I emerge from weeks (months!) of bloglessness to shout this out. Amy won a James Beard Award in journalism! I can personally attest that Amy's gifts in the kitchen are equaled only by her eloquence and humor and grace as a writer. I have been a vegetarian since 1989, and still I will read with relish and delight Amy's accounts of, say, cutting up a whole pig in her yard or cooking steak in the Spanglers' sauna.
Go read her blog here for aforementioned and more. And here are the articles that won her the prize:
• "From the Bean Patch, Plenty" ("Their pods pack as much insulation as an arctic-rated sleeping bag"
• "Low-Tech Wonder" ("My first aioli separated. I fixed it, but sat through dinner beneath a black-mood cloud, undone by a broken sauce but loath to admit it.") (I've got to make the recipes for romesco sauce, chimichurri, and hazelnut praline) (or just go over to Amy's when I'm home in MN and gaze at her hopefully from my kitchen stool perch)
"Walleye: Plentiful and Only a Phone Call Away" ("It turns out that walleye's firm flesh steams beautifully, and within 15 minutes after getting to work I was dipping moist, snowy chunks of sake-steamed walleye in a spirited ponzu sauce that I Midwesternized with a little freshly ground horseradish in place of wasabi.")
Proof you can live in the middle of the woods with six-month(+) winters thousands of miles from a coast and be the most kick-ass chef and food writer ever AND be recognized for your genius. (As does the brilliant artist she's married to, Aaron Spangler.) High fives, old friend.