creatively, comes from my kitchen.” Paa also shares her life outside the kitchen. Her and her spouse Brian serve as a foster family for the Bitty Kitty Brigade, a cat rescue focused on orphaned neonatal kittens, and says her followers enjoy hearing about the kittens. She also shares about everyday

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THANKSGIVING TWISTS

Greg Foote Jewelers in on all e l a s t s, ou C l o s e e i k o wa t c h e S stock ff! 50% o

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This Thanksgiving, step away from the Butterball turkey or ham, and try out some of Paa’s favorite food twists instead.

Prepping and Planning There’s no need to scramble and rush to finish a huge meal day-of. Prepare side dishes and appetizers two or three days ahead of time, particularly dishes that are easily served fresh out of the fridge. Potatoes are easy to prep ahead of time, as well as a grain salad, which serves better after setting. Skewer and kabobs also make for great make-ahead appetizers.

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Bone-In Turkey Breast Holiday gatherings may look a bit smaller this year, so Paa recommends adjusting the meal to be smaller, too! Instead of exerting all your energy on a 20-pound turkey, try an 8–10-pound bone-in turkey, which looks mighty delicious served with an array of sides. Prepare the bone-in turkey in Paa’s delicious spice rub and serve with Mojo sauce, a creamy sauce inspired by Brasa Rotisserie. See the full recipe on page 44.

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Meal Accommodations When you’re entertaining, it’s important to know of any food allergies or intolerances, as well as any special diets, such as glutenfree, vegetarian or vegan diets. Not all the food has to be served differently, but particular recipes can be—and your guests may not know the difference. Paa is gluten-free, so she serves gluten-free sourdough versus a typical sourdough, you won’t know the difference.

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HEARTBEET KITCHEN heartbeetkitchen.com Heartbeet Kitchen @heartbeetkitchen Amanda | heartbeet kitchen @amanda_paa

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PAA’S PANTRY MUST-HAVES

Celebrating

As a food blogger, Paa often has a ton of ingredients onhand that differ from your typical bread, milk and eggs. Here’s what items are staples in Paa’s pantry. • King Arthur organic bread flour

HAVE YOUR SMILE READY!”

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• California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil • Siggy’s yogurt • Dried beans • Organic rice (a COVID-19 staple!) • Simple Mills almond flour crackers

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PATIENT APPRovEd & NEW PATIENTS WELCoME life: health, DIYs, home renovations and more. On the side, Paa does contract work as a photographer and food stylist. Content creation for websites, billboards and social media is part of that, but she explains that photography and food styling is an art within itself. “There’s so much that goes into color scheme and presentation,” she says. “On a job, I might be the photographer and the food stylist, and I’ll have an assistant food stylist.” However, at Heartbeet Kitchen, Paa says it’s a one woman show. “It’s all me. It’s exhausting,” she says. “I work way more now than I did in a corporate job. But when you’re an entrepreneur, you must do it. There’s no one else to do it for you.” Although Paa never dreamed she’d be her own CEO, she says Heartbeet Kitchen is the dream. “I wake up every day and love what I do,” she says. “It’s never the same, so it doesn’t feel like work. I’m grateful for discovering my creative side, because I didn’t know I had it, and it’s amazing to love what you do.”

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ON THE TOWN W H AT ’ S G O I N G O N A R O U N D W O O D B U R Y

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading post.

Honoring the Native Cultures Thanksgiving offers a great opportunity for families to learn more about native history and influence on Minnesota culture.

W

e’ve all heard the classic tale of pilgrims and native peoples celebrating the first Thanksgiving, but this Thanksgiving, step outside the traditional understanding of the holiday by learning about Minnesota’s first nations and how you can honor their contributions to our state. TAKE A DAY TRIP

Plan a family outing to one of these museums that feature Ojibwe (also: Anishinaabe) and Dakota (also: Lakota) culture. In these spaces, you’ll take in traditional tribal art, learn about the histories of the peoples and grow cultural appreciation by listening to music and storytelling. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post: 43411 Oodena Drive, Onamia; 320.532.3632; mnhs.org/millelacs Pipestone National Monument: 36 Reservation Ave., Pipestone; 507.825.5464; nps.gov/pipe/index.htm Grand Portage National Monument: 170 Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage; 218.475.0123; nps.gov/grpo/index.htm

UP YOUR MAP GAME

You don’t have to travel to learn more about Minnesota’s tribes. Learn more about native history in one click by downloading the Native Land app (available for free on Apple App and Google Play stores). You’ll discover which traditional native lands you’re on—wherever you are! You can use this information to prompt further investigation into the tribe and their history. SHOP NATIVE

One way to support the native community is to purchase traditional artwork and goods. There’s a plethora of local shops you can support, and plenty that you can buy from the comfort of your own home. Northland Visions: 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.872.0390; northlandvisions.com Birchbark Books and Native Arts: 2115 W. 21st Street, Mpls.; 612.374.4023; birchbarkbooks.com Woodland Indian Crafts: 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls.; 612.874.7766; maicnet.org/wood land-crafts-gift-shop/ —Vivian Shinall

MAKE A DONATION Native American charities work to support native communities through many different services, from providing resources to educational support. By donating to these charities, you can help preserve native cultures and empower communities. • Minneapolis American Indian Center: maicnet.org • Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center: miwrc.org • MIGIZI—Indigenous Youth Support: migizi.org • Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance: mniba.org

BRADY WILLETTE, COURTESY MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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O N T H E TOW N

Nail Trim Saturday NOVEMBER 7 For dogs of all ages! $10 nail trims, add-on services for $5 each. Pet Evolution, 429 Commerce Drive; 651.788.9998; petevolution.com

RMIA Services • • • • • • • •

In Vitro Fertilization Donor Egg IVF LGBT Family Building Egg Donation Egg Freezing INVOCELL® Fertility Preservation Fertility Assessment ... and so Much More

ONLINE AREA EVENTS

6 En Avant! The Cowles Center Fall Benefit

In French, En Avant means moving forward. This virtual program that runs all day will celebrate the perseverance of the Twin Cities dance community with performances and exclusive previews of upcoming productions. Enjoy a day of artistry and talent from the comfort of your home. All ages. Prices vary. Noon–8 p.m. thecowlescenter.org

19 GALLIM: A New Dance Film

Phoebe D. Leonard, MD Jacques P. Stassart, MD Jani R. Jensen, MD Tana Kim, MD

Join Andrea Miller’s New York-based dance company, GALLIM, on an interactive, artistic journey in her film, BOAT. Described by Northrop Auditorium as a “innovative, creative collaboration,” be sure to take advantage of this virtual opportunity of a world class performance. All ages. Prices vary. 7:30 p.m. northrop.umn.edu

AREA EVENTS

1 Home Improvement and Design Expo Woodbury Medical Arts Building 2101 Woodwinds Dr. #100 Woodbury, MN 55125 Southdale Medical Arts Building 3625 West 65th Street, Suite 200 Edina, MN 55435

800-440-7359 www.rmia.com

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore 150+ home exhibitors, ranging from builders and remodelers to landscapers, painters and designers to

architects and more. Play Booth Bingo for your chance to win a prize, or attend the hourly prize drawings to win giftcards and more. And the mainstage will be filled with speakers and demonstrations. All ages. $6 at the door, free with food shelf donation. HealthEast Sports Center Field House, 4125 Radio Drive; 952.238.1700; mediamaxevents.com

3, 10, 17, 24 Free Yoga at Union Depot

Every Tuesday during the month of November, stop at the Union Depot in St. Paul for some early afternoon meditation. Clear your mind right before the stress of the holiday season makes its way into your brain with some breathing, stretches and poses guided by an instructor. Classes are also held on Monday and Sunday’s. All ages. Free. Noon–1 p.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul; 651.202.2700; uniondepot.org

4 Shredding Event

Head down to the Environmental Center in Woodbury for their shredding event, where documents will be shredded onsite and recycled by Shred Right. CD’s, floppy disks and other media is also accepted for off-site destruction. Free. 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Environmental Center, 4039 Cottage Grove Drive; 651.275.7475; co.washington.mn.us

Due to the fluidity being experienced in the current environment, please note that some events/dates and even some business operations may have changed since these pages went to print. Please visit woodburymag.com for updates.

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Helping The Twin Cities Create Families Since 1999

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COMPILED BY NINA RAEMONT, VIVIAN SHINALL AND KATELYN STORCH

7 MN Christmas Market 2020 at Union Depot

‘Tis the season for finding homemade and crafted goodies to give to your loved ones. Not only will there be handcrafted items made by local makers, part of the proceeds goes to Hospitality House Youth Development. To make the trip even more convenient, this event is held right by the Metro Transit Green Line. $1. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul; 612.716.5480; mnxmasmarket.com

7, 14, 21 Gotta Dance: Soul Line Dancing with Tina Jackson

It’s more than just a cookie... it’s preparing me for my future.

Join the lady of line dancing Tina Jackson every Saturday in November for some soul line dance tips and techniques to keep you moving and grooving into the holiday season. Proceeds from the event go towards the performing artists that Can Can Wonderland, the host of this event, supports. All ages. Prices vary. 6–8 p.m. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N. Suite #004, St Paul; 651.925.2261; cancanwonderland.com

13 Slime Workshop

If your kids aren’t getting enough of slime, this workshop is perfect! Kidcreate Studio in Woodbury is hosting a slime workshop, where the kiddos will be making two different kinds of slime. Make sure the kids are dressed for a good and messy time! Ages 4–9. $25.20 member, $28 nonmember. Kidcreate Studio, 1785 Radio Drive; 651.735.0880; kidcreate.com

24 Bunny Basics at Animal Humane Society

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about adopting a bunny or you just want to know more about their behavior and care—if so, join the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society at Woodbury’s Animal Humane Society for the class. Topics will include diet, housing, basic health and insight into common behaviors. All ages. Free. 6:30–8 p.m. Animal Humane Society, 9785 Hudson Road; info@mncompanionrabbit.org; mncompanionrabbit.org

TO HAVE YOUR EVENT CONSIDERED email woodburymag@tigeroak.com by the 10th of the month three months prior to publication.

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GALLERY

Diamond Awards

Local media personality Matthew Sherry hosted the live-streamed Diamond Award Show, held at Hidden Greens Golf Course, to celebrate event-industry professionals. Woodbury local Jaime Spellerberg of Wilderland Floral received the Rising Star Award.

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1 Jamie Spellerberg 2 Terri Uy Lennon 3 Amber Klaseus, Dana Allison, Terri Uy Lennon, Jamie Spellerberg, Julie Teran 4 Jayvin Pohl and Jeannine Pohl 5 Matthew Sherry 6 Julie Teran 7 Amber Nissen Klaseus 8 Hidden Greens Event Venue in Hastings, Minn. 9 Paul Cram and Michelle Tverberg 10 Evelyn Miller, Jamie Spellerberg and Luke Spellerberg

To view more pictures from these events, as well as others, visit woodburymag.com. To have your event considered send date, time, location and contact information to woodburymag@tigeroak.com.

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ARI REYNOLDS

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TA S T E M A K E R S

Watch Your Language DON’T WING IT WHEN IT COMES TO THANKSGIVING DINNER.

There are a few Thanksgiving camps, including the tried and trues and the let’s do something news. (There’s no shame in sampling from both plates.) For those interested in traveling the culinary road not taken, we’ve collected some cooking vocabulary that can help clear the path to destination yum. And flip to the next page for a few out-ofthe-box holiday recipes, courtesy of Heartbeet Kitchen! —Renée Stewart-Hester

BRINE = A salt solution, typically featuring fresh herbs and fruit, used to marinate turkey, for example, to provide for moist, flavor infusedmeat. (Trust us; it’s worth doing to give your turkey an extra trot to the table.)

CRIMPING = The technique of pleating or adding a ruffled edge to pie dough, along the upper edge of the pie plate. (It’s all the presentation, so mastering this is half the battle of making homemade crust.) DUCHESS BAKED POTATOES = Fancypants mashed potatoes, which are prepared, piped into decorative, individual swirls and browned. (Impress the mother-in-law with these numbers!)

GALETTE = A flat, round pastry or bread that holds a sweet or savory filling. GIBLETS = Liver, heart, gizzard (part of the stomach) and neck of fowl. (Used to flavor gravy, stuffing and soup.) GREMOLATA = Made with chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest (accompanies a protein).

HASSELBACK POTATOES = Arrived thanks to the Hasselbacken Hotel’s restaurant in Sweden, spuds are sliced (not all the way through the potato) into thin slices. (Presentation grade: A+) KABOCHA SQUASH = Winter squash, also known as a Japanese pumpkin. MINCED MEAT = A finely chopped mixture of boiled meat, suet and apples with spices and raisins. (Calm yourselves; not all versions include meat.)

ROUX = Typically equal parts fat (we like butter!) and flour for start sauces or gravy. SORGHUM = Used by cooks as a sweetener (Ask your Southern friends about it.) and can be ground into flour and used as substitute for wheat flour. TIAN = Finely chopped vegetables that are cooked in olive oil then baked au gratin (see next page for definition).

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BRAISING = Uses wet and dry heat with food sautéed or seared and finished in a covered pot in low temperature with a liquid.

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THIS

VS

T H AT AU GRATIN VS GRATIN DAUPHINOISE = Au gratin includes slices of precooked potatoes cooked in cream and topped with cheese; dauphinoise includes slices of uncooked potatoes cooked in cream. (Don’t go the boxed route for au gratin potatoes; fresh is best, especially for the holidays.) COMPOTE VS CHUTNEY VS COULIS = Compote features fresh or dried fruit slowly cooked in a sugar syrup; chutney is a combination of fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices; and coulis is simply a fruit (or veggie) puree. CRUMBLE VS BUCKLE VS BETTY = Crumbles are typically stewed fruit and a topping mixture of butter, flour and sugar; buckle is fruit and cake baked with a streusel topping; and betty includes fruit layered between or on top of bread crumbs or cubes. SPATCHCOCKED VS BUTTERFLY = Same thing! You just sound more “chefy” is you refer to splitting a chicken by removing the backbone to flatten it for better cooking as spatchcocking. SPOON BREAD (Typically a soft cornbread served with—a spoon!) VS BREAD PUDDING (Slices of bread baked with dried fruit, sugar, spices and eggs.) STOCK (Made from bones.) VS BROTH (Made from meat or veggies.) So if you want to feed your skin, nails and hair, stick to stock—it’s full of collagen. STUFFING VS DRESSING = Here’s where the dinner table arguments begin. The ingredients for stuffing and dressing are basically the same. What’s different is how they’re cooked. Stuffing goes in the bird; dressing hangs out in a casserole dish in the oven or a pot on the stove. YAM VS SWEET POTATO = We’re betting 90 percent of us have been calling these Thanksgiving staples the wrong name. Often, an item labeled “yam” is actually a soft sweet potato (copper skin and orange flesh); items labeled “sweet potato” are firm sweet potatoes with golden skin and light flesh. Will the real yams please stand up? Real yams have black/ brown skin and white, purple or reddish flesh. When in doubt, does it really matter?

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TA S T E M A K E R S

SPICE RUBBED BONE-IN TURKEY BREAST WITH MOJO SAUCE Serves 6

For the turkey:

• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin • 1 Tbsp. olive oil • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper • 1 tsp. dried oregano • 3 tsp. kosher salt, divided • 1 large lemon • 1 (6-lb.) bone-in turkey breast

For the Mojo Sauce:

Arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Mix garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, pepper, oregano, 2 tsp. salt and finely grated zest from lemon in a medium bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out juice into spice mixture. Rub the cut lemons all over the turkey, and any remaining juice. Place lemons in cavity of turkey. Place turkey in a roasting pan, or aluminum sheet pan with parchment underneath, breast side facing up. From both edges of cavity, loosen skin from breasts, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread the spice mixture under skin (reserve remaining spice mixture), then season turkey skin all over with remaining 1 tsp. salt. Roast turkey for 20-minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees F. Continue roasting, basting with remaining spice mixture and pan juices every 20 minutes, until thickest part of breast is pierced with an instant-read thermometer and reads 150–155 degrees F. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, where its temperature will continue to

PHOTOS COURTESY OF HEARTBEET KITCHEN

• 1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems • 1 medium jalapeno, seeds removed, coarsely chopped • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil • ½ tsp. kosher salt • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

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rise to 165 degrees F. For the sauce, puree cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, oil, lime juice and salt in a blender until combined. Add mayonnaise and puree until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.

WILD RICE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD WITH MAPLE BALSAMIC DRESSING Serves 6

For the dressing:

• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar • ½ tsp. sea salt • scant ½ tsp. black pepper • ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the salad:

• 2 ½ cup peeled and diced butternut squash • 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil • sea salt • black pepper • 2 ½ cup thinly sliced spinach • ½ cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts • ½ cup dried cherries or dried cranberries • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil • 3 cup cooked wild rice, warmed

To make dressing, add all ingredients to a jar and use immersion blender to puree. Or whisk thoroughly by hand. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until fork tender. In a large bowl, combine spinach, leeks, cherries and basil. Stir in warm rice and squash, so that spinach wilts slightly from the heat. Stir dressing into salad; tossing to coat. Taste and adjust salt level if needed. Serve at room temperature.

INSTANT POT CARDAMOM PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE Serves 6

For the crust:

• 1 ¼ c. oat cereal, like Cheerios, crushed in a food processor until fine and sandy • ¼ cup almond flour • ½ Tbsp. honey • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted • pinch of salt • ¼ tsp. ground ginger

For the cheesecake:

• 2 (8 oz.) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened and room temperature • ½ cup packed light brown sugar • 1 cup pumpkin puree • 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch • ¼ tsp. kosher salt • 2 large eggs, room temperature, slightly whisked • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla • 1 tsp. cinnamon • ½ tsp. cardamom

Add finely crushed Cheerios to a bowl and add the rest of crust ingredients. Stir together until combined. Press firmly into the bottom and an inch up the sides

of a 6-inch push pan. Freeze until filling is ready. To make filling, add cream cheese and brown sugar to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, tapioca starch and salt, stir until just combined and no streaks of pumpkin remain. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom, stir until combined. Take pan out of freezer and pour filling in. Tap on counter to remove air bubbles. Set in OXO sling. Pour 1 cup water into your Instant Pot and add trivet. Then set pan via sling onto the trivet. Fasten the sling and close lid. Set to manual, high pressure. Cook for about 25 minutes. Let Instant Pot naturally release, which will take about 20 minutes. Take lid off as soon as it is naturally released. Remove cheesecake from Instant Pot and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with homemade whipped cream and serve. —Hailey Almsted

HEARTBEET KITCHEN heartbeetkitchen.com

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LAST GLANCE SECOND PLACE Pets FIFI the Cat

A Festive Feline

Weston Ziton captures a cat-lover’s holiday dream in this shot. BY VIVIAN SHINALL

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY about curiosity and cats. In

this shot, Fifi the cat inspects her owner’s decorations. It’s no surprise that this photo won second place in the Pets category of our Focus on Woodbury photo contest considering its thoughtful composition. “I love the lighting in this photograph and how it brings your eye straight to the subject of the PHOTO BY WESTON ZITON

photo which in this case is Fifi,” says photographer Weston Ziton. Ziton snapped the photo on his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Photography is not only a passion but a career for Ziton, “I am a self-taught photographer who specials in lifestyle brand photography and am the co-founder of CTM Productions with two other local Woodbury boys,” he says. His company has worked with many local Minnesota companies like Johnny Pops, Idol Surf and Sota Clothing.

FESTIVE PHOTOS Be sure to save your holiday pictures to be entered in our Focus on Woodbury 2021 contest!

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