Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm a Chef!

As some of you may know, I've been attempting my fair share of cooking over the past couple months. I've really ramped up my efforts over the past few weeks, and I've gotta say, every time I eat something I've made, I'm still shocked at how delicious it is! :) I've always said I can't cook, but I think the more accurate statement is that I never really tried. With some guidance and encouragement from L, I've done a lot of experimenting and have enjoyed every minute of it. Below are some photos of a few meals I have created recently. Some of them include pictures of the process, while others are just the final product. Click on the images to make them larger. Any questions, just ask. I'd be happy to share my kitchen secrets. ;)

Buffalo Chicken Wrap
(Buffalo chicken, ranch, bacon, lettuce, and cheese in a tortilla)

Steak and Peppers(Chuck-eye steak, garlic, onions, and peppers)
Served with rice.

Chicken with Pan Sauce

(Hand-breaded chicken and homemade pan sauce)
The final presentation isn't the best, but it was awesome!

Italian Meal(Tomato basil chicken, garlic, onions, peppers, pepperoni, & cheese)
Served with pasta.
This meal ROCKED. Making it again tonight. :)

These are just a few photos of other meals I've had recently. This one is a variation on the steak and peppers meal above. I just used spicier peppers and added some mushrooms. Yum!

Chorizo and a variety of peppers on rice. Spicy, but awesome!
(Meal courtesy of L.)

Pan-seared tuna, asparagus, shrimp, and a green pepper stuffed with cheesy garlic rice. Again, courtesy of L. AMAZZZZZZING.


Ran across this quote today. LOVE it. :)
"He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you."
Could this be more true?!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pink and Red:)

Two weekends ago, we celebrated my SOON-to-be (two weeks!!!) sister-in-law's bachelorette party down here in Milwaukee, and man, was that a fun time or what?! After visiting me awhile back, Casey decided that Milwaukee (primarily the Third Ward) was somewhere she'd love to bring her closest girlfriends to celebrate the upcoming wedding. They headed down early that day and we did a little city exploring, and then we got ready for a night out on the town. The theme, as you will see, was a pink and red feel. So cute! We only hit up a few places, but the environments seemed perfect for the type of night we all wanted. The night ended by ALL of us crashing in my apartment. I was slightly concerned that the amount of ladies here would lead to some uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, but fortunately, it seemed to work pretty flawlessly. In case anyone is looking for a place to stay, my walk-in closet sleeps quite comfortably (I know from experience;). Overall, a TOTAL blast, and I can't wait to call another Zimmerman girl my sister! :)) Yes, for those of who don't know, my brothers will be married to sisters. As we always say, it's a shame they don't have a brother... ;)

Me and Drew before going out! Love her! :)

Cool photo of me and Casey (courtesy of Christina)

Group photo at my place before heading out!

Me and mama!

Their beers came in paper bags. Naturally, they made puppets. ;)

Me with some of the ladies!

Casey taking a shot with her mama and future mama!

Thoroughly enjoying herself! :)

Umm... Are we sexy or what?!

And we're done. Cat pillow, towel, and all. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Alive.

Hi folks. To be honest, I don't have a whole lot to report at the moment (my brain is like the consistency of a fried egg right now), but I just wanted to check in and say that I am indeed alive! :) Things with work over the past few weeks have been absolutely insane. Not necessarily in a bad way, just a bit intense, so that has kept me from really having a lot of time or energy to report.

Since my last entry, a few exciting things have occurred. One, my soon to be sister-in-law Casey had her bachelorette party down here in MKE (entry to follow soon). Two, my other sister-in-law Courtney just turned 30 (yay, eek!). Three, I got to spend this past weekend in La Crosse visiting L, which always makes me a happy girl. :) That trip also involved some time with good friends, so that's a plus too. And four, I got my hair cut! Everyone keeps asking for pictures, but I haven't had much happening that would warrant pictures, and I don't really want to take a self-photo, so hopefully I'll get a picture or two up soon. Patience! I'm sure many, many more exciting things have occurred that I'm forgetting, but that's what I came up with off the top of my head! I have this weekend free, so maybe I'll spend some more time catching up on blogging. Lucky you. :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fondy Farmer's Market!

It feels like forever since I've been able to say this, but last weekend, I had the WHOLE weekend to myself. No plans, no obligations, nothing. I've never wanted anything more. Glorious! Because I haven't had much time to myself to wander around and explore more of the city lately, one of the things I decided to do was hit up one of the local farmer's markets. After some researching, I decided to make a little bit of a trek to hit up Fondy Farmer's Market. It seemed big and organized, and many of the vendors were local farmers with fresh produce, which is exactly what I was looking for! As a side note, I have seriously only been to one farmer's market in my entire life, so I was kinda nervous. Yes, I'm a freak. I think I'm about the only person on the planet who would get nervous about something like that, but in my defense, it was mostly just because I didn't know what to expect. Much to my surprise, I survived. ;) At first, I just walked around taking it all in and trying to figure out what all the vegetables even were, ha! Eventually, I just started picking out items, handing over my money, and before you know it, I headed for home with a few large bags of goodies! A little onion, a little garlic, a little spinach, a little green pepper, and lots of spicy little peppers. How fun! I really enjoyed it and will most definitely be going back again. Probably Saturday morning, actually! Stay tuned to see some of the seriously awesome meals I've been making with the ingredients I purchased. I could get used to this! :)

The entrance!

Lots of cool flowers. Getting some SOON. :)

All my goodies!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This song is currently my new obsession. It's called "Faster" by Matt Nathanson, and I love, Love, LOVE it! So light and cheery, and it makes me feel all giddy for reasons that are probably really obvious to those of who you know anything about my life at the moment. ;)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Free Weekend...Psych!

My goodness. It's almost getting scary how much I've been blogging these days! Guess that's what happens when I take a little time for myself once in awhile... ;) Anyway, onto the point of this entry. Most of you who know me know that the past few months of my life have been insanely busy. Almost too busy. Let me just say, I am NOT content with how quickly the summer is passing me by. The weeks have been pretty standard in terms of work and everything, but my weekends for the past 3-4 months have literally been booked solid. For at least two months, I've SO been looking forward to the last weekend in July (last weekend), because somehow, just somehow, I managed to keep that particular weekend free. Interestingly, as the weekend approached, it started to become less and less free. No complaints, because I had a blast, but kinda funny how a "planless" weekend can change so quickly. Anyway, I ended up still having Friday night and Saturday morning to myself, but L came to visit that afternoon, and once he left on Sunday, I went straight to Miller Park for the Brewer game with a bunch of my family and people from Colby that I know. It was a HOT day to be at the ballpark, but thank the good Lord our seats were in the shade! Below are some pictures from that weekend. Yet another Milwaukee adventure! :)

Me and L before I headed to Miller Park!

Lia, me, and Peyton at Miller Park!
(I'm squatting, by the way. I'm not THAT short;)

Stadium view from our seats (Section 202, Row 1)!

Me and mama at the game!

Me and Dave at the game!

Me and papa at the game!

The family members who were at the game (except for P)!

My DELICIOUS bloody mary!

Me and Peyton at the game!

Lia sucking on a lemon. Hilarious! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Adventure!

In keeping with the theme of my last entry, I thought I'd include another Milwaukee-related post to highlight some of my adventures! (I apologize in advance for the excessive number of links, but I want you to be able to learn about these cool places!) Anyway, two weeks ago, a couple of my girlfriends from grad school came down to visit, and we had a lovely time! It had been almost a year since the last time we'd all been together, so it was long overdue. We didn't get too crazy in terms of making plans ahead of time, but we did a few fun things. First of all, we went to Trocadero for brunch that Saturday. I'd never been there, but as soon as I arrived, I realized it was owned by the same people who run a few other places I've been to recently (Cafe Centraal, Cafe Benelux, and Cafe Hollander). Shit, I guess I've been doing more exploring than I thought! ;) On a tangent, if you can, you should go to any or all of these places. They are awesome! Cafe Centraal is pretty close to my apartment, so I've been there the most. Anyway, after lunch, we did the Lakefront Brewery Tour. I've been told by multiple people that this is the best brewery tour in the city. Interestingly, it's the first tour I've EVER been on, so I'm almost a little sad that my first one was the "best" one, because how do you live up to that?! Anyway, that was a blast, and we decided to take a little breather and come back to my place. For dinner, we went to Graffito (Ryan Braun's restaurant). It was pretty cool, but we waited over an hour to be seated. Bla. The last stop of the night was one that would make my dad proud: Scotty's Bar and Pizza. This place is just across the street from my apartment, and it's so old school, it doesn't even have a website. ;) It attracts a VERY interesting crowd to say the least, usually people who could easily qualify as my grandparents. This particular evening, we encountered some "younger" gentleman (meaning, maybe, early 30's) who felt the need to buy all our $1 Schlitz beers. Yes, we're that classy. No complaints on my end! Anyway, since the girls only stayed over one night, it went too fast as usual. We ended our visit with a flat tire on my car (awesome, NOT), and breakfast at Cafe LuLu. LOVE this place. Overall, a very fun weekend. The only downfall was how much it broke the bank for me. I. Cannot. Spend. Money. Ever. Again. ;) Enjoy a few photos from our adventures!

Me, D, and C at the Brewery tour!

Me and C at Scotty's!

Me and D at Scotty's!

Drinking a Schlitz next to a Schlitz sign. Classy.

Soakin' up the atmosphere at Scotty's!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ethiopian Cottage

After finding some inspiration from a few local bloggers, I feel like I want to include a few more Milwaukee-related things in my blog. You know, just really document MY experiences in this awesome city. I've done some of that over the time I've been here, but I feel like I want to share a little bit more about the things I've been doing and the places I've been going. Let's rewind.

Last weekend, a very dear person in my life (who will be referred to as "L") came down to MKE to visit me for part of the weekend. We had a fabulous time as usual. When he first arrived on Saturday, we thought about just making or ordering some food. However, after glancing through my 2011 Shepherd Express City Guide (a lifesaver since I moved here), we decided to venture out and try something different. There's an entire dining section in this guide, divided out by type of cuisine. L's eyes were almost immediately drawn to a place called Ethiopian Cottage. I'll spare you the entire description, but long story short, it sounded far different from anything either of us have ever tried. Without much convincing, off to dinner we went, and lo and behold, we were the ONLY people in the restaurant. Definitely added to the experience! We went traditional and sat at one of the places that included a basket-like "table," rather than your typical restaurant table. If we're gonna do this, we might as go all out, right?! :) Anyway, we ordered somewhat blindly, but knew we wanted a variety. Check out the menu here. We weren't sure what to expect, but if I remember correctly, I believe we went with Kitfo (#6), Ybeg Tibs Wat (#13), and Gomen (#23). As for beverages, I tried an Ethiopian beer called Bedele, and L got a glass of honey wine. We considered an entire bottle of wine, but we drove, and we also didn't know if we'd like it, so a glass seemed safer. Too bad, because it was delicious! Out came the food, and we dug in. I don't know how to describe it. Almost overwhelming, because it was A LOT of food, and eating without utensils isn't exactly normal for us. Yes, we ate our entire meal without any utensils. I loved that aspect, though! I'll be honest, the crepe-like sourdough that basically served as the utensil (that you ate) was a tad on the sour side for my liking. Another confession. Out of the beef, lamb, and veggies, L and I both concurred that the veggies were by far our favorite. Seems kind of wrong when meat's involved! Anyway, we hung around for awhile and soaked in the atmosphere. Very cool to say the least. In terms of a recommendation, I'll say that you should surely have some adventurous tastebuds if you want to check out this place. I'm SO happy we went, and I'd probably go again. We racked up a bit of a tab (thank you, L, for treating me:), but like I said, the experience was very memorable. Definitely a little more out of the box than the Midwest Diner we went to on Sunday morning (which was still awesome, by the way). Check out the photos below to get a sense of our experience. They're not MY photos, but they help show what it was like. Gosh, I love this city for exposing me to new things! :)

Crepe-like sourdough called injera

Spices and goodies

See the basket? This was our "table."

Dig in with your hands!

Ethiopian beers (I tried the one in the middle.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Not Goodbye. It's See Ya Later...

This week, we lost someone who touched many of our lives. I got news on Sunday that my friend Andy passed away, and to be honest, since that day, I've still had a hard time processing through it. I have been thinking a lot about life and how quickly it can change, and it's been a painful pill to swallow. Andy was only 22 years old, taken far too soon. While I didn't get to see him nearly as often as I'd like, he brightened my day every time we were together. A true zest for life, and to say he will never be forgotten is a huge understatement. I am going to miss him more than words can say, and since I can't quite bring myself to say goodbye, Andy, if you see this, "It's not goodbye. It's see ya later." Love you, buddy. You will always be in my heart.

"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth—and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up—that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."