Martini Me

Fiesty female. Expert time waster. World Skee-ball shooter and international beauty.

  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Favorite foods: A really good quality RARE steak, lamb chops, salmon roe sushi, cheesecake, and embarassingly enough....big macs :(
  • Last bite on earth: White Truffel anything.

Does anyone really like brunch?

I love brunch! I go out for it at least once a month. It's so leisurely and enjoyable, plus not a big mess to clean up in the kitchen for involved dishes!

Cook the Book: Goat Cheese Blintzes

No, you must use goat milk butter for this. I am in love with it. Another great thing to do with it, simply slice potatoes and saute them in the GMB. The flavor is amazing. If you left out the GMB on this recipe it wouldn't be the same or nearly as good.

Cook the Book: Goat Cheese Blintzes

No, you must use goat milk butter for this. I am in love with it. Another great thing to do with it, simply slice potatoes and saute them in the GMB. The flavor is amazing. If you left out the GMB on this recipe it wouldn't be the same or nearly as good.

Milwaukee eats?

@Adam - a lot of people like C Adams. Personally I found it to be lackluster. The "fudgey brownie" had nothing remotely fudge like and was almost akin to eating drywall.

I second Alterra. Coffee so strong its like a mule kicked you in your teeth!

Milwaukee eats?

La Merendas is one of the best restaurants in the city. International Tapas and some of the most delicious food you will eat. I crave their food. And they are reasonably priced to boot.

I agree about Elsa's for burgers. They also have delicious Pork Chop sandwiches. Seriously, they'll make your toes curl.

For Pizza I recommend Zaffiro's, it's a Milwaukee institution with the thinest pizza crust you could imagine, crispy and delicious. Brick3 is a good solid option for NY style pizza with losts of topping options. The Philly Cheesesteak pizza is to DIE for.

County Clare is a great little Irish Pub that serves the best Ruben Sandwiches I've ever tasted.

Cafe Lulu in Bayview is amazing. They have delicious homemade chips with a fabulous bleu cheese dip, along with lots of awesome sandwiches. AND they make homemade pies just like grandma and they are out of this world.

The final place i would recommend is Nessun Dorma in Riverwest. Limited menu but everything is spot on. Mostly sandwiches and salad. Has great old world charm and wood work excellent staff and is very reasonably priced.

I hope your trip to our fair hamlet finds you well!

Milwaukee: One of My Top Burgers at Elsa's on the Park

Yes! Thank you Elsa's is tops in my book and one of the FEW places that understands how to properly cook a rare burger.

Breakfast in Chicago?

I like Yolk on Michigan Avenue. Also Meli Cafe in Greektown, go there for no other reason than the homemade raspberry marmelade. It will make you weep for joy. If you are looking for a splurge the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock Building is well worth it.

What's for Dinner, Thursday March 24

Left over Mexican Torta
African Lime Cake

Restaurant Burger - Issues

@seriousb, the reason I stress very very rare is because I want them to understand when I say rare, I mean rare. I'm not looking for a burger to be extra rare, just plain old every day 120 - 130 degree rare.

Restaurant Burger - Issues

If restaurants have health/safety concerns regarding cooking it rare, they shouldn't offer it to their customers. I would not have a problem with that. Imagine going to a store and picking out a shirt and asking if they have it in blue and they say yes but instead you get a green shirt. The store should not have said you could get it in blue.

Duck Eggs!

I'm jealous! How does one acquire duck eggs?

So How About This Lenten Diet?

Why only for Lent?

Hot Cross Buns

I'm from the Milwaukee area so I don't know about NY, however I find them in spades in Polish Bakeries. Again, I'm not sure how much of a Polish population there is in NY but you might have luck at a Polish shop.

Your Absolute Worst or Funniest Drinking Experiance?

@redfish, that is an awesome story, never stop telling it.

Your Absolute Worst or Funniest Drinking Experiance?

Actually I have one I CAN discuss.

The first time I brought my boyfriend to meet my family was at my brother's birthday party at a local Mexican restaurant. My father's wife proceeded to get shit-faced (I'm sorry there is truly no other way to put her state of being), leaned over me, practically climbing into my lap and attempted to whisper, only to loudly slur into my ear, "Your boyfriend has the prettiest eyes...just like your father." to the horror of myself and the other 13 people at the table in a really disconcerning tone. I thought I was going to die of humiliation. My boyfriend bless his heart, pretended he didn't hear it and just stared ahead.

Your Absolute Worst or Funniest Drinking Experiance?

Per my plea bargain I am not allowed to discuss.....

Too Much Salt in Canned Broth

Jeez louise, 930mg for College Inn? I could put that in the backyard for deer.

I'm a vegetarian and my boyfriend will not eat vegetables :(

I am a carnevor, but one that enjoys veggies, tofu, fruits, nuts, legumes etc. My boyfriend is an Atkin's loving carnevor who doesn't really enjoy fruits and veggies, and forget the mention of tofu, he looks at me like I'm insane when I eat it. I have found and this goes for kids too, roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and good flavor. The great thing is you can roast almost all vegetables with good results, green beans, asparagus, even brussel sprouts taste wonderful this way. Simply toss them in olive oil, give them a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Its a great starting point for new chef. It may just work for you and your man. However I also agree with many who have stated that it's not fair to push your diet onto him, especially if you don't want him to push his meat diet onto you....

Sandra Lee in the March issue of Vogue. Kill me now!

Saw some pictures, check out the gigantic silver tiger on top of her coffee table. Trashy.

Whatever happened to Zima?

LOL - I think it's hanging out with the "Rachel" haircut.

Personally I thought it tasted awful. Oh and they came out with a "Zima Gold", ack! It tasted like a mixture of beer and brandy, disgusting.

Milwaukee: Burgers Good Enough to Cure Your Hangover at Stack'd

@timberbarrack - I had the "regular" buns not the pretzel buns. Pretzel buns are okay but I don't like the idea of eating a burger on them.

Only one cookbook for the rest of your life...

The New James Beard.

Milwaukee: Burgers Good Enough to Cure Your Hangover at Stack'd

Gobsmacked you gave this hole a good review. Service at this place is abysmal and the no better than average burgers simply aren't worth the hassle in my opinion. The burgers are too greasy and the buns leave much to be desired. I've never felt their food or service justifies the prices.

Cook the Book: Edamame Hummus

Perfect timing! I just happened to buy a bag of edamame this weekend! I know what I'm doing with it now :)

What to do with lemon curd?

Thumbprint cookies! Yummy!

Restaurant Burger - Issues

I like my burgers rare. I find that 75% of the restaurants that ask me how I want my burger have no clue what "rare" means. It really gets me upset. It seems that my options are to stop ordering burgers or to send them back and have to wait for my meal, again 75% of the time. If I am paying upwards of $10.00 for a burger and the restaurant asks me how I want it, I expect it to be cooked to my specifications. I'm not even complaining about restaurants that don't give me that option, I understand that and move along to something else on the menu.

When I order my burger I stress very strongly to the server, very very rare, like run it through a warm room and bring it to me. I've gone so far as to start telling the servers that if they bring me a burger that isn't rare I will send it back. I hate to do that, one it's not the server's fault and two, it sets up an adversarial relationship right off the bat. But darn it, there a few things I loathe more than cutting into my supposedly rare burger to find it barely pink.

Okay end of rant. What would you do Serious Eaters? Send it back? Stop ordering burgers? Insist on going into the kitchen and cooking your own? Anyone else have this issue?

Dried Shrimp

Hello everyone and happy new year!

I was at my local latin foods store and I picked up a bag of dried shrimp for a song. I have about eight of them and they are whole, with the heads intact if that makes a difference. I know they are heavily used in Thai cooking. I am searching for recipes that utilize these little beauties. Any help is greatly appreciated : )

Killer Chili Recipe

Two posts in one day, cripes I'm yappy today....

Anyway another discussion over the weekend was we don't really have a good chili recipe that we love. We aren't terribly picky, we don't care whether it uses ground or chunk meat, nor do we really care about "rules" i.e. chili shoud/n't have beans, tomatoes, onions etc. We just want to find something we love. I can pull a search of thousands of Chili Recipes but I trust SE community and I'd like to get your suggestions of your favorite chili recipes, and why you like them.

Wine and Cheese Friday Nights

So they boyfriend and I have decided to implement Wine and Cheese Friday nights as a reward for making it through the work week, well that and because we like wine and cheese. This Friday I wanted to crack open a bottle of Prosecco, but I'm a little bit unsure what cheese to serve with it. Also does anyone have a good recommendation for a wine/cheese site you like to use as a reference? I'd love to find something where you can type in the cheese or the wine and pull up a search of pairings for either.

What would you do with a can of hominy?

It's your typical story. Was at the store, this can of hominy caught my eye. I was intrigued and rashly bought a can. Upon getting it home I have no clue what I should do with it. I've searched online but it seems the only recipes I really come up with are for Posole, which I think actually means "Hominy" in Spanish but is used as a general name for a stew that uses it. Anyway, non of those "Posoles" are tripping my trigger and wanted to know if anyone has some unique recipes or uses for this ingredient?

Autumn is here! What is your favorite apple?

With autumn being officially here (although Milwaukee hasn't gotten that memo yet, we're hitting 87 degrees today) I thought I'd ask the SE community what their favorite apple is. Either to bake with or eat raw. I love Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, and Pink Lady apples for eating. I adore McIntosh, Pippin and Granny Smiths for cooking and baking purposes.

Coriander Leaves?

I have some recipes that call for "Coriander Leaves". I know Coriander is the seed form of Cilantro so I am wondering if Cilantro and Coriander Leaves are one in the same or are they two different things? If they aren't the same does anyone know where I can find Coriander Leaves? I've never seen this product in any spice store or specialty shop that I recall?

How do you roast your marshmallows?

Me? I like to set them on fire get the outsides nice and charred and eat them that way. The boyfriend is horrified by this. Am I alone in this method? I've done it my whole life and the only other person I know who does it like this is my Dad. Any other marshmallow charrers out there?

Black Eyed Peas - What did I do wrong?

I tried a new recipe last night to use up my ham hocks. You took a 16 oz bag of dried B.E.P. and cooked them in 4 cups of water along with ham hocks, onions, jalapeño peppers. The recipe called for them to be cooked about an hour or until soft. When I tried my peas they were soft but they are also gritty. What did I do wrong? Are they salvageable?

How does your garden grow?

This is the first year I got to plant a garden. Granted it's a balcony garden but I'm am still very excited. My first garden has:

Brandywine Tomatoes (OMG these make the BEST BLTs!)
Sweet Banana Peppers
Lilac Peppers
Borage (I can't wait to candy the flowers)
Nasturtiums (Excellent stuffed w/ honeyed cream cheese on a simple saladd)
Opal Basil
Genovese Basil
Spring Onions
Chives (standard and garlic)

What about you what is your garden plan shaping up to be? Trying anything you haven't grown before? What are you most excited to harvest?

My First Foray into Homemade Bread

I would like to venture into making bread from scratch this weekend. I've found a few recipes that seem simple and straight forward and perfect for the beginner bread maker. I have some questions and would love the SE community feedback:

1) Almost all the recipes call for Bread Flour. Is it necessary? Can I sub it for AP Flour?

2) All the recipes call for either a breadmaker or at least a stand mixer. I have neither. I'm assuming using a hand mixer would result in disaster? Can I mix the dough by hand?

3) I have a ceramic bread pan. Should I buy a metal or glass pan instead? Will it affect the results?

Green Peppercorns in Vinegar

I know I've had them before. I know I liked them. I bought a jar two days ago and cannot for the life of me remember what I had them in. So as usual when I buy something I'm not sure how to use I'm trolling SeriousEats for ideas! I was thinking of possibly adding them to cream cheese to make my own flavored smear for bagels??

The Condiment Game

You are going to Antarctica to live for one year. The reasons you are doing this aren't important. What is important is they are sending you with a year's supply of protein, grains, fruit and veggies to meet all your needs. You decide you need to smuggle condiments with you on this journey. You're luggage can only accommodate 5 things. What do you take?

My list:

1) Dijon Mustard
2) Sriracha
3) Mayonnaise
4) My homemade Green Goddess dressing
5) Chili Garlic Sauce

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

I went over to a friends this weekend and this was served. I had never heard of it but apparently it's a pretty common cake. It was so sugary I think I popped 8 cavaties and the filling(?)/topping(?) was the consistency of bronchial snot. Does anyone actually like this stuff? Is it a regional thing?

Black Garlic

Saw this at a grocery store this weekend. Anyone know what it is or how to use it? Is it a type of garlic or garlic that's had something done to it like aging? What does it taste like in relation to your run of the mill garlic? The package didn't give any information.

Dating a Picky Eater - Redux

Okay - so I know we've already discussed dating a picky eater in the past so I apologize if this is a bit of a re-hash, but I'd really like this communities opinion on a specific incident. I am dating the pickiest of picky eaters. I am trying very hard to be open minded about his food limitations. This Saturday my good friends threw a big party and asked me if I could bring a really cool appetizer. I was more than happy to contribute. I found a fantastic recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna with a Fermented Black Bean sauce that you served on top of cucumbers. It was a recipe I had been wanting to try for a long time and I actually took P.E. (picky eater) into consideration and thought he might like it because he ordered tuna the first time we went out for dinner. When P.E. showed up at my place to pick me up I pulled out the platter with my beautiful appetizers, fully expecting him to ask me what I made. CRICKETS. Did not ask me at all. So I said, I'm so excited, my appetizers turned out so good. Again nothing. Nor was he willing to try even a bite. So here's the thing, the fact that he wouldn't even try my appetizers really rubbed me the wrong way. But the thing that really bugged me is he didn't even ask what I had made. Am I being overly sensitive about this? I mean this is someone who apparently does not give a crap about something I am passionate about. What do you think? Shouldn't he at least ASKED what I made?

Wasabi Fumi Furikake - Anybody know how to use this stuff?

Everytime I go to my favorite grocery store I happen upon this stuff. It looks so interesting. The problem is there are no directions on the jar as to how to utilize it. Has anyone tried this? Is it worth buying? How do you use it? I find myself constantly drawn to this little jar of seasoning and would love to give it a whirl.

New Seasonings! I need good ideas for them!

So I went on a bit of a shopping spree this weekend and came home with four seasonings to add to my already inappropriately huge collection of seasonings. I am soliciting ideas on how to use each one. The seasonings I bought are:

Smoked Paprika - It smells divine!
Star Anise
Black Truffle Sea Salt
Saffron Salt

I am especially looking for ideas for the two salts. The smoked paprika I'm thinking of using in a rub or really in anything that I want to lend smokiness to. The star anise I was thinking of using for hot apple cider, but I'd like some other ideas there too. I think I may have a problem when it comes to herbs and spices, I can't walk away from them and my collection takes up an entire drawer in my kitchen and then some. I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem right? :)

I made Sofrito, now what.

So I was watching Daisy Martinez's cooking show this weekend and got all excited and made some sofrito because it sounded so yummy. Then I realized that I really didn't know what to do with it. Right now I have some flank steak in a slow cooker with beef broth, red onions and some of the sofrito to make shredded beef tacos with tonight but other than that I'm kinda stumped. Any good ideas? I have about a quart of this stuff. I froze some of it but I'd welcome any delectable dishes you've been inspired to make with this wonderful sauce.

What to do with really sour peaches

So the market near my house had small peaches on sale $.49 per pound they felt nice and smelled really good. I lost a bit of my good sense and didn't listen to the little bird chirping "if it's too good to be true it probably is." I just took a bite of one and it was so sour and bitter it tasted more like a lemon.

So I have about two pounds of these bad boys that are inedible raw. I am loathe to waste them. I have a recipe for a peach jam but I'd rather not go through that mess. Any ideas??

What is your opinion on Pampered Chef products?

So I recently acquired a sister in law, whom I adore by the way. She throws Pampered Chef parties ALOT. Personally I have never been impressed with PC products. I find they do not work they way the ares suppose to and/or break relatively fast. Has anyone experienced the same issues? I'll admit I haven't bought anything from them in years as a result. Has their quality improved in the last 7 years? She has one coming up soon, if their product is still junk though, I'm going to limit my spending to a courtesy amount.

What to do with Rose Water

I recently bought a bottle of rose water to make Rose Water Lemonade with for the summer. It go me thinking. I really have only used Rose Water in three different ways, Mango Laissi, Rose Water Lemonade or Orange-ade and occaisionally in a Shortbread Cookie recipe with Rose Water Glaze. I would love to branch out with this wonderful ingredient. Any unique ideas?

Recipe Request: Ham Hocks

Does anyone have any good recipes using ham hocks? I've made black bean soup using ham hocks but was wondering if I could find some real unique or really good recipes to add to my repertoire.

Uses for Wright's Liquid Smoke

A while back I purchased a bottle of Wright's Liquid Smoke for a particular BBQ Sauce recipe I found. Since then I have used precious little of it simply because I know of only one use for it - the BBQ sauce. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to utilize it? I was thinking of mixing it with some olive oil and then tossing some veggies in it before roasting them. I don't even know if that's a good idea though either since I'm not familiar with cooking with it. I just hate to let it go to waste.

Top This: How to Make Brussels Sprout and Pancetta Pizza (à la Motorino)

One of my favorite pizzas as of the last few months has been the brussels sprout and pancetta pizza at Motorino in New York City. So, for the sophomore installment of Top This, I asked Motorino owner and chief pizzaman Mathieu Palombino if he show us how to make one. Given that it's a white pie (no sauce), it's a quicker-than-usual affair for doing up at home. More

The Fest: Our Humblest Apologies to All

"This has been my dream for nearly two decades, I still believe in that dream. And the image I had in mind wasn't what took place yesterday." First off, straight up: Our humblest apologies go out to the many serious eaters who came out to Shoreline yesterday, particularly those who came between the hours of noon and four. My 17-year dream became a humbling reality in those first few hours. We were so focused on getting the talent and purveyors together that we didn't realize how at risk we were logistically because more than 8,000 tickets were sold in the last week. Frankly, people were so excited about the fest that they all showed up early, which doesn't normally happen... More

Chicago's Best Dining Experiences

Screw the Michelin guide and its ilk. Like the SAT or personality tests, reductive rating systems that award mini constellations, forks, spoons, or pepper shakers can never see what's in a restaurant's heart. The endurance of these systems often encourage readers to skip the meat of a review and go straight to the final number as an arbiter of whether they should call for reservations. Some of these systems are just plain impossible. Consider the S. Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World. Did Gordon Ramsay U.K. really improve 11 spots in a year while its proprietor was out traveling the world berating and dehumanizing line cooks and restaurateurs? In one year, did Charlie Trotter's, which has been fine-tuning... More

Serious Eats City Guide: Chicago

We asked Michael Nagrant, our normal Chicago go-to guy, to handle this week's Serious Eats City Guide. From deep-dish pizza to the best taqueria and meatiest Eastern European butcher, Michael tells how a missionary of the delicious should visit Chicago. As always, chime in with agreement, or feel free to alert us to any Chicago eats we've overlooked. More

Chicago's Meatloaf Bakery

For the last few years, folks have debated whether Chicago has matched or eclipsed great North American food towns like New York, San Francisco, or Montreal. While the debate rages on, one factor against our pre-eminence as a serious food town was our lack of fringe specialty food shops. Everyone knows the real top food cities reach a point of saturation where all the mainstream good restaurant ideas are taken and have been replicated a hundred fold and tweaked with zany minor iterations. Thus, the only way to be successful is to pursue culinary improbability, that brand of foodie entrepreneurship that spawns BLT cupcakes, deep fried mayonnaise, Kobe beef and foie gras-topped hamburgers, and Krispy Kreme milkshakes. While it’s true... More

absentminded kitchen disasters

i canNOT believe what i just did. here's the scenario: i'm starving, and in the middle of a dozen projects at home. i'd decided to try the bittman "vegan and whole grain until 6pm" approach to eating, so after looking... More