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Award Winning FCS Professionals Members!

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A huge congratulations to FCS Professionals members Mary Levinski and Lori Brumbaugh who were recently honored with prestigious awards. 

Mary Levinski was named ACF Educator of the Year from the American Culinary Federation. Per the ACF, “This award pays tribute to an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills, and expertise have enhanced the image of the professional chef, and who by example, has given leadership, guidance, and direction to students seeking a career in the culinary profession.  This person demonstrates the ability to help students define and develop their careers by using their skills and abilities to provide a strong foundation for their future success.”  

Lori Brumbaugh was named 2018 MnACTE ( Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education) Teacher of the Year.  She is a finalist in Region 3 and hopefully will compete at the national level. 

Meeting Recap: The Current State of Social Media

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Our January program was held at Land O’Lakes on January 18, 2018. Mallory Wassberg, Senior Interactive Specialist in the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen spoke to the FCS Professionals and guests on Current State of Social Media.   Social media is a rapidly changing environment and Mallory advises to jump in, give a platform a try and if it doesn’t work for you or your business move along to the next!

The top network is Facebook (FB) with 2 billion unique users.  79% of Americans use Facebook of which 85% are female and 75% are male.  Of those users, 75% spend 20 minutes or more each day on the platform.  Some new features that you might be noticing are “live” streaming – so essentially recording and playing in real time on FB and “story” which disappears after 24 hours.   A rumor may have been going around that Facebook was on the decline but the numbers and engagement would suggest otherwise.

YouTube comes in second with 1 billion active monthly users.  Users are 55% male and 45% female.  YouTube has two million views per minute!  This network reaches more 18-34 year olds and 35-39 years olds than any U.S. cable network does!  Something new is YouTube TV ($35.00/mo) which is capturing the “frustrated with paying for cable” group and competing with Netflix showing TV on demand, movies and even live TV can be streamed.

Instagram is the third largest platform with 600 million users of which 55% are 18-29 year olds.  95 million photos are shared every day!  The top photo shared is pizza and food in general is the most shared photo.  So, this has been a good media platform for Land O’Lakes for promoting their recipes.  Instagram also has a new ‘live’ feature and ‘story’ feature that goes away after 24 hours.  Interesting side note is that Instagram is owned by Facebook.  Snapchat which is similar and was first to market is being over taken by Instagram.

Speaking of Snapchat, they have 300 million users of which 70% are under the age of 34 and 70% are female.  This platform has taken the place of texting for these users.  Messages disappear in 24 hours so it is not the repository of past events like Facebook is.  Something new coming to Snapchat is ‘crowd surfing’ which is basically taking all the conversations happening on one topic and pulling them all together to make a virtual gathering.   Mallory warned to be aware of people with spectacles (glasses) with round dots on each lens corner – this is the new ‘spectacles’ application that allows the person wearing the (~$99) glasses to film everything they are seeing and stream it on Snapchat.  

Pinterest is lower on the “top of” list with only 150 million users that are mainly female and pretty evenly split with 36% being millennials and 34% Gen Xr’s.  Something new with Pinterest is the ability to do a visual search – upload your photo and it will find you all the photos with that item (e.g. a specific table lamp or flower type).  One unique aspect of Pinterest is that [millennials] pin their desired state of being/having vs. reality.  So it is a “dream” board.   This is also a good place to sell things.  For businesses, brands are more likely to be pinned so Land O’Lakes has a goal of doing 1-2 pins each day with many pins driving the pinner back to their website.  Given the “future state” planning of pinners the key is to think ahead.  So Mallory’s team is always working 3 months out (e.g. Christmas pins in Sept./Oct.).

Number 4 is Twitter which is a bit on the decline.  Twitter has 328 million users split about 50/50 between men and women.  Many users are “lurkers” meaning that 53% never post updates.  Main interest on Twitter is for news, sports and culturally relevant topics.

Some projected trends for 2018 -19 include; ephemeral content (lives for 24 hours; targets the can’t miss out mentality), augmented or virtual reality – iPhone 8 and X already have this capability, chatbots (simulates conversation – these are the robots that coherently talk to you on the phone), and an increase in video.  Video elicits engagement with 80% of Internet traffic expected to be for video by 2019.   Two of three people would rather watch a how-to video than read instructions.  Three in four people buy a product after watching a video about it and 3 in 4 people share a video when they find it entertaining.

Mallory concluded with tips for businesses (or personal) – test out different options, post consistently and connect with others.   Ten seconds is the average attention span so chose your words and visuals wisely.  People consistently scroll so your post has to catch their attention quickly!  From the Land O’Lakes experience the best days to post are Wednesday at 7pm for Instagram; anytime for Pinterest and Tuesday noon for live videos.

Dinner included Salad, Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Chicken, Mashed Potatoes. Roasted Vegetables, Rolls and Dessert.  A tour of the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen was provided by FCS Professionals member Vicky Cherne and Mallory.  

Don’t forget to register for our professional conference, “Beyond the Basics—Trending Topics in Food Safety” to be held at the Edina Country Club.  Early bird pricing ends on February 13 so don’t delay!  Click here to register.

“Beyond the Basics–Trending Topics in Food Safety” Registration is OPEN!

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FCS Professionals is thrilled to be hosting a the seminar “Beyond the Basics–Trending Topics in Food Safety” and registration is now OPEN!  To register click on the Eventbrite link here

For more information on the seminar visit our webpage and download the official brochure.

The seminar will open with keynote speaker Dr. Michael Osterholm speaking on “Deadliest Enemies: The Role of Influenza and Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Supply “.  Brunch will be served (included in registration cost).  Other speakers for the day are Annette Maggi, MS, RD, LD, FAND, President of Annette Maggi & Associates Inc. “Getting Clear on Clean Labels“, Justo Garcia, Environmental Health Specialist, City of Minneapolis Health Inspector “Food Adulteration and Economically Motivated Hazard ” and Alyssa Rebensdorf, Attorney, Faegre Baker & Daniels, LLP and Peter J. Goss, Attorney, Blackwell & Burke, P.A. “Hot Topics in Food Safety and Labeling Litigation

A Facebook event has been created here.  Please SHARE on your personal Facebook page to get the word out about this incredible opportunity to learn from area experts and earn continuing education credit!

Job Opportunity: BLIND Inc.

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BLIND, Inc. is looking to hire a:  HOME MANAGEMENT INSTRUCTOR

Job Description

After 11 years our Home Management Instructor is retiring. You could be the next one! Our employees receive a good benefits package, including staff and student holiday leave, paid leave, excellent medical benefits, an employer contributed 403B retirement program, and paid attendance (including transportation, lodging and stipend) at National Federation of the Blind, state and/or national conventions. You will enjoy working as part of a great team, with the opportunity to develop your program and leadership skills.

For 30 years, Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND, Inc.) has provided small group instruction in the alternative techniques of blindness. Our programs are based on a positive attitude toward blindness and a belief in the normality and competency of blind people. We know that with proper training and opportunity, blind people can live full, happy, and successful lives. We work hard to create an environment that promotes active learning and collegiality where adult students can empower themselves and exceed their expectations.

Successful applicants will be skilled in teaching and versed in the skills of home management, and should believe in the capabilities of blind people. Successful applicants should be passionate about teaching, excited by new challenges, and interested in working as part of a small but energetic team.

All of our instructors undergo staff training in order to ensure that they are fully competent to teach in their subject areas and have a solid understanding of the program and the experiences of students. Therefore, we are willing to work with sighted applicants who have a solid background in teaching home economics, and are willing to learn and practice nonvisual skills using a blindfold. Regularly scheduled in-service/training provide staff with the professional development necessary to optimize teaching effectiveness.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provide individualized instruction in nonvisual alternative techniques to blind adults in all areas of home management, including but not limited to:  food shopping and preparation  budgeting and menu planning  sewing, cleaning, labeling  clothing selection, organization and care  personal management and social skills

2. Provide instruction to up to four adult students in a classroom with two separate kitchens. The number of students may increase during projects such as Thanksgiving dinner. This position coordinates food preparation, serving, and setup for student activities, including student small and large meals. Instruction is done non-visually, with students who have any degree of remaining sight wearing blindfolds (sleepshades).

3. Assist with apartment instruction on a routine basis in order to assess home management skills in the residential environment.

4. Use the curriculum to develop individualized lesson plans and update the curriculum as needed to stay up with current trends and meet the needs of students.

5. Write comprehensive monthly reports on each student describing progress made and goals to be completed over the next month.

6. Participate and assist in all center activities including rock climbing, dogsledding, camping and other challenge recreation activities.

7. Promote the organization’s progressive philosophy of blindness and positive attitudes to students, co-workers and others, and provide support and guidance to students throughout their program.

8. Actively promote the philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind.

9. Other duties as assigned.


1. Advanced skills in the area of home management

2. Willingness to undergo and successfully complete a period of paid staff blindfold training in order to learn or further develop alternative skills of blindness.

3. Ability to plan, organize and develop lessons.

4. Effective written and verbal communication skills and ability to work as part of a team

5. Ability to work with different students in a variety of situations, including the ability to teach/inspire people who can be unmotivated at times. 6. Ability to coordinate residential teaching services with other staff to insure that adult students receive effective apartment instruction.

Preferred Qualifications

1. College degree–preferably in a teaching or individual and family sciences/home economics related field.

2. Experience working with the blind in an instructional setting.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: Dan Wenzel, Executive Director at dwenzel@blindinc.org. We plan to interview in early January, so please submit your resume/cover letter soon to ensure you are considered for an interview.

Please feel free contact Dan Wenzel at 612-872-0100 if you have any questions

Gingerbread Wonderland

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Looking for a fun and inexpensive holiday experience?  Our new tradition is to attend Gingerbread Wonderland at the Norway House in Minneapolis.  There are impressive gingerbread structures made by kids and adults. The creativity and skill shown by local bakers is amazing!  The Gingerbread Wonderland is on display until January 7, 2018.

Target Field Gingerbread Structure

My kids’ favorite—the Giant Slide from the State Fair

Gingerbread Carousel

Rockefeller Center

Gingerbread RV

Summit Avenue Mansion

Norwegian Church

Gingerbread Wonderland Hours

Mondays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wednesdays – 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Thursdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Fridays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Saturdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sundays – 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

913 E Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Admission: $5 for Adults and children over 12. 

Meeting Recap: Holiday Tea

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FCS Professionals kicked off the holiday season with a not-so-traditional tea in Stillwater, Minnesota on Saturday, December 2.  Sandy Nelson, owner of Northern Lights Tea Company started the program by serving their Christmas tea blend called “Noel” which is a black tea with orange peel, apple pieces, almond pieces, cinnamon chips, rose petals and natural flavors of cinnamon, orange spice and orange flavor. While sipping our tea Sandy gave a brief education on the basics of tea, a simplified demonstration of a Chinese tea service and Japanese tea service.  Sandy started her tea shop at the urging of her husband when she returned to Minnesota after living in Germany. Her background is in art.


Some tea tips from Sandy

  1. Constricted tea leaves decreases the flavor so she is not a fan of the “tea bag”.  Instead steep in an infuser or a tea basket as seen here
  2. Store tea in a container with a double lid.  You want no light and no moisture.
  3. Tea will never “go bad”.  It will lose flavor over time but will not spoil.
  4. Tea can be frozen but let it thaw before using it


How to make the perfect cup of tea?  The method depends on the type!

Black Tea:  Use boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes

Green Tea:  Water at 180-190 degrees and steep for 2-4 minutes

White Tea:  Water at 170-180 degrees and steep for 4 minutes


This event was not just about sipping teas–we were also treated to some culinary delights from our own Chef Amy Lawson!  Amy developed recipes using teas from Northern Lights Tea Company.  We enjoyed Spicy Pumpkin Bisque, Havarti Cheese & Cherry Tarts, Brie & Bacon Cigarette Russe, Gouda, Mozzarella & Apple Party Parcels, Tea Braised Pork Tenderloin, and Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cabernet Truffles.  As a special treat, we were able to sample some of Amy’s famous Baklava–this time it was infused with tea!  The tea really cut through the usual sweetness of baklava and was delicious.  Attendees were able to take home the recipes which included Amy’s tricks and tips.  Everyone also was given a lovely poinsettia to take home.   Afterward many members were able to walk to downtown Stillwater for some Christmas shopping on a seasonably warm December afternoon. 


In the News: Wine and Cheese Pairings, Color of the Year, 2018 Trends, and General Mills Has a New Logo

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Here are a few snippets from the news:

  • Many FCS Professionals members might remember Leslie Miller who was our speaker at our fundraiser “Wine at the Westin” a few years ago.  Click this link to a video she shared with wine and cheese pairings
  • Pantone released their 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet.  In this article Time discusses other companies have followed suit with their predictions for the hot colors of 2018. 
  • Speaking of trends for 2018…. this article discusses their predictions for 2018 food trends!
  • Bakingbusiness.com discusses 5 flavor trends for 2018 
  • Food Business News reports on General Mills’ updated logo