Journalist Laura

Musings of a journalist

A welcome home meal: grilled salmon with Sauvignon Blanc June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ammermle @ 11:42 pm

When Patrick is home on the weekends from his law internship, I like to make some nice meals and try new wines.

We recently bought a bottle of Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc (The Fume) that we’ve been wanting to drink and I had some salmon to cook, so I decided to come up with a meal that would feature both.

Here’s what I made: caesar salad with whole wheat croutons and a light caesar dressing, grilled salmon with key lime butter and a dessert of grilled fruit with honey yogurt sauce.

Grilled salmon with key lime butter, caesar salad and Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc

Grilled salmon with key lime butter, caesar salad and Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc

The wine really brought out some spiciness in the caesar dressing, which I liked. The citrus aroma of the Fume also went nicely with the key lime flavors of the salmon.

I got a nice tasteĀ  of grapefruit from the wine, andĀ  I liked this Sauvignon Blanc better than another I drank recently – the 2007 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc. The Murphy-Goode Fume has a better balance and palate to it and is my new Sauvignon Blanc of choice.

But the grilled fruit with yogurt sauce was not the best with the wine. Some of the grilled plums were a bit tart. The yogurt had some tartness of its own and when combined with the wine it was all a bit much.

So the dessert is not something I would repeat with this wine. It’s not that either one was bad – they just weren’t great together. And this Sauvignon Blanc deserves to go with something great!


An online clip archive June 18, 2009

Filed under: Clips archive — ammermle @ 7:15 pm

I’m using some of my post-graduation free time to create a bit of an online catalog of my clips. I think it’s important to have these online as I look for freelance/job opportunities and I think most are not accessible at The Palm Beach Post Web site anymore. I’ll put them up over time, in a series of posts. Today I’m just putting up some fun clips.

To start, here are some of my favorite stories from the years:

First, there’s the story I wrote about a celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe at a Catholic Church in South Florida. It was such an interesting experience, to see the way these people were celebrating their heritage, culture and religion. But the day was equally a celebration of the community – the children who’ve grown up together, the older people who’ve endured long lives of hard work to make it in a new country. It was a hopeful scene and one that made me appreciate the diversity of our state.

One morning while I worked the Sunday shift at the Delray Beach Bureau of The Palm Beach Post, my editor called to tell me he’d heard someone was moving a house downtown. So I drove down there and, sure enough, there were a bunch of people already getting drunk and cheering for this house that was inching it’s way down the street. I can only imagine how long they watched that house moving along…

I also wrote a story about a pro-am tennis tournament in Delray Beach. The focus of this story was former pro Anna Kournikova playing on a doubles team with former President George H.W. Bush (that’s the older Bush, in case you’re confused). Anyways, Kournikova served a ball right into Bush’s back! At first I was horrified, along with the rest of the crowd, I suspect. He’s not exactly young and that was a fast ball! But he laughed it off and made a little joke and then the whole arena started laughing. Kournikova was mortified but she got back to playing – more carefully this time!

I’ll probably add some more of these clips as time goes by. It’s nice to look back and see what I’ve done.


A blast from the past

Filed under: Restaurant reviews — ammermle @ 1:49 pm

So I Googled myself the other day to see how many of the stories I’ve written over the years are still online. A good number of them are, actually, but mostly not on the Web sites of the various publications for which I wrote them.

A lot of my old stories – mostly the ones about people and the restaurant reviews – were posted on blogs or company Web sites. It’s neat to see how my stories can live on like this, even when they’re not accessible anymore through the Web site of The Palm Beach Post, etc.

But I think what’s surprised me the most is that it’s the most simple, everyday stories that are still around. I guess that’s because they’re the ones most about people’s lives and they strike a chord with people. Plus, they’re good memories for the subjects of the articles.

Another very surprising thing is that I’m finding my old restaurant reviews on Web sites based all over the country! This does not really make sense to me…but okay.

This review of The N9nz Restaurant & Bar in Boca Raton now appears on a Web site called So does this review of Sunny Italy Restaurant & Pizzeria Inc. in Wellington. How bizarre is that?


A few things… February 27, 2009

Filed under: Florida Fly-Ins,Journalistic interests — ammermle @ 3:07 pm


Just a few things to keep you updated about. There have apparently been some delays (grrrr!) on the part of the person creating our web site with Florida Fly-Ins stories. You can still view projects from past years here, (sorry, none of my work is there) but the 2008 Fly-Ins content is not available online yet.

Also, I’m now working part time writing news and feature stories on medical research and people whose lives show how health care can make such an amazing difference! I’m really enjoying branching out into this new (for myself) niche of journalism and I’m learning so much. I’m also quite grateful to have a writing job in a time when so many reporters are losing theirs. Like the poor people at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. So sad!

I’ll update this page from time to time with new info, but mostly it’s an online archive of my multimedia projects. Hope you enjoy them!


I’m back! October 13, 2008

Filed under: 2575342,International Journalism,Journalistic interests — ammermle @ 12:24 am

Readers – please forgive my lengthy hiatus. I promise I was busy while I was gone – the past several months have been very exciting – I finished planning my wedding, got married and moved, all while taking graduate classes. I survived, though, and I’m here to update you on my latest journalistic endeavour.

Last week I returned from a week-long trip to Guatemala with the Florida Fly-Ins program. Fifteen of us – professional journalists and journalism students – converged on the the region of Zacapa for the purpose of gathering enough quotes, info, photos and video to create an online magazine about the hunger and malnutrition that are so prevalent in the area. Each person will produce a story (written, photo or video) exploring the topic from a different angle.

I will write a story about 21-year-old Jose Salguero, a young missionary who treks out into the mountains and jungles of Guatemala to find starving kids and bring them back to the nutritional center at Esperanza de Vida (translation: Hope of Life), the organization for which he works. I don’t want to give away too much now – but the story is really amazing. Jose has been through so much in his own life, and the tangled web of social problems in Guatemala really make his ‘rescue missions’ more complicated than they should be.

Right now we’re in the stage of putting our stories together. In December we’ll hold an exhibit displaying our work, and in January we’ll publish the magazine online. You can view projects from past years by clicking on the link above.


A semester of video April 30, 2008

Filed under: Flash,Journalistic interests,Video — ammermle @ 10:58 pm

So, my class has spent the whole semester learning about telling stories through video. I’ve definitely gained more confidence in my video skills this semester, but I do have room to improve. I want to make my shooting and editing skills more polished, and I’d really like to explore more of the video editing programs out there. The two videos I made this semester are decent for first attempts, but there is a lot of potential for improvement.

I have enjoyed our class’ exploration of longer films to help us gain perspective about storytelling in shorter formats, which is what I will do the most as a journalist. As much as I loathed doing it the first time, I now see how making a log of shots before capturing the video from the tape is beneficial. The same goes for writing a script. It can be tedious, but it does make the rest of the editing process easier. And, I think the more I edit video, the better I will become at identifying the best shots and writing a script that really facilitates the storytelling process.

I also appreciate the intro we had to making Flash projects. It was quite fun, and I see a lot of ways I can use this knowledge in the future.

All in all, I really value the skills and concepts I’ve learned this semester and I anticipate many opportunities to hone these skills in the future.


Lending a Helping Hand

Filed under: Video — ammermle @ 10:40 pm

Student volunteers from University of Florida perform basic medical procedures and check in patients at Helping Hands Clinic.

For our final project, my classmate Shifen and I decided to make a video about healthcare in the Gainesville area. While I knew before starting this project that there were big problems with the healthcare system in our country, I had never spent much time with people who lacked access to good healthcare – or at least not people who shared this information about themselves with me.

Shifen and I got in touch with the director of a local free clinic (called Helping Hands clinic) that serves people in need of care. He invited us to come and see how things were run. We met Terry, a man who volunteers at and receives care at the clinic. His story seemed interesting, and he agreed to be interviewed on camera next time we came. Terry was sick the next two weeks, so the time we had planned to spend talking with him we spent watching how the clinic worked and talking with other patients and volunteers.

It was good to learn about the challenges faced by people without healthcare access. Ultimately, Terry’s story still turned out to be the best, so we focused on it most. But, I appreciated the chance to learn more about the issue.