The only thing more exciting than the warm weather and the chance to be outdoors in the Twin Cities this week is that the TWINS are going to be outdoors for the first time in 30 years! It’s all the talk these days with the home opener set for Monday, April 12 and another game on Wednesday, April 14 (weather permitting!)
But even as our thoughts turn to outdoor baseball, cleaning around the yard and being in the warm fresh air again after a long winter, it is even more exciting to think about warm weather foods – like salads, grilled meats and spring produce.
A personal favorite of mine is marinated asparagus. This dish is equally suited to an elegant dinner party as it is for a portable picnic – the likes of a pre-game tailgate for our hometown Twins! So knock one out of the park with this recipe, while taking advantage of this seasonal vegetable and low prices.
The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the smell of popcorn popping and brats on the grill—ahhhh yes, baseball season is here, and with the Twins Home Opener coming up on Monday, April 12 at Target Field, it’s a great time to be a baseball fan in Minnesota. What food makes you think of the ballpark and cheering for the Twins?
The Classics. Enmeshed between my taste buds and the small “baseball” section of my brain are the traditional classics.
Dogs and Brats. You’ve got to start with hot dogs and bratwursts—to me, they’re the ultimate ballpark food. And there are so many ways to enjoy them: with ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, plain, with chili … dress up your brat or keep it simple.
Popcorn. Although regular popcorn and crackerjack are traditional favorites, I’ll take a bag of kettle corn if you please. It’s sweet and salty, crunchy, and addictive …. mmmmm yummy!
Peanuts. Peanuts in the shell—another traditional ballpark staple. They’re great because you buy a bag from the vendor working the aisles, share it with your friends, and feel no guilt about dropping the shells on the floor.
Minnesota Favorites. Hooray for new food options at the new field! I’m looking forward to trying them out and discovering which ones become my new favorites.
Wild Rice Soup. I can’t wait for my first Twins game this season, and I’m thrilled that they’ve included wild rice soup on the menu for those chillier game days in the spring and fall.
Walleye on a Stick. No longer must you wait for the State Fair in August to enjoy walleye on a stick, now you can get it year round. Bonus points because you don’t have to catch it yourself!
Roasted Corn on the Cob. You can feel healthy eating a vegetable (who cares if it’s considered a starch?) while enjoying its deliciousness.
Regional Standouts. My husband Chad, his brother, and his dad go on a baseball trip every year. He let me know about some of his favorite “on the road” foods and the stadiums of which they remind him.
Seattle’s garlic fries and clam chowder
Crab fries in Philadelphia
Aren’t we lucky to have so many foods that can bring America’s favorite sport to mind? Until we get to our first Twins game of the year, we can always turn on the televised game, grill up some brats, and cheer the team on to their next big win.
“Eat your broccoli; it’s brain food,” is a common theme my kids hear me say every time I serve them a dark green vegetable. Deep down, I’m sure we know that broccoli in and of it self won’t help my kids get smarter. But I call vegetables protective food – the kind of food that is low in fat, high in vitamins and in the least, can help with blood flow to the brain.
Maintaining a healthy weight has many advantages, both intellectually and socially. We know that heavy children more often struggle through social situations and often feel more excluded and lonely than their skinnier counterparts. And the best way to maintain a healthy weight is – yes, you guessed it – to eat healthy. But for our kids, this is harder than it sounds. Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol have become mainstays in our diet, and along with a sedentary lifestyle, the future could look grim for our offspring.
As winter is waning, my kids are becoming increasingly antsy to play outside. They’re ditching winter jackets and boots in exchange for tennis shoes and sweatshirts, and with Spring Break now here, I can’t get my kids to come inside.
So what’s a mother to do? This one is packing snacks and enjoying the sight of happy kids playing outside! I’ve found that these snacks are popular among kids of many age ranges, and I’m pleased to say that I suspect that some of the kids might even come for the snacks and stay for a game of basketball on the court in the backyard!
Berries rank higher on the list because they are all extremely high in antioxidants, low in fat, and are good sources of fiber.
Berries are relatively low in sugars compared to other fruits like bananas, which make them ideal for people who prefer to keep their carbohydrate intake lower. The problem comes in when you sprinkle berries with sugar.
When I was a kid, I picked raspberries with friends from a horse pasture that was along side of our house. Every neighborhood kid from my block tried to get their share. We picked and ate them right off the bush. We didn’t wash them and we never thought to put sugar on them because they were so good.