February 15, 2013

Friday Five

1 - Soft Pretzel Bites

Recipe failures are annoying for many reasons, but mostly the time and money aspect.  I spent quite a long time making soft pretzel bites recently and while they looked pretty good in the end.  They were a pain to make and didn't taste all that great.

I'm always hesitant to share links to recipes that didn't work for me.  Especially in this case where there's nothing inherently wrong with the recipe and my dislike might just be due to my taste preference.  Although it is rare for me to meet a carb I don't like :)

2 - Martha Stewart's Cooking School

I recently discovered a way that you can determine if you've been buying too many cookbooks.  I was talking with Chris at home, when the spine of the book pictured below caught my attention.  Looking at the title, I figured it must be related to her new PBS cooking show of the same name.

So I quickly opened it (which cracked the spine for the first time) and looked up tempura vegetables which I saw on a recent episode and sure enough the writeup was very similar to what she presented on the show.  Flipping through it, the organization of the book matches the format of the shows almost identically. 

I felt really stupid for not remembering that I owned Martha Stewart's Cooking School because after each TV episode I was googling and printing the recipes I liked.  Oh well, lesson learned, start using the books I already own before buying anymore!

3 - Rosemary-Mint Soap

My friend Jen recently brought me a great little bag which contained her favorite Rishi tea (hibiscus berry), a homemade body scrub and rosemary-mint soap from Soap of the Earth which she bought at the Milwaukee Count Winter Farmers' Market.  The smell is heavenly and reminds me of my favorite Aveda shampoo.

4 - Penzeys

Once a year I go through all my dried herbs and spices, then head to Penzeys to restock.  This past weekend was the perfect time because I met my parents for lunch at Marty's, which is my step-dad's absolute favorite place to eat in the Milwauee area.  I don't understand the allure and can think of much better pizza places.  I'm curious, anyone out there really like Marty's?

So anyway, very close to Marty's in Brookfield is a Penzeys store.  I love that I can buy in bulk there because it's a much better value to buy herbs and spices in plastic bags rather than glass jars.  I go through vanilla extract so quickly that I picked up a much larger bottle this time around. 

5 - Summer Vacations

I'm not a fan of winter, and although I will admit that the snow last week was quite pretty, I'm dreaming of summer adventures.  Due to our limited vacation budget (as in nonexistent), weekend trips around Wisconsin are our best bet, which is ok by me because there are so many cool things to see and do in this state.


  1. I know just what you mean about failed blog recipes (especially when you taken all the photos). My chocolate espresso biscotti this weekend were disappointing--even with a ton of chocolate! Thanks for the reminder that I must get to the winter farmer's market!

    1. I'm going next weekend, maybe I'll see you there :)

  2. Thumb's up for Penzey's! When I lived in Milwaukee I was a devout Spice House patron but then had to switch to Penzey's in Madison. I'm a fan!