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Minnesota Cold is Not So Nice

Happy Monday! The sun is shining for another MN day. Despite the sun shining, it started out a balmy -11 degrees this morning. So, what do you do when it’s too cold to survive outside for more than 10 minutes? Bundle up and go outside anyways? Stay inside and read a good book?

Whether you hit the slopes or wrap up in blankets next to the fire with your hot coffee, MN winters can be brutal. So tell us what you like to do when it’s subzero temperatures outside. The only thing I can think of is hot soup and curling up under a blanket. Others just take a flight somewhere warm, and don’t have to think about how many layers they can fit under their warmest parka.

To all you brave souls that continue to live in MN year after year despite our deliciously cold winters we keep having, we salute you. Because after all, we are mostly born and raised here in MN and wouldn’t trade it for anything. So to all weather people out there, if you could get us in the double digits above zero that would be appreciated.

Stay warm out there Minnesotans.

Winter Snowball Fight

chicken stew

Here is a super delicious Chicken Stew recipe to get your through the cold


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Serving suggestion: crusty bread


Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

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