Recipe: Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

I’ve adapted this recipe from Dishing Up Maryland, one of my favorite cookbooks. It takes about 3 hours to cook, plus prep time, so this was a weekend project for me. This version of the recipe made enough food for three relatively hungry adults, with one serving left over. Let me know what you think in the comments! Ingredients: 1/2 cup flour (plus 1/4 cup for thickening) 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1″ chunks 1/4 []

“Butterfly’s Child” by Angela Davis-Gardner

Angela ­Davis-Gardner’s novel, Butterfly’s Child, begins where Puccini’s opera, “Madame Butterfly,” leaves off. Frank Pinkerton, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, has returned to Japan with Kate, his new wife. Cio-Cio-san (Butterfly), his mistress, sees her chance at simultaneous revenge and redemption. She commits suicide, and Benji’s world changes in a moment.

How to Archive Your Documents Like a Pro

We’ve all been there. You accidentally delete an important work project and unthinkingly empty your trash. Your PC succumbs to a virus. Your laptop gets run over by a car. And you sit, numbly, too heartbroken for tears, as you realize that a labor of love—or, at least, tons of time—has been lost forever.

Nakalele Blowhole, Maui’s Most Beautiful and Dangerous Attraction

Jack and I stood on the northernmost tip of Maui as waves crashed against the cliffs far below us and the late-afternoon sun shimmered dazzlingly against the water. We stepped on to a deserted path patched with tufts of grass and wide enough for a Jeep to navigate. We walked slowly, hand in hand, among the lonely lichen-covered rocks. We had heard about a section of the mountain that looked, we were told, like an “Acid War Zone.” The name itself was []

Eight Memoirs I’m Reading This Semester

This semester, I’m taking a class called Readings in Essay and Memoir, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to some of the texts we’ll cover. You’ve probably noticed that memoir is one of my favorite genres. In fact, I’d like to write a memoir, and the second-best way to become a better writer is to read. (The first-best is to actually write.) None of these are new releases, but they represent different styles of memoir and essay writing and I know []

Blogging Resolutions in 2013

Happy new year! In 2012, I had a lot of competing priorities, and sadly I had to stop blogging for a while. I’m still pretty busy, but I’m trying to make my blog a higher priority this year. I miss interacting with all of my bookish friends, and even thinking about blogging regularly again has put a smile on my face.

“More Like Her” by Liza Palmer

Frances Reid, a speech pathologist who guides readers through the world of Markham, a private school, is riddled with insecurity after breaking up with fellow teacher Ryan. But after acknowledging her much-maligned flaws, Frances is ready to lose herself in the bustle of a new semester: new students, new challenges, and a new headmistress.

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

There were dozens of fantastic new releases in 2012, but I fell far behind in reading them. Now, it’s time to catch up–as always, my New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to read more. (Do you expect anything less from me?) Here are the top ten books I vow to read before this year’s end.

Top Ten Books to Read Before 2013

Fall semester classes are over, and I’ve got a few days off before the New Year. I have big plans to say goodbye to 2012: curled up on the couch, racing through the books I didn’t get to read this year. It’s like a Christmas gift to myself.

And when giving gifts to oneself, it’s best to be ambitious. I know I probably won’t get through all of these–1Q84 and Deathly Hallows both approach 1,000 pages–but I’m sure I’ll make a dent and enjoy my holidays to boot.

Wagtime in D.C., a doggie day care/salon that helps find rescue dogs new homes

I’ve written another story for The Washington Post, this time about a “pet spa” in DC that fosters dogs for adoption. Be sure to check out the photo slideshow (link below) and try to decide which pup is cutest! Last year, Lisa Schreiber and Ofer Khal fostered approximately 500 dogs for adoption. But they don’t work for a shelter or a rescue agency. They’re running a business. Wagtime looks like a doggie department store. Large dogs roam the ground-floor room of the []

“War” by Sebastian Junger

In War, Sebastian Junger follows the men of the 2nd Platoon, Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in eastern Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. He reported on the men for Vanity Fair in five visits, from June 2007 to June 2008.