We Went to Cooking Class: Sur la Table’s Asian Noodle Favorites



“Recipes are meant to be changed.” -Chef Nick

I can’t think of a more perfect gift for a newlywed couple than a cooking class.

Michelle’s Aunt Judy was wise enough to give us just that for Christmas. Sur La Table, a kitchenware retailer launched in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the 1970s, opened a location at Bayshore Town Center in May of 2011. In addition to every odd and end you could imagine for your kitchen, Sur La Table offers a diverse classes from various cuisines and styles.

Though I try to keep abreast of things going on in Milwaukee, I have to admit I’d never heard of Sur La Table before. We chose “Asian Noodle Favorites.” We are both fans of asian cuisine, and, I don’t know if people know this but I don’t like cheese, and we were sure there wouldn’t be any in this class. Read More


My Year in Concerts: 2012

The Hold Steady in Chicago. Photo by TJ Uttke

The Hold Steady in Chicago. Photo by TJ Uttke

2012 was an extremely busy year for me. Michelle and I planned a wedding. I took work trips to Colorado and New Orleans. I enjoyed a bachelor party in Las Vegas. We bought a house. We got married. We went to Cabo on our honeymoon. It was the most amazing year of my life!

But there wasn’t much time (or money) for concerts. I only attended eight in 2012, a depressingly low number for me, especially coming off such an incredible, musical 2011 (i.e. We saw ARCADE FIRE!).

Nevertheless, I saw shows in three states with a dozen different friends. I had my face melted from breakneck hard rock and was lulled to euphoria by sweet three-part harmonies. Read More

L is for Louise’s Trattoria


Reflecting on the year that was, the first of this quest, it seems we fulfilled all of the hopes we began with. We enjoyed great meals (and a few okay ones). Great conversations. Great beer. We’ve gathered for dinner less than a week before Cindi and Adam brought their beautiful baby into the world. We had dinner shortly before Michelle and I got married. There were new homes, new jobs, travel, photography awards–we saw so much in a wonderful 2012.

The ABCs of Milwaukee Dining was a excellent excuse to gather and discuss these things over dinner and drinks.

So it was fitting that we got together one last time in 2012, only days before a brand new year. We headed to Cathedral Square–home of Whiskey Bar (yuck)–to give the downtown location of Louise’s a try. It was my pick (Shannon chose it too) and I had never been there before, though Michelle insists that she tried to get me to go to the Brookfield location on numerous occasions, which I do not recall. Half of us had been there before, and Adam didn’t hide that he hadn’t been a huge fan in the past, though he was determined to give the place a fair shake. Read More

That Time We Partied with Screech: Milwaukee’s Bayside Bash



In the Saved by the Bell episode “House Party,” originally airing October 6, 1990, Screech’s parents take a vacation to Graceland prompting Zack to persuade his nerdy friend to have the gang over. When Screech’s mom’s prized Elvis bust crashes into a million pieces, the Bayside bunch throw a party to try to earn enough cash to replace the statue. There are a few other nonessential, implausible plot elements but, in the end, they get a new Elvis and Mrs. Powers is none the wiser. In the world of Bayside royalty, Zack Morris, throwing a well-attended party is the solution to nearly every problem.

But in real life, throwing a party can be a dicey proposition. Will enough people come? Will there be enough to do? Will people have fun? Are they willing to pay? Etc. This uncertainty was why I was interested in attending the first-ever Bayside Bash, hosted by Dustin Diamond.

For $14 per person, the Bayside Bash promised a Saturday night of video games, 80s and 90s music, and a chance to have your photo taken with Dustin Diamond, who, for legitimate reasons, seems really conflicted about whether to embrace or flee from his legacy as one of the 90s most popular television nerds (Steve Urkel, Blossom and Paul from The Wonder Years are also in the discussion). Read More