Thursday, March 29, 2012

NEXT UP: Super-Simple Chocolate Pretzel Sticks

You may be noticing a theme in my baking/cooking posts. All of my recipes (except, perhaps, my Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes) can by easily created by even the most kitchen-challenged individual. I believe a recipe does not have to be difficult to be delicious. 

These Chocolate Pretzel Sticks prove it.

During the holiday season in elementary school, when other kids stuck teachers with plastic gift cards or store-bought candies, I triumphantly presented mine with my mom's homemade chocolate-coated pretzel sticks. They were such a hit. I will forever associate this treat with my mom's gifting efforts and my teacher's appreciative reception.

As I got older, I was able to help my mom prepare the pretzel treats. I learned that the trick is to poke holes into a flat styrofoam block so you can stick the pretzels upright as the chocolate dries.

I would post an exact recipe for these sweets...but do you really need one? Basically, it just involves coating 3/4 of the pretzel stick in melted chocolate, dipping the coated stick in your topping of choice (nuts, sprinkles, etc), letting the stick dry in the styrofoam block, drizzling white chocolate on it, and then letting it dry again. 

Simple, but oh-so-sweet.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NEXT UP: Impromptu White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

The other night, my roommate and I got a major sweets craving. Funny how this craving usually hits during late Sunday night homework sessions. We searched our cabinets and took inventory of our sugary snacks: a Twix bar, half a box of Thin Mint cookies, a few Double Bubbles, and a granola bar. Those options just didn't appeal to us.

I suddenly recalled a leftover Ghirardelli White Chocolate Bar I purchased a couple weeks ago when I baked some WCMNC. We decided a treat would taste a lot better if we made it ourselves. Hence, a recipe for Impromptu White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies was born.

This recipe uses ingredients you probably have on hand and yields a fairly small number of cookies (although feel free to increase the measurements!). In a matter of 20 minutes, we had whipped up a satisfying dessert that cured our craving. Now, if only we could create a cookie that would do our homework too...

White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of milk (optional)*
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup of broken pieces of a white chocolate bar

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cream together the butter and sugars in a medium bowl.

3) Blend the vanilla and egg into the butter/sugar mix.

4) In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder).

5) Add the dry ingredients to the medium. Stir until mixed. *Add in the milk if the batter is too dry.

6) Stir in the oats and white chocolate chunks.

7) Drop rounded tablespoons of the batter onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Makes 12-15 cookies.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

NEXT UP: Why I Love JetBlue

Some people profess their love for sports team, others compose odes to amazing skincare products, and many idolize musicians.

My favorite thing to praise, however, is usually a source of consternation for people: an airline. That topic conjures nightmares of cramped legs and exorbitant baggage prices for many travelers. Yet, as a frequent flier, I have grown to develop a deep and loyal appreciation for one specific airline.

Oh JetBlue, why do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1) Because JetBlue CAN offer you delicious choices

Why the awkward capitalization choice? The CAN refers to the fact that JetBlue flight attendants offer an entire can of soda or juice as a complimentary beverage. While most airlines give you an ice-filled tiny cup drizzled with your ordered drink, JetBlue entrusts passengers with enough liquid to actually satisfy their thirsts. They also let you pick a snack--PopChips, Terra Blue Chips, animal crackers, chocolate chip cookies, Quaker fiber crisps--instead of giving you a choice between one handful of peanuts or nothing.

2) Because JetBlue feeds my Food Network addiction

Thirty-six channels of free live entertainment on a personal television screen. Need I say more? Actually, I do, because this reason is too important to breeze over. Countless long flights have been made less painful by my ability to watch Paula Deen or Giada prepare gooey butter cupcakes or ree-coh-ta crepes. On JetBlue, you can catch dramatic sporting events, gossipy morning shows, or the Real Housewives (really a combination of the first two, no?) live. Bravo, JetBlue, bravo.

3) Because JetBlue lets me see loved ones for lovely prices

At the risk of sounding like a paid commercial advertisement, it must be noted: JetBlue prices are unbeatable. The main reason I usually fly JetBlue to go home is that the price is always the lowest. In addition to reasonable ticket costs, I've been able to quickly rack up JetBlue points that result in free flights AND bring along a free checked bag. From the bottom of my heart (and wallet), I thank you for your incredible prices, JetBlue.

4) Because JetBlue loves me back!

...Well, me and all their other customers. JetBlue shows this love by interacting with customers through their blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account. They use these forums to both listen and respond to people voicing their praises/questions/frustrations. Rather than shy away from angry passengers, JetBlue responds to complaints in order to learn and improve their services. In fact, past crises have led the company to create a Customer Bill of Rights to outline their promises.

It may seem silly to be so excited about an airline, but I appreciate good customer service and honorable corporate strategies when I see them. It also might help that my last JetBlue flight took me to Cancun...

*NOTE ADDED 3/28: Recent events have compelled me to add a note to this blog post. Yesterday, there was an incident involving a emotionally distressed JetBlue pilot that led to an emergency flight landing. The composed, appropriate, and prompt handling of this situation is another reason why I love JetBlue. This event is certainly disturbing and worrisome, but JetBlue is doing its best to reassure customers and make amends by sharing information like this update and these answers on the company blog. Well done, JB.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

NEXT UP: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Tell me your favorite cookie.

Tell me, and I will bake it.

Some of my friends have learned this fact. If you tell me what your favorite cookie is, I will remember and bake it to celebrate your birthday/anniversary/promotion/10-pound-weight-loss. Hmm, okay, maybe not that last occasion.

So when a certain special someone told me they had a soft spot for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, I promptly baked up this recipe and shipped them 3 dozen cookies.

Did I mention I sent them next-day shipping? Just so they would still be perfectly moist and melty when they arrived? I must really like him. :-)

Whether or not these are your favorites, this WCMNC recipe (awkward abbreviation attempt) is awesome. There is a perfect balance of grainy, sugary dough, salty macadamia nuts and creamy white chocolate bits. Hey - Maybe after baking this recipe, WCCMNC will be your new favorite cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Whipped's recipe
1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag of white chocolate chips (10 oz)
1 cup of roasted macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop up macadamia nuts. Set aside.

3. Cream together softened butter and sugars.

4. Mix in vanilla, salt, and eggs until well-blended.

5. Sift together flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the mix and stir.

6. Add in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

7. (Optional step, but highly recommended) Refrigerate dough for 2-12 hours, or as long as you can resist baking the cookies.

8. Drop 1 inch balls of batter onto a cookie sheet. (Tip: I usually press a couple white chocolate chips or nut pieces on top for aesthetic reasons.)

9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until faintly browned.

10. Wait a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies. (That's a lot of cookies, fair warning.)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NEXT UP: Read "Seven Days in the Art World"

My last post about London art museums reminded me that I have yet to review a recent read. In Seven Days in the Art World, author Sarah Thornton dives into the sophistication and enigmatic fog that often shroud the contemporary art world to reveal the inner-workings of this fascinating culture.

The book is divided into seven narratives about different aspects of the international art market. Thornton details the furious bidding over a Cattelan at the Christie's Auction, the strategies of a seasoned collector perusing Art Basel, the dizzying editorial offices of Artform magazine, and more. She speaks with knowledgeable art world inhabitants like designer Takashi Murakami, CalArts professor Michael Asher, and art consultant Sandy Heller. Ultimately, the book serves as an ethnographic exploration of how taste, money, trends, fame, and innovation affect what truly drives the art world: a love for the creative.

What I Liked: As an art-loving individual, I was ecstatic to receive what felt like a private backstage pass to exclusive facets of the art world. Sarah Thornton vividly describes works, places, and artists in carefully selected subject areas. I learned not only about artists, but also about the buyers, managers, and agents who help run the show. It is a refreshing read if you've only read about art in museum brochures, newspaper reviews, or history text books.

What I Didn't Like: There was one point in particular that I was sad to see the author did not fully address. I (somewhat foolishly) went into this book thinking it would provide some clarity on why certain types of art or artists can sell for such high numbers. To me, this is one of the biggest mysteries of the art world. Although Thornton provides some insight into this curiosity, she does not give a concrete answer...perhaps because there really is none. Otherwise, I highly enjoyed this piece.

Should you read it? If you truly have zero interest in the art world, you are not likely to enjoy this book. Its language is comprehensible to those with no background in the subject, but I think it would mainly appeal to those who have some curiosity about how this part of our culture functions. Having said that--I personally would be happy to read it again!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NEXT UP: An Art Lover's Guide to London

London's reputation as being a hub for the arts is one of the reasons I chose to study abroad there last spring. I managed to visit several museums and galleries during my time living in England, whether on my own or with my British Art History class. I loved breathing in artwork that I had only previously enjoyed on the pages of textbooks or musing over pieces by relatively unknown names. The following places are my recommendations for art lovers in London.

The Tate Modern is an essential stop for anyone interested in contemporary art. The art gallery was created in 2000 in an old power station. With over 4.7 million visitors a year, it is one of the most popular modern art galleries in the world. I actually wrote a case study on the opening of the Tate Modern for my public relations class last semester, and learned how the goal of the communications team was to convey the idea that art should be accessible to everyone, not just the "snobby, art-interested elite." From Rothko to Kandinsky and Lichentstein to Picasso, the Tate boasts amazing modern works in its four exhibits: Material Gestures, Poetry and Dream, Energy and Process, and States of Flux.

The Saatchi Gallery showcases the personal art collection of the wealthy Charles Saatchi. It often features controversial pieces and receives a lot of critical attention. Works by relatively unknown artists are often featured, allowing their careers to take off. If you want to see some truly intriguing and off-the-wall art, the Saatchi Gallery should be your first stop.

When I interned at the Royal College of Art, my office was situated right near the Victoria and Albert Museum. With over 4.5 million objects, it is the world's largest museum of art and design. Just like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the lobby of the V&A presents a stunning lime-green glass sculpture by Chihuly. I could spend hours perusing the many galleries here; I particularly enjoyed the theatre exhibit which showcases one of Shakespeare's first folios, among other things.

Who could resist going to one place to see both the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon? These famous pieces are two of the many amazing works on display at the British Museum. I visited this museum with my British Art History class, but I came back for more soon after. You could spend days in this museum and still have more to see. I even enjoyed a fancy afternoon tea in the cafe here (I'll post about that adventure soon!).

I wasn't able to sneak any pictures while inside the National Gallery, but I promise it houses some breathtaking works. This free museum showcases Western European paintings from the 13th to 19th centuries.  As I passed through galleries, I glimpsed works by DaVinci, Rousseau, Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Turner. This is another massive museum that allows an intimate look at the world's greatest artwork.

Oh, and the best part? All of these museums and galleries are FREE to the public! So what are you waiting for?? (Besides to save money for a plane ticket to London...)

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Monday, March 19, 2012

NEXT UP: Read "Almost French"

I read this book in 3 days. I started it right after I finally finished White Oleander, so perhaps I was just proving to myself that I can finish a novel in less than 4 months.

However, the true reason I flew through the pages of Almost French was that I loved it

Well, maybe I love wishfully thinking of future visits to Paris. If you couldn't tell from my recent Paris Eats post, I have had France's capital on my mind as of late. When I break up the lumps in my morning oatmeal, I imagine starting my day with a pain au chocolat and petite espresso. When I pass by the river near my campus, I imagine the champagne glow of Parisian lights dancing on the surface of the la Seine. And when I throw on jeans and a sweatshirt for class, I imagine the obligatory heels and sleek, attractive outfit instinctively donned by les femmes.

So when I spotted a slightly torn copy of Almost French in the "Used" section of my local bookstore, I jumped on it. It is an autobiographical piece written by journalist Sarah Turnbull. A native Australian, Sarah went travelling in her late 20s. She meets a charming Parisian named Frederic in Bucharest. He, of course, invites her to visit his home in Paris. What starts out as a week-long visit turns into a 2 year stay. (and ultimately a permanent placement since the author's bio on the back cover gives away that she marries Frederic). 

But the book is not a love story. It is a witty, detailed account of the French temperament and lifestyle. From the treatment of pet dogs to the appropriate comebacks for rude encounters, Sarah experiences the not-always-wonderful aspects of French culture.

What I Liked: Learning about Paris! Sarah writes about an array of topics without sugar-coating them. My very short stay in Paris last year also allowed me to recognize some of her descriptions. As a foodie, I especially liked the sections about Sarah's preparation of a traditional 5-course meal, her assignment to critique the food at a 5-star restaurant, and her details of shopping at local fromageries and boulangeries

What I Didn't Like: The cover advertises a story about "Love and a new life in Paris," but there is very little discussion of the author's romantic relationship with Frederic. Rather, he serves as another French figure to further highlight how Sarah is an expatriate. I would have liked to know a little more about how her relationship developed since it surely affected her increasing love for the country. However, I didn't grab this book to have a romance novel handy, so this point is also a plus.

Should you read it? Oui!! Even if you do not have an obsession with Paris like moi, it is fascinating to learn about another culture. It is an honest, humorous, and enlightening read.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

NEXT UP: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Ever heard of an Irish Car Bomb? No, I'm not talking about an explosive-equipped automobile. Irish Car Bombs are an alcoholic beverage where Baileys irish cream is mixed into Guinness beer. I had seen recipes for a baked good version of this drink before on various blogs. When I needed something to bring to a St. Patrick's Day party last night, I immediately thought of this recipe. It's not a simple treat, but it was so worth the effort. The 24 cupcakes were completely gone by the end of the night.

The ingredient list may look long but there's nothing too fancy. When I went to the Wine & Spirits store to buy the alcoholic ingredients, I was able to snag mini bottles of whiskey and Baileys. Perfect solution for someone who has no need for big bottles of those drinks sitting in my kitchen. The cashier asked if I was using them for baking; apparently several people had stopped by for those exact purchases. Guess I wasn't the only one set on making Irish Car Bomb-inspired baked goods!

Ingredients (clockwise) : cupcakes, icing, ganache

The cupcake batter smelled heavenly with the chocolate aroma mixed with the deep caramel flavor of the beer. The finished product had the tiniest hint of beer, but the beverage is mostly baked off in the oven. Make sure to insert a toothpick when you remove these from the oven to make sure they baked thoroughly.

Chocolate beer cupcakes

This recipe was also my first time "filling" a cupcake. I found a strawberry corer in my kitchen that was perfect for removing the insides of my cooled cupcakes. You can either toss the removed insides or feed them to your hungry roommate...

Preparing the cupcakes for the ganache filling

Another first for me: making ganache! It was much easier than I expected. The trick is to alternate between letting the smooth mixture sit and stirring it to thicken it. The consistency should still be thin enough to pipe through a bag.

Chocolate whiskey ganache

In the words of a baker-version of Dory from Finding Nemo: Just keep filling, just keep filling...

Last but not least came the icing. This buttercream topper should be light and fluffy. If the Baileys makes it too liquid-y, just whip in more sugar. You can definitely taste the Baileys in this component, so feel free to skip the alcohol ingredient if you like.

Baileys buttercream frosting

Of course, no St. Patty's Day treat is complete without a little green color. I added a splash of green sprinkles on top to complete my cupcakes.

The cupcakes came out looking festive and beautiful...and they tasted amazing! When split open, there was a surprise bite of sweet chocolate ganache waiting. Honestly, I don't know if I can wait until next St. Patrick's Day to make these again!

A colorful exterior with a surprise interior

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Slightly Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's recipe

For the beer cupcakes:
24 cupcake tins
1 cup stout beer (I actually used Saranac caramel porter)
1 cup butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the ganache filling:
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp Irish whiskey

For the Baileys icing:
4 cups powder sugar
1 cup & 2 tbs butter
4 tbs Baileys Irish Cream

For the beer cupcakes: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake tins in the tray.
2. Simmer the beer and the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder and then cool slightly.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, blend the flour, sugar, and baking soda.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream.
5. Add beer/chocolate mixture to the large mixing bowl and blend. Slowly add the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl and blend.
6. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 of the way. Bake for about 17 minutes. Cool completely.

For the ganache filling:
1. Simmer the heavy cream and pour  over the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Stir to melt the chocolate. If not completely smooth, microwave for several seconds.
2. Add the butter and whiskey. Mix until smooth.
3. Let the ganache thicken by having it sit and cool. You can expedite the process by putting the ganache in the fridge, but remember to stir it every 8-10 minutes.
4. Use a cookie cutter or corer (I used a strawberry corer) to remove the centers from the cooled cupcakes.
5. Scoop the ganache into a piping bag (I used a cut Ziploc bag) and pipe into the centers of the cupcakes.

For the Baileys icing:
1. Whip the butter until fluffy.
2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix.
3. Add in the Baileys and whip until the mixture is not light but not too thin. Add more sugar if necessary.
4. Scoop icing into a piping bag and ice the cupcakes.

Makes 24 cupcakes.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

NEXT UP: Pizza, Pasta, and Pastry in Italy

I wasn't sure if I should call this post "Pizza, Pasta, and Pastry" or "Carbs and Calories." Despite the food comas I experienced, the food in Italy was deliziosissima! When I visited Florence and Rome last February, I was completely spoiled by the fresh cheese gratings, meticulously sculpted pasta, and decadent pastries. I wish I could have brought a pizza slice home with me, but I don't know how that would've gone over with customs. Guess these photographs of my food purchases will have to suffice...

Favorite Italian food? Dream destination in Italy?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NEXT UP: Murray's Bagels

Bagels are a serious matter.

I hope you're not laughing, because I'm definitely not kidding. There is a huge difference between a good bagel and a bad bagel.

Have you ever tried a Pepperidge Farm bagel tucked into a plastic bag from the grocery store? It should not be allowed the honor of calling itself a bagel. A real bagel has a slightly crunching exterior with a not-too-dense doughy inside that releases a subtle stem when sliced open.

I told you I wasn't kidding.

Given my love of this bread product, finding a place that makes real bagels is monumental. I am always eager to discover one of these quality stores, so I was thrilled to stumble upon such a place in NYC this past summer: Murray's Bagels.

Located at 500 Avenue of the Americas, Murray's Bagels is a must-visit for bagel-lovers. I was only able to go twice, but my favorite sesame-with-lox-and-cream-cheese order did not disappoint. I am seriously considering driving to NYC right now to get my bagel fix.

Cream Cheese and Lox on a Sesame Bagel = LOVE

If you happen to be in the Big Apple and you're looking for a big bagel (heh), Murray's is the place to go. Just make sure to pick up one for me while you're there.

Favorite bagel place? Are you a fellow bagel snob or do you settle for any old bagel?

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

NEXT UP: Oreo-Surprise Brownies

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Want to know how to make friends fast?

Make this recipe. Seriously. No one can resist the mind-blowingly awesome combination of thick, fudgy brownies and comforting, creamy oreos. Your lucky taste-testers will deem you a culinary genius. And you want to know the best part?

These treats are super easy to make. I'm talking two-ingredient, 40-minute total, mix-pour-bake easy. Sure, you can make brownie batter from scratch, but when you're in a rush--aka need to make something to bring to a Super Bowl party at the last minute--a trusty box of Betty Crocker Brownie Mix will do. And when your newfound friends are feeling sad--aka they are watching the New England Patriots barely lose to the New York Giants--these Oreo-Surprise Brownies will ease their pains.

I hesitate to even call this concoction a "recipe" since it's so simple; you only need brownie mix and Oreos. Fair warning though: only make this if you are ready to acquire a whole new bunch of friends.

A match made in foodie heaven

Oreo-Surprise Brownies
Brownie mix
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
15 Oreos (roughly)

1. Prepare your brownie mix according to the package's directions.

2. Pour half of the brownie batter into the bottom of a 13x9" cake pan.

3. Place a single layer of Oreos on top of brownie mix, and then cover with the remaining brownie batter.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serves a group of hungry college students.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

NEXT UP: (Maybe) Read "White Oleander"

I would not be surprised if I picked up my wrinkled copy of White Oleander and tried to find my latest bookmarked page to continue reading. I have spent so many months reading this book that I'm still in disbelief that I finally finished. 

I chose this book because I heard such great things about the story (from Oprah, no less) and remembered seeing trailers for the movie. It is an unusual mother-daughter story. The mom, Ingrid, is a dangerously passionate poet sentenced to life-in-prison after murdering her ex-boyfriend. This act leaves her young daughter, Astrid, doomed to float from foster home to foster home, enduring incredible hardships and losses along the way. As the book blurb states, it "becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery."

What I Liked: Janet Fitch's writing is breathtaking. There were certain sentences that I literally read a few times over because they were so ingeniously crafted. The book may be almost 500 pages, but Fitch tirelessly churns out beautiful prose throughout the work. Additionally, Ingrid and Astrid are fascinating characters. Ingrid is completely faithful to her twisted beliefs, even when they land her in jail. Astrid demonstrates a malleability when she conforms to the environment of her latest foster home while retaining a certain spark, no matter how dim.

What I Didn't Like: The plot is rather monotonous. After the third foster home, I get the idea: each home transforms Astrid and allows her to meet new people. It probably took me so long to read because I felt able to put down the book after each foster home episode finished. It is also very dark. From murder to suicide to abuse, this book is intriguing but not exactly uplifting. 

Should you read it? Maybe. It is not a light read, as far as both the length and content. If you want a thought-provoking novel about familial ties and growing up, then maybe this one is for you. I haven't seen the movie, but if you want to get the story in 2 hours instead of over 2 months, you might just want to find the film on NetFlix.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

NEXT UP: Four Blogs that PR People Should Follow

Admittedly, most of my Google Reader is filled with baking blogs. However, there is a fair share of public relations-related blogs included as well. I may muse about PR from time to time, but there are actually some truly informational and interesting PR/Communication/Digital Media/etc blogs out there. Here are some of my favorites:

Inspired (Finn Partners' Blog)

Although it has not been around too long, this blog from PR company Finn Partners already boasts a great array of content. My favorite posts are the "Social Media Week in Review" articles. These posts point out some hot headlines of the online world. From these reviews, I've learned that Adele pulled in 10 thousand tweets per second after she won the Grammy for Record of the Year, that a "Meet & Seat" social media program may change the way we pick airplane seats, and that YouTube hit 4 billion daily views.

360 Digital Influence (Ogilvy PR's Blog)

This blog from Ogilvy PR packages the latest internet news and developments into easily comprehended blog posts. Many different Ogilvy employees voice their opinions on subjects from Super Bowl tweets to the SOPA/PIPA outrage. The blog encourages reader discussion, evidenced by the number of comments it garners. I find Ogilvy to be a very creative PR company, and that quality certainly transfers over to their blog. 

HubSpot Blog

Are you familiar with the concept of inbound marketing? Don't be embarrassed if you're not; I wasn't until I learned about the internet marketing company, HubSpot. If you're intrigued, I highly recommend checking out the company's blog. They post great tips for how to enhance your company's online presence. Whether helping you understand the new Facebook Page design or how to create a web link that more easily shows up in search engines, there's a lot of bookmark-worthy posts.

MediaShift (PBS's Digital Media Blog)

I fell in love with PBS' online work when I spent a summer as the Digital Communications Intern at the company headquarters. For a company started over 40 years ago, PBS is actually very much on top of the latest media trends. Their blog, MediaShift, shares insights from top communications professionals--no Bert and Ernie here! Topics include Social Media, Business, Education, Legacy Media, and more.

What blogs do you go to for the latest social media news?
Clearly I like PR blogs and baking blogs; what are your favorite categories?

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NEXT UP: Paris Eats

I adore Paris. I spent a mere three days there last spring, and I was completely enamored by the beautiful city. As if the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower weren't enough of an attraction, the exquisite food guaranteed that I'll be visiting France again...I hope. 

Here are my photos of the treats I enjoyed in the City of the Lights:

What is your favorite French food? Have you been to Paris?

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