Thursday, March 5, 2015

CityScope: 8 Companies to Watch

Talent is created and curated in Chattanooga, and people all over the nation have taken notice. Here are 8 local companies we’ll be watching in 2015. We think you should too.

While many Chattanoogans are settling into the new year, local companies are making their own plans for 2015. What are local startups aiming to accomplish? Nothing less than transforming the future of our city with innovative new approaches to well-established fields like medical insurance, legal counsel, and education, while revolutionizing it all with Chattanooga’s lightning-fast fiber optic internet.
It was hard to pick just 8 companies to include on our list for 2015, because there’s no shortage of successful businesses in Chattanooga’s fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our combination of big-city ideas and small-town community feel is prompting innovative companies like these to call Chattanooga home.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kitchen Intuition: Alzheimer's, lifestyle and food

I went down a rabbit hole this week and never did make it back out. In a matter of just a few days, I read news of Julianne Moore’s Oscar win for a movie about someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s, my sister passed along an article she’d read about how cookbook author Paula Wolfert is fighting Alzheimer’s with food, and I ran across a Kickstarter project called Bread Head about "the intersection of diet, lifestyle and brain health."

That convergence prompted me to take a closer look at the reach of Alzheimer’s and the things we can do to push back. I had assumed it was a problem that is up to the research scientists and physicians who are on the front lines, fighting Alzheimer’s and many other diseases. But after a bit of looking around, what I found out is that we’re all engaged in the battle with Alzheimer’s, especially as the disease’s impact and number of cases increases at a staggering rate. But the good news is that there is a lot each of us can be doing to reduce the chances that we or our loved ones will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kitchen Intuition: Chili

Well, folks, has it been cold enough for you? I just got back from a week in western New York and was happy to have a kitchen to play in while I was there, because as soon as I stepped off the plane into what was (and probably still is) a snowy wonderland, I was thinking about chili. It’s such a warm and hearty dish that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or take much time to make. I was able to pick up a few things at the store and mix up a big, simple batch of chili that lasted for a few meals. It’s possible you could whip up a batch using just what you can find in the pantry and/or freezer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valor, Victimhood, and Valentine's Day: How I Recommitted to Love

Valentine's day used to be my holiday. I was in love with love, and it was my high holy day. Yet over time, its origins became far more appropriate to the particulars of my love life than the Hallmark sentiments I once put so much stock in. A bloody massacre, the battle between faith and the many excellent, practical, visceral reasons to give up on belief. For most of my life, there was nothing more that I believed in than the power of love. I came of age in a haze of power ballads and Sailor Moon comic books and Libran sensibilities, a whole host of influences that left me certain in one thing and one thing only-- that romantic love had redemptive powers, than my lover would be my savior, that together we would transform one another from mere mortals into gods.
I was perfectly willing to martyr myself for this belief. I knew relationships took work, and work I was willing to do. I sacrificed over and over on the altar of love. I believed in the spell of infatuation, the mysticism of sex, the alchemy of marriage. I never met my Prince Valiant, though. Perhaps I was in the wrong places at the wrong times. Perhaps I was overconfident in my ability to kiss frogs into princes, not giving enough care to the quality of the frog in question, not being discerning enough about potential. I simply assumed that if you believed in it enough, love was a choice you could make, and that by sheer determination it would become the work of art, the spiritual revelation, the redemption it was meant to be put up with a myriad of disappointments, of offenses I was unprepared to navigate.

Whiskey Resolutions

January thinks it’s hot stuff with all its resolutions and determined energy, but I think February is a way better month for rebooting your life. After all, you’ve had a minute to get used to how the new year feels, to get a sense for the vibes, to really mellow after all the craziness of the holidays. You’ve got a better sense of what you want and need in the next twelve months. Plus what else are you going to do while it’s cold and rainy and that groundhog is convincing you that you’ll never see sunshine or warmth again? Resolutions are the perfect way to kick the last of winter’s ass so that you’ll be ready to hit the ground running into your new normal as soon as spring is here.
My dear friend Hannah Messinger of the blog Nothing But Delicious declared that she has but two resolutions for 2015: drink more whiskey, eat less kettle corn. I love her approach to resolutions. Simple, easy to stick to, and, true to her blog title, full of delicious. It got me thinking about what my whiskey resolutions are this year. Not just resolutions involving actual whiskey, but those in the spirit of the drink. Here’s the ten I intend to live by:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kitchen Intuition: Roasted cabbage

Do you think you can take one more column about cabbage? It is one heck of a cold season crop. My farmer keeps producing massive heads, and I continue coming up with delicious ways of cooking them when they show up in my CSA share with incredible frequency, all winter long.
What? A farm share pickup in the middle of winter, you ask? Yes, indeed. There are a few farms in the area that offer shares, on and off, year-round. I’m currently getting vast amounts of powerhouse greens every Wednesday from Tant Hill Farm at the Main Street Farmers Market. This past week, I got chard, carrots, kale, pak choi and a cabbage that was the size of a small child. (Well, maybe not quite that big, but there sure was a lot of it!)