Minnesota-grown pumpkins are more than Halloween decorations. When carved out completely, the larger ones make super serving bowls for pumpkin, squash, or sweet-potato soup; the little ones are perfect for individual bowls. And, of course, pumpkin seeds are delicious when toasted—eat them plain or sprinkle them on salads. Speaking of salads, I’m inspired by Pam Powell’s Salad Days Cookbook (Voyageur Press, $20). Powell, a St. Paul chef who sells her organic Salad Girl dressings at supermarkets and co-ops and got her start at the Mill City Farmers’ Market, has a salad for every season, all made with local, organic ingredients.
After salad, treat yourself to a Salty Dog chocolate bar for dessert. One of the first to combine sea salt and chocolate, local chocolatier B.T. McElrath uses such top-notch ingredients as 70-percent dark chocolate, butter-toffee pieces, and sea salt to make this terrific tasting treat. Find it and other of McElrath’s craveable chocolates at Byerly’s, Bibelot stores, Lunds, Kowalski’s, and many other stores around the metro area (btmcelrath.com).
More of tastiest snacks in town come from FunkyChunky in Edina (7452 W. 78th St., Edina, 888-473-8659, funkychunky.com). Their delicious artisan-crafted popcorn, pretzel, caramel, and chocolate creations are made by hand using premium ingredients and can be found at supermarkets and specialty stores across the state. These salty-sweet snacks are perfect for autumn, so be sure to stock up!
Sue Zelickson is the founder and director of Women Who Really Cook and Perspectives Family Center’s Kid’s Cafe. She is the former host of WCCO Radio’s Food for Thought.