December 2018


At face value, Columbia, Missouri, has the standard makeup of a true college town with education serving as its economic backbone. Contributing to this narrative are several factors, including a major public university belonging to one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, additional public and private colleges and a thriving secondary education system. This seemingly […]

The Magic Tree Movement

There is something magical about the combination of crisp December air and twinkling lights that makes the holiday season special for many Columbians. That magic is felt when darkness falls over the Village of Cherry Hill shopping center. Thousands of tiny colored lights, wrapped around every branch of a tree, illuminate the grassy block in […]

Behind the Beard

Stephen Johnson has been playing Santa Claus during the holiday season for 25 years, but the 65-year-old says he has looked the part since he was 40. The only difference between then and now is the amount of theatrical dye necessary for him to get into character. “The last time I was clean-shaven was Oct. […]

A Rich History

There’s nothing like a nice piping-hot mug of hot chocolate to chase the chills, but the modern version of sweetness had a more bitter beginning. This welcome winter warmer dates to about 500 BC, when the Mayans first drank a concoction of ground-up cocoa seeds mixed with water and other ingredients, including chili peppers. Originally, […]

Go Cocoa Loco

(Serves 4-6) 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 tablespoons cocoa powder ¾ cup milk chocolate chips or bar, chopped Pinch kosher salt Milk and cream as needed Directions: Mix first five ingredients together and reserve until you are ready to make hot chocolate. Add 3 to 5 tablespoons of the mixture to just below […]

The Ultimate Book for Tigers

Former Columbia Daily Tribune sports reporter Dave Matter, who now covers University of Missouri athletics for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has given Mizzou fans a new reason to cheer. In “100 Things Missouri Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” released in September, Matter puts his expertise as a Mizzou Tigers connoisseur at front […]

Cheers to the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and entertaining is in full swing. Chances are you’re planning to serve wine at your event but might be wondering which wines to serve and how much to buy. A general rule of thumb is to offer a dry red, a dry white, an off-dry wine (can be red, white […]

Tasty Tamales

You can stuff just about anything into tamales. Cheese, vegetables, braised meat, seafood, chicken, venison, turkey, beans and dessert are all common, but you can come up with so many more with a little imagination. If you talk to anyone who has a tradition of making tamales in their family, they will probably gladly give […]

A Little Louisiana

Around noon on weekdays, the parking lot is typically packed at Cajun Crab House, where Kevin Dinh and Linh Nguyen have been serving Southern-style seafood to Columbia residents for a little more than four months. The way Dinh tells it, though, the restaurant’s ongoing success is a bit of a happy accident. “I had not […]

Holiday Stress Busters

After a year of discussing ways to live a healthier version of yourself, we are finally approaching the happiest, busiest and, ironically, most stressful time of the year. Sure, for the kids (and possibly the kid in us all), this is the time for chestnuts, Santa, presents and sleigh bells. However, for the adult in […]

A Tale of Two Santas

Your children were perfect angels when they visited Santa. They get that from you. But not everybody’s Santa experience was perfect. Not mine. My bad Santa experience happened when I was a grown adult. My first job out of the Mizzou School of Journalism was selling advertising for the Rolla Daily News. As the rookie […]

Make a Difference

As the holiday season approaches and the scent of spice fills the air, it’s time to remember the purpose for the celebrations and tummies full of mashed potatoes. November offers Columbia residents the opportunity to show gratitude and give back to those who need it. Volunteering for local organizations is a meaningful way to express […]