By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 05, 2006 at 5:32 AM
Welcome to another installment of "OMC Recommends," a periodic look at cool things that we like and think you should know about.

Use the Talkback feature to let us know what you think of our picks. If you'd like to add some of your own, e-mail them to

"30 Rock" -- It was encouraging to hear that this "show within a show" sitcom, which stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski, was picked up for another nine episodes. The ratings haven’t been great, but a switch to Thursday at 8:30 p.m. apparently put the paddles to the numbers and shocked them to live.

Fey, who was a favorite during her stint as "Weekend Update" anchor on "Saturday Night Live," plays Liz Lemon, head writer for a sketch comedy called "The Girlie Show." Baldwin is hilarious as her slick, slimy boss, Jack Donaghey.

NBC decided to ignore lackluster ratings for two other underperforming shows "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Friday Night Lights." Here is hoping all three get picked up for 2007. -- Drew Olson

"Hallways of Always" by William Elliott Whitmore & Jenny Hoyston -- For this six-song collaboration Whitmore has slightly tamed his wild wail and Hoyston (Islands of Paradise, Erase Errata) appears the softest she's ever sounded. What results is an earthy folk album spiked with a few contemporary beats, a bit of organ and the poetic tongue of heartbreak. Each are strong musicians independently and the solo tracks on the album are nothing less than what we've come to expect from the artists, but it's in the songs they share vocally that the duo reflects a mutual light and creates something much larger. -- Julie Lawrence

Dragonfly -- Upscale and affordable, classy and down-to-earth, Dragonfly, 1117 E. Brady St., is a delicate blend of the old Brady Street and the new. Perhaps the wide-appeal factor explains the shop's success that has allowed owner Annette French continuously to stock her shop with loads of new merchandise, including jewelry, movie posters, lavender pillows, cool coasters, fabulous handbags, fun gift wrap and retro linens. Dragonfly also hawks heavenly soaps, candles, journals, aprons, boas, vintage spectacles, killer stained glass pieces and clothing for men and women, ranging from 1930s to contemporary wearables. I love this shop. -- Molly Snyder Edler

"The Ligurian Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from the Italian Riviera" -- Written by Laura Giannatempo and published by Hippocrene, this book is sitting on my countertop these days. Although Giannatempo is Piemontese and neglects to mention mes-ciua (a hearty, slow-cooked pot full of farro, chick peas and cannelini beans with a dollop of olive oil) and chestnuts (which my Ligurian-bred grandfather can't even stomach anymore he ate so many) -- two things that kept Ligurians alive for centuries -- she dishes up directions to so many sumptuous dishes that it remains a mystery as to why the Italian region that gave us minestrone alla genovese, pesto and focaccia is so under-appreciated among American foodies. To her credit, Giannnatempo explains early on that her goal is not to create an encyclopedia of la cucina ligure, but to highlight her personal favorites. Try the farinata or any of her tempting seafood recipes, gaze at the lovely photos by Michael Piazza and feel yourself transported to a delicious seaside town like Vernazza in the Cinque Terre or the rugged villages of the inland mountains. -- Bobby Tanzilo

The "Oreos" and other cookies at C. Adam’s Bakery -- Milwaukee Public Market are you reading this? Hopefully you are, ‘cause here’s a suggestion. Open earlier so we can get at the tasty treats at the C. Adam’s Bakery. I know, Cedarburg Coffee is open at 7 a.m., but why should we have to wait until 10 a.m. for the bakery?! Anyway, with more than 100 varieties of made-from-scratch cookies (the Wisconsin cookie is a current favorite), pies, brownies, cakes, pastries and other treats, Lisa Crumb’s bakery at the market is simply wonderful. If you’re going for the first time, try the "oreos." How could a Milwaukee baker improve on a Nabisco classic? Taste and see for yourself. The Web site is -- Jeff Sherman

"Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards" by Tom Waits -- Waits could probably fill 20 album's worth of unreleased songs, but with "Orphans" he's narrowed it down to three, each of which plays out more like a greatest hits album than a collection of previously forgotten about loners. "Brawlers" starts off the three-disc set with 16 blues and gospel songs, "Bawlers" -- the longest of the set at 20 tracks -- is filled with sweeping and wrenching ballads and "Bastards" is a compilation that Waits defines as "uncategorizable," and even includes a series of spoken word pieces and fantastic stories told in true Waits form.--J.L.

"Atlas of the Human Heart" -- I just finished this awesome book by Ariel Gore, the founder of Hip Mamma magazine. It’s a loose recount of her adventurous teen years, and poetically details her wild, "study abroad" experiences in China, Amsterdam, London and Italy. The book also reveals what happened in Italy -- when she was just 19 -- that made her the "hip mamma" she is today. "Atlas" is a fast, fun and poignant book that appeals to anyone with a colorful young adulthood, or those who just pined for one. -- M.E.

Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus -- Former Brewers manager Tom Trebelhorn once chided two baseball writers for drinking diet soda. "Do you know what that does to your stomach?" he asked. "Drop a penny into a glass of that and watch what it does." We thought of Treb when we purchased our first Lipton green tea. It’s not going to take the place of our favorite carbonated diet drinks, but it was a welcome change of pace. -- D.O.

ESPN Insider -- For too long, I ignored the content behind the insider curtain. Read the site daily, as I do, and you’ll see many tiny "in" icons that offer "insider" views, stats and analysis. The catch is, you’ve got to play (or in this case, read). I took the plunge about a year ago and love it. Not only do I get access to cool NBA content, but I also get ESPN The Magazine at home. For a print read, it’s a perfect bathroom companion. Not even sure what ESPN charges me monthly, but I don’t care. The content is good, creative and high quality. Kudos. -- Jeff Sherman

A Steny’s burger -- We don’t want to get into a debate over the best burger in town, as several establishments can stake claim to the title. Sobelmann’s, Solly’s, Kopps, consistently appear at the top of any Best of Milwaukee list. But if you’re looking for a treat, try Steny’s on 2nd and National. Hand pattied fresh beef (NEVER FROZEN), served with fresh cut skin on fries. And screw the micro-brews, wash it down with an ice cold Miller High Life. -- Kevin Brandt