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MickyN

My review of the new Colectivo Coffee location in Logan Square: in every coffee there’s a story!

Have you ever wondered who grows the coffee you enjoy every morning? The liquid gold that wakes us up and caresses our senses with tons of fresh aromas has a story – and oftentimes we forget all about it. Thankfully, things are about to change. A Milwaukee-based coffee company aims to stand out from the crowd by telling amazing stories about their coffee producers as well as selling their delicious coffee. The name of the company is Colectivo Coffee, and they have recently opened a café in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Does coffee need stories? Having listened to Colectivo’s reps and having tried the coffee they sell, my answer to this question is a resounding yes!

I visited the new Colectivo Coffee location (their second in Chicagoland) one late December afternoon with my friend Marina. The wind was piercingly cold, and as we parked and crossed the grainy, salt-covered street, we were both looking for a respite from the frigid weather. Once we entered the new Colectivo coffee shop, everything fell into place – for me, forever the warmth-seeker, anyway 🙂 Keep Reading

Happy holidays!

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season, with cheerfulness and good health all-around – and, of course, many presents from Santa 😉

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate Christmas 🙂

Book reviews: Give the gift of quality reading this holiday season!

Writing a book is like running the marathon – or at least this is how I remember the experience. It is intense. For months on end you worry about every single detail in the upcoming book, sometimes obsessively so. You wake up in the middle of the night and think of pics or sections (will the cover pic really work? Does my argument is strong enough in that chapter?). You constantly recheck your writing despite having editors on hand to help you with the job. In the end however, the stress and trepidation are so worth it: the book you hold, fresh off the press, is a labor of love and a work of art. It is your heart writ large on every page and picture 🙂

I read a lot of academic books during the school semester, but during the break I like to switch gears and to focus on books which satisfy the other half of my self: cooking! Recently I came across two cookbooks which would make excellent holiday gifts for foodies and non-foodies alike. The detailed explanations, stunning pictures and overall exquisite mixture of style and substance make these cookbooks stand out from the crowd in the best possible way.  Keep Reading

CLOSED Nielsen-Massey & McCrea’s holiday gift review and giveaway: It’s the perfect foodie present!

Update: This giveaway is closed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always very excited to receive gourmet gifts. Nothing makes me happier than a bottle of grapeseed oil, or a jar of fine pesto, or some tahini with an intriguing story, or a candy bar which reminds me of my beloved England, or… You get the idea 😉 I see such gifts as a window of opportunity: they’re my chance to experiment, to get out of the routine, to finally be myself in the midst of a crazy, busy world. As someone who appreciates gourmet gift-giving, I’m always on the lookout for high quality presents to share with foodie friends. Sometimes however, finding the perfect food-centered gift can be difficult. Equally important, what should I give to a foodie who (almost) has it all?

Thankfully, I found a way to solve my gift-giving dilemmas recently, when I was contacted by Nielsen-Massey to review the gift basket they had designed in partnership with McCrea’s Candies. As someone who had collaborated with Nielsen-Massey in the past, I was interested to review the latest Nielsen-Massey holiday gift suggestions, especially since they involved a partnership with a caramel-making company. Vanilla sugar and sea salt caramels in the same box? Count me in!

Keep Reading

My review of the Krusteaz Holiday Cookie Helper: the story of my cookie swap success!

At no other time does the magic of baking become more tangible or appealing than during the holiday season. To me, this is a blessed time, when memories are made and cherished forever. The smell of freshly baked sweet delights, the cozy heat emanating from the oven, the impatience in my daughter’s eyes as she builds miniature castles out of cookie dough leftovers – these are moments that will stay with me despite the passing of time. What can I say? I just love the holiday season!

While I am more of a cake person, my daughter is a big cookie fan, who thinks a cookie a day keeps the boredom away 🙂 Lately, I have been using my time off to bake cookies for her and to give them away to friends and co-workers. What kind of cookies should I share during the holiday season? I often have trouble answering this question: I want to impress and to bake something that represents me, but time is short, I get impatient with my old recipe book, and my daughter is still too young to help mommy answer these sorts of questions 😉

Thankfully, recently I came across a quick and fun way to find the perfect cookie recipe to share: the Holiday Cookie Helper by Krusteaz. Keep Reading

Zoup! giveaway: Here are the winners!

Thank you all for entering my Zoup! giveaway and letting us know your favorite soups. The five winners are:

Traci, who wrote, “Lobster Bisque and Clam Chowder are my favorite soups!”

Fredrick Pauly, who wrote, “Chicken enchilada soup”

Tabitha, who wrote,”Their pumpkin pie bisque is my favorite!!! I wait for it all year”

Erica B., who wrote, “I like tomato soup”

Peggy Rydzewski, who wrote, “my homemade cheese potatoes bacon soup”

The winners have been notified and have 72 hours to respond to the winner notification emails. Congratulations! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m about to go into the kitchen and start cooking. The list is long – and the time is short (oh, no!)

Wishing you all a joyful and peaceful Thanksgiving! 🙂