Friday, October 30, 2009

Daily Fix: Halloween Survival pack

* 1) My favorite Halloween Movie, "Hocus Pocus":

* 2) A bunch of candy (must include Almond Joy):

* 3) Flashlight, because I'm not walking to the garage in the dark:

* 4) Costume back up plan, just in case:

* 5) Some spooky decor, cheap cobwebs are a must:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Perfect Autumn Coat FOUND!!!

After weeks, I FINALLY found the orange plaid coat that I spotted on the Nie Nie Dialogues.

It's here online at DELiAs. AND it's on SALE!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I want to go to there: Haggerty Museum of Art

I only went there a few times while at Marquette; mostly because I confused the Haggerty Museum of Art with Hegarty's Pub across the quad. Now that I'm older and wiser, I would really like to venture back to my old stomping grounds, grab a latte with extra love (code for whip cream) from the Brew Bayou, wander the stacks at the Raynor Library, and enjoy some quiet time at the Joan of Arc Chapel. Ahhhh memories.

Here are some pieces of art from their website that I really like:

Here's where the museum is located:

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday: noon - 5 p.m.
Free admission daily

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Backyard discovery: Brick 3 Pizza

I ate there for the second time tonight; I had the Lasagna Pizza (ground beef, cheddar cheese, parmesan, and ricotta cheese) pictured above

Now, I hesitated to get too excited about this place or adding it to my list of recommended places to eat. It opened up in the middle of the recession, the first time I went it wasn't all that busy, and it's in a neighborhood with a pretty high turnover rate for businesses. Hower, after the great reviews over the past few months and Matt's nod to its ability to consistently make good pizza, I think this place is gonna make it. The multiple plasma TVs showing NBA games get high marks from dudes. They have the most creative pizza menu I've seen in a long time (eg. Lasagna Pizza, Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, Baked Potato Pizza, Mac 'N Cheese Pizza, Goat Cheese Pizza, Pesto Chicken Pizza). I like thin crust pizza, but this is a good thinly hand tossed style that they heat up in these big ol' ovens that make the bottom of the pizza nice and golden.


Neti Pot

I got mine at Outpost Natural Foods last year. I've been using this for the last few days while I battle a runny nose/cough/congestion (almost gone). Personally, I would much rather have salt water up my nose than take drowsy-inducing Sudafed. For the cough, some cough drops and lots of warm fluids is doing the trick. Some colds just need some TLC, that's all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In the kitchen: Homemade Granola Bars

I realize that my usual Starbucks double Latte or nothing at all in the A.M. is not a very healthy breakfast. I want to eat better than my usual "running out the door/eating at my desk" meal so that my belly doesn't steer my car into the Wendy's drive through line at 4 PM. And, I have a wedding coming up in July. So lately, I've been thinking of food choices in terms with the GLYCEMIC INDEX and how I could fit it into my meal planning (you know, the one that also includes all of Matt's favorite foods like pizza and mac 'n cheese). So here's my first attempt with a whole grain breakfast: Granola bars with Flax seed, walnuts, coconut, dates, honey and goji berries. If you have any ideas what to name this, let me know with a comment below.

1 cup toasted flax seeds
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup toasted coconut
5 chopped dates
3T dried goji berries
4T raw honey

Mix everything together well
Scoop into small plastic bags or plastic wrap
Roll into desired granola bar shape
Store in fridge overnight until firm

(Makes 5)

My friend Bridget from Healing Illuminations has a lot of great recipes for balanced carbohydrate, antioxidant-rich, and raw food on her website. She's been helping me with a lot of my nutrition based questions.

You're so cute I wanna take you home!

The other day, I posted about a bunch of greyhounds that will soon need adoption. All these retired greyhounds are CURRENTLY available for adoption through GPA Wisconsin. Go to:

See Tulsa here

See Sarah here

See Bill Cosby here
Yes, his race name is Bill Cosby. Gotta love it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baby shower today

I bought this onesie and matching bib set from BeanPickleSprout on Etsy.

That's gonna be one cute and stylish baby.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lulu the dog is happy Dairyland is probably closing

from: flickr

Over the past week, the Milwaukee media has been forewarning of the probable closing of Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha. My dog, Lulu (aka Get Out of Here) raced at Dairyland for a little over a year and then we adopted her out of Greyhound Pets of America-Wisconsin.

I have mixed feelings about the closing. I'm glad the track is closing. There were a lot of rumors about cutting cost at the track which meant poorer conditions for the dogs (see article below). And why do they need 900 dogs racing every other day, only to force them into retirement after 1-3 years? I'm also a little worried about what the closing will mean for those 900 dogs. Will the adoption agencies be able to handle them? Will enough people want to adopt them? Will some "less desirable dogs" be put down to reduce the total number of greyhounds? That's a lot of dogs that will need a lot of veterinary care, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and re-socialization.

- I get a lot of questions about her racing life. I DO think that she loved running and being around tons of other greyhounds; that's what greyhounds need. I DON'T think they fed her very well; her teeth were in horrible condition due to lack of nutrition and proper cleaning. I DO think she was mistreated in some way; it took over a year and some Prozac until she stopped being afraid of loud noises, tall men, fast movements. I DO know that's she's afraid of her crate; probably because she was crated in a small wooden crate for the majority of the day at the track. I DO know that she didn't get any of her routine shots or was spayed until after she retired. Other than that, I can only speculate what her life was like for almost 3 years.
- I get a lot of questions about greyhounds as pets, too. THEY ARE EXTRAORDINARY PETS! Lulu sleeps most of the day (16hrs+), rarely makes any noise, sheds only a little, and is very polite with house guests and kids. She is very mild-mannered and only needs one good walk a day. She does chase some things, but her chase-drive has substantially subsided.

So, you should read these Journal Sentinel news stories popping up about Dairyland closing:
October 20: State Probing Death of 6 Dairyland Dogs
October 11: Dog Groups Expect a Glut of Greyhounds
October 10: Dairyland Greyhound Park May Close for Good
Here's a story from the Kenosha News:
October 9: Dairyland Considers Closing in 2010

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Milwaukee Faves: Oak Leaf Trail

My favorite place in Milwaukee in fall is the Oak Leaf Trail. It's a long stretch of paved trail/roads/side streets that are pretty clearly marked in Milwaukee with these signs:

I love that it captures some of the best views of the Lake Michigan waterfront from south of Bayview, through South Shore Park, then past the Summerfest Grounds and straight up a beautiful tree-covered paved path through the East Side corridor. The Alterra by the lake is right off the trail and great for a quick Apple Cider or Hot Chocolate. You'll also pass the Urban Ecology Center on the East Side and the community gardens. A few years ago, there was a male Fox that use to hang out right off the trail on the Milwaukee river's edge. I haven't seen him in about a year; has anyone else?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Daily Fix: blingin' rings

from: toosis jewelry design

from: Tiffany & Co.

from: J.Crew

from: Anthropologie

Ooooh, this one's my favorite!! Probs because it looks very similar to the one I own.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Desperate Housewives Style: Bree Van De Kamp

I was working out today with my new best friend and catching up on last week's Desperate Housewives episode on Bree Van De Kamp - Hodge is such a great character: a mix of Martha Stewart and Sarah Palin. She's neurotic, driven, fussy, and she always has perfect manners. Whenever I go to stores like Williams-Sonoma or watch Martha Stewart make some crazy complicated housewarming gift, I think of Bree. Here are some other things that make me think of Bree:

Pictures from: Lilly Pulitzer, Jimmy Choo, Longeberger baskets, 1800Flowers Martha Stewart Collection, Hable Construction, NRA, Restoration Hardware, Lexus

New stuff: t shirt and cups

This shirt was on sale at Anthropologie for 50% off. Hoo-rah! It's actually cuter in person than in the photo. There's a screen-printing of hand drawn flowers over the stripes, then on top of that there are silky fabric flowers fastened with brass buttons. I can't wait to wear this on weekends, to flea markets, and on more shopping trips. So comfy and cute! I got two of these monogrammed cups at Anthropologie, too. I plan to use them at the wedding somehow: maybe to hold pens for the guest book? For little flowers? For stir sticks at the coffee table? Only $6 each.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lulu the dog eats canine gourmet

(Lulu is a very messy eater)

I was inspired to cook today.....for the dog. We occasionally give her leftovers, some yogurt when her tummy is being weird, and tuna for some omega 3's. So, for my first attempt at doggie gourmet, I made a roasted fingerling potatoes and butternut squash stew with chicken gravy. Lulu was very happy!

Rachael Ray's website has a lot of pet-friendly recipes (food that you and your dog can eat) see recipes here. If you watch Rachael Ray, you know that she loves talking about her dog Isaboo. Personally, I think her recipes sound the best for people eating, too. Some things I just can't justify making ONLY for the dog. Hey, if I'm cooking for over an hour, I better get something out of it, too.

Here's the book I have. It's a good guide for what dogs can/can't and should/shouldn't eat in a general diet. It also provides a reference for daily dietary intake needs (ie. carbs, protein, vitamins, and calories) based on your dog's weight. A few good recipes, too, that even I want to Texas Style Chili and Lamb Souvlaki in a Pita.

Got the Flu shot yesterday

H1N1 reminds me of this abstract bubble art:

The Southside health center offered up free H1N1 shots to health care workers yesterday. I was grateful to get mine after hearing that there may be a shortage for the next few weeks. I know not everyone is getting the swine flu shot this year but I was in the category of healthcare workers whose job warrants them to get the shot. I plan on getting the seasonall flu shot after work tomorrow because I would rather have a sore muscle and some preservatives in my arm than get the flu and feel like absolute crap while using up all my sick days. I also don't want to spread it to little kids, my pregnant friends, or my immunocompromised patients (see this study about transmission rates). Check out the CDC website for more info about the seasonal flu shots and updated epidemiological info for both flu viruses. There's a lot of highly reputable global research (see study links here) going on out there, so base your decision to get the flu shot(s) based on that info, not what Jenny McCarthy and believers are saying.

Milwaukee Health Department Flu Clinics: see schedule
All the TakeCare Clinics at Walgreens seem to be out of the flu shots: check availability in a few weeks. Cost $25

Friday, October 16, 2009

New stuff: danish modern carafe

This is my new water carafe for the guest room. It should be here soon! It seems like every design magazine/blog/etc. is really pushing the danish modern trend that's happening now. I really like the clean lines and 1950's european appeal of it all, but it just doesn't mesh well with my home decor. However, I believe THIS will look quite nice in my guest bedroom on the nightstand with cucumber water or lemon water. A perfect addition to those Andes candies mints I've been putting on the pillows.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Stuffed with Vegetable Stew

This one is from the soon to be defunct Gourmet Magazine. So, I'm stocking up on recipes and photos from the website before that's gone, too. Here's one of my favorite visually appealing recipes:

Pumpkin Stuffed with Vegetable Stew

1 fennel bulb with fronds
2 medium parsnips (1/2 pound total), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb celery root (sometimes called celeriac; 1/2 of 1 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
14 small shallots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole, plus 1/2 cup chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 red bell pepepers
1 (8- to 9-lb) pumpkin (preferably cheese, pie, or Sweet Meat variety)
Roasted-vegetable and wine sauce, heated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
1/4 lb fresh chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed
1 lb seitan (seasoned wheat gluten), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped thyme, divided
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve, then discard stalks and remaining fronds. Halve bulb lengthwise, then core and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges.
Toss fennel wedges, parsnips, celery root, carrots, and whole shallots with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan until coated, then roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven. Leave oven on.

Roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. (If you stove is not gas, see cooks' note, below.)
Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers and discard stems and seeds. Cut peppers lengthwise into 1-inch strips.
Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (6 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; do not discard top), then sprinkle flesh with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put pumpkin in a large roasting pan.

Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into pumpkin and cover with top, then brush all over with remaining tablespoon oil. Roast 1 hour.
While pumpkin roasts, heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped shallots until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and begin to give off liquid, about 8 minutes. Add wheat gluten and 1/2 teaspoon thyme, then stir in 1 1/2 cups more sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and fold in roasted root vegetables and peppers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
After pumpkin has roasted 1 hour, spoon vegetable filling into it, then cover with top. Roast until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork, vegetables are tender, and filling is hot, about 30 minutes more. Transfer pumpkin to a platter using 2 sturdy metal spatulas.
Stir together fennel fronds, parsley, zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and sprinkle half of it over filling. Stir remainder into remaining sauce and serve sauce on the side.

Bell peppers can be broiled on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.
Peppers can be roasted and peeled up to 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.
Root vegetables can be roasted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
Pumpkin can be cut, scraped, and seasoned 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Pour out any accumulated liquid and bring pumpkin to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.


Milwaukee Faves: The Marsupial Bridge

I love browsing through flickr photos to find Milwaukee photos. I also love driving or biking around Milwaukee and finding hidden Milwaukee landmarks or fun spots. So, I'm calling it Milwaukee Faves and I'll be posting every now and then about my favorite hidden gems in Milwaukee.

The marsupial bridge is one sweet bridge. It rises and falls as it stretches across the river, has excellent night time aesthetic lighting, and is practical as all get out (not many bridges get you from Brady to Riverwest in 5 minutes flat).

photo from: bryan kelley
The bridge is an integral part of the Riverwest 24 hour bike race. It is also a nice and cozy home to the Bike-In Movie Series.

photo from: stellaloella
The bridge is located under the Holton St. bridge, but the Marsupial bridge is only open to bikes/pedestrians. The media garden at the Water St. entrance to the bridge(across from Trocadero) welcomes you with benches and bike racks. The whole project even won an the Rudy Burner Award for urban design excellence.

photo from: repowers


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