If I ever needed to drown my sorrows in a craft cocktail or two, it would be right about now. Unfortunately, Minnesota bars and cocktail rooms are currently closed due to the pandemic, and my home bartending skills are mediocre at best. But never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of humans where intoxicating substances are concerned.
The Twin Cities restaurant community has given me so much over the past several years, professionally and personally. At this unprecedentedly difficult time, I want to use my small platform to support this creative, generous, and hardworking group of people as much as I can.
I don't know what came first: my penchant for baking muffins or Mike's penchant for eating them. After a years-long run of cereal and several months of toasted English muffins, he has settled into a...
Lately, my Instagram feed is populated with photos that I refer to as #quarantinegoals. Instant ramen doctored with about 20 different ingredients, none of which I have in my pantry. Perfectly shaped...
When everything is so tenuous and uncertain, it doesn't make sense to formulate plans that might get cancelled and ruminate about the future. But only living in the moment—a moment that's dark and terrifying, a moment when I'm struggling so much—isn't an appealing thought either. I need to look forward to the future, to the really important things and to the frivolous things and to everything in between.
My life has taken a lot of weird twists and turns (I'm a freelance food and travel journalist with a math degree). One of the most important ones is something that I don't write about all that much here on the blog: running.
I've spent my fair share of nights in hotels, bed and breakfasts, and Airbnbs. Almost all of them have been clean, comfortable places to stay. Some of them have been excellent. And a handful have been so unique, so picturesque, or served such an amazing breakfast (this is a food blog, after all) that they were more than a place to sleep—they've lingered in my mind to become some of my favorite travel memories.
Lately, my baked good of choice is muffins. I like muffins because they're reassuring and reliable. They freeze well. And I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand, so I can make a batch whenever I need the comfort of measuring out ingredients and want to show my love in flour and sugar.
Mike and I have done a lot of traveling together, and it's impossible to pick a favorite destination. But our favorite place to return to? That's Maui. We love the beauty, the culture, the beaches, the sunsets.
It's officially been two years since I quit my day job to pursue my writing career. Last year, I wrote a post about my reflections one year in, so I wanted to check in with an update on my second year of full-time freelance life.
Last fall, I took a press trip to Tampa, Florida. I got to stay in a cool hotel in a former courthouse, and I saw a dolphin on my morning run. I checked out a food court made from shipping containers, sipped cocktails at a rooftop bar, and took lots of photos. And I ate plenty of delicious food...
As you may have noticed from my posts about Maui and Hilo, I have a thing for shave ice. It's the perfect pick-me-up on a hot Hawaiian afternoon, and it's also a local specialty that you probably won't find on the mainland. Wondering what the deal is with the brightly-hued dessert pictured above? Here's your guide to Hawaiian shave ice.
Kansas City-based Paleterias Tropicana is a restaurant that defies a simple description. The company started in 2004 as an ice cream parlor, serving housemade Mexican-style ice cream and paletas (ice pops). But then the menu kept expanding. There's a lineup of smoothies, made from the fresh fruit piled behind the counter...
As I mentioned in my Maui post, the Road to Hana is a winding and narrow rainforest drive that's a highway only in the technical sense of the term. Distance-wise, it's only about 60 miles to Hana, but your journey will take all day: there's a 25 mph speed limit for much of the route, dozens of one-lane bridges, frequent photo stops, detours for hikes, and multiple swimming opportunities.
2018 was the first year I published a list of the best foods I ate. I started the list at the beginning of December, so my memory was a bit hazy on some of the details, and I had to rely on Instagram photos, blog posts, and articles. This year, I kept a running "best foods" post in my drafts all year long. As I added to the post—a dessert here, an appetizer there—I realized that I wasn't only making a list of foods.
Over my past decade of travel, I've stayed at boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts. I've checked into budget motels and hostels. I've rented Airbnb apartments and cabins at national parks. I've stayed on a boat and at the world's only Frank Lloyd Wright hotel. Nothing prepared me for the Chateau Avalon in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City, Kansas might be most famous for its iconic barbecue, but there's much more to the city's food scene besides smoked meat. Partly, that's due to Kansas City's diversity: there isn't an ethnic majority, and students in the public schools speak 200 different languages. In addition to that rich cultural diversity, Kansas City has a vibrant community of family-owned restaurants and local food producers, some of which have been...