Author Archive

4th Avenue, Conrad, MT

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Daphne Wade

Creative Addictions 11 4th Ave. SW, Ste 300
Art, In the Old Arnot’s Building

Kit Finlayson’s four grandkids have no excuse to be bored—visiting their grandmother’s business is like entering a Willy Wonka craft factory, overloaded with watercolor supplies, jewelry, scrapbooking, stamping, knitting, rug making, and every imaginable paper craft. Located in the huge Arnot’s furniture building, Creative Addictions has plenty of friendly workspace, along with lotions, oils, perfume and gifts…and then there’s the gourmet chocolate.

It’s no surprise that Creative Addictions is garnering a national reputation among crafters.

Finlayson, a Conrad native and MSU graduate, loves to do all the artistic things she has in her store. Stop by, take an adult-ed class, or share the joy of “I made this!” with your friends and family.

Even if you don’t crochet, it’s easy to get hooked at Creative Addictions.

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Savoir Faire & Iconic Sinatra Style

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Phil Procopio

Craig Duff gets a question that’s more common for a four-year-old kid at a birthday party than a forty-two year old federal law enforcement officer. “Did you dress yourself?”

The answer is yes, head to toe—and inside out.

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Treasure Seeker

Feast Your Eyes at Feather Your Nest

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Marcus Serrano

“Treasures walk in on a daily basis,” says Kandy Zanto, owner of Feather Your Nest in downtown Great Falls.

That doesn’t mean Zanto sits around. She goes to auctions, estate sales, and other local shops. She even makes house calls. “Wherever I go—in person or online—I find fun things and great stories.”

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New Docs Bring High Skills for High Risk Babies & Moms

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Marcus Serrano

Dr. James Meserow and Dr. Jayson Lingan do delicate dances to save lives. Meserow, a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, and Lingan, a neonatologist at Benefis’ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, choreograph actions with Benefis’ exceptionally skilled team. When it comes to high-risk moms and babies, everyone knows when and where to move.

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King of the Kitchen

The Genius Behind the Backyard Sipper Revealed

Text by Mark Baune • Photography by Jim Wells

We are going to switch gears this issue. Instead of zeroing in on flavor, color and alcohol content, let’s explore the various uses of my good friend, beer! It’s a no-brainer that you can cook with it but, have you ever thought of making vinegar? I stumbled upon this tasty concoction when a batch of home brew went sour and I, being a frugal individual, didn’t throw it out but rather, made vinegar. I grabbed a gallon glass jar and added some organic vinegar to my messed up brew. (Be sure the vinegar is not distilled, filtered or pasteurized.) This will inoculate it with some good “bugs” or what the pros call acetobacter. Acetobacter is aerobic, meaning it needs oxygen to convert ethanol (alcohol) into acetic acid –which makes vinegar taste like vinegar.

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Spring Time and the Drinking is Easy

Text by Heather Palermo & Cory Crawford • Photography by Jesse Martinez

It feels like we should start this article with an introduction. Hi. We are Heather and Cory. Nice to meet you! So, why should you read our all things booze article? What makes us experts? Well, nothing really, except for the fact that we like to travel, eat good food, and try out new beverages that we can bring back to Montana. Sure, some of the stuff we will write about you will have heard of or have had yourself, but we are hoping to bring a little bit of our adventures to you.

So, for our first article, we bring New Orleans to Montana, while also talking about a wine you can get anywhere around here. Sit back, relax, and let us tell you all about some great drinks for Spring.

The first time I (Heather) heard about La Vieille Ferme Rosé was at the Blue Rose when Tracy, the owner, offered me a glass of chicken wine. I did a double take – was she talking about wine to have with chicken, wine made from chickens, or something else? It turns out there are chickens on the label, hence the name chicken wine.

However silly the name may be, it is a very good rosé. Rosés have been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years – I mean I wouldn’t have been caught dead drinking a pink wine not too long ago – and they are great for warm spring days. It is great paired with, you guessed it, chicken, but also salads, fish and anything off the grill. It is a perfect crisp and fruity wine to have on hand for this spring and it’s not expensive! You can find it at Wines by Wednesday and Pizazz and many other places.

Ok, enough about wine, you really want to hear about New Orleans and how to make a delicious Sazerac. Cory . . .

Springtime holidays have got to be my favorites. Irish whiskey day (St. Patty’s), roasted lamb day (Easter), dislike of tequila reminder day (Cinco de Mayo), and of course, the let’s get crazy before Lent day/week/month (Mardi Gras, Shrovetide, or Carnival).

Whenever Lent begins to sneak up on us, I am transported back to that most famous of American Mardi Gras cities, New Orleans—amazing food, excellent music, and very interesting drinks. Few things can rival sitting at a bar on Frenchmen Street, sipping a Sazerac, and listening to a local band.

A Sazerac cocktail is made by muddling a sugar cube with three dashes of Peychaud’s bitters, adding two ounces of either rye whiskey (most popular) or cognac (the original), stirring with ice, and straining into a highball glass that’s been rinsed with Absinthe. The flavor is sublime, with a hint of anise.

So, while you’re out there enjoying freedom from the chains of winter, pick up some absinthe, rye, and bitters, then take a trip to New Orleans from the comfort of your own front porch.

~ Cory and Heather travel the world in search of adventure, delicious food, and amazing drinks. To pay for their adventures, Cory farms full time and Heather is the Director of Lifelong Learning at GFCMSU. They like to host dinner parties at their home in Great Falls, with their dog Maisy.

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