What's cooking: An app a day keeps the doctor away

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2012 - 4:34 PM

Also: A local contest winner, and State Fair food travels to television.


Chocolate-covered bacon is among the fair food to be featured on a Travel Channel special.

Photo: Star Tribune file

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The best dietary intentions can be undone by a restaurant, even when you think you've chosen wisely. Now HealthPartners offers the yumPower app for iPhone users, aimed at helping diners determine which menu items deliver on the promise that they're "better for you." Working on the premise that even small changes in dietary choices can make a big difference, the app allows users to find nearby restaurants and menu items based on nutritional value. Info about popular chain restaurants is available along with some local options. The partnership of HealthPartners and HealthyDiningFinder.com also lets users vote for their favorite meals, provide comments on their experience and get messages with healthy tips on eating, cooking and exercise. The app is available for download from Apple's iTunes store. For those without an iPhone, visit yumPower.com for all the resources available on the app.

Heath Glen a winner

Congrats to Dorothy Stainbrook, whose blueberry lavender merlot jam, made in her Heath Glen Organic Farm and Kitchen in Forest Lake, won in the preserves category in the northern region of the second national Good Food Awards, which focus on sustainability and organic ingredients. Judges included former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters. Stainbrook's jams, preserves and syrups are sold primarily at the St. Paul and Mill City farmers markets from May to December, although winter finds her at the Oakdale Indoor Farmers' Market, in the Oakdale Discovery Center, 4444 Hadley Av. N. Look for her wares on Feb. 4 and 18.

Minnesota State Fair in the spotlight

The Minnesota State Fair is featured on two Travel Channel specials showcasing State Fair foods and competitions nationwide. "State Fair Foods" started airing last week, and its final showing will be at 5 p.m. Saturday. Tune in an hour earlier to catch the first airing of "State Fair Competitions" at 4 p.m. The shows include segments with Sweet Martha's Cookies, hot dish on-a-stick, alligator on-a-stick, chocolate-covered bacon, sweet corn ice cream and more, plus the llama costume contest, high school marching band competition and Princess Kay butter sculptures. This year's fair opens Aug. 23, in case you're wondering.

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