living our sweet midwest life

From “too much social talking” to Podcast Host.

Welcome to Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens podcast, a show for people who embrace the warm and cozy spirit of everyday living in the northern Midwest. Whether you cook, bake, or have food delivery on speed dial, everyone has a comforting recipe or story to share. We bake cookies for our kids’ hockey teams and bring cheesy hash browns to funerals. Lefse and krumkake are in our DNA. Candy bars and apples make a salad. We’ll ditch work for a lake day, drive an hour for an old-fashioned bakery, and don wool mittens at 20 below and shorts once it’s 50. 

24. Fudge, Tacos, Fruits, Vegetables, Smoothies, Cocktails, Chicken Alfredo, and All Things Vitamix with Leah Brink Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens

You are going to love today’s guest—my friend and a true Midwesterner, Leah Brink has lived in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and for nearly 20 years, she’s called Brookings, South Dakota home. She’s the kind of person who brings the fun to a party. It was her idea to start our show making strawberry daiquiris in my kitchen, and I certainly didn’t argue with that!   She speaks frankly about the influence her mom had on her philosophy regarding food, and how her short-lived rebellion led to her own goal of fitting more fruits and vegetables into her and her family’s lifestyle, in more of a lifelong, enthusiastic way. But don't worry. Along with the nutrient-packed smoothies Leah starts her day with, and the salsa, soup, Caesar dressing, bean dip, and hummus she makes in her Vitamix blender, we still talk about Cajun cream sauce, chicken alfredo, decadent fudge, and Taco John’s. See her recipes on this post on   Leah is a second-generation South Dakota State University alum, with her daughter, Maddie, a junior SDSU Political Science major with a goal to attend law school. Her son, David, will graduate Brookings High School in 2024, so she has one year left of being a busy baseball and hockey mom.   Leah has spent her professional life in a variety of careers, from property management and owning and operating a restaurant, to international services which gave her the opportunity to travel to London 15 times, to corporate recruiting, and most recently, a marketing and training executive. But she doesn’t limit herself to whatever her current job role is. Leah commits to understanding her community and using her skills to play a part in it, like serving on countless boards and commissions, performing as her church’s pianist and organist for 14 years, plus, she served three years as an elected city councilor.    She’s one of the smartest, polished, and energetic people I know, yet, she humbly champions for her family, friends, and community of entrepreneurs. Leah loves being a South Dakotan, and she cherishes her childhood memories of picking potatoes, and tending to the raspberries and strawberries at her grandma’s farm in rural Trent.    Leah shared her recipes for good greens smoothies and strawberry daiquiris, and photos of her family and her Vitamix blender creations so while you’re listening to this episode, visit This episode is not sponsored or endorsed by Vita-Mix Corporation. But just like friends chat about stuff that makes our lives easier, and more fun and meaningful, I’m excited to hear all about Leah’s experience with her new blender—as she says, “the kitchen tool I never knew I needed.”  Vitamix Pro 750 Heritage Series (affiliate link) Biscuit Love Recipes: Website:  Instagram: @potatoesandmittens Instagram: @randomsweets Facebook: Random Sweets — Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
  1. 24. Fudge, Tacos, Fruits, Vegetables, Smoothies, Cocktails, Chicken Alfredo, and All Things Vitamix with Leah Brink
  2. 23. Smoking Cheese, Pulled Pork and Ham with Russell Ziegler
  3. 22. Eating Kuchen, Mexican Corn, Pickle Dip, and Fried Knoephla & Sauerkraut Pulled Pork and Cruising the River in North Dakota with Betsy Ziegler
  4. 21. Bake With Me: Tangled Caramel Peanut Butter Corn Chips
  5. 20. Changing a Child’s Story with Ashley Rhodes-Courter and East Central CASA
  6. 19. What Are Funeral Potatoes and Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole?
  7. 18. Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Peanut Buster Bars, and Marie's Beans with Marie Mergenthal
  8. 17. Our Top 5 Restaurants and More in Gulf Shores Alabama
  9. 16. Taking a Break from Midwest Winter in Gulf Shores Alabama with Jason Mergenthal
  10. 15. Quick and Easy Recipes and Pantry Items to Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings