Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews Shonen Knife

Erica Rivera interviewed iconic punk rockers Shonen Knife. Read how this Japanese band has endured 33 years of music-making on Vita.mn here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Erica Rivera Bakes Sylvia Plath's Favorite Cake

Inspired by a recent viewing of the film Sylvia in which Sylvia Plath procrastinates writing by baking up a storm, Erica Rivera went in search of Plath's recipes. She stumbled upon one for a tomato soup cake, reportedly one of the poet's favorites, and recreated it.



For the cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 can condensed tomato soup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar


• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two cake pans generously with cooking spray.

• Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs and tomato soup; stir until incorporated.

• Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Stir just until uniform; do not over-stir.

• Transfer batter evenly to pans. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean.

• Transfer pans to wire rack. Gently run spatula around inner rim of cakes to loosen from pan but do not remove cakes. Let cakes cool completely.

• Meanwhile, make frosting by beating cream cheese and butter together in large bowl with electric mixer on medium. Add vanilla extract; beat. Add powdered sugar gradually and continue beating, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

• Transfer one cooled cake to serving plate; frost. Top with second cake; frost. Slice and serve. 

(Adapted from The Guardian.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews The Buzzcocks

Erica Rivera interviewed the Buzzcocks, a legendary punk rock band from Manchester, England. Vocalist and guitarist Steve Diggle discussed rebellion, longevity, and the group's new album The Way with Rivera. Read the Q&A on Vita.mn here!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Erica Rivera Featured in St. Paul Almanac 2015

Erica Rivera's photograph of Adriel Danae singing at the Turf Club is included in the 2015 St. Paul Almanac. The guidebook features stories, poems, photographs, and illustrations from local artists. A reception celebrating the Almanac's release will be held on Thursday, September 11 at 7 p.m. at 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles WaterFilters.NET

Erica Rivera interviewed Jamin Arvig, founder of WaterFilters.NET, about his rapid rise in the online commerce industry. Read the feature in the September 2014 issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Fein Violins

Erica Rivera profiled Fein Violins, a longtime Grand Avenue shop where custom instruments are made by hand, for Minnesota Business magazine. Read the piece in the September issue or online here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles MartinPatrick3

Erica Rivera profiled Martin Patrick 3, a swanky store for the businessman with discretionary income. Read about it in the September issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Airtex Design Group

Erica Rivera interviewed Susan Shields and Mike Miller, co-founders of Airtex Design Group. Read how the dynamic duo stitched together a successful company in the September issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles The Beez Kneez

Erica Rivera profiled The Beez Kneez, a honey delivery service that also educates about, and advocates on the behalf of, bees. Read the feature in the September issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Brave New Workshop

Erica Rivera interviewed John Sweeney of the Brave New Workshop about how improv training can improve performance in the workplace. Read about BNW's Creative Outreach program in the September issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews Tim Slagle

Tim Slagle jokes most often about politics, but he's got some seriously good things to say about depression and Robin Williams' suicide in my Q&A with the comedian for Vita.mn. Read it online here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews Strand of Oaks

Erica Rivera spoke to the Strand of Oaks' frontman about recording his latest album, HEAL, while suffering from a concussion after a car accident. Read about the therapeutic effects of music in the Q&A on Vita.mn here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Erica Rivera Interview Henry Phillips

Erica Rivera spoke with Henry Phillips, a comedian who not only does stand-up but records his own music and hosts a hilarious cooking series on YouTube. Read the Q&A on Vita.mn here!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Knock Inc.

Erica Rivera spoke to Knock founder Lili Hall about how she built her advertising agency from a team of one and how she re-built the business following a fire. Read the article in the August 2014 issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews Jenny Lewis

Erica Rivera spoke to Jenny Lewis, the former frontwoman from Rilo Kiley, about her latest solo album, The Voyager. Lewis mined several painful experiences for the record; read about how she overcame them in this week's issue of Vita.mn or online here!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Pierrepont Hicks

Erica Rivera profiled Pierrepont Hicks, a necktie company that started in Minnesota. Read the piece in the August 2014 issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Erica Rivera interviewed Paul Janeway, the frontman of old-school soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Rivera asked Janeway about his religious past, the music scene in Birmingham, and his favorite comic books. Read the Q&A on Vita.mn here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles The Elo Pillow

Erica Rivera spoke to Killian Rieder, creator of the elo pillow. Read about how this high-tech device can help kids and their parents sleep more soundly in the August 2014 issue of Minnesota Business magazine or online here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Erica Rivera On Nursery Design Trends

Erica Rivera interviewed several new moms in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for "Making Room for Baby," a Star Tribune story on nursery trends. Read the piece on the front page of the Sunday Homes section or online here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Erica Rivera Profiles Precision Gasket Company

Erica Rivera profiled Precision Gasket Company (PGC) for the August issue of Minnesota Business magazine. Read about the Edina-based manufacturer in the August issue or online here.
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