It’s officially hibernation season in MN, which means one thing food wise: SOUP! I am a huge soup lover & love trying new recipes. I found this one last year and even made it for our family Christmas potluck. It is so tasty & a bit different than “normal” wild rice soup. You can easily add chicken or other veggies if you’d like too. This recipe, as is, ends up making about 5 servings for me.


  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 medium carrots (diced)
  • 1 stalk of celery (diced)
  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled & diced)
  • 1 small white onion (peeled & diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used Almond)
  • 2 large handfuls of kale
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a large stockpot & sauté onion for 5 minutes 
  • Add garlic for another 1-2 minutes 
  • Add vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaf & old bay seasoning 
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer COVERED for 45min – 1hour (or until rice is tender) 
  • During the last 10 minutes make your cream sauce in a separate saucepan
  • Heat your remaining 3 tbsp of butter 
  • Add flour & cook for one minute (stirring mixture together) 
  • Slowly add milk & whisk together 
  • Continue stirring and bring the mixture to a simmer (it should be very thick by now) 
  • Add your sauce & 2 large handfuls of kale to the soup 



I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever. To be honest, I haven’t been in the mood. I’ve been busy with other things & just really have needed to rest in my spare time. But I did want to do a post today with some MPLS restaurants that I’ve been digging or plan to try in the near future. You all know how I love me some good food. #foodie

There’s been a lot of turnover in Minneapolis lately in regards to restaurants. I revamped my ongoing food list when I moved to another area of the city in August. I’m more NE and DT now so some of these may be old news, but new to me! I’m going to do a little run though of my thoughts & if you’re looking for some good local MPLS eats, try something from my list below! Going to try & highlight places that I haven’t blogged about before! I have a few random pics to accompany my thoughts but I’ve been so bad @ taking food pics … need to stop just inhaling first – HA!

PIZZERIA NEA: so sad to report that after 17 years they closed a couple weeks ago! Bummer since it’s right out my front door. I did get to try it before they closed their doors & it was amazing.

STRAY DOG: aka my new hangout. This is literally 20 steps out my front door. They also have an entire vegetarian menu! My favorites include the house baked soft pretzels & cheese dip and the vegetarian nachos!

MACS: never eaten here but did have some drinks & watched a vikings game. Another one right out my door. Seems like pretty basic bar food.

SAVOYS: has been a fave for years but now I’ve got one a block away! Green & black olives are my go to toppings!

SONDER SHAKER: I was so excited to try this one & it didn’t disappoint! The loaded fries were on point! They have a new fall/winter menu out that I’m excited to try. This one is about 2 blocks from me! Yay! They also have crazy good fancy drinks!

GINGER HOP: I was sad to move away from Amazing Thailand but now I’ve got this! Thai style fried rice is my jam.

BLACK COFFEE & WAFFLE: the Como one isn’t far from me & I’ve fallen madly in love with the strawberry cheesecake waffle. I’m heading there this weekend with my girlfriend & we plan to try the new pumpkin waffle & the apple one that I’ve been eyeing up for awhile now!

ASTER CAFE: haven’t been here recently but it’s not far from my place & I’ve had it in the past and loved it. Nestled right down by the river & Stone Arch Bridge too! I want to go one night when they have live music!

R TACO: another walk across the street gem. If you’ve never tried their tacos, you must do so. They are on my foodsby app @ work too … very tempting to eat tacos 24/7!

HIDEAWAY BURGER BAR: went here for a Vikes game & got a burger, which looked so good online but I would say it was a so/so burger … really greasy, very little flavor & not much there. I’m gonna stick to Shake Shack or Five Guys for my burger cravings!

WILDE CAFE & SPIRITS: breakfast gem! I love their breakfast & brunch food. Down by the river with cozy vibes.

KEYS FOSHAY: another breakfast gem & a classic. Everything they serve here is so delish. Mushroom omelet has been a fave in addition to the French toast!

MUCCIS: before moving out of Uptown, you bet I tried this new hot spot! It lived up to the hype for sure! Tried the pizza, garlic montanara & rigatoni. Everything was awesome!

HERBIVOROUS BUTCHER: interesting concept, was sort of weirded out by the look & texture of the “meat” … but my sandwich did taste like a normal Italian sandwich.

CHEESE LOUISE: this is a southwest mpls gem. The grilled cheese was some serious comfort food. The bread was so soft & the combo of cheeses was perfect. Also fell in love with the parmesan truffle fries. Who doesn’t love fries!?


FIRST DRAFT TAPROOM: been here several times before but they recently added more food to their menu & the pics make my mouth water every time!

TARACCINO COFFEE: across the street & it looks like they have some good breakfast options in addition to fancy coffees.

TRIO: this one is back in good old Uptown. a plant based vegan restaurant! The food looks seriously bomb.

BARDO: fancy date night spot right out my door! I’m waiting to see their winter menu!

BACON SOCIAL HOUSE: this is next on my list … need to try a bacon flight!

PRACNA: don’t know much about this one. Just saw it down by the river & thought it may be a good one to check out.

GRAZE: a new North Loop Food Hall! Exciting! It appears to have awesome DT view too.

JEFE: Mexican food … right next door to Aster & Hideaway. Good HH!

SAMPLE ROOM: NE … don’t know much about this one either but would like to check it out as I’ve read good things!

RED RABBIT: this one has been on the list for awhile & it just never works out to go. I think my problem is that I compare it to my real fave Italian spot & don’t even give it a shot! (see below)

SNACK BAR: not sure this is even open yet … was slated for October. Small bites, wine & pizza in North Loop, what’s not to love?!

GIGIS: another one back in Uptown that I never got to. A little neighborhood cafe.


AND OF COURSE MY ALL TIME FAVE PLACE & LAST MEAL PICK …. would be @ the one & only BAR LA GRASSA. I’ve posted about BLG before & I honestly can’t get enough of it. It’s been a once a month affair for awhile now! Planning to go back in 2 weeks! HA! Highly Highly recommend if you want AUH-MAZING Italian.


A short & simple post from me this week. It’s been a busy week and I have just been living in the moment, enjoying these last warm days we have had in Minneapolis. My new place has three grills on the 7th floor rooftop area. I was craving some grilled veggies this week and the weather cooperated for a little grill sesh. I did a very simple, yet delicious, mix of mushroom, onion, red pepper, potato and zucchini. I marinated the mixture for a couple hours in balsamic vinegar & oregano. I also found this nifty little grill basket from Target. It makes grilling veggies SO simple & they cook much faster. I’ve also seen them at Home Goods & TJMaxx. I would highly recommend.

view from the 7th floor patio/grill area

Coming up: September favorite finds, an update on my MBA plan and an update on my doctor’s appointment that I have next week!


I am an avid snacker and am always looking for new options. I eat pretty healthy most of the time and try to pay attention to labels/ingredients. I’m human though, sometimes I throw down a bag of Blaze Doritos guilt free! Everything in moderation, right?! Here are my go-to snacks:

↠ Fruit (blueberries, banana, peach, mango, kiwi)

↠ Almonds (more recently the Skinny Dipped chocolate peanut butter ones)

↠ Protein Bites (I make a cookie dough version weekly … Pinterest has tons)

↠ Hummus (with veggies, peppers, crackers)

↠ Kashi Bars (lately I have been obsessed with the Chewy Nut Butter Bars “Salted Chocolate Chunk”)

↠ Roasted Chickpeas (favorite brand is Biena “Habanero” flavored)

↠ Guacamole (I have a bomb homemade recipe if you need one)

↠ Olives (stuffed garlic are where it’s at)

↠ Cheese (Kerrygold “Dubliner” is my fave)

↠ Apples & PB (either sliced or I make into “nachos” and drizzle with melted PB and add mini chocolate chips)

↠ Cashew Queso (Siete makes some BOMB chashew queso to dip tortilla chips in)

↠ RX Bars (I have had a few flavors and liked them … good for on the go)

↠ Kale Chips (Pinterest)

↠ Parmesean Crisps (basically just bake shredded parmesean cheese and add any seasonings … I usually add italian seasoning)

↠ Kodiak Cake Cups (another good on the go one … microwave for one minute and boom you have a little mini muffin or pancake in a cup)

↠ Mini Dark Chocolate Chips (I always keep a bag of these in my pantry so when I have chocolate cravings … a few of these and I am good)

My snack rotation is forever changing, so please drop me some new ideas to try!


I am both excited & nervous as I begin this post! This is the beginning of a new journey for me. I’m going to start with a little bit about myself & what the purpose of this blog will be.

So without further ado … I am KAITLYN. I won’t bore you to death with details, I’ll just give you the “need to knows”. I am thirty years young & live in Uptown, Minneapolis. I have lived in this neighborhood for about five years now & absolutely love it. The perfect mix of city life & outdoor space with the lakes right down the block from me. Almost three years ago I rescued my main squeeze MIA. She is a min-pin chihuahua dachshund mix from Kentucky. We have been inseparable since she arrived … two peas in a pod. I am passionate about crunchy living, health & wellness. Taking care of my body has become a huge priority for me over the last few years. I love cooking & trying new recipes with a glass of red on the side. Reading & yoga are also things I try to fit into my life. You’ll notice that I’m an introvert at heart & one hundred percent okay with that.

I am an elementary science specialist in South Minneapolis. I have been in this current role for the last three school years. Prior to that, I taught for seven years in North Minneapolis. I was a classroom teacher in kindergarten, first grade & third grade over those seven years. My time in North Minneapolis has truly shaped who I am as a person & teacher.

As much as I love teaching & my current role, my heart & soul have been longing for more. That’s where this blog & writing comes into play! I have always enjoyed writing as an outlet … my teachers & mom used to tell me I was “such a great writer” (HA). I have blogged before but lost touch with that over the last few years. I journal a lot and find that to be the best way for me to spill out all the thoughts in my brain. I plan to use this blog to not only chronicle my life & adventures but also to showcase some other pieces of writing I will be working on.

Topics of interest to me include: health, wellness, food/recipes, workouts, teaching, product & restaurant reviews, fashion, fur parenting and life in the city as a 30 year old female.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Cheers to the future!

Stone Arch Bridge in Mpls