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1/19/2016
As our staff began its first-ever search for the Greatest Midwest Town, we had to make some tough calls to choose just one candidate from each Midwest state. In the end, these towns prevailed with their outstanding attractions, dining options, outdoor activities and local pride. Now it’s your turn to vote and help us name the winner, who will get a primo feature in our... More
1/15/2016
After she sticks a loaf of bread in the wood-burning stove, a costumed interpreter wipes her hands on her calico dress and tells Conner Prairie visitors about farm life in 1836. Down the dirt road, another volunteer lifts her feet from rotating a pottery wheel to tell guests about how she spins mugs. Although the bustle of Indiana's only Smithsonian affiliate quiets when summer crowds depart... More
1/12/2016
As sunshine illuminates one of Jennifer Shea Hedberg’s ice globes, tiny threads radiate from the center like a silver sparkler and interior bubbles shimmer like mercury. But the real enchantment—especially for the Frozen generation—comes at night when candles or battery-operated lights make the globes glow. “The round dome looks like a moon,”... More
1/8/2016
Twenty-five feet of snow would seem like plenty for anybody. But as each spring approaches in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Tasha Stielstra worries about it all disappearing too soon. For her and her family's 150 dogs at Nature's Kennel, a long winter means more runs through the forests around their home in McMillan. We chatted with Tasha about her love of dogs and the great outdoors... More
1/5/2016
If there’s one televised New Year’s event that we all notice along with the Times Square ball drop, it’s Pasadena, California’s, January 1 gala. For 127 years, the city’s extravaganza has successfully stuck to a simple mission: Show a winter-weary nation a better way. For Midwesterners, the day has special pull, thanks to the Rose Bowl’s Big 10... More
1/4/2016
Snow and holiday lights dazzled our Instagram fans in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The five most-liked photos of December: 1) A wintry scene in Sycamore, Illinois, by @bookbabym (https://www.instagram.com/p/_FsN_wmzco/).  2) "Winter wonderland" in Cushing, Minnesota, by @laceydobo (https://www.instagram.com/p/_PCwJumzbI/).  3) Rural sunrise near... More
12/29/2015
Summer Miller’s 2015 cookbook New Prairie Kitchen profiles 25 Midwest producers, farmers and chefs who give our region a starring role on America’s culinary stage. Summer uses the profiles as a launching point to showcase a variety of Midwestern specialties that we can make at home. Here are five of our favorite Midwest makers in the book. George and Emily Johnson | George... More
12/18/2015
This season, about 400,000 pieces of mail addressed to the North Pole get diverted to the southern Indiana town of Santa Claus. Local volunteer elves hustle to ensure every letter gets a response on behalf of Santa himself (after all, he is quite busy this time of year). A new book, Letters to Santa Claus, showcases a collection of these letters from the past nine decades. We picked one from... More
12/15/2015
In our November/December 2015 issue, we feature a knock-out shortbread recipe from Chicago pastry chef Mindy Segal's debut cookbook Cookie Love. At her restaurant, Mindy's Hot Chocolate, Mindy always serves cookie plates, deceptively casual assortments of crazy-creative cookies. She does things like roll homemade hot fudge into rugelach, or fold a bar snack like corn nuts into... More
12/11/2015
Dave Hoekstra knows food—soul food, to be exact. The former Chicago Sun-Times journalist traversed the country in search of the soul of his new book, The People’s Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today.  We asked Dave to dish his five favorite Midwest destinations that plate everything from catfish tofu to... More