Bubble Tea

Originally published on WCIA 3 News September 23, 2019. U.S. Census numbers show Champaign County is home to one of the largest immigrant populations in the state outside of the Chicago area, with people from nearly 80 countries around the world. In 2016, nearly 30-percent of immigrants in the county came from countries in East…

In the Name of Good Food

 The heart wants what it wants. Same goes for the stomach. There are some meals and drinks that are just absolutely and inexplicably swoon-worthy. And I’m not talking about that $50 steak or a top-shelf bottle of bourbon. Sometimes, it’s the cheap $1 burger at a dive bar in a college town. Or it’s a…

83 Vietnamese

Exciting news! Chews and News is launching a podcast series. Whether it’s a chef’s background or a farmer’s perspective, every plate has a story and I can’t wait to share as many as possible. I especially want to thank Wayne Lam at 83 Vietnamese for graciously agreeing to be my first guest on the podcast,…

Iced Tea with Mint and Honey

Last weekend, I admitted I made a slight mistake by placing mint in the same herb container as my basil, cilantro and lavender. The mint is definitely doing its best to takeover the rest of the plants, but I’m trying to rein it in… with some delicious results along the way. During the week, I…

Patios, plants and preparations

I spent roughly a month staring at my empty patio space at my new apartment before I finally decided to do something about it. I’m not sure if it was seeing DIY posts repeatedly pop up on my Instagram feed, my second late night in a row where I picked up burgers on my way…

Closing One Chapter, Starting Another

“What do you think you’ll miss the most?”   It’s a question I’ve given a lot of thought to since my dad asked me in April as we were driving through Illinois to go apartment hunting. At this point, I’d written 76 articles for my blog. I’d posted 304 photos and attended countless openings, events and…

Blue Bat Launches Brunch Menu

Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria will be launching its new brunch menu on Saturday, January 19, inspired by cuisines around the world. “Global cuisine offers so much culinary flexibility and it’s a chef’s dream to compose a menu like Blue Bat’s brunch menu,” Hospitality Democracy’s Executive Chef/Vice President of Food and Beverage, Alex Sazama, says…

Apple Crisp Oatmeal Cookie Cups

If you’re like me, you probably can’t run into a grocery store right now without loading up on an assortment of apples, and have probably made multiple trips to your local apple orchards. Fall is my favorite season and my recipe choices certainly reflect that right now. This weekend, I stumbled onto CountryLiving’s roundup of…

Dos Amigos: Food, Friendship and Family

It’s almost a guarantee that any celebration you attend will involve food. But sometimes, food is the reason for the celebration. That was the case this past weekend, when my parents and I ate a delicious dinner at Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant in Libertyville, Illinois. Dos Amigos opened in February 2017, the brainchild of co-owners Sergio Casillas…

Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season of the year. I absolutely love the vibrant colors of the leaves in October. I love throwing on a cozy jacket and scarf and warming up my hands with a hot drink. I just love it all. This past week, I went all out on fall. It started…