Category Archives: Eats

The Taco Bell Diaries

Some of the daily food choices students make at Taco Bell

Some of the daily food choices students make at Taco Bell

Taco Bell has a gravitational pull on the students of North Lakes Academy. It could be the various taco treats that the menu provides, the unique flavor of beef and processed meats, or the atmosphere and familiarity of Taco Bell’s employees that grabs the attention of students. Regardless of these facts, Taco Bell has become a hotspot for students who need something to eat, or simply a place to stay.

The root of my taco addictions began with a group of Juniors in the year of 2012. I first came to NLA my freshman year of High School that same year, not knowing what to expect since I had previously been homeschooled my entire life. During my time at NLA I was introduced to a group of Juniors through a basketball program. These young men guided me through the majority of my lower classmen years, and were a continuous light of guidance during their time here. They shaped my character, as well as the emphatic addiction I developed for crunch wraps and gordita crunches. Before every basketball practice, every day, these Juniors would leave school to satisfy their taco fix at the Bell. Eventually, after a series of events, I and countless others were hooked on Taco Bell’s unique flavor. We visited Taco Bell every day before practice alongside our upperclassmen to indulge our taste buds in the heavenly, beefy goodness that only Taco Bell could provide. I credit the introduction of my Taco Bell addiction to alumni Cody Warren, who I know is proud that we continue to carry the torch in continuing his legacy.  Throughout High School many of my peers have joined our graduated upperclassmen in carrying this legacy. These are their stories, these are the Taco Bell Diaries.

Travis enjoying his Cinnabon's for the first time, enjoying the flavor and texure fo the creamy ball

Travis enjoying his Cinnabon’s for the first time, enjoying the flavor and texture of the creamy ball

Travis Fish is a Junior at NLA, and has been attending this school since his fifth grade year. Before coming to NLA’s upper campus his freshman year he had never developed a true appreciation for the wonders of Taco Bell. Once he became a part of the culture here at NLA he fell into the trap quickly. “Started going to Taco Bell every day before practice, kind of stuck.” Fish stated, explaining the beginning of his fixation for the Bell. Travis regularly goes to Taco Bell to settle his appetite after school. It’s become a common habit for students across the board at NLA. “When the new Cinnabon Delights came out for the first time… I was like, holy crap these things are amazing. I ended up getting like three orders of them.” Fish explained, emphasizing the taste of the white cream filling that every Cinnabon Delight posses. Travis has been attending Taco Bell regularly now and credits his dedication to the four alumnus Cody Warren, Dylan Beatty, Derek Beatty and Marshall Beyer, who created the legacy that now he has a part in carrying out.

Aaron Herr and Brandon Rowe are both Juniors at NLA who share the same love for Taco Bell. Both of these students developed their cravings around their freshman year, Aaron was influenced by the alumnus and Brandon by his friends. Aaron and Brandon have had countless adventures that always end with Taco Bell, just like the rest of us. “Noah broke this sauce packet once all over the window, and Sunitha (an employee at Taco Bell) made him clean it up… that was the first day after the new remodel” Aaron said with a slight smile on his face, “We’ve had a lot of good times”. Brandon and one of his close friends visit Taco Bell every morning on Fridays for the unique breakfast they provide, “It’s a fun tradition that makes me look forward to the end of the week”. These two have had their fair share of crunchwraps, breakfast burritos and quesadillas, but they still continue to devote their dollars to the Bell. Not only is the food affordably delicious, but the memories are priceless.

William Tiedeman is also a Junior at NLA who has been attending the school since his fifth grade year. He’s seen the school evolve in many ways, including the Taco Bell takeover which occurred over his freshman year. He visits the Bell regularly thanks to the influential power of his peers, “I never really liked it (Taco Bell)  when I was younger, but during high school I began to finally enjoy it as soon as my friends started going regularly”. Along with the famed food that Taco Bell prides themselves in, it has become a place of memories for William. “There was one time we were throwing snowballs in Brandon Flasch’s (an alumnus of NLA) car, it was really funny, he just got his BMW, it was like January, and he left his moon roof open or something. So we threw snowballs all over his leather seats.” Will claimed barely keeping himself together, holding in laughter as he spoke.

Although Taco Bell has been labeled an addiction throughout this article, it’s a lot more than that. It’s not just a physical or psychological habit. It’s a way of life for students at NLA. Students and graduates of all sorts have ventured the quarter mile walk, or driven daily, during their high school years to the Bell. Students go before practices, rehearsals or straight after school with nothing to do but enjoy the aroma and taste of Taco Bell. It’s become a place of safety for students at NLA.

We want to thank the staff of the Forest Lake Taco Bell of Minnesota. We thank you for the home you have provided for us, the five star beefy goodness, as well as the friendly service we’ve been offered over the years. It is because of these employees that our students remain devoted towards this restaurant. On behalf of NLA’s student body, this article is dedicated to their service, we thank you.


Editorial by Noah Nei


Cinco De Mayo

On Monday, May 5th, North Lakes Academy’s level two Spanish classes hosted a fiesta for the school in celebration of Cinco De Mayo. During the fiesta, students provided various authentic Spanish foods and drinks for the school to enjoy.

Zoe Deal (10), who participated in the festivities, said “I really liked Cassy’s cheesecake and I also had nachos which is always good, Ryan’s chip dip was good too.”

Unfortunately for some very upset U.S. History students, Mr. Nelson’s fourth hour class was not able to enjoy the fiesta. Nelson told his students that he would not allow them to participate in the festivities until they had finished their assignments.

Although History students weren’t able to participate in the fiesta, overall the feedback was positive for the event. Montes told his students that they had “come through” once again, and he is excited to continue the tradition next year.


NLA Visits Festival of Nations

Last Friday, over half of the student body went on a field trip to the Festival of Nations. The Festival of Nations was held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre and showcased a variety of food, exhibits, merchandise and performances from over 100 nations across the globe. Students had the opportunity to immerse themselves into a wide variety of sights, smells, tastes and cultures that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Students also had the option to purchase a passport to remember all of the countries and cultures they were able to learn about. Many students had a positive experience at the Festival of Nations.

Haley Hutchinson (11) said, “I ate food. That’s all I did. I ate pizza. It was good. Oh wait, I watched the dancers and they were really good.”

“Well I wandered around and I got lost but the food was good and it was really fun being able to be with friends.” Zoe Deal(10) commented about her experience.

Logan Haller (10) said, “The bazar was packed and so many kids had those loud bird whistles.”

Even though many students were annoyed with those loud bird whistles, students thoroughly enjoyed the Festival of Nations.

Cinco de Mayo Party

This year is the third year Mr. Montes’s Spanish classes will be hosting a party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The Spanish one students will decorate the halls and the Spanish two students will be cooking traditional food. This is always a fun time to take a break and enjoy Spanish fun.

The party is an opportunity to have fun and learn about the Spanish culture in a different way. It’s an exciting time with school winding down and may term coming to have a party.

Kids are excited to cook traditional foods like tacos, nachos, and traditional Spanish cake and cuisine.

Josie Schlosser will be making fruit smoothie drinks while Sophie Crowell will be making churros. Sydney Welsh will be making Guatemalan rice. That’s only just a few off the dishes that will be served for the event.

Although the idea is already highly anticipated this year, Mr. Montes is still hopeful for the tradition to continue and already finding ways to improve the event. Mr. Montes spoke about an idea for next year, “next year the French kids could put up a table.” he said eagerly hoping to expand the event.

The party will be during fourth block and will be lots of fun with foods, music and decorations. Come and enjoy Spanish culture and food.

Taco Bell Breakfast

On March 27th, Taco Bell unveiled a new line of breakfast foods to serve to their customers. They have released various delectable breakfast creations such as the Sausage Flatbread Melt, the Breakfast Burrito and the AM Grilled Taco. One of the most creative and popular items added to the menu is the Waffle Taco.

The Waffle Taco, according to the Taco Bell website, is a “warm waffle filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of bacon or sausage served with a sweet side of syrup.”

Another popular breakfast menu item is the AM Crunchwrap. The Taco Bell website describes the AM Crunchwrap as, “Fluffy scrambled eggs, a golden crispy hash brown, real cheddar cheese, creamy jalapeño sauce and your choice of bacon, sausage or steak wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla and grilled, so it’s good to go.”

As many of you may know, Taco Bell is very popular among the students at North Lakes Academy. The news of the long-awaited arrival of the delectable delicacy known as Taco Bell breakfast spread across the school like wildfire. Many students even received free breakfast coupons from the management at the local Taco Bell as a reward for their daily visits to the fast food chain. Many students enjoyed the new Taco Bell breakfast items and had plenty to say about them and whether or not it lived up to the hype students had given it before they’d even tried it.

When Haley Hutchinson (11) was asked what she thought of the breakfast, all she could say was, “It was delicious!”

When Jackson Newbauer (11) was asked what he thought of his breakfast, he said, “It was bien. No, not just bien, Muy Bien!”

These were just two opinions that can be closely compared to the student body’s reaction towards the new breakfast. If the rest of the world agrees with North Lakes, then the Taco Bell breakfast was overall, a success.

Lesbe Honest about NLA’s Lunches

“You’re not going to hurt our feelings,” said Mary, the owner of Done Right Foods, to Mr. Stewart’s advisory.

The current catering company at North Lakes Academy, Done Right Foods Catering, was looking to students for opinions and suggestions regarding the meals they serve students. During advisory last Monday, three representatives of the company came in to talk to students about their menu.

In Ms.Goulet’s advisory, Mary introduced her company’s goal, “We do healthy food. We do not serve junk food, it would go against my philosophy.”

Trying to get student input, she asked questions like ‘What don’t you like?’ and ‘What is your favorite item on the menu?’

Unfortunately, other than a few statements, students in both Mr.Stewart and Ms.Goulets advisories stayed quiet.

“We didn’t really talk much in the meeting because I feel like everyone was just shy. They didn’t really want to speak their feelings, I guess,” said Liv Dufour (10), who is part of Ms. Goulet’s advisory.

Other students in Ms.Goulet’s advisory of sophomores (and one junior) agreed. But why did one of the most opinionated group of students at NLA not speak up?

“I kinda feel like we didn’t say much because we didn’t want to insult them,” said Keeley Gray (10) also from Ms. Goulet’s, “Lesbe honest.”

The conversation was quite one sided in the room, apart from a few suggestions including having more chicken in menu items with chicken, and different fruits like strawberries. Mary responded with an analysis of the price of lunches and said how adding those items would raise it.

After some conversations with students in the meetings, the conclusion is that a written anonymous survey would be the best way for Done Right Food to get the answers they are seeking.

Halloween Candy Bananaza

Every 31st day of October there is a very special “holiday” that a few high school students still celebrate: Halloween. Children and even some teens go knocking on strangers’ doors and get free candy. A person can get nearly a full pillow sack, and in that mix, everyone has their favorite kind.

The Husky Press did a poll and found that the most loved candy was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, followed by Kit Kats. Butterfingers were third in line.

Most students reported saving their favorites for last. A couple students chose both (eating a piece or two of one’s favorite candy now and then eating all of the other candy and then the rest of your favorite candy).

This is, of course, among the students who still go out trick or treating – only a handful still do.

LeeAnn Chin Review

I recently had the opportunity to eat out at the famous LeeAnn Chin restaurant. It had been a while since I had been there and I could not even remember what I had eaten the last time I was there. I could not remember if I liked it or not. I was happily surprised at how wonderful all the food tasted.

P21875 CHINESE PG16LeeAnn Chin actually was not a cook when she started her career. Unknown to me, was that LeAnn was a seamstress by trade in her early adult years. LeAnn was however, to the likeness of Martha Stuart, known to be a great hostess. She served amazing meals and hors d’oeuvres  to her family and guests. Her entertainment menu was so fantastic that she started getting requests from people to do catering. Her catering business grew quickly and demand started to swell for her delicious Mongolian, Hunan and Szechuan style foods. LeeAnn then found people asking her to show them how to prepare these wonderful meals. It was not long before LeeAnn found herself teaching cooking classes in Edina, Minnesota. The restaurant was to follow in only a matter of time. The demand for LeeAnn’s foods was widespread and she started offering the savory dishes in fast food style to places like Dayton’s Department store and eventually her foods were in Lund’s and Byerlie’s food stores across the twin cities. LeeAnn Chin has about 40 outlets now. She has made it available in sit-down or take-out style.

Some of her popular dishes are her Bourbon chicken, Orange chicken and her variety of Mongolian soups such as the popular egg drop. She also has delicious dumplings for sale. If you are a rice lover, there are varieties of that as well. LeeAnn Chin has fresh desert yogurts for sale along with an offering of fresh fruits for toppings. You can always count on a special fortune cookie, making it just a whole lot more fun. LeeAnn’s foods are not only known for quality, but LeeAnn Chin’s restaurants are also known for maintaining good pricing.

LeeAnn Chin passed away on March 10, 2010, in Seattle, Washington. Her legacy lives on in all the traditional and flavorful recipes being prepared in the approximate 40 locations serving people in all styles of life each day.

I enjoy going to LeeAnn Chins restaurants because I love that style of cooking. The smells when I walk in the door entice me to sit down and eat everything on the menu. I love egg rolls and dipping sauces. I also look forward to the fortune cookies in the end, even when they don’t say anything I understand. I love the convenient locations as our family can stop there after shopping at Riverdale and take some of our favorite dishes home. I wish LeeAnn could still be here so she could teach me how to prepare all her favorite dishes and give me tips on planning a party. LeeAnn Chin is a very admirable person and had a huge impact on the Twin Cities and beyond. Her sharing her cooking and talents are missed.

Christmas Cookies!

untitledChristmas is fast approaching, Santa Claus is getting ready, and all the elves are working hard. During Christmas break the best thing to do is make cookies that everyone will enjoy!

1. Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies: These cookies are delicious and festive!


-1 red velvet cake mix
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Powdered sugar, for rolling the cookies


1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2). In a large bowl, combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in powdered sugar until fully coated. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are set and cookies begin to crack

2. Oreo Cheesecake Cookies: These may not be the most festive, but they sure are delicious.


-1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

-1 cup granulated sugar

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1 cup all purpose flour

-1/2 cup chocolate chips

-1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

-1 cup Oreos, crushed


1).Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2). In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.

3). Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

4). Place the Oreo cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Scoop the cookies into about 1½ to 2″ balls and then roll in the cookie crumbs. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

5). Enjoy!

3. Reindeer Cookies: Reindeer are an essential part of Christmas cookies and these are as cute as buttons! They are simply gingerbread cookies flipped upside- down with frosting and gumdrops for a nose!


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon baking powder

-8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

-1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar

-2 teaspoons ground ginger

-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

– 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

– 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

-1 large egg

-3/4 cup unsulfured molasses


Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl; set aside.

Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed , about 2 minutes; mix in spices and salt. Mix in egg and molasses. Add flour mixture, mix on low speed until combined. Divide dough in half, pat into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

Fit a pastry bag with a 5/16-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #3); fill with 1/2 cup untinted royal icing. Tie end with a rubber band.

To make reindeer, use a gingerbread-man cutter to make cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, and refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Bake until cookies are firm but not burnt, 8 to 10 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, let cool a little bit, and transfer to a pastry bag fitted. Line the face and antlers with chocolate, sprinkle antlers with sugar. Use white chocolate chips for eyes, line melted chocolate onto chips for pupils. Use red candy-coated chocolates for noses. Cut gumdrops, and place one piece on each ear.

Enjoy all the yummy Christmas cookies!

Fall Treats

Fall Treats 

         It’s fall time and people are cooking up some great snacks to eat. What’s fall without you homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream? Or cinnamon  applesauce? Those are a necessity to have to forget the warm sun and nice weather. ( well you will not forget that it’s turning cold) Here are a few fall favorites that most will enjoy!

Pumpkin seed who cares that Halloween is over, it don’t mean you can not eat pumpkin seeds. All you will need to make this crunchy snack is a pumpkin, water, salt and a stove. “I make Pumpkin seeds every year, its a great snack to eat, and its healthy.” Says Dawn C.

step 1: cut the pumpkin open from the top.

step 2: carve out the pumpkin and save the seeds, maybe put them a separate bowl.

step 3: since Halloween is over, you don’t really need the pumpkin, unless you will be making pumpkin pie, but that is a different recipe. So throw the pumpkin put and clear your space.

step 4: clean the seeds off making sure no guts are remaining

step 5: dump the water and spread the seeds on a cookie sheet, sprinkle salt on them as they are wet so it sticks.

step 6: turn on the oven to 325 degrees and place the sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes or until turning a light brown. Let them cool and then enjoy!

Caramel  Apples.

 Caramel apples are a yummy juicy treat for those who like apples and Caramel. It is an easy treat to make and it is also healthy! (Well minus the chocolate and Caramel, then yes it is.) it is not recommended for those who has braces. To make this treat, you will need apples, and kind, Carmel or/and  chocolate,any sides such as sprinkles or nuts, wax paper, and wooden sticks, or you can use forks.

step 1: grab some apples, or how many that you need.
step 3: poke the fork or stick through the apple.
step 4:  take the Caramel or chocolate and melt it in a bowl. While that is cooking, lay out a sheet f wax paper that fits all the apples without touching.

step 5: once the  the chocolate is melted, stir it  and make sure it is melted, not burnt.
step 6: pick one of the apples up and dunk it into the bowl by holding the end of the stick or fork. Stir the apple around making sure the apple is at least 3/4 dipped with chocolate.
step 7: lay the apple on the wax paper. Now is the time to add your sprinkles or nuts.
step 8: repeat steps 4-6 then enjoy!


Apple sauce is a yummy healthy snack that can be eaten all year, but in some places, you can only make it scratch right off the tree in fall. “I have Made applesauce before and I love it! I would eat it every day for the rest of my life if I could!” Says Kayla O.
step 1: if you have or know anyone, go pick some apples, better ask before you go picking off apples from the neighbors tree.
step 2:  bring them inside and wash them good.
step 3:  now peel the peel of the apples. You use a potato peeler, or a table clip apple peeler (peeling is optional)
step 4:  if you have an apple cutter, which cuts the apples in segments and takes the core out, that works bust. Otherwise cut it. Y hand and take out the core.
step 5: grab a pot and add an inch or two of water to it. You can also splash some apple juice with it. Then add the apples and then turn the heat on high
step 6: separate the juice, and save it. It’s apple juice! Then squash the apples either with a spoon in a bowl, or using  a hand-cranked Foley food mill.
step 7: enjoy!

now that you have found good recipes to make next time for a party, dinner or special occasion, it will spice everything up!