MKEfoodies, a group of local food bloggers, is having their annual bake sale. All proceeds will support research for pediatric cancer.

MKEfoodies Holiday Bake Sale raises money for pediatric cancer

They say the best food is made with love in every bite.

MKEfoodies, a group of culinary-minded local bloggers, food writers and food lovers, will hold their annual Holiday Bake Sale to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer next Saturday, Dec. 8. Not only is it a great place to connect with your favorite foodies (and buy their delicious baked goods) but it benefits a chronically underfunded area of medicine: research for pediatric cancer.

This year the event will be held at the Best Place, 901 W. Juneau Ave., from noon to 4 p.m.’s own Lori Fredrich is heavily involved in the planning, and she reports that MKEfoodies raised $2,000 at last year's bake sale and hopes to earn even more this year.

"Items for sale will run the gamut from traditional Christmas cut-out cookies, ginger snaps, biscotti and chocolate chip cookies to elegant candies, bars and bark," she says. "Attendees will be able to buy cookies to eat, to give as gifts or to make up their holiday cookie platters."

Participating gourmets include Yollande Deacon of Afro Fusion Cuisine, who will make organic and gluten-free African peanut candies, African orange chocolate cookies and African coconut rum cookies. Jennifer Nowicki of Verduras Café will donate three dozen vegan cookies. Friedrich and her husband Paul will have gift boxes for sale containing one dozen hand-dipped brandy cordial cherries.

Food blogger Abby Thompson of The Frosted Vegan will sell chocolate crinkle cookies. "These cookies are the ultimate indulgence, between the fudge center, crunchy outer shell and sprinkle of powdered sugar," she says. "They will be vegan and dairy-free, but they won’t be short on delicious!"

Karis Kuckleberg of Karis’ Kitchen will bring holiday cake pops in delicious flavors like red velvet and dark chocolate peppermint. She says that it’s a great honor to support Cookies’ for Kids’ Cancer. "I love baking and appreciate Lori and Paul’s effort in organizing this annual bake sale, which prov…

Lake Michigan always brightens up my day.
Lake Michigan always brightens up my day. (Photo: Colleen Jurkiewicz)
I love the Pabst references scattered around the city.
I love the Pabst references scattered around the city. (Photo: Colleen Jurkiewicz)
Day-tripping to places like Door County are a breeze when you live in Milwaukee.
Day-tripping to places like Door County are a breeze when you live in Milwaukee. (Photo: Colleen Jurkiewicz)
Ah, the Brewers. I am compelled to feel thankful.
Ah, the Brewers. I am compelled to feel thankful. (Photo: Colleen Jurkiewicz)

What I'm thankful for in Milwaukee

There’s a lot about this city to love. Here are just a few Milwaukee things, large and small, that make me grateful.

1. I get to see a Great Lake every day. When I was in grade school, we took a class trip to see the progress on the reproduction of the classic schooner the Denis Sullivan. The tour guide was really, really excited about his job, and I remember him, at one point, saying these words (and they stuck with me because I thought it was weird): "I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live on and work with the Great Lakes, and to learn something new about them every day." My thought, at the time, was that this guy needed a girlfriend, or at least cable TV. But now I get it. Seeing the lake on my drive to work just makes my morning better.

2. Coffee. Alterra and Stone Creek never fail to make my day at least 13 percent better.

3. The insane amount of bars within walking distance from your apartment. You know it’s true. And it’s glorious.

4. UWM. Yeah, I’m an alumnus and probably biased – deal with it. There is world-class education to be had at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The School of Architecture and Urban Design is one of the best in the nation, and the same goes for the program at the Peck School of the Arts – even the smaller programs are fantastic. Take a class from Tim Crain at the Center for Jewish Studies or Robin Pickering-Iazzi in the Italian Department and you will never, ever regret it.  The English Department employs prestigious writers like Liam Callanan and Valerie Laken and scholars like Dr. Kristie Hamilton – and I’m sure the sciences and math departments are great, too; I just wasn’t fully conscious in any of those classes. And with affordable rates for auditing classes, UWM continues to educate the community as a whole long after the days of house parties and dorm life are over.

5. Irish Fest. What? I can be thankful for it in November. I am thankful for Irish music and the tasty, tasty Tipperary Tea Ro…

Braving the crowds this Black Friday? Here's a lay of the land.
Braving the crowds this Black Friday? Here's a lay of the land.

Black Friday deals, steals and promotions

There aren't many shopping excursions as chaotic – or even downright dangerous – as Black Friday. Whether you'll be waiting in line at midnight (or earlier) or shopping online from the comfort of your home, here's the scoop on the best deals, promotions and activities at Milwaukee-area malls, stores and boutiques.

Fred Boutique
522 N. Water St., (414) 270-1009
From 3 to 9 a.m. get 50 percent off the entire store. Want to sleep in? From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., all inventory is 35 percent off.

Harley-Davidson Museum
400 W. Canal St., (414) 287-2789
Find the perfect gift for the Harley lover in your life. There are a host of Black Friday activities at the museum (like the Blazin' Yuletide Ride led by Santa at 4 p.m., or the Black Friday Beer Fest from 5 to 8 p.m.) as well as a great opportunity to take advantage of sale prices at the exclusive gift shop, open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Browse merchandise like leather jackets, reproduction sweaters and memorabilia. 

Kohl's Department Store
Multiple locations
Kohl's gave the skinny on the best of their Black Friday deals.  

  • Starting Wednesday, Nov. 21, enjoy more than 500 Early Bird specials available on The deals will be in-store on Friday, Nov. 23.
  • Earn $15 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent in-store on online, with no earning limit. 
  • Get 20 percent off and free shipping on Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) and all the following Cyber Week.  

My two favorite Kohl's Black Friday deals: 

  • Misses Apt. 9 cashmere sweater for $34.99 (regularly priced $125).
  • Extra 20 percent off in-store sterling silver jewelry already 55-60 percent off.

Mayfair Mall
2500 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 771-1300
Head to the Food Court and Center Court for live entertainment, free coffee and breakfast treats from Panera Bread (you'll need the sustenance), complimentary massages (if you're sore from carrying all those shopping bags), an interactive holiday-inspired photo b…

Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated film "Winter's Bone," will appear at the Helene Zelazo Center Nov. 14.
Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated film "Winter's Bone," will appear at the Helene Zelazo Center Nov. 14.

UWM students bring Oscar-nominated director to Milwaukee

It's a big week for the student-run Production Club at UWM – and everyone's invited.

The club, which has been in existence for six years and boasts a membership of approximately 80 film students, hosts a prestigious grand speaker on Nov. 14.: Debra Granik, director of the Academy Award-nominated 2010 film "Winter's Bone," who will speak at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd., at 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

"Debra will share her experiences in the independent filmmaking world, including her directorial work on the Best Picture-nominated film 'Winter's Bone,'" noted a The Production Club press release. "We will discuss inspirations, film production and visual storytelling."

The Production Club is also providing those unfamiliar with Granik's work ample opportunity to educate themselves. The UWM Union Theatre will host a screening of Granik's first feature film, "Down to the Bone," tonight, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

The Union Theatre will also be the site of a screening of "Winter's Bone," starring Jennifer Lawrence, Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m., directly before Granik's appearance across the street.

For Production Club officer Kyle Arpke, booking Granik as a grand speaker was a no-brainer. Not only is a big name guaranteed to draw a crowd, but the director has a solid body of work and is well-respected within the filmmaking community especially among independent filmmakers. The club sees it as an invaluable opportunity to learn from a master, as well as to engage the public.

"I've been a huge fan of her ever since I saw 'Winter's Bone' in 2010," Arpke said. "That film, it sort of opened me up to the neo-realism genre. (Neo-realism) is definitely getting a lot of recognition on the independent film scene with films like 'Blue Valentine' and the films of Kelly Reichardt like 'Wendy and Lucy.'"

Arpke got the chance to see Granik's first feature work, "Down to the Bone," in a film realism class, "so I was r…