Features

July’s Treats

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Churros, pictured here, are a pastry that’s fried and then dipped in homemade cinnamon sugar — a tasty treat for 
the summer.

The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin by Michael Krondl Chicago Review Press Culinary Historian, award-winning cooking instructor, chef, food writer and author of “Sweet Invention: History of Dessert,” Michael Krondl refreshingly and irreverently traces the origins of…

Hiking the Great Wall

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Betsy Taylor is pictured along an older section of the Great Wall of China.

You are carrying a walking stick and hiking along an ancient wall in China. The Great Wall was built mostly during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but some parts date back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). You stop briefly for…

Mike at the Movies

Earth to Echo (PG) ** Most of the primary audience for this film was not yet born when its progenitor, “E.T.,” attracted millions. This time the alien thing is called “Echo,” and he is cute, for sure, if more complex…

Destinations for Chocoholics

Ginger Lemon Grass Truffles You don’t have to travel the world to find great artisanal chocolates—they’re made right here by husband and wife Eric and Crisoire Reid at SPAGnVOLA in the Kentlands. Not only is this a chocolate shop and cafe,…

The Way Branson Was

About 10 years ago, I was browsing through the shelves in an airport bookstore. When I came to the travel section, I suddenly froze in disbelief. In bold type the word “Branson” caught my eyes. I picked up the book…

Mike at the Movies

Maleficent (PG) ***** Overall, this may be the best film I’ve seen all year. Space is not adequate to tell you all the reasons in detail, but let me list a few: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the title role.…

Mike at the Movies

Godzilla (PG-13) **** Four stars for CGI effects and discipline. The twist, and this won’t be a spoiler because it becomes obvious early in the film, is that Godzilla is the hero of this film, trying to save humanity from…

Mike at the Movies

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PG-13) **** And New York gets trashed again. More lovingly this time, but trashed by “Electro” (Jamie Foxx as a high-powered villain) and Spidie himself (Andrew Garfield). Of the recent entries in the series, this is…