Manie

Third Ward, Milwaukee

Summer is finally here! In Milwaukee, summertime is crazy fabulous. You could never even attempt to do all of the amazing things that are offered for these precious short months. I don’t know about where you live, but here it’s freaking cold for most of the year. Practically 11 out of 12 months are freezing.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But really, the weather mostly sucks so when it’s warm we go BIG.

I got to spend a lot of time with my friends this past week so I just have to mention, I have some pretty incredible friends. If everyone had friends like mine, the world would be a much happier place.

Jazz in the Park, Milwaukee

My first Jazz in the Park of the year. World of Beer, Milwaukee

Drinks outside at World of Beer.

Bridal Shower Invitation

I have officially been invited to my bridal shower!

Anthropologie, Milwaukee

Inspiring decor from Anthropologie.

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Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichoke

Hey all, this is Ashley’s fiancé, Bryce. After a couple weeks of begging Ash, I finally get to be a ‘Guest Blogger’ on Affichomanie! Hurray! It’s been a dream of mine for some time and she’s obliging me.

I wanted to share a favorite family recipe, Stuffed Artichokes. This tasty ‘choke recipe comes from my step-grandma, Dea Perroni, and has been feeding the family for at least 60 years.

Stuffed Artichokes:

1 Artichoke
2 Eggs
About 1/3-1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/3 cup Hard, Stinky Cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmesan-type cheese)
Salt
Pepper
Red Chili Flakes

Start with the artichoke and snip off the tips of each of the many leaves. This takes a little bit of time, but it allows you to bond with your ‘choke. Steam your artichoke for about a half hour in a covered pot to soften it up and make it easier to stuff later on.

Stuffed Artichoke

While the artichoke is getting all hot and steamy, grate your stinky cheese. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and mix in the cheese. Season with salt, pepper and the pepper flake. Warning, hard cheeses tend to be salty so take it easy when seasoning. Once this mix is made, you need to add bread crumbs until the mixture thickens.

At this point your artichoke should be significantly softer and much greener and probably much hotter. You may need to let it cool for a bit before stuffing.  Once it’s cool enough, take the egg and bread crumb mixture and stuff it into the leaves using your hands. Don’t try to spoon it, or my little, old Italian step-grandma will haunt you.

Place your loaded artichoke into a baking dish, add a little bit of water to the bottom, cover, and then place it in the oven. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove the covering and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the egg mixture starts to brown and smell amazing.

Pull out of the oven, let it cool for a bit and mangé. My family always peeled the leaves off and scraped them with our bottom teeth to get the stuffing and artichokey-goodness from the leaves.  It’s hard to explain, but for your sake I hope you can figure it out.

Anyway, enjoy this family recipe.

Stuffed Artichoke

Wedding Invitations

Gold Wedding Invitations

My wedding is in a little over 2 months which means…it’s invitation time!

I spent much of my Sunday addressing (and return addressing) gold envelopes. Piece of advice for anyone wanting to use metallic envelopes, it’s very difficult to find a pen that actually writes on them. Okay, pens are writing on them, but they all fade! It’s so irritating. I finally found a black gel pen that mostly works and the envelopes look pretty good.

I also stamped and addressed RSVP envelopes as well as rehearsal dinner invite envelopes. So. Many. ENVELOPES.

The good news is I’m done with all of that crap. Now we are just waiting on our invites, maps, and rsvp cards to finish getting letterpressed by Flying Rabbit Press in Madison. I cannot wait to see them in person and send them to all of our loved ones!

Here’s a preview of the envelopes & invites:

Gold Wedding InvitationsGold Wedding InvitationsGold Wedding InvitationsGold Wedding InvitationsGold Wedding Invitation Mapphoto 3

Palomino

Palomino Milwaukee

So you have probably noticed that I really like food. I like making it, I like eating it, I like taking pictures of it. But I like eating it a lot more than I like taking pictures of it. Which explains why these pictures kinda suck. Pretty much the more excited I am about food, the less likely it is that the blog pictures are any good.

That was most definitely the case at Palomino. This Bay View restaurant recently underwent a major overhaul. Some new owners took over, did some construction and totally revamped the menu. I looooooooove southern food and I was really excited about their vegetarian options when Bryce and I tried it out before the revamp about a year ago. What a disappointment. My food was somehow greasy and dry at the same time. I wanted to give it another chance, but Maxie’s Southern Comfort was there for me in my times of southern craving so I didn’t go back. Their second chance came when I heard about all of the new changes and they opened up just in time for the season premiere of True Blood. I had myself a real nice southern themed weekend.

I ordered the pimento mac & cheese and the wood grilled vegetables (and sweet tea, of course). Bryce had the vegan “pulled pork” with carolina mustard bbq sauce and collard greens. Oh my YUM! The mac & cheese was made with a perfect creamy sauce and the vegetables had a beautiful, delicious char. Bryce’s dinner was fantastic too. We ended the meal with fresh strawberry pie to die for.

I’m thrilled that Palomino is back and infinitely better than before. I’m thinking it will be my new summer hang out.

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Manie

This weekend was fantastic. It finally felt like home again. My weekends during my training were very short and I never fully unpacked. I just put my suitcases back in storage today and it made me very happy.

 

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Friday night for me meant fried olives and a raspberry mojito at Rustico. Fried olives were an absolute necessity.

 

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Cake tasting at Simma’s was fun. We picked two delicious types of cake to serve at our wedding and we’ve been snacking on the leftover samples all weekend.

 

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Happy Pride Month!

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Sunday was an afternoon spent at the Estabrook Biergarten. There’s not much better than enjoying beer in a sunny park with friends.

Cupcakes for My Work Mates

What better way to celebrate Sex & the City’s 15th anniversary than with a cupcake from a pink box and the first movie on TV?

The answer is with a cosmo, but that’s just not going to happen for me tonight.

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I just bought a dozen adorable cupcakes for my co-workers to celebrate the end of our new hire training. Tomorrow is my last day of 5 weeks out of town. Can you believe it?! Remember when I got all sad and whiny about being away from home? Now I’m being a little sad and whiny about leaving my new found friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to go home. I pretty much never want to see this Holiday Inn again. But I’ve met some fantastic people here. Not that I won’t be seeing them again or even that they are very far away, but working directly with them everyday (and spending some fun evenings out) has been a true joy.

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Back to the cupcakes. They are from Tamara’s Cupcakes in Oshkosh and so freaking cute and delicious. Hopefully my co-workers will enjoy Chocolate Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Bahama Mama, Snickers, and Red Velvet cupcakes. I don’t understand red velvet cake. If I had it my way, every cupcake in that box would be banana cream pie. If only they’d had some left…

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25th Anniversary Party

Anniversary Cake

This post is a couple weeks late, but recently my parents celebrated their 26th anniversary.

Last year on their milestone 25th my brother and I threw them a surprise party. I know, I’m such a good daughter.

It was a small affair with just a couple of their close friends, but there was definitely enough dessert and champagne for many more. I never fail to make too much food for a party. This time around I made mini apple fritters, lemon bars, mint chocolate “dirt” pudding, mini banana cream pies, and a little wedding cake. We had champagne and mint lemonade to drink along with the treats.

Bryce designed the invites, my brother kept them out of the house and I ran the show. It was exhausting, but the looks on their faces were beyond worth it.

My parents didn’t have a traditional wedding. They drank champagne out of those old leggs panty hose cups and they definitely didn’t have a cake. For their anniversary my brother dug up the few pictures they have from their wedding day and my fiance scanned and retouched the photos so we could print out a large copy for them to actually hang in the house. The wedding cake was also a special part of the evening – they finally got to slice into cake together and they are the reason I’m actually having a cake at my wedding. I didn’t want one originally, but that moment convinced me to keep the tradition. I made a white cake with strawberries and custard topped off with honey buttercream frosting.

The desserts were fantastic if I do say so myself and finding the willpower to keep from scarfing the leftovers in one sitting was nearly impossible.

There are more pictures and a video somewhere of my parents cutting their cake. I’ll have to dig everything up so my mom can have the pictures. I made a little toast and cried, but lucky for me there’s no video of that.

Cheers to my mom and dad! Your years together are an inspiration.

 

25th Anniversary Party Invitation

25th Anniversary Party Invitation

25th Anniversary Party -- Lemon Bars

25th Anniversary Party -- Mini Apple Fritters

25th Anniversary Party Decor

25th Anniversary Party -- Pudding Dirt Cups

25th Anniversary Party -- Mint Lemonade