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Homemade Cream Puffs

Fox11 News

* Recipe Featured in Karen’s cookbook – Happiness is Homemade in Door County.

Watch the full video.

Cream Puffs:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white flour
2 eggs

Filing:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

hapiness is homemade in door countyPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter, and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and beat over low heat until mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and continue beating to cool down dough, about 2 minutes. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Continue to beat until mixture has a satin-like sheen.

Drop 1/4-cup mounds of batter, swirling the top of each, onto parchment- lined pans. Bake for about 50 min or until they turn brown and puff up. Remove from oven and cut 1 or 2 slits on each side. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, beat heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Cut tops off puffs and fill with cream. Return tops and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 6 cream puffs.

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Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Fox11 News

* Recipe Featured in Karen’s cookbook – Happiness is Homemade in Door County.

Watch the full video.

Ingredients:

Pie Crust
1 ripe banana
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
A pinch of salt
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

hapiness is homemade in door countyPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare single pie crust. Roll out and place in pie dish. Bake with weights for 10 minutes or golden brown. Let cool completely.

Place sliced banana on the bottom of pie crust. In a medium saucepan, scald milk and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, put sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in milk. Place over medium heat, stirring until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in egg yolks and cook another minute. Add butter and vanilla.

Pour into pie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill for 2 hours.

Before serving, in a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Top pie with whipped cream and serve.

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Bipolar Milwaukee author uses novel to promote mental health awareness

WMTJ-4 Milwaukee
Pete Zervakis

A local author who recently saw his first novel published said channeling a mental illness into creativity is what helped him write the book.

poison penA local author who recently saw his first novel published said channeling a mental illness into creativity is what helped him write the book. Bill Zaferos wrote the novel, “Poison Pen,” in 2000.

At the time, he didn’t know he was bipolar. His condition was going untreated.

“One in four people have mental illness in America, and I’m part of that one in four,” Zaferos said. “It manifested itself in me in just writing obsessively for three months.”

He said one reason it took him so long to begin treatment through therapy and medication was that he was embarrassed to admit he might be mentally ill.

“If you tell people you’re mentally ill, you can never have a bad day again,” Zaferos said. “Because if you do, the line is always, ‘Somebody’s off their medicines.’ Which is unfair.”

“A lot of people are ashamed about it, and that’s wrong,” he said.

Zaferos’ manuscript sat on a shelf for almost two decades before he mustered up the courage to approach a publisher about it last year.

The novel will be officially released Wednesday at an event at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

At the book launch, Zaferos will read from the novel and explain how he channeled his mental illness into creativity.

All proceeds from tickets, which can be purchased here, will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Milwaukee.

“Not everybody’s going to write a book. But they can work to feel more comfortable about having a mental illness and about how to deal with it. So it’s just really important to remove the stigma.” “I want to do something to help them because they’re doing a lot to help other people,” Zaferos said.

Zaferos said he hopes the event and the story behind his book will bring awareness to mental illness and break stigmas that often make it taboo to talk about.

“Not everybody’s going to write a book,” he said. “But they can work to feel more comfortable about having a mental illness and about how to deal with it. So it’s just really important to remove the stigma.”

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From life to the page

Retired firefighter draws on experience for first novel

The Isthmus

BY KATY MACEK

beneath the flamesAfter 28 years of working for the Milwaukee Fire Department, Madison native Gregory Renz has seen a thing or two.

Renz was a fire captain in inner-city Milwaukee, often encountering much more than dangerous fires — though he certainly saw his share of those. Renz observed how poverty, racism and social injustice divided one of the most segregated cities in the country.

When Renz retired in 2008 and moved back to Madison, he thought about all he had experienced, particularly a dramatic rescue in which he saved two boys from the basement of a burning building on Dec. 6, 2004. He’s shared the story several times, including when he was honored for the rescue and inducted into the Fire and Police Hall of Fame in 2006.

“When I shared that story, I saw tears coming down people’s faces,” Renz says. “It hit me: the power of a story and how it can move people.”

In retirement, Renz took up writing. It took him nearly 10 years, but on June 1 he is launching his first novel, Beneath the Flames (Three Towers Press.)

The novel follows farmer and volunteer firefighter Mitch Garner’s journey to salvation after he blames himself for a devastating loss of life at a fire in his small, rural Wisconsin hometown. Garner falls into a depression and decides the only way to redeem himself is to be somebody else’s hero.

He applies for and is accepted into the Milwaukee Fire Department, where he confronts a culture and community he knows nothing about. Then he meets 12-year-old Jasmine and her little sister, Alexus, through the department’s mentoring program.

“They are as far apart culturally as you could possibly get, and they don’t understand each other,” Renz says of his main characters. “Jasmine starts helping him [Mitch], and this huge racial divide starts narrowing.”

Renz’s debut novel tackles such themes as forgiveness, redemption and family. It also provides a behind-the-scenes look at a fire department, as Doug Holton, a retired Milwaukee Fire Department chief who worked alongside Renz, points out. He says Renz’s book was a “realistic portrayal” of how racism plays out both in the city and on the staff. “His book is very dynamic,” Holton says. “People have a perception of firefighters that they’re heroes. But when the door is closed, and you’re living with somebody for 24 hours, what’s going on?”

Those dynamics are what make the story work, according to writing instructor Christine DeSmet, who coached Renz in writing classes through UW-Madison’s Continuing Studies program. “Greg relished the revisions that helped him hone his storyline and characters,” DeSmet says. “He seemed to be a treasure hunter with his own material. He loved scraping away at words to find even more emotional depth for his characters.”

She says the novel is packed with emotional twists and turns, weighty themes and humor. “They say a novel is only as good as its ending,” Desmet says. “Greg Renz’s debut novel has one of those thought-provoking endings that doesn’t leave a reader. I suspect a lot of readers will be asking, ‘When’s the next novel coming out?’”

Renz is working on it. He’s drafting ideas for a second firefighter-themed novel. He’s got more stories to share.

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Bipolar Author Bill Zaferos Channeled Mental Illness Into Creativity

poison pen

Your LIFE! Magazine

Book Release/Fundraiser to be Held May 15 at the Marcus Center

Author Bill Zaferos did not know he was suffering from bipolar disorder when he wrote his first novel, Popoison penison Pen, in 2000. All he knew was that the title popped into his head and he became driven to write day and night. The book will be released May 15 with an event at the Marcus Center.

The plot of Poison Pen centers on Jerry Most, the acerbic host of the game show Die Trying, in which contestants perform death-defying acts to win fabulous prizes. The dangerous stunts never really work but the highly popular show gives Most riches beyond his belief. Still, his wealth isn’t enough to keep him happy and he sinks into a dangerous depression. Seeking solace on a cross-country trip during the show’s summer hiatus, he winds up in Hammertown, a miserable Wisconsin burg, where he decides to end it all while getting drunk in a local bar.

Called a “brilliant tour de force” by Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Peele, Poison Pen is a tale of redemption that offers an off-beat look at American culture as well as life, death and the deeper meaning of ‘60s television shows like The Beverly Hillbillies.

Author Nick Chiarkis said: “Poison Pen by Bill Zaferos is a page-turner. Mr. Zaferos is a wonderful storyteller and masterful writer. This is a ride you don’t want to miss. You will cheer and laugh, and at times choke up with tears. I did not want the story to end. Bravo, Mr. Zaferos.”

Bill Zaferos is a first-time author and writer who managed to channel his mental illness into creativity by writing Poison Pen during a manic high. He wrote the novel in a few months and then left it on a closet shelf for 15 years before allowing friends and family to read it. With their encouragement, Zaferos finally sought publication of the novel.

Zaferos is a former newspaper political reporter, political consultant and public relations and advertising executive. He lives in downtown Milwaukee – not the suburbs – with his wife, Tracey Carson.

“A Night for NAMI Poison Pen Book Launch” Wednesday, May 15. VIP reception at 5:30 in Conference Room A and an interview/audience Q&A with Zaferos at 7 pm in the rehearsal hall. Proceeds for the event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Greater Milwaukee. Tickets are available on the Poison Pen website (poisonpenbook.com) as well as the Marcus Center ticket office (marcuscenter.org) and Amazon.

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New Door County Cookbook

hapiness is homemade in door county

By , Peninsula Pulse

hapiness is homemade in door countyKaren Buhk has kept her traditional family recipes alive in Happiness Is Homemade in Door County, a cookbook that contains recipes for more than 50 delicious desserts and meals from the past to the present. Photographs by her granddaughter-in-law, Sandy Buhk, make this cookbook even more special.

Karen Buhk spent her childhood watching her grandmother and mother in the kitchen and learning all the techniques and skills that she incorporates in her recipes. She has been cooking and baking by look, feel and taste all her life and has now recorded many details and tips so you can make these delicious dishes for yourself.

Buhk is well known around Door County as the “Cookie Grandma,” making her special treats with love and sharing them with everyone she knows.

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Former Wisconsin newspaper reporter publishes first novel

Jordan Schelling
Wisconsin Newspaper Association

poison penMILWAUKEE – Bill Zaferos, who started his career as a journalist in Wisconsin before switching to public relations, has published his first novel, “Poison Pen.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl spoke to Zaferos ahead of the book’s release, which is scheduled for May 15. The book launch includes a fundraiser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Milwaukee, at which Zaferos will read from the book and take questions from the audience.

“Poison Pen” is described as an absurdist tale of redemption about a depressed game show host known for his cruel on-air insults and crude behavior. Zaferos told Stingl he wrote the book in 2000, but waited 16 years before getting the courage to show friends, fellow writers or a publisher.

Zaferos, a UW-Madison graduate, started his journalism career as a reporter for the Oshkosh Northwestern. He also worked as a political reporter for The Post-Crescent in Appleton before serving in a number of public relations roles.

Read more…

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Milwaukee novelist who wrote on a manic high is putting the focus on mental illness

poison pen

poison penJim Stingl
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The stunningly honest author biography of Bill Zaferos’ new novel begins this way:

“Bill Zaferos is a first-time author and writer who managed to channel his mental illness into creativity by writing ‘Poison Pen‘ during a manic high.”

The words flowed out of him for three months as he huddled over a vintage Mac computer in his basement, often well into the night while self-medicating with wine and grooving to Bruce Springsteen and The Who.

Out poured the wild story of a rich and caustic game show host who hits the road to find himself and winds up in a miserable northern Wisconsin town populated by weird characters.

Did all that feverish late-night key pounding lead to a story that makes sense?

“What’s remarkable to me is that it holds together. There are parts of this that I don’t remember writing. I was a man on a mission,” said Zaferos, 60, a former newspaper reporter and public relations man who lives in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

HenschelHaus Publishing in Milwaukee agreed with his assessment and took on the book. It will launch May 15 as a fundraiser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Milwaukee at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. It starts at 7 p.m., preceded by a VIP reception at 5:30. Tickets are $30.

Zaferos will read from “Poison Pen” and take questions from Marcus Center President Paul Mathews and the audience. Everyone present will receive a copy of the book, which also becomes available that day on Amazon.

Read more…

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Meaningful ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Day for kids and adults

By Nicole Spector
NBC News

Here’s a look at some of the many things we can do this MLK Day (and, as Bernice King notes, beyond it) to restore our hope and honor MLK’s work…

Books galore and for all ages

Mighty Marty HayesYou’ve no shortage of books that can help impart King’s legacy and its lasting importance.

Middle-grade readers with interest in superheroes may appreciate books like “The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes” by Lora L. Hyler.

“I feature American history through black spies and key figures such as Ruby Bridges and Josephine Baker, along with Dr. King,” says Hyler. “Since my novel’s March 2018 publication date I’ve enjoyed school visits, book festivals, education and library conferences all over the country. The kids’ eyes just light up when I note that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is part of the book.”

Read the full article…

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A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels in and Around the Badger State

“Wisconsin Underground” by Doris Green
WMTJ-4  Milwaukee

Wisconsin is home to some beautiful pieces of nature that we can see every day. But what about the beauty and wonder that you can’t see? “Wisconsin Underground” by Doris Green is a guide to the incredible caves, mines and tunnels hiding under the surface in our great state. Author Doris Green joins us to discuss this book and the research done to complete it.

Watch the interview here.

There is a “Wisconsin Underground” book talk on Saturday, February 9 at 11am at Spring Green Community Library. For more information, visit DorisGreenBooks.com.

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16 new books worth reading in 2019, including Nickolas Butler and a ‘Fonz’ murder mystery

Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel

For sheer magnitude, Milwaukee’s biggest book event in 2019 will be Michelle Obama’s March 14 appearance at the Miller High Life Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave., where the former first lady will speak about her memoir “Becoming.” Except for a few high-end seats in the $925-$1,125 range, it’s a sold-out show.

But fear not, dear readers. The first part of the year brings many promising books and local author events. In chronological order, here’s a selection of 15 forthcoming books and events that may interest you, with an emphasis on Milwaukee and Wisconsin writers.

Mighty Marty HayesThe Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes
Lora L. Hyler (HenschelHAUS)

In Hyler’s middle-grade novel, a multicultural class of 7th graders get involved in gene editing, spy gadgets and superpowers.

Hyler will speak 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at Nō Studios, 1037 W. McKinley Ave.