Tuesday, June 23, 2009

thankful tuesdays: summer in milwaukee!

New frozen custard and snack shop!

Fro-yo for Becks!
Custard for Megs!

And beautiful sunsets over one of our many bodies of water!

I've heard many people describe Milwaukee as an abusive lover. It's so cruel to us in the winter, but boy do summers rule.

Monday, June 22, 2009

monday munchies: if i could only eat like this year-round

What a week it's been in the Accidental Wisconsinite's kitchen!

First, as I alluded to last Wednesday I did indeed create something awesome.

That's baked halibut drizzled with a homemade dill-lemon-yogurt sauce over a bed of rice and accompanied by organic asparagus (which I froze a couple weeks ago).

Then Thursday I had my first hands-on food preservation class at the Urban Ecology Center. We learned about jams and jellies. I got to tackle strawberry rhubarb jam with my group and take two jars home, as well as some leftover fresh rhubarb. Jamming makes so much sense now that I tried it out firsthand. I just have to take a trip to Farm & Fleet and get equipment now!

Thursday was a double awesome days. It was the first CSA delivery from Rare Earth Farm. Becky and I met up after class and went to pick up our share. This was one of our egg deliveries too, so we had an added bonus. I also gave Becks a jar of the jam since we're going to be food pals all summer. Our first haul is always a little on the small side, but much bigger to me since I'm just splitting it with one person vs. three others.

Just look at it up close! Maple syrup, Cucumber, Italian Pole Beans, organic mushrooms, spinach, herbs for potting, eggs, and my rhubarb from class!


Of course I couldn't neglect my trip to the East Town Farmer's Market on Saturday.

Fresh flowers, organic strawberries (that were seriously DIVINE), garlic, ground turkey, onions and a magic smoothie.

And from my bounty I created:

Spinach & Mushroom Cream Sauce (part skim milk, part goat cheese, part Gruyere) over spinach & chive pasta (that pasta is from Trader Joe's...I'm not quite that advanced yet).

And the most delicious strawberry rhubarb custard pie -- thanks to my grandma for the recommendation!

music madness: summerfest on the horizon

Happy Summerfest Week!
I'm limiting myself to Big Gigness this year, but have picked three nights to go.  Here are the nights and shows I'm planning on:
Thursday, June 25: 8 PM: Meat Puppets (US Cellular Stage) & 10 PM: Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band (Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage)
Monday, June 29: 9 PM: Heart (M&I Classic Rock Stage) & 10 PM: Spoon (Harley-Davidson Roadhouse)
Sunday, July 5: 8 PM: English Beat (who I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) (Miller Oasis) & 9 PM (actually after English Beat for me): Elvis Costello & The Imposters (M&I Classic Rock Stage)
Sunday is free from noon to 3 thanks to WE Energies, so I'll probably hang out there early. However, I'm open to getting a line on free tickets to cover my other two days if anyone is not using theirs. :)
Another show of note during the Summerfest run of course is Indie-Pendents Day a FREE show in Bay View featuring Stephen Malkmus on July 4. You can bet your sparklers I'll be there! Thank you PBR!
If you want to kick off your music week early, please join me and the FUEL Milwaukee Healthy & Green Team at Chill on the Hill in Bay View tomorrow, June 23. More information is here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

monday munchies: early season treats

Yes, I realize it's Wednesday, but it's been a busy week.

I'm still loving the return of the East Town Farmer's Market.With my goodies this week, I managed to create two delicious creations which provided me three days worth of lunch:

This is Bok Choy Gratin which I found via the Epicurious App on my iPhone. This app is FREE and pretty amazing. You can look up recipes by ingredient, make shopping lists, and follow the preparation steps all on your phone. SO great. Anyway, it was absolutely tasteriffic. I used Bok Choy from the Farmer's Market, Gruyere from the West Allis Cheese Shoppe, whole nutmeg from the Spice House, and organic Sassy Cow milk from Good Harvest Market. I didn't have a shallot, so I subbed green onions (from the farmer's market) and instead of whole milk, I used 2% and stirred in famer's market goat cheese from last week. Highly recommend as a nice side.

I also made (and neglected to photograph) a turkey meatloaf. I sort of winged this one. I used Ruegsegger Farms ground turkey (I am going to become a poultry snob), Willoway Farm free range eggs, more of the aforementioned scallions, dill from the market, and garlic (frozen Trader Joe's, alas), oh and breadcrumbs of course. I mushed everything together and put it in a bread loaf pan with foil over it on 350 for 20 minutes. I took it out and spread dill mustard from the Arena Cheese Shop over the top. Then I baked it for another 35 minutes. PERFECTION!

Tomorrow I get my first CSA of the season, so hopefully more tasty homecooked meals will be coming my way. I made something awesome tonight too, but I'll save it for next Monday!

And of course, in addition to food, fresh local flowers are another bonus to the market. Until next week...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

social media madness: iPhone!

I lost my phone yesterday. I lost everyone's number. I only remember the numbers I reguarly dial at work, or dialed in the past. So that basically means my boss's cell phone, our photography vendor, my parents, my best friend's parents, my longest best friend in Milwaukee and my recent ex-boyfriend.

Fortunately others have been filling in the blanks for me, so I can fill up my new iPhone (!!!) with contacts. I need to upgrade my Mac before I can sync with Google, so I have to put folks in manually for now. It's so easy though!

A couple of problems I thought I'd put out to the blogosphere:

1) Is it just me or is AT&T's 3G network really unreliable in downtown Milwaukee? Sometimes the phone just sits for minutes on end with the little wheel spinning and doesn't connect.

2) Does anyone know if you can bundle AT&T wireless phone service (the iPhone) with home internet service? Their website is a clusterf--k and then has this major fail:

Yup, that "email" is phone number.

thankful tuesdays: we did it!

It's a day late, but thank you to the well-over 50 people who donated to my Miller Lite Ride for the Arts campaign. Not only did I hit my goal, but I surpassed it by nearly $200 -- raising $1,195 for the United Performing Arts Fund. Thanks everybody for their generous support of the performing arts in Milwaukee!

The ride was a lot of fun, despite the dreary and sometimes downpoury weather. Luckily my pal Laura stuck out the 50 miles with me and it made the 4 rainy hours pass quickly!

Monday, June 8, 2009

monday munchies: they're baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Hallelujah! Farmer's Markets are back in full swing.

This past Saturday found me at Cathedral Square for the East Town Farmer's Market. What a treat! I practically skipped out of bed to get my paws on the first fresh veggies of the year.

I made quite the morning of it, picking up a muffin from one of the booths and a cup of Stone Creek coffee. I picked up fresh veggies including onions, mixed greens, asparagus (which I'm apparently only allergic to if coated in pesticides), and radishes. I grabbed farm fresh eggs, garlic/bell pepper goat cheese, and honey. I also bought pansies and herbs to plant on my balcony and fresh flowers for the apartment.

After the Miller Lite Ride yesterday I came home to make use of my purchases.

I ended up making a Radish Tart (basically a radish quiche) by slightly modifying a recipe online. The results were perfection! I also blanched and froze the asparagus to enjoy sometime after the short season.

I definitely have an extra spring in my step being able to enjoy local, fresh foods!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

WTFisconsin: Riversplash Racism

While I give Westown massive props for increasing the security at RiverSplash, I take complete offense in the way it was executed. As a white woman, I waltzed right in (actually waved in by security staff on the north end of the festival), despite having my purse ready for the requisite check. The five skanky bar trash white girls in front of me walked in as well. However, every black person in line was stopped and frisked. This ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED ME. Needless to say, I spent all my money at bars tonight and not at any of the Westown booths. I'm thoroughly disappointed and expect a response from the association that put this event on.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

thankful tuesdays: second chances

I'm still a little too tired and emotional to write everything out, but I can't let this Tuesday pass by without giving extreme thanks for having a second chance with my dad. On Sunday night I got the call no kid ever wants to get -- that your parent is in the hospital after having a heart attack.

Luckily, my dad had the most minimal kind of heart attack you can have. No permanent damage, no major surgery required, not even technically cardiac arrest. Although there probably wasn't much he could've done to prevent it (he got a clean bill of health at the doctor just a couple weeks ago and has been dieting and exercising), what he DID do when the symptoms started probably saved his life. Instead of ignoring the dizziness and the pain in his shoulder, within a short time after the signs began, Dad asked Mom to drive him to the hospital. SO much less traumatic than the whole collapsing/ambulance calling thing. I guess it's a good thing that the non-dramatic parent had the first life-threatening injury. My mom just falls into people's salads.

Having watch my best friend lose her dad a couple of years ago and a good friend lose her dad just a couple of weeks ago, it would be a disservice to them to NOT pump up my daughter duties. I may be 2,000 miles away, but watch out Dad, I'm stepping it up. Of course, I'm going to have to get creative when the parents go to Italy for a month (fingers-crossed the doctors have tentatively cleared it), but my brother and I can definitely put our heads together.

At any rate, free-form rambling aside, if you have a dad, please go give him a huge hug. Don't wait until Father's Day!

(Oh, and I'm also super thankful for fancy new technology -- who would've thought minor heart surgery would keep my dad at St. Vincent's for a shorter time period than my appendectomy in '94)

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