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This is a sneak peek at some of the best cookies you've ever had. Available Friday, Feb. 12.
This is a sneak peek at some of the best cookies you've ever had. Available Friday, Feb. 12. (Photo: Treat Bake Shop)

Oh, my: Treat Bake Shop launches #CookieFriday at Third Ward kitchen

You have tasted Treat Bake Shop's spiced and candied pecans, right?

If not, your first mission is to head over to the nearest retail establishment that carries them and pick up a jar. Don't hesitate at the price. And don't dilly-dally looking at other delicious items. Just get that jar to the cash register as soon as humanly possible and pay for it. Then, on the way to the car (and no sooner, that's just rude), pop that lid open and raise it to your nostrils so that you can slowly and deliberately take in the spicy, nutty aroma.

Now put your fingers into the jar and lift out one (or three) of those delectable pecans to your mouth. *Le sigh* Just thinking about it literally gives me the chills.

But, let's presume that you've already gotten to know – and love – the pecans ...

Now the big news

Every Friday (starting tomorrow, Feb. 12) Treat will be trading in their nut-making prowess, putting on their cookie-baking aprons, firing up their ovens, and baking up some of the best cookies you've ever tasted.  Then, they'll be selling them for $2 each.

This new tradition is aptly called #CookieFriday. And you probably shouldn't miss it.

After all, the cookies for Feb. 12 are going to be of the chocolate chip persuasion ... made with European butter, dark chocolate chunks and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Yeah, that's a picture of them up there at the top of the blog. YUM.

Where to find those cookies

Treat Bake Shop recently moved into snazzy new digs. They've got a brand new kitchen in Suite #212 in the Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St. where they bake up batches of their delicious pecans, spiced almonds and candied walnuts. Trust me, you can pretty much smell your way up to their facility on a production day.

Doors open at 10 a.m. And cookies are available for $2 each, until they are sold out.

For updates (including announcements of the #CookieFriday flavor), follow @TreatMKE on Twitter.

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There's just something about a good, old fashioned print cookbook.
There's just something about a good, old fashioned print cookbook.

E-cookbooks will never replace the real thing

We're all connected 24/7 to computers, tablets, phones and television. But there's more to life than being online – even for a digital media company – so this week we're excited to show you ways to connect with family and friends, even when there's no signal. Steinhafels presents OnMilwaukee Unplugged Week, a celebration of all things analog. Sit back, log into these stories and then log into the real world.

Back in 2012, L.V. Anderson posted an article on Slate.com predicting the ultimate demise of the print cookbook.

She postulates that sentimentality is really the only reason to keep print cookbooks around. And despite her admittance that she, too, falls prey to the joy that print cookbooks bring, she claims to be "OK" with their demise.

"In the future," she writes, "Cookbooks will be quirky art objects in the same sense that typewriters are today."

And she may be right. But, in the meantime, I shall choose to scoff at her ramblings.

Although I am an avid user of both print and digital media, I think that – even in the future – there will be room for both. Assuming that cookbooks are primarily vehicles for transmitting information and should be judged solely on that criteria, is a chief mistake in Anderson’s argument.

As one commenter on the Slate post writes, "A cookbook is not merely serving my efficiency and the need to get food on the table tonight. A cookbook offers escapism, inspiration, and, quite frankly, a tangible aesthetic experience not too far off from the tangible aesthetic experience of eating ... Yes, it is sentimental to appreciate the notes my mother wrote in her cookbook, but it is not ‘nonsensical’ to think this way."

Hear, hear! I raise my glass to you, wise woman.

The idea of books (generally) and cookbooks (more specifically) going extinct, is not something that makes me comfortable. Not at all.

My cookbook collection, which has grown exponentially over the years, currently tops out at well over 250 (Cookbook addict? …

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Will eating a steak every now and again screw up an otherwise healthful diet?
Will eating a steak every now and again screw up an otherwise healthful diet? (Photo: Carnevor)

Bad fat/good fat: Is it all relative?

New Year's celebrations are behind us, leaving only the resolutions to eat better and get fit. Don't worry, we're here to help. This week – Healthy Living Week, brought to you by The Milwaukee Y – we will focus on articles and information about exercise, eating right and staying healthy in a variety of ways.  

There is a massive amount of nutrition misinformation to be found on the internet. And Americans believe a lot of what is touted, especially when it comes to fat.

Despite the fact that people have eaten meat for centuries (and continue to do so), science has always seemed to have it out for saturated fat.

Think about it. From the early 1900s all the way through the late 1980s, butter and animal fat substitutes like Crisco and margarine were all the rage. For a time, many even considered them healthful. And why not? After all, they’re created from vegetables, and we all want to avoid saturated fats, right?

Of course we do. After all, the cornerstone of modern nutrition policy is built on the idea that a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet is key to preventing heart disease.

In the meantime, the public has been snowed by rhetoric. Makers of margarine were very effective in constructing a nutritional myth around their products, which often contained ingredients now recognized as trans fats (and shown to be harmful). The trend was encouraged by the "vilification" of saturated fats, a movement that dates back to the 1950s when research suggested a link between high dietary saturated fat intake and death from heart disease.

So, let’s take it as a given that trans fats are bad for us. And since many varieties of margarine still contain partially hydrogenated oils (read: trans fat), it's probably good to avoid those. Note that stick margarine generally contains more trans fats than its tub counterpart; but the only way to tell what you're getting is to read the ingredients.

But what about the vegetable oil spreads?  Well, even those can be controversial, …

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Mascarpone ice cream at Sanford? Yes, please.
Mascarpone ice cream at Sanford? Yes, please. (Photo: Sanford)

Milwaukee dishes highlighted in USA Today feature on Wisconsin cheese

Wisconsin is more than beer, brats and cheese. But, we've got to admit it, our cheese is pretty darned good. And "USA Today" thinks so, too.

Today it published a feature (well, a slideshow) showcasing restaurant dishes that exemplify creative uses for one of Wisconsin's hottest exports. You shouldn't be surprised to note that a number of Milwaukee restaurants are on the list.

Among dishes listed are:

  • Café Bavaria gets props for three dishes:  the Drie-Käse Jar, their Spätzle & Mac & Chips and their bloody Marys, which feature Wisconsin cheese curds.
  • Sanford's fried milkweed blossoms with rapini mascarpone puree and salami vinaigrette along with their duo of toasted pinenut and basil mascarpone ice creams.
  • Odd Duck's dates that come wrapped in bacon, stuffed with gouda and drizzled with saba.
  • Story Hill BKC gets props for both their special crepe with baby kale, baked eggs, smoked Berkshire loin bacon, onion marmalade and quark; and their toast with housemade jam, spiced nuts, local honey and quark.
  • The Gouda Girls' the Mac, a grilled sandwich featuring gouda, havarti and colby jack along with a hearty scoop of mac and cheese.
  • Classy Girl Cupcakes get props for their cheesecake cupcakes, which come in over 60 flavors.

The Madison location for AJ Bombers also gets a mention for its Mad Sconnie burger featuring a grass-fed beef and bacon patty topped with fried pickles and sandwiched in a miniature version of Stella’s Hot & Spicy Cheese Bread.

Countless other dishes hail from spots like Green Bay, Madison, Appleton and the like. Just be careful not to peruse the slideshow before you've eaten because it's guaranteed to make you hungry.

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