Melanie has worked as a radio station news reporter, as a press secretary in the Wisconsin State Legislature and as editor of two local publications. Since 1994, she has worked as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in travel and fitness.

She has won numerous awards for her writing, most notably prestigious Lowell Thomas Gold and Grand Awards for her travel journalism. Her first book, "Thousand-Miler" (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017), is a memoir about her record-setting thru-hike of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Recent Contributions

Capicola is an Italian cured meat that comes from a pig's shoulder. It's thinly sliced like prosciutto, but has its own distinct flavor.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Caster sugar is a term you may have come across in a British baking book or website. But what does it mean really? And what sugar can you substitute for it?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

They both sound prestigious, but one ranks higher than the other. So, which is it and how do you get your hands on one of these British titles, anyway?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Many recipes call for kosher salt rather than regular table salt. But does it really matter? And can you substitute table salt if that's all you have on hand?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Suet is a fat long used in British cooking. But in the U.S., this high-calorie, nutritious item is favored as bird food. Here's why.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

North Yungas Road in Bolivia was dubbed the World's Most Dangerous Road in the 1990s, thanks to the hundreds of people who lost their lives each year on its twisting narrow path with a 2,000 foot drop. But what's it like today?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

You could call pancetta Italian bacon, but it's so much more than that. Think of it as bacon maxed out. So how do you use it? And how does it differ from prosciutto?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Pergolas add shade, space and panache to your home. Here's what to keep in mind before selecting one.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Hiking is wildly popular today, thanks in part to the coronavirus spurring more people into the outdoors. But before you head out on that trail, there are some 'trail etiquette' guidelines you need to be aware of.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Trundle beds are great for kid sleepovers and temporary adult guests. They're also good space savers, but you need to keep a few things in mind before selecting one.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

This American institution began with Abraham Lincoln following Stephen Douglas on the campaign trail. Today, the presidential debate is one of the most anticipated markers of candidates' campaigns.

By Josh Clark & Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The phrase (which means to ride in the front passenger seat of the car) seems like it might have come about during the Wild West. But it actually took a detour through Hollywood.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Parents in the U.S. are spanking their kids much less often than they did in the past. A study looked at the decline between 1993 and 2017.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

A new program from researchers at Carnegie Mellon can help your computer send more polite emails and messages. And they used a treasure trove of emails from the Enron lawsuit to do it.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Whether it's getting rid of a wart, protecting your boots from the elements or crafting roses, duct tape is up to the challenge. Duct tape even played a supporting role on the Apollo 13 lunar mission.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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There are thousands of reported uses for WD-40, an aerosol lubricant that's as handy as duct tape. We look at 12 of the more creative ones we've found for this miracle product.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Anne Boleyn is too often known only for her brief tumultuous marriage to King Henry VIII and her subsequent beheading. But there was a lot more to her life than that.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

People around the globe are just beginning to discover the beautiful Faroe Islands. With little crime, lovely scenery and lots of puffins, here are 11 things to know about this unique destination.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Colorful, flashy betta fish are common as pets. But many owners are unaware of how to properly care for them.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The archaeological site Chichén Itzá is one of Mexico's most popular tourist draws. Here are some things you may not know about this amazing Mayan wonder.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus