Queretaro: Colonial Charm in the Highlands of Mexico

My first morning in Queretaro, about a 90 minute drive north of Mexico City, I walked along the cobblestone streets in the city’s historic center to the fairy tale castle-like La Casa de la Marquesa, once a private home built in the 1756, now a restaurant and hotel. The menu reflects the vast citrus groves,…

Tiffani Thiessen Pull Up a Chair

  Only six or so when she started helping out in the kitchen, Tiffani Thiessen grew up in a family where dinners were a gathering time to enjoy great cooking and conversations. She upped her game from traditional American fare when she and other stars from “Saved by the Bell” toured in Europe. “It definitely…

Searching for Schweinshaxe: From Heidelberg to Michigan

           My search for started back in 2012 when Frank Buesing of Stevensville, after returning from a trip to Bavaria, wrote asking if I knew where he could find pork knuckles (schweinshaxe in German) in Southwest Michigan. On his trip, his guide had recommended he try some and, liking the dish  so much, he’d…

Hot Chicken Takeover: Good Food & Second Chances

Hot Chicken Takeover hadn’t opened yet and already the line on the second floor in North Market, Columbus Ohio’s super food emporium was about a half hour long. “It’s always like this,” said my friend Kari Van Treuren who was showing me around the city. As an aside, I’d never thought much about Columbus and…

Ann Arbor vibe: Where social consciousness meets creativity

There’s a definite vibe in Ann Arbor — one where social consciousness and creativity converge. And so I mapped out interesting places in the eclectic Westside to immerse myself in all this trendy city has to offer. A first stop is the Selma Cafe, located in the home of Jeff McCabe and his wife, Lisa…

A Visit to Julius Renner Weinhaus & Weinkellerei in Historic Oberkirch

Following the Muhlbach Stream as it  gently flows through downtown Oberkirch, a marvelous collection of timber-framed, multi-stories houses, cobblestone streets, brightly painted shutters and window boxes overflowing with cascading blooms, we bounce along in Martin Renner’s topless  Range Rover into the vast orchards and vineyards, climbing the ever narrowing road up the verdant hills of…

Old Fashioned Fairs and Food

            I love going to food festivals and state and county fairs and seeing what great home cooks both young and adult are doing. One such favorite that I never miss is the Berrien County Youth Fair in Southwest Michigan which always hosts an annual Baked Fruit Pie Contest, an event highlighting the lush and lovely fruit…