Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wacky Cake

My friend and Evanston neighbor Suzanne Cosgrove treated some of her friends and colleagues to her homemade cupcakes today, which inspired me to make some cupcakes today myself.

Here's my family's recipe for Wacky Cake. It requires no eggs. I know no other cake recipes that includes vinegar. You don't have to grease your baking pan. In fact, you can mix it in your baking pan, thus saving yourself one less bowl to clean.

Wacky Cake

1-1/2 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 t. baking soda
3 T. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 t. vinegar
6 T. melted butter
1 Cup warm water

Sift all dry ingredients into an 8" cake pan, or into a 9" x 13" pan if you double the recipe.
Make three holes in the flour mixture for vanilla, vinegar an butter.
Pour warm water over all.
Mix well an bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Frost if you want to.

To make cupcakes mix in a bowl. A single batch will make about 12 cupcakes.

Our family got this recipe from our Morton Grove neighbor Eunice Mattes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

From the family archives: Joel, Elita and Rona on Mulford

Rona Lerner, with her children Joel and Elita, in front of their then home at 1620 Mulford in Evanston in the summer of 1970.

Joel is my husband. He currently lives in Skokie, but as a photojournalist for Pioneer Press, shooting for the Evanston Review, he's there a lot. Elita lives in Atlanta and works for S.C. Johnson. Both are ETHS alumni. Rona was a Chicago Public School teacher for more than 30 years. She passed away in the spring of 2007.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Portrait Fun with Maura and Karen October 23 in Chicago

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Having a good portrait made of yourself is a good idea no matter what profession you are in or ambitions you have. You never know when someone might want to write about you in a news article, like the one Garrett Popcorn's Alecia Dantico was featured in. And then there's LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites that ask for profile pictures.

Getting a professional portrait made, that you actually like, that works for you, is usually pricey. This is why Maura Hernandez and I put our heads together to figure out how we could help our friends, colleagues and acquaintances get some good portraits made at a relatively reasonable price.

Friday, October 23, noon - 3 p.m., Maura and I will be making portraits at 9 W. Washington in Chicago for $75. We'll both shoot a whole bunch of pictures of you and we'll deliver six or more images files to you for your personal use.

A portion of all proceeds will go to the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago's scholarship fund.

Sign-up and pay for Portrait Fun here:

No refunds for no-shows, but you can come to another portrait session yet to be schedule.

Questions? Contact me at

Karen Kring/@EvanstonLive

Some portraits I've made for fun, money, sometimes both, are on Facebook:
- Emily Lonigro, owner, LimeRed Studio
- Dr. Barbara K. Iverson, professor, Columbia College
- Cheryl Corley, reporter, National Public Radio
- Monty Cole, actor, writer, director
- Michael M. Lorge, trustee, Village of Skokie
- Pam McKuen, independent journalist and journalism instructor
- Ramon DeLeon, operating partner, Domino's Pizza
- Justin G. Roy, co-founder, Networking for a Cause and TweetNetworking

Thursday, October 1, 2009

TweetCamp Oct 10: Where there's no such thing as a dumb question

The Association for Women Journalists-Chicago invites you to TweetCamp Chicago, a day-long “unconference” for anyone interested in utilizing Twitter professionally, or just learning more about it.

Emerging media specialist and blogger Keidra Chaney and journalist and social media consultant Maura Hernandez have organized this educational opportunity not just for journalists, but also marketing and public relations pros, entrepreneurs, developers, educators, consultants, artists and others. Anyone wanting to figure out Twitter and social media is invited to this potent and affordable day of learning.

When: Saturday, October 10, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Where: Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema
1104 S. Wabash, Chicago

Cost: $35 - non-members and the general public
Profits from the event will go to AWJ's scholarship fund

Lunch provided to all. Door prizes will be raffled.

Speakers and session leaders will include Twitter users:

Scott Smith,
Craig Kanalley
, Breaking Tweets
Mari Luangrath
, Foiled Cupcakes
Alecia Dantico
, Garrett's Popcorn
Ramon DeLeon
, Domino's Pizza

Columbia College's Dr. Barbara K. Iverson is expected too.
Chicago Tribune's Alicia Eler aims to talk with others about Twitter and arts writing.

Kathryn Janicek, Supervising News Producer at WGN-TV
John Cary, newly named Director of Interactive at Time Out Chicago
Mary Jo Maffei, Production Asst at WFLD-Fox Chicago News
Sally Duros, Independent Journalist
Lauran Berta, Web Coordinator, Sun-Times News Group

What makes this conference an unconference is that the content of most of the sessions will be determined on the day. For example, if a participant wants to discuss how one decides what to keep private and what to reveal online, a time and space can be posted on the big board they'll be using to create the schedule.

Like some other unconferences, it will not be about some participants being "teachers" and some "student". Everyone will have something to teach and everyone will have something to learn. Yes, even the self-described experts will learn something and even those feeling tech-challenged will have something to teach. There will be no such thing as a dumb questions.

Further developments will be announced on the TweetCamp blog as they happen.

Spots are limited. You must register on the TweetCamp Chicago registration page.

If you have questions, contact Maura at


Karen Kring here: I aim to be there too and plan to propose and participate in a session about how and why to get started on Twitter. I'll share some of what I know, but will also be interested in listening to what non-users and new users have to say. Some Evanston folks know that I tweet from Evanston Live

I recently asked Keidra Chaney what advice she has for people who find Twitter and social media scary or useless.

Here's her reply: I think social media, at its best, is a fantastic tool to bolster and strengthen real-life relationships and to communicate with a broader audience about news/events. I think one of the biggest misconception is that it's for tech savvy youth. Honestly it's not about technology, but it is about getting used to a multi-level two-way conversation, communicating with people and expecting - even anticipating a direct response. That's hard for a lot of people to get use to... But it's really liberating, even democratic. It's great to see a platform where lots of different voices get to be heard without filters. A lot of my daily job is evangelizing about social media, and honestly, it is not for everyone, especially Twitter, which can be really time-consuming.