Remodelers Corner: Sept/Oct 2012

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Written by Penny Marshall

remodelers-cornerIt took six months for Paul and Karen Koeller to plan the main floor remodel of their 1970’s, colonial home, but it resulted in having everything they’d hoped for and more.

The Koellers hired Jerry Rutgers of Integrity Custom Homes and gave him a “short list” of goals for their project: modernize the home, use existing space more effectively, make the house more livable for their current and future needs, and connect the indoor living area with their picturesque patio, gardens and yard.



Minnesota Grown Local Cookbook Reviews

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Written by Susanne Novak & Margo Stich

minnesota-grown-cookbook-reviews“The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook: Local Food, Local Restaurants, Local Recipes,”
Voyageur Press, 2008,
$29.95 (hardcover), 160 pages
Reviewed by Susanne Novak

In this wonderful compilation of recipes, Renewing the Countryside treats readers to an array of scrumptious dishes using locally procured ingredients and tales from the local cooks who prepare them.


Most women know monitoring gynecological health requires monthly self-conducted breast examinations, yearly pelvic and breast exams, regular Pap smears (i.e., every other year for women ages 21-29, once every three years for those over 30) and yearly mammograms after age 40.

But what happens if you experience unfamiliar symptoms? When should you see a clinician? Is there anything you can do to prepare for the appointment? What questions do you ask her?


Your alarm goes off early in the morning. You jump out of bed happy and excited to go to work. At your job, you’re energized, engaged and successful, which ultimately maximizes the company’s productivity. It doesn’t feel like work; instead, it’s motivating, fulfilling and fun. Work isn’t just your job, it’s your passion.

Sound impossible?

Realize Your Passions
That is exactly what the organizers of the first annual Renew Women’s Retreat hope you will find at the event—a weekend of self-discovery, personal growth, education and relationship building that has the capacity to give you back to you.


taking-the-lead“You are a nice lady, but a woman probably can’t win,” community leaders advised Rochester resident Nancy Brataas during her 1970s campaign for Minnesota State Senate. It was a common theme for women in politics at that time.

When it came to Brataas, those skeptics were right about one thing: she is a nice lady. But they were wrong about the future of women in public policy as Nancy Brataas became Minnesota's first female senator in her own right in 1975 (Laura Emilia Naplin was technically the first female senator when she filled her deceased husband’s senate seat from 1927 to 1934.) During her 17 years of service, Senator Brataas lists two of her most important legislative victories as the passing of the first Rochester local option sales tax and the positive disposition of the closed Rochester State Hospital. She also successfully recruited and championed her successor—another woman, Sheila Kiscaden. Today, she advises young people, regardless of gender, to “jump with both feet into the ocean of public affairs and civic activities.”



Coming of Age

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Written by Amy Brase

Junk mail rarely catches my eye, but this ditty did the trick. With vibrant colors, sassy doodles and an attached sample, this tri-fold ad was clearly targeted to mothers of Tweens, courtesy of Kotex. (Is it just me or do certain words transport you back to junior high and make you want to cry a little?)

While I was envisioning a year of cupcakes, Shrinky Dinks and sparkly nail polish with our almost 11-year-old, marketers were homing in.

Here's what the ad said: "Girls are getting their periods younger than ever. Some girls get their periods as young as 8."

The poor babes! From Play-Doh to pads. "Don't procrastinate! Pick your day now for 'the talk,' and put it on your calendar so you stick to it!"

I had beautiful intentions of being candid and sharing age-appropriate wisdom. It would be naturally woven over time. No awkwardness. Just warm fuzzies of closeness.

That’s how it was supposed to go.


turkey-burgers-special-sauceRecipe courtesy of the Peterson family, owners of Ferndale Market, Cannon Falls.

1 lb. ground turkey
¼ c. green onions
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. Special Sauce (recipe follows)
4 hamburger buns

Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl. Shape turkey mixture into four patties. Grill patties for six minutes or until 165° F. Serve with the Special Sauce on hamburger bun. Serves four. Suggested wine/beer pairing: Hahn Pinot Noir or Goose Lake Honker Ale.



Recipe: Tequila Lime Chicken

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tequila-lime-chickenRecipe provided by Christy and Brent Buchan of Energy Products and Design, Inc. Visit for store and product information.

Prep Time: 6–12 hours, including marinade

3/4 cup tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5-6 limes)*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2-3 oranges)
2 diced and seeded jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. course ground pepper
6-8 skinles chicken breasts
Lime wedges for garnish


grilled-pork-chops-basil-garlic-rubRecipe reprinted with permission from This rub is delicious on both pork loin and oven-baked turkey tenderloin.

4 pork bone-rib chops, 3/4-inch thick

Basil-Garlic Rub:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh basil, packed
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, fresh*
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


changing-grapesReports started in late July of veraison being observed earlier than usual at area vineyards.

Veraison [vay-ray-ZON], which means the “change of color of the grape berries,” is the visual representation of the transition from berry growth to berry ripening. A lot happens during this phase: berries increase in size, the skins get thinner and seeds begin to ripen, sugar development begins within the berry and as that occurs, the acid content of the grape also shifts and decreases. It is approximately six to eight weeks between veraison and harvest.

Vineyard management is critical during this time to ensure perfect ripening. The vine canopy (the amount of leaves and shoots) is checked to ensure there is an optimal amount of light and air getting to the clusters. A “green drop”—or removal of some unripe clusters—may be done to ensure a balanced crop load per vine.


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