A blog about all the things we love, regardless of how uncool they are.

Cream Puffs: The taste of a Wisconsin summer

Posted: June 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Food, Recipes | Tags: | Comments: Dork out with us! »

Every summer, it is tradition for Wisconsinites to flock to the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee to get their hands on the famous cream puffs. Folks wait in line for nearly an hour to taste the softball-sized whipped cream sandwiches, and when it’s all over, wait another year before they can have another delicious cream puff.

When our CSA basket arrived last week with a beautiful carton of fresh strawberries, I immediately thought: strawberry shortcake. I searched through stacks of cookbooks for the perfect cake to accompany my new berries. Angel food cake: who has 14 eggs lying around? Pound cake: too heavy. Scones: too messy. Imagine my surprise and delight when I came across this recipe for cream puffs in the old faithful Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. Turns out, they’re super easy to make and only require a few basic ingredients. I made all 12, gave 6 to a friend, and froze the 4 that were left for another day. Delicious!

(taken directly from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Meredith Publishing Group, 1996. )

1 c water
1/2 c butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 c all-purpose flour
4 eggs
whipping cream, pudding, or ice cream
Powdered sugar (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.

2. Drop 12 heaping tablespoons of dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven until golden and firm. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack and let cool.

3. Cut tops from puffs; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream. Replace tops. If desired, sift powdered sugar over tops.

Makes 12 cream puffs

A spicy holiday treat

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments: 1 Other Dork »

Oranges at Christmastime always remind me of being a child, and finding a beautiful, fresh orange in the toe of my stocking on the morning of “Saint Nick” Day, so I think oranges are only fitting for holiday desserts. I made this particular cake for a dinner with friends last week, and I thought it would make the perfect dessert for a holiday party. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart (her recipes never disappoint!), but I used two 9″ cake pans instead of three 6″ pans. I did use the seven-minute frosting, but I opted out of the white-chocolate poinsettia flowers on top. The cake came out beautifully, and the flavor has a nice spicy, citrus taste and the frosting is a light and fluffy meringue. Delish!

We’re Here!

Posted: September 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Crafts, Knitting | Comments: 1 Other Dork »

We have officially moved in! (We actually moved in about a month ago, but sometimes things just get too hectic and you can’t keep up with writing blog posts — can you believe it’s almost October!) I am loving every minute of my new life, studying for my MM at Carnegie Mellon University. Practicing hard, studying not as much as I should be, and finding my way around this new city. Also finding lots of releases here. Dancing at Dance Alloy once or twice a week, trying to find a yoga teaching job, and soon, very soon, I will be sewing some wonderful laptop sleeves and computer covers and ipod cases and things.

The other day I picked up the knitting needles, after putting them down for a long, long time. Started to knit a hat, then started over, then started over again, and again, and again. And now I’ve finished the crown, and I think I’m going to have to start over again, because my stitches are somehow off, somehow (it could have been the George Clooney movie I was watching while knitting, I don’t know…). Maybe lace was a bit ambitious for this return to knitting, but I will overcome! And maybe, even if weeks from now, I will have a lovely hat to get me through beautiful Fall in Pittsburgh.

(note: You know how it is, when you move, and you can’t find things that you need. Well, that’s how it is with my camera right now, so I apologize if this one isn’t up to stuff with the talents of my lovely boyfriend. He’s out of town right now, and I had to get creative. I got this shot with my web cam, by holding my computer at a very awkward angle.)

Things we’ll miss about Milwaukee #2: Cafe Lulu

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Food, Milwaukee | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

Yes, yes…many of the things we’ll miss about Milwaukee will undoubtedly be related to food. I guess that’s because 1) we love food, and 2) there’s a lot of great food in this town! We live near Bay View, an up-and-coming, hip-and-cool area just south of downtown Milwaukee. Bay View is filled with lots of nifty little shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, and it keeps getting better with every passing season. Every business is bursting with personality, from Sven’s cafe – a divey little coffee shop with great sandwiches and mismatched tables and chairs – to Tease, the salon where we always go when we need a never-fail haircut from our fave hair-dresser extraordinaire, Betsy.  So without further ado, we’d like to talk about one of our favorite spots in downtown Bay View: Cafe Lulu at the intersections of Lincoln, Kinnickinnic and Howell Avenues.

Now, I must preface this with saying that Cafe Lulu does pride themselves on the “bar and cocktails” part of their fine establishment, but since we are non-alcohol-drinkers, we’re just going to focus on their fantastically delicious food. Serving mainly sandwiches and salads, and some really awesome ciabatta pizzas, the menu items are creative and fun, and the specials are always awesome. How does this sound: Spanish White Bean Spread for an app, Morrocan Chicken Sandwich for lunch, and a fresh slice of cheesecake for dessert. And the best part about getting a sandwich here is the sides – “chips, Asian slaw or a little of both?” The Asian slaw is ABSOLUTELY TO DIE FOR and the chips are served with yummy bleu cheese dressing – so I suggest going with “a little of both”.

You know how you become a regular at a certain restaurant, and even though you know nearly everything on the menu is going to be delicious, you always get the same thing? Well that’s how I am with Cafe Lulu’s East Indian Chicken Pita (and I always get  it with a healthy portion of Asian slaw on the side). The pita is topped with a serious helping of lime-cilantro marinated onions and this really great yogurt sauce. I usually come out with a pretty strong case of onion breath, but it’s totally worth it, every last bite of it!

Things we’ll miss about Milwaukee #1: Martino’s

Posted: August 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Food, Milwaukee | Tags: , , , , | Comments: 3 Other Dorks »

Well, it has come to my last week in Milwaukee before moving to Pittsburgh for school (sad face). Jason is going to be staying in town for the rest of the month to tie up loose ends with the move (what a guy!), and we decided it only appropriate to spend this month featuring some of the things we’ll miss most about our beloved Milwaukee – starting with one of our favorite lunch spots – Martino’s on 13th and Layton.

We love the vibe of this place. It’s got kind of a diner feel, with super nice folks behind the counter, and the booths are always packed with hard working people on their lunch breaks (or snack breaks… or dinner breaks…). This place is known for their famous Italian Beef sandwiches, but our favorite thing to get is the classic Chicago Dog. For only $2.95 (fries included!), it’s a steal. Pair it with a cold milk shake in just about any flavor you can think of, and you’re set! I have to say, I’ve never been much of a hot dog person until we discovered Martino’s–and now I find myself craving them like nothin’ else!