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Minnesota Bloggers to Follow for All Your “Distractibaking” Needs

Healthy dinners, soothing pastries, off-the-grid know how, and more

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A white buttercream cake topped with pastel roses
Learn how to make perfect buttercream roses with pastry chef Zoë François
Zoë François/Zoe Bakes

When all other forms of news and media are piles of bleak, it’s an excellent time to turn off the devices and dig into some kitchen therapy. Minnesota has long been home to many nationally known and beloved bloggers, churning out those delightful stories behind the recipes and creating some aspirations delights. So, whether you are looking to tune out from the world at large, get super serious about nutrition, or determined to master the art of the Swiss buttercream, these are locally based, magnificently talented and fun-to-follow food sources.

When The Awful Is Almost Overwhelming and You’ve Run Through All of the Great British Baking Show: Zoë Bakes

Zoë François is a Minneapolis-based pastry chef. She’s the creator of those divine little butterscotch pot de cremes at Tilia when they first opened. She’s worked with Andrew Zimmern, hosted zillions of online tutorials, and is half of the author team behind the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book series. Her Instagram is balm for a worried soul. She creates gravity-defying candied hazelnuts, loves any opportunity to bust out a blowtorch, and sometimes just hosts an all-out dance party in her kitchen. Her tutorials take complex pastry techniques and breaks them down into easy-to-follow lessons.

When You’re Determined to Keep the COVID-19lbs Away: Fresh Tart

Stephanie A. Meyer is the author of Twin Cities Chef Table, that followed local chefs around and unlocked the secrets of their kitchen recipes. She’s also a nutritional advocate and all about that home cooking. Her last cookbook was The 30 Minute Paleo Cookbook, and her blog is full of recipes packed with nutrient-dense, easy-to-master meals, and a veritable salad feast of fresh green for the eyes. There’s a whole collection of condiments to save your pantry from the barren shelves of Target’s shelf-stable food section. Try her take on ginger-scallion sauce for a fun-to-make zippy flavor-booster.

When You’ve Completely Run Out of All Recipe Inspiration for, like Everything: A Pinch of Yum

Run by a former school teacher, Lindsay Ostrom has created a blog that is packed with comfort food recipes that feel like they could have been clipped of your mom’s Better Homes and Gardens and turned into new family favorites. Bust out some Instant Pot mac and cheese to eat away apocalypse worries, murder a vegetarian platter of sweet potato and kale salad, or treat yo’ self to a deep dish chocolate chip cookie. That recipe says it’s for two people, but at times like this, it’s only a suggestion.

When Life Requires A Lot More Sprinkles: My Name is Yeh

Catch up on episodes of Molly Yeh’s Food Network show, or dig into her blog that started it all. Sure, she’s technically cooking out of a farmhouse kitchen in North Dakota, but it’s close enough to Minnesota that she’s welcome here. I mean, she makes bars and tater tot hotdish. She’s clearly our people. Her recipes are a mix of homey classics with a twist. She’s never satisfied with just making a recipe standard and jazzes things up with unexpected, worldly ingredient. Also, the baked stuff is positively adorable. Seriously, every meal should come with a side of sprinkles right now.

For When You Want to Chuck It All And Move to a Tiny Cabin in the Woods: Amy Thielen

  • Amy Thielen was a big-time New York City chef before she and her sculptor husband decided to move back to his family’s cabin in rural Northwestern Minnesota. While it was originally without running water, the cabin has gotten a major upgrade in recent years and now looks like off-the-grid paradise. Her criminally short-lived television show can be seen on her website with incredibly easy and delicious recipes like the best ever beer cheese soup, and maple bread with soft cheese. Her award-winning cookbook Heartland Table took Midwestern classic recipes and remade them for a modern-era. The recipes on her blog make great work of cast iron skillets and a we-can-do this attitude with plenty of comfort eating like wrapping yourself in thick flannel sheets during the darkest winter nights.
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