Kenzie Zimmer

Kenzie Zimmer

Mackenzie Zimmer is a Media Studies major at Carleton College, where she has grown to love Minnesota winters and Mid-western bar cookies (both require layers.) While abroad, she blogged about the bourgeoning international cupcake trend, justifying all “research” along the way. Besides being hopelessly obsessed with Scandinavia, Sriracha, and stout, she sings in an a-capella group and cooks weekly dinners at Carleton’s Culinary House. She photographs and writes about food at After Hours.

Daytime Indulgence: Homemade caramel, or half a cantaloupe filled with cottage cheese & honey.

Best Party Theme: Stone Soup & Beer Luck: everyone brings a six-pack and a vegetable for the soup pot. At the end of the night you’ve sampled several brews and end up with a delicious dinner.

Ideal Date Meal: Something we cook together, which is half the fun. Fresh food such as colorful salads, seafood, or anything with tomatoes. Wine is a must.

Favorite Healthful Food: Chia seeds, the hairy 90’s pet turned modern super-food! I put them in my oatmeal or use them to make chocolate chia pudding.

Tastiest Travel Experience: A tie between never-ending sushi at the top of the Tivoli Hotel in Copenhagen and the first time I had Guinness from an Irish tap, which was almost a religious experience.











Sweet Dreamin’: Crunchy Candy Scones


Man oh man do I love scones. They’re like having a cookie and a slice of freshly baked bread for breakfast all in one. My favorite part about scones is when you break them open immediately post-oven, almost burning your fingers, to discover the perfect nooks and crannies upon which to lather butter, jelly, or honey. They take no time at all to make, and they’re pretty hard to screw up. Everyone should have a basic scone recipe on hand, for those days when oatmeal just won’t do. Or for when you discover four of your friends crashed in …


Struggles & Lessons from a College Foodie


Dear Freshman Self,

Congrats. You’re about to enter fall term of what will be an exhilarating, fast-paced, but ultimately awesome first year of college. And guess what? Following that, you can look forward to a pretty cool three years. You’ll have your ups and downs, like anyone will. Dealing with that incredibly long distance relationship will be tough. You’ll have a close-knit, funny freshman floor (note: four years later, most of you will still spend a significant amount of time together) and the choice of classes you are now able to take will blow your mind.

Just wanted to let


Sweet of the Week: Get Your Kicks at 10,000 Licks


Treat: Cantaloupe Ginger, Sweet Corn popsicles
Price: $3 a pop
Vendor: 10,000 Licks

What best captures the flavors of summer in Minnesota? There’s a strong argument for the State Fair, with its bacon, butter, cheese, and Twinkies. Perhaps it’s the hot, spicy street food from the numerous trucks that line city streets during lunch time. A cold pint of Summit? Fresh berry jam? The list goes on and on. How about another option for tasting a seasonal variety of local flavors: the popsicle. Specifically, a popsicle at 10,000 Licks.

10,000 Licks is the brainchild of Andi McDaniel and Sarah Newberry, …


In Season: Zucchini


All hail zucchini. It’s proven to be one of the most versatile summer foods, although often under-appreciated.

Maybe even you don’t think about zucchini that much. It doesn’t fit as naturally into summer salads as asparagus, spinach, and even kale. It’s a squash, but it’s not creamy and sweet like winter squashes. Perhaps you might confuse it with the cucumber from far away in the produce section. Zucchini can be temperamental: the shelf life is relatively short, and the vegetables quickly develop mold and sunken pits if not used within 3-4 days. But what a vegetable! Read on…



Procrastination Cooking: DIY Summer Jams


As Jen so aptly pointed out, most SKC impulse buys tend to be spreads or jams. Recently, I spent an afternoon poring over various jams at a Minneapolis farmer’s market, and decided there would be no better way to procrastinate – and have it pay off in a big way – than to make my own jam. Making jam takes time but isn’t impossible. The best part? Adding your own special touch to this useful food item makes the perfect gift for a hostess, house-warming, or friend. Bonus: this recipe does not require a fancy canning set up! Before …


Pouring Now: Rex Goliath Free-Range Red


The first time a young man bought me a bottle of wine to accompany the dinner we were making, I giggled at its name – Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc. It was sophomore year of college, and until that point I categorized wine into A) whatever my parents drank, generally either un-pronouncable or nondescript names and B) bag slappin’ Fraahnzia. I didn’t realize wine could have a sense of humor – especially cheap to mid-range wine. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but when you’re a design-inclined person browsing rows of cheap wine, things will inevitably catch your eye. Menage a trois wine from Napa is a good example. I’m also dying to try anything from actor Kyle MacLachlan’s winery, …Pursued by Bear.


Sweet of the Week: Shake It Right


Dish: Milkshake (mint, fig & banana, raspberry…I could go on)
Restaurant: The Malt Shop
Price: $4.39, about $5 with tax

When I lived in Pennsylvania as a child, there was a pharmacy right by my house. This pharmacy was pretty standard for a local pharmacy: wizened pharmacist in the back along with medications, followed by rows of outdated perfumes, discount chapstick, hair products, and hand mirrors that were collecting a thin film of dust. But this pharmacy was also a pharmacy in the old-school sense: the front of the house boasted a small diner with a long formica counter, ’50s …


Food Matters Project: Open-Faced Mini Panini


This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration among participating bloggers. Each week, we will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us!

This week’s original recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Panini was selected by Margarita of Let’s Cook & Be Friends. Having studied abroad in multiple countries where Nutella on toast with tea was my go-to breakfast, I know the tastiness of a sweet sandwich. Sweet panini are the grilled cheeses of the dessert world: hot, delicious, melty and oozy with …


Guide to Healthy Summer Cook-Outs


Summer means both bikinis and BBQs, and here’s the thing: the two don’t have to be opposing forces. Cook-outs have a lot of rich foods (beer, brats and coleslaw, anyone?) but they don’t have to be a minefield of unhealthy eating. Try out the following alternatives and substitutions to stay slim and satisfied:

1. Think fresh. Summer means simple, especially when it comes to dessert. Take the time to find perfectly ripe, delicious fruit and you’re halfway to having a successful sweet. Pair berries with hand-whipped cream or Greek yogurt & honey. Stone fruits like peaches, pears, and nectarines taste …


Pouring Now: Sparkling Wines


Did you know that champagne is only one form of sparkling wine? True (legally speaking) champagne comes from the Champagne region of France, but there are many different types of sparkling wines. Different countries and regions each have their own variety! Sparkling wines tend to have a lower alcohol content, and many of them are sweet, best enjoyed with dessert or a light dinner. While not comprehensive, the following is a brief overview of a few common types that can be found on U.S. shelves.

**Sparkling Wines for Summer**

Moscato. Muscat refers to a type of grape, often used for …