The Emperor Has Underwear. . . and Maybe a Pair of Socks

What you drink from matters. No question. Good coffee will be ruined by a Styrofoam, waxed, or plastic vessel (and here, I include all those plastiform travel mugs distributed by SA). Water leaches toxins from petroleum-based bottles. Anything out of an aluminum can tastes like. . . .aluminum can. Chunky little Chinese bowl cups somehow […]

Spring Break

Ah. . . .spring break. I don’t know what the words conjure up for you. For me, a college professor and parent, spring break means two things: a week of stupid, drunken antics that tend to leave my students hungover, pregnant, and/or diseased, and a week of sleeping in, being bored, and watching too much […]

Get Corked for a Cause at FireLake

Let’s face it. The economy sucks. Doesn’t matter who you are these days, you’re feeling the squeeze. Soaring gas prices, plummeting real estate values, low returns on your mutual funds. So what do you do? You cut out the non-essentials: fine wine, fancy dinners, charitable giving. After all, who has the money to go out […]

At Cue: A Thinking Woman's Wines

She may look like a lost cast member from Charmed, the former WB’s show for Gothic teenyboppers that featured beautiful, modern-day witches living in San Francisco, fighting evil lords, and dyeing their long, silky hair. But Jessica Nielsen is, in fact, the wine captain at Cue and a first-level accredited sommelier (which is rare these […]

Going Wilde

I have to admit, when Wilde Roast Cafe first opened its doors back in 2004, I was a little underwhelmed. It was, for one thing, hidden — at the tail end of the "working" segment of East Hennepin, and turned sideways so it was hard to spot. Inside, it was quaint and roomy, with a […]

The Next Best Thing to Breast

Back in the late 1980’s, when I was weaning my oldest child and attending meetings of the breastfeeding network La Leche League, I became convinced that pasteurized milk was the root of all evil. Hey, I was 22 years old. I’d fed my darling infant nothing but 100 percent pure breastmilk for the first 10 […]

Getting Lucky with Gabriel James

About three months ago, John and I decided we were in a rut. We went out to eat and then to a movie; we went to a movie and got a bite to eat. There was something missing. Music. So we pledged to go out at least twice a month and listen to some band […]

Is Italian Garbage Making You Sick?

Photo by the Associated Press.   While in Italy earlier this month, my husband and I cancelled our trip to Naples and headed instead to the north from Rome. We’d been going to visit the southern region mostly because we wanted to see Mt. Vesuvius and tour the wineries in Campania, where one of my […]

"God talked to me today"

The first time it happened, he was sitting in the kitchen behind me. I was at the counter cutting vegetables for dinner when my older son said, "When God talked to me earlier today, before I went to school…" That’s how he spoke as a child. He was only 11, but his diction was formal, […]

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: Tuscan Princess and Peasant Chef

Southern Italy is full of svelte young women running around in black leather coats and exquisite, sharp-pointed shoes who eat pasta every day. I don’t know how they do it. Yes, I’m referring to the shoes in part: torturous contraptions that look as if they could cause hammer toes within about an hour. But more […]