Wednesday, October 31, 2007

About Me

I started this blog when I moved to Los Angeles three years ago to intern for Peter Greenberg (and to be closer to my boyfriend). I caught the travel writing bug hard, but then the City of Los Angeles offered me big fat paychecks and benefits up the wazoo. With my student loan to pay off, how could I refuse?

After nearly two years of working for the City, writing travel and food articles during every break, lunch hour, evening and weekend, taking journalism classes, building clips and contacts, teaching myself publishing software, and reading the AP Style Handbook with as much interest as if it were the next Twilight novel - I decided "Who am I kidding?! I need to write for a living!" As a 25th birthday present to myself, I quit my job, took a trip around the world, and haven't looked back since.

So now, I am an Anglophile *writer* in L.A. (well, actually Orange County, but it’s darn well close enough). Why “anglophile”? Well, because I am mostly English, if you add up all of my genetics, and because I love Britain and always have. And, my grandmother was born in a London pub next door to 221b Baker Street; it doesn’t get more British than that.

I travel as much as I can - to England, India and Japan; around California from San Diego to San Francisco; and around the US to Kauai, Seattle, Phoenix, and Tampa. The next trip I'm planning is my honeymoon to Germany and Italy, right after my San Diego Wedding in June!

In addition to this blog, I dish out freelance writing tips at and keep my professional portfolio at

Thank you for visiting!

--Lauren Van Mullem

Contact Lauren

Saturday, October 27, 2007

LV's Cheese Platter

Here are my Favorite Cheeses. They'll be updated if and when I find more worthy of the list. I find my cheeses at C'est Cheese in Santa Barbara, Venissimo and Frog's Breath Cheese Store in Orange, where they have wonderful selections and let you taste anything you see.

LeydenKas, or Cumin cheese:

A traditional Dutch cheese, it is a semi-aged cow’s milk cheese that is then peppered with caraway seeds and cumin, giving it a slightly spicy flavor.

Pittig Aged Gouda

A Dutch Gouda with whiskey notes and a nutty crunchy twist. This is stronger than the Old Amsterdam, but shares many of its characteristics like the caramel color and flavor. I'm not sure which I like better!

Old Amsterdam:

A fine aged Gouda. Amber in color and slightly dry in texture, it is a delightful cheese with an intense, but not overpowering creamy, caramel, nutty flavor. Grocery store Gouda is bland, so try this if you want some real good Gouda. Can't recommend it enough.


For all you Wallace & Grommit fans, here’s the Wensleydale! This cow’s milk cheese from northern England has a nutty, tangy buttermilk flavor and a creamy, yet crumbly texture. Great with a pint o’ale. Probably the most mild cheese on this list!

Red Dragon:

This unique semi-soft cow's milk cheese from England is peppered throughout with whole grain mustard seed. Very rich, satisfying flavor, melts great on burgers! Use it anywhere you would use mustard, but I prefer it on a simple cracker.

English Cotswold:

A young, creamy cheddar from England that is peppered throughout with chives and dill. Great melted or as an afternoon snack.

Speziato al Tartufo:

A mild, hard, cow's milk cheese with a rind dusted with black truffle and cinnamon, for a sweet, nutmeg flavor. Perfect for desert.

Prima Donna:
The First Lady of Gouda with crunchy crystals and rich hazelnutty and caremelly goodness. I'm hard pressed to decide between this and Pittig, so I believe a side-by-side taste test is required.

Technorati tags: