Monday, June 25, 2007

Deliciousness in D.C.

I haven't had much time for cooking lately because I've been a weekend jet-setter: My companion and I spent three days in Washington, DC for my college roommate's wedding. It was delightful, as expected. A couple of my favorite epicurean moments from the trip:
  • Spotting attorney-turned-uberbaker-turned Food Network Star Warren Brown at his bakery CakeLove, and scarfing down one of his chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream frosting. (Yes, that's two "butters.")
  • Sipping frosty-cold, slushy, swirled margaritas (1/2 lime, 1/2 strawberry) at Lauriol Plaza (very) shortly after noon on Friday, as well as noshing on masitas de puerco--Cuban pork roasted with bitter oranges.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Day in the 'zoo

I've written a guide to my hometown for the July issue of Lake. I was so happy to have the chance to tout all of my Kalamazoo faves, especially the struan bread and rolls from MacKenzie's Bakery. Every time I'm home I stock up so I can fill my freezer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tastes of summer

It has really started to feel like summer around here, thanks in large part to a great week of eating, drinking, cooking and baking:
  • Our friends Em and Brian made us our very own bottle of homemade limoncello. The best part: we got to sample a fresh batch at their place on a Monday night. Grazie, guys!
  • Rhubarb Custard Bars from Cooking Light. Oh. my. This recipe's a keeper.
  • Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart from Cooking Light. Showing off those adorable fresh strawberries. Time consuming but very satisfying to make.
  • Raspberry Streusel Muffins from the original Silver Palate Cookbook. (Scroll down for recipe.) I vividly remember first making these when I wa 12, and when I interviewed Julee Rosso a few months ago I gushed and gushed about them. Made these for a post-baptism brunch this weekend and they were gone in less then 10 minutes.
  • Further confirmation that I married the right guy: My companion, renaissance man that he is, made fresh fruit trifle and his signature homemade arugula pizza. Swoon.

It's been a great week at the table. May the sugar high never end.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spring Honors

A couple of weeks ago I found out that my work won three awards from the Catholic Press Association. Most people in Columbus know me as a food writer, but writing about religion and spirituality is what got me into this biz in the first place. (And, in truth, it's the work that's still closest to my heart.) What I like to tell people, when they ask what I write about, is that I write about nourishment of all kinds.

Here are my projects from the past year that won the awards:
  • "Uncommon Choir," my two-week travelogue throughout the Pacific Northwest with the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir, won first place for best feature writing (national newspaper category) and second place for best reporting on young adults (same category).
  • "Hollywood and Poverty," my profile of LA filmmaker Gerry Straub, won second place for best profile, national newspaper. Incidentally, the profile that won first place was one that I edited.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'm back!

Happy (almost summer) everyone. I've got lots of exciting writing news to share these days. Columbusites can check out my latest Columbus Monthly article in the magazine's June issue: "From Farm to Fork" takes a close look at the scrumptious results of the collaboration between central Ohio chefs and growers. I've cranked out many feature stories for CM over the past two years, and this was certainly the most fun piece I've worked on for them. It was also a lot of work. A lot. I put many miles on my trusty Toyota visiting the farms, and I spent lots of caffeine-fueled hours at Stauf's in front of my laptop, often ready to tear my hair out while trying to get everything--word choice, heirloom melon monikers, the cadence of the paragraphs--just right. I hope you Columbusites enjoy the, ahem, fruits of my labors.

My companion tells me that the story has gotten several mentions on CD101, as it's one of the featured stories in CM's radio ad for this month. How fun!