This Wednesday is Valentine's Day and, though many consider it a "Hallmark" holiday, the celebration actually dates back to Roman times; a fertility festival called "Lupercalia."
Times have certainly changed. Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated by friends, family, and lovers, alike, and whether you need a treat for your kids or a romantic gift for your significant other, there are plenty of great, local choices in Oz.
Chocolate Chisel in Port Washington has fresh, chocolate covered strawberries available for the occasion, as well as a wide variety of milk and dark chocolates to choose from. Bring in your own bottle of wine, and they'll even help create a special gift basket for you. CoCa LeNa, also in Port, can help you send a special Valentine Box all over the country!
A beautiful caramel apple from Amy's Candy Kitchen in downtown Cedarburg makes a wonderful Valentine's gift and, while you're in town, make it a gift from Cedarburg with something from Ashley's Confectionery, too!
If you're in the Grafton area, stop into Sweet Trio for a delicious variety of chocolates, candy and caramel apples, or, if you're in the southern Ozaukee neck of the woods, Mequon has Get Happy.
It's hard to believe, but some people don't like chocolate and candy. If flowers are what you're looking for, you're in luck - there are plenty to choose from! In Saukville, try Lighthouse Florist; in Grafton, there's the Bloomin Olive. Cedarburg has Rachel's Roses, while Mequon has A Floral Affair or Fantasy Flowers.
Perhaps the lovely lady in your life has jewelry in mind? You can't go wrong with Armbruster Jewelers in Cedarburg or Sharbuno Jewelers in Port Washington; both family businesses who have been in their community for many years.
Looking for a special dinner out? There's Twisted Willow or Newport Shores in Port, and Galioto's Twelve21 in Cedarburg. Over Valentine's weekend, Shully's Cuisine in Thiensville is offering five course dinners inspired by romance movies (get your tickets here!). No No's in Newburg is another consideration.
However you share the love, put some Oz into it! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.
Over 100 years ago (in 1914, to be exact), President Woodrow Wilson made Mother's Day an official holiday. As one might guess, it didn't take long for restaurants, florists, and confectioners to get in on it. In fact, the woman who campaigned for the holiday, Anna Jarvis, was so disgusted by the commercialization of the holiday that she spent the rest of her life fighting to remove it from the calendar. Of course, Mother's Day is here to stay, so if you're going to spend your money, you may as well do it locally, and there are plenty of good restaurants, florists, and confectioners in Oz to choose from!
Twisted Willow is serving up a special brunch menu from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring a build your own Bloody Marys and Mimosas, special dishes, and a dessert menu that any Mom would love. Eating gluten-free? There are good options on all of the menus! Reservations are suggested -- call (262) 268-7600.
Port Hotel serves brunch from 9:30-3:30 ($26.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids), featuring prime rib, and roasted turkey. Reservations are recommended at (262) 284-9473.
Newport Shores serves brunch from 9:30-2:30, with a special Mother's Day dinner Menu from 4-9 p.m. featuring lobster tail and prime rib. Brunch is $15.95 for adults, $7.95 for children under 12 and $4.95 for children under 6 (children under 2 are free).
Tello's has lunch and dinner specials, and all moms will receive a rose, with no reservations required.
Beanies will have a special Mexican Brunch menu from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., with free mimosas for mom. Call for reservations at (262) 284-7200.
If you're looking for chocolates in Port, Chocolate Chisel has fresh, chocolate covered strawberries available for the occasion, as well as a wide variety of milk and dark chocolates to choose from. You could also try CoCa LeNa for treats, cards and gifts. Jewelry can be found at Sharbuno Jewelers. Also, moms (and grandmothers) are free at the Port Exploreum!
Firehouse Restaurant has a Breakfast Buffet, featuring a made-to-order omelette bar and more, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $16.95/person (Children 10 and under are half price, and children 2 and under are free). Call for reservations at (262) 284-8886.
For flowers, try Lighthouse Florist.
A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
Atlas BBQ will have their very first Mother's Day Brunch, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., featuring carved beef brisket, smoked ham and salmon, and more. The cost is $25.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids 12 and under. Reservations are recommended; call (262) 618-2181.
Flannery's at Fire Ridge in Grafton has Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a free mimosa with the purchase of an adult buffet. Adults are $17.99, and kids 8 and under are $8.99, while children under 4 are free. Reservations are required; call (262) 375-2977.
The Bloomin Olive is where to go for flowers in the Grafton area, and Sweet Trio has all the sweet treats mom might want.
Joey Gerard’s has a Brunch Buffet from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for $36.95 adults, and $17.95 for kids 3-12 years old, as well as a Dinner Buffet from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., which is $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids 3-12 years old. Call (262) 518-5500 to make reservations.
Cafe 1505 is serving brunch beginning at 9 am, with a final seating at 1:30. Highlights Include breakfast tostadas, baileys mascarpone stuffed French toast, and chipotle lime wild Alaskan salmon lettuce cups, as well as homemade chocolate truffles. Reservations are required -- call (262)241-7076).
Nine's American Bistro will have a Mother's Day Brunch from 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m. featuring free mimosas for mom, as well as a chef-attended carving and omelette station, and a separate buffet for kids. The cost is $32.50, $13.50 for kids 12 and under, and free for children under 5. Call for reservations at (262) 518-0129.
A Floral Affair is the place to go for blooms and Get Happy is the place to get chocolate or candy.
Galioto's Twelve 21 will be serving brunch; the cost is $24.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids. For reservations, call (262) 377-8085.
There's always a special caramel apple from Amy's Candy Kitchen or classic candies from Ashley's Confectionery to make mom's day, and flowers from Rachel's Roses.
No No's has brunch from 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. For reservations, call (262)675-6960.
The The Islands at Waubeka Fire Hall offers a Mother's Day Buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring beef tips, ham, marinated pork chops, peel and eat shrimp, and more. Adults are $14.95, children 10 and under are $7.95, and children 3 and under are free. Call for reservations at (262) 692-5642.
If Mom is an outdoorsy type, she may prefer a hike at Lion's Den Gorge in Grafton, Sauk Creek Nature Preserve in Port, Harrington Beach in Belgium, or a special hike for Moms, such as the Wildflower Hike at Riveredge.
Happy Mother's Day to all from Ozaukee Living Local!
By Michelle Prud'Homme Standlee
My family is blessed to live in Cedarburg -- a beautiful, small town Americana reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. This quaint little spot on the map, just North of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, comes complete with antique shops, cozy bed and breakfasts, and delightful cafes lining the picturesque main street. The Cedar Creek, which flows peacefully through the town, refreshes those who gather at its side to play and picnic. The soft, frothy white waves of the Cedar Creek Falls attract tourists and residents alike with a humming, watery lullaby.
Along the main street, you will find an adorable rustic shop nestled among the other vintage architecture. In 2011, we were fortunate to have Penzey's Spices open its shop doors in downtown Cedarburg. Penzey's motto is "Love People...cook them tasty food." What a perfect addition to this little city which, like Penzey's, displays a genuine love for people.
Penzey's carries over a hundred different spices, which makes it easy to get creative in the kitchen. Whether you are in the mood for a zesty Italian dish or savory French cuisine, Penzey's has got you covered. What's more, the friendly shop keepers are knowledgeable about the spices and can help you choose the best flavors for your meal creation. Penzey's also takes the time to learn from its customers by listening to their questions, stories and recipe ideas.
This brings me back to Penzey's love for people. Penzey's helps you create food that is not only tasty, but food that is also healthy for you and your loved ones. Without perhaps even knowing it, by using Penzey's high-quality herbs and spices you may be adding some very welcome health benefits to your meals.
For thousands of years, people have used herbs and spices not only to flavor their cooking, but also as natural health remedies. Even today, many cultures still embrace this wisdom. For example, many Eastern cultures still use ginger to ease stomach ailments such as indigestion and nausea. Some research shows that ginger may help combat the common cold and even the flu. Ginger is one of the many healthful spices that Penzey's offers. (How I wish I knew of their delicious, stomach-soothing Ginger Sweet Bits when I was pregnant to ease morning sickness naturally!)
For a healthy snack that also gives your stomach a little TLC, here is a nutritious smoothie recipe that includes Penzey's China Powdered #1 Ginger:
Penzey's Ginger Kale Smoothie
One handful of kale, spinach or other greens
Half of a cucumber (peeled if waxy skin)
One apple (cored and chopped, peeled if desired)
1/8 tsp Penzey's China Powdered #1 Ginger
honey to taste
squeeze of lemon juice
enough water to cover ingredients
a few ice cubes
Put all in high-speed blender until smooth
As I stroll down the main street with my babies in tow, I appreciate being able to live in this sweet little town where Penzey's set up shop. This is the place we call our hometown, where we will raise our children, hoping that one day they too, will appreciate its beauty and vintage charm. And now I'm heading home to make some ginger broccoli chicken for dinner...with Penzey's ginger, of course.
Michelle Prud'Homme Standlee is a wife, mom, holistic Registered Nurse, and artist from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. When she is not mommying, Michelle loves writing, cooking, researching alternative medicine, and painting on canvas.
A year ago today, local author, Sara Dahmen, released her first novel, Doctor Kinney's Housekeeper. A first place winner of the Chanticleer Book Review for Women's Historical Fiction, the story is set in the Dakota Territories in the late 1800's, and nearly everything important in the book takes place in the kitchen. The story, along with a love of cooking and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, inspired Dahmen's latest venture: a line of historically-inspired cookware called Housekeeper Crockery.
"I wanted to go one step beyond the food discussion," said Dahmen. "We're buying organic, local, sustainable food, but when we bring it home, what do we cook it in? Cookware made in China with a bazillion chemicals in it."
Housekeeper Crockery consists of a line of cast iron and copper pots and pans, ceramic bowls, wooden spoons, and cotton towels that are entirely made in America. In fact, the cast iron is poured in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and the pottery comes from Rowe Pottery in Cambridge, Wisconsin.
Dahmen has been very hands on in the cast iron and copper process, learning traditional methods from tin and copper smiths, and talking shop with anyone she can.
"Cookware is a man's world, but the information sharing has been wonderful. Even competitors share, because they want a really good product; it's more than just making money. These products are meant to last a lifetime."
The venture has created work for small artisans across the country -- in some cases, workers are being re-taught skills in order to make the cookware. When searching for a place where the line of copper cookware could be made, Dahmen learned that copper pots have not been made en masse in the United States for 90 years.
In keeping with her commitment to local, Dahmen is also working with local businesses to sell her products. "I'd rather support mom and pop boutiques, and keep the jobs here. Integrity and transparency are important to me."
Housekeeper Crockery can be found at Blue Heron Artisan's Marketplace in Port Washington, as well as the Rustic Palate in Cedarburg, who will be having a product launch party for the line on May 21st from 11-4.
Interestingly, the book that inspired the cookware line has inspired another book: a request for a non-fiction book about cookware, which will be Dahmen's next project.
Not only is Dahmen a writer and a business owner, she is also a successful event planner and a mother to three children under the age of 6. This begs the question: How does she do it?
Dahmen smiled. "I'm lucky to have a very supportive husband."
Late last summer, a new women's clothing store opened at 215 N. Franklin St. in downtown Port Washington: Moda Bella, an urban chic boutique. Now, having survived a winter on the lake, the shop is really beginning to put down roots, inviting the community in with a series of classes and events.
Owner, Michele Piechowski, has made a serious commitment to forward-thinking fashion, not only in the trendy, upscale look of the items she carries, but in the way -- and the where -- in which they were made. Most of the clothing and accessories within this lakeside boutique with an east-side feel are Fair Trade (meaning the workers were paid a living wage and provided good working conditions) or Made in the USA; a rare claim for a clothing store.
In fact, one of Michele's favorite lines this spring is from Mata Traders in Chicago, who utilize Fair Trade Co-ops in India and Nepal to make their clothing.
"I just love these garments," Michele said. "They're made of 100% cotton, of which most of is hand-stamped or hand embroidered. These co-ops pay fair wages, and offer daycare, healthcare and empowerment to the women working with them. I love that these pieces are made by one woman from start to finish, without line or piece work."
Beyond clothing and accessories, Michele has had several workshops in the store that were so well-received, she's doing them again! On Monday, April 11th, at 6 p.m., there will be a Glass Painting Class in the store. On Sunday, April 24th, at 2 p.m., there will be a Canvas Painting Class. On Thursday, May 5th, at 5:30, she'll have the second Pillow and Canvas Tote Painting Class, just in time for Mother's Day gifts. Her Pallet Class has been so popular, she added a 4th one on May 9th at 5:30 p.m. (look for the sign up on April 8th!).
Moda Bella will be closed the 2nd through the 7th for Michele to take a much-needed break, but she'll be back in time for Port's annual Ladies Night Out on April 14th from 4-8 p.m.
Moda Bella has something for all ages of women. In fact, they are currently building a special Juniors section for teens, with the same, fashion-forward focus. The boutique is open Wednesday through Saturday, but the hours can be a bit erratic, so it's best to call before you visit: (262) 261-5105.
We at Ozaukee Living Local truly appreciate Michele's commitment to being a local business in the truest sense, and wish her the best of success!
Easter Sunday Brunch is quite a tradition and, luckily, Oz has so many great restaurants to choose from!
In Port Washington, Twisted Willow is serving up a special brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring a build your own Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar, brunch or entree menu, a special children's menu, and a dessert menu that puts any Easter basket candy to shame. Eating gluten-free? There are good options on all of the menus!
Port Hotel serves brunch from 10-2 ($26.50 for adults and $9.50 for kids - reservations are recommended at (262) 284-9473), and so does Starters ($13.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids; children under 4 are free - reservations recommended at (262) 261-5255).
From 9:30-3:30, NewPort Shores will have their Easter Brunch. Adults are $14.95; 12 and under are $7.95; 6 and under are $4.95; and, 2 and under are free.
Saukville's Firehouse Restaurant has an Easter Buffet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $15.95/person (Children 10 and under are half price, and children 2 and under are free). Call for reservations at (262) 284-8886.
Flannery's at Fire Ridge in Grafton has an Easter Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $16.95/person ($8.50 for kids 7 and under, and free for kids 3 and under). There is an egg hunt for children, and a chocolate fountain for everyone! Reservations are required; call (262) 375-2977.
In Mequon, the Nines American Bistro has the Easter Bunny in attendance, as well as a child-sized buffet for the kids and complimentary mimosas! Adults are $39.50; 12 and under are $17.50; 5 and under are free. Reservations required at (262) 518-0129
Joey Gerard’s has both a brunch buffet from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. ($34.95 adults, $14.95 children 3-12 years old) and a dinner buffet from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. ($44.95 adults, $20.95 children 3-12 years old).
No No's in Newburg has a more traditional Easter dinner menu, with options such as Spring Leg of Lamb or Baked Black Oak Ham. They are open from 3-8 p.m.
Are you a bit behind on your Easter Candy shopping? Get it local! Chocolate Chisel or CoCa LeNa in Port Washington; Sweet Trio in Grafton; Amy's Candy Kitchen or Ashley's Confectionery in Cedarburg; and, Leo and Lou and Get Happy in Mequon.
Happy Easter, everyone!
This Sunday is Valentine's Day and, though many consider it a "Hallmark" holiday, the celebration actually dates back to Roman times; a fertility festival called "Lupercalia."
Times have certainly changed. Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated by friends, family and lovers, alike, and whether you need a treat for your kids or a romantic gift for your significant other, there are plenty of great, local choices in Oz.
Chocolate Chisel in Port Washington has fresh, chocolate covered strawberries available for the occasion, as well as a wide variety of milk and dark chocolates to choose from. Bring in your own bottle of wine, and they'll even help create a special gift basket for you.
A beautiful caramel apple from Amy's Candy Kitchen in downtown Cedarburg makes a wonderful Valentine's gift and, while you're in town, make it a gift from Cedarburg with something from Ashley's Confectionery and Beerntsen's Confectionery, too!
If you're in the Grafton area, stop into Sweet Trio for a delicious variety of chocolates, candy and caramel apples, or, if you're in the southern Ozaukee neck of the woods, Mequon has two brand new candy shops, Leo and Lou's Children's Wear and Confectionery. and Get Happy. Both are located in the new Mequon Town Center, at the intersection of Cedarburg and Mequon Roads.
It's hard to believe, but some people don't like chocolate and candy. If flowers are what you're looking for, you're in luck - there are plenty to choose from! In Saukville, try Lighthouse Florist; in Grafton, there's the Bloomin Olive. Cedarburg has Rachel's Roses, while Port Washington has La Tulipe. In Mequon, try A Floral Affair or Fantasy Flowers.
However you share the love, put some Oz into it! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.