Marina Mayer, managing editor, has been busy munching on cheese puffs and soaking up chocolate. Guess which one is calling her name?

Mish Mosh Month

I decided to change things up a bit and provide a mish mosh of the adventures from my recent travels.

Then again, maybe I’ve been too busy to select just one experience.

September kicked off with a trip to L.A. to visit our Executives of the Year, Snak King Corp. As I’m packing up my travel backpack at the end of the interview, Claudia Horne, the company’s executive assistant, hands me a bag of cheese puffs to take home.


However, when I learned I could catch an earlier flight to Chicago but I’d have to check my bags, instant fear rolled over me. I had to hope the package survived the horror chamber called baggage claim.

After hopping in the cab, I peered into my suitcase to find my cheese puffs unscathed. None of them had even cracked. Phew. It doesn’t matter that my lotion exploded all over my mascara. My cheese puffs were ready to be munched on.

Since then, this bag of cheese puffs had become my new purse - it travels with me everywhere. My husband watches football all day Sunday, that’s fine, my cheese puffs and I will watch a chick flick in the bedroom. Going camping? What better camping food is there than cheese puffs? (Well this actually wasn’t as great of an idea as I hoped. They were gone before I could munch on any.)

At least they had survived to be eaten another day.

If that weren’t good enough, I then attended the opening of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. The event started with a display of their various chocolate confections, and in the center of it all - the chocolate fountain.

Sure, a dog may be a man’s best friend, but chocolate is a woman’s soul mate.

This fountain was spewing off rich, milk chocolate and was surrounded by platters of grapes, watermelon, pretzels and marshmallows for dipping. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Then I caught myself wondering how I could sneak this wonderful invention out the door, down the elevators, into the cab, onto the train and into my home without anyone noticing. (Too bad, it looked really heavy).

The event also included demonstrations by pastry chefs who prepared such delicacies as truffles, éclairs and a mousse layered within hardened chocolate shells. The desserts seemed almost too pretty to touch. Then I smelled the aroma of the milk chocolate, and well, that was pretty much that. For three hours, I ate chocolate and more chocolate and more chocolate. Okay, maybe snuck in a croissant or two in that timeframe. But as they say, moderation is key when it comes to eating anything. That is something I will have to learn the hard way as my sugar overdose lasted throughout the night. All good things do have to come to an end.

My third experience was a nice dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my husband. We all know what trouble you can get into when stepping through a set of double-doors and finding yourself face to face in front a glass cooler of cheesecakes.

Remember, snacks call my name.

After the stuffed chicken tortillas were delivered to our table, I noticed that they had slopped two ice-cream scoopfuls of sour cream on my grilled corn cakes. I don’t like sour cream and by the time I could scrape it off, some of the cream had melted into the corn cake. Great, the restaurant just ruined my corn cakes.

So it brought me to ask myself, at such a time in today’s economy where commodity prices continue to rise and the population is turning to more healthy food options, why do restaurants feel the need to “waste”? They wasted sour cream by plopping it on my plate when I didn’t want it, and I wasted the corn cakes because they were engulfed with sour cream.

Then I eyed the cheesecakes and remembered, life is too short to be worrying about my ruined corn cakes. It’s a new day so on to a new treat.

What’s that? Oh, it’s the chocolate chip cheesecake calling my name.

Over here!!!


Marina Mayer, managing editor