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Recent News Blogs

An Unbreakable Bond

Posted by- Hannah Straw 5/8/2017
As the summer months draw near, it’s once again time to celebrate the hardest workers, most loving souls and, most importantly, the ones who gave us life, our mothers. Lucky for me, I’ve been surrounded by extremely strong and caring women throughout my life who have played somewhat of a motherly role. Between my grandmothers, aunts, bosses, coworkers, teachers and coaches, I’ve always had a motherly figure to look up to. Yet no one, let me repeat myself, absolutely no one, is nearly as important or special to me as my very own mother and forever best friend, Jennifer Jane Straw.

Bauska- An Easter Bread Tradition

Posted by- Annie Bennett 4/27/2017
For as long as I can remember, my Grandma Alice has made Bauska (Easter Bread.) I haven’t met anyone outside of my family that makes this unique bread quite like my family.

North Dakota Capitol-The Skyscraper on the Prairie

Posted by- Annie Bennett 3/8/2017
The North Dakota State Capitol is the tallest building in North Dakota and is known as the “Skyscraper on the Prairie.” The view from the top of the capitol allows one to see the beautiful North Dakota landscape for miles. The building itself has an interesting history and unique features.

Lovely Gifts

Posted by- Shauna McNaughton 2/6/2017
Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. The way that people try to show their affections for one another has always melted my usually cold fingers and toes. This Valentine’s Day, however, is particularly special as it is the first one in which my significant other, Lane, and I will be celebrating as an engaged couple!

Wishek: Famous for Sausage and Sauerkraut

Posted by- Annie Bennett 1/3/2017
The small town of Wishek, located in south central North Dakota in the heart of Germans-from-Russia country, has quite a reputation for only having a population of 1,200 people. For generations, this small town has attracted people from across the country, thanks to its famous sausage and sauerkraut.

A Christmas Tradition

Posted by- Annie Bennett 12/14/2016
My husband and I were lucky enough to travel quite a bit before we had kids. We lived in Scotland for five years, which made traveling to other countries easy and very affordable. Over the five years, we traveled to 16 counties together. (I actually got to 17. I was lucky enough to go to Denmark with my grandma when she came to visit!)

Thanksgiving at "The Farm"

Posted by- Hannah Straw 11/16/2016
For as long as I can remember, my family has celebrated Thanksgiving the same way each year, almost like clockwork. And for someone who isn’t fond of change, I can’t imagine spending my Thanksgiving any other way.

School Bells Ring All Too Soon

Posted by- Annie Bennett 11/16/2016
A little over two weeks ago, I sent my oldest daughter to kindergarten. Since I was lucky enough to work part-time, I was able to spend a lot of time with her, and we both got pretty attached to each other. With her birthday in late July, she just made the cut off to attend kindergarten, so my husband and I struggled with the decision of whether to send her this year or keep her home another year. She is a great kid, a rule-follower and loves to learn. She is also shy, never in a hurry and tends to let people push in front of her.

A Winter Issue Preview

Posted by- Kylie Blanchard, Staff Writer 11/16/2016
The upcoming winter issue of North Dakota Horizons will be perfect to pick up and enjoy over the Holiday Season. From North Dakota-grown musicians to winter fun across the state and favorite cookie recipes, it is guaranteed to pique the interest of the whole family.

Traditions that Fill the Home with Lifelong Memories

Posted by- Horizons Staff 11/16/2016
As winter and the holidays approach, many people hunker down and start baking in preparation for upcoming celebrations with family and friends.

Grandma Alvilde Olson’s Fattiman Recipe

Posted by- Janet (Olson) Watson 11/16/2016
There are so many wonderful memories of our family’s Scandinavian Christmases on the farm in Valley City. My grandparents immigrated from Norway and bought the farm in the early 1900s. They carried their delicious baking traditions with them from Oslo and Larvik. My mother learned all the recipes and baking traditions as a 17-year-old hired girl at the farm – her future mother-in-law taught her well! 

Berlinekranser (Berlin Wreaths)

Posted by- Susan Sande 11/16/2016
Norwegian and Danish families seem to have an unwritten rule requiring each household to bake at least seven kinds of cookies for the holiday season. Observing the Advent season as a time of preparation of the home and baking the goodies, the festivities would begin on December 24 with the unveiling of the decorated Christmas tree, and then enjoying the company of friends and neighbors, sampling the variety of beautiful, lovingly created, and tasty treats. This would take place during the “12 days of Christmas” (until January 5 – Epiphany).

Blachinda Recipe

Posted by- Kate Zander 11/16/2016
Baking with my mom will always bring me fond memories, just as she tells me of her memories baking with her mother. She tells me that when she was young, after the pumpkin was cleaned out and the shell removed, she sat at a table with her father, cutting the pumpkin up into small pieces in order to make their favorite fall treat, blachinda, with her mother. Her mother would get her apron on, get out her rolling pin, and then they would work together to roll out dough, tell stories, and get the blachinda ready to be baked. She said it was put in their “cook stove” but has no idea of a temperature setting, as the stove was always on to keep the house warm, She said they just baked it “until it looked nice and brown.” These days, I love making blachinda with my mom and now she wears her apron and gets out her rolling pin. We are making our own memories, but things are a little different, as now the pumpkin is prepared by putting it through a food processor and we have a temperature setting and time. You know the holidays are near when you stop at mom’s house and the smell of blachinda fills the air.

Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Posted by- Carolyn Kolstoe 11/16/2016
As a child, I thought all popcorn balls were chocolate. My mother made them for winter holidays and of course, we all had to help form them, which was great fun. I have never come across another recipe for chocolate popcorn balls, and whenever I share them with others, they are as excited about them as we have been. When one of our boys was in grade school, his friend brought popcorn balls to treat the class for his birthday. When my son saw them later, he was shocked – they were not chocolate! Aren’t all popcorn balls chocolate?

Christmas Kringle

Posted by- Robyn Wagner 11/16/2016
Kringle has been on the table every Christmas morning as far back as I can remember. It never failed, every Christmas when we seven kids sneaked up the stairs to peek under the tree, the first things we saw were apple, date, and pecan flavored kringles all sitting on the table. They were almost too pretty to cut into, with their white layer of frosting, a dusting of chopped walnuts and the crowning glory – several bright-red maraschino cherry halves scattered over the top. For a minute or two, we forgot about what we were really looking for and had a piece of each one! 

Sandbakkels

Posted by- Dorothy Haberlock 11/16/2016
One of my favorite recipes to make around Christmas is sandbakkels, a traditional Norweigan cookie.  I started making them with a friend more than 60 years ago, and it has become a Christmas tradition. About 40 years ago, my daughter, Coni Jo and granddaughter, Melanie, lived up the street from me in Minot, and always seemed to know when I was baking, especially sandbakkels. They would always head down to my house and search high and low for the sandbakkels I had put away for Christmas day. They were even on their stomach looking for sandbakkels in the lowest cupboards!

Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies

Posted by- Mary Ann Brauhn 11/16/2016
My great-grandma, Anna Fisher, passed down her chocolate refrigerator cookies that have been a favorite for five generations. These cookies, with their lovely combination of chocolate and cinnamon, were made only for Christmas. They are little medallions of flavor that my sons especially look forward to receiving. A handful goes great with a glass of milk. Grandma Anna died when my mother was nine years old, but her spirit lives on in the savory and memorable cookies she invented.

Do you have a cookbook you can’t live without? One you always seem to use?

Posted by- Annie Bennett 11/16/2016
My mom’s favorite is her “Prairie Rose Panthers” cookbook, which she bought for a school fundraiser when I was in elementary school. All the students submitted their favorite recipes, and now, 20 years later, it is still her go-to book. Her favorite recipe is from Allison, a girl from my little sister’s first-grade class. The recipe is for caramels, which my mom makes every Christmas, and they are the first treat I pick off of her Christmas goodie platter. They are melt-in-your-mouth good! She uses many other recipes from the book daily, including my favorite recipes I submitted all those years ago. The book is so well loved, that in order for it to stay in one piece, it has to have a rubber band around it to hold it together.

Thanksgiving Abroad

Posted by- Annie Bennett  11/16/2016
Making a full Thanksgiving meal for 30-plus people is hard. But when you add in a dorm-sized fridge and freezer, tiny oven, and small living space, it seems almost impossible. And to top it off, being unable to find canned pumpkin in a British grocery store makes it even more difficult. After all, what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?

Christmas Fondue

Posted by- Jennifer Greuel and Hannah Harvey 11/16/2016
Our aunt Tammy, who passed away almost 20 years ago, loved Christmas. Although she enjoyed many Christmas activities, one memorable tradition she started was fonduing each Christmas Eve. When our parents were first married, they would sometimes spend Christmas Eve with our aunt, and liked the tradition.

Enjoy Winter in North Dakota, because 'The Snow Will be Gone before We Know It'

Posted by- Kylie Blanchard 11/16/2016
Recently, there was a short break from the "artic air mass" (that's what the weather man was calling it) that had camped itself over North Dakota, and the morning temperature reading was a balmy 18 degrees ABOVE zero. Compared to the sub-zero temperatures of the previous days, this was approaching a winter heat wave, and my mom and I decided to take this opportunity to enjoy a bit of our North Dakota winter and go cross-country skiing.

North Dakota Loses a Legend

Posted by- Jennifer Greuel 11/16/2016
The North Dakota Horizons team was saddened last week with the news of the passing of one of North Dakota’s legends, Sheila Schafer. In January, I had the pleasure of being one of a group of Bismarck-Mandan young professionals who attended a roundtable event featuring Sheila. A bubbly and energetic speaker, the 91-year-old recounted tales of her life and her dedication to her late husband, Harold Schafer; Medora; and the whole of North Dakota.

My Big, Fat, German Meal

Posted by- Angela Magstadt 11/16/2016
Strudla. I don’t know how we got to talking about it, but at a recent family gathering, the topic of German food came up, and I mentioned that even growing up in a German-Russian household, I’d never had, or even heard of, the savory dish until I married my husband 15 years ago.

New York, New York....

Posted by- Annie Bennett 11/16/2016
My hubby and I just got back from a five-day vacation in New York City to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. We lived  in Scotland for five years while my husband attended Veterinary School before moving back to North Dakota. While living  abroad, we visited many different countries and saw many different sites, including the Coliseum in Rome, the Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the pyramids in Egypt just to name a few. But since moving back to North Dakota, we hadn’t really been on any adventurous vacations.

My Transformation from a Sioux to a Bison

Posted by- Hannah Straw 11/16/2016
Growing up in the somewhat small town of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, which happens to be a quick drive over the Red River into Grand Forks, I was no stranger to everything UND (University of North Dakota). I was that kid, with my little brother Zach, who joined the “Sioux Kids Club” as soon as we could. We were lucky enough to ride the Zamboni at the Ralph Engelstad Arena during the men’s hockey games and run out of the inflatable football helmet with the team before the football games at the Alerus Center.  

Suzy's Super Fast Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Posted by- Susan Beehler 11/16/2016
This is not a cookie recipe, but it is something pretty traditional made in a not-so-traditional way. I bake my pumpkin pies in the microwave. I came across a recipe for a pumpkin pie in one of those old microwave cookbooks they gave back when microwaves were first introduced. I added my changes and that is what I use. I have not baked a pumpkin pie in the oven since. I used this recipe to make several pies for a fundraiser for a church ski trip in 2003, because we had a small window of time to bake, and this helped get it done. The pie has a creamy texture, the crust is not as crispy, and it is super fast when company is coming over.

Favorite Family Recipes

Posted by- by Kylie Blanchard, staff writer 11/16/2016
The cool air and crisp apples ready to be picked from hanging branches makes me think of one of my favorite family recipes for fall - Rug Pie. Now most people are a little taken aback by its name and maybe even hesitant to give it a try, but let me put your mind at ease by saying it's simply an easy apple pie with a fun story behind its name.

Goin' Showin'

Posted by- JaCee Aaseth 11/16/2016
Showing cattle has always been a hobby of my family’s. I started showing when I was six years old and it stuck with me for 14 years. I never imagined I would still be this interested in a hobby I started when I was six, but really, it’s much more than a hobby, it’s an opportunity to get our family’s name out there in the cattle business. When I realized that, what I once considered a hobby soon turned into my way of life.

County Seat Wars: How Some Small Towns Earned or Stole the Coveted Title

Posted by- Bill Vossler 11/16/2016
One way for early struggling towns to import wealth and prestige into their streets just prior to 1889 statehood was to be chosen as a county seat. Or steal it, by hook or by crook. Following are the stories of how some of North Dakota’s small towns earned the coveted title of county seat.

Historic Homes Update

Posted by- By Kylie Blanchard, Staff Writer 11/16/2016
The Summer 2014 issue of North Dakota Horizons featured a story on Historic Homes in North Dakota. Recently we received a letter from a gentleman who was raised in Minot and now resides in Idaho.



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