mussels

Flex Your Mussels!

This article was published in the July 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. What would it take for your “guilty pleasure” food to lose its pleasure? In CJ Callahan’s case, it was making 60 tons of mussels over a five-year period. “I don’t care for mussels anymore, but I still…

Adopting a Goat or Two

This article was published in the June 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. When you discover what you love to do at a young age, career changes can be difficult. However, it is possible to go from horseback riding to goat rearing, just ask Nicky Haynes. Haynes was an international…

Darina Allen in vegetable garden

Darina Allen on Home-Cooked Meals, Fresh Ingredients

This article was published in the May 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. Darina Allen hesitated when I asked her about her guilty pleasure. “I don’t think I have one,” said Allen, the founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. I could hear Allen pull her…

Margaret River beach.

Margaret River, You Had Me at Hello

Australia’s Anzac holiday weekend is coming to a close. The annual celebration reminded me of my trip to Margaret River, Western Australia, a gorgeous and wild place filled with wine and relaxation. Here are some reflections on my journey down under. On the journey to Margaret River, three hours South of Perth by car, I…

food pantry

The Challenging Experiences of our Hungry Neighbors

This article was published in the April 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. During Lent, it’s common for people to give up guilty pleasures like chocolate or wine. But for one out of seven northern Illinois residents, guilty pleasures are not an option because even a regular meal is not…

curry ingredients

Eating Curry Chips Doesn’t Count

This article was published in the March 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. I fell in love with Indian food in Belfast at one of my now favorite dining spots, the Bengal Brasserie. Ireland’s take on curry is not the same as in India, of course, but the interpretation is…

Lemons and cloves

Toasting My Oven Fears

This article was published in the January 2015 issue of the Irish American News under the “Guilty Pleasures” column. It’s the New Year, time to turn over a new leaf. For me, that means making a confession to you, dear readers. For the past year, I’ve been sharing stories with you about food, culture and…