Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Nook Line up for this week:

Monday, May 23rd at 10:05am
Diane Kredensor, "OLLIE AND MOON", children's picture book author

Tuesday, May 24th, at 10:05am
Harold Holzer, "LINCOLN ON WAR: OUR GREATEST COMMANDER IN CHIEF SPEAKS TO AMERICA", a collection of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, letters and writings from the famous to the obscure and what we can learn from them

Wednesday, May 25th, at 10:05am
James B. Stewart, 'TANGLED WEB: HOW FALSE STATEMENTS ARE UNDERMINING AMERICA, FROM MARTHA STEWART TO BERNIE MADOFF", explores the lying addiction of the rich and famous.

Thursday, May 26th, at 10:05am
Fred Alan Wolf, "TIME LOOPS AND SPACE TWISTS: HOW GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE". The author explores how consciousness and science are related.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Advocates and Asparagus

Thirteen years ago, Brian Monaghan was given a death sentence-his doctor had found two brain tumors and he was given 3-6 months to live. While he was battling cancer, his wife Gerri was fighting on his behalf; acting as his advocate and ensuring that he received the best possible care. Together they beat the odds. Brian and Gerri share their experience and offer a road map for navigating the medical system in "WHEN A LOVED ONE FALLS ILL: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE PATIENT ADVOCATE" and I talked with them on Tuesday.

Their story is an incredible and powerful one and took me back twenty-five years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. She was not quite three years old and I became her advocate and ally. Many of the "50 Tips" that Brian and Gerri share were things that I did as well.

  • Trusting your own intuition. (I knew something wasn't right when I saw all the bruising on her legs)

  • Carrying a notebook, asking questions and writing things down. (There were many different chemos, plus I had to learn to draw blood from her catheter for testing at our local path lab so I needed to know what the results meant).

  • Make memories and share stories (We took a trip to Disney World during the middle of her treatment. Grandpa, Grandma, aunts, uncles and siblings and had a once in a lifetime experience!)

  • Always think in terms of "we". (I didn't receive the chomo, the "pokes", the radiation-but I felt that we were fighting this battle together!).

  • Celebrate the milestones. (We did that this past January when my daughter hosted a twenty-five anniversary celebration for doctors, nurses, friends and family who supported during the tumultuous time.

This book is an incredible tale of survival, love and committment and is a "must read" for everyone facing tough medical challenges.

It seems like spring as been a long time coming. One of the best "flavors" of spring is fresh asparagus. We've been sharing recipes for asparagus soup, quiche and more... When freezing asparagus remember these tips:

  • Select young tender spears with tightly closed tips

  • Wash thoroughly and sort by size

  • Trim stalks be removing the scales with a sharp knife

  • Cut into even lenghts to fit into freezer containers.

  • Blanch small spears for 1 1/2 minutes; medium spears for 2 minutes; and large spears for 3 minutes. Cool and drain well.

  • Pack spears into freezer containers and freeze. Or for smaller amounts, freeze on cookie sheets prior to placing in containers

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rhubarb and Rodgers

On Monday my "Book Nook" guest was Rob Reischel, sports writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. We talked about his newest book, "AARON RODGERS: LEADER OF THE PACK". Rob was planning on writing a book about the 2010 Packer Season and he'll be the first to admit that he didn't think they had a chance of getting to the Superbowl. After clinching the NFC title in Chicago, Rob's publisher told him they wanted the book to be about Aaron and that he had until one week after the SuperBowl to complete it. Talk about a deadline!

The book covers Aaron's early career is filled with stats and covers some little known information as well. For instance-when Aaron went to Butte Community College he asked to wear #12 (which was his high school number), but it was take. He then asked for #8 (the number of his boyhood hero-Steve Young), but it was also taken. He then asked for #4 because he loved how Brett Favre played. Little did he know that a few years later, he would be back-up the Favre. There are TONS of photos and it makes a great gift for any Packer fan, Aaron Rodgers follower or CHEESEHEAD.

I really hope the lock-out issue will be resolved before the beginning of the 2011 season. We want to be able to tout "WORLD CHAMPION GREEN BAY PACKERS" each and every week. GO PACK!

It's that time of year when the rhubarb is ripe and ready for picking! We've been talking about rhubarb and sharing recipes the last few days. If you don't have a patch in your backyard or garden, you can pick some up at your local grocery store-or at the nearest Farmer's Market.
Here are a few tips:
*Buy thinner, brightly colored stalks that are firm but not dried out at the ends.
*Cut the leaves off before cooking.
*Slice horizontally (against the grain)
* Add sugar (to taste) as the acidity is quite bracking.
*Try cooking down with ginger and star anise for complex but easy condiment.

You might want to try these jams:
Pineapple Rhubarb Jam
5 c. sliced rhubarb 3 c. sugar 3 oz. pkg. Strawberry JELL-O 1 medium can crushed pineapple Place rhubarb in saucepan. Stir in sugar and bring to boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes. During last few minutes of cooking, stir in pineapple. Remove from heat. Add JELL-O and stir until dissolved. Place into hot jars and seal.

Blueberry Rhubarb Jam
7- 1/2 c. rhubarb, cut up 2- 1/2 c. sugar 1 (16-20 oz.) can blueberry pie filling 2 small pkg. raspberry JELL-O Combine rhubarb, sugar & pie filling in saucepan. cook mixture until rhubarb gets soft. Stir in JELL-O until well dissolved. Pour mixture into glass jars and store in refrigerator. (Also freezes well).

Rhubarb Compote
2 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces

1 lb. strawberries, quartered
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. apple juice
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In large heavy-bottomed pot, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, apple juice and orange zest. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occassionally, until rhubarb has broken down and mixture has thickened, 55-65 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled-on toast, pancakes, waffles or ice cream.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Nook Line up for this week:

Monday, May 16th at 10:05am:
Rob Reischel, "AARON RODGERS: LEADER OF THE PACK", a great read with plenty of photos beginning with Aaron's high school football career and forward. Rob only had about a week after the superbowl to get everything pulled together and although he had lots of articles he could go back to, he still had to get interviews get organized in a hurry! You'll find out how Aaron ended up with the #4 jersery while playing for Butte Community College in 2002 and how he hasn't just beaten the odds in the NFL-but he did it back in high school and junior college as well.

Monday, May 16th at 10:35am:

Gracie Cabnar, founder of the RECIPE FOR SUCCESS FOUNDATON, as a way to combat childhood obesity. Her program is now set to go national as the "SEED-TO-PLATE EDUCTION PROGRAM" and she was one of six "real life heroines, honored by Harlequin in their 7th annual "More Than Words" competition.

Tuesday, May 17th at 10:05am:

Brian and Jerri Monahan, "WHEN A LOVED ONE FALLS ILL", talk about how to be an advocate for your loved one.

Wednesday, May 18th, at 10:05am:

Diane Krendesor, "OLLIE AND MOON", children's author

Thursday, May 19th at 10:05am:

Wendy Williamson, "I'M NOT CRAZY, I'M BI-POLAR"

Friday, May 20th, at 10:05am:

Ray Graham, "POTTINGER'S PROPHESY", will talk about how what we eat now will have an effect on future generations.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Figure Skating and Fudge!

Figure Skating and Fudge

Had a fun interview with Kristi Yamaguchi today. Besides being an Olympic Gold Medalist, Dancing with the stars champion, wife, mother and philanthropist, Kristi is now a successful children’s storybook author. In fact, her book, DREAM BIG, LITTLE PIG, debuted at the #2 slot on the New York Times bestsellers list when it was released this past March.

The illustrations are charming-in fact, you’ll smile as soon as you see the cover! And the story content won’t disappoint either. It’s a very fun book to read aloud.

“Poppy” is a little pig with lots of dreams. But following her dreams isn’t as easy as it sounds. Her best friend and her family encourage her to keep believing and to have fun doing it. And although Poppy tries ballet, singing and becoming a super model…before she finds that she really like to ice skate.

Part of the proceeds of each book will benefit Kristi’s “ALWAYS DREAM” foundation for early childhood literacy programs. Make sure you get a copy of this delightful storybook for your special little one!

It is Nutty Fudge day today and I shared the following recipe:

Nutty White Fudge
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. milk
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 (1 oz.) squares white baking chocolate
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnutsIn mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Gradually add sugar. Beat in melted chocolate. Add vanilla and salt; mix well. Stir in walnuts. Spread into buttered 8” square pan. Chill for 4-5 hours before cutting. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trials, Tubas and Tea

On Friday I had a chance to speak with Michael Griesbach, Assistant District Attorney for Manitowoc County and author of, "UNREASONABLE INFERENCES: THE STEVEN AVERY STORY UNVEILED".

You may recall that Steven Avery was wrongly accused of sexual assault back in 1985 in Manitowoc. He was sent to prison and served 18 years before he was released-mainly due to new ways to test DNA. Then, two years later he was arrested (and subsequently) convicted for the murder of a young woman from Green Bay. The book focuses on innocence and guilt and on the specific misconduct on the part of the former Manitowoc County prosecutor and Sheriff. A fascinating, up-close look at our justice system. If you're interested in real-life crime stories, this one's for you. It also gives you a little better background into an event that was an important part of our Wisconsin history. If you want to pick up a copy of Mike's book, stop in at BookWorld, in Beaver Dam or Watertown Book World- they have it in stock.

TUBA DAY is always celebrated on the First Friday in May and was founded by Joel Day in 1979. He was a high school tuba player, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and started the holiday as a result of a lack of respect for tubas and tuba players. Did you know that tubas can weight between 12-50 pounds? That the first tuba was patented in 1835 in Germany? And that the deep sounds provide a lot of character and "oomph" to concert music? Here's to all tuba players!

Did you play a musical instument while in school?

And finally....

National Beverage Day was also observed on Friday. What's your favorite? Tea? Iced or otherwise? Coffee-Starbucks or homebrew? Beer? Soda? Wine? I'm a "Pepper" as I love the taste of DR. PEPPER!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day ~ Mom!

There is NO job more important than that of a mother. Mom needs to be a nurse, teacher, chauffeur, cook, comforter, guidance counselor, head entertainment committee member, housekeeper, and so much more. Often she takes on more than one role at any given time.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Many times we are who we are, because of our mothers.

Six months before I turned five, my Mom was caring for me and four other siblings.
FIVE under FIVE!
When I was eight, I missed the last 3 months of school because I had rheumatic fever. My brother and sister were home because of a kidney infection. We all should have been in the hospital but my parents didn't have health insurance so Mom carried us to bathroom, recorded all "intake/output" measurements, our temperatures four times a day, brought our meals to us on trays; kept us entertained and never complained.

Mom let us build forts (with sheets and blankets) in living room on rainy days; gave us pot lids, pans, & kazoos to form a "band" and let us march around the neighborhood; never limited our imaginations; always believed in our dreams and loved each one of us unconditionally. She ignited a love for books and reading by sharing "chapter" books with us every night before bed-and as we got old enough, letting us read the stories to her as well.

My first memory dates back to when I was three or four. Mom and I were laying on my bed, gazing out the window and watching a gentle rain fall.

I have learned so much from my Mom. She has been a wonderful role model. Wise, witty, and WONDERFUL!

Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful mother and to all mothers today and everyday!

This week's Book Nook:

Monday, May 9th at 10:05am ~ Trey Rodgers, otherwise known as THE YARD DOCTOR. He'll talk about great lawn tips and the new Briggs & Stratton lawn hotline.

Monday, May 9th at 10:35am ~ Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, a not for profit, based in Washington , D.C. dedicated to makin sure there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. He'll talk about his book, "KABOOM! HOW ONE MAN BUILT A MOVEMENT TO SAFE PLAY"

Tuesday, May 10th at 10:05am ~ Lauren Chattman, 'BREAD MAKING: A HOME COURSE. CRAFTING THE PERFECT LOAF"

Wednesday, May 11th, at 10:05am ~ Cindy Duerst and other Leadership Beaver Dam members will be in the studio to talk about their upcoming food drive with Central Wisconsin Community Action

Wednesday, May 11th at 10:30am ~ THE GARDEN DOCTOR-DICK ZONDAG from Jung's Garden Center will be here to answer all your gardening questions

Thursday, May 12th at 9:40am ~ Kristi Yamaguchi will be here to talk about the release of her first children's book, "DREAM BIG, LITTLE PIG". The book encourages everyone to follow their dream because you will succeed as long as you believe.

Friday, May 13th at 10:05am ~ Laura Duksta, "YOU ARE A GIFT TO THE WORLD"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gold Medals, Green Houses, and Good Health!

Do you remember what you were doing during the summer of 1984? I was a young mom with 2 darling daughters and a 16 year old gymnast needed a perfect score (10) in order to win gold at the Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles. Mary Lou Retton captured the gold, and our hearts during her final performance and I had a chance to speak with her on Wednesday.

She is currently a mom of 4 girls (all very active and athletic in their own right) and is the spokesperson for Special Olympics. She is currently partnered with Proctor and Gamble to help raise funds so that at all Moms of Special Olympic athletes can travel to the Summer World Games in Athens Greece in July.

You can help out by going to P&G will donate $1 to Special Olympics everytime someone "friends" the site. So don't it today!

On Thursday, I broadcast my show live from Hoekstra's Market and Greenhouse (between Fox lake and Randolph 1/2 mile north on Hwy "A").
If you've been waiting for'll find it at Hoekstra's! WOW! All the beautiful greenhouses just "BURSTING" with color! So many choices of hanging baskets, planters, pots and other gift ideas for mom (Mother's Day is Sunday!) or just for yourself! Their open house is this weekend, Friday, 5/6 and Saturday, 5/7.

And did you know that gardening is good for your health?

  • Exposure to fresh air and sunshine (which is your best source of Vitamin D)

  • You'll get a great workout digging, hoeing, carrying water buckets

  • You can get your "picky" eaters involved right from the beginning. (Planting, waterting, weeding, harvesting and finally EATING!

  • Gardening can boost your mood. Did you know that studies have shown that receiving flowers makes people feel better. Imagine flowers blooming all summer long-what a great mood enhancer!

  • It's been proven that gardening will help improve your memory, too!

  • You'll add nutrition to your diet. Carrots are high in Vitamin A, tomatoes give healthy doses of Vitamins A & C and whereas bell peppers can contain pesticide residue when purchased from the grocery stores-you'll get a much healthier version if you grow your own, plus they contain a ton of phytonutrients.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beatles, Business and Birth Order

If you grew up with (or are just a fan) of The Beatles, you'll want to get a copy of 'COME TOGETHER: THE BUSINESS WISDOM OF THE BEATLES". (written by George Cassidy and Richard Courtney). The book seamlessly integrates nuggets of business "do's and don'ts" with interesting stories about the greatest rock and roll musical group EVER!

I talked with Richard Courtney, a successful real estate developer and huge Beatles fan. (He's been a follower since the age of 8!). The book has 100 chapters-but don't let that scare you-each one is no more than a page to a page and a half. It's set chronologically and has tons of information about each of the four "young lads from Liverpool". If you're looking to start your own business, if you already have a business and are looking for tips on how to make it better, this is the book for you. Find out how THE most successful business franchise of all time can help YOU!

Today, May 2nd is "Siblings" Day. Are you the oldest? A middle child? The baby? Or an only child? Are you aware of how your birth order affects your love life? (I found this information on )

If you're the oldest:

*You are a born leader (most US presidents were first borns)

*You take charge, like to plan and always remember birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's Day

*You are also old-fashioned (in a good way)

Your challenge: you need to become more spontaneous. You hate suprises.

Best Match: the youngest child. It's a case of opposites attracting. You help the last born become more organized and the last born helps you lighten up.

If you're the middle child: *You have a reputation as an insecure mess (Think Jan Brady). But you are actually a stable and loyal partner *You are not spoiled *You work for every perk, including a happy relationship. *You alwasy try to put others at ease. Your challenge: You need to open up because you're sometimes "hard to read". You can be secretive and you're not the best communicator when you're upset so learn to speak up instead of holdidng your anger in and you'll have a more harmonious relationship Best Match: Youngest child. Middles aren't as threatened by last borns as they are by exacting first borns.

If you're the youngest: *You're all about fun! *You like to have a good time Your challenge: you are not too financially dependable. (It comes from being well taken care of all your life). You also use your charm and charisma to be a bit "manipulative". Best Match: Either oldest (they serve as a good counterbalance in a "parent-child" sort of way, or middle child (they value friendships so they totally understand why you love being the life of the party).

The only child: *You are a "rock solid" citizen and a "sweetie" *you are super reliable and like the "oldest" child but to the extreme *You are punctual and true to your word *Always willing to help a friend in need
Your challenge: You are a bit of a perfectionist. Also cautious and pragmatic (and you can be very slow to make the first move). Best Match: the youngest child because you balance each other out. The baby of the family adds spontenaity and romance while you make sure you two aren't dining by candlelight because the electric bill never got paid!

I thought this was a fun perspective on siblings, spouses and significant others!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book Nook Line up for this week:

Monday, May 2nd at 10:05am:
Elizabeth Carlson, "SCREAM QUIETLY", a personal account of how the author and her family survived and escaped Nazi Poland during WWII. Elizabeth now resides in northern Wisconsin and she will be at the Randolph Evangelical Free Church on Saturday, May 7th at 7pm to do a presentation and book signing.
Monday, May 2nd at 10:35am
Jerol Anderson, "IS IT SAFE?", another local author (Cambridge, WI) whose mystery novel is about a young woman who goes into the Witness Protection Program after seeing a murder. Jerol will be at Watertown BookWorld this Saturday, May 7th from 10:30am-2pm.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 10:05 am
Richard Courtney and George Cassidy, "COME TOGETHER: BUSINESS WISDOM OF THE BEATLES". We'll be talking with George about the lessons today's entrepeneurs and business leaders can draw from the failures and triumphs of the most famous musical group.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 10:35am:
Aaron McCargo, Jr., author of "SIMPLY DONE, WELL DONE". Aaron is a chef on the Food Network and has a great new cookbook that he'll be talking about.

Wednesday, May 4th: 10:05am
Mary Lou Retton (of Olympic Gold fame!) will be on the program to talk about a cause near and dear to her heart ~ Special Olympics.

Thursday, May 5th, I'll be doing my show LIVE from Hoekstra's Market and Greenhouses in Randolph, so if you're in the vicinity, stop in to say "Hi!"

Friday, May 6th, 10:05am
Michael Griesbach, author of "UNREASONABLE INFERNECES" is the facinating story of the Steven Avery murder case and the events of the previous twenty years.

Lots of great interviews this week...