Pet Q & A - May/June 2012

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Written by Sara Reusche

0002Q My family is ready to add a dog to our household. We have two young children. What’s the best breed?

A Congratulations on extending your family! There are many breeds that can be great family dogs. Instead of looking for a specific breed, I would encourage you to look for a dog whose temperament and activity level best match your situation. Don’t forget to include mixed breeds in your search. These dogs are often healthier than purebreds and make excellent family pets. I have two mutts of my own and couldn’t imagine better companions!


0029April Showers Bring Wildflowers - How a paint-your-own ceramics business brought one mother and daughter closer

Vicki Hiley and Vanessa Hyde are a mother-daughter business team that revels in creativity and spontaneity, which is perfect for their business: a paint-your-own ceramics studio.

    In fact, the business, Wildflower Ceramics, started quite spontaneously in August 2011 when Vicki had one week to decide whether to turn her ceramics hobby into a full-time business. After buying the store, Vicki asked her daughter, Vanessa, to come help. “It’s kind of how we are,” explains Vicki. “One gets into something and the other comes along.”


0043Hometown: Albert Lea, Minn.

Age: 43

Family: Husband, Kevin; cats, Lucy and Ricky

Career path: I’ve been in the hospitality industry for most of my career. I started in hotels, working the front desk, night audit, concierge, housekeeping, everything I could. I kept moving, trying different roles, and ended up in a catering position at a Minneapolis venue. That’s how I got into meeting planning.

Today’s work: I plan continuing medical education courses nationally and internationally for physicians and other health care professionals. Typically, I do 8 to 10 courses a year and, along with the course directors, I manage all aspects of the events, from the course concepts at the beginning to the evaluations after it’s over, and everything in between.


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

    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


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