Sunday, January 31, 2010

Decorating: Home is where the bar is

Photos (top to bottom): Nina Gottlieb, apartment therapy, pottery barn, glenn dundas on flickr, apartment therapy, tori mellott

P.S. Beer week is almost over, sign up for the giveaway by Tuesday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend: Homebrewing

Matt just finished the bottling process for his amber ale homebrew. Now it waits bottled in our basement until it's finished. Homebrewing takes a good initial investment for all the supplies and equipment but after that, you're ready to brew. And with stores like Northern Brewer in the area, it's easy to experiment with everything from ales to meads. Yes, we like our beer in Wisconsin--so much that we'll make our own.

Want to learn more about brewing? Start off with the Lakefront, Sprecher, or Miller brewery tours for the basics of brewing. Then take a brewing class with the Beer Barons of Milwaukee, a local homebrew club. Trust me, it can get as complex and as extreme as you want (like Discovery World's class on recreating an ancient Turkish beer recipe), but that's half the fun. After all, you're basically doing one big chemistry and physics project. So grab a lab partner and let's drink!

Northern Brewer (1306 S. 108th St.) is on south Hwy 100 in West Allis and open M-F: 10-7, Sat: 10-5, Sun: 12-3

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bar stool Giveaway!!!

Like cute stools? I certainly do (I have many, mostly because I'm short). Aren't stools a short girl's best friend? Thanks to, Cream City and Sugar will be giving this exact stool to one randomly selected reader that posts a comment below. So become a follower, post your comment, and cross your fingers that this stool will soon arrive on your doorstep!! A winner will be announced Wednesday morning.

Wildon Home Aloha 24" Stool in Antique Black. Visit the website to see more!

Decorating with beer: Bar stools

Flo stool by Patricia Urquiola for driade via apartment therapy

Marais stool from DWR

Elle Decor

via apartment therapy

Martha Stewart


Cottage Living

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cooking with a splash of beer

One of the best secret ingredients in cooking has to be beer--nobody expects it. In Milwaukee, I don't think that's a secret because beer is in everything here: beer cheese dip, beer-boiled brats, beer cheese soup, beer-battered fish fry. I guess when there's so much on hand it's hard not to think of new and creative uses for beer.

This is my most favorite upon favorite of beer recipes and I can't believe they post it online! When I lived abroad I would seriously have dreams about this pot roast. My mouth would water just thinking about it. The recipe originates from the Spice House but is now a staple on the County Clare menu

Grandma Flanigan's Guinness Pot Roast from the County Clare Restaurant
16 ounces Guinness Stout
3 to 4 pound chuck roast
2 tablespoons Spice House's English Prime Rib Rub
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour Guinness into bowl and set aside so beer flattens. Rub roast with English Prime Rib Rub seasoning. In large non- stick pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. Sear roast on each side until browned. Immediately remove meat from pan and set in large roasting pan. Coarsely chop onions and add to pan along with garlic. Add stock. Roast in preheated oven 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and add Guiness. Liquid level should be at least halfway up side of roast. Roast an additional 2 hours, check liquid level periodically and add water if needed. If adding vegetables while roast cooks, add during last 45 minutes. After 3 hours, roast should be fork-tender. Transfer roast onto warm platter. Place roasting pan on stove top, on high, stirring juices constantly. Make a slurry by combining water and cornstarch. Gradually add to juice until mixture thickens. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over meat and vegetables. Makes 4 to 6 servings Note: At the restaurant vegetables such as carrots, wedges of cabbage and mashed potatoes are served alongside meat. If desired, your choice of vegetables can be added to pot and cooked with roast as noted above.

This recipe was posted in the Journal Sentinel a while ago and immediately went to my favorites box. When I tried it at Centraal it had bacon wrapped around it, but you could easy add that to this recipe.

The Benelux Meatloaf from Cafe Centraal
2 ribs celery, diced
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup diced carrots
¾ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
½ pound ground turkey
¼ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
¼ cup A.1. Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 eggs
¼ cup Lakefront Abbey Ale or another Belgian beer
Canola oil to coat pan

- Combine vegetables, garlic, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add meat and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together ketchup, hot pepper sauce, A.1. sauce, evaporated milk, eggs and beer until well combined.
- Add wet mixture to meat/vegetable mixture and mix with hands until well-combined.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a bread pan with canola oil, then line with a piece of parchment paper. Pack meat mixture into pan, making sure all air pockets are filled. Invert meatloaf onto parchment-lined baking sheet. If meat does not come out of pan easily, loosen sides with a knife.
- Set in center rack of oven and bake 1 hour or until done. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

99 Bottles of Beer on the door

These beer bottle doors can be found in lower level lounge at The Blatz Condos (270 W. Highland). Johnsen Schmaling Architects rehabbed the entire Blatz Brewery several years ago and added a lot of cool features to the now condo building, including these doors, a pool, and very sleek lobby and concierge desk. The bottles were apparently found in the basement and were leftover from the old brewery. I love that they kept some of the history of the building yet made this incredibly modern and translucent door. Very cool.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A week in Brew City

This week, I'll be doing something a little different--I will be posting about how beer and its influences the culture here in Milwaukee. All cities have a unique culture shaped by its history, demographics, and industry that influence the way of life. In Milwaukee, we have beer and blue collar jobs. We live and work in old breweries, we decorate with beer, we home bars, we buy microbrews, and we homebrew in the basement. Only in Milwaukee, right? And then at the end of this glorious week, I will be having a GIVEAWAY!

Photo: mediafury

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sundays in MKE: Wisconsin Foodie

Wisconsin Foodie will be on tomorrow, excited? Tomorrow's episode will be about the Tour de Farms; a bicycle tour of Wisconsin Farms. I have been really impressed with the quality of the show over the years; it's well shot, well edited, well researched. I met Kyle Cherek last night at Anthony Bourdain and professed my love of the show. The lesson of the night: being the host of a food travel show is probably the best job ever.

Watch Wisconsin Foodie on Channel 5-CBS 58 Sundays at 10:30am (or DVR it like I do).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Milwaukee Faves: the icy lake

Photo: kzsebe on flickr

I want to go to there: a houseboat

I was reading the The UK Times Online and came across this unbelievable houseboat owned by Josie Curran on the river Thames. This is a boat? Really?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cupcakes, Crowds, and Cold Ones

Beer and Bratwurst cupcakes (left) and Duff Beer cupcakes with a mini donut on top (right)? Have I told you how much I love Milwaukee culture?! I only got these two cupcakes because there were a million people at Moct last night. I think there were about 22 different beer cupcakes and about 400 people. Next year I will be there before doors open and wearing my running shoes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Antique hunting: West Bend Antique Show

Here's what I saw......

Here's what I bought......

Can't wait until the Elkhorn Antique and Fleamarket in May!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daily Fix: Fancy hand soap

I talked about having that Savon de Marseilles soap in my post yesterday. I should admit that I love soap.....too much. I come home with bars of soap from farmer's markets and bottles of soap from Sendiks as if I intend to wash my hands 10,000 a day. No, I don't have OCD--I'm a nurse.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. The Thymes Apricot Quince Hand Wash and Hand lotion sink caddy 2. Method Green Tea & Aloe Hand Wash 3. Lather Rosemary & Peppermint bar soap 4. Dr. Bronner's Lavender Pure-Castille Soap 5. Murchison-Hume Superlative Liquid Hand Soap in Juniperberry 6. Savon de Marseille Olive Oil bar soap

Good Advice: Waste Not, Want Not

This cute print is from Kiss Her. P.S. I have the pink lotus votive AND that hand soap.....I'm this close to being tre chic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nigella Lawson's Triple Chocolate Brownies

I have been craving chocolate brownies all day today, so when I got home I searched the internet for the best brownie recipe I could find. Nigella Lawson's brownie recipe seems to have a lot of fans. The picture of above is from firefly64 on flickr; she loved them so much she took pictures of them! They look a bit fudgey but still have that one flaky layer on the top (my fav). If you love the brownie edges, get one of these pans. I'm a little diffident in my baking skills; and for others like me, here are Martha's tips for perfect brownies--You're welcome!

The Bike Polo players

Did anyone else see the article in the Journal Sentinel today about the arrest of 11 bike polo players? Arresting them seems kind of extreme. Anyways, I see them around town and can never figure out how the game is played, but it does look pretty sweet. A whole subculture of its own, really.

Photos: Kevin Walsh via flickr

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dores Winter Collection is here!

Fellow Milwaukeean, Stephanie Renee of Dores unveiled her Winter collection on Etsy this morning. I love how simple yet feminine her jewelry is. It can easily be layered or worn alone, dressed up or dressed with jeans. Here are two of my favorites: the signature hand cast brass holiday necklace (now in a longer size) and the brass and leather drop necklace. Can't wait to see more of her stuff in the the meantime, if you're into vintage clothing check out her vintage shop.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Milwaukee Style: Hunter boots

I was screaming like a little girl at Hannah Montana when I unwrapped my new pair of Hunter wellies this past Christmas. I have been seeing them on fashionable people here and there, but that's not the only reason I wanted them......they are sooooo practical for Milwaukee winters. You can go out shoveling, walk the dog, step in mud, and still go out and look cute. I love that you can just wipe them off; no leather, furry lining or laces to worry about.

Here are some cute outfits topped off with a pair of wellies!.......

images from: lookbook, weardrobe, the Guardian

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lulu the dog has a new foster friend

I picked up our foster greyhound, Lacy, this morning. We will be introducing her to "home life" for the first time and teaching her new skills like potty-training and how to walk up stairs. So far Lulu approves, but is not wiling to share her bed(s). Once we get Lacy adjusted, she'll be off to meet her new adoptive family.

GPA, a greyhound rescue organization in Wisconsin, has many greyhounds up for adoption on their website. If you want to meet a greyhound, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS) has several greyhounds up for adoption. There are also a lot of meet and greets sponsored by GPA, schedule here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Daily Fix: Winter beers

When the snow starts falling, I love staying inside and hanging out at home. Here are some of the winter seasonal beers that have been keeping us company....

Upland Winter Warmer

Captital Winter Skal

Lakefront Holiday Spice

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

One of our new discoveries was Shiner Holiday Cheer. There weren't any bottles left to take a photo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wedding update: cake topper

These little ceramic birds are from mudpuppy on Etsy. I wanted something I could use as home decor or accent after the wedding. I think they'll like living atop some books on my desk.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolution Week: get cookin'

2009 was perpetually busy and somehow I had forgotten that I have a kitchen and that I know how to cook. This year, I hope to actually make some of those recipes I had ear-marked and filed away for later. I will be cooking a real dinner (frozen pizza doesn't count) at home more often starting today. Tonight I made Turkey Sloppy Janes from the Hungry Girl Cookbook. I love to page through cookbooks looking for good recipes and I wanted to share the Real Simple recipes that I can't wait to try. I hope they inspire you to do some cooking, too.

Lasagna style baked ziti

Pan-seared lemon sole

Pan-roasted chicken with lemon garlic green beans

Cauliflower and ham gratin

Skirt steak with pepitas sauce in warm tortillas


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