APRIL / MAY 2014


Spring of change ...
Spring is often a season of change. A time to refresh, remodel and rearrange. The staff of Live it! magazine has been rearranged a bit as we move through spring. Reporter Ashley White (pictured with me, at right, in the photo below) has moved out of the area to be near her love — must have been that last series she did on relationships! — and is no longer an integral part of the Live it! staff. We will miss Ashley a great deal as she was very instrumental in helping Live it! magazine develop an identity over the course of the last two years. We are hopeful Ashley will still be able to do some freelance work for Live it!, but only time will tell. If not, her articles in this issue may be her final Live it! hurrah! We wish to thank Ashley for sharing her time with us and wish her nothing but the best in all her future endeavors. We welcome Dan Burdett to Live it! magazine. Dan has written for Live it! in the past and had already been working on our cover story for this issue when changes started to occur. Dan shows great enthusiasm and is excited to expand the horizons of Live it! We look forward to a new working relationship together. Dan’s cover story takes us down another avenue of change. “Juicing” has become all the rage with people looking to cleanse their bodies and live a healthier lifestyle. He shares his personal experience with us and gives us some insight to how change can affect us. If a new hobby is what you are looking for this spring, the china painters in west central Minnesota share their story with us as they celebrate 30 years of enjoying their rather unique hobby. They are always looking to mentor new hobbyists sharing their love for the art. Ryan over at the library shares an interesting list of books that can inspire us and help us all transition through spring into summer, now that spring has finally arrived, and Ron’s “spirits” column reminds us that it is time to play ball. If you need a bit of help getting into shape this spring, Jon shares some tips on how to prepare our bodies for the upcoming summer season. And, Claudette again shares her inspiration on how to heal our bodies and rid ourselves of guilt and shame as we move on with our lives. If you have a topic you’d like to see in Live it!, send your story idea to We love to hear from our readers. You can also “like” us on Facebook, leave comments at or send us a tweet @Liveitmag. Spring in west central Minnesota … it really is a beautiful thing …

ant t veitm We w et us @li Twe eit@wc ook eb l liv m e ai t us on fac ox 839, i s ! i v e it B e Liv N 56201. s, t i r w or ar M y idea Willm come stor ore. m el We w ents and m m o c

g you. a b l i a M o hear from ag

Watch for our next issue, out June 6, 2014
May we publish your letter?

“Love through the Ages” feedback
On Burt and Donna Sundberg, elderly couple: In regard to the Valentine article featuring Burt and Donna Sundberg … he was head of the Willmar Public Library for many years and helped and touched many lives. His gentle, intelligent nature earned him the title of being the best boss I have ever had. Many God blessings wished upon them.
— Liane Yungerberg, via email

This was such a great article and we want to show it off!!
— Melissa Wentzel, director of Club Bethesda, via email

Hi Ashley: I wish to commend you and thank you for the article in Live it! magazine. You did an excellent job about my wife and me in the Feb/Mar issue.
— Burton Sundberg, via email

On Kelley and Nikki Erickson, new parents: What a wonderful family.
— Carol Trent Acree, via Facebook

Live it!
Visit it! online at Tweet with Live it! on Twitter: @Liveitmag

Other comments:
Sharon Bomstad Live it! Editor

Great #Willmar feedback on the Q&A article in @Liveitmag w/ @Ashley_WCT interviewing. We’ll be looking forward to the next issue! #classy
— Total Fitness, via T witter @WLMTotalFitness

Another great Live it! Magazine by our staff and contributors. Thank you Sharon Bomstad, Ashley White, Anne Polta, Gary Miller, Kayla Prasek, Michelle Gauer, Dennis Benson and Jacinda Davis.
— Kelly Boldan, West Central Tribune editor, via Facebook

Like it! on Facebook at

Live it! Magazine 3

Live it!




To contact Live it! call 320-235-1150 or email

Writing & photography
Ashley White Dan Burdett Kayla Prasek Michelle Gauer Ron Adams Dennis Benson

Marketing consultants
Kevin Smith, Director

Jan Queenan

Tamara Swenson

Katie Cunningham

Sarah Isdal

Christie Bailey

To advertise, call 320-214-4317, fax 320-235-6769 or email a listed consultant.

Steven Ammermann, Publisher Kelly Boldan, Editor Timothy Bailey, Business Manager

2208 W. Trott Ave., Willmar MN 56201
Volume 3, Issue 2

Cover Stor y


Copyright © 2014 West Central Tribune Live it! magazine
All rights reserved. Although some parts of this
publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained.

A personal experience

What’s inside

West Central Tribune
2208 W. Trott Ave, Willmar

Cash Wise Foods Cub Foods Caribou Coffee Cornerstone Coffee Deidra’s Dunn Bros. Jazz ’n Java LuLu Bean’s New 2 You Ridgewater College Bethesda Pleasantview Chamber office EDC Oaks at Eagle Creek The Barn Theatre Kandi Mall Public Library

Spicer Super Stop Mel’s Sport Shop Zorbaz Kandi Power Cooperative

New London

Painting tomorrow’s heirlooms today


Country Stop Happy Sol McKale’s Skindelien’s Three Sisters Furnishings

6 China painting a timeless craft 12 Does juicing leave you hungry? 15 Juicing recipes for a healthier you 15 Why do people juice?

Casey’s Home Town Bank Citizens State Bank Cenex Super America B&D Market




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Casey’s Super America Willie’s Cenex Prairie’s Edge

3 Reader’s mailbag: Share your thoughts with us 10 Get it!: New ideas for spring 11 Money Matters: Question your financial adviser 16 Q&A: Healthy protein shakes 18 Read it!: Let your library help get you ready for spring, summer 19 Fitness & Health: High-intensity workouts work 20 Style it!: Fashion trends for spring 22 Eat it!: It’s tea time, and how about a scone? 26 Spirits!: Spring is here, it’s time to play ball 27 Life Happens: Put away the shame and the guilt 28 What’s happenin’? Music fills the air

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Also distributed at various banks, offices and lobbies throughout west central Minnesota; some carrier delivery, as well.

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a historic


6 Live it! Magazine

find beauty in patience, timelessness of craft



China painting may be somewhat of a lost art, but an active group of women in the Grove City area hope to reverse that trend and make a new generation aware of the beauty of this timeless craft. “Some people might say it’s dying, but I don’t think so,” says Corrine Nelson, a 25-year member of the West Central Minnesota Porcelain Artists group. “China painting is a historic art in many places of the world. They’re painting tomorrow’s heirlooms today.” This year, the West Central Minnesota Porcelain Artists group is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the Grove City community. The group meets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second Monday of the month from April

through November at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City. While most of the women have been attending for years, the group always accepts new members and will teach them the basics of china painting, also called porcelain painting. Group members come from as far as Alexandria, St. Cloud and St. Paul, according to Rennie Malinski, one of the original officers of the group. Rennie has been china painting for nearly 40 years and owned a porcelain art business, Rennie’s China Closet, in downtown Litchfield. She closed the store after 10 years last summer for health reasons. “I have a passion for china painting,” Rennie says.




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Brushes and paints are set out alongside St. Cloud artist Lucille Johnson’s work at her display table during the china painting celebration Aug. 17 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City.

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“There’s always something new to learn, and you can be inspired by so many things. I just really enjoy it.” Two or three times a year, the Grove City group hosts indepth seminars with guest artists from across the country. These seminars give the group a chance to study their art more deeply and learn new techniques. Some members also represent the group at the Minnesota World Organization of China Painters convention every year. This year, the show will be held in Austin in October. In the past, west central Minnesota artists have taken home some of the convention’s top awards, Rennie says. “We have some beautiful artists in our group,” she says. “Some of us have demonstrated in other states. We’ve certainly been a very active group.” While both Rennie and Corrine say that almost anyone can learn the art of china painting, it does take some technical skill and one other important virtue: patience. Porcelain painting is done in layers, with the first layer painted the lightest. After each layer, the piece is fired in a kiln “so that the glaze opens up and the paint sinks into it,” Rennie says. After it’s fired, the artist will lightly sand the piece and then paint it again, this time with darker colors. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary to finish the piece. “I once had a vase I fired 15 times,” Rennie says. “It does take patience. Sometimes, it’s only when you think you’re done that you notice something else it will need.”

Almost anyone can learn the art of china painting, it does take some technical skill and one other important virtue:

Value has never looked more attractive

In the eight months that the group meets every year, it’s fairly typical for a member to only finish three or four major pieces, Corrine says. It may not be a quick process, but each finished piece can remain a cherished treasure for years if properly cared for. “If you take care of it, it can last forever,” Corrine says. “I like to set tables, and now I can use my own dishes that I’ve made myself. I have so many pieces that I can’t reach all of them anymore.” Traditionally, china painting is done on plates, cups, saucers and trays. However, this type of painting could really be done on any white, glazed porcelain surface. Rennie and Corrine have known some artists to paint wine goblets, toast racks and even coffee pots. Most often, china painters choose to depict scenes from nature: birds, rivers, lakes, trees and flowers. Much of these paintings are done freehand, although some artists will sketch out patterns with graphite paper first. Rennie’s favorite scene to paint is one that, even after 40 years, she admits she still hasn’t mastered yet: a rose. “After all these years, I still can’t paint a rose like I want to,” Rennie says. “I do a lot of roses, but I haven’t gotten to the point I want to yet.” But whether she ever masters the intricacy of the rose or not is irrelevant, and that’s the whole point of china painting, she says. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect – what matters is the fact that you created a piece of art with your own two hands. “So many people don’t know that they could make something that nice by themselves,” Rennie says. “You can gain self-confidence from painting these beautiful pieces.” Corrine has not only found self-confidence from china painting, but also a hobby that brings her a sense of contentment. She encourages others to try it for that reason. “It gives you so much satisfaction to see the final product,” Corrine says. “Everyone can do it. You just have to learn to go slowly, lightly and with discipline, and soon you will begin to feel the joy and peace in yourself.”



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- Money Matters -

Questions for your financial adviser
Many people are uncomfortable questioning their financial adviser. They either do not want to ask or they find it rude to ask. If you have a question, ask it. Here are some examples: ✔ Does your financial adviser encourage you to ask questions? Finances can be a little daunting at times. Plus, sometimes it feels as if the financial adviser is talking in a foreign language with all of those technical terms. When you get overwhelmed and start asking questions, does the financial adviser listen and try to answer them to the point where you feel comfortable or do they not get answered and you end up feeling more confused than you did before the meeting started? Many financial advisers feel that they are teachers educating their clients in the ways of investments. As I am sure you have heard, everyone has different learning styles. Do you and your financial adviser match up so that you learn something when you are in their office? You have the right to ask your questions and get them answered. Speak up for yourself and remember that this financial adviser is there for you. ✔ Do you know how your financial adviser gets paid? Now here is an interesting question. He or she is a professional and I imagine you might have wondered a time or two how their paycheck is funded. This is probably something you may want to ask. This is allowed and encouraged. When your financial adviser is letting you know about the fees and expenses of the investments you have, he or she should also be letting you know how they get paid. ✔ Does your financial adviser service your accounts no matter what your account balance is? If you are a client, you deserve your financial adviser’s attention. It does not matter how many zeros are on your account. When that financial adviser accepted you and your family as clients, he or she became your financial resource. You are as much as a client as anyone else in their business. Make sure that when you do need their attention you are respectful of their time. Make an appointment so that all parties involved can be prepared and have the time to fully explore that situation. ✔ When was the last time your financial adviser conducted a review of your beneficiaries, goals and went over your financial plan? One financial exercise that you should do every year at your annual review is check your beneficiaries on your investments, insurances and your legal documents. This is part of reviewing your financial plan. It is important to make sure that everything is set up the way you need it to be. Do you have an ex-spouse listed as your beneficiary? Have you forgotten to add a child? Do you have a deceased brother named as your executor? These are things that must be addressed. When you are gone, all that is left is the legal documents you put into writing. Make sure they are what you want and remember that fair is not always equal. Feel empowered to ask the hard questions of your professionals. They work for you.
Jeanne Ashburn, Financial Advisor, The Managed Assets Group, LLC; Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through ING Financial Partners, Member SIPC. The Managed Assets Group, LLC is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by ING Financial Partners.

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Live it! Magazine 11




It’s Wednesday and I’m miserable. An older gentleman is demolishing a cheeseburger mere feet from where I stand in that little nook at Cash Wise Foods in Willmar. It’s a place where men of a certain age congregate over coffee and lunch, and I have no business there. But I know that burger. It’s toothsome, palatable and delicious in a way only a great burger can be. I can’t help myself. I’m transfixed.

He looks up — I’m sure sensing my frantic stare — and glances casually in my direction before the allure of that wondrous and juicy meat redirects his attention. Fearful I may actually drool, I convince myself the pain of this moment is not a sane test of my willpower. I break my hypnosis. With a booming stride, I disappear into a crowd of shoppers, muttering to myself. I’m so hungry.

12 Live it! Magazine

The experiment
Two days prior to my momentary meltdown, I began a five-day liquid diet. I became intrigued by liquid diets — specifically juicing — after viewing a documentary last year on obesity. At that time, I was consuming too many starch-heavy pasta and rice dishes. On my best days I felt sluggish, and I was looking for ways to infuse my diet with healthier options. I was curious about the idea that liquid diets allow consumption of the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables without the constraints of planning an elaborate meal. After consulting last fall with a doctor, I implemented juicing as a part of my diet. I started slowly, juicing once or twice a month for a day at a time to detoxify. As I became more familiar with the process, I wondered about turning to a liquid diet as my sole form of sustenance for an extended period of time and documenting the venture. This is my testament …

The prep
For this little experiment, I decided to use a NutriBullet to prepare my meals. I had purchased one around Thanksgiving of last year to add some variety to my juicing habits. I immediately began to prefer it over my traditional juicer, as it not only extracts the juice but completely breaks down the ingredients into a shake. Comparatively, a juicer simply extracts the juice and spits out the remainder of the ingredients as a multicolored pulp. That pulp, Mayo Clinic states, is rich in fiber and contains numerous vitamins. But it’s also nauseating to

Dan Burdett mixes up a shake that would be his noon meal. Dan went on a five-day liquid “juicing” diet, using four primarly juicing recipes that would make up his meals for the duration — one shake at breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner.

the senses and invariably wound up in the trash. That seemed extremely wasteful to me. I also like that the NutriBullet comes with an extensive recipe book that assists in determining the best ingredients to combine for taste and nutrition. I settled on four recipes I thought would offer the most balanced approach to my venture: The Immunity Mix, The Vita-Berry Blast, The Protein Powerhouse and The Mix and Match. (The ingredients and reviews for each recipe can be viewed on Page 8). I priced up the ingredients and was about $30 under the $100 budget I had previously secured for this little experiment. I would be living off about $14.20 worth of fruit and vegetables each day. I rotated the recipes daily, committing to one shake for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner. I also decided to drink two 12-ounce glasses of water between each meal.

The walking dead
I was brimming with confidence when I made my first shake Monday morning. In all honesty, I thought my experiment would be a cakewalk; nothing that day led me to believe otherwise. Three shakes, a couple chest pumps and an alpha roar later, I was on my way. I felt cleansed and alert. I was eager to see what the next day would bring.

Live it! Magazine 13





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When I awoke Tuesday, I was perturbed. I had slept eight hours the night prior, but I felt tired and anxious. The drawn look on my face was nothing new, given my late-night work schedule and the fact I’m the parent of a toddler. I meandered, unenthused, to the kitchen and devoured my breakfast. Almost immediately I was energized and nourished. I felt like I was over that initial hump and in charge, like a drill sergeant in mid-cadence. That feeling never left me, and I fell asleep that night the moment my head touched my pillow. Then Wednesday came. It was awful, a putrid day. I was famished when I awoke. Breakfast did little to cure this ill. I had to run numerous errands before work, and everywhere I turned I saw food, I smelled food, I craved food. The Subway and Jimmy John’s signs on First Street in Willmar were blinding with temptation. The aroma from the fire pit at Grizzly’s punctuated my senses as I wandered to Dollar Tree. What a tease. And then that dreaded burger. Good Lord, make it stop. A going-away lunch was held that afternoon for a colleague. I didn’t attend because I couldn’t stand the thought of a dozen co-workers demolishing plates of Mexican food before me as my stomach growled, a few leafy greens and a mango its only friends. I was ravenous, my lunch offering little to thwart my cravings. I got to work that afternoon, and it was a busy day. An impending storm forced early deadline. I consumed dinner with fury and buried myself in my work, thankful that I would be home an hour early. When the paper rolled off the press sometime after 11 p.m., I scurried from the building toward my frozen car. The two-mile drive home felt endless. I crawled into bed, a beaten man. The next morning, I was deeply atypical: My muscles were weak, my joints aching and I still hadn’t shaken this gnawing sense of hunger. I felt like some alien creature had seized control of my hypothalamus and was emceeing an endless rave from within my ample skull. I was working the day shift and focused on getting to the office and then home as soon as possible. I thought of nothing but work, attempting to block out the demonic growls rising from within my angry belly. When I devoured my last shake that evening, I was animated over the prospect of my journey ending a mere 16 hours later.

This is the end
At 11:30 Friday morning, my doorbell rang. Tribune photographer Ron Adams had arrived to document me in the final stages of my experiment, preparing and consuming my last shake. I beckoned Ron inside with a toothy grin. As Ron snapped away, I crossed the finish line. The shake, consumed with vigor and via three immense gulps, couldn’t have tasted better. After Ron left, I curiously weighed myself. I’d lost 11 pounds over the course of about 100 hours. I’m not sure from where; maybe it was merely water weight.

The recipes
The Immunity Mix
50 percent spinach 1 orange with rind 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 a lime, both with rind 1-inch chunk of ginger Sprinkle of sea salt 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey Calories: 287 Purpose: To boost the immune system Review: So green in color it appears nuclear, this shake is a tough one on the palate. The taste and consistency of the meal are OK, but the lemon and lime add a distinctly acidic tone that makes swallowing arduous and sends the taste buds into a tizzy.

The Vita Berry Blast
50 percent spinach 1/2 cup of blueberries 1 cup of strawberries 1 banana

An avid “juicer,” Tabatha Peterson of Willmar puts together a juice blend of fruits and vegetables.

So why do people juice?
People who juice usually fall into one or more categories based on the reason they choose to juice. The Juice Cleanser uses a juice concoction with the goal of detoxing the body and giving the gut a rest. The Juice Faster is typically looking to jump-start their weight loss by using fruit and vegetable juices as their main source of nutrition for up to a few days, weeks, or even months. The Juice Snacker enjoys freshly squeezed juice with a meal or snack, and occasionally replaces a meal with only juice. This juicer simply likes juice or feels that fresh juice is a healthy addition to their diet on occasion. The bottom line? When enjoyed in moderation, fresh-squeezed juice is a tasty way to obtain vitamins and minerals in liquid form. However, the best way to lose weight and promote optimal health is to eat a well-balanced diet that comprises all of the food groups.
— Becky Hand, Licensed and Registered Dietitian;

Calories: 214 Purpose: Combined ingredients ward off cancers, heart disease and viruses Review: The awfulness of this shake’s brownish color cannot truly be articulated, but it tastes wonderful. I found the texture to be to my liking and the shake reminded me of frozen yogurts I’ve enjoyed in the past. A real treat, once you get past that awful color.

The Protein Powerhouse
50 percent spring greens 1/2 avocado 1 cup of raspberries 1/2 mango 10 cashews Calories: 694 Purpose: To keep you energized for hours Review: The cashews were a nice touch. The avocado gave the shake a thick, paste-like texture that I wasn’t a fan of, but the shake was mostly enjoyable. It filled me up on day one of my experiment. By Wednesday, its powers had weakened.

The first place I checked was that annoying little pouch under my chin but there he remained, in all his stubbled glory. I sat down on the couch and thought about my adventure. In many ways it felt anticlimactic. I hadn’t really achieved much for all the pain and suffering. That said, the neurons in my brain were in overdrive, and I felt energized for the first time in two days. It also rapidly dawned on me that it doesn’t hurt to know your limitations — and the allure of a corpulent steak or hearty burger is ultimately one I can’t ignore. In this instance, I went with the burger. Dan Burdett is the new lead writer for Live It! He can be reached on Twitter @danburdett1 and via email at

The Mix and Match
50 percent spring greens or spinach 1 apple 1 orange 1 banana 1 pear A mix of avocado, blackberries, honeydew, raspberries or strawberries can also be used in this shake, though I used none of these ingredients. Calories: Varies Purpose: Detoxifying and balance Review: A nice shake. I felt the ingredients were complimentary, and the texture was consistent and mostly smooth.

Live it! Magazine 15

16 Live it! Magazine

Del Steinbeisser, from left, Sue Gimse, Ronna Schueller and Mary Mootz are the owners of To Your Health in Willmar.


‘Just like ice cream’
Owners Sue Gimse, Mary Mootz, Ronna Schueller and Del Steinbeisser have all been using the products sold at the store for several years. They believe strongly in them, and for good reason: Combined, the four women have lost a total of 140 pounds from the shakes. The shakes are loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, making them a substantial meal replacement. And with flavors like Snickers, Cookies and Cream, and Mango Madness, these shakes make dieting seem a little less like, well, dieting.

Protein shakes with health benefits

Not even two years after opening their store, the four female owners of To Your Health have already helped dozens of people lose weight and shrink their waistlines — just by replacing regular meals with nutritious, protein-packed shakes. To Your Health, a health and wellness shop located at 501 First St. S. in Willmar, offers more than 35 flavors of protein shakes, as well as a selection of energy teas and aloe “shots” to support healthy digestion. The store also offers wellness evaluations, nutrition classes and regular weight-loss challenges.

“They taste just like ice cream, thick and creamy but without all of the added calories or fat,” Ronna says. “You almost feel guilty drinking them, because they taste so good.” In this issue of Live it!, the four owners sat down with us to give readers the scoop – get it? – on these tasty shakes. Live it!: How healthy are these shakes? Can anyone use them? Mary Mootz: Each shake has 21 essential vitamins and minerals and 24 grams of protein. The shakes range from 230 to 250 calories. So basically, you’re getting the nutritional value of a 1600-calorie meal in a 250-calorie shake. I can’t stress the nutritional aspect enough. That’s what this product is all about: the nutrition. Ronna Schueller: The shakes can help people lose weight, maintain weight, gain weight, and we also have one for athletes that helps with muscle repair. Before using the product, we recommend bringing it to your doctor and having him take a look at it. I brought it to my doctor, and he said, “Yeah, everything in here is wonderful. Go ahead.” He has been very pleased with my results. Live it!: What benefits did you see personally after trying the shakes for a while? Sue Gimse: I had migraines, and I actually saw my migraines get better. Part of it, I think, was that I was just getting better nutrition. Overall, I have more energy too. I used to go home over lunch every single day and take a 20-minute nap. Now I don’t do that, and I don’t miss it. Live it!: How soon will people start seeing results from the shakes? Del Steinbeisser: You can start seeing results after only a week. You see the best, fastest results by drinking two shakes a day, along with regular exercise.
Customers at To Your Health, a health and wellness shop located at 501 First St. S. in Willmar, can enjoy more than 35 flavors of protein shakes, as well as a selection of energy teas and aloe “shots” to support healthy digestion.

DS: For me, it’s a no-brainer. I tried Weight Watchers, and you have to count every point. This I just know is automatiLive it!: How important is protein in a person’s diet? cally 250 calories. If you have two a day, you know that’s 500 MM: Protein feeds your body. We all need protein in calories and you can order to function, and protein is adjust the rest of what powers your muscles, includyour day according your heart. Protein will burn ingly. It’s easy math, fat as well, as long as you get and the shakes taste enough of it in your diet. If you’re good, too. not getting enough of it, your - Ronna Schueller, co-owner To Your Health SG: We encourage body will pull it from other places. people just to try it That’s how people get sick, because they aren’t getting and see for themselves. Give it at least seven days, and then sufficient protein to sustain themselves. For people who see how you feel. You’re going to feel better. don’t get enough protein in their diet, this is a good way to supplement that. To Your Health is open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9

“You almost feel guilty drinking them, because they taste so good.”

Live it!: What’s the benefit of trying these shakes over some of the other diets available?

a.m. to 2 p.m. select Saturdays. A new weight loss challenge recently started and meets on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. Call the store at 320222-4325 to register.

Live it! Magazine 17

- Read it! -

Books can help get us ready for summer
At long last, winter has begun its retreat. It’s finally safe to start dreaming about gardening, cookouts and the great outdoors without having those dreams blow away with the advance of yet another blizzard. lin’s “Vertical Vegetable Gardening” or Joel Karsten’s “Straw Bale Gardens.” Both methods claim to produce larger harvests and fewer weeds. In my experience, the best way to enjoy a garden is with a mouth full of food. Try “How to Grill” by popular TV host Steven Raichlen. This book, full of droolinducing photographs, features 100 recipes and varying techniques for the novice to the expert. “BBQ Makes Everything Better,” by Aaron Chronister and Jason Day, contains a cuts tutorial as well as a wide variety of recipes, including “The Bacon Explosion,” which the authors suggest might be the most downloaded recipe of all-time. Desserts are also included in this book if you’re looking for a sweet way to finish off a summer evening. For more hands-on projects, try Todd Davis’ “Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids.” This book includes plans for classic summertime favorites such as tree houses, water-pressurized rockets, and slip and slides, none of which, of course, need to be limited to dads (or kids for that matter).

As you begin your summer project planning, consider checking out some of these books at your local library. Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or just looking for something new, there are a number of gardening possibilities. With Janit Calvo’s book “Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World,” your backyard will have never been more whimsical. Along with suggestions for what plants to use, Calvo gives tips for creating your own miniature garden furniture, animals and more. If you’re not familiar with miniature gardening, it’s a lot of fun and the creative possibilities are nearly endless.

For something more long-term, perhaps Ted Moores’s “Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction” would be worth investigating. By this time next year, you could be getting ready to paddle the beautiful lakes of Kandiyohi County in a boat you made yourself. Of course, if your idea of a summer project leans more toward a glass of lemonade, a lawn chair and a good book, library staff would be more than happy to help you with that too. With an ever-expanding collection of books and ebooks, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Swing by your library anytime.
Ryan McCormick is head librarian at the Willmar Public Library. For more information on these, and hundreds of other titles, swing by the Willmar Public Library. The librarians are there to help you find your new favorite author. Check out the library’s blog at

If gardening for sustenance is more your thing, consider Chris McLaugh-

18 Live it! Magazine

- Fitness & Health -

Short, high-intensity workouts work well
As we end one of the coldest winters on record it’s time to begin preparing your body for the upcoming summer. If you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolution has already been lost in your busy day-to-day activities. Most people struggle to find time to get to the local gym in order to maintain or achieve their weight loss goals. The less time you have, the easier it is to find excuses to skip your workouts. After all, doesn’t a great routine require an hour at the gym? Actually, the answer is NO. Oftentimes people achieve the quickest results with the shortest workouts. The harder you exercise the more calories you burn every minute. Your workouts should not be slow, long and tedious. The workouts should be at a fast, furious pace that speeds up your metabolism for hours after your workout has ended. Current research shows that a short, intense exercise programs can burn fat while you’re sleeping and improve your cardiovascular fitness even more so that jogging long hours. These short, intense workouts are called HIIT, or high intensity interval training. The routines are simple and vary every time you work out. The routines are often based on what’s available at your local gym, so plan ahead. Most gyms offer group training or HIIT, and the training staff can help set up a program for you. As always if you have any underlying concern, consult with your medical doctor or chiropractor prior to beginning your workout. Here is an example of a HIIT program done in our gym: 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest: * box jumps * sled push/pulls on the turf * plyometric lunges * push presses * uphill sprint on the treadmill Repeat 5 rounds It’s important to remember that everyone’s ability to get that “beach body” will come at a different pace. Eating healthy and adding protein to your diet is a great start. Work out with a friend or in a group class so you can all push each other together. Try five to six days of short burst exercise training. And remember: You can have results or excuses. Not both. But, most importantly, have fun.
Jon Haefner, DC; Meridian Disc Institute; Total Fitness; 320214-0044

Live it! Magazine 19

! t i Style
Top 10 fashion trends for spring
Be bold ... time to switch to fun, bright clothes

20 Live it! Magazine

and jeans. It’s perfect for the office, a night on the town or a day spent shopping. The sheer button-down was a popular item last spring and stuck around through the summer and fall. This spring, spice it up with a contrast-color button-down. Rather than continuing the sheer trend, these button-downs are a classic cotton with a fun twist. The collars and cuffs are contrasting colors or textures, helping spice up your work outfit without forcing you to go too far out of your comfort zone. Wide-leg trousers are back. On the runways, the legs were very billowy, but to make them work on a frame that isn’t a 6-foot-tall supermodel, look for a pair with a smaller flare and a higher waist to elongate your frame and not seem overwhelmed by fabric. Bomber jackets also make a comeback this spring, but this time the sporty layering piece is edgier with colorful prints, luxe textures and fabrics, and sporty detailing, like mesh weaving and perforations. The bomber is a great way to make a girly dress feel a little tougher or complement the athletic side of dressy shorts.

Spring has finally arrived, which means it’s time to switch out the drab winter clothes for the fun, bright clothes that come with the warmer weather. It also means an excuse for going shopping, to update last year’s spring wardrobe. What trends should you be looking for as you head to your favorite stores? Let’s break down the top 10 trends for this spring. First up is pastels. This spring, every pastel color imaginable is on the racks in every silhouette, which means you can pick the color which flatters you the most in the pant, dress or top that is equally as flattering. From a mint-green blazer to a lilac sheath dress to a baby blue bomber jacket, don’t miss out on this trend this spring. Second on the list is boxy, cropped jackets. Leather motorcycle jackets were all the rage last fall — and will still work this spring. This non-leather option will work well with all the layering that always happens during the spring. The boxy, cropped silhouette comes in a wide array of prints and textures, and pairs well with a fit-and-flare or body-con dress, dress pants, skirts

The trendy skirt hemline this spring is the tea-length. A tealength skirt hits right above the ankle and is usually an A-line shape, coming off as very ladylike. To help modernize the tealength skirt, pair it with a cropped top to offset the length and make you look taller. Or, to make this skirt length appropriate for work, try a sleeveless tea-length dress. A wardrobe staple that won’t be going anywhere this spring is the spring sweater. While spring knits are boldly printed or inventively cut this season, they’re still just as easy to pair with tailored pants, cute skirts or dressy shorts. For something a little different, throw a lightweight sweater on over a light dress. One of the boldest trends this spring is the tuxedo-meetsathletic-striped trouser. These tailored trousers have tuxedo detailing with an athletic stripe down the side. For a modern yet refined look, go for a streamlined (read: skinny) silhouette in white with a colored stripe down the side and pair the pants with a casual top. The trendy top for this spring is the shift blouse. This top is almost like a dressy version of a T-shirt, but it’s so much more sophisticated. The almost-elbow-length sleeves and boxy silhouette keep the top flattering and versatile, making it easy to pair with a pant or any length skirt. Exciting prints, luxurious textures and different necklines can make this a fun piece to have in your closet. Collarless coats are also a trend that can help with your layering this spring. These coats are long and streamlined but lack a collar and lapel. If you want a piece that is a little bit safer, go with a neutral or solid color. But if you’re looking to take a risk with this coat, choose a fun print or embellished denim. This piece works with dress pants or a pencil skirt for the office, or leather leggings or a body-con dress for date night. Choose one or two trends to try out this spring and liven up last year’s spring wardrobe. Remember most of these pieces can easily be transitioned into the summer months, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a couple nice pieces.
Kayla Prasek is a freelance writer for Live it! magazine

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Live it! Magazine 21


Tea &scones It! is an anytime treat
Scones are biscuit-like pastries that are often formed into round shapes and cut into wedges, then baked. Scones can be savory or sweet and are very common with breakfast, but are also served with tea or coffee any time of the day and are very popular in coffeehouses. They originated as a Scottish quick bread in the early 1500s. Once made with oats and griddle-baked, today’s version is more often made with flour and baked in the oven. As for the origin of the word “Skone,” some say it comes from the Dutch word schoonbrot, which means beautiful bread. Others say it comes from Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. The popularity of scones was an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the “Afternoon Tea Time” (precisely at 4 p.m.).

We have our own traditions now in America with “High Tea” or “Afternoon Tea Time.” The versatility of scones in their flavor profiles allows them to be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time. From chocolate, caramel, pumpkin, cranberry, cherry, blueberry, apple, blackberry, lemon, strawberry, cinnamon, bacon, tomato, cheese or onion, the combinations are limitless. They are also great to make-ahead. I bring them on vacation every summer, making the dough ahead, forming them and freezing it so all I have to do is bake them when we are ready. You can also vary the shapes and sizes of scones. The most common is an 8-inch or 9-inch circle cut into 10 to 12 wedges or by using a circle-biscuit cutter in various sizes. I also like to make what I call mini-bites, forming a 16-inch-by-4-inch rectangle and cutting it into four 4-inch squares and then cutting each square into four triangles, which equals 16 mini-bites. Any way you serve them up scones are always a big hit. Tea-time, coffee-time, lunch-time or dinner-time … enjoy them as a treat anytime.

Photos by Michelle Gauer

Double Chocolate-Orange Scones
Michelle Gauer’s entry in the Pillsbury Million Dollar Bake-Off; placed as one of 100 finalist winning recipes; cooked in April 2010 in Orlando, Fla. By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 12 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Step-by-step process of Double Chocolate-Orange Scones.

Dried Cherry-Almond Scones
By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 18 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 55 minutes

Scones: 2 cups Pillsbury BEST all-purpose flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup Hershey’s baking cocoa 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup cold Land O’ Lakes butter, cut into ½-inch pieces 3/4 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup Smucker’s sweet orange marmalade 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup Hershey’s mini chips semi-sweet chocolate 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar, if desired 2 ounces Hershey’s semi-sweet baking chocolate or 1/3 cup mini chips semi-sweet chocolate Orange butter: 1/2 cup Land O’ Lakes butter, softened 1/4 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons Smucker’s sweet orange marmalade Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl mix the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt with a whisk. Cut in 1/3 cup cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In small bowl gently stir the cream, 1/4 cup marmalade and vanilla until mixed. Make a well in the center of the crumb mixture; add cream mixture to the well. Stir with a fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Gently stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips. Form the dough into a ball. On well-floured surface roll or pat the dough into a 9-inch round, 3/4- inch thick. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into 12 even wedges. Place the wedges 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with raw sugar. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until the edges are set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the baking chocolate, uncovered, on High for 30 seconds until softened; stir until smooth. Drizzle diagonally over scones. In a small bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and powdered sugar with fork until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 tablespoons marmalade. Serve with scones.
Copyright “Pillsbury Bake-Off ”,

Scones: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/3 cup chilled butter, diced 1 large egg 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 cup dried cherries, or Cherry Craisins 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tsp. water, beaten), optional 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted, for sprinkling Icing: 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon milk Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Cut in diced cold butter, using pastry blender or fork, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In small bowl gently stir the egg, cream, vanilla and almond extract until mixed. Make a well in the center of crumb mixture; add cream mixture to the well. Stir with a fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Gently work in cherries and 1/2 cup sliced almonds. Form the dough into a ball. On a well-floured surface roll or pat the dough into 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch diameter circle biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles. Rework the leftover dough to cut remaining scones. You will end up with around 18. Place the scones 1-inch apart on a prepared cookie sheet, brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and sliced almonds. Bake 15 minutes or until the edges are set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle across scones and serve or allow the scones to dry before storing.

Live it! Magazine 23

Caramel-Butterscotch Scones
These are similar to the Caramel Scones at Starbucks. By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 16 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour

Strawberries & Cream Scones
Substitute other fruits in this scone recipe such as blueberries, raspberries, or rhubarb. By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 10 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour

Scones: 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 pinch nutmeg 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes 3/4 cup whipping cream 1 large egg 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla 1/2 teaspoon butterscotch or rum extract 1 cup butterscotch chips Topping: 1 large egg white, whisked 1/3 cup butterscotch chips, finely chopped Powdered sugar, optional Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl mix the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg with a whisk. Cut in the cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a small bowl gently stir the whipping cream, egg, vanilla and butterscotch extract until mixed. Make a well in the center of the crumb mixture; add cream mixture to the well. Stir with a fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Form the dough into a ball. On a well-floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a 16-inch by 4inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Using a knife dipped in flour, make a cut through the dough every four inches, forming four 4-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally both directions into four triangles, cutting 16 triangles in all. Place them 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with chopped butterscotch chips. Bake scones for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are set and slightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled.

Scones: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 cup diced strawberries 1/4 cup strawberry preserves 3/4 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar, if desired Lemon glaze: 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3/4 cup powdered sugar Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl mix the flour, granulated sugar and salt with a whisk. Cut in the cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a small bowl gently stir the lemon zest, strawberries, preserves and whipping cream until mixed. Make a well in the center of the crumb mixture; add cream mixture to the well. Stir with a fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Form dough into a ball. On a well-floured surface, roll or pat dough into an 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into 10 even wedges. Place the wedges 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are set and middles bounce back. This is a very moist scone. Allow the scones to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing them to cooling rack. While the scones are cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar until you achieve a thick icing. Drizzle over the scones and serve.

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24 Live it! Magazine

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Scones
These are one of my favorites! By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 16 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour

Scones: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 14 tablespoons cold butter, cut in ½-inch cubes, divided 2 large egg whites 4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I use canned pumpkin) 1/4 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 large egg yolks 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar Glaze: 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon milk, if needed Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl mix flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk. Cut in 12 tablespoons of cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a small bowl gently stir the egg whites, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, pumpkin and buttermilk until mixed. Make a well in the center of the crumb mixture; add the cream mixture to well. Stir with a fork until the crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. Form the dough into a ball. On a well-floured surface, roll or pat dough into a rough 20-inch by 8-inch rectangle. In a small bowl melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and cinnamon. Brush all but 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto the rectangle of dough. Starting with the end closest to you, roll the dough like you would a cinnamon roll. Once you have a round log, carefully shape (flatten) the dough into a rectangle log that stands about 1-1/2-inches high and about 3-inches wide with the seam side down. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut the log in half and divide each half into 8 triangles. Place the triangles 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet. Whisk together the 1 teaspoon filling mixture with the egg yolks. This gives it a nice golden color. Brush the scones with remaining mixture. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Use milk to thin out if necessary. Drizzle across scones and serve or allow the scones to dry before storing.

Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Scones
Great with soup or salad! By Michelle L. Gauer Serving size: 16 Preparation time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour

Scones: 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not oil packed 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 8 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained and crumbled 1/4 cup sour cream 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons milk 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Place the tomatoes in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain well and chop the tomatoes. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, basil, oregano and garlic salt with a whisk. Cut in the cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the tomatoes and bacon. In a small bowl, gently stir together the sour cream, eggs and milk. Make a well in the center of the crumb mixture; add the cream mixture to well. Stir with fork until crumb mixture is moistened and dough is sticky. On a well-floured surface knead the mixture 10 to 12 times. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Pat or lightly roll each dough half to a 7-inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 equal wedges. Place the wedges 1-inch apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops of scones with cheese. Bake 7 to 8 minutes more or until tops are lightly browned. Serve warm. Top with additional crumbled bacon if desired.

Live it! Magazine 25

- Spirits! -

Finally, let’s play ball!
It is my hope that by the time you read this article Old Man Winter has gone back to sleep and we are once again enjoying the warm breath of spring. Hopefully, by now, green grass is calming our senses and the flowers that were shivering and huddling underground have bravely pushed their colors above ground, giving us our spring flower show. Along with the sights of spring, I want to hear the sounds of spring. I hope we are now hearing the summer songs of the birds, the crack of a bat on a baseball, the smack of a ball hitting a well-oiled ball glove and, as we walk, the happy sounds of our children playing outdoors. Yes, finally, let’s play ball! Ah, the memories of playing baseball with my sons bring joy to my heart. Our daughter was a gymnast and while she flipped and jumped, we hit, threw and ran the bases. I loved playing catch with my sons. Getting that baseball glove oiled and setting the pocket was a rite of spring. We enjoyed the aroma of the leather glove, the smell of the freshly mowed grass and that wonderful smell of the lilac bushes that were in our backyard. The rhythm of playing catch was and still is very satisfying to me — along with the joy of once again being able to dig in our garden. I guess the farm has never left me, and the thought of getting my hands dirty and planting something excites me. Back to baseball. Baseball was our gift from the season of spring. We played for hours — laughing and learning skills that I hope our sons will pass on to their children. Of course, when we finished playing we had to enjoy some sort of beverage. For me that meant a beer and for our sons, at least until they were older, that meant a can of pop. Now we all enjoy a cold beer. I expect any kind of poll would show that the choice of beer during spring would be a lager. Lagers are easy to drink, light in flavor and hops, and finish with thirst-quenching crispness. What’s not to like? Brewed full strength or as a light beer, these beers ask to be consumed — now! If you are a lager fan, go for it. Sit on the grass or in your favorite patio chair and reach for a Stella Artois, grab a Bud or clutch a Coors Lite. Smile and enjoy the golden color and the smooth cool clean taste of a lager. And let’s not forget about wine! I enjoy a clean tasting white wine paired with cheese during this time of the year. Three nice and affordable (under $10 per bottle) California wines to enjoy now are a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Moscato. Turning Leaf ’s Pinot Grigio is fruit forward with hints of apple and pear, and has a palate cleansing finish. It goes well with a mild cheddar cheese. My Sauvignon Blanc of choice is Simply Naked (Unoaked). It has a juicy refreshing tangerine first taste, finishes with a satisfying bit of pineapple and it pairs nicely with a Gouda cheese. For you sweet wine lovers, Fetzer’s nicely balanced Moscato with its peach flavors makes a great companion with some creamy blue cheese. For those of you who, after a hard day in the garden or at the ball field, desire a cocktail, you are so lucky. Imagine this: sitting in your backyard or your patio with no shoes on and enjoying a Vodka Gimlet. This drink is easy to make (vodka, lemonade and lime juice with a garnish of a slice of cucumber and some basil leaves) and with its straightforward taste and eye-catching appeal, it will lift your spirits and ease those aching muscles. Another easy and often overlooked spring cocktail is a Screwdriver. Splash some vodka in orange juice and you have simple perfection in a glass. And you get your vitamin C. After the winter we’ve had this year, we have earned the right to celebrate spring with a brew, a glass of wine or an eye catching cocktail. So, get out there — take a walk, play some ball, dig in the dirt, fire up that grill, sit back and enjoy your favorite beverage. You’ve earned it. As always, eat and drink responsibly but laugh with reckless abandon. Cheers!
Ron Skjong is a lay minister at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar, is married and has four grown children. During the time he was stationed in Germany, he was introduced to the wonderful world of German wines and from that introduction, a lifelong pursuit developed to find that perfect bottle of wine.

26 Live it! Magazine

- Life Happens -

Heal and then move on
By the time you read this column, the grays of winter will have left us. In its place, blue skies, deep green grasses and a multitude of colors will be created by spring flowers. Nature is no more beautiful than in early spring. Perhaps made even more beautiful because of the discomfort we have lived through before it arrives. The recognition that we have weathered the cold storms long enough and, that if we are patient, color and warmth can come back to the landscape once again, is comforting. This reminds me of a Buddhist proverb that I have often used in counseling: If only we can release ourselves of the shame and guilt of the past, we can become more whole and happier than we imagined possible. Yet in order to overcome the past and heal ourselves of issues of guilt, shame or regret, we must do the healing work set before us. We cannot simply “move on” or ignore the impact that struggle has played in our life. We must build the insight and understanding of how the past impacts us in the present. Has it played a role in our self-worth? Has our self-worth played a role in our behavior or the choosing of friends or partners in our life? Has the choice of partner or friends in our lives created unhappiness or dysfunction for us? To know different, is to do different. “I am a lotus flower, delicate, fragile, yet strong, floating, unfolding and blossoming into the life where I belong” — Anonymous
Claudette Larson of New London is a licensed independent clinical social worker with 15 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families work on personal growth and positive real-life solutions.

The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.
To me, this proverb illustrates more than just the resiliency of the human spirit. This proverb encourages us to understand that past pain, tragedy or “baggage” can be used as compost from which we can grow stronger, wiser and healthier lives on a deeper level than we have experienced before.

Live it! Magazine 27

Check it! out
Take 6
April 5 Collegeville, 7:30 p.m., Humphrey Theater, St. John’s University; the a cappella group takes on jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, pop and more.

What’s happenin’ ?
April - May 2014
‘Letters Home’
April 12 Collegeville, 7:30 p.m., Humphrey Theater, St. John’s University; The Griffin Theatre Company’s play puts the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in those countries.

Blue Eyes Band
April 6 Glenwood, 3 to 7 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; winter dances open to all, music by Tim Patrick and the Blue Eyes Band.

Burt Lundberg Trio
April 24 Willmar, 6 p.m., Jazz ’n Java; 913 Business 71 N.; music by the Burt Lundberg Trio, followed by singalong with house band.

Compagnia T.P.O Blue
May 2-3 St. Joseph, 7:30 p.m. May 2, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 3, Gorecki Theatre, College of St. Benedict; straddling the thin line between art and play, it weaves sound, dance, storytelling and visual spectacle into an immersive, magical, and hands-on theater experience.

‘An Evening of Culture’
April 4-6, 10-13 Willmar, 7:30 p.m. April 4-5, 10-12; 2:30 p.m., April 6 and 13, The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W., downtown; “An Evening of Culture” by Mark Landon; $20 adults, $10 students 18 and under; call 320-235-9500.

‘A Broadway State of Mind’
April 24 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., WEAC; the West Central Concert series presents “A Broadway State of Mind”; $20 at the door.

Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra
May 4 Willmar, 3 p.m., WEAC; spring concert conducted by Steven Ramsey, featuring Young Artists Competition winners.

Dave and Jeff
April 10 Willmar, 6 p.m., Jazz ’n Java; 913 Business 71 N.; music by Dave and Jeff followed by sing-along with house band.

Rebecca Davis
April 24 Dawson, 7:30 p.m., Memorial Auditorium; Dawson-Boyd Arts Association presents concert pianist Rebecca Davis; $10 adults, $5 students.

Jerry O’Hagan
May 4 Glenwood, 3 to 7 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; winter dances open to all, music by the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra.

April 25 St. Joseph, 7:30 p.m., Escher Auditorium, College of St. Benedict; Elizabeth Streb and her Extreme Action Company combine dance, boxing, rodeo, the circus and Hollywood stunt-work to create a bristling, muscle-andmotion experience that combines daring with strict precision.

‘Urinetown, the Musical’
May 7-10 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., Ridgewater College theatre; the theater department presents “Urinetown, the Musical”; general admission tickets $5, call 320-222-7605.

Dumb and Dumber
May 8 Willmar, 6 p.m., Jazz ’n Java; 913 Business 71 N.; music by Dumb and Dumber (Wendell and Dave), followed by sing-along with house band.

Steve Hammerschmidt family
May 1 Willmar, 6 p.m., Jazz ’n Java; 913 Business 71 N.; music by the Steve Hammerschmidt family, followed by singalong with house band.

Main Street
May 16 St. Joseph, 7:30 p.m., Gorecki Theatre, College of St. Benedict; Arena Dances presents Main Street, a new work commissioned by CSB; it is an exploration of growing up in a small town and is partially inspired by St. Joseph.

To list your event in our April issue email

28 Live it! Magazine



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Call us today for more information about our short-term stay therapy program.
320.214.5643 | 901 Willmar Ave. SE, Willmar, MN 56201

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