A street lined with small shops, each decorated with fresh pine boughs and Christmas wreaths. Dozens of Christmas trees. Twinkling luminaries along the sidewalks. It sounds like an illustration from the front of a Christmas card, or maybe the opening scene of a Hallmark Channel holiday movie. But actually, I'm in Iowa's Amana Colonies.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm working with Barlean's this month to promote their Seriously Delicious Omega-3s. Omega-3s are the healthy fats found in fish and flaxseeds, and Barlean's Seriously Delicious Omega-3s are a sweet and creamy way to add them to your diet.
Culinary truths my mom taught me: 1) The best part of a loaf of bread is the crusty end. My mom refers to it as the "gunta", a term she picked up from her Finnish-American grandmother—I think it's a...
This month, I'm working with Barlean's to promote their Seriously Delicious Omega-3s. What are Omega-3s? They're the healthy fats found in fish and flaxseeds. Barlean's Seriously Delicious Omega-3s are emulsified for three times better absorption than traditional liquid or soft gel fish or flax oils, so you get more Omega-3s without an aftertaste.
As I mentioned in my post about 5 reasons pears are the perfect fruit for fall, pears are a tasty pairing for fall flavors like roasted squash and maple. As part of that post, I developed a recipe for a Roasted Squash and Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
At a recent work event in Minneapolis, someone asked me what I had been up to over the summer. "I've been traveling a lot," I said. "I've been doing some press trips—one through Wisconsin, one in Iowa, and I'm going to North Dakota next week." A colleague sitting next to me rolled his eyes. "Wow," he said sarcastically. "You're really hitting the highlights."
A perk of my job as a freelance writer is that I often get to check out restaurants before they open to the public. Sometimes it's pretty informal—I take some photos of the space, interview the owners, and maybe get to sample some food—and other times, there's a structured media preview event. In order to write my post for City Pages about Keg and Case, the food hall in St. Paul that opened in September 2018...
As an introverted person and an introverted traveler, New Orleans has never been a destination at the top of my list. If it was a person, New Orleans would be the life of the party. I'm the person who's standing off by the buffet, nervously eating hors d'oeuvres and counting down the minutes until I can leave.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I attended the International Food Blogger Conference in August. Blogging conferences are a great way to learn about new opportunities in the industry, get ideas about how to be more effective, and network with fellow bloggers and brands. If you happen to be me, blogging conferences are also a great way to make you feel insecure about your blog, your career path, and your hair.
As I've mentioned previously, my travel goal this year has been to explore my own backyard. Travel doesn't need to be far-flung to be satisfying, and some of my favorite travel memories are from trips close to home: wine tasting in the St. Croix Valley, taking a cheap trip to Germany via New Ulm, and doing a food tour in Stillwater. So this year, to celebrate our ten-year anniversary(!) as a couple, Mike and I took a very short jaunt to St. Paul...
Hands down, the best thing about the 2018 International Food Blogger Conference I attended in New Orleans last month was the food. Between small bites from restaurants and samples from producers, I got a taste for some of New Orleans' best local flavors. Here are my favorites.
As I mentioned in my summer recap, I haven't been trying new recipes lately. When my life gets overwhelming—and between traveling, freelancing, blogging, and trying to stay on an even keel emotionally...
First things first: the Quad Cities are actually made up of five cities. On the Iowa side of the Mississippi, there's Davenport and Bettendorf; across the river in Illinois, there's Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline. Each city has its own unique character, but they share a focus on the Mississippi River thanks to numerous bridges, riverside parks and trails, and the Channel Cat water taxi route.
One of my long-standing blog traditions is my annual summer recap post. In past years, that's taken the form of a list. But 2018 has been a different sort of summer, and this is a different sort of recap.
The biggest contradiction of my life is that I'm a city girl who needs the woods. I love the dining options, entertainment, and energy of a big city, but I also need solitary time in green space to feel balanced. Cedar Falls, Iowa is basically my ideal destination. The compact downtown features dozens of shops and restaurants, but there are also miles and miles of wooded trails and a state park within walking distance.
Mason City, Iowa feels like a small Midwestern city straight out of central casting. In a way, it is—The Music Man composer Meredith Willson grew up in Mason City and modeled River City after the town. Frank Lloyd Wright, who focused his early career on developing a uniquely American style of architecture...
Mike and I fell in love with afternoon tea during our trip to London. Since then, we'll occasionally treat ourselves to a fancy tea like our Valentine's Day splurge at The Mad Hatter, but usually we have our tea at home on Sunday afternoons. Mike boils a pot of water in our electric kettle and we each pick out a tea bag from our vast selection.