8 Best Bets for Local Candy This Halloween

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Michael Ocampo/Jeff Vier
Don't let this happen to you.

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore, but that doesn't necessarily mean you want to gorge yourself on fun-sized Snickers, Pixy Stix, and Skittles (but, hey, no judgement if you do). Check out the offerings from these Minnesota candy makers that will take your holiday to the sublime, whether you're watching Texas Chainsaw 3D, hosting a costumed bash, or making a midnight trip to a haunted graveyard.

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Millers & Saints Rides the First Wave of Craft Distilleries in Minnesota

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Benjamin Carter Grimes

Minnesotans are familiar with craft beer, but the realm of craft spirits is mostly murky and uncharted. While we can handily distinguish between a Heineken and a Surly, with a new product like craft spirits, we're a little less surefooted. The criteria and marketplace is still developing.

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What Happens When Musicians Try to Cook? The Halfway Cooks Show [VIDEO]

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Youa Vang
The Halfway Cooks Crew

In the back room of Spyhouse coffee shop in Uptown, the group of friends who make up the Halfway Cooks cooking show gather around a table, most likely annoying any patrons looking for a quiet study spot. Project manager Darien Washington shares a story of how he once got a parking ticket from an attendant.

"That's why I removed my windshield wipers," says videographer Jake Astle. "That way they can't give me a ticket."

At this table, it's best to put on your listening ears and let the crew talk. Each member is a character, and each is trying to outdo the others in jokes. Much of that humor comes through in the group's work. Their first video features hip-hop artists Toki Wright and Big Cats cooking up some "Pad Thai Rad Thai" and sharing the stories behind their music.

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Where to Pick Apples, Pluck Pumpkins, and Get Gourds This Fall

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Alma Guzman
Do you like to do it yourself? Here are some of our best you-pick-em destinations.

You have it earmarked on your calendars for before it gets too cold, or too close to Halloween. You've cleared yourself of other on-the-side obligations and decided to make a whole weekend all about fall's splendor. Yes, it's apple and pumpkin picking time, people. And it's so seasonal you can practically smell its cinnamon-spiced lure from downtown Minneapolis. But where to go to get all the produce for your mulled cider, crumbly crisps, and flaky pies? 

We have the lowdown on some of the best sites for DIY apple picking, pumpkin selecting, free hayrides, corn mazes, and llamas you can feed from the palm of your hand.
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Wander North Distillery opens with Outpost Vodka launch

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Tammy Kimbler
We've got spirits, yes we do.

Riding the wave of new micro-distilleries opening after the 2011 Minnesota micro-distillery law, Wander North Distillery opened for business last Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and launch of their first spirit, Outpost Vodka. Owner Brian Winter cut the ceremonial ribbon with city councilman Kevin Reich. "Being in northeast Minneapolis is fantastic," says Winter. "The synergy and collaboration here is phenomenal."

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General Mills reveals this year's lineup of Halloween cereals

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The boxes get a re-design this year, but the retro versions pictured above will be available at Target.

Remember last year when General Mills let all of its monster cereals out of the vault? We were so young then, so full of sugary cereal milk and lulled into a sleepy reverie where nothing would ever change and we'd always have our pick of limited edition monster cereals.

Well wake up, cereal lovers. This time around, General Mills is teaching us all a valuable lesson about cereal and life: Nothing gold can stay.

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Permaculture Research Institute turns to Kickstarter for funding

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Permaculture Research Institute's Kickstarter page
Twin Cities-centered company Permaculture Research Institute has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help promote sustainable living in colder climates.

The organization hopes to spread the trend of at-home, accessible sustainability -- urban gardening, canning, beekeeping -- in communities where a cold climate dominates more than half of the year. PRI calls for their participants to "care for the earth, care for people, and share their surplus."


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Don't cha know: 7 foods you didn't know started in Minnesota

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Dennis Yang
The Land of 10,000 Lakes can brag about many things, including but not limited to the birth of our dear artist formally known as Prince, the stapler, and roller blades. But when was the last time you took a bite of your Pillsbury croissants or funfetti cake and thought, "BOOM, Minnesota!"? Not often enough, Hot Dishers. Well, stop being so humble. Here are seven foods you should celebrate with newfound pride.

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Juicy Lucys have made it to London, but are they any good?

Categories: Minnesota Made

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Wes Burdine
The Juicy Lucy at the Diner in London, England.

As you walk into this cozy pub, you notice its eclectic vibe, like a cross between Psycho Suzi's and the Turf Club's Clown Lounge. You step over a rug unmistakably designed by Minneapolis artist Adam Turman. In front of you are two Juicy Lucys: one traditional and the other with blue cheese.

But this is not Minnesota. This is London, less than a mile from the Thames and the Tate Modern, in the Southwark neighborhood of mostly businesses and upscale condos. Lord Nelson Pub is an oasis of oddity and part of a trend of American-style burger joints that are introducing Minnesota's chief culinary export, the Juicy Lucy, to London.

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Du Nord Spirits' first product, L'├ętoile vodka, hits the shelves

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Courtesy of the Du Nord Facebook page
First there were local micro-brews, then the Twin Cities craft cocktail boom, and now the latest on the scene is a Minneapolis-made vodka. Du Nord, Minneapolis's first "micro-distillery" rolled out its first firewater Friday. L'├ętoile Vodka ($24), made from Minnesota sugar beets and corn, hit metro shelves following bottle signings and samplings at several locations led by owners Shanelle and Chris Montana. 

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