MPLS Dog: Behind the Scenes

One of the great things about working at Ingredient is getting to see the behind-the-scenes of how the recipe and content development sausage is made.  

And in the case of the MPLS Dog, here we’re talking literal sausage. (Tee-hee.)

Coming up with the idea is only half the battle; we then have to bring that idea to life and put our money where our mouth is (sorry, that’s the last bad food pun, promise) to create something that is both fun and delicious.

Luckily, fun and delicious is Ingredient’s specialty. So we rolled up our sleeves and hit the Ingredient kitchen in full mad scientist/Doc Brown mode.

Every component of the MPLS Dog went through rigorous testing:

What’s the perfect consistency of the hotdish?

 mpls dog hotdish

Which cheese will make it through our intensive Cheese Trials? (Sometimes you just gotta blow torch things.)

mpls dog cheese trials mpls dog blow torch

Just how many tots should adorn this bad boy? (The correct answer is *all* the tots. Whatever you got, pack it on.)

mpls dog tater tots mpls dog ketchup

Once we’d perfected the recipe, it was time to get the MPLS Dog styled for its close up. Because sometimes, looks actually do matter.

mpls dog styling mpls dog pedestal

The end result? We nailed it.

mpls dog beauty

Our reward? The whole company gathered and we ate. We ate our work, and it was delicious.

mpls dog team lunch

At Ingredient, this is what we’re all about – we love food, we love food culture, and we want to create and share those experiences.

We won’t share tots, though. So don’t even ask.

MPLS Dog: The New King in the North

Step aside, Jon Snow.

Sometimes ideas are too good not to share. And when it comes to food, we love to share. (Are you going to finish that? Ok, ok, never mind.)

We were recently at popular Minneapolis hot dog joint Uncle Franky’s, enjoying good weather and slamming Chicago Dogs, Coney Island Dogs and the like. In between bites, we contemplated what made those dogs representative of their namesakes. Then came the million dollar question: what kind of dog could represent Minneapolis?

We looked to our Minnesotan culinary legacy for inspiration, donned our goofy chef hats and headed for our kitchen. When the mist cleared, MPLS Dog was born.

IS THAT…HOT DISH?  Oh yes it is. And it’s time for its moment in the sun.
We spent an unseemly amount of time crafting this baby. We perfected the consistency of the sauce. We obsessed over that cheese. We toasted that bun. Topping the whole thing with crispy tater tots means the MPLS Dog pretty much takes care of all major Minnesotan food groups.

Here’s the thing, though. Yes, this dog screams Minnesota (in a measured, non-threatening tone.) But the reason we’re sharing it with you is because it’s a damn good dog.

Try it and see for yourself why the MPLS Dog is the new King in the North.



The Makers Series Number One: Rack Shack BBQ

At Ingredient, we like to do two things: Eat good food and tell good stories. Today, we introduce a new video series called Makers in which we combine these two favorite things. Makers is about telling the stories of the passionate few who have taken their love of food and food culture to the point of starting a business that enables them to share their passion with others.

In Maker Number One, we meet Keith Hittner Sr. and Elliott Ashwell, learn about Rack Shack BBQ, and hunger for their exquisite, authentic, and uniquely delicious food.

Pizza as the key to happiness

heggies pizza squaresNot being from Minnesota originally, I have to admit I was not familiar with Heggies Pizza. Then we started working with them and I realized there are two types of people: Those who love Heggies Pizza and those who’ve never tried Heggies Pizza.

While working on this project, I learned that there are a lot of people at Ingredient who love Heggies. Also that square cut is superior to triangular cut (at least when it comes to pizza with thinner crusts). Oh, and that Heggies has one of those qualities all brands crave: Deeply ingrained authenticity. Heggies is more than pizza, it’s a companion to some of life’s best times. It’s simple and good and made with a ridiculous attention to detail and quality.

Find out more about our work with Heggies on their case study page.

Candy Talk, Episode 8: Bit-O-Honey

Our first thought was to do a show about candy whose names have a lot of hyphens in them, but seeing the selection was limited, we decided to focus on Bit-O-Honey instead. It’s from the 20’s and sometimes tastes like it, but as you’ll hear on this latest episode, this oldie but goodie still has its fans.

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Right now

Eating right now

Milkjam Creamery ice cream. To celebrate Women’s History Month, Milkjam has renamed all of its flavors to be badass ladies. I can’t get enough of the Ilhan Omar and the Notorious R.B.G.   ice cream flavors   ilhan omar and rbg


Cooking right now

Crispy roasted red cabbage. You thinly slice red cabbage, place it on a baking sheet with some olive oil and coarse salt, toss it and spread it out. Roast it for 30-40 minutes at 425º. They’re shoestring-potato crispy when done. I’ve been eating the cabbage with grated hard-boiled eggs and hot sauce. Weeknight dinner done fast and right.


Listening to right now

Radio Cherry Bombe. Interesting women sharing their stories of and innovations in the food world? Subscribe. My recent favorite was where host Kerry Diamond talks to food stylist Susan Spungen. Susan was the founding Food Editor at Martha Stewart Living and worked on the films Eat, Pray, Love and Julie & Julia.

Before now.



Candy Talk, Episode 2: Squirrel Turds

As Candyland, the Minnesota-based confectioner who makes them says, Squirrel Turds have “less to do with squirrels than the name implies.” Whew. In fact, they’re a delightful combination of peanut-buttery goodness, pretzely snap, and creamy milk chocolate. On this episode, we dive in to a big ol’ bag of turds and debate their merits.

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Candy Talk, Episode 1: Salted Nut Roll

As a true Minnesota original, it’s fitting that Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll plays a starring role in our premiere Candy Talk. In this episode, we dive deep into Nut Roll lore, appreciate it’s salty-sweet goodness, and extoll its superiority over other nut-based confections.

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