P.J. Huffstutter is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and, since 2003, has covered the country's heartland as the paper's Midwest bureau chief. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, with a degree in psychology, she worked at newspapers in Colorado and California as a general assignment reporter. In 1997, Huffstutter joined the Times as a business reporter covering the technology industry in Orange County. In January, she moved back to Los Angeles and has re-joined the paper's business staff, where she is covering the agriculture and the food business industries -- a beat that feeds her passions for gastronomic travel, homemade preserves and interest in French pastries.