0045Hometown: Rochester, Minn.

Age: 55

Family: Husband, Tom; children, Blake, Meghan and Sean; three grandchildren, with two more on the way.

Wealth of experience: I started at Mayo Clinic as a lab technician and was in laboratory medicine for 23 years. During those years, I supervised the phlebotomy lab, was a training and education coordinator and the hospital clinical lab supervisor. In 1999, I moved to performance management in finance where I worked on process improvement and mentoring. About a year and a half ago, I began working with quality management services supporting the division of Cardiology.



Remodelers Corner - May/June 2012

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Written by Penny Marshall

0047When Tim and Cara Tracy were looking to expand their living space, their unfinished basement presented the perfect opportunity. With two of six children still living at home, the Tracys liked the idea that the remodel would afford them more room. It also meant more living space when grandchildren and guests come to visit.

    The Tracys worked with Mickey Elias of Elias Construction to realize their dreams while staying in budget. Tim said Mickey was easy to work with. “He listened, was flexible, timely, did beautiful work and we like how he utilized the space.”



New House on the Block

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Written by Penny Marshall

0025Just to the south and up the hill from St. Marys Hospital is Rochester’s historic residential district. The neighborhood is quiet and dignified, and its homes, built on a limestone bluff in the early 1900s, reign on spacious, well-manicured lots.

    Here, on a narrow parcel of land between two sizeable, 100-year-old houses, Donna and Kevin Greason planned to build their family home.

Fitting in

A paramount concern to the Greasons, and their neighbors, when they built their home a few years ago was that their new dwelling fit aesthetically into the existing surroundings. For example, they didn’t want a great height disparity between their home and those nearby and they didn’t want the newly constructed home to look “new.”



Exploring Cheese from A to ZZest

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Written by Margo Stich

0013From the gooey goodness of melted mozzarella to the sharpness of aged cheddar, cheese gives panache to everything from appetizers to desserts but also holds its own sitting on a cracker. Made from a variety of milks, in every consistency imaginable, cheese comes from every corner of the globe.

    But how much do we really know about this amazingly versatile food? What makes an artisan cheese? How do you know if it is a hard, semi-soft or soft cheese? And how many varieties can you find in Rochester? Recently, I explored area grocers, restaurants and the farmer’s market to find answers.


0015Courtesy of reader A. Lien.
    4-5 oz. creamy goat cheese
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1/2 tsp. hot Asian chili oil
    2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
    2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
    2 tsp. brown sugar
    2 tsp. caraway seeds
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1 tsp. cumin
    1/2 tsp. salt


0019Courtesy of EatWisconsinCheese.com

    1 wheel (15 oz.) chilled Wisconsin brie cheese*
    2 Tbsp. red raspberry jam
    2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 Tbsp. honey
    1/4 cup sliced almonds
    Brown sugar (for topping)
    Sliced almonds (for topping)
    Wafer or shortbread cookies



Recipe: Carrot Cake

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Written by

0017A wonderfully moist, flavorful cake with ricotta cheese.

    3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
    1 cup sugar (less 2 Tbsp.)
    1 cup canola oil
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3 large eggs
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. each baking soda and cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. each salt and ground nutmeg
    2 cups carrots (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
    1/2 cup canned, crushed pineapple, drained
    1/2 cup each chopped walnuts and golden raisins



How To: Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

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Written by Margo Stitch and Dawn Sanborn

0003You can make yogurt in your own home for a fraction of the cost of the typical store-bought type. Doing so requires no special equipment, other than a thermometer. Other benefits include the lack of added preservatives, and there is no waste in packaging materials.

1    Basic ingredients are milk, a yogurt culture (or plain yogurt), dry milk powder, guar or xantham gum, and vanilla and sugar when making vanilla yogurt.

2     Bring 1 quart milk to 115° F.

3     Add 1/2 cup dry milk powder and 1/3 cup sugar.

4     Whisk in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

5    Remove 1/4 cup of milk mixture and add 1/4 tsp. guar or xanthan gum to this. Whisk all back into the primary mixture.



Seasons of the Vine - May/June 2012

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Written by Margo Stitch

0011Pairing Wine and Cheese

Often, white wines are easier to pair with cheese than reds. This is because the high acidity of many whites gives them versatility. The acid cuts through the rich buttery cheese and enhances the taste of the wine.

    Tannins often clash with cheeses, so red wines are generally less successful. However, local reds derived from cold climate grapes are lower in tannins. The basic guidelines below apply to all wines: local or regional (USA), old world or new world.


0005Opening the doors of Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery in Spring Valley in December 2011, was a dream come true for Vicky Vogt and her family, including her four daughters, Shawn, Erin, Kristin and Justine, for whom the vineyard is named.

Years in the Making

The dream of owning a vineyard and tools to make it come true came from years filled with a variety of experiences, from staying home to raise four daughters, to several in-home businesses, including furniture upholstery and custom sewing.

    When Vicky got married, she quit college because “that was the thing to do” then. She and her husband, Gary, both from southeastern Minnesota, raised their girls one mile down the road from Gary’s family’s farm in Spring Valley. They have farmed the land, where the winery now sits, for the last 20 years. Today, two of Vicky’s daughters and their husbands are actively involved in the six-acre vineyard and winery near Highway 63 and 16 in Mower County.


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