Friday, May 1, 2015

Today Everything Changes: An Homage to 15 Years at Marquette University

Today, everything changes.
I'm leaving my career of fifteen years at Marquette University and moving on to start a new chapter
MU photo from 10-12 years ago.

My office

My mantra.

Me now.
as a full-time food & dining writer for

It's a bittersweet transition. I'm so very exciting to start down this new and exciting path where my passions for food and writing intersect. 

But, I'm also feeling ALL the feelings when it comes to leaving a career that has made the difference for me in so many ways.

So, here's a little homage to the past decade-and-a-half, including some secrets I'm not sure many people know about me.

15 Things About My Career at Marquette University:
  1. In 1999, when Dr. William Pink called to offer me the job, he asked me (in a very charming British accent): "Are you interested? You know, you're very over-qualified."
  2. My hiring salary was $23K, a whopping $5K more than my prior position with an area non-profit.
  3. 15 years ago, parking on the Marquette campus cost full-time employees $58/month. Today it costs $63.
  4. A week after being hired at Marquette, I got a job offer from Cardinal Stritch University.
  5. Although I maintained a professional fa├žade while she worked for me, I eventually became good friends with my very first student worker, who was just a few years younger than I was. Still so glad I met you Caitie!
  6. For the first number of years, I kept my personal life very separate from my work life. This point is illustrated by a scenario around 2005 when a colleague I worked with asked me if I had children.
  7. I was once (accidentally) locked in a stairwell of the Schroeder Health & Education Complex. On a weekend. Before I owned a cell phone. Yes, it was scary.
  8. Confession: I once peeked at Scott Walker’s transcripts.
  9. In the early 2000’s, I completed course-work for Marquette’s post-baccalaureate teaching certification program in secondary English (electing to stay at Marquette, rather than leave my job to student teach)
  10. Subsequently, I was also admitted to master’s programs in both English and communications.
  11. I built the first web site ever presented to NCATE (the National Council for Teacher Education) as part of a university accreditation visit.
  12. I spent many years frustrated by the hierarchy inherent in the university environment, often finding myself feeling “less than.” Working for Dr. Bob Lowe was a game-changer; he taught me to recognize the power I had.
  13. I once received a $15K raise. And an office with a window (gonna miss that office).
  14. In 2010, my passion for food and writing was outed to the Marquette community in an article by Tim Cigelske for Marquette Matters featuring myself and Dax Phillips and our secret lives as food bloggers.
  15. My position at MU saved us on at least three occasions -- in 2003 and 2008, but even as recently as 2014. And I'll always be grateful for the stability it provided.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

4 Recipes In Honor of #InternationalWaffleDay

It's International Waffle Day.  So, there's no better time to think about... waffles. And, lest you think they're just for breakfast, we'd like to help to change your mind.

If you're a fan, you definitely want to check out these recipes.

Cornmeal Waffles
Let's start off with the basics -- a good solid waffle. These cornmeal waffles are light. And crisp. And flavorful. And the cornmeal gives them just the right amount of "oomph" to push them right past "good" and so far into "fabulous" that we have to just take a moment, right now, to reflect.

Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich
This beauty was inspired by a sandwich we sampled at Roots Restaurant & Cellar in Milwaukee. We took hot sauce-infused cornmeal waffles and sidled them up right against pieces of fried chicken, which we topped with finely shredded kale tossed with a deliciously refreshing dill ranch dressing. Another waffle on top, and all of a sudden we had a pretty spectacular waffle sandwich.

When you combine leftover fried chicken with waffles and mushroom milk gravy, it's a match made in heaven. 

Waffle Brownie Sundaes
Yeah. Waffles for dessert. It's a thing. And it's one of the best things you've ever tried.These unique brownies take just minutes to prepare in your waffle iron, and they’re perfect served up fresh and warm with a dollop of ice cream and any number of your favorite sundae toppings.