Chocolate-Covered Fresh, Raw Cranberries

January 5th, 2012

I’m always looking for healthy, vegetarian snacks. Okay, this one is not so healthy, but I needed a dessert to take to Christmas. One of my professors brought these chocolate-covered fresh, raw cranberries to school the day we discussed the gastrointestinal tract and exercise. I loved them and thought these chocolate-covered cranberries would be a “healthy” dessert option for my family for Christmas. Cranberries are a big industry in Wisconsin so I thought it would be patriotic to my home state as well.

Here’s what I did:

1) Rinse and completely dry 1 pint of fresh, raw cranberries.
2) Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips in the microwave. (You’ll need about 1 bag of chocolate chips per pint of cranberries.)
3) Coat each cranberry with chocolate and set on wax paper. (I had trouble with my chocolate seizing so I melted chocolate, spread the chocolate on wax paper, and coated each cranberry in chocolate that way. I then separated the cranberries and set them individually on wax paper.)
4) Refrigerate to set the chocolate.

I love these chocolate-covered cranberries. Some of the cranberries are solid and firm, but some of the cranberries break as you bite so you get a surprise burst of tart cranberry juice with chocolate… I think it’s delicious!

How well did it go over at Christmas? Not well. I made 4 pints of cranberries and I estimate less than 1 pint of them got eaten over two days. This was one of those lucky situations where I made something I loved to eat so at least when I got stuck with leftovers, they were leftovers I loved to eat. I did learn an important lesson: Making food that no one eats, no matter how much I love it, is a waste of money.

The fresh cranberries cost $3.99 a pint. Hershey Toll House Milk Chocolate chocolate chips were on sale for $2.50. Here is what you get nutritionally from one batch (1 pint of raw cranberries + one bag of Hershey Milk Chocolate chocolate chips) for about $7:

1632 calories
222 g Carbohydrates
99 g Fat
22 g Protein

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any suggestions!

chocolate covered cranberries

Why It’s Great to Live in Duluth – Clean Air

July 4th, 2011

I grew up in Northwestern Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!), but I recently moved to Duluth, Minnesota from the Twin Cities metro area.

Other day, while out for a run, I thought to myself, “The air is better here…”

Better than the air on the busy streets of the Twin Cities? Definitely. Better than air in the beautiful countryside of rural Wisconsin? I hesitantly decided yes.

There is something refreshing about the air in Duluth. It feels good to breathe in Duluth. The air is fresh – I feel like I’m the first one to breathe this air as it rolls up the hills from Lake Superior.

I found an article to back up my own personal feeling of fresh air in Duluth: 10 U.S. Cities With the Cleanest Air on

Small size, remote location, and cold weather conspire to make Duluth one of only seven cities in the U.S. to make it on the list for both lowest year-round particle pollution and ozone levels.

Other cities that make the list according to the American Lung Association’s 2011 annual State of the Air report? Cheyenne, WY; Santa Fe, NM; Bismarck, ND; Great Falls, MT; Honolulu, HI; Anchorage, AK; Amarillo, TX; Redding, CA; Duluth, MN; and Fargo, ND. They all sound like great places to me.


First Day of Spring?

March 20th, 2009

Today is the first day of Spring. The snow has melted and the weather has been pleasant, but has Spring really sprung in Minnesota?

Farmers in the rural Indianhead of Wisconsin always say that it’s not officially Spring until “it has snowed on the Robins’ tail three times.” It usually holds pretty true for this part of the country and I’m going to test it again this year.

Last weekend, I saw my first Robin, the sure sign of spring, in the Twin Cities during a walk with my boyfriend through Northeast Minneapolis.

Today, my friends in my home state of Wisconsin reported enough snow to cover the streets.

One “snow on the Robin’s tail” down, two snows to go.

Wisconsin Pheasant Served at Obama Inaugural Luncheon

January 20th, 2009

Someone at the White House has good taste! Wisconsin pheasant, one of my favorite foods, was served at the Inaugural Luncheon.

Area Farm Discovers Its Pheasants Served At Inaugural Luncheon

MacFarlane Pheasants Filled Large Order For Distributor In D.C.

POSTED: 7:52 pm CST January 20, 2009

After Mary Jo Bergs, of MacFarlane Pheasants Inc., in Janesville heard about the menu for the Inauguration Luncheon, she started doing some investigating.

“I started searching the Internet, looking for any clue,” said Bergs, a sales rep for the Janesville-based pheasant farm.

“Once I started seeing the menu, that’s when I started having the little light bulbs go off in my head saying I need to look into this further,” Bergs said.

MacFarlane Pheasants had just filled a large order for a distributor in Washington, D.C.

After a little bit of searching and a few calls, it was confirmed. The Rock County birds were part of the event’s main course.

“It was one of those, kind of, ‘Oh my gosh!’ moments where you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ Even though we’re not really in the forefront and playing a part, it’s nice to know that underneath it all, we are playing a part,” Bergs said.

No one on the farm had any idea they were contributing to the celebration in Washington.

“I had no thought of playing any sort of role whatsoever. It was something that just came out of left field, and sometimes those are the best surprises,” said owner Bill MacFarlane.

The farm, family owned since 1929, said it has always tried to produce a product of the highest quality. MacFarlane said he’s proud their product is reaching the highest office in the nation.

“Our farm, our employees, we take pride in what we do, and to think someone out there chose our product to serve at that luncheon, there’s a lot of pride and feeling good about it,” said MacFarlane.

MacFarlane Pheasants said it will use its role in the luncheon in its marketing efforts. Some employees got an early start by putting up a sign outside the farm Tuesday morning.

The sign read, “Serving Pheasant to Our President.”

And according to MacFarlane Pheasants website at,

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc is the supplier of the pheasant being served to President Obama and guests at the Inaugural luncheon on Tuesday. The recipe, designed by Design Cuisine of Arlington, VA. is “Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing” and is available online. It is gratifying to know MacFarlane Pheasants’ product is recognized for its superior quality and consistency. States Design Cuisinse Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Valentine, “Our focus is to source the best product.” For more information on how to locate MacFarlane Pheasants products in your area, please call 877-269-8957, email us (MacFarlane Pheasants) at, or browse our (MacFarlane Pheasants) online store.