OnMilwaukee.com Recommends: Nov. 27, 2009
Gobble, gobble, OnMilwaukee.com readers. No doubt you've spent the day gorging on turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings so why not take a break from football -- and all those relatives -- by taking a look at the latest suggestions and recommendations from the gang in the OnMilwaukee.com editorial office. Happy Thanksgiving.
"Steam & Cinders: The Advent of Railroads in Wisconsin" by Axel Lorenzsonn (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) -- Got a trainspotter or Wisconsin history buff on your holiday list? Check out this hefty, illustrated hardcover history of the birth of Wisconsin's railroads. From the arrival of steam engines in small town Wisconsin to the explosion of railroads in the 1850s, Lorenzsonn documents the state's train history before the Civil War in a heavily researched, well-written, handsomely illustrated book that retails for $29.95. --Bobby Tanzilo
"The League" -- With the exception of "How I Met Your Mother" and "MythBusters," there is nothing worth my time on television these days. My attempt at watching "Lost" (yes, from the beginning) drove me up the wall, "V" has been a disappointment and if CBS ever wanted to air a show not about crime scene investigations, I'd consider it. Over the last week or so, more than a few of my friends have been talking about FX's original comedy, "The League." Centered around five guys and their fantasy football league, it's a well-written and hilarious look at the life of a man as he struggles with the demands of adulthood and the callings of one's inner child. Check out the first few episodes at hulu.com. --Andrew Wagner
Rishi Tea's Cinnamon Plum Cider -- Rishi Tea's Cinnamon Plum tea is organic, Fair Trade and delicious when added to your favorite hot cider. The tea is great stand alone -- it's earthy and fruity -- and can be drank hot or cold. Even better, if you add a tablespoon of the tea to a small saucepan of cider and let it simmer for 10 minutes, the result is a spicy, plum-infused twist on classic holiday cider. Go here for more info: www.rishi-tea.com. --Molly Snyder Edler
The MIAD mural in the Historic Third Ward -- The mural on the South wall of the Utrecht art store, 149 N. Broadway, opposite Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design's (MIAD's) main building is a bit under-appreciated, I think. I like it, though. It's an annual collaborative effort from the incoming class and the 8-by-40-foot piece adds some nice color to an otherwise dark building. Check it out on your next walk through the Ward. --Jeff Sherman
Mint.com -- Somewhere along the line here I must have officially entered adulthood because I've taken a new-found interest in my financial future. Nothing over the top, but I've decided it's time to make a family budget. Plus, now that my husband started his own business, our portfolios are getting complex. Yes, we hired an accountant, but accountants also expect you to have your information organized when you arrive. And this is where Mint.com comes in. It's 100 percent online, it's free, it's user-friendly and intuitive, all of which help when you're not exactly a numbers person. You create a profile and securely add all your accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards and investments. The program essentially does the rest. It's been useful for keeping on top of bills and budgeting monthly (and yearly) expenses. Most of all, it's given me a calming sense of control. The site also has a companion iPhone App, so you can track your finances from anywhere. --Julie Lawrence
Theme of the day from iGoogle -- If you're not using iGoogle yet, you ought to check it out. Sign up for a Google account and you can use e-mail and other awesome apps (like Google Docs and Calendar), but you can customize a home page with news feeds, widgets and other cool stuff. You can pick your own background theme or let it generate one for you that changes every day. I find that it has freshened up my day on the Web, and the theme changes before I can get tired of it. --Drew Olson
Midori melon liqueur -- I know what you're thinking. The syrupy sweet neon green liquor reminds you of high school. That's probably because it's been that long since you drank it (maybe even straight). But when a professional mixologist like Victoria D'Amato-Moran gets her hand on the melon-flavored spirit, some festive, grown-up cocktails come into focus. Take the "Midori Peppermint Kiss," for example. Mix one ounce of Midori, one ounce of vodka, three ounces of pineapple juice, ¼ ounce of lemon juice and peppermint schnapps, and six basil leaves, gently torn in half to release their oils. Shake it up a chilled glass, add ice and strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and one raspberry sitting in front of the basil. Now ... does that sound like high school? I didn't think so. --Andy Tarnoff
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