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Midwest LivingMidwest Living

Midwest Living

January/February 2019

Midwest Living celebrates the unique and surprising Midwest region through its food, travel destinations, lifestyle, homes and gardens. Like visiting with a best friend, it unveils the authentic flavor of this region through inspiring photos, inside tips on best places to visit, and family-favorite recipes that simply taste great.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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6 Issues


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(PHOTOGRAPH: CARSON DOWNING)If you’re looking for your place to give back (like I was before finding Freedom Blend Coffee), we hope to spark some ideas.Let’s open Midwest Living’s first-ever Give Back issue with the big reveal. We’ve discovered the secret to finding that life-changing volunteer opportunity you’ve been hoping for:Just keep raising your hand.That’s coming from someone who took a long time finding that bit of wisdom. Several years ago, I was struggling to connect with a charity. Attending galas felt too distant, so I got more involved. I volunteered at events, only to be one of five people in matching T-shirts manning a single parking-lot entrance. So I went bigger, joining an overseas relief trip. But I came home worried that my main contribution had been taking a manual…

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if you could give $1,000 to a nonprofit…

“Hoo” Haven in Durand, Illinois. This is a great rescue group that takes in and rehabs all sorts of wildlife—bald eagles, foxes, owls, pelicans. They are solely dependent on contributions and receive no government funding.LINDA VAVRAS t. Mark Youth Enrichment. They serve children before and after school in Dubuque, Iowa. The loving staff gives kids a safe place to learn and grow, helping to break generational cycles of poverty.BETH MCGORRYProject Pink’d.They do so much for breast cancer patients in Nebraska and western Iowa.MOLLY JOHNSON-BOUKALHope Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They are a beacon for the homeless in our community.AMY P. JAMESS.I.S. Saving Innocent Souls in Jackson, Michigan. They never turn away an animal in need and work hard to better the lives of pets in bad situations.JANE LAWHORN JOHNSONWichita’s Littlest Heroes.…

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chicago by the book

The almost meditative Word Waterfall cascades past visitors at the American Writers Museum. Nestled between the Chicago River and Millennium Park, the American Writers Museum has a room filled with old typewriters. On some, blank pages await musings from visitors curious to punch the stiff keys. One already holds a message: “City of the Big Shoulders,” a reference to Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago.” Meanwhile, 5 blocks away, Sandburg fans can stroll across the bustling Clark Street Bridge that inspired him, still a place of “Dust of the feet/And dust of the wheels.”Many legendary writers have dredged Chicago’s streets for ideas and placed the city at the center of their tales. But a book-lover’s visit here isn’t just about retracing their steps. You also can geek out over quirky libraries, brainy drinking…

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buying & browsing

Mary Bartelme Park in West Loop is a short walk from cozy rooms at The Publishing House. CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARYChicago’s 81 branch libraries host all sorts of literary events. The Chinatown location, completed in 2015, is especially worth a visit, with a stunning glass-curtained exterior.POWELL’S BOOKS CHICAGOChicago’s largest dealer of out-of-print, used and antiquarian books sits on 57th Street in Hyde Park. Founded in 1970, it’s an ancestor to Portland’s famous Powell’s bookstore.57TH STREET BOOKSA few blocks from Powell’s, get lost in this shop’s labyrinth of homey, unpainted shelves that wind under low ceilings.STONY ISLAND ARTS BANKPart art gallery. Part rare media archive. And 100 percent Instagrammable, thanks to towering bookshelves. Exhibits include a library of magazines and books donated by Johnson Publishing Company, and tributes to the South Side.POETRY FOUNDATIONIn…

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essential reads

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFEby Audrey NiffeneggerThe Newberry, where protagonist Henry DeTamble works as a librarian, is a real place.THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITYby Erik LarsonSeveral tours visit key spots from this gripping true-crime tale of the 1893 World’s Fair.THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREETby Sandra CisnerosThe real house was on North Campbell Street, in a now much-changed part of Humboldt Park.NATIVE SONby Richard WrightThe once controversial book highlights race and class issues that are still pressing today in Chicago’s South Side. ■…

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mushroom magic

Sure, we love vegetables. But not enough to give up our burgers entirely. That’s why we’re newly obsessed with the technique of blending ground meat with mushrooms. The finely chopped ’shrooms are barely detectable; their benefits, on the other hand, are clear. Mushrooms are low-cal, cholesterol-free and nutrient-rich. Stretching meat with them often saves money. And they’re ecological rock stars, growing in natural, recyclable compost and requiring almost no light or water. (Compare that to the carbon footprint of, well, almost anything else!) Inspired by chefs who have embraced the concept, we created five family-friendly recipes. But once you master the basics, the blending possibilities are endless.If you buy loose mushrooms, store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. They’ll “breathe” and stay firm and dry longer.If you want…