_WDEZ Behind the Mic Blog Behind the Mic

  • Jeff Thelen - Sunrise 7 at WSAW

    Posted by Lee Peek

    Jeff Thelen with Lee & NikkiWe had a great time with Jeff in studio today talking about everything from his damaged man paw to NASCAR. And of course we chatted about "Share our Holidays" which WSAW kicks off at the Wausau parade tonight. Best of luck to the and as always, thanks Jeff!

  • Top Terms of 2009

    Posted by Lee Peek

    THE YEAR OF TWITTER:

    Twitter is a winner.  The Global Language Monitor has named Twitter the top word of 2009.  Global Language Monitor President Paul JJ Payack said, quote, "In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after-effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words."  Here's a look at the Global Language Monitor's top 15 words of the year, along with the group's comment on each selection:

    1. Twitter - The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters
    2. Obama - The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare
    3. H1N1 - The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu
    4. Stimulus - The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the U.S. economy
    5. Vampire - Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love
    6. 2.0 - The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything
    7. Deficit - Lessons from history are dire warnings here
    8. Hadron - Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider
    9. Healthcare - The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the U.S.
    10. Transparency - Elusive goal for which many 21st century governments are striving
    11. Outrage - In response to large bonuses handed out to 'bailed-out' companies
    12. Bonus - The incentive pay packages that came to symbolize greed and excess
    13. Unemployed - And underemployed amount to close to 20% of U.S. workforce
    14. Foreclosure - Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments
    15. Cartel - In Mexico, at the center of the battle over drug trafficking

    Global Language Monitor's Top Phrases of 2009
    1. King of Pop - Elvis was "The King;" MJ had to settle for "King of Pop'
    2. Obama-mania - One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem
    3. Climate Change - Considered politically neutral compared to global warming
    4. Swine Flu - Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus
    5. Too Large to Fail - Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability
    6. Cloud Computing - Using the Internet for a variety of computer services
    7. Public Option - The ability to buy health insurance from a government entity
    8. Jai Ho! - A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment
    9. Mayan Calendar - Consists of various "cycles," one of which ends on 12/21/2012
    10. God Particle - The hadron, believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang

  • Holiday baking tips

    Posted by Nikki Montgomery

    Today on the show: 

    Michelle Mielke from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board was with us to talk about holiday baking with real WI butter. 

    Butterisbest.com is where you can go to order your recipe cards. We got to sample some of the goodies in the recipe book and they were amazing! I can't wait to bake them for my family. 

    She also brought in some helpful baking tips which we didn't get to cover on the air so here they are:

    Helpful Tips for Holiday Baking, Cooking with Butter:

    • Keep it fresh. Store butter in it's original packaging or in a tightly covered container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. Keep butter away from foods with strong odors or distinct flavors.
    • Butter can be frozen in it's original container for up to four months from the time of purchase. To protect the flavor of butter, wrap the container in aluminum foil or in an airtight plastic freezer bag before freezing. Once butter is thawed, it should be used within 30 days. 

    *Salted butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and in the freezer for 6 to 9 months.

    *Unsalted butter can be stored for up to 2 weeks refrigerated and frozen for up to 5 months. 

    • How the cookie crumbles. For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, use slightly softened butter. With its low melting point, butter helps make cookies soft and chewy on the inside, but crisp and golden on the outside.
    • The upper crust. For flakier pie crusts and puff pastries, keep butter as hard and cold as possible prior to use. The flaky texture is produced when cold pieces of butter, trapped between thin layers of dough, melt during baking, creating small air pockets.
    • The scoop on sauces. Butter makes sauces smooth and creamy, and creates cohesive consistency by helping mix both fat-and water-based ingredients. For the best consistency and flavor, use cold, hard butter.
    • Flavor enhancer. Adding butter along with savory or sweet spices helps retain the flavor of the spices and works to integrate the flavor throughout the entire dish. 
    10 Tips for Best holiday Baking:
    1. Get prepped. Before you begin baking, make sure you are familiar with the recipe, its ingredients and preparation techniques. Read the recipe thoroughly and organize the necessary ingredients and equipment in your baking area.
    2. Measure up. Baking is a science: the more accurate your ingredient measurements, the better your end product. Sift or stir dry ingredients as the recipe directs, prior to measuring, and then carefully spoon into the correct sized measuring cup, leveling off with a straight edge. Measure liquids in a clear measuring cup placed on a level surface. Bend over to read the amount at eye level.
    3. No substitutions. Do not use spreads, such as margarine or shortening or part-butter products, to replace butter in a recipe. Spreads contain less fat and more water than butter and will not perform the same.
    4. Avoid sticky situations. Keep cookies from sticking to baking sheets by using a layer of parchment paper to cover the baking sheets or by buttering the sheets with a piece of buttered paper towel.
    5. Chill out. For the best cookie results, keep dough chilled in between baking batches of cookies. For cutout cookies, work with only one small piece of dough at a time and keep remaining dough refrigerated.
    6. The right roll. Roll cookie dough between two layers of lightly floured parchment or wax paper. The cookie dough will roll evenly and remove easily, without sticky to the rolling pin or counter.
    7. Quick to cool. Cookies bake best when the dough is placed on cool cookie sheets. Accelerate the cooling process by running tepid water over the back of your baking sheets. Dry thoroughly.
    8. Well-defined lines. For crisp-looking, well-defined holiday cookie shapes, place cutouts on a cookie sheet and refrigerate about 30 minutes before baking.
    9. Perfect timing. Watch cookies carefully during baking and remove when they begin to turn light brown around the edges. Remember, cookies continue to bake from the heat of the cookie sheet after they are removed from the oven.
    10. Safe storage. Store soft cookies, such as drop cookies, in a container with a tight lid, and crisp cookies, such as florentines, in a container with a loose lid.
    For more information and more holiday baking ideas, recipes and tips please visit butterisbest.com.